Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Present Placemat Tutorial

Years ago, my mom was Miss Crafty!  She was constantly making or stitching something, and oftentimes, I was her trusty assistant.  Today, I'm sharing with you a tutorial on how you can make these Christmas Present Placemats--fun, holiday inspired placemats that look like a Christmas present all wrapped up!

I still have and use the original set of Christmas Present Placemats that these are patterned after.  I have no idea where my mom got the idea to make these.  Most likely she bought a kit or saw them in a magazine like Better Homes & Gardens or Southern Living.  I've searched the web, and I haven't been able to find any others like them.

Here's what you'll need to make 6 Christmas Present Placemats:

- 1 yard double faced quilted fabric
- Approx. 3/4 yard fabric for binding and bow strips
- 1 1/2 yards cotton or linen fabric for napkins
- thread
- rotary cutter and mat (plain scissors will do)
- ruler
- walking foot (very helpful but not necessary)

First, cut out 6 rectangles each 12" wide x 18" long for the main part of the placemat.

Next, here's where your rotary cutter and mat really come in handy.  Take your fabric for the bow strips and the placemat binding, and cut the following:

6 strips each 3" wide x 12" long (these are the bow strips)
12 strips each 3" wide x 5.5" long (these are the bow loops)
At least 10 strips each 1.5" wide x width of fabric (usually 44") (these are for the binding)

I am assuming you already know how to make bias tape.  If not, there are lots of tutorials out there (sorry, I don't have one).  A great one that I discovered after I made these placemats is here from Caila Made.  Since we are just using our bias tape as binding for a rectangular placemat, we really don't have to cut out our strips on the bias.  If you reference Caila's tutorial, you can start at Step 2 for sewing the strips together, or just sew them together by matching up ends with right sides together.

Take the 10 strips that are 1.5" wide and approximately 44" long and sew them together by your preferred method. Once you are done with this, you may then cut the long strip down to six strips that are 6' long each.  Then iron these strips into double bias tape for the binding of the placemats.

Now, take the 6 bow strips and ...

If you have a walking foot for your machine, you might want to use it.  A walking foot will prevent the fabric from creeping as you sew.  Do this for all 6 placemats.

The next step is my least favorite part to do, and again, you might want to use your walking foot.

I know you will do a much better job than I did with this.  I really need to practice this technique since my stitching is all over the place when you look at the back of the placemat!  Again, Caila has a great tutorial specifically for sewing on bias tape.  Wish I had known about it before I tackled this project!

Here's what your placemat should look like from the front now.  I am too ashamed to show you the back at this point.  It's a hot mess, but hey, they will still work as placemats!

You are now ready to make the bow loop.  Your walking foot is no longer needed.

Starting at the short side, begin sewing the two pieces together using a 1/2" seam allowance.  Be sure to leave an opening for turning!

You can use a bodkin or a wooden chopstick on the next step to help gently push out the corners.

You are now ready to pin the bow loop to the top of the placemat along the bow strip as shown.

Sew along the seam of the bow loop and then again 1/2 inch on either side of the the first seam.  You may not be able to sew all the way across, but sew as far as you can and then sew from the other side.  Hope this makes sense!

Now the placemat part is complete!  Please ignore how wonky my placemat edges look!

Next, you need to use your rotary cutter, mat, and ruler to cut out the napkins.  Cut six napkins each 14" to 16" square (your choice).  You may then either use your serger and hem them with a rolled edge, use your sewing machine and hem with a narrow hem, or hem with the rolled edge hemming foot for your sewing machine.  I chose the easiest route and just used my serger.

Once all 6 placemats are hemmed, insert one through the bow loop and arrange it to your liking.  You now have a set of very festive Christmas placemats that look like presents!

In case you missed yesterday's post, I've got another giveaway going on thanks to my dear friend, RaeAnna from Sewing Mama RaeAnna.  Click here to enter and check out her guest post!

This tutorial if for personal use only and it may not be reproduced or copied in part or whole without my expressed written consent.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Guest Blogger RaeAnna and a Contest!

Today you are in for a special treat!  I'd like you to meet my dear friend, RaeAnna, from Sewing Mama RaeAnna.  She is such a sweet person who always has a smile on her face.  Her appliqued t-shirts and outfits inspired me to purchase my own embroidery machine, and she has been so supportive and helpful when I've had problems using it!  Thanks, RaeAnna!

I've invited her to stop by and share with you one of her latest projects--Boutique Bows decorated with Felties!  And without further ado, here is RaeAnna!

Hello SewVery friends!  I am soooooooooo thrilled to be Veronica's very first guest poster! woo hoo!!!

My name is RaeAnna and I blog at Sewing Mama RaeAnna.

Sewing Mama RaeAnna
I first started following Veronica when she did Shorts on the Line.  It didn't take us long to become friends in real life!  We have had so much fun getting together for playdates!!  Our 3 year olds are so cute when they play together!  My son lights up when I tell him we are going to go see Ella!

And I'm still glad she's my friend after witnessing my 3 year old's tantrums. Aren't our kids supposed to know that they are supposed to act like angels all the time! haha!

I get so excited and passionate about sewing and I love that I have a blog to "let it all out!"  It's been fun to get to know other like minded moms and learn new sewing tricks from each other!  

My latest craft obsession uses my embroidery machine to make felties!!! I'm still learning about my embroidery machine - it's so much fun to see the adorable designs on the clothes and t-shirts I make for my kids!  And you know what looks great with cute clothes and t-shirts.......BOWS! :)

Sewing Mama RaeAnna

I've posted a tutorial on my page today on how you can create your own boutique bow using the techniques I've found most successful.  But before you come over to my page, please enter the contest here at sewVery for a chance to win a set of feltie characters for your own bows!!  The winner will receive 2 owl felties and 2 heart felties!  You can also earn an extra entry for liking our Facebook Pages!


Want to learn how to make your own Boutique Bows?  Then CLICK HERE to see the Boutique Bow Tutorial on my blog, Sewing Mama RaeAnna!  

Thank you, Veronica, for being such a great friend and blog buddy!

Aren't these felties and boutique bows just adorable?!  RaeAnna was so sweet and gave Ella one to wear during the holidays.  I'll admit, I've never made a boutique bow, but after checking out RaeAnna's tutorial, I will now!  Her tutorial shows you very clearly how to put it all together!  

And while you are visiting over at Sewing Mama RaeAnna, you might as well check out a few of her other tutorials and projects.  RaeAnna makes adorable outfits not only for her children, but also to sell!  

I just love this birthday outfit she made for her daughter's first birthday!  Eva Mae is just too cute!

I'm so glad you came for a visit today, RaeAnna!  Stop by again anytime!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A sewVery Simple Santa Hat Ornament Tutorial

I've been making a few ornaments this week to decorate the tree and to add a little something extra to wrapped presents, and I thought I'd share the idea with you!  Today, learn how to make a sewVery Simple Santa Hat Ornament with my quick and easy tutorial!

Here's what you'll need to get whip up one or a few dozen of these fun little Santa hat ornaments:

After you've gathered all the supplies listed above, print out at actual size the pattern piece found here.

Next, lay out your fabric and batting so it looks like the picture below.

Then place your pattern piece on top, pin in place, and cut out the two pieces of fabric and batting all in one step.  You can cut out multiple sets without much waste by flipping the pattern over and lining up the edge with the previously cut out piece.

Once you get your pieces all cut out, pin them together.

Now you are ready to stitch the pieces together.  You may use a walking foot if you have one to help prevent the fabric from creeping, but it's not necessary.  I didn't bother using mine because I'll cut off any irregularities when I pink the edges for the final ornament.

Pink the edges.  

Cut a piece of twine or ribbon 5" long and fold in half.  Place the cut edges on the backside at the top of the Santa hat and tack down with a few machine stitches.  

Then take your piece of comfy or minky fabric and rough cut a 1" circle. Center the circle over the top point of the Santa hat and tack it down with a couple of machine stitches.  If you are well coordinated, you could take down the twine and the circle at the same time!  I opted to do them separately, but that's just me.

Now take your jumbo ric rac and cut a piece long enough to cover the bottom edge of the Santa hat.  Use your pinking shears to cut the edges to help prevent the ric rac from fraying.  Sew the ric rac over the bottom edge making sure to cover up the bottom of the fabric.

That's it!  In an hour's time, I sewed together well over a dozen of these adorable Santa Hat Ornaments.  My kids loved putting them on the tree, but I managed to save a few to put on Christmas presents for teachers and friends.

This tutorial if for personal use only and it may not be reproduced or copied in part or whole without my expressed written consent.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day - US & International

On the last Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day held back in May, I held a second contest so that international readers could enter a chance to win something from me as well.  It was such a success, I decided to do it again!

Giveaway Day

This time, I am offering up this cute pattern from Izzy & Ivy for Gabby's Sleepover Jammies.  This is a brand new paper pattern and will be mailed to the winner next week after the contest is over.

Details on how to enter are shown below.  Please don't forget to follow the instructions for leaving a blog comment for a qualified entry!  This contest is open to both US and International residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you live in the US, then you can enter my second contest to win some quilting patterns, thread, and a collection of sewing/crafting magazines here.

I hope you'll stick around and browse my blog awhile.  If you love to sew for little girls, then you just might find a few patterns and projects you'll like. Pin a few while you're at it!

Here are a few recent projects I've blogged about:

Christmas Tree Tabletop Decoration
Country Cowgirl Christmas Dress
Lovely Rita's Slim Pants

Oliver + S Class Picnic Blouse & Pants
Thanks, and have a great week entering contests and surfing some blogs new to you!  Don't forget to become a follower, and I always welcome new Likes on Facebook for sewVery!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day - US Residents Only

It's time again for another Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Giveaway Day

Last time I participated, I thought the two contests I held were very successful.  I received some great comments as entries, and I discovered lots of blogs to follow for inspiration and ideas!  I think I even won a contest myself.  What fun!

Today, this contest is open to US Residents only and includes some of the swag I received from the Sewing Summit this past October.  I will pick two winners.

One winner will receive the following Ruby Star Wrappings book filled with great ideas to make the gift wrapping even more special than the gift itself, plus a a paper pattern from Indygo Junction for the Urban Prairie Dress.

The second winner will receive this package of quilting patterns, two spools of quilting thread, a copy of Generation Q magazine, Mollie Makes magazine, and Stitch-Craft-Create Magazine.

Details on how to enter are shown below.  Please be sure to follow the instructions and to leave a comment to qualify!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'm running a second contest that is open to both US and International entries.  You can find it here.

I hope you'll stick around and browse my blog awhile.  If you love to sew for little girls, then you just might find a few patterns and projects you'll like. Pin a few while you're at it!

Here are a few recent projects I've blogged about:

Christmas Tree Tabletop Decoration
Country Cowgirl Christmas Dress
Lovely Rita's Slim Pants

Oliver + S Class Picnic Blouse & Pants
Thanks, and have a great week entering contests and surfing some blogs new to you!  Don't forget to become a follower, and I always welcome new Likes on Facebook for sewVery!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Tree Tabletop Decoration Tutorial

Christmas in my family has always included making homemade ornaments, decorations, gifts, and treats that we share with friends and family.  When I was little, my mother and I would scour the pages of magazines to find inspiration for our latest projects. One of my favorite DIY ideas that my mom and I crafted together is this Christmas Tree Tabletop Decoration. 

For this project, you will need the following:

First, begin by cutting out approximately 100 - 1” wide by 6” long strips of fabric (for my example I had 25 each of 4 coordinating fabrics).   Next, pick out 4 ribbons or trims (you’ll need a spool of each) that are ¼” – 3/8” wide that coordinate with the fabrics, and cut 50 pieces that are 5” long and another 50 pieces that are 4” long.

Using the hot glue gun, carefully apply a small dab of glue to the end of one of the fabric strips. Press the ends together forming a loop.  Do this for all the fabric and ribbon strips.

Using a measuring tape or ruler, measure 3” up from the bottom of the Styrofoam cone and make a small mark using a Sharpie.  Continue marking 1” – 2” increments up the cone.  Repeat this all around the cone so that you now have a grid for guidance in evenly placing the fabric/ribbon rows.

Now cut 6 pieces of ½” wide white grosgrain ribbon to the following lengths: 
12 ¾”, 11 ½”, 10 ¼”, 9”, 7 ¾”, and 6 ½”.  These ribbon strips will be the foundation for each row of the Christmas tree. 

Starting with the longest piece of grosgrain ribbon, lay out the fabric loops in the desired pattern adjusting the space between the strips as needed.  Glue each fabric loop to the white grosgrain ribbon then glue the ribbon loops on top of each fabric loop.  Complete each ribbon strip the same way.

Now you are ready to assemble the Christmas tree.  Starting with the bottom row and using the markings on the cone as a guide, begin securing the ribbon strip onto the cone with floral pins or straight pins. 

Continue pinning the ribbon strips to the cone so that the bottom edge of the new layer overlaps the top edge of the previous layer.  My layers are spaced roughly 1 ½” to 2” apart vertically. 

The final row should be even with the top of the cone.  Now take 7 strips of fabric and cut them in half so that they are 3” long.  Fold each strip in half and glue together.

Pin each small loop around the top edge of the tree.

Using the remaining uncut ribbon, make a bow and secure it to the top of the tree using pins.  Add one more small loop to cover the center of the bow if desired.  Now you are done! 

Use a candleholder or plate to set your Christmas Tree Tabletop Decoration on as a base.  Make two or three Christmas Tree Tabletop Decorations with different sized cones for a larger tabletop or mantle holiday decoration.   

Merry Christmas!

This tutorial if for personal use only and it may not be reproduced or copied in part or whole without my expressed written consent.