Monday, March 12, 2012

Super Easy Linen Table Runner

Linen Table Runner

Today we had craft day at my house. My friend Michelle brought over a super cute burlap table runner picture that we turned into THIS darling linen table runner. She found this great linen, we all thought was better then the burlap in her picture.

Cut Rectangles using your rotary cutter
Runner 18"x 6'
Ruffle 7"x 36"

So I am going to share with you my "super secret" way  I gather using my serger. First set your tension to 2.0 or the loosest that it will go. Then run you ruffle piece through the serger.  Leave lots of extra thread at the end. 

To find the right threads to pull, cut a straight cut across all four threads then fray them out and find the two shortest threads, pull them gently to gather.  If they don't pull easily then you may have the wrong threads or they might have become tangled.  Just cut them again and look for the two shortest parallel threads. Get a really good grip on your threads by wrapping them around your pointer and middle fingers of your right hand and gently use you left hand to push the gathers toward the center.  Then repeat on the other side. It is easiest to work the gathers from each end toward the center over  trying to gather the whole thing from one end to the other.  

On a sewing machine set your stitch length as big as it goes (between a 4-6, depending on the machine) then sew two parallel stitches at 1/4" and 3/4" from the edge. Gently gather holding firmly to both threads and push the gathers toward the center. 
Find the two shortest threads

Threads to pull to gather

pin ruffle to runner

Pin the ruffle to the runner with right sides together. Michelle made the common mistake of pinning one ruffle to the right side and the other ruffle to the wrong side.  It is pretty easy to do since there really is no wrong or right side visually. Just thought it might save some of you from doing the same thing, by double checking your pinning before you sew it.  (Note: there will be some extra ruffle on each end to play with, if you want a tight ruffle or a loose ruffle you can mess around with it as you pin it). Attached the ruffle to the runner just outside of the gathering stitches around 3/4".  Trim the ruffle to match up with your runner sides.

We left the edges raw.  I might go back and  stitch a zig-zag or straight stitch about a 1/4" around the edges so it doesn't fray too much when I wash it. 

Happy Sewing! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

sew-vivor entry


This is my sew-vivor entry! This is my first sewing competition and I am excited to see what happens. This is a dress that I made for my daughter Kayla.  She has this gorgeous mermaid blond hair and big blue eyes, so these were the perfect colors for her!


  I had this image in my head of a really fluffy ruffle skirt and big covered buttons down the back.  In order to get some real fluff to it, I sewed two ruffles (one 1 inch longer than the other) to the each band.  It also allows you to see the fabric a little more on the outer ruffle of each set.  I love how the fabric covered buttons turned out.  And they are so easy to make. P.S. For those of you who grew up in the 80's it is just like making button pin, you know the ones we put all over our jean jackets!


On the front I wanted a corsage type flower so I cut up different sized heart shapes and tack them at each corner, layering them at random.  


Here is my other daughter Ashley in another version.  It is a skirt with tool ruffles under each fabric ruffle.  The short cut way to get this look is to finish the hem on both layers (or leave them raw if that is the look you are going for) and ruffle both layers at the same time.  

I set my tension  as loose as it will go on my serger and run both layers though.  Then you take the two short threads and pull them at the same time to get a nice even ruffle. Then I used a million pins to pin each ruffle to the bands.  Then sandwiched all the layers with the top or bottom of the next band and pinned it, then basted the whole sandwich on my sewing machine. Next I ran it through my serger to finishes it all off.