Monday, October 28, 2013

Tutorial: DIY "Linen" Pleated Table Cloth

So...back in December of last year I set out on a New Year's resolution of completing a dozen designs in a year. I was going to take one room per month in my house and complete the decorating. Wanna know how many rooms I have shown? room. That is not so hot. I have actually almost finished 3 rooms, including my craft room and guest bathroom, that hopefully one day soon I will get around to posting. But, I have a room hanging over me right now- the DINING room. This room is the most neglected and will be hosting Thanksgiving in a month. The to do list includes: wainscotting, painting, slipcovering chairs, finding a buffet, curtains, a rug, and so on and so on. It is safe to assume this will NOT be ready in a month. But, I did complete one task- and in true Shannon style, this was not even on the to do list, because I am a procrastinator like that!

So, the story behind this tablecloth is that I was originally going to refinish the table it is on top of. My parents gave us this table as a hand me down and it is a solid table, but no longer our style. I wanted to give it a Pottery Barn black finish but then changed my mind and decided to buy a table, all to realize I am way too cheap to buy a table. I am hesitant to refinish it and I don't have the time right now, so I found a cheap way to give it a new look. While I realize this after photo isn't quite a wow moment...hopefully when all the other pieces of the room come together it will be. For now, this room is still a space housing empty boxes, unused furniture, and other random items...but I am working on it!

If you need an inexpensive solution for your table, here is an easy tutorial to follow. First, gather your supplies:
One large drop cloth (I had one left over from my outdoor cushions project so this was free for me)
Sewing Machine

1. Prep your drop cloth. You should not use it straight out of the package. It is stiff and needs to be washed. I washed this one a couple times with extra fabric softener to get it to feel the right way. I plan on bleaching another one for the chair slipcovers and hope it will turn out. Without bleaching it, it will give you a linen type of look.

2. Measure your table and determine your length and width. For my table, I used my length and width plus 8 inches of overhang on all sides. My table measured 70 inches x 36 inches.

     36 inches + 16 inches for overhang = 52 inches


   70 inches + 16 inches for overhang = 86 inches

Cut a piece of drop cloth for your length x width plus overhang. Complete the fitted corners by using this tutorial

3. Cut strips for your pleats. I wanted a four inch tall pleat, so I would need 8 inch tall strips that will be folded in half times twice the diameter of the table. I cut several 8 inch pieces by tearing the drop cloth. It tears in a straight line so you measure out 8 inches, make a small cut, and then tear all the way across the fabric. Once you have enough torn, sew the short sides, right sides together on the ends to create one long strip 424 inches long...yep, it is a long piece of fabric!

4. Next, iron the pleat strip in half length wise, wrong sides together. Begin to make your pleats. For mine, I decided to make my pleats every 3 inches and 1 inch deep. To do so, I placed my ruler on the edge, measured out 3 inches, then folded the fabric back on itself to the one inch mark and pinned. Then I kept repeating that process, ironing every few pleats, all the way around the entire strip of fabric. 

5. Once you have the pleats pinned, run a basting stitch on the top unfinished edge and remove the pins. This step is up to you, but you may want to serge the edge. Drop cloth frays easily and can get messy at this point. 

6. Now, take your fabric and pin it to your fitted table cloth. I played with mine a bit before deciding where I wanted it to fall. I ended up pinning it, right sides together, at about the 7 inch mark on my table cloth overhang. I pinned it all the way around until I came to the end of the fabric. I sewed my two pieces together prior to pinning the last section. There is a seam instead of a pleat here, but I think it blends in pretty well. 

7. Sew the pleats on, trim the seam and serge or zig zag stitch the seam to prevent fraying...and, viola, inexpensive table cloth that can easily be dressed up for holidays. 

Please feel free to comment or email with questions. If you leave a comment, please make sure you have your settings to allow for replies so I can answer you :) It should be as simple as taking off the "no reply comment" option in your settings.  Thanks, Shannon

Friday, October 25, 2013

DIY Diaper Bag and Clutch

My sister in law Debbie is due with her first any day now. We are excited to hear of the arrival and find out if we have a new niece or nephew! Back when she was about 2 months pregnant she asked me to make a diaper bag...and I finished it last week (nothing like a little procrastination.)
She wanted a medium sized bag and yellow and gray fabric. I found the modern chevron fabric at Joann in the new HGTV line. And the lining is made out of a gray and cream quilting fabric, also from Joanns that I am unable to find a link for :( The bag pattern is The Poppins Bag with a couple changes: I added Peltex fusible interfacing to the exterior pieces and added an extra elasticized pocket on the interior. I left off the toddler handle and used all the same fabric for the exterior pieces and scrunch instead of coordinating prints.
The interior is filled with pockets as well as 4 large exterior pockets, which makes it easier to organize all your baby bag needs.

In addition, I made her a matching diaper clutch/changing pad using this TUTORIAL. I made a couple small changes. My clutch is a couple inches wider and I added a button and buttonhole closure instead of velcro.

Inside it holds diapers and wipes.

And opens out to a nice changing pad.

When you are done, just fold it back up and it fits nicely in the bottom of the bag. 

For as long as it took me to get going on this bag, it came together quickly and I am happy with the way it turned out. I hope she gets some great use out of it. 


Sunday, October 20, 2013

DIY Tunic Top

I have been doing a ton of sewing lately...just mostly for other people or without pictures. Which has made my posts few and far between. I finished this tunic well over a month ago and finally got around to taking a picture of it. I used my own pattern (which is going to be put on here soon...really, I mean it this time!)

I used the basic bodice of the pattern and added a longer "skirt" to it. In addition, I moved the zipper to the side seam. I love tunics that allow me to wear tight jeans/leggings without feeling like my back side is way too exposed...while some ladies can pull it off, I am not one of them :)

The fabric was a clearance quilting cotton from Joanns that I picked up for a couple bucks. I love the orangey red of the top and the print. I think it looks much better in person, but these pics will have to do.

The same pattern was used to make a dress for a friend (to come on the blog soon) and this lace peplum top HERE.

Hopefully I can get my act together and get the pattern on here soon!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pattern Review: MADE Beach Robe

I finally purchased a pattern I have wanted to sew for over a year now. The MADE Beach Robe pattern can be found HERE.  When I saw the red and white version she made, I knew I wanted it. I still haven't made the white version yet, but I plan on it. For the robes I was making, I purchased towels from Walmart, but found it took two towels to make one robe. I only had enough to make a robe for my daughter (for some reason I bought two of the pink/purple print towel) and my son's towel would have to be put to the side for something else. As I debated over what to make it with, I settled on knit fabric, and I LOVE IT!
It is so soft and cozy. It is much easier to work with than the towel and doesn't leave a big mess. The downside is not a towel, so it is more to be used as a robe after toweling off after a bath. But, I still love it. I used some gray jersey knit, orange bias tape on the edges, and made the hood lining and tie bias tape out of Robert Kaufman Metro Living Circle fabric in gray. I love the gray and orange color combo, similar to what I used on these fabric baskets:

For my daughter's robe I used two towels and purple bias tape. I did not do the full tie on hers and I regret it...I think the full tie is much cuter!

My daughter can be a bit of a ham for photos...
But, at least she was enjoying herself which is more than I can say for my son...most of our pictures turned out like this:
But they both love putting them on after baths and staying warm and cozy. I am happy with the pattern and think it is so cute when it comes together. I would recommend doing the full tie and if you don't find a towel you love...give it a try in knit, you just might love it as much as I do!