Monday, September 15, 2014

Tutorial: Triple Ruffled Dish Towel

A few days ago, I showed you an easy way to trim a dish towel, making it gift-worthy. Tonight, I'm going to explain how to make this (equally simple) Triple Ruffled Dish Towel.

I was supposed to post this the day after the first tutorial, but I have been under the wire trying to get the instructions finished for my first Rebel Craft Media published pattern, The Betsy Travel Bag. My fingers are still buzzing from the two-fingered typing of that project (I closed the lid on the laptop and immediately picked up my phone and opened the Blogger app!) but I didn't want to delay any further. 

So, we go!

{Clementine by Blend Fabrics}

You will need:
-two 3"xWOF (width of fold) strips of three different fabrics for a total of six strips. 
-one dish towel of your choice (I prefer the flour sack towels, available at Target)
-grid ruler
-fabric marking pen

*please keep in mind that this tutorial and fabric strip measurements are based on the 30"x32" flour sack towel. You might have to adjust the length of your strips for a smaller towel.*

Draw three parallel lines at the bottom of the towel at every 2".

Start by stitching the ends of the strips together; press seams open.

Using a grid ruler, measure and mark 1" up from bottom edge down the length of the wrong side of each strip.

Fold raw edge to meet the line; press.

Edgestitch hems in place.

It's kinda neat looking all piled up:

Now, change your stitch length to the longest one your machine has. From
The right side of the fabric, stitch a line 1/4" away from top edge.

Leave the thread tails long on both ends. You will need these to gather the fabric!

Pin the center of the bottom strip to the center of the bottom line on the towel. Pin the ends of the strip to the sides of the towel.

Very carefully pull the bobbin threads to gather along the stitching line. You're going to ruffle one half at a time. Adjust the fullness by sliding and bunching along the thread. Once your ruffle is the same length as the half if towel that you're working on, pin it in place. Now you can start ruffling the other half.

Top stitch along the gathering line. Repeat for middle and top ruffles.

Voila! A pretty cute dish towel! They'll think you got it at Anthropologie.

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Tutorial: Simple Trimmed Dish Towel

I'm a little behind on my Blend Fabrics tutorials, so I thought I'd play catch up on them as soon as I finished testing the Rockstar Bag pattern by Sew Sweetness:


Well, I wrapped that up today and immediately got to work on a 30 minute project; a tutorial for Blend!

When they sent me my shipment of Clementine by Ana Davis, I immediately thought "kitchen project!" At the time, though, we had just moved into our apartment and I wasn't ready to determine what I was going to want or need in my kitchen.  All of our belongings are still in storage and we're basically living with borrowed and/or Dollar Store necessities to get us by until we get it back.

Well, one day, while walking past the kitchen towel display at Target, I had an epiphany. Dish towels! That's it! I would turn my stack of Clementine into dish towels! So, I grabbed a package of flour sack towels and went on my merry way. 

I love these towels in particular because they are large, absorbent and thin. Plus, a pack of four is less than five bucks. Perfect! 

{a close up, so you know what you're looking for}

Because there are four towels and a big beautiful stack of fabrics, I thought I'd split the package deal up and give you three mini tutorials throughout the week. By the time you're done, you'll have the perfect house warming gift! (Or Christmas, or New Year's or wedding present or whatever.) I'll have one towel left over, won't I? Well you know what that means! Giveaway! I'll do a giveaway at the end for the extra towel and the remaining scraps/fabric. That's a good plan, huh?

First things first, you will need a towel, 1/3-1/2 yard (depending on the accuracy of the cut) quilters cotton weight fabric, thread etc etc.

Iron the towel, making sure to straighten the edges as best you can.

Measure the sides of your towel:
{towel pictured folded in half}

My towel was about 30"x32". Now you have to do a little math. 30"x2 sides=60". 32"x2 sides=64". 60"+64"=124" total. Now, divide your total by the fabric width: 44" goes into 124" approximately 2.8 times, which is basically three times. Now I know I have to cut three strips.

Next, measure the existing hem on your towel. For mine, it was about 3/4".

I wanted to make sure I covered the existing hem completely so I rounded this measurement up to 1" and multiplied by four which gave me 4". 

Remove the tags on the towel, if necessary. Set towel aside while you make the binding.

Stitch your binding end-to-end-to-end; press seams open.
{I borrowed this picture from tomorrow's tutorial}

Fold the binding in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and press.
{center crease}

Fold one long edge to center, wrong sides together, and press.

Fold the other long edge about 1/8" away from center; press.
{I drew a red line on the center crease to make this step easier to see.)

Fold again on the center crease and press. I like to use lots of steam to make it extra crisp.
{this is what your finished binding should look like}

Lay the binding on the table so that the wider side is on the bottom and the narrower side is face up. Open up the binding and lay the edge of the towel right up into the crease. Make sure you get it tucked in there all the way!

Carefully fold the binding over the towel edge and pin. When you get to a corner, pin (or pinch with your fingers) the binding right at the edge of the towel. With your opposite hand, open the binding and fold it back over the new edge of the towel. This step is kind of hard to explain so I took some pictures, of course:
{hopefully that helped!}

Continue pinning and corner-folding until you get to the last little bit. Now, you can do this before you start pinning the binding on or you can do his next step now, before you have finished pinning...

When you have about 8"-10" of binding left, unfold the end and turn one corner down about 1/8" from folded edge and press.

It should look similar to this:

You might have to rearrange your pinning, this angled edge will go over the top of the end of the binding, creating a finished edge. When it's done correctly, it'll look like this:

Now, stitch the binding down, all the way around, about 1/8" from edge of binding.

There's no need to backstitch if you don't want. When you get around to the starting point, just run over your existing stitches by five or six stitches to secure your stitching. (Should I say stitch, stitching or stitches one more time before continuing? Stitch! Hahaha)

Now, give the binding one last final press to set the stitches (HAHAHAHAAAA) and you're all done! Fast and easy.

{this is also a good technique for adding premade binding to one yard lengths of flannel or fleece for a quick baby or pet blanket}

Come back tomorrow, I'll be showing you how to make a triple ruffled towel. I bet you can't wait!

Happy sewing!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Seriously awesome news!

Things have been busy (what else is new, huh?) Since we last talked, I have finished a quilt:

{pretty awesome, right?}

Made a whole lotta potty mouth pouches:

Visited the Chattanooga Aquarium:

Made a wooden spoon puppet in my likeness (go ahead and laugh):

Was featured in the first issue of Make Modern Magazine:

Had my daughter's hair cut:

Received a shipment of Mollie Makes books for review and giveaway (stay tuned!):

And signed a publishing contract:

For this bag pattern:

Rebel Craft Media is about to turn the crafty world upside down and I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to be a part of it. You can play a part in it too. Intrigued? RCM is looking for pattern testers! Check it out:

"Interested in becoming a pattern tester for Rebel Craft Media? RCM is looking for crafty folks to test brand new, pre-release patterns - everything from quilts and bags to jewelry and paper crafts. Sign up through the link below if interested, and please share with your pals—the more the merrier!

A lot of you have expressed an interest in testing my Betsy Travel Bag. Here's your chance! Click or copy and paste the link to send over your information. Pretty easy stuff. 

Who's excited? (Me! Me!)

That's a heck of a lot of awesome stuff, right? And there's still more to come. Stuff that I know about but you don't yet. It's a secret for now. I'm on Cloud 9 with all of my favorite people! (That's you guys!)

Happy living!

PS and this too, I almost forgot: