Monday, February 22, 2010

sewn lampshade tutorial

Last year I tried to make a freezer paper stencil on a plain white lampshade I use in my living room. It didn't turn out well but I lived with it for a year- as you do- and today I finally changed it. Much better. And, of course, it was super easy and took less than an hour to make.

What you need:
-lampshade you are covering
-desired fabric (I used canvas)
-chalk pencil
-contrasting thread
-mod podge or spray adhesive

1) Using a chalk pencil, draw a line along the bottom edge of the lampshade, while rolling it along the fabric. I started at the seam in the lampshade and stopped when I got back to the seam. Make sense? Do the same with the top edge of the lampshade.

2) Cut out the shape. I cut the piece about a half inch bigger all around so I could roll the edges over the top and bottom of the lampshade easily.

I used a contrasting thread to stitch my design. If you've never tried free motion sewing, this is a great project to start with because it is small. Put up the feed dog on your machine and "draw" your design in thread.

3) I used Mod Podge to adhere the fabric to the lampshade, though I'm sure there are other things that would be suitable (spray adhesive?). I spread the mod podge all over the lampshade in a thin layer so it wouldn't seep through the fabric then positioned one edge of the fabric on the glue and began to press it in place.

4) After I got the fabric pressed all over the lampshade, I had to trim some extra fabric away to make it look pretty and finished. I then brushed more mod podge along the bottom and top edges and rolled the fabric around the edge and pressed. It stuck pretty fast and easy.


Monday, February 1, 2010

two swallows skirt

I just made this gently a-lined skirt out of the softest pink jersey fabric scrap I had. It is for a 6/7 year old, though I wish it were for me. I thought I would describe just how easy and quick (honestly) it is to whip up a skirt- and only slightly easier for a child's size, so this tutorial is really for making ANY jersey skirt.

1) Fold a piece of jersey so the grain line is running vertically and the right sides are together. Mark the center of the top edge.

2) I used a pair of size 6/7 stretchy pants to determine the waist size for this skirt and centered it on the top edge of the fabric. I added an extra inch on either side and marked the fabric.

3)I decided how long I wanted the skirt to be, marked along the side edges, then drew a line from the waist marking to the bottom edge marking. Because I was using a scrap, the angle of the a-line was determined by the amount of fabric I had. This skirt is on the straighter side of a-line, if you know what i mean.

NOTE: If you are accounting for big sexy hips and booty and like a little extra room, make the angle bigger. The straighter, the more body hugging (which is nice too).

4) Cut from the waistline to the bottom edge. I like using a rotary cutter and a long straight edge, but if you don't have these things, mark the line between the 2 points, and cut. I make a little snip at the bottom edge then fold the fabric in half so my other cut from top to bottom is identical.

Then, while folded, cut the bottom edge. I make a gentle slope up from the center to the edge, so the center is about a half inch longer than the sides.

5) Open fold so the 2 layers of the skirt are still right side to right side and sew the side seams up. With jersey fabric, it is important to use a stretch stitch if the fabric is going to stretch a lot when wearing- kid's play skirts are a good example of this. My machine has a small selection of stretch stitches, and I prefer the one that goes forward 2 and back 1. Zig Zag stitches are also stretchy, and most machines have them.

6) Next comes the Fold Over Elastic- order it online in a million colors from here. I don't know what I did before using this stuff. It is the best! I sew it on using a zig zag stitch usually in the same color as the FOE. First, turn your skirt right side out. Then, fold the FOE over the place where the side seam meets the waistline. I anchor it there with a few stitches, back and forth. The trick to a good fold-over elastic waistband is pulling it before you start to sew- be sure your needle is IN the fabric before you pull. I pull and stitch about 5 inches before re-adjusting my hand and pulling it tightly again. Angry Chicken has a really great tutorial video you should watch first.

7) There are so many ways to make this skirt just right for the one who will be wearing it. You can add decorative machine stitches along the bottom edge. Top stitch a tricot over the seams (I always do. It makes them flat and extra pretty. For this skirt, I used the freezer paper technique to add some swooping swallows. I simply drew the shape I wanted to cut on some Reynold's Freezer Paper, cut them out with a craft knife, then ironed them in place on the fabric. Using a foam brush, I painted over the fabric shapes with fabric paint. Being a hasty crafter, I rip off the freezer paper immediately- I have to know immediately how it looks. The prudent crafter waits until it is dry so there are no accidents. OH, and it is MUY IMPORTANTE to put a piece of paper or freezer paper behind the fabric in case paint bleeds through.