Friday, September 23, 2011

Pacifier Clip tutorial

Tired of baby losing her binky? Don't settle for what you see in the store. Making a pacifier clip is easy! And once you've made one, you'll want to make 20. They're the perfect accessory for any baby shower gift.
The clip attaches easily to a carseat, shirt, or stroller,
and the pacifier pops right into baby's mouth.
Life just got a whole lot better.

Okay, let's get started.
Since fabrics and machinery vary from sewist to sewist, we'll show two different methods for making your clips.

* 14 x 2 1/4 inch rectangle (14 x 2 1/2 if not using a serger) of fabric.
Cottons work best - simple cotton, seersucker, corduroy, denim, etc.
* 14 x 1 1/8 inch rectangle of interfacing
* Small square of velcro
* Suspender Clips (easily found at most sewing stores and online. If you can't find any, other fasteners will work as well)
Start by cutting fabric and interfacing rectangles. If you're using a heavier cotton or corduroy, omit the interfacing. It simply adds thickness and strength to your "ribbon" part of the pacifier clip.

Your fabric rectangle should be 14 x 2 1/4 inches. It will eventually be folded in half to make a 14 x 1 inch long ribbon. You don't want your ribbon to be too bulky, so you only need one layer of the interfacing...or a rectangle that's 14 x 1 1/8 inches.

To make the entire cutting process easier, first cut the fabric rectangle and then cut the interfacing larger than you need....
Fold your fabric rectangle in half, length wise, and iron it. Then shove the interfacing piece right in the middle of the sandwich. It will be sticking out of the side. Then use your rotary cutter to cut the edge of facing, making it the exact size you need.
You're left with something like this:
The easiest way to sew this project is with a serger. BUT, IF YOU DON'T HAVE A SERGER don't worry. Keep reading so you get the gist and we'll show you another method below.

Today we'll be using a ROLLED HEM. If you've never used one, it's easy. It involves 3 spools of thread and NO cutting hands. The stitch is very narrow and as you go, the edge of the fabric is slightly rolled under. This is a wonderful way to finish off silky scarves, dinner napkins, or a ruffled knit hem. Consult your user manual for all the details, since you also need to make adjustments to the differential, stitch length, tension, etc.

In my Bernina manual, these are the settings for a 3-thread rolled hem:
Set your machine up with a thread color that either compliments or contrasts with your fabric.
Practice on fabric a few times to make sure the machine is adjusted properly.
Then start at one end and serge all the way down one side.
Serge around the edges and back up the other side.
Clip off the hanging threads.
To keep the corners from fraying, use Fray Check or other anti-fray liquids.
Dab a very small amount in the corners and let it dry.
Okay, you're done with the "ribbon" part of your clip. Let's add velcro and a clip.

Cut a small piece of velcro, about 1/2 inch long. Hold it up to your serged ribbon and make sure it's wide enough to cover your ribbon:
Sew one side of the velcro square at the end of your ribbon:
And sew the other velcro piece about 3 inches down (this becomes the loop that will hold the pacifier).
I've just shown you the easiest method for sewing on velcro. However, your thread will show through on the other side of your ribbon.
Not a big deal if the thread color is camouflaged.
But if you want a more polished looked, sew on the velcro pieces in the first step, before serging down the sides. Open up your folded rectangle, place the velcro pieces just as you did in the step above, sew them down, and then continue by sandwiching the interfacing inside, etc.
Now we're going to sew a clip to the other end of the ribbon. If you have a personalized label or patch, you can add it now. I love a colorful added touch.
Grab one of your suspender clips:
Loop the ribbon through the end of the clip:
Fold it over:
And sew it down:
And you're done!
If you don't have a serger, here's another method....

Cut a 14 x 2 1/2 inch fabric rectangle and a 14 x 1 1/8 inch interfacing rectangle.
OR if you want a contrasting back to your ribbon, cut 2 fabric rectangles that are 14 x 1 1/4 inches. This is what I'll be doing here.
Remember that if you want a cleaner look, sew your velcro squares on now. Or you can wait till later.

With right sides of your fabric together sew down one side of the ribbon, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. If you're not using two fabrics here, just fold your large rectangle in half and iron it down (as we did above):
Iron out your seam:
Then iron each side in, 1/4 inch:
Place your interfacing right in the middle:
Fold over the "sandwich", and pin everything closed:
Sew down the side, very close to the edge:
Then sew down the other side, very close to the edge. This step is purely for aesthetic, so that it matches the top-stitching on the other side:
You can either fold the ends in and top-stitch them closed, or do a tight zig-zag stitch:
and snip off the edges:
Then fold it under to the "wrong" side of the clip and top-stitch it down, just to clean up the look.

Continue with the steps above to finish up your pacifier clip, and you're done!

Additional photos....

Friday, September 16, 2011

All free sewing post

Hello there!
I'm Dana from the sewing site: MADE--a place where I share DIY ideas, sewing tutorials and patterns, design inspiration, recipes, photography, and just a bunch of this and that.
I'm a mother of 2 kids living in Austin, TX with my husband and sewing is a big part of our lives. It's infused through the clothing we wear, our home decor, items I find at the thrift store, even our toys.

In a nutshell, I love creating.

It's what keeps me sane and alive--providing an outlet from my day-to-day duties as a mom. Plus there's something magical about transforming a 2-dimensional textile into something new, useful, and 3D. Sewing breathes life into fabric. And blogging gives me an outlet to share what I love with others.
My grandma taught me to sew when I was ten years old. We started out sewing straight lines on a brown paper thread, just holes. I was immediately intrigued. By 13 my mom taught me to use store-bought patterns and I spent many summers sewing simple pants, dresses for church, and every type of scrunchie and big bow I could think of--afterall it was the 80s.

Fast-forward 15 years through high school, college, and a film career and I found myself back at the sewing machine. My creative spirit had been dormant for a while but I suddenly had an urge to make things for this little human....especially since sewing for kids takes half the time and half the fabric as it does for adults. My daughter is now 5 and my son has joined the sewing circle so the projects are a plenty. The flavors at our house are...
an entire Kid Pants series:
And many more. Just head to the Tutorials page for a complete grid of tutorial ideas and patterns.

Today I'm sharing a project that goes back when my daughter was born. Every baby needs that special "blankie" for holding and snuggling. I'm not a traditional quilter but this blanket combines a bit of quilting and traditional sewing.
It's a faux chenille blanket.
4 to 5 different layers of cotton fabric are sewn together, cut into diagonal sections, bound with bias tape, and then comes the secret ingredient....
Throw the blanket in the washing machine and watch those lines ruffle up into little chenille strips. The layers of cotton begin to fray slightly and make the blanket oh-so-soft.
In this tutorial I'll show you the detailed steps, taking you from fabric--to blanket. And I'll even share my mistakes!--cause believe me, I've cut plenty of holes in these blankets. Nothing a simple patch job won't fix.
Head over to MADE for the complete tutorial. You're babe will love you for it.
Happy Sewing!
- Dana