Thursday, September 22, 2016
Back in the day, it wouldn’t be uncommon to see a teenager walking down the street with a cord hanging from their ears to some kind of musical device. Technology has certainly changed things. Now I’m seeing more and more women and men (my age and older) walking past my house, waiting for a bus, and even strolling through the grocery store with that same cord connected to their ears!
Now that most people have smartphones they can be listening to everything from music, to podcasts, to audio books. Yesterday I was in WalMart and an older woman, probably in her 70’s was listening to something with her earbuds. I was so tempted to ask her what she was listening to, but I didn’t.
I carry my earbuds in a little zipper case that I made (last tutorial down) in my purse, which keeps them nice and tangle free. Here is a nice little round-up of some very different, fun, and free tutorials to keep your earbuds neat and tidy.
Here’s a cute one that has been knitted.
I love the fun shape of this one!
Do you like to work with leather? These look pretty simple and cute.
How about this folded flower. I love the use of the KamSnaps with this one.
Are you not a fan of sewing? How about these cute cases made from mint holders!
This one is too cute for words. It’s a felt owl. The tutorial calls for wool felt, but I would use my plain old acrylic. I think it would be just as cute.
This cute floral earbud case doubles as a business card holder too!
Don’t forget mine! This is one of my older tutorials, but still useful! It can hold other things such as sweetener packets and even coins.
So what do you listen to when you have that cord hanging from your ears?
For one week only you can get the pattern for this trick or treat bag duo for only $2.75! After Halloween, the kids will have a cute totebag to pack up for a weekend at Nanas! You can find this deal right HERE. Offer expires September 29th.
Friday, September 16, 2016
It’s that time of year again when people are thinking about the upcoming holidays and the hustle and bustle begins! It’s also the time when people think that it’s time to give back. In the photo above is a bunch of small wallets that I’m stitching up to donate to our local animal rescue group so they can use them for their holiday fundraisers. This year I’m also going to do the Case for Smiles project (link below) where I’ll be making some fun and colorful pillowcases for children in a hospital.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are a few links to get you inspired:
Hey bag makers! Here’s a place where you can make purses for girls in school:
Here is one of my favorites which I will be participating in this year. You can make some quick and easy pillowcases that will be given to kids with cancer. Make sure they are fun and colorful!
Here’s one for adults and children. Make some chemotherapy turbans.
How about making a blanket for a child in need? Give them a little extra comfort that they so desperately need.
Since many of you know, our furry little friends are very near and dear to my heart, make up some simple beds that they can snuggle on while in the shelter and waiting for their forever homes.
Still haven’t found one that tickles you fancy? Here is a whole list of them!
Do you prefer to support your local charities? Call your local humane societies, churches, women’s shelters, and hospitals to see where help is needed. Many of them do fundraisers throughout the year, while some of them will take any items that someone will find helpful. How about stopping by your local assisted living places or nursing homes, and see if someone could use a walker caddy or another personal item. Not everyone there is lucky enough to have family visit so their needs go unnoticed. You can even start your own!
Whether you sew for charity, shovel your elderly neighbor's driveway, or volunteer your time where needed, one thing is for sure, it will make your heart feel good! That's what I call a Win/Win!
Thursday, September 8, 2016
When it comes to your stitching, there is a big difference between handmade and homemade. When I think of handmade, I think of originality, style, and a beautiful item that one put a lot of time, effort, and love into. However, when I think of homemade, I think of something thrown together for the sake of saving a few pennies.
I first started sewing when I was a little girl and back in those days, you could save a fortune sewing your own bags, clothes, and other things. Nowadays, I find that most people don’t sew to save money, they sew because they enjoy it, to show their creativity, or just to get the exact look they want. And I’ve got to say, in many cases, it’s not cheaper to sew. I personally like to choose quality items, and choosing fabrics and other supplies are a big part of the creative process. When I’m making a gift for someone, I don’t just don’t grab something from my fabric stash, I hit the shops or the Internet looking for a fabric that will perfectly suit my gift recipient.
So whether you sew for your business, gift giving, or yourself, you’ll want an item that shows you care. The following tips will also give your work that professional look to impress your potential buyers and gift recipients!
Clip all loose threads: This is probably my biggest pet peeve. Nothing says cheaply thrown together more than hanging threads. This is the simplest thing to correct. I see this on cheap store bought items too. Maybe that’s why I think this way.
Neatly ironed: Here is another simple fix. Once you are finished with your project, make sure you iron it neatly. Some things are difficult because of size or shape, but there are a few things that could help you get great results. I like to keep clean and never used oven mitts and pot holders in my sewing room. They are especially handy when making small zipper bags or purses. They can help where a big flat ironing surface can’t.
Neat and even top stitching: Top stitching is so important because it’s the stitching you will see. It’s also what keeps your fabric from getting stuck in zipper teeth if using a zipper. Top stitching is what gives your item the finished look. Take your time and make it look pretty!
Lining closings: When making bags, you usually have an opening in one of the lining seams where you turned your bag right side out. This should be neatly closed, and with matching thread. This is so close to the last step. You put a lot of time and effort into your project, do the same with this. It can be hand stitched or machine stitched, but it must be neat.
Matching thread: When I am working on a project, I grab all my thread spools and bobbins I’ll need and I keep them by my machine. Some projects will go back and forth between colors. Don’t be lazy, use the right color of thread for the right fabric. I promise this will make a difference.
Take advantage of your sewing machine feet: Today’s sewing machine feet are easier than ever to attach. Back in the day, you had to use a screw driver to attach and remove them. Today, they just snap on and off so easily. I have about half dozen feet that I just love! They are always near my machine so I can always have the right foot that will do the right job.
Matching hardware: When making purses or totes, be sure to use matching hardware. Sometimes it’s those details that really pull the look together. I just love to use purse hardware!
Sewing label (tutorial coming soon): A personal or business label attached to your item will give it that real professional edge. Keep a watch, or follow my blog because I’ll be posting a tutorial real soon on how you can make your own, and yes, they look professional!
Take your time: This is probably my most important tip of all. Don’t ever rush through a project to get it done. If you really enjoy sewing, you won’t mind. You will have such beautiful results. If you feel like you must rush to get something finished, you either waited until the last minute (learn by this), or you really aren't enjoying the process. Then you should find another hobby.
I hope these little tips will give your projects the look you want to achieve with professional looking results.
My newest pattern is available at Sher's Creative Space! It was inspired by a trip I took with my kids this past summer. I sure did have a good time! I actually have three camping styles of patterns to choose from, a camper, a tent, and this pop-up camper.
Friday, September 2, 2016
It's hard to believe that this particular collaboration with So Sew Easy has come to an end, yet it has. This is the last in my monthly series of mug rug tutorials. I hope you have been collecting them all.
I've really enjoyed this experience, and working with Mayra has been a pleasure and there will be more fun things ahead for the the two of us together to share with you.
Stop by So Sew Easy and check out this new mug rug tutorial!
Also: Be sure to stop by my website at Sher's Creative Space to take advantage of my Labor Day Special where you can save 20% store-wide. Sale good through September 5th.
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Don’t you just love this bag? It’s a pattern from Two Pretty Poppets. It’s actually a beach tote but it fits my needs for a perfect weekender travel bag. Just one thing missing......a luggage tag!
These tags are seriously so quick and easy to throw together. To make your own, you can dig into your scrap pile because it really doesn’t take much. I used a fairly light weight plastic for the window but you can leave it open if you want, just be sure to make your information card larger than the opening. You can also skip the window and just make a plane pocket. I like the window because it’s a perfect fit for a business card. As for the plastic, it’s not expensive. I got mine from the remnant bin at JoAnn Fabrics.
To make your own you are going to need:
Fabric as follows:
(1) 2 x 12 inches for the strap
(2) 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches for the backing
(2) 3 1/2 x 5 inches for the pocket
(2) 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches for the flap
Interfacing as follows:
(2) 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches for flap and backing
(1) 3 1/2 x 5 inches for the pocket
(1) 2 x 12 inches for strap
You will also need:
(1) 3 1/2 x 5 inch piece of plastic (optional)
(1) KAM Snap set (size 20), or a sew-on snap (8 or 10 mm)
Thread to match fabric
General sewing supplies
**You will be using a 1/4 inch seam allowance for all stitching. Make sure that you do not go under that amount, in fact, it’s OK if you go just a smidge over.
**Fabrics can match, contrast, or you can use the same for all the pieces.
**Avoid touching the plastic with your iron. It could melt. Also, when pinning the pieces together, make sure not to poke the pins into any part of the plastic that will show (such as the window).
**Don’t make your stitches too small because you could actually perforate your plastic and it could tear during use.
**If pre-washing fabrics, do NOT use fabric softener. It can prevent you fusible adhesive from sticking.
1. Fuse the interfacing to the backs of the corresponding fabrics. You will have a piece of interfacing for each of the four sets (backing, pocket, flap, and strap).
2. With right sides together, pin the sets together. There will only be one fabric piece for the strap. Make sure all your edges line up evenly and round your corners. I used a quarter. Do not round the corners of the strap piece.
3. Take the window pieces (3 1/2 x 5 inch piece), that are still right sides together, and lay them on your work surface with the interfacing side facing up. Draw a line 3/4 inch down from each edge. This will create your window.
NOTE: In my sample photo, you can see my pen lines extending past the corners, just don't stitch past the corners on those lines. Just stitch the square.
4. Stitch on those lines pivoting at the corners. Remove from machine and draw diagonal lines from corner to corner creating an “X.” Cut on the lines. Clip as close to the corners as you can without snipping through your threads.
5. Trim the excess inner fabric (that was once the X) down to 1/4 inch away from the seam.
7. Decide which side you want showing and place the window with this side up on top of your plastic. The raw edges of the fabric will line up with the edges of the plastic. Pin or clip to secure. Stitch plastic in place by stitching about 1/8 inch from edge of window opening. Be sure to stitch with the fabric on top of the plastic. Carefully trim away excess plastic about 1/8 inch away from the stitching line. I decided to cut the plastic much bigger than it needed to be to make lining up and stitching easier.
8. Remove the basting stitches along one of the short edges and down about 3/4 inch on each side. Turn these raw edges to the inside 1/4 inch and iron. Stitch close to the folds to create the top edge of your pocket. Remember to be careful with the iron and the plastic.
9. Place this piece on top of one of your backing fabric pieces (the one that has the interfacing fused to the back). Both of these will have their right side facing up. Line them up at the bottom edge. Now place the remaining backing fabric on top of these with the wrong side facing up. Pin or clip to secure.
10. Stitch around the edges. You will begin your stitching just at the beginning of the upper curve, and end your stitching at the same place on the other side. You want a nice opening at the top to turn right side out.
12. Fold your strap piece in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Fold the remaining two raw edges to meet at the center and fold back in half. You will now have a piece that measures 1/2 inch wide and 12 inches long. Stitch along each long edge close to folds.
13. Fold in half and slip the ends into the opening on the tag backing and pocket you just assembled. They should go in about 1/2 inch. Pin or clip to secure. Top stitch around the entire thing about 1/8 inch from edge.
14. With the right sides together, stitch around the flap pieces beginning and ending your stitching just like you did in step 10 when stitching your backing fabric and your pocket.
15. Clip curves, turn right side, out and iron. Top stitch around outer edges.
16. Place this on top of your backing/window piece with the right top side of the flap facing up. Stitch near the upper edge about 1/4” down, and stopping and starting your stitching about 1/2 inch away from sides.
17. Attach the snap of your choice, insert business card or other ID, then hang from your travel bag.
Friday, August 12, 2016
Although it seems like summer couldn’t possibly be close to over, the calendar says otherwise. I’ve put together a roundup of some of my favorite back to school projects. You will find that a few of them aren’t just for kids! You’ll also find that they are all FREE!
The photo image above shows a thumbnail of each tutorial which are in order from left to right.
If you are looking for this week's CRAZY PATTERN DEAL, you can find it HERE!
Friday, August 5, 2016
Friday, July 29, 2016
We have come to the end of our Christmas in July Celebration. The month sure did go fast! I’m going to close this subject with a discussion, and by sharing some ideas for tablescapes.
I don’t do a whole lot of entertaining for the holidays but I do have a few dinners or a craft party here and there. Years ago I did themed teas. I had themes such as A Reindeer Tea, A Sweet Shoppe Tea, and A Shopping in the Big City Tea. Those are just a few. Everything matched the theme from the invitations right down to the favors and decorations. They were a blast! We also had delicious food.
One thing that is important to me when having such an event or dinner, is the festive details. I like everything to be perfect, and I want my table to look and feel spectacular! It’s so easy to do this too. Many times you can do this with things you already have around the house. Just let your creative mind take you away! If you need some inspiration, check out the many ideas you can find on Pinterest.
If you are the crafty type, which many of my readers are, you can whip up some cute decorations for your own table. This week’s CRAZY DEAL can even help you with that task. So get inspired to make your dinner or even a fun time that everyone will remember fondly.
Below are a few of the favorites that I found while searching for some cute and festive examples.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Every time someone asks if I’d be interested in a blog feature, I’m so very flattered! This time I was approached by Busy Little Bird, so off I went to check this place out. I was wowed (is that a word?) by the colors of felt that actually exist! I never realized how much I limited my creative endeavors by purchasing only from my local shops. And do any of you even know that felt balls existed? I certainly didn’t. I was especially excited to see these!
So, for those who know me and follow my blog or newsletter, know that I only share things I LOVE, and this is one of those shops. Also, those who know me, will know that my wheels are turning in the old noggin to think of some way, or many ways to use some of those felt balls. I do believe that you are going to see a pattern or tutorial down the road that includes them.
She asked me some great questions and I held nothing back. If you would like to read the article and take a peek into my life and my studio, stop by The Busy Little Bird and read all about it. While you are there, take a look at her shop. I know I have a lot of felt lovers out there and you’re sure to find a great selection.
Posted by Sheryl Hastings at 9:04 AM
Friday, July 22, 2016
Have you ever thought about hosting a craft or sewing party? I’ve hosted a couple, and I’ve been to a couple. They sure are a lot of fun! Most recently I had a glass painting party. We even had my then three year old niece in attendance and she had a blast too.
Here is how I coordinated mine. We each bought a few bottles of enamel paint. We did make sure we weren’t purchasing doubles. Some bought a couple brushes and some already had some. I had more than enough to share. I made sure I had (which I always do) plenty of disposable plastic cups, paper plates, and napkins. Everyone also brought the glass items they wanted to paint. We actually went to the dollar store and bought martini glasses, wine glasses, candle cups, etc. I even had a stash of baby food jars I stashed away when the granddaughter was here. I also stocked up on wine and snacks for my guests.
I placed large sheets of rosin paper (nice to have on hand for so many projects) over my dining room table and my kitchen counter top to keep them safe from paint. We had such a good time and we all made some great gifts. They did the baking at home because this particular craft requires you bake the glass in a slow oven for about thirty minutes, but not until the glass has set for forty-eight hours.
We had so much fun at this one, we all had another one at my sister’s house a few weeks later. Why not give it a try? Maybe like us, you’ll be starting a new family tradition!