Tuesday’s Tool

How’d you like yesterday’s blog post on My Favorite Thing’s?

Today!  Tuesday.  Tool time!  Get excited people!

Today’s tool is the STEAM IRON!

Steam Iron

Ok, ok, I know it’s not a very exciting tool.  Not as exciting as the dressmakers wheel or a ruffler foot, but possibly one of the most important tools a seamstress uses.  And it is only my second attempt at regular blog posting, so cut me some slack (pretty please)!

Fabric must be washed and dried, also known as pre-shrinking.  And when we wash and dry, especially cotton, we get a wrinkled mess.  In order to trace patterns, cut straight lines, and ensure the fabric and pattern are straight, the fabric MUST be ironed.  Additionally, many sewing tasks are made much easier by ironing a crease in advance of sewing, such as cuffs and hemlines.  It’s vital in creating bias tapes and self ties.  Pre-packaged tapes, ribbons, and bindings often have creases from the way they are packaged, and these must be ironed out before applying them to a project.  My iron is always on.  You can’t get around it….you have to use an iron.  And I’m really hoping that I get a mini-iron as a gift.  It’s perfect for ironing small detail items.  And hopefully I’ll burn myself less with a smaller iron!

If you are buying an iron for sewing, make sure it’s got good steam output.  Mine specifically says it’s a “steam” iron. It’ll make your sewing life so much easier!

See you tomorrow!  Make sure you send in your questions so I have something to blog about for Wednesday’s Weekly Question!

“My Favorite Things” Monday’s

Blogging.  After sewing, photographing, editing, posting, bidding, cleaning, and creating, there isn’t really time for blogging.  But, I want to.  I know a need to, right?  I sat down this weekend and tried to develop a blogging plan (Hey, wake up!  You can’t be bored yet!).  My blogging plan will go something like this:

  • My Favorite Things Mondays – I get to tell you about my favorite sewing things!  How I use them and where I find them.
  • Tuesday’s Tools – An overview of tools of the sewing/crafting trade, and mini-tutorial.
  • Wednesday’s Weekly Question – Where I (try to) answer your questions, about sewing, a specific tool or technique, my Cloth & Clutch business, real estate…you get the picture, just about anything (keep it PG people).
  • Thursday’s Tips – Don’t learn it the hard way, like I did.
  • Fabric Friday’s (and sometimes Freebie Fridays!) – Discussions about different fabrics, their uses, history, origin, etc.  It’ll be more fun than it sounds (I hope).

Here it goes!  These are a few of my favorite things……

Blanket binding!

Blanket binding

Blanket bindings are one of my favorite things.  Perfectly packaged, shiny and silky.  Add it to almost anything for a lovely finish.  Blanket binding, is just that.  Satin that is pre-folded in lengths that are suitable for attaching to the edges of a blanket for a silky finish.

But it has sooo many other uses!

Such as on the edges and waistbands of dresses, as ties, made into bows, you name it.

Puffball skirt with blanket binding waist

Binding on a blanket

Satin blanket binding trim

Another baby blanket with binding

Binding edge variance

The best part of blanket binding is that one folded side is ever-so-slightly longer than the other, so when you are sewing it on, you sew on the shorter side, and are almost guaranteed (usually) to ‘catch’ the other side of the binding in the stitch.

That means you don’t have to have it perfectly aligned in order to sew both edges on at the same time  I always put the short side of the binding on the finished or pretty side.  You usually want to sew as close to the edge as possible for a clean look.  Here are some basic directions for sewing on blanket binding.  These photos are all of products I make, usually custom, so check us out on Facebook, My Etsy Shop, or my website!  TODAY ONLY, B1G150% (mix n’ match) on all items with Blanket Bindings, including custom items (maternity/hospital gowns, puffball skirts, baby blankets of all sizes, ruffle leg pants).  Must be ordered and paid by 11:59pm tonight, 2/14/11!  kara@clothandclutch.com Happy Valentine’s Day!

What should I blog about?

Would you guys like to see me blog?  Do you enjoy reading blogs?  What would make this blog enjoyable?  Please comment with your own thoughts, or choose from my list of ideas, and let me know!

* Tuesday’s Tool – Featuring a new sewing/crafting tool every Tuesday.  And yes, they are TOOLS of the trade!  So whenever you have to buy a sewing tool,  don’t tell you husband you need a new zipper foot, just tell him that you are going out to buy a new tool….and he’ll totally understand.  Zipper foot, not so much.

* My favorite things – Whatever I’m digging for the week/month.

*Sewing Tips – Explanation and photo/video of the technique in question.From basic hand stitches to french seams and everything in between.  Tutorials, perhaps?

*Question of the day/week/month – send me your sewing questions and I’ll answer them on my blog.  If you are wondering, chances are, so are others.

*Fabrics! Types, uses, care, sewing particulars.

*More of my “Evolution of a….(insert any current project).  A sort step by step guide (not really a tutorial) that shows raw supplies up to finished project at every step.

 

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks,
Karaa

12 Days of Christmas at Cloth & Clutch (freebies, giveaways, and DEALS)

I am celebrating 12 Days of Christmas a bit early at Cloth & Clutch!  Tune in to our Facebook Page (and “like us”) to keep up with the latest offers and giveaway’s!  Here’s the 411:

November 12-23, 2010 is our 12 Days of Christmas Sale and giveaway, so get your orders in NOW!  We will be doing Flash Giveaways, have Trivia, and some Fan Challenges.  And in return you get FREE STUFF and Fabulous Black Friday priced Deals!

Cuddle Sack Infant Gowns: Reg. price $28.00 NOW- Buy One Get One 50% off! One will be given away on Facebook!

Your choiuce of fabric/colors

Jammies! Nightgown Reg Price: $22.50, Kimono Reg. Price: $27.50  BOTH are B1G1 50% off! One of each will be given away on Facebook!

Hair Bows, Clippies, and Infant Headbands: Buy One Get One Free Priced $3.50-$18.00.  Several giveaways on Facebook!

Ears Hat:  Reg. Price $20.00. Buy One Get one Free! You choose colors!  One hat will be given away on Facebook!

Preeclampsia Awareness Ribbons and Hair Clippies: $7.00 each (clippies are set of 2), with 50% of proceeds going to the Preeclampsia FoundationOne ribbon/hair clippee will be given away Each Day!


Minkee Blankee (boys straight satin edge, girls ruffle satin edge):  Prices from $30-$65.  A 12×12 Mini Minkee Blanket will be included with every order!

Capelet:  Reg. Price $55. Sale pric: $42.50

Scarves: Reg Price: $25 Buy One Get One 50% off! Two scarves will be in the giveaway!

Jewelry Box: $30Free Shipping.  Two will be in the giveaway on Facebook

Puffball Skirt & Appliqued ShirtReg. Price $55. Buy skirt for $35, get shirt for FREE!

Join us on Facebook for the daily details!!  We are looking forward to making a very special, custom gift for that special someone in your life!  We also make clothing for adults, just ask!  We will also be giving away Gift Certificates!

Making of a Hospital Gown – The End!

Sorry, I’ve left you hanging for several days.  I had a bunch of orders come in, and well, customers come first, right?

I’ve been thinking about changing the hospital gown to make it even more chic than it already is, but am struggling with keeping it “hospital friendly”.  I don’t want hospital’s to tell moms they can’t wear them because they are unsafe (meaning if there is an emergency, the doctor can’t easily access the patient).  I’ve seen some with elastic necks and satin ribbon sashes at the waist.  I tend to think sashes are fussy when you are trying to have a baby.   I’d love to hear your ideas!

Anyway, where were we?  Oh yes, adding the final touches to the maternity gown.  Pocket, ribbon ties, satin trim.

I figured out an easier way to add the ribbon ties, but here’s a picture of it, attached between the two layers of neck trim. 

Next we have a patch pocket that secretly covers a stitched hole in the garment meant for access by heart monitors or other wires which are often a necessity. I’ve trimmed the top edge of this pocket in the same trim as the neckline and arm holes.

Then I have to make sure the gown is straight so I can place the velcro in the right spots.  The velcro is what keeps your modesty intact!

The velcro is added in this way so that the back of the gown is adjustable depending on your size, and how you like to wear it (loose, or a little tighter).

The lovely satin trim (on inside and out) adds the finishing touches to this Birthday Beautiful Hospital Gown!  And remember it can be made in maternity, regular adult sizes, and children’s sizes.  50% of proceeds of these gowns will go to benefit the Preeclampsia Foundation between now and October 3, 2o1o.  So order now and also help a great cause. It looks so much nicer in real life.  I need to find a better model. 😉

Making of a Hospital Gown – Part 3

You can read Part 1 and 2 of this post here.

I made a lot of progress on the gown today, as you’ll see by the end of this post.

In order to cut the fabric correctly, you need a pattern.  A pattern for a garment is the equivalent to a blueprint for a building.  It gives you the instructions needed to “build” the garment.  Here is a photo of the pattern I constructed for the hospital gowns, sitting on top of the fabric.  How you fold the fabric and place the pattern makes a BIG difference in the result you get from the fabric.  If you don’t do it right you can end up with fabrics running in different directions, and seams where you don’t want seams.  I use a variety of pins for pinning the pattern to the fabric to hold it in place while cutting it.   I think I’ll do a blog series on sewing tools one of these weeks.

t

The entire gown is made from this one pattern piece.  It makes one “front”, which is a solid piece from side seam to side seam.  It also makes several types of “backs”.  I use one variation for the maternity gown, another for a standard hospital gown, and a third variation for the larger person wanting a standard gown, or for maternity gown for a petite person.  The child’s gown is made from a smaller pattern.  The pattern also contains my measurements for the patch pocket on the chest that hides the heart monitor opening.  There are lots of other instructions for this pattern, but they reside in my brain.

Photo 1:  Stitches in a raw seam              Photo 2:  Pinking shears cleaning up the previously raw stitched edge.

Photo 3:  A french seam.**    Photo 4:  The front and two back pieces stitched together.

**Almost all of our garments are constructed with french seams.  All raw edges are completely enclosed so there is no fraying, raveling, or itchy seams.  It takes more fabric and longer to sew, but it epitomizes quality.

Adding the snap tape at the shoulders requires ironing, measuring, and stitching over some very bumpy snaps!


Lots of hems on this gown.  Both edges of the two back pieces, as well as the bottom edge of the gown are hemmed.

The neck and armholes are finished with a beautiful “ice mint” colored trim.  And the bottom hem is satin on both sides; it looks pretty and feels great!

The next post we will finish up the gown by adding the pocket, ties and velcro (to keep it closed in back)!

These are perfect for baby shower gifts, or for yourself.  Each one is customized.  You pick the fabric and trim colors.

Making of a Hospital Gown Part 2

If you missed part 1 you may read about it here.

When we parted last, I was off to preshrink the yummy paisley fabric   that will soon be our maternity hospital gown. 

Washed and dryed= preshrunk fabric.  TADAAA!  Preshrinking is a very easy, yet important part of the garment making process.  Cloth & Clutch garments are preshrunk and then washed and dried a second time after construction and before we ship it to you.  Why, you ask?  It’s part of our quality control and assurance process.  We want to make sure all seams are sewn properly, that stray threads are removed, and that the garment washes well. And then we iron it, again!!  See how much we love you?!

We’ve ALL purchased something that wasn’t preshrunk only to have it shrink up a couple of inches the first time you wash it!  AACKK!  No one likes high water pants or a too tight top.  A quality garment will be made with high quality materials  that are properly processed, including preshrinking!  Besides preshrinking the fabric, there are often other elements of a garment that need preshrinking.  For this maternity gown, we must also preshrink the Snap tape.

After preshrinking comes my LEAST favorite part of the whole process…..

Ironing!  Another very important part of the process, even if I don’t enjoy it. 😉  Ironing isn’t only to de-wrinkle the material after it comes out of the dryer.  We must iron throughout the entire garment construction.  It assists in making seams and hems even and flat, and corners sharp.  I am hoping the birthday elves bring me a “mini iron” for this year for working on small dress pieces, and other small projects.

But I digress….and it’s late, so we will pick this back up tomorrow:  Patterns, fabric scissors, and my favorite part….cutting the fabric.  See you soon!