Friday, September 28, 2012

Board Meeting

I'm calling into order Make it Handmade's very first board meeting!

I loved company-wide meetings at my old job. We'd all get pizza and have a chance to catch up on what everyone was working on. It was a great way to get to know everyone.

I was thinking we could have something similar here at Make it Handmade. (minus the pizza, unfortunately). Stop by the facebook page and share what you've been working on. Anything handmade-- it doesn't have to be sewn. I'd love to see it!

Click on through for a review of what we've done this past month, and a little sneak peek as to where we are headed in the coming months.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Magic Stitch: Hand Stitching Tutorial

I used to hate hand stitching until I discovered 3 things:

1. The Thimble
2. Waxed Thread
3. The Magic Stitch

We'll talk about the first two later-- but today I wanted to show you the 'magic stitch'. I used this on the cap I showed you earlier this week. Truth be told, it's the only hand stitch I can do well!

The Magic Stitch by Make It Handmade

I love this stitch because it's practically invisible from the right side and it's way less fussy than a slip stitch or applique stitch (or even a running stitch).  Any inconsistencies or 'messy stitches' are hidden on the wrong side of the fabric.

I use this for stitching down quilt bindings, putting in zippers, applique... You can use this for anything that needs invisible stitching on one side only.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Conductor Cap

We recently celebrated a very special birthday! My son turned 3! Although we didn't have a party, I did whip up this conductor cap for him to wear while he cut his cake.

Birthday Train Conductor Cap

The cap was made based on the Eddie Cap Tutorial by Mushroom Villagers. I made the bands a little smaller than called for, and simplified the construction. It came together so quickly, and was so much fun to do! I'm thinking of making another one!
Birthday Train Conductor Cap
 The '3' on top is hand-stitched so it will be easy to remove later. I used my favorite hand stitch-- I'll be sharing a how to later this week. It's so invisible it's magic!
Birthday Train Conductor Cap
  After all that, I totally forgot to put it on him on his birthday! I only have this picture I took when he was watching TV.
Birthday Train Conductor Cap
What did you all sew this weekend?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Serging In The Round

Serging In The Round Tutorial by Make It Handmade

Yay! It's Friday! I'm so excited for our first Ask Palak Anything post.

Ask Palak Anything

Lisa (of Neurotic Needles) asked about serging in the round:

...Can you give a few hints as to how to hide the end of a serge? (i.e. serged edges that show)? I make a lot of children's clothing and like using the serged edge as decoration but you can always see where I start and stop. :(
Here is the method I use. Today I'm serging a circle, but the same technique applies to when you are serging the hem of a child's skirt (or an adult's, for that matter).

 Click to learn how to Serge In The Round

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Sewing Tool That Will Surprise You!

Ok... Maybe I need to work on my titles. But my husband really was surprised that this worked!
Sewing Quick Tip: Get Rid of Stray Threads With a Toilet Brush

My sewing room is carpeted, which means little bits and pieces of everything I make get all over the carpet. For a long time, I use to just vaccum them up. Eventually the threads would wrap around the brushes of the vacuum cause the vaccum to stop working.

Vacuum fixing falls squarely in my husband's household duties, so he'd have to pick out all those threads. Not fun. After the third (or fifth?) time, it became clear that I needed to figure out another way.

Enter our hero: The Toilet Wand! Click to read how to use one to pick up stray threads!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Black Butterfly Skirt

It seems like all of my daughter's clothing is bright and summery. With fall just around the corner, I thought I'd make her something a little more sedate. 

You might recognize this black butterfly print from one of the serger tutorials earlier this month. The skirt is made the same way as the 'First Skirt Tutorial' with a few exceptions.

 I stitched 3 lines around the hem, instead of just once.
 And added a bit of lace as the 'tag' instead of ribbon.
The biggest difference is that I used a double casing for the waistband elastic instead of just one casing. My daughter's waistbands always seem to creep down below her little baby belly. You can see a little bit of that in the first skirt photos.
 The double casing waistband is easy to do. Simply stitch 3 lines around the top of the skirt instead of just 2.
I strung 1/4th inch elastic though as usual. The waistband is wider, and doesn't roll or shift-- even when you are out and about at the park!
I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Just in case you missed it-- don't forget to check out the Ask Palak Anything feature. If you want to ask me anything, just use the contact page to let me know!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ask Palak Anything!

At my old blog I had gotten in a routine of having "Fun Friday's" where I'd post pictures of the kids. Now, I'm looking for something new (but still fun!) to post on Fridays.

Since I've been getting questions about sewing and serging, I thought it would be fun to start an 'Ask Palak Anything' feature.

Ask me anything! I'll answer all your burning questions about crafting, sewing, serging, blogging, photography or the meaning of life.

Simply send me an email using the contact page. Be sure to let me know if you want your name and/or a link to your blog included in the question. (If you are just getting started blogging, it's a great way to get a little exposure.)

We'll have the first Q and A post next Friday! I look forward to getting your questions.

And just for old times sake-- Here are my little munchkins having some Friday Fun last winter! I hope cooler weather is coming our way!

I hope you have a fun Friday and a great weekend! I'll see you back here next week.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Guest Posting at Sew Together

I'm so excited about this guest post! I've been invited to Sew Together as part of Maryanne's and Caroline's My Sewing Best Friend Series.

Click the link to pop on over! I'll be sharing why I love my serger, and a short tutorial on how to make Serger Ribbon!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sunshine Skirt

I'm finally getting to share some of the projects that I worked on during the weeks we were having our serger series!

First up is this bright yellow skirt made for a small friend who recently celebrated a birthday. I used the method outlined in the simple serger ruffles tutorial.

 I couldn't find any yellow ribbon, so the 'tag' is just a bit of lace.
 I find myself making more of these lately. They are quick and look so adorable when finished!

My favorite part is the non-hem hem. The bottom tier is folded over and seamed to the skirt-- no hemming! I topstitched to keep everything in place.

The skirt was a gift so I guessed at the size; which is in some ways easier then trying to chase a child down with a measuring tape! I hope she likes it!

I hope to see you back on Wednesday-- I'll be posting a serger tutorial at Sew Together!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dinosaur Train!

A few weeks ago I came across this most fabulous fabric find at a local quilt shop.

via Amazon
It was a dinosaur train fabric panel! I have two repeats of the print. Dinosaur Train is his absolute favorite tv show, and his birthday is coming up in a month.
I've never worked with a fabric panel before, and I'm sort of afraid to cut in to it.

I want to replace the black outlines with something more green-ish. I'd love to stretch this half yard into a larger lap-sized blanket.

Any advice on working with panels? What's on your sewing table this weekend?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Free Printable- Grandparents Day Handprint Tree

Thank you for the overwhelming response to this craft! I am in the process of creating a blank and holiday themed version of this printable. ***Update! Blank copies are now available for purchase! Please scroll down to see the listing. *** Please  Subscribe (using RSS), Sign up for Emails, or Follow using Blogger to make sure you don't miss them. If you are interested in having a custom print made for you, please contact me for a reasonably priced version that will be sent to you in plenty of time for the holidays.
Grandparent's Day is this Sunday!!!

Grandparent's Day Handprint Tree! -- Free printable

Even with all the hoopla surrounding Mother's day and Father's day, Grandparent's day has slipped by uncelebrated in our family for the last 2 years. 

Which is all the years since I had kids.

It's not that I don't appreciate my kid's grandparents-- I do!!! They've been invaluable to us, especially during these crazy two under two years! It's not an easy job-- they've put in long hours wiping noses and changing diapers. So, I wanted to make them something special this year.

I know that you already have something lined up, but just in case, I've created a set of printable handprint trees. There is one for Grandma's, Grandpa's and one for 'Grandparents'. Click to read the handprint tutorial and to get the free Granparent's day Printable.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The First Skirt

How was everyone's long weekend?

With all of the serger excitement last week, I didn't get a chance to talk about my last tutorial for Sew, Mama, Sew!  This is a beginners skirt tutorial, and walks you through cutting fabric, pinning, finishing seams, threading elastic and hemming.  (No serging at all!)

It's a really simple tutorial-- perfect for those mom's that just want to make something for their little girls., but aren't sure where to start. Making a skirt is super quick and easy, and it can be modified in so many ways! The hardest part really is picking a fabric that you like. :)

My daughter loves pink and dots so I was thrilled to find this pink polka dot fabric. After it came off the machine, she started saying 'dess, dess!!!', which is her word for dress. (um... I think). If she doesn't like something I make, she'll normally say "no dess, no!", so I guess this ones a winner.

Really though, I think this the perfect first project for anyone.  I've heard so many poeple say that they just don't think they could sew, or don't know where to start, or don't know how much fabric to buy... this tutorial was written with you in mind. Check it out at Sew, Mama, Sew

So tell me, what was the first thing that you ever sewed? Or if you don't sew, what is the first thing you'd like to?