Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fabric Covered Box for Mother's Day

I made a fabric-covered box for Mother's Day. I used to make a lot of these in the late '90s, but the company no longer makes the kits with the cardboard already perforated and scored for easy punching out and bending. 

You can still get some kits and patterns from them. Please check them out! Calico Moon - Boxabilities. This was the last kit I had. I will miss them. 

Pattern and instructions were great: Trace and cut the fabric from the pattern pieces. Use Heat N Bond to fuse the fabric to the cardboard. Use Aleene's Tacky Glue to seal the deal.

I've made other fabric-covered boxes, but these were a real treat. Excellent designs. If you have any other sources for fabric-covered boxes and bins, please let me know.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Failed Blouse Cut Up and Made Into Ruffled Skirt

Last year I blogged about making this blouse, and it looked horrible. The yoke was too stiff, and the interfacing was a disaster after laundering.
I threw it in a drawer for awhile and then decided to rip it up and make something else.

I was obsessed with making a ruffled skirt. I wasn't sure whether or not to make extenders underneath each ruffle or what. I noticed that you could ruffle on the top layer and sew or serge to the bottom smooth layer at the same time, but I had very little experience in doing this. I decided I should just try to ruffle 1 layer before sewing onto a smooth extender piece at the same time. I made a basic skirt lining out of some light blue voile that I had purchased from fabric.com. I added an elastic waistband and marked where I wanted the ruffles placed across the lining with a Frixion pen. I added a  few inches of overlap for the start of each subsequent ruffle, so the lining would not be exposed when moving. Then, I went to town on adding rows of ruffles.

I'm no fan of gathering threads by hand, so I broke down and bought a ruffler foot. It is amazing!

How do I use this contraption? I found some great online tutorials, such as Using a Ruffler Foot Attachment,  Oh my, I Want to Ruffle Everything: Ruffler Tutorial and Ruffler Foot 101. I was still not sure how much ruffling yardage I could do with leftover fabric. Then I stumbled on this Pinterest item: make better ruffles. I made a sample with different stitch lengths and ruffle foot settings. That was a big help!

I had a tough time deciding how to finish the top seams of the ruffles. I ended up using the stitch and flip method for each row. I sewed each ruffle flipped up onto the shell. Then I flipped it down and stitched through the top enough to prevent future fraying.

Since I was piecing lots of scraps, I did end up having to piece a few disjointed sections together for each row. I'm hoping the busy print hides that.

For bottom seam finishes, I did a narrow rolled hem. I am no fan of pinning or pressing hems, so I used a narrow hem foot. After a little practice, I began hemming up a storm. Niler Taylor explains this very well here:

I'm pleasantly surprised that it turned out much better than the puritanical blouse!
I'm so glad I didn't let that fabric go to waste.

Fabric: "Turn of Events" in Indigo by Anna Maria Horner, part of her Innocent Crush collection