Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Indispensable Little Gadgets... Now That I Have Them

I might be a bit behind, but anyway... I went on a mini shopping spree at Jo-Ann's and got myself some new sewing thingamajigs! Yay! I picked up a few things that I had seen people using in some tutorials online. I never knew I NEEDED these little gadgets until I came home and started using them.

The first thing I got is the Dritz Ball Point Bodkin. (I linked to Amazon for reference but it is actually cheaper to buy at JoAnn's, especially if you have a coupon.) It is a long ball tipped needle with a hole large enough to thread elastic through. I was able to put the elastic in my latest pair of baby pants in about 10 seconds! Never have to use a safety pin again! If you find you are always fighting elastic through a little skinny casing, you should definitely get one of these.

I also discovered the Dritz Magnetic Seam Guide. Again, it is cheaper to go to Jo-Anns and buy, especially with a coupon. It attaches right to the plate on your sewing machine. You just place it at the appropriate distance from your needle and then feed the edge of your fabric against the edge of the seam guide. It is that simple and I have come out with perfectly even seams on everything!

Hope this is helpful to someone!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sewing Projects - Baby Clothes!

Hello Everyone!

I found some great tutorials and free patterns online. I found this diaper cover tutorial on the blog Made. This is a great site with tons of free patterns and tutorials for baby and kids clothes. Her patterns are well drafted and come together perfectly. Her instructions are thorough yet concise. I really love this site.  If you like to sew and have any interest in children's clothes, I highly suggest you check it out!

I also made these adorable little Basic Baby Pants. I got the pattern from the blog Made By Rae. Again, everything is 100% cotton. I made the bias tape for the pants with my new Simplicity Bias Tape Maker. I love the pizazz that the printed bias tape gives the finished project. 

I am in the process of making a little shirt to go with the star pants. Will post it when it is done! Hopefully I finish before the Munchkin arrives!
Happy crafting!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Got a New Gadget: The Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

Hello All!

I love the finished look that bias tape gives a project but I have always been annoyed by the limited selection of colors. Plus, no prints. This week I got the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker from Amazon.com. I am so glad I did! This little machine enables you to easily make awesome coordinated bias tape. I made 4 different 9 yard lengths in 2 afternoons.  It definitely took me far less time to make the last 2 batches. Once you figure out the process, it flies by rather quickly. 

I used the Bias Tape Tutorial on the blog Made to learn how to prep and cut my fabric.  I used this video on Youtube.com to learn how to use the machine itself. It is incredibly easy to use and makes a very nice finished product. 

One thing to note is that the machine only makes single fold bias tape. If you want double fold bias tape, you have to take the single fold bias tape and fold it in half again lengthwise and press by hand.  I tried running it through the machine again and did not have much luck. It does not take long to press the tape with your iron and I really believe that the results are worth it.

I have only used the 1" tip that came with the machine. It has worked very well. This tip gives you 1" single fold bias tape that results in 1/2" double fold bias tape. I was lucky to find a bunch of other tips on clearance at Joann's for $2 - $3 a piece. I also found 2 of the Winding Buddy 2-Pack's for $3 each.

A few notes on what I have done so far:

  1. Always press and starch the seams thoroughly in the long bias strips before running the fabric through the machine. The first time I used the machine, I was not so consistant and some of the seams got stuck in the roller. The next time I carefully starched and pressed each seam and had no problems.
  2. Always wash and dry your fabric before you make your bias tape. I noticed that the selvedge edge shrinks more than the rest of the fabric and needs to be cut off because it will pull in the edges of your tape at the seams.
  3. Sometimes it is a bit difficult to thread the fabric through the tip. You can easily solve this by using a pin or small scissors to push the fabric through the tip.
  4. I have only used the machine with 100% cotton woven fabric. I have not tried any knits.
  5. Cut up Amazon.com delivery boxes make great bias tape spools =) Re-Use!

If you use a lot of bias tape, this little gadget is definitely worth the price. If you don't, it might not be worth it. However, you might just find that you want to add bias tape to all your projects once you discover how cool it can be! 

Who else has a bias tape maker? What has your experience been? Please share!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Free Baby Apple Beanie Crochet Pattern

Hello Everyone!  Sorry it has taken me so long to post another pattern.  I have had bad problems with my hands swelling and it makes it difficult to crochet. I have also been busy nesting! So much fun. My house is sparkly clean and the nursery is complete! We even finished getting the upstairs bedroom baby-equipped! I have obsessively folded and refolded all my baby clothes (as my MIL predicted.) Good times! Anyway...

Here is My Baby Apple Beanie Crochet Pattern! Hope you enjoy! If you have any questions or comments or find any errors, please contact me at ms.awesome.girl@gmail.com  Thanks and Happy Crocheting!

Available in sizes: Newborn, 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months

You can download the PDF here.

Skill Level


This yarn list is all the yarn I used for all 4 hats. You only need one main color for the apple, a scrap of brown for the stem and a bit of green for the leaf.

1 skein worsted weight yarn in red, green or yellow for apple
Scraps of green and brown worsted weight yarn for stem and leaf
I used Red Heart Soft Yarn in 4608 Wine, 4420 Guacamole, 9523 Dark Leaf
I Love This Yarn 160 Brown
Loops and Threads Impeccable Worsted 01612 Butterscotch
Size I/9 (5.50 mm) crochet hook or size needed to get correct gauge
Yarn needle

This pattern is © Brittany Cole. You may not resell this pattern in whole or in part or claim it as your own. You may sell items created from this pattern locally or online. Please just give me credit as the designer. If you have any questions or find any errors, please contact me at ms.awesome.girl@gmail.com Thanks and happy crocheting!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sorry for not posting!

Hello all! Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. My hands have been really swollen and it makes crocheting difficult. One of the many joys of late pregnancy =) I do have some patterns being tested and I will put them up as soon as they are complete. Thank you all for your patience! Hope you have a great week!