Spooky Solvy Spider Web in 10 Easy Steps

Spooky Solvy Spider Web in 10 Easy Steps

ED

This blog post is written by Eric Drexler,
Sulky National Educator

I first experimented with this project making large Easter Egg decorations in fun colors. You can view that blog here.

Recently I saw a Halloween decoration on the internet that looked a lot like my eggs. They were really cool spider webs with spiders on them. Oooo CREEPY.

So I wanted to try it out for myself!

Supplies:

  • First, find water balloons (This turned out to be the hardest part of the project).
  • Then, gather the web material. For the Easter eggs I used Sulky’s 12 wt. Cotton Blendables ThreadYou can also use kite string for a heavier look.

New Blendables Petites

  • Wide paint brush (1/2″ bristles)
  • Clear Acrylic
  • Fake spiders!

Directions:

  1. Microwave water. For every 1 cup of water, microwave 30 seconds. Slowly add 1 yard of dry Fabri-Solvy Stabilizer to the heated water (If you are like me, you save scraps and can use those!). Mix until a thin, almost watery, paste is formed. Let the mixture sit until you are ready to apply, then try to work out all of the clumps.
  2. Inflate balloon, but not all the way. Tape down the belly button so it is flat.
  3. Wrap Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Solid or Blendables Thread around the balloon, starting at the top or bottom. Turn the balloon on its axis as it is being wrapped so that a star burst pattern is formed. Be careful to stay in the center of the balloon as you wrap so it doesn’t slide off the side. This is easy to do since you are wrapping and turning at the same time. Try: turn, wrap, turn, wrap to gain more control.
  4. Turn on its side, and start wrapping from the center and repeat the turning motion until another star is formed. Keep wrapping to fill in empty spaces.
  5. Find the other open areas and make another star burst there till you are happy with the thickness. (Light and Lacy is nice, but more fragile. If wrapped thicker it will absorb more liquid Solvy) For a jaw dropping look, add a coordinating Sulky Holoshimmer with the Cotton or Blendables Thread.
  6. Use a wider paint brush (like ½” bristles) to apply the liquid Solvy over the outside of the wrapped balloon. Let it soak in and make sure to cover every inch. If too much is applied it will drip.
  7. Find a small plastic or glass bowl to set the egg down on for drying. They dry quicker in the sun or with a fan on them. Make sure to turn them over from side to side and top to bottom to avoid the liquid Solvy migrating to the lowest point. Every 15 to 20 minutes should be sufficient.
  8. When the egg is dry, apply another layer of Liquid Solvy. Repeat a third time for a super strong egg.
  9. When the egg is COMPLETELY dry, put a pin in the balloon. If you are not going to cut it open you can remove the balloon with a dental pick through one of the holes.
  10. Spray with Clear Acrylic to seal and strengthen.

spooky solvy spider web

If you are making webs, an egg can be cut in half to make 2 webs. Small slivers of painter’s tape (2” X ¼”) help to pre-plan where you are going to cut. 

spooky solvy spider web

Finally, glue a few fake spiders to your web and find fun a spot for your new, spooky Halloween decoration!

Show us your Halloween creations! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook and tag us with #SulkyThreads 🙂




Cork Bottom Monogram Tote in 14 Easy Steps

DIY Monogrammed Cork-Bottom Bag

in 14 Easy Steps

Whether you need it for the beach, going to class, a game-day tailgate party, or to carry your latest sewing project, this tote is a perfect size and is always in style. I have made several of these as gifts and the recipients always love them. They always comment about how the cork bottom gives it just the right touch of sophistication. The best part is they are so simple to make!

DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Monogrammed Cork-Bottom Bag

Supplies

4 Fat Quarters or 1 yard of fabric

2 pieces of cork fabric cut to 18″ x 4-1/2″

2 straps, each 57″ long

Clover® Wonder Clips

Fabric Marker

Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra™ or Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch™ Stabilizer for extra stability

Cotton+Steel® Thread by Sulky or Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread

Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread for the machine embroidery

Sulky Cut-Away Plus™ Stabilizer

The Monogram –

  1. I used Interlocking Vine Satin & Filled Alphabet from SWAKembroidery.com. I made sure the center of the monogram was 9″ in from the edge, and about 7″- 9″ up from the bottom. That is your preference; you decide where you want the monogram to sit on the bag vertically, but centering it horizontally is pretty important.
  2. I used Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread in the top and bobbin and I used Sulky Cut Away Plus because the this design is pretty dense (heavy and thick).

DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag

Directions

  1. Cut 2 fat quarters 18″ x 15-1/2″ for the outside fabric (be mindful to keep the monogram centered); and cut the other 2 fat quarters 19-1/2″ x 18″ for the lining. The 2 cork pieces should be cut 18″ x 4 1/2″ DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  2. Pin the straps in place, 3-1/2″ in from each of the sides. DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  3. Use the Clover Wonder clips instead of pins (you can’t pin the cork because the holes from the pins don’t go away); and with right sides together, sew the cork piece onto the bottom of the fabric (the 15-1/2″ bottom) with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  (Hint:  Place the flat side of the clips on the bottom, as shown below, for easier stitching.)DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  4. Press the seam towards the fabric. Surprisingly, the cork fabric acts very much like regular cotton fabric. I did use a medium temperature on my iron but I probably could have used high heat and been fine. As always, test before you ruin a project!
  5. Topstitch the two sides of each strap, and leave 1/2″ unstitched at the top. Be sure to backstitch at the start and end of each stitching line.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  6. Place the front and back pieces right sides together, and sew the sides and bottom together with a 1/4″ seam allowance.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  7. Box the bottom corners by laying the corner out, match the side seam with the bottom seam, and measure in 2″ from the corner.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  8. Mark the line and stitch. Be sure to backstitch.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  9. Now for the lining! I stabilized my bags by fusing Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra to the lining pieces of the bags. For extra stability, use Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch. Sulky Soft 'n Sheer Cut-Away embroidery stabilizer is permanent, textured, non-woven nylon that is ultra-soft next to skin. Sulky Fuse 'n Stitch Embroidery Stabilizer is a firm, crisp, heavyweight iron-on permanent stabilizer that is ideal for projects that need extra stiffness and retained support.
  10. Sew the two lining pieces, right sides together, along both sides and across the bottom, with a 1/4″ seam allowance.   Box the bottom the same way you did with the outside pieces. DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  11. Fold and press 1/2″ down on the top of the lining (folded over so the wrong sides are touching). DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDo the same with the outside piece (this is why you didn’t sew the strap down that last  1/2″ at the top).  NOTE: If you bought Nylon straps, be careful with the iron, they could melt (ask me how I know 🙂 ).DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  12. Turn the outside of the bag right sides out, and put the lining inside.
  13. Carefully clip the top edges together matching the sides seams. This is also your chance to do a reality check – the lining with the outside – and adjust if one is bigger than the other.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  14. Topstitch the lining to the bag about 1/8″ from the folded edge. DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag

You are done! Enjoy your new cool bag.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag




Tutorial: Clear Vinyl Bag – A Game Day Essential!

Clear Vinyl Bag Tutorial – A Game-Day Essential!

Professional sports stadiums have required them for years, and now a clear vinyl bag is required at all college football stadiums as well. Don’t put your things in a zip-lock bag! Here is how to make an easy and adorable vinyl bag that shows your team pride!

Supplies

Clear Vinyl Bag Tutorial

Awesome pink cutting board by Havel Sewing!

Clear Vinyl – cut 1 piece 22″ x 15″

Fabric for the top – 2 pieces 6″ x 15″

Fabric for the bottom insert- 13″ x 8-1/2″

Cardboard for bottom – 12″ x 3-3/4″ (You may have to adjust this to fit – fair warning)

17″ or longer Zipper

38″ Strap

Hot glue or small strip of fusible webbing

Sulky® Tear-Easy™ (these can be scraps left over from machine embroidery projects)

Cotton + Steel® Thread by Sulky in a matching color (You can also use Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread or Cotton Blendables® Thread if you want the stitching to stand out a little more)

Tips for using vinyl

A note about clear vinyl:  This is a tricky thing to work with. You can’t iron it and you can’t use pins. It also sticks to the bed of your machine and the bottom of your presser foot. All in all, it is not my favorite thing to sew through; but I was determined to make some cute vinyl bags to carry to football games, so I figured out some tricks that make using the stuff bearable.

  1. After you have purchased your piece, open it up flat and let it relax. Tug on it some so the wrinkles and creases will release. This won’t get them all out, but it will help.
  2. Measure twice, cut once. Seriously. If you cut it wrong, you will have to cut a brand new piece since sewing pieces together would be way too obvious.
  3. Use clips, not pins. I prefer Clover® Wonder Clips
  4. When sewing, sandwich the vinyl between two pieces of Tear-Easy Stabilizer. The Tear-Easy won’t stick to the sewing machine bed or the presser foot and once you are finished sewing, it will tear cleanly away as if it was never there. This is probably the tip that will help you keep your sanity when it comes to sewing with vinyl.

Directions

  1. Fold the two 6″ x 15″ fabrics in half, lengthwise, and press; so you now have two 3″ x 15″ pieces.
  2. Sew the raw edge of one of the folded fabric pieces to one 15″ side of the vinyl with a SCANT 1/4″ seam (scant is important). 
  3. You are now going to do a french seam (otherwise this edge would look very messy inside the bag). Fold the fabric over the top of the seam and sew a full 1/4″ seam. Just one side. You will sew the other side on after you have the zipper sewn in. 
  4. OPTIONAL: Take a small fussy-cut square of your team’s logo or symbol. Put a piece of Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer™ Stabilizer on the right side of the fabric, and sew around all four sides. Trim seams to about an 1/8″ or cut the seam allowance with pinking shears. Then, cut a small slit in the Soft ‘n Sheer only and turn. This turns down all of your edges and gives the little piece some extra stability. Top stitch it to the center of the front of your bag.  (I did mine about 2″ down from the fabric and centered on the vinyl). You may need to put a little strip of Tear Easy on the top and bottom hear too – just to keep it form sticking to the foot or the machine bed.

    (Go Gators!)

  5. Time to add the zipper. Pin the zipper into place with the zipper pull moved in about 1/2″.
  6. Put a zipper foot on your machine and topstitch on either side of the zipper. 
  7. Now add the second piece of fabric to the other 15″ side of the vinyl and do the french seam on this side, too. Be sure that you first sew the fabric to the inside of the vinyl, and then the outside, so the seam stays on the inside of the bag.
  8. Sew the sides up with a 1/4″ seam and be sure to backstitch over the zipper at the top. I used clips to hold everything in place and put a piece of Sulky Tear-Easy on top and bottom of the bag.
  9. When tearing the Tear-Easy away, tear toward the stitches on one side; and the second side of the stabilizer will pull right off after you tear the first side.
  10. Box the bottom of the bag by forming a triangle with the corner and drawing a straight line 2″ in. (Note that the seam allowance is in the middle of this triangle.) I used a Sharpie® marker to draw the line so I could see it through the Tear-Easy when I sewed. Don’t trim the extra vinyl. It will fold under your bottom piece for extra stability.
  11. Now the strap: If you bought a nylon strap like I did, you can use a candle to singe the edge. Now simply topstitch the strap on each side. I did a square with an X inside for extra reinforcement. 
  12. For the insert in the bottom, cut a piece of cardboard 3-3/4″ x 12″. Do a reality check and test this in the bottom of your bag. Adjust the size as needed.
  13. Fold the 13″ x 8-1/2″ piece of fabric in half with right sides together (folded it will measure 13″ x 4-1/4″ ); and sew on the long side and one short side with a scant 1/4″ seam.
  14. Turn and put the piece of cardboard inside.
  15. You can use hot glue or fusible web to close the other short end.
  16. Put this inside the bottom of your bag and you are done.
  17. Enjoy the game!Clear Vinyl Bag TutorialClear Vinyl Bag Tutorial






Easy Peasy Game Day Scarf (Seriously, sew easy!)

Easy Peasy Game Day Scarf (Seriously, sew easy!)

Football season is finally here! It is one of the reasons I love fall. My little town in North Georgia is a true “Friday Night Lights” town and I wouldn’t be a true southern girl if I didn’t love college football as well. Overall, the temperatures in the south in the fall are perfect and, many days, you can still wear shorts and t-shirts to games – but the nights do start to get chilly.



This prompted me to make some cute and ridiculously easy scarfs for those chilly fall football nights.

Supplies

The Easiest Directions Ever

  1. Embroider your school’s ‘saying’ (i.e. Go Canes, Go Noles, etc.) about 8″ above one end of the scarf, centered. I did this by folding the fleece in half, long ways, and then measured up in order to be able to hoop the fleece centered. I hooped 2 layers of Sulky Tear Easy, the fleece, and then one layer of Sulky Heat Away (you could use Solvy, too).
  2. Stitch out the embroidery. I used the same thread in the top and bobbin.
  3. Finish the edges one of three ways:
    1. Serge the edges with a serger. You can do this in the same contrasting color you used for the words or in a matching color. Serger Hack: If you only have one spool of the thread you want to use to serge, wind three bobbins. On a small project like this, it is enough thread to go around the scarf.
    2. Sew the edges using one of the overlocking or decorative stitch on your regular sewing machine.
    3. Turn the edge under and sew. 
    4. Okay, I lied. There is a fourth way. You could do nothing to the edge. It’s fleece. It’s not going to fray. I personally liked using my sewing machine and the overlock stitch best.

Helpful Tip: I want my corners to be round so I used a plastic plate and chalk to mark the curve and then cut the shape. I folded the scarf in half so I could cut both ends at the same time.

That’s it! Really! I told you it was easy. So go make a scarf and cheer on your team. 

Easy Peasy Game Day Scarf (Seriously, sew easy!)

Visit the Team Spirit Shop for Embroider Buddies and team thread colors.

Happy Sewing!




DIY: Kraft-Tex Paper Fabric Tote Bag

DIY: Kraft-Tex™ Paper Fabric Tote Bag

 



pamela Cox headshot

This series is written by guest blogger, Pamela Cox. Pamela is an expert embroiderer, designer, digitizer and all around wonderful girl! We are so happy to have her contributing to the Sulky Blog!

Tote Bags have become a lifestyle necessity. In fact, we depend upon this casual bag for everything from carrying groceries home, to heading off to the beach!  Bags embroidered with specific themes can even help us stay organized by knowing which bag to grab when heading to a music lesson or off to the gym.

The birth of tote bags began with being environmentally conscientious. To embrace this concept, let’s create a bag which is strong enough to withstand repeated usage, yet pretty enough to make a fashion statement!  For this tote, renewable materials such as 100% cotton fabric and thread will be used, along with Kraft-Tex™, a plant-based, hybrid material. Kraft-Tex is not only “earth friendly”, but this product provides an exciting new outlet for creative expression.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Kraft-Tex is a paper product that performs like fabric on many levels! The paper can be kept stiff, much like a light-weight cardboard, or softened by washing it.  Although it must be treated as a “non-forgiving surface”, Kraft-Tex feeds through the sewing machine effortlessly and can be enhanced with machine embroidery.

Tote Bag Directions

Preparation:

Note:  Read through the directions and assemble the materials prior to beginning the project.

Pre-wash, dry, and press all material, including Kraft-Tex – although you may want to pre-cut the necessary pieces, making it easier to put into the washing machine.  Cut pieces slightly larger than the required final sizes.  Re-cut to the true measurements after washing.  Both 1/2” and 1/4” seams are used throughout this project and are specified.

When stitching bias strips together, press seams prior to laying the unit on top of the template to mate with the next segment.

When joining the patchwork pieces, depending upon your sewing/cutting skills, it may be necessary to re-square the joined pieces.  Take the time to check, and if necessary, take off the minimal increments needed to square the piece.

If you’ve never worked with Kraft-Tex, please take the time to review Sulky’s recent blog post Kraft-tex Paper Fabric for this material.  It will afford a wealth of information!

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Supplies:

100% cotton fabric 45” wide:

  • Fabric A:  1/3 yd.
  • Fabric B:  1/3 yd.
  • Fabric C:  1 yd.

Kraft-Tex:

  • 2 pieces:  5” x 12-1/2” – top panels
  • 1 piece:  7-1/4” x 9-1/2” – embroidered square
  • 2 pieces:  1-1/4” x 15” – strap accents

Thread:

90/14 Topstitch Needle

Sulky Sticky+™ Stabilizer

Sulky Embroidery Club design #1048: Poppies – (Download for free here)

Download the free Pattern Templates here.

Painter’s or Masking Tape (optional)

Quilter’s cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter (optional)

 

Prepare Patchwork Segments:

  1. Machine embroider the 7-1/4” x 9-1/2” piece of Kraft-Tex:

To mark the design placement on the unforgiving paper surface, begin by drawing a “+” on a small piece of painter or masking tape. Place the tape’s crosshairs centered on the width of the Kraft-Tex piece, and 4-3/4” up from the bottom edge.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Hoop Sulky Sticky+ Stabilizer directly in the embroidery hoop, with the shiny, paper-side facing up.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Lightly score the protective paper with a pin and peel it away, exposing the stabilizer’s sticky surface.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Firmly press the paper onto the sticky stabilizer, matching the tape’s crosshairs with the hoop’s center markings.  Note:  Hoop centers may not be actual true centers.  Make sure your hoop is assembled with these marks showing correctly.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Transfer the embroidery design to the machine.  Match the needle center position to the design center.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Once satisfied, remove the tape and embroider the design using Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread. Slow  the machine down to at least half-speed.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Gently tear away the excess stabilizer from the embroidery.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

  1. Decorate both 5” x 12-1/2” panels of Kraft-Tex:

Establish a 45° diagonal line with a quilter’s ruler.  Lay a piece of painter or masking tape along the ruler’s edge.  It is not important where the initial line is established within the rectangle; only the angle is important.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Choose decorative stitch(es).  Your creative thoughts may travel to using just one, or a combination of two, as shown; or possibly including many different stitches.  It’s all good!

For the first row of stitching, guide the edge of the presser foot along the edge of the tape, which establishes the 45° angle.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

There is a wealth of aids available on the market to assist in uniformly spacing rows of stitches.  Feel free to use any of these aids. I chose a quilting bar guide.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

The bar travels down the middle of the existing stitched row, placing the next row of stitches on the same angle, and keeps rows equally distanced from each other.

Cover the entire surface of the Kraft-Tex panel.  The example shown alternates stitches #31 and #46, Mode 2 on a Janome Memory Craft Professional 6500, spaced 1-3/4” apart.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Since the front and back top panels are separated at each side by a fabric panel, mirror imaging or matching rows is not a consideration.  The only criteria when stitching the second panel is to maintain the same stitching pattern and angle.

  1. Cut cotton fabrics referring to Fabric Key graphic presented:

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

  • Fabric A:

Cut two strips:  3” x 12-1/2” – accent strips

Cut two pieces:  5-1/2” x 12-1/2” – bottom panels

Cut two pieces:  4” x 16-1/2” – side panels

  • Fabric B:

Cut two strips:  4” x 23” – straps

Bias panel patches:  Refer to the template for required lengths.  Cut 5 bias strips each 1-5/8” wide, and longer than its placement position on the template.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

  • Fabric C:

Cut two panels:  12-1/2” x 17-1/2” – front and back lining

Cut two strips:  4” x 17-1/2” – lining side panels

Cut one piece:  8-1/2” x 14” – inside pocket

Bias panel patches:  Refer to the template for required lengths, and cut each strip longer than its placement position on the template.

Cut four strips:  3-3/4” wide – upper right and lower left corner strips for both front and back panels

Cut three strips:  2-3/4” wide – middle strips of front and back panels

  1. Stitch Fabric B/C bias strips together to form both front and back panels:

Lay the cut strips out in their proper places on top of the template.  Starting at a corner, stitch strip B to C – right sides together – making sure that edges extend well beyond the rectangle’s border.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Once seamed, press open, and position the piece on top of the template to mate with the next segment.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Continue in this same fashion until the entire rectangle has been stitched.

Place template on top of pieced fabric rectangle.  It is not important to match the actual seams, but rather to match the 45° angle of the bias strips to the template.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Cut the rectangle for the tote bag back panel.  Repeat the process for the smaller front panel.

  1. Make the straps:

Fold the fabric in half, right sides together.

Stitch the long side with a 1/4” seam allowance, leaving both ends open.

Press the seam open, and turn right side out.

Press the strap with the seam running down the middle of the back side.

Re-shape the ends of the Kraft-Tex 1-1/4” x 15” strips, using the provided template.

Center the Kraft-Tex accent on the fabric strap, both in width and length.  If needed, hold in place with painter/masking tape.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch the Kraft-Tex accent to the fabric strap with Sulky 30 wt. Cotton in any chosen decorative stitch. (The example shows a Triple Topstitch, Mode 1, stitch 5; Janome Memory Craft Professional 6500 stitched 1/8” in from edges).  You may want to choose a very simple stitch though, since you need to make that curve.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Leave a long thread tail at the end, and pull the top thread to the back side.  Hand-tie a couple of knots, and then thread the tail into a sewing needle and weave the ends under a few stitches

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

before cutting to make a neat underside.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

 

Construction –

Front Panel:

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch the bias square to the embroidered Kraft-Tex using a 1/2” seam allowance. (Using the numbers in the above diagram, stitch 1 to 2)

Fold one fabric A accent strip in half to create a flange, and baste it to the top of the joined squares within the 1/2” seam allowance. (Stitch 3 to the newly joined 1 and 2)

Stitching with 1/2” seams, add the top decoratively-stitched Kraft-Tex panel and then the bottom fabric panel. (Stitch 4 to the top and 5 to the bottom)

Back Panel:

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Fold the remaining fabric A accent strip in half, and baste it to the top of the pieced bias rectangle, within the 1/2” seam allowance.

Stitching with 1/2” seams, add the top decoratively-stitched Kraft-Tex panel, and then the bottom fabric panel.

Side Panels:

Using a 1/4” seam allowance, stitch the side panels to the back sections on both sides.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch the front and back panels together at the side seam.

An optional, but suggested step, to reinforce seams:  Press the side joining seams towards the side panel center.  Topstitch 1/8” from the seam on the side panel, using Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Fold the bag at side panels, matching the front and back seams.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch a 1/2” bottom seam.

Make bottom gusset:

Inside the bag, push a finger up into a bottom corner.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Flatten the bottom seam into the side panel,

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

matching the seam to the center of the side panel.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Work the fabric to make an isosceles triangle; a triangle which has two equal sides.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Once satisfied, pin in place and stitch along the seamed line at the base of the formed triangle. (That’s the top line in the picture above)

Press the triangle flat and then crease along the seam, pointing the triangle in the direction of the bottom seam.

Repeat for other side.

Optional:  Tack corner triangles into the bottom seam with a few hand stitches.  This keeps the bag’s shape during repeated washing cycles.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Add a strap to the front and back panels:

With right sides facing each other, and raw edges matching, place the outer edge of one strap 1” away from a side seam towards bag center.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch twice: 1/8” and 1/4” down from top edge

With the length of the strap hanging down into the bag, bring the other strap end up to stitch to the other side of same panel.  Make sure the strap is not twisted.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Attach the remaining strap to the other panel in this same fashion.

Leave the tote bag inside out.

Lining:

Make a pocket:

  • Fold the pocket piece with right sides together, making it 8-1/2” x 7”.
  • Stitch three sides with 1/2” seam, leaving an opening on one side for turning.
  • Cut the corners on a diagonal, and press seams open.
  • Turn right-side out and press.
  • Topstitch the pocket to one panel. Folded side of the pocket is 6” below panel the top edge and centered in width.

Attach the side panels using 1/4” seams joining front and back pieces.  Leave an 8” opening in the middle of one side seam for turning purposes.

Press seams open.

Stitch 1/2” bottom seam checking that the pocket opening is facing to the upper edge of the fabric tube.

Make the bottom gussets as described above. (Note: the long line is the stitching line). Since seams have been pressed open, stitch “in the ditch” at the base of the triangle.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Press the triangle towards the side panels.  Optional tacking was done by machine for the lining since it will not be seen.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Put it all together:

With the tote bag inside out and the lining right side out, drop the lining into the bag, matching side panel seams.  Right sides of each unit will be facing each other.  Have the pocket panel (lining back) facing the non-embroidered bag back panel (although it’s not crucial where the pocket is inside the bag).

Keep top raw edges even, and pin at fabric sides to hold in place.  If needed, use clips or masking tape to hold fabric to the top Kraft-Tex panels.Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Stitch along top edge using a 1/2” seam, keeping the straps straight down inside bag, so only the top-edge of the strap is caught within the seam.

Pull the lining straight out of the bag.Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Reach into the lining through its side opening, grab the tote bag, and begin to pull it out through this hole.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Don’t be afraid to bend the Kraft-Tex.  Once the bag begins to emerge, it becomes easier to pull the remaining fabric through the opening.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

When the bag is completely freed, the entire bag will face right side out.  Close the lining slit with hand-stitches.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Tuck the lining down inside the bag, pushing into the bottom.  Push the lining gusset into tote bag gusset – squaring up the bottom.

Kraft-tex paper fabric tote bag

Allow the lining to roll over the stiff Kraft-Tex top edge, enhancing the overall bag design with a fabric “binding”.

Press lining around the entire top, creasing the edge.

Stitch “in the ditch” on the fabric side-panels.

DIY: Kraft-Tex Paper Fabric Tote Bag

Kraft-tex Paper Fabric is environmentally friendly, useful, fashionable, plus extremely versatile!

Be creative!  Select your own fabric colors, mix or match thread choices, and experiment with decorative stitches available on your sewing machine.  Just have fun and enjoy the process!




DIY Halloween T-shirt Glows in the Dark! (And you can make it in less than an hour)

This Halloween T-shirt Glows in the Dark! (And you can make it in less than an hour)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas – Fall! I love Fall. The colors are beautiful, the weather is perfect; there is football every weekend and Halloween! We love Halloween at my house. This year, to kick off the season, I made this adorable skull t-shirt.

And by ‘made’ I mean I purchased the actual shirt and just put the skull on the front 🙂

It is quick and easy to do and took me less than an hour.

Here’s how I did it…

I found a cute skull online, and printed it onto Sulky Stick ‘n Stitch™ Stabilizer. (Just go to Pinterest and search “skulls”; you will have plenty to choose from.)

I pulled off the release sheet, and stuck the skull to the front of the shirt; placing it where I wanted the skull to be stitched.

I grabbed my spool of Sulky Glowy™ Thread in pink (because I have daughters and they want pink skulls. Glowy also comes in yellow, orange, blue, purple, green and white)

I put a white Sulky Prewound Bobbin on the bottom, and used the Glowy on top. I just used a regular straight stitch and my presser foot to do the outline of the skull. The beauty of Sulky Stick ‘n Stitch is that it is water soluble, so it stabilizes as I am sewing, gives me a pattern to follow, but will wash away when I am finished!

You can see in this close up that I went off the pattern lines a couple times. It doesn’t matter! The pattern is just going to wash away when I am finished! Plus, I think those wonky stitches give this skull some extra character.

For the eyes and nose, I switched over to free-motion. I lowered the feed dogs on my machine, and put on the free-motion foot. 

After stitching the first couple stitches slowly back and forth (like a back-stitch of sorts), I just kept going in circles and filling in the area until I was happy with it.

When the stitching was complete, I just washed away the Stick n Stitch.

diy halloween shirt

And it’s done!

I completed this shirt, including washing the Stick ‘n Stitch away and ironing the shirt dry, in about an hour.

BONUS! It glows in the dark. How cool is that!?!?!

Happy Fall and Happy Sewing!




My “I Heart” The 80’s Quilt Tutorial

When I was at Quilt Market in the spring, I fell in love with Cotton+Steel Designer Kim Kight‘s new collection – Snap To Grid. The collection just sung to me with memories of the 80’s: Great music, geometric designs, and of course NEON COLORS! As soon as I saw the fabric, I knew I wanted to make a quilt with them and with the Sulky super cool PolyDeco™ Neon colors!

My “I Heart the 80’s” Quilt Tutorial

This is actually a super quick and easy (not to mention, fun!) quilt, too!

Supplies:

I started with 6″ squares of Cotton+Steel Snap to Grid fabric and 6″ squares of RJR Cotton Solid Supreme in Optic White, white Cotton+Steel Thread by Sulky for piecing, and Sulky 40 wt. PolyDeco thread in lots of awesome Neon Colors.

Instructions:

Layer one square of white with one square of Snap to Grid fabric and sew a quarter-inch seam around all four sides.

Yes.  All four! I promise – you will love this.

Now cut corner to corner, turn the mat, and cut corner to corner again.

This gives you four, half-square triangles. Isn’t that cool! I used this same technique with 2-1/2″ squares to make tiny triangles in this blog post. 

Now you can lay out your triangles however you want. I played with the order for awhile until I came up with something I liked. I pieced the quilt top together with 50 wt. Cotton+Steel thread by Sulky, in the top and bobbin. This thread sews like a dream in my machine!

Now it was time to pick the thread for quilting! I narrowed it down to five of the PolyDeco Neon Colors.

Okay, let’s talk about the proverbial “elephant in the room.” Yes, I am quilting with polyester thread. It’s okay. It’s not going to somehow hurt my quilt. This thread is made to work really well with cotton fabric. Many, many quilters (especially long-arm quilters) quilt with polyester thread. We can all stop freaking out about it being against the rules. Ladies, that rule was silly in the first place, so we have thrown it out. Not many of us are purists anymore. Secondly, I couldn’t have gotten these bright neon colors in cotton thread. In laymen’s terms (because I don’t understand it, when our thread engineers try to explain it to me), cotton just doesn’t dye the same way as polyester. So, getting neon colors, especially this bright, is hard to do. So bring on the PolyDeco Neon, baby!

I put the walking foot on my machine and just started quilting straight lines.

I gotta say, I am in love with this quilt. An added bonus, the PolyDeco Neon thread quilted wonderfully. I left the Cotton+Steel thread by Sulky in the bobbin and just switched out the top thread when I wanted to change the color. I had no issues quilting and my machine was basically lint-free when I was finished!

With Halloween just around the corner, I think I will be using these neon threads a lot in the near future. What do you think? Will you venture into the world of PolyDeco Neon thread with me?

Happy Sewing!




Fashion Flip: Turn A $3 Denim Skirt Into A $50 Skirt!

Fashion Flip:

Turn a $3 Denim Skirt into a $50 Denim Skirt

Here is another great Fashion Flip! This time we are taking this denim skirt that I got for $3 at a thrift store and using some great thread and decorative stitches to make it into a skirt that could easily sell for $50! Denim and embroidery is all the rage this fall too, so cheers to us sewists who can create these awesome pieces at a fraction of the cost AND ours will be like no one else’s clothes. I just love being unique, don’t you?

If you have read my blog for any length of time then you know I am a huge Florida State Seminoles fan, so it will come at no surprise to you that I wanted a skirt to wear to an FSU party.

Before…

I just love my adorable PINK cutting mat from Havel’s Sewing!

Here is the skirt before I did any stitching. Unlike the Fashion Flip Jeans, I am not cutting any part of this skirt off, so I will have to do my test stitching on a different piece of denim.

I used a scrap from another denim project, but tried to match the texture and color as closely as possible. Not all denim is made alike. This particular skirt is fairly thin and has a decent amount of spandex in it so it is stretchy. I took that into account when I was choosing my stitches.

Stitches look different depending on the stitch width and length so when I found the one I liked, I wrote it in permanent marker on my test piece.

I used a topstitch needle and 50 wt. Cotton + Steel Thread by Sulky in the bobbin and Sulky 30 wt. Cotton solid color threads for the decorative stitching.

Because this denim is thin, I used one layer of Sulky Tear Easy Stabilizer under the stitching as well. This kept every stitch nice and even and the skirt moving evenly through the machine.

After I did the three rows of decorative stitching, I felt like it wasn’t quite finished so I added the rows of white stitching.

After!

It proved to be the perfect finishing touch!

I love my new skirt, it’s perfect for my upcoming party and I love that I have seen similar skirts for $50 in high-end stores.

Happy Sewing!




Fashion Flip: Turn $6 Jeans into $100 Jeans

Fashion Flip: Turn $6 Jeans into $100 Jeans

Like most women, I love to shop. I also love keeping up on the latest fashion trends. If nothing else, it gives me something to talk about with my two middle-school-aged daughters! The problem is my taste in fashion far outweighs my clothing budget, so when I saw these jeans for almost $100 on one of my favorite websites, I got really excited.

Why you ask? Because I knew that I could make jeans with that look! You know all those fancy-dancy decorative stitches on your machine that you look at, love them, but have know idea when or how to use them? These jeans are the perfect place to let your decorative stitches be the star of the show.

The first thing I did was head over to Goodwill® to find the perfect pair of jeans for the project (my kids and I call it Goodwill hunting).

Check out my adorable pink cutting mat from Havel’s Sewing!

These jeans were a good fit, soft and a nice color of denim. The best part, however, is they were $6 bucks! Score! So, I brought them home so I could do a Fashion Flip on them.

After washing them, I cut off the bottom seam.

I compared the picture of the jeans I was copying to determine how and where to do my stitching. I estimated that I needed to cut the bottom of the jeans off at an angle to make these sit a few inches above my ankles.

I kept the part I cut off to use for my stitch auditions. If you counted up all the decorative stitches I have on all the machines in my sewing studio, I probably have no less than 3,500 (OK – That might be an exaggeration, but it’s a lot, believe me). So auditioning is a must. What is even better is I can audition directly on the denim that is my final project.

So I picked out some beautiful threads for the stitching. I decided to go will Sulky 30 wt. Solid Color Cottons for all the stitching. 30 wt. is my go-to thread weight because it is thick enough that it stands out nicely, whether I am using it for decorative stitching or quilting; but it’s not so thick that it steals the show. Because I am almost always using 30 wt. thread, my machine is already set up with a topstitch needle.  You’ll need at least a 90/14 Topstitch needle for this project.

I proceeded to test several stitches that I thought would work, in several of the thread colors, until I was confident that I could stitch enough lines on the jeans for the project. Now let’s prepare the jeans.

I measured up the inseam about 11″ and marked with a white chalk pencil. Then, I measured the outside seam about 5″ and marked.

Next, I drew a diagonal line connecting the two marks. This is my guide for the first line of stitching. Now let’s pull out the seam ripper! For this project, it’s best to use a seam ripper with the little red ball on the short end.

You are going to need to rip up the outside seam a few inches above where your white line ends at the inseam, so the jeans can lay flat for stitching. You can do that from the inside, like the picture above, or….

From the outside. I recommend doing it from the outside. Put the little red ball in the seam, hold the two sides of the seam taunt and rip up away from you. If you have a nice sharp ripper, you should be able to do the whole seam in one or two swipes. Once you rip open the first seam, do the same thing with the serger seam. If you do all of this from the outside of the jeans, the serger threads will all stay together and you don’t have a bunch of little cut thread pieces to clean up. By keeping the little red ball inside the seam, you won’t accidentally cut your fabric, just the thread.  (Did you know that is what that little ball is for?)

Once the seams are ripped open, iron the two legs flat. (NOTE: This is why I used the chalk pencil and not a FriXion pen.)

Now it’s time to start stitching. I used 50 wt. Cotton + Steel® Thread by Sulky in the bobbin that matched the color of the jeans so I only had to change my top thread as I stitched the lines of decorative stitching. Start with a locking stitch, and then just stitch your rows!

I used the original picture as a guide for my stitches and color changes, but mostly I just kept stitching rows and switching colors as I liked. I stitched both legs exactly the same.

When the decorative stitching was finished, I used the same 50 wt. Cotton + Steel Thread by Sulky that was in the bobbin to stitch a line about 1/2″ from the bottom where I cut the jeans off, and then sewed the jeans legs back up. If you want, you can then serge the inside seam as well.

fashion flip jean embroidery

That’s it! They are done! What do you think? I might be biased but I like mine better than the pricey version, especially the $6 price tag.

You can check out another great Fashion Flip here, where I transform a $3 skirt into a $50 skirt with machine embroidery.

Happy sewing!




Christmas in July – Christmas Embroider Buddies

Christmas in July – Embroider Buddies

Do you want to know a secret? I love being the girl who always gives the perfect gift. I especially like it when I give the perfect gift to a child. The look on their sweet face, the big hug and the look of envy from every other adult in the room just makes my heart happy. This is why I often give Embroider Buddies as gifts. An added bonus is these guys can be personalized, and if you know anything about me, you know I love to personalize things!

Also, during our Christmas in July Sale, all of our Embroider Buddies are 15% off!

Embroider Buddies are super easy to do machine embroidery on, but there are a couple things you need to do to be sure they look great (They have to look great if you want your gift to be the envy of all other gift givers!). So I am stepping out the process for you here:

Supplies:

You need an Embroider Buddy, Sulky Solvy, Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer, Sulky Cut-Away Plus, Sulky KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive, and Sulky 40 Wt. Rayon thread.

The Process:

 

Hoop two layers of Soft ‘n Sheer and one layer of Cut Away Plus, then spray the top with KK 2000.

Unzip the bottom of the Embroider Buddy and take out the stuffing.

christmas in july embroider buddies

(He is even cute flat!)

Stick his belly to the hoop. Be sure to center him so the embroidery will stitch out straight and exactly where you want it to be. Take a piece of Solvy, spray one side of it with KK 2000.

Stick the Solvy to the front of his belly. This will help the pile of the Embroider Buddy lay down under the stitching so you don’t get anything poking out between the stitches.

Now let’s chat about needle, machine foot, and thread. When I am using Sulky 40 Wt. Rayon Thread in both the top and bobbin, as I did with this project, I usually use a 90/14 embroidery needle. If you can’t remember the last time you changed the needle on your machine, then change it before you start sewing on this cute little buddy. Let’s face it, needles are cheap compared to the frustration, heart ache and overall angst of thread breakage, and the possibility of having to rip out stitches and start over because we tried to embroider this with a dull, worn out needle.

I put the open toe, spring-loaded machine embroidery foot on the machine as well and, as I mentioned, I used Sulky 40 Wt. Rayon in the bobbin and on top.

When you load the hoop into the machine, be sure you lock the hoop into place. It is also best for his head to be to the left of the machine. Trying to embroider this with his head crammed between the needle and the machine would not produce the best results.

Be sure to check that all of his arms, legs, back, etc are out from under where you will be stitching.

Stay and watch it stitch out. If your machine is anything like mine, the second I step away she gets jealous and starts to mess up. For this kind of project, there are also times that I need to hold parts of the Embroider Buddy out the the way just to be sure everything stitches out cleanly.

It is also really fun to watch!

Almost hypnotizing…

Here is another tip for making this the perfect gift. When the stitching is finished, hit start and stitch over it one more time. Especially on things with any kind of pile, like the Embroider Buddy, a towel, fleece, the second layer of stitching really helps the embroidery to stand out. Think of that first layer of stitching as the crumb coat of a cake and this second layer is the one that will look perfect.

Doesn’t he look great?! Carefully tear away the Solvy on top, tearing towards the stitching and being sure to hold the body stable.

Unhoop him and then cut down the backing stabilizers so they will fit nicely inside the body.

Christmas in July Embroider Buddy

Add the stuffing back in, zip him back up and be ready to be the favorite gift giver at the party!

Look at that face! That face is what makes my heart happy.

Don’t forget… during our Christmas in July Sale, all of our Embroider Buddies are 15% off! We have so many great Buddies to choose from!

Happy Sewing!