Monday, January 28, 2013

Update Your Mangy Ironing Board

Okay, so maybe your ironing board cover isn't mangy, but mine certainly was. So I fixed it.
How do these things get so dirty, anyway? I've never ironed anything but clean clothes. Anyway, here's a nice easy, maybe a little dirty, tutorial for you to use when you'd like a little change on the ironing board.

Ironing Board Cover Tutorial

* Measure your ironing board to get an idea of how much fabric you'll need.  Mine is 56" long so I just got 2 yds.
*1/8" cord
*toggles for the cord
*coordinating thread
*water soluble pen

Remember to always wash your fabric before sewing.

1. Remove current board cover and inspect underlayment to make sure it’s still usable. If it’s not, you’ll have to get something to replace it. Mine was foam, and it's fine. Awesome.

 2.  Lay fabric down on top of your ironing board facedown making sure to leave a few inches around the edge of the fabric. Trace around the ironing board with your marker.
  • If you wanted to make a paper pattern that you could use whenever you wanted, you could do that, too. The following steps will be the same, you'll just use paper.
3. Lay your fabric down again (right side down again) and mark around your traced pattern at 3”. This will give it room to hang down around the ironing board and for you to make your casing for the cord. 
4. You can connect the lines if you want (I did). I know it’s a weird shape, but if you spaced your 3” marks close enough together, it’s just like connecting the dots. Cut out the shape.

5. Place the fabric right side down. Mark in at ¾”. Mark in and pin/press at ¼”.

6. Pin/press again at the marks you made at ¾”. Yes, you will have some gathers around the corners, but just press them down (hospital corner style) and sew right on top of them. 
  • You can see where I've already pressed and pinned the 1/4" section (on the right side of the photo). Then I went back and folded the fabric again to the 3/4" marks (on the left side of the photo).
7. Mark a 1” space at the very point of the pattern for a spot where you can insert the cording. Do not sew this part closed!

8. Sew as close to the inside pressed hem as possible. I always like to press my hems when I'm done so they look nice so you can do that, if you'd like.
9. Attach a safety pin (or elastic threader) to the end of your allotted cord length and thread it through the casing where you left your opening. Make sure you’re threading the cord through the casing entirely. That probably means you’ll have to go back and straighten out the fabric where’s it's bunched up because of the cord going through it. This will make it easier to tighten it at the end.

10. Put your cover on your ironing board and pull the cord tight making sure the cover surrounds the board on all sides evenly so you don’t have any weird bunches or wrinkles.

11. Thread the toggle on the exposed cord on the end and tighten it to bring the cover very close up around the board. 
12. Step back and admire. Maybe have a drink. Mmmm... drinking and sewing...
Everyone needs some teal giraffe print in their lives. Happy Crafting! 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Easy Toddler Pillowcase

I welcome you to Joey's first pillowcase tutorial! We figured he was old enough to have his own pillow, and I wanted to encourage him to welcome the change (he's NOT good with change) by having him pick his own pillow fabric. Fun, right?

Easy Toddler Pillowcase (14" x 20" pillow insert)

*Fabric of your choice (I bought 1 yard, but you could get away with 1/2 provided you'll be doing a cuff also)
*ribbon or extra fabric for embellishment
*coordinating fabric for the cuff
*coordinating thread

Seam allowances: 1/2" unless otherwise stated.

1.  Prewash and iron the fabric. This will make it easier to work with.

2.  Cut the fabric. This is ALWAYS my least favorite part...
    • Case: 32" x 15-1/2" (you'll be folding this in half to cover the pillow)
    • Cuff: (2) 15-1/2" x 7"
    • embellishment: (2) 15-1/2" x 7" (I used 3/4" grosgrain ribbon)
3.  Baste the embellishment onto the right side of the cuff fabric as close to the edge of the embellishment as possible. It depends on how much embellishment you want showing, but I moved mine in 1/4" so I had 1/2" of ribbon showing on the pillowcase.

4.  Then, I folded in and ironed my 1/2" hem on the short side of the case fabric and pinned the cuff fabric right underneath it but only as far in as the 1/2" seam. Sew as close to the edge of the case fabric as you can get. Then, I sewed a second seam 1/4" away from that one.
  • So you see, I have the case fabric on top (right side up) with the cuff fabric (also right side up) and basted ribbon underneath at the 1/2" seam line.
5.  Fold assembly in half with right sides together. You can take a look and make sure your embellishments line up, if you like. I took a peek, but I didn't really care all that much. :) Sew your 1/2" seam on both long sides.

6.  Now you can turn it right side out and press all your seams.

  • It looks really nice when you fold the fabric in half instead of sewing those 3 sides.
7.  Measure 1" all around the cuff and fold/pin/press the fabric in at this point.

8.  You can use whatever color thread you like, but I chose a contrasting red color to bring in more of  the color of the case fabric. Sew at 5/8" and then again at 7/8" for a nice look. 

9.  Press one more time, admire your work and you're done! 
  • The contrasting color thread on the black cuff looks really neat!
After I finally figured out all my dimensions, it only took me about an hour to put this together. Now that I have my instructions, the next one will be even quicker. Will I be moving on to sheets? I have NO idea. We'll have to see how brave I get. :)

For now, we'll be building Cars-themed fluffy pillow forts and sleeping comfortably. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Using Our Powers for Good

There are some days when I swear the world has gone completely bonkers. This time, when the unthinkable happened in a tiny little town that could have been home to any one of us, a band of crafters came together to try and help those affected by the tragedy. While there's never really anything you can do to truly comfort someone in this situation (I can't even bring myself to type it), we can't just sit by and watch them in pain, either. Enter 600 Monsters Strong and their campaign to bring cuddly stuffies to children all over the country who have been affected by gun violence.

There were a few guidelines for crafting, some of which I wouldn't even have thought of. For example, no x's for eyes. It totally makes sense when you think of it in context, but it's such a common crafting technique. Also, no red monsters. There were discounts offered by the pattern designers featured on the recommended patterns list, and the response to this has just been amazing. I used a couple patterns by Rebecca Danger who was offering 60% discounts on her patterns. It's been fun watching people all over the country knit monsters for these children and fun connecting with them on this level. This has really been an interesting learning experience for me. I'm very happy to have been a part of it!

I'm hoping the friendly little guys I made will make some children very happy and provide some comfort. Meet Hayworth (the blue guy) and Nora and Nola (the momma and baby monsters). I used a couple of the recommended patterns because I wanted to be safe on that front, but I added some little flairs that were all my own in the form of embroidered felt medallions. I've also been looking for any excuse to embroider so here it is.

We only have until January 31 to mail monsters, so crafters may not have time enough to make and mail, but there is a wish list on amazon that anyone is more than welcome to purchase from and have sent to the meet point.

So, on that note, may everyone stay safe, hug your children (nieces, nephews, grandkids, etc.) and say a prayer for a hurting community. Lots of love from the knitting community (well, at least me).