DIY · Home Decor · Sewing · Uncategorized

Beachy Sewing Getaway!

Give me part one of a sewing class and I’m off to the world of endless sewing possibilities.

I took my first official sewing class yesterday at Stitches Seattle.  My instructor Mark was fabulous and as a bonus there were only two of us in the class.  If you’re in the Seattle area and don’t sew, I would highly recommend taking a class from Stitches.  They only allow four people per session so you get tons of opportunities to ask questions.  There is still one more session next week to complete our canvas tote bag.  Even though I have some self-taught experience there were tips I learned that I didn’t know before, including measuring and marking for a pattern, and ways to pin correctly.  A huge bonus was the opportunity to use the Brother Project Runway sewing machine, which is approximately 500x a lot better than mine.   I think this may somehow turn into a Yelp review 😉

Brother Project Runway Innov-is 40

So, after my class I had planned to meet my “second moms” up on Camano Island for a beachy sewing overnight. My second moms are my mother-in-law and my bestie’s mom.  It was fun to get them together because they both love to sew, quilt, and generally craft and it was a great opportunity to learn from some super experienced sewers.  Plus, I got to re-cap my class and then put some projects in to action.  Practice makes perfect, right?

Because of my Pinterest addiction and my new found sewing love, there were a load of projects I wanted to tackle this weekend.  I went a bit overboard on purchasing fabric beforehand- although I ended up not buying enough for some of the things I wanted to do.  That’s still something I need to work on….figuring how much fabric I need for a project.

About half of what I actually have

I set out to accomplish reversible fabric placemats.  After looking through a tutorial, they are just giant versions of my eye makeup remover pads. Kate from Centsational Girl did a great post last year about DIY reversible placemats and matching napkins.  We never use placemats, because most of the time we eat in the living room on the couch. But maybe, just maybe, if we had some we would actually use them.  Plus, if I ever have company over for dinner they would make for a sweet tablescape.

I’m not going to go through a full tutorial because Centsational Girl does a great job in hers, which I linked above.  Just thought I’d show you some pictures of them and how I’d put them to use in our home.  Ashli over at Maillarville Manor also had a great post about DIY cloth napkins, as an option to cut back on the amount of paper towel use in your home.  Considering I’m the paper towel wasting queen, I think these could be helpful.  In hers, she uses a miter hem. It gives it that high-end, crisp and finished look.

Example of a Miter Hem-via Maillardville Manor

Several weeks ago I taught myself how to do a miter hem, using this video: How to Sew a Miter Hem

I didn’t get a chance to make the napkins, but I used the miter hem technique to make double-sized placemats for our small kitchen table.  The are approximately 17″x35″ with a 1 1/2″ hem. You could also use it as a table runner as we did during my husbands Home Owner’s Board Meeting.  As a note, he was the one who set the runner up by himself to use as a setting for snacks during the meeting.  Turns out he can learn a thing or two from his wife!

Watch out, here come the pictures…

Short Runner or Centered Double Placemat for Appetizers
More formal setup with espresso wood chargers
Love my green asian square plates from Pottery Barn. We never use them but they go perfect with this placemat.

Once I made the second double placemat with a miter hem I moved on to Censtational Girl’s double-sided placemats.  They are approximately 18×22″ which is actually kind of giant for a placemat, but they will work well for our formal dining room and can be draped over the edge of our smaller kitchen table.  Because they are double-sided you make them just like you would a simple pillow cover.

Basic Directions: With right sides together, sew 1/2″ seam allowance around the perimeter leaving 2-4″ open on one side; flip it right side out and top stitch around the outside, folding the open side in and topstitching over that.

Tip: Once you’ve flipped it right side out, take a fat skewer or knitting needle and nudge the corners outward, this will give crisper corners. Also trim the excess fabric close to the stitching before you flip it. This will make crisper edges.

One side with cream and golden yellow stripes and the other with tangerine, dark navy, goldenrod, and taupe flowers.

With mine I actually used a bit of sew-in interfacing in the middle because I wanted a bit more stiffness to them.  For a beginning sewer, who the hell knows why I actually had interfacing in my stash.  Maybe it was because at one point I thought it could be used for tracing or making a pattern.  Now I know better thanks to Mamma G with her excellent freezer paper tip.  *Take freezer paper and draw your pattern onto the matte side.  Cut out the traced pattern and hot-iron the shiny side toward your fabric.  It will stick to your fabric so you can cut around it, but will still easily come off when you need it to.  This is especially helpful when making multiple items with the same pattern. =)

Patterned fabric- right sides together with interfacing on outside

Here’s how they look on our kitchen table.  I just love this pattern.  My bestie’s mom said it reminded her of something you would find at IKEA.  I bought this fabric in the quilting cottons section at Jo-Ann’s for $2 off a yard. I had no coupons *sad face*

A little large for our table but I kind of like it draped like that

As if that weren’t enough sewing, I made another item which I may blog about soon.  I am finding all sorts of projects now that I’m so excited to try. Even though it was only about 24 hours it was so fun to sit around with people I really admire, putting my Pinterest addictions to good use, while eating, drinking, crafting, and gabbing into the wee hours of the night.  I’ll leave you with some photos of our peaceful retreat on the water and a rare blast from the past.

From left to right: Pink Poppy, Camano Fishermen and driftwood, White Dahlia and Orange Poppy, and yes, that’s a Popples pattern you see before you.  That could be some serious fun and weirdness at the same time!

Hope you’ve been inspired to take a getaway and craft something that makes your heart happy!


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