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hand sewing

  • Mood DIY: 3-Step Heart Bookmark

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    I figured it was time to stop using scraps of paper to mark my place in all my books, since the scraps tend to end up lost on the floor anyway. I've seen origami pocket bookmarks before and thought, why not do something similar with fabric? They can fold up or get shoved in a purse without the risk of being ripped or bent like paper, and they're easily customizable!

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    Things you'll need:

    • Wool or felt cut into two 3" hearts
    • Thread
    • Chalk/removable marking tool

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    After cutting out your hearts, draw or write whatever you'd like to embroider on the front of your bookmark.

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    Trace the chalk outline, and straight-stitch the bottom two inches of the heart, like the photos below.

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    And just like that, you have a cute and unique bookmark - great for gifts, or kids' craft parties!

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  • My Dress-in-Progress Report

    I'm making McCall's 6460, a simple sheath dress with raglan short sleeves, out of the silk-blend matelassé I blogged about May 22. Here's a quick recap of my sewing process so far:
    1. Since this pattern was new to me, I made a muslin
    2. Made minor adjustments to the muslin to accommodate my shape (rectangle)
    3. Cut out pattern pieces in silk organza (I'm using silk organza for interlining) and transferred all markings (darts and seams) to it
    4. Pinned organza pieces to the matelassé and cut, using organza pieces as guides
    5. Hand-basted organza to matelassé at seams and thread-traced all darts (two layers of fabric now neatly held together as one)
    6. Hand-basted dress's darts and seams and tried dress on for fit (just because your muslin fits doesn't mean your fashion fabric will behave the same way)
    7. Hooray! I got lucky and the fit is spot on
    8. Machine-stitched everything, which went super-fast because so many seams and darts were already held together by basting (skipped pinning)
    You probably read steps 1 through 6 and thought aaugh! that's a lot of work to do before even sitting down to a sewing machine. Truth be told, the prep work goes quickly, and you avoid ripping out stitches in your fashion fabric (and potentially damaging it). Work out your fit issues before you machine stitch and you'll always save loads of time in the long run. Now I just need to construct my dress's lining, attach it and that's it. How do you feel about hand-basting? Hate it with a passion, or think of it as peaceful communing with your fabric? Let me know!