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Monthly Archives: September 2013

  • An Alternative Way To Create A Collar

    September 30, 2013

    I never cut collar pieces from the fashion fabric using the collar pattern. Instead, I cut an accurate duplicate of the collar pattern out of interfacing and fuse it onto a piece of fashion fabric. I believe this produces better results with the finished collar in less time – at least for me.


    1. Place a crisp, non-woven piece of fusible interfacing, such as Pellon, at least twice as long as the collar pattern, right-side up over the collar pattern. On one half of the interfacing, mark the center back and one half of the collar. Mark the seam lines for the outside edges of the collar. On the neck edge and other edges that join another pattern piece, mark the cut lines.

    100_6738 2. Fold the interfacing in half wrong-sides together and pin down the center of the interfacing pattern piece.

    100_6739 3. Cut out the interfacing pattern piece carefully. Note: if the collar design has a very sharp point, trim 1/16” from the point to round it slightly. If not trimmed, the fashion fabric may create a lump at the collar point.100_6741 4. Fuse the interfacing to the wrong-side of a rectangle of fashion fabric.100_6742 5. Place a second layer of fashion fabric right-sides together with the first layer. Along a line (drawn or eyeballed) centered and parallel to the long edges, pin through all the layers.

    100_6746 6. For this step, stretch the long edges as you stitch, and use tiny stitches around the point, pivoting to follow the edge of the interfacing. Sew the collar layers together from the center of the back, around one of the collar points to the neckline seam.100_6745 7. Repeat Step 6 for the other half of collar.100_6747 8. Tilt the scissors toward the layer that will be the underside of the collar to grade the seam allowance and trim the outer edge seam to 1/8”. Trim the seam at the corners to 1/16”.

    100_6750 9. Press the seam open over a point presser. 10. Turn the collar right-side out.100_6751 11. Press the collar carefully to roll the seams to the underside while pulling the underside collar fabric diagonally from the point towards the neck edge to help the seams roll to the underside.

    100_6754 12. To finish the collar, top-stitch close to edge or 1/4” away for the appearance that you prefer.

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  • One Bag – Two Uses

    September 19, 2013

    Summer colds, allergies, or whatever makes you reach for a tissue might make this a project for you. This project will hold your tissues, and you can use the zipper bag to hold your cell phone or as a cosmetic bag.

    Supplies: Two pieces of fabric 6” x 14” Two pieces of fabric 5” x 6” One piece of batting 6” x 14” One nylon zipper at least 9” long


    100_6714 1. Using a fabric pen on the right-side, mark lines about 2” apart in two directions on one of the 6” x 14” rectangles. Some artistic license can be applied here – the grid does not need to create squares nor does it need to be parallel to the fabric edges. 2. Sandwich the batting between the two 6” x 14” pieces with the marked piece up.100_6717 3. Sew on the marked lines. 4. Press. 5. Cut two pieces 5” x 6” from the quilted rectangle.100_6712 6. Fold each of the two 5” x 6” pieces of fabric in half right-side out to form two pieces 6” x 2 1/2”.

    100_6719 7. Place the two folded pieces on top of one of the 5” x 6” quilted pieces with the folds meeting in the center as shown. Serge all the way around the outside edges. The tissue pocket in now complete.

    100_6720 8. Serge all four sides of the other 5” x 6” quilted piece.100_6721 9. Unzip the zipper. Align the outside edge of one zipper tape with the edge of one of the 6” sides, right-sides together, and with the pull hanging off the fabric.100_6722 10. Using the regular sewing foot, select left needle position. Align the teeth of the zipper with the edge of the foot. Stitch the zipper in place. 11. Stitch the other side of the zipper to the other side of the bag.100_6726 12. Open out and press the seam allowances away from the zipper teeth. Topstitch along each seam to secure the seam allowances.100_6725 13. Select the Button Sew on Stitch. Set to the widest width. On both ends of the zipper, 1/4” in from the edge of the fabric rectangle, bartack across the zipper teeth. Cut the zipper tape off leaving 1/4” or so extending past the edge of the fabric.100_6729 14. Open the zipper three quarters of the length (to provide an opening for turning right-side out). Folding along the zipper, put right-sides of the fabric rectangles together. Stitch the side and bottom seams.100_6731 15. Turn through the open zipper.100_6732 16. Your One Bag – Two Uses project is complete. Normally, one would say “use it in good health,” but the tissue side is there to deal with the condition of being just slightly not in good health. So, hopefully, you seldom will need the tissue side and only occasionally will need to replace unused but tattered tissue.


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  • Half-Square Triangle Technique

    September 5, 2013

    100_6705Many of us avoid making quilts that have half-square triangles. Why? – because cutting out the triangle shape pieces and sewing them together on the bias can result in very few coming out the correct size. The method described in this blog can be used anytime you need two or more of these squares for a project.

    Layout and cut larger than called for –

    When creating the layout for sewing the diagonal lines, I add 1 inch to the finished size of the half-square triangle unit, instead of the recommended 7/8 inch. Remember, the finished size is what shows after the block is sewn to other blocks. When cutting to separate the blocks, add 1/2 inch to the finished size. If your finished square is supposed to be 2 ½ inches, you will trim each unit to 3 inches, creating a ¼ inch seam allowance.

    Gridded Fabric Method –

    1. Using the desired finished size of a square,  calculate the number of triangles you require for your project. Determine the layout size of each square of the grid (remember 1 inch larger than the finished size). Determine the total size of fabric required to create the number of triangles you need.

    100_6686 2. Cut two pieces of fabric one inch larger in each direction than the total size of fabric determined in step 1. Stack the large fabric pieces with right-sides together.

    100_6707 3. Use a ruler and pencil to mark a grid on the light colored fabric as shown above. Remember to allow some extra fabric on each edge of the grid.

    100_6708 4. Draw in the diagonal cutting lines.

    100_6693 5. Sew a 1/4” stitch line on both sides of the cutting lines. (Note, the red dashed lines do not need to be drawn on your fabric, they were added to clarify where the stitch lines should be.)

    100_6698 6. Using a rotary cutter and a ruler, cut on the lines that are parallel to the edges of the of the fabric grid.

    100_6700 7. Then cut on the diagonal lines between the stitched lines.

    100_6701 8. With the seam allowances folded towards the darker of the two fabrics, finger press open each pieced square.

    100_6702 9. Trim the fabric units so you have neatly finished squares.

    100_6706 10. You will end up with two equal-sized half square triangle units from each square on your grid.


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