Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sewing Tips for Tuesday: How to buy fabric on the cheap

I have family members and friends who are amazed (or shocked) at how much fabric I truely own. Right now My fabric room is full and I have about 30 huge rubbermaid containers full out in a shed! A few years back, I hit a deal - the motherload so to say. I went to an estate sale and scored an entire 3 car garage FULL of fabric. It took two truck loads to transport all of it in garbage bags! I felt like I was rich that day, but truth being told...I paid $60 for the ENTIRE LOT!! No coupon at Joanns would have helped me purchase that! So I thought I would list some tips for those of you out there who want to score some good purchases of fabric.

Tip One: Buy used and shop around. I look everywhere for fabric and I usually find it. Some thrift stores keep it in with the linens and sheets if they have no place to put fabric. Some estate sales have fabric in the linen closet. Craigslist is always full of deals. I also subscribe to a local estate sale e-flyer. They take pictures of items in the sale and email them out. One way to look for fabric is to see if there are any sewing machines or notions in the picture. Don't forget yard sales as these are sometimes good deals too.

Tip Two: Buy the entire LOT! Ok, some of you are telling me that's not within your budget...well think again. I find that most people selling the fabric have no idea what it's worth is and secondly, they don't know how to sew! Most inherit the fabric and then WANT to get rid of it. So if you see some fabric at a yard sale..ask the question: "What would you take for ALL of it?" I always ask and then most of the time, I am pleasantly surprised at what the answer is. (Take for example the estate sale...I was thinking the guy wanted a few hundred for the lot and was prepared to buy it for just that...but he wanted to get rid of it and it was the last day of the sale! So $60 for him was what he expected to make just to get rid of it!!)

Tip Three: Ask around for fabric! I have friends at church who now know I sew for my family. In the past year, I have been blessed to have them hand me fabric at no cost because they didn't need/want it! Now granted, you never know what you get but I never seem to find a problem with having material to sew! And since the types of fabric I own are like the rainbow...I always seem to have material for each type of project.

Tip Four: Know a little about WHAT you are buying. (Ok, I probably should have mentioned this secondly as it is very important.) When you buy a lot of fabric - SORT THROUGH the piles. LOOK at the quality. Are their stains? Does the material have a smell or odor? Does the material look in good shape - no rips, etc.? I will say you do have to be careful and examine most of it before you buy. Bugs and other things can and will hide in fabric. This is the reason I bag fabric in trash bags first when I purchase them. If I feel I can wash the fabric with little or no problems - then I will ask the question. BUT if it doesn't look good, then it IS better to pass it up. No one wants bugs in their sewing room eating the fabric and causing issues in their homes. I also sort through the fabric on the porch before brining it into my home. I wash it and fold it, then insert it in my fabric room. This ensures I have no funky smells and more importantly no bugs!!

So that is my tip for today. Hope you are able to find more fabric for your stash. And always come back Sew Hungry For More.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sewing Tips for Tuesdays: How to NOT CUT a tissue paper pattern EVER!

Ok, confusing title I guess...I was just trying to think of the best way to describe my next tip. I'm the type of sewer where I still enjoy using patterns for some of my projects. I can design some, but otherwise I do like buying a new commercial pattern just to see how they created a design. However when saying that, I have two girls..two sizes to buy for and sometimes that means two patterns. It can also mean that I have one pattern that includes Both sizes. Ok, if I cut the biggest pattern...yes I can cut the smaller later but what happens if I want to make the pattern again for my oldest??

I know some of you out there are like...trace (no brainer) but how exactly do you "trace" a commercial pattern that was printed on tissue paper! And how LONG will that take?

Well, I cheat...I don't actually "trace". Here's how to (And hopefully the visuals will help)

1. Take your paper pattern out of the envelope. Cut the pieces apart so you know which pieces you will need to make the garment. Read your instructions on the cutting layout for placement of those pieces.

2. Find (or purchase) a paper tracing wheel and the wax "marking" paper that many people use in tailoring. (I will note that it doesn't have to be the "wax" type as there are many out there, but it does help as it leaves a mark better than others.)

3. Follow pattern instructions for pinning the garment on your material. Pin as much as you can or all of it, if you want to roll out your material and continue pinning. (Paper weights can be used if your table is long enough or you cut piece by piece.)

4. Take a color of wax paper out that is an OPPOSITE color of your garment. You want these marks to show...not to blend in so you can't see to cut. (Don't worry, these are on the edges of the seams...they never show after you sew it up.) As you can see my material is pink and pink with dots and the colors are red, yellow, orange and blue. I decided to use blue.

5. Place the wax paper with color side down on the fabric and underneath the pattern. (You will have to un-pin parts as you go but please don't unpin the entire piece as you don't want it shifting while you trace.)

6. Use your tracing wheel and trace the pattern where the wax paper is below. Follow the size you need. PUSH HARD ON WHEEL AS YOU TRACE. If you just "wheel" it around, the wax coloring will not rub into the fabric as you need it to. It also is always a good idea to take a scrap and try "tracing" a line to see how hard you need to push or if the color will really work on that material.

7. Continue this around each piece and re-pin after tracing. Here is a picture of what the line will look like after you mark it.

8. Cut each piece out after tracing. Sometimes my markings are lighter than I would like, so trace and cut with GOOD OVERHEAD LIGHTING. If you cut as you go, you are more likely to see any errors in tracing and can correct them easier.

9. After you cut each piece, pin the original pattern piece to each one in order to remember what is what. Also don't forget to mark darts or any other things needed to guide you as you sew.

Now you are on your way to sewing the garment and you can now fold your pattern pieces up and place back in the envelope for your next sewing adventure..no matter what size you make next time you sew!!

Also, as a side note, I am linking this up to NapTimeCreations linky party. So if you are new to my blog, feel free to click around. Hope that helps! And remember to always come back Sew Hungry For More...


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Delay and Disappointment

So Wednesday, my husband went to meet with his anesthesiologist to prepare for his right corneal transplant (scheduled April 7th) and well...things didn't go as we planned or hoped for.

My husband was so let down. They weighed him and measured his height. All the sudden he's shrank one inch (LOL) and their scale weighed him at 5 more pounds than our primary care doctor!!

This now means he can't qualify for surgery. They calculated that he needs to lose about 15 more pounds to re-qualify for another surgery date! His surgeon is also taking vacation during May. Since they only do this surgery the first of the month, he now has to wait til June 1st before undergoing surgery!

A let down for sure. We were hoping to get this show on the road and get his left eye done before the end of the year. Now though we are praying and I'm trying to encourage him that God has a plan and there is a reason we are waiting.

Well enjoy your weekend and come back Sew Hungry For More!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Nautical Lamps for Bedroom with picture tutorial

One thing that has also delayed a lot of my postings is our move. In January we finally "moved" to be able to sleep in our new place. We had actually been remodeling for one year and living with in-laws during that period of time. It's been a crazy experience and I will write more about our current "house" at a later date.

Our master bedroom is two rooms. One is a walk in bathroom with no doors! There are two closets on each side of the bathroom. Then the other room is our "bedroom". It measures approximately 13' by 13' with two windows. When we talked about what we wanted as far as design, I simply stated "an Ocean theme". I wanted something calming and relaxing when we needed to retreat from the world..or the kids! haha. I chose a blue from Lowes Valspar paint called Sea Spray. (However, now I can't find the color on the internet so here is a similar color in Behr's paint. We also decided to do bead board up to about four feet high, then trim in white.

On each side of our bed (later post) we were able to purchase a set of real wood mission end tables for $40 (as a set!) from craigslist. then we looked for ideas on what type of lamp we wanted to use. Our previous set was crystal with gold, but everything in our room was silver accents. We wanted something nautical, but in a more modern way. I searched the internet and found this lamp. But let's face it...$600 is a LOT for a LAMP. I also found this one for about $162 and liked the round shape but again couldn't justify the price. So, I began looking around for lamps. We visited our local ReStore (Habitat for Humanity's store where they sell building products) and found green lamps for $5 each! I liked the shape and the price since I was re-doing the entire lamp.
So here's what you will need to make your own:
1. Twine

2. A Lamp

3. A hot glue gun and glue sticks

Plug in your glue gun and get your rope out. Before you actually glue the rope down, figure out if you want to go from bottom to top or top to bottom of your lamp. I chose to go from bottom to top and started around where the cord came out. This hides the seam well.

Start with a line of freshly melted glue and start placing the rope over it. Squeeze only a little at a time so you can glue as you go. Remember that hot glue often dries fast!

Keep going and wrap and wrap. If you get tired, stop for a while and then get back to it. Just make sure that if you leave it, you unplug your glue gun! Also, place it where kids won't trip over a cord and break it as you are working on it!!

When you finish wrapping, ensure that your rope is secured at the end. If it's nylon, you may want to burn the end so not to unravel. If it's cotton or a natural material like mine, just secure with LOTS of extra glue around the end.

Viola! You Have a New LAMP!! A designer original! Also try to pick out the perfect shade. I chose these from Target. They are a nice accent color of Blue Jade and I liked the diamond shapes in the shade. I bought them on sale too...which was great as they were $14.99 each shade!!

So there it is...two nautical style lamps for under $50! Well enjoy making your own creation...Let me know if you make one..I would love to see it! Thanks for stopping by and come back Sew Hungry For More!

On a side note, I thought I would submit this to a great linky party on Sew Can Do. You can visit her blog by clicking on the link below!! Lots of great links for other ideas!