Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tutorials - Earbud Round-up!

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

Sewing for a Cause 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

Handmade v/s Homemade

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

September Mug of the Month Tutorial

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.
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