Friday, September 8, 2017

Twisted Infinity Scarf for Birthday Gift    -    September 8, 2017      

If you have just a basic knowledge of sewing, it is easy to make a birthday gift for someone special in a short period of time.  There are lots of quick gifts you can make, but for the birthday gift I needed this weekend, I chose the Twisted Infinity Scarf.   The recipient of my gift is one of those ladies who always looks “very well put together”.    I was surprised when I learned which birthday this is for her.  I would never have guessed the number.  Happy 80th birthday, Norita!

I started by making a fabric gift bag.  I used an orange floral print cotton left over from another project.  I used the directions given in my blog, How to Make Fabric Gift Bags, from April 10, 2017.

Then I looked through my fabric stash for an appropriate fabric to make a scarf.  I found a red and royal blue silky print fabric that will work great for a scarf.  It was 60 inches wide and 39 inches long.  I knew that would be long enough for the scarf but it was too wide, so I cut the fabric into two pieces 30 inches wide.  

I serged the raw edge of the long side of the fabric to create a clean finish.  After serging, I folded the right sides together lengthwise and sewed the long side together leaving a three inch opening in the middle of the seam.  With the fabric tube flat with the seam on one side, I marked the opposite side with a pin at one end.  Then I place that end inside the other end with right sides together and lined up the pin with the seam.  That created a twist in the scarf.  I sewed around the ends of the tube.  I actually serged around the seam but you could sew or serge it.  Then I turned the scarf right side out through the opening I left in the long seam.  I sewed the opening closed by hand.

This may be hard to visualize, but it is easy to do.  You can search on the internet for how to sew a twisted infinity scarf and find videos that will demonstrate the procedure.  If you like a long scarf, you should start with 2 yards of fabric and then cut that in half lengthwise.  That will give you two pieces 30 inches wide.  You will get 2 scarves from 2 yards of fabric.  I used just a little more than 1 yard of fabric because I do not like a long scarf.  I prefer the shorter length.  If your fabric is 59 – 60 inches wide, you can still get 2 scarves from 36 - 39 inches of fabric. 

Be creative!  Use your sewing skills to create a thoughtful handmade gift.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Lansing Clippers Sewing Retreat    -      September 4, 2017

The American Sewing Guild Lansing Chapter went to Shipshewana, Indiana for a sewing retreat August 24 – 26.  Twenty- two of us stayed at the Farmstead Inn and sewed for two days.  We sewed in a large, well-lit room with lots of natural light.  There was also a microwave and small refrigerator which made it convenient for all the snacks we took with us. 

This was the first sewing retreat I attended in a few years.   In the years past, I think I burned myself out.  I would sew until very late each night and start early the next morning.  I always went home exhausted!  I finally learned how to pace myself.  I started at a reasonable hour (around 8 a.m.) and sewed until 8:00 -  9:00 p.m.  Then I went to my room and got a good night’s sleep.  I enjoyed socializing with the others and I especially enjoyed seeing what projects everybody was sewing.  I also did a little shopping because our hotel was next door to Yoder’s Department Store, my favorite shop in Shipshewana. 

I worked on two projects at the retreat, brown pants and a coat.  I believe the pants were a success, but the coat was a disaster!  I finished the pants after I got home, but I haven’t touched the coat yet.  I used the MacPhee Workshop Designer Duffle Coat pattern.  I have probably made a dozen coats by this pattern in the past 20 years.  Well, times and styles have changed as well as my body.  I cut out the same size I usually make and thought I was on my way to another great winter coat.  It was truly great, but not in a good way.  It was a great mess!  It did not fit at all.  I love the fabric and so I decided I could save the coat by making a few alterations.  It is going to take more than a few fixes to make this coat into anything I want to wear.  I worked on it until I just could not stand to look at it anymore.  I put it away and worked on the brown pants.  If the coat cannot be rescued, maybe I will use the fabric to make a purse.  I will let you know how this turns out, but in the meantime, the coat will be an unfinished object (UFO) hiding in my sewing closet. 

For the brown pants I used the Fit for Art pattern, Eureka! Pants that Fit (  I use that pattern for all my pants now.  It is the one I used last year when I blogged about making the 12-piece wardrobe that yields 64 coordinated outfits.  The pattern suggests cutting one long side of the waistband along the fabric selvage.  Then you do not need to clean-finish the edge.  I follow this procedure every time I make slacks now.  It gets rid of one step in making the slacks and it reduces bulk if you don’t turn under the edge of the band.  I included side-seam pockets in the brown pants.  I used a very small group of zig zag stitches at the top and bottom of the pockets.  This helps to keep the pockets close to the slacks and they don’t stick out away from your body.

I hope all of you are having good luck with your sewing projects.  Remember, you don’t have to be perfect with all your sewing endeavors, but try to learn something from each adventure.  I learned from the coat mishap to always make sure the pattern fits before you cut the fabric!