Thursday, September 22, 2011

What to do next???

I am so torn as to what to create next. I know my blog is titled to be mainly about sewing, but I just love making things with my hands in general. It doesn't matter what type of craft it is. Lately I have been addicted to Pinterest (Look! You can follow me! ---> ).  I have found SOOO many things to do/make/create that I'm almost in overload!

The biggest project that I want to do at the moment, but can't quite get D on board with, is refinishing the kitchen cabinets and painting the walls. Seriously, I could do it myself. I don't need his help. I'm just that darn handy. However, he says it's too much work. :o(  I'm in serious pouty mode right now. I want to paint the cabinets white and the walls a light gray and hang yellow curtains. I am completely in love with gray, white & yellow color palettes. Plus, we have a really small kitchen and I think it would brighten it up a lot. Yes, I know I'm due to have a baby in less than 2 months, but I wouldn't start this project until after Christmas. So if you know me or D personally---help me convince him to let me do it!!!! 

I really want to get our decorating on in the entryway, the living room & hallway as well. We kind of decorated after we got married and then stopped. We have 2 total pictures of Middle A hanging on our walls. All of the photos in our house are of Big A. I'm thinking Middle A will notice one of these days and feel left out if I don't get a move on and start hanging up more pictures.  Plus, I'll be even more behind when Little A arrives because that's one more kid to include. Yikes! Pictures of D and I wouldn't be so bad either. I am envisioning lots and lots of black & white photos in black frames of all different sizes hanging all over my house. I want to do some decorative things among the frames as well. I've gotten some great ideas from Pinterest. I'm sure you can see some on my boards. The colors may not necessarily be what I want, but I'm creative enough to change things up.

Hopefully I'll have a tutorial to show off next time you stop by. I'm tossing the idea of opening an etsy shop around in my head. I'll keep you all updated on that. 

Maybe some super-cute headbands for next time????

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Blackout Panel Tutorial

I can't really make a trumpet sound with text (how would you do that? Bur bur bur?) Anyway, here is the much anticipated and long awaited blackout panel tutorial! I finally got Iphoto fixed on my computer so I could fix my pictures and such. I'm hoping I took enough to make the tutorial easy to follow. I made them weeks ago, so I can't remember now how many I took. 

Let's get started!

First, you need to measure your window and decide what size curtain you want. My window is 35"x60".  I wanted my curtain to measure 42"x72". 

**During the tutorial, 'material' refers to the fabric you're making the curtain out of, 'blackout' refers to the blackout material. I will not be speaking of both at the same time.**

For the material, we're going to add 4" to the width and 6" to the length.  
So my material needed to measure 46"x78".

Lay out your material on the floor and measure your length. I put a mark on the left and right sides so I could later match the marks when I folded it in half to cut.

Here you see I folded the fabric in half and matched the marks I made to each other to ensure I was cutting at the same height all the way across. 

Here is a picture from above. You can see the cutting mat below, the material folded in half, and my cutting ruler is clear but you can see the glare....I promise it's there.

And cut! 

Next, cut your material to the correct width. I skipped taking pictures here because it is the same: measure & cut.

Next, we're going to cut the blackout. This is going to measure 2" wider and 4" longer than you want your curtain. I wanted my curtain to measure 42"x72", so my blackout measured 44"x76".  

I hope you don't mind if I skip the measure and cut parts again. It's really repetitive. Here is my blackout after I finished measuring & cutting.

Put your blackout aside and get your material again. Lay it out flat on the floor. You're going to go around the entire piece of fabric, except for one of the short sides. That 'unfolded' side will be the top of your curtain.  Fold the other 3 sides in 1" and pin it.  

 Here is after I pinned. It's neatly folded and pinned all the way around, except for the top. 

Now lay your blackout on top of the material. It should line up right inside the seams you folded in. Place it all the way to the bottom right up to the fold. Do not overlap it. You will have more material at the top than blackout.  It's hard to see in this picture, but there is no overlapping anywhere around the edges. The blackout simply meets up with the material.
(Also, for whatever reason, blogger won't let me upload the lightened and rotated version of this picture. GRRR!)

Now you're going to go all the way around the 3 folded edges again (yes, again!) and fold it in another inch and pin. You will be overlapping the blackout this time. It is tedious work to remove each pin, fold, and repin. It's worth it in the end though. It will make your curtain look neat and straight.

Here is mine after overlapping and pinning. Don't mind that pen mark at the bottom of my curtain. Ava decided it was a blank canvas for her art work. Luckily it was disappearing ink. 

Now we're going to take it to the sewing machine!
Start at one of your corners. I sew the bottom first. Line up the side of your presser foot with the edge of your material.
Be sure to backstitch so as to make sure it doesn't come undone. 

Follow along with the presser foot at the edge of the material.

This is what it will look like on the front when you're done stitching: 

Here is what the back will look like:

Stitch the two remaining folded sides following the same directions. 

When you're finished with that, you should have 3 finished sides and one 'raw' side (the top). 
Either serge or zigzag stitch across the top edge to keep it from fraying later on. 

Here is what the top of your curtain should look like:

Fold down the top 1", pin & sew--just like you did the other sides before.

See the 1" seam?

Fold down the top and overlap 3" down.  Pin & sew, just as before.

Are you still with me? Great! You're done! 

Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of just the curtain hanging up, but I have some action shots of the 'Big Reveal of the Big Sister Suite'.  You can see this blackout curtain hanging in the background, plus other curtains I made for Big A's closet. Those are not blackout, but I used the same concept.

See the blackout curtain?

Curtains for the closet:

I hope everything was clear enough to understand! If you have questions or need clarification on any of the steps, leave a comment and I'll help you out!

I promise, it's coming!

I have been so busy with birthdays, bedroom transitions with the kids, and preparing for Little A's arrival in 8 short weeks (eek!) that I feel like I'm standing in the middle of one of those merry-go-rounds we used to play on at the park. You know, the ones that are practically banned from public parks for being too dangerous? They must be in the same place as all the swings and monkey bars.  
Anyway, I did finish the blackout curtain. I do have photos for a tutorial. HOWEVER, for some reason Iphoto is not working on my Mac. I am beyond furious because I have TONS of photos (which are not lost, just will not load!). It's my main tool for sorting, editing, and posting photos. Now I have to figure out which of my Mac-using friends can help me restore my photo library because I've tried everything Google comes up with. >siiiigh<

As soon as I rectify this situation, I will share with you my wisdom of making blackout curtains. I promise!
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