Conversions: Bed Sheets to Fabric Yardage.


Two days ago I had a conversation with my sister Audy (she’s kinda popular around this blog lately, isn’t she?) about using sheets for sewing projects.  She is making an owl toddler sleeping bag for a church activity, and told me she thought it was going to cost her about $150 to make.  Crazy!  I reminded her of all the cute things she could make for $150 and all the new Amy Butler fabric she could buy, and suggested that she use flannel sheets and cotton sheets instead of fabric by the bolt.  Then of course we had a long discussion about how many sheets she would need, their sizes, etc.  I was thinking about how it can be so annoying trying to figure out the conversion from fabric on the bolt to sheets.  Wouldn’t it be nice to just have a chart to refer to instead of using those precious, and in my case, oh-so-few brain cells each and every time?  Yes, it would, so I made a chart.

(click to enlarge)
As I was making the chart, I kept thinking of more information that could be helpful, so I ended up including all of it.  For example, with 45″ fabric you can often get two “lengths” out of the width.  If there was under 10″ of extra fabric on the edges (96″ wide fabric would have 6″ of extra fabric since 45″ x 2 lengths = 90″), I didn’t worry about it.  In cases where there was more than 10″ (you can only get one 60″ width out of a king sheet which is 102″ wide so there is 42″ extra fabric), I also included the conversion of actual square inches.  That conversion would be helpful if you were making a project with many small pieces, such as a quilt top.  Yikes, I hope this chart isn’t more confusing than helpful.  The extra conversions come into play mainly for the larger sized sheets.
*Another thing that’s important to keep in mind is that these measurements are assuming you are using sheets that are either plain colored or that are multi-directional.  If you are using printed sheets for your project that have a one-way design, you may not be able to turn your pattern pieces sideways to get the most out of the fabric.  Make sense?
I hope this chart can be useful to some of you, I just learned that thanks to the Swine Flu Audy won’t be needing it anymore.  Did you know that to test you for the Swine Flu they put a stick up your nose into your brain?  Okay, so it doesn’t actually go up to your brain but Audy said it feels like it does.  The doctor actually asked her not to punch him just before he did it.  Feel better soon Audy!

Button Throw Pillow Tutorial

button front throw pillow tutorialToday I’m sharing this button throw pillow tutorial! I’ll guide you through making a button-up throw pillow cover that will fit on a 14″ pillow form.
Materials Needed:
1/2 yard home decor fabric
1/2 yard co-ordinating home decor fabric
3 buttons
fusible interfacing scraps (2 pieces approximately 1″x15″)
14″x14″ pillowform
Cut:
main fabric: one 15″x 9″ piece and one 15″x14″ piece
co-ordinating fabric: one 15″x15″ piece
Directions:
1. Iron fusible interfacing to wrong side of front panels on middle side edge, where buttons and button-holes will be placed.
2. With each front panel, fold and press interfaced edge toward the wrong side 1.5″. Fold and press another 1.5″.
3. With each front panel, topstitch close to folded edge, which will be almost 1.5″ from the edge of fabric. You will eventually place your buttons and buttonholes along these folded edges.
4. Mark placement for your buttons and buttonholes at 4″, 7.5″, and 11″ from the top of each panel on your folded edges. These marks should be 0.75″ from the edge, which will be in the middle of the edge and the topstitching you completed in step 3 (topstitching not pictured below).
5. Using the buttonhole stitch on your machine (if you’re lucky :)), stitch three buttonholes on the left front panel, centered on the marks you made in step 4. I recommend doing a test buttonhole on scrap fabric to see exactly how long it will be so you know exactly where to start the buttonhole on your fabric to have it centered on your mark. Using a seam ripper, open the buttonholes and ensure that your buttons fit through.
6. Using a needle and thread, sew your 3 buttons onto the right front panel on the marks you made in step 4.
7. Attach the front left and right panels together by fastening the buttons. Baste the two panels and the top and bottom where they overlap.
8. Right sides together, pin front panel to the back panel of co-ordinating fabric. Sew around the entire edge using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
9. Trim the corners as pictured.
10. Unfasten your buttons (can be a bit tricky from the wrong side) and turn the pillow cover right side out.
11. Slide the pillow form into the pillow cover and refasten the buttons. Admire your new throw pillow!

Ottoman Slipcover Tutorial.

ottoman slipcover tutorial

Description:

As promised when I posted the before and after, here is a tutorial for a simple and contemporary ottoman slipcover.  No pleats, ruffles, or tassels!  It is an easy project to complete and can give new life to an old piece of furniture.

Materials:
2-4 yards of pre-washed home decor fabric, depending on the size of your ottoman
thread
measuring tape
Pieces to Cut:
1. Measure the length and width of the top of the ottoman.  Add 1″ to each measurement to allow for 1/2″ seam allowance and cut out of fabric.  For example, my ottoman was 26″ wide and 42″ long, so I cut my top piece 27″x43″.  If the ottoman is rounded at the corners instead of square as pictured, use a bowl or lid as a guide to cut the corners into a rounded edge.
2. Measure the length and height of the ottoman sides.  Add 1″ to the length measurement to allow for 1/2″ seam allowance and 3″ to the height to allow for a hem, and cut out of fabric.  If you have a square ottoman you will have 4 equal pieces, if your ottoman is a rectangle as pictured, you will have 2 pieces of 2 different sizes.
Directions:
1. Right sides together, pin two side pieces together along their sides.  If your ottoman is rectangular, make sure to pin one shorter piece with one longer piece, rather than matching up the two equal pieces.  Stitch two pieces together using a 1/2″ seam allowance.  You will continue to use a 1/2″ seam allowance for the entire project.  If your ottoman is rounded at the top corners as mentioned above, gradually sew from your 1/2″ seam allowance up to a 1″ seam allowance on one end on the last 2-3″ of the seam.  Press seam open and topstitch 1/4″ along each side of pressed seam.
2. Pin and sew remaining two side pieces together as you did with the first two.
Note: If you sewed the wider seam allowance on one end for a curved top ottoman, make sure to lay the pieces out on the ottoman so that the wider seam allowance ends will all be at the top of the ottoman and not near the hem.  This will save you the hassle of seam ripping when you get to step 3 :).
3. You will now have two long pieces for the ottoman sides.  Matching up short and long sides again, pin and sew the two pieces right sides together, press seams open, and topstitch 1/4″ along each side of seams.  You will now have one long tube of fabric that will be your slipcover sides.
4. Pin slipcover side piece to slipcover top piece, matching up side piece seams with top piece corners.  Stitch two pieces together.  Press seam open and then toward top piece.  Topstitch on top piece, 1/4″ from the seam.
5. Fit your slipcover over the ottoman to ensure the fit is proper.  If you measured correctly, you should have room for a 3″ hem.  If you need to make any adjustments to the hem length, now is the time.
6. Fold bottom edge of slipcover 1″ toward wrong side of fabric and press.  Fold your pressed edge 2″ more toward wrong side of fabric and press.  Stitch close to inner folded edge to form your hem.  Stitch again 1/4″ down from the first hem line.
7. Admire your new ottoman slipcover!

Key Holder Tutorial.

I know, I am not a crafter. But maybe I am? I made this hey holder this weekend after Joel came home with a piece of wood and some hooks and said we needed somewhere to keep our keys. His plan was to take the plain unfinished wood and add the hooks and just screw the whole thing directly into the wall. No thank you. As awesome as that would have been, my plan was slightly different, hence this tutorial.

Materials needed:
Block of unfinished wood, whatever size and shape you prefer (mine was a 5×7 from Michael’s)
Screw-in hooks
Sandpaper – light to medium weight
Adhesive – I used Mod Podge Puzzle Saver, it just needs to work on wood and paper
One sheet of scrapbook paper
Small bottle of acrylic paint to match scrapbook paper
Sponge paintbrush
Clear acrylic sealer (aerosol)
Saw-tooth picture-hangers (2)
*These items can all be purchased at Michael’s or your local craft supply store.
Screw gun
Directions:
1. Using your sandpaper (try the finest grit first so you don’t scratch your wood), smooth out any rough edges on your unfinished block of wood. Paint the edges or sides of your wood block, rest on a disposable cup to let dry, and paint a second coat to ensure complete coverage.

2. Using your wood block as a stencil, trace and cut out a piece of your paper, leaving an eighth of an inch extra on all sides. Take your adhesive and apply a thin layer to the wood block with your sponge brush. Place the paper over the adhesive and go over it with a credit card edge to ensure there are no wrinkles or bubbles. Allow to dry completely.
3. When adhesive is dry, remove excess paper using an Exacto-knife or razor blade, ensuring the paper and wood edges are flush with each other.

4. For this step it is important to go outdoors where it is well-ventilated! Using your clear acrylic sealer, spray a thin coat over the entire wood block, covering the paper and paint. Let dry completely on your disposable cup again, and repeat. I recommended doing several coats of the sealer (I probably did more like 5 or 6 cause it was fun).

5. Measure and mark with pencil where you would like your hooks to be placed. Pre-drill small screw holes into your marks and screw the hooks into the holes (no, I don’t have man-hands, Joel was helping me).

6. Using a hammer and nails, attach your picture hangers to the back of the block of wood. Although the picture only shows one, two will help it to balance better on the wall when only one side has keys on it.

7. Voila! You are done and can hang it on the wall (and hopefully I can stop losing my keys).

Fabric Wall Hanging Tutorial

Yay! I’m so excited to finally put a project on my blog! I’ve been wanting to but I’ve been so busy with my little stinker (and my big stinker too if you count Joel) that I have had to wait. The only problem is that it is not a sewing project. Awkward. But it is a fabric project (I say “project” instead of “craft” because I can’t do crafts due to my lack of artistic ability and I can’t stand when things are not symmetrical). There may be a touch of OCD involved.

I found this fabric above online one day by Amy Butler. I often find fabrics I like but I never end up buying them because I never have a specific purpose for them and don’t want to be one of those ladies with yards and yards of fabric in their basement that is never used (you know who you are). So when I saw this fabric, I for once loved it enough to buy it without a plan. It’s such a big damask print that I wanted to display it somehow, because it makes me happy just to look at it! To me, that’s what art should do.

On with the project… I decided to make a wall hanging with the fabric.

Here’s how to do it:

You need two pairs of wooden stretcher bars. That’s their real name for any other non-artists, and I found them at Michael’s in the canvas isle. I bought two 20″ and two 30″, because that fit my print the best. I’m gonna be doing another one that’s 36″ x 48″ soon. I just found out that Ikea sells fabric in large prints that would be perfect. You can check them out at Ikea.com. You also need a saw tooth picture hanger and your fabric, of course! My fabric was 100% cotton, but something like a lightweight canvas would work great too.


Assembling the stretcher bars into a frame is easy. They just interlock at the corners.


You can secure the bars with a couple finishing nails in each corner or use a heavy-duty staple gun in each corner.

Next, cut your fabric about two inches wider than the frame to give room to wrap it around the back of the frame. A little extra is better than a little bit small because you can always trim the excess later.
Position your frame over the wrong side of the fabric, and begin to staple the fabric to the backside of the frame with a medium or heavy duty staple gun. It works best to staple one spot on one side and then staple the exact opposite side, and then continuing that way around the frame so it all stretches equally. Make sure to stretch your fabric tightly as you staple it or it will not hang nicely.


When get to the corners, which should be the last to be stapled, fold them like you would with wrapping paper. If you do it so the that folded part is on the top and bottom of the frame rather than the sides, it will be less likely to show when it is on the wall.
Trim the excess fabric on the back if you need to, and finish it off with a saw tooth picture hanger which can be attached using small finishing nails. Voila! That’s it! I think for my next one I’ll serge the edges of the fabric first but I wasn’t quite sure how much fabric I would need to wrap around the back of the frame so I ended up applying fray-check to the edges, although it’s probably not necessary.