Sunday, February 28, 2016

Invisible Zipper Pillow Cover

Zippers can be a little tricky, or at least they seem that way.  I have tried a few different methods of putting in zippers and today I'm going to show you how I sew an invisible zipper.  

I had these beautiful bright floral pillows that my friend helped me pick out a couple of years ago.  I have loved them and didn't plan on replacing them until I discovered that our dog had chewed off one of the zippers.  Like completely chewed off!  So it has been a project on the list of things to do for a few weeks now.  While shopping at a thrift store I found this curtain panel for $5.  It was a nice thick  home interior fabric that would run $25-40 a yard at the fabric store. 
So I brought it home and threw it in the washer.  Isn't the print pretty?
To start the pillow cover you need to know your measurements.  You can measure the pillow or if you are replacing the covers like I was, you can measure them.  My pillows were 20 inches by 19 inches so that is the size I cut my fabric.  You can add extra for seam allowance if you like, but I wanted my covers to fit nice and snug. 

Now for the zippers.  You want to buy invisible zippers that are a bit longer than your project.  I was using 20-22 inch zippers.  

You need to press the zipper teeth.  To do this, you zip it open and lie it right side down.  Press the plastic teeth down flat.

It should look like this when you have it right side up
Line the raw edge of the zipper up with the raw edge of your fabric, right sides together (the pull of the zipper face down).  You can let the zipper overhang the fabric a bit on both sides.  Pin in place.
Use the zipper foot on your sewing machine and move your needle as far over to the left as it will go so that you are stitching right next to the teeth of the zipper.  (This next part isn't pictured- sorry!) Sew down as close to the pull as your presser foot will allow.  Take the fabric and zipper out from under the presser foot and slide the zipper up a way to give your pressure foot room.  Put it back under the foot and continue the seam.

Now fold your fabric and zipper out so that they are both ride sides up.  See how nice and close the fabric is to the teeth?  That would never work with a regular zipper.
Now take the back piece of your fabric and line the raw edge up with the other side of the zipper.
To make it easier to pin, I flipped both pieces of fabric over.
Sew along side the teeth just like you did on the first piece of fabric.  When you are done, test out the zipper to make sure the teeth are lined up and it works smoothly.
Trim off the extra lengths of the zipper.  Be sure not to unzip all the way at this point because there is nothing to stop the pull and it will come right off. 
Now for the home stretch.  Just pin the other three sides together and sew them up.  Clip the corners  and turn it inside out.  Put your pillow inside and zip up that gorgeous invisible zipper!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Wood Tag Decor & a Giveaway!

Hey guys!  Thanks for stopping by.  Today's post is a good one if you love your chop saw like I do!  I am hosting a neighborhood craft night tomorrow and we'll be making these.  Craft groups are a fun way to get to know peeps in your area and create something together.  I started the group a little over a year ago and we've had a lot of fun.  So start one!

I bought two 1x8 boards at Home Depot for $10 a piece.  I had them cut them in half at the store so they would fit in my car, so this left with me four 60-inch boards.  I cut two of the boards into 15" sections, so I got a total of eight tags that size.  The other two boards I cut into 12" sections so I got 10 of those.  That's a total of 18 tags for 20 bucks. 
Mark off your lengths and cut them with the saw
Now it's time to cut the corners to create the tag shape.  For the first tag, and only the first tag, I decided how wide I wanted the top to be and how far I wanted the sides to come down.  I believe my measurements were around 2-1/4 inches in and 3-1/2 inches down.
Connect the marks with a straight edge and take it to the saw.  I like to line up the inside of my blade along my mark.  If you go through the middle of the mark it cuts away a bit more than want.
Be sure to make the mark for the other edge of the tag on the reverse side of the wood.  Learned this the hard way!  Now that your first tag has the edges cut off, you can use the trimmed off piece as your marking guide for the rest of your tags.
I used a 1/2" drill bit to drill hole into the top of each tag.  I just eyeballed it, but you can measure it out if perfection is your thang.
Sand the edges to smooth it out.  Pick your paint or stain.  I used white Waverly chalk paint from Wal-Mart and I did a speedy/cheater stain using watered down dark brown paint.  I sanded the edges again to distress them a bit.

Now it's vinyl time.  On the first couple of tags I just did a straight vinyl transfer.
On a couple of others I used the vinyl as a stencil and painted the designs on.  I recommend using a a dry brush and a stippling (dabbing) motion when you do this.  It will prevent the paint from bleeding under the vinyl.  When the paint is dry, pull the vinyl off and enjoy your handiwork.

To finish them off, I tied some ribbon through the holes.  On the bunny tag, the wood had a big split that was a little sappy down the center, so I cut out some card stock and used Mod Podge to adhere it to the tag.  Then I did the vinyl bunny silhouette on top of the paper.
 I wanted the carrots tag to look really aged, so I lightly sanded some of the paint off so that the wood would should through the text.

Contest time!  I'm going to give away the wood shamrock pictured below to one lucky reader!  There are two ways to enter:  Make a comment on this post or like the post on my Facebook page as well as the page itself.   A winner will be chosen at random. I'm trying to get the word out and grow my readership, so if my Facebook page gets to 500 likes by the time the contest closes, I will give away the "Hello Spring/Fresh Carrots" as a second prize to another randomly selected person.  So start sharing!  You might be the LUCKY winner!  Contest closes Friday February 26, 2016 at 11:59 PM Mountain Standard Time.
Update: A winner for the shamrock giveaway has been chosen! Congratulations Brittnie G! Each like on FB post and each commenter on this blog post were assigned a random number in Excel and ten was used to select a random number from all. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Thrift Store Finds

Today I thought I'd share a few of my latest thrift store finds.  There is a thrift store about five minutes from my house and I tend to go at least once a week, sometimes up to three times depending on my mood.  There are always things that I look for such as wood shutters, yard sticks, typewriters, old cameras and alarm clocks, unique furniture, lace, chandeliers, and of course American Girl dolls (but that really might have been a struck by lightening kind of occurrence).  This particular store has a pretty loyal following of customers.  There are always people waiting for the doors to open in the morning and when they bring out carts of new product, you better watch out.  It can get a little crazy!  So here are some of the things I have found in the past few weeks.

Grab bags can be awesome!  I found this one for $3.  I could tell that it had quite a bit of ribbon and trim so I figured it was worth it.
Here's what was inside:  3 partially complete leggings/outfits, 2 containers, 4 headbands, 2 flowers, 4 lengths of decorative elastic, 8 lengths of trim, and 13 lengths of ribbon some on spools and some not.
The next grab bag was only $2 and I bought it for one reason.  Can you see the treasure inside?
The appliques!  They will be perfect for a doll dress.  The bag also contained an almost new spool of jute twine, some kind of HVAC template, a furniture marker, a few pencils, metal hook thingies, some safety pins, and oodles of buttons.  You can never have enough buttons!
I just got this grab bag today for $2.  It has 19 spools of thread, half of which still have the plastic around them.  Thread will run you anywhere from $1-4 at the store so this was a pretty good find.
I don't always buy things to keep.  Sometimes I buy it to resell and make a little money on.  This is a good way to support future thrifting trips.  ;)  I got this adorable play kitchen for $6.  It was in great shape other than I needed to clean if up a bit.  I would have kept it if it weren't for the fact that we already have a two-piece set by the same manufacturer.  I think I paid $130 for our set.  Sheesh!
I got these amazing snow shoes for $35.  They are from WWII era and were in excellent condition.
These vintage school lunch trays were $2 a piece.  I bought 10 in all, used four for the kids Valentine's dinner, and sold the rest.

This cute gray/green metal microscope was $10.  The wood box it was stored in was equally as cute.
This huge (40" long) wood and metal tool box was $4
And then there are doll houses.  I have a real weakness for doll houses. Having all girls, we have quite a few around here.  I just can't seem to pass them up!  This amazing Victorian wood doll house was only $6 (furniture not included).  This was made from a kit and obviously took someone hours and hours to put together.
I just picked up this house earlier this week and paid $5 for it.  It is a Calico Critters brand and they no longer make it, so the only one listed on Ebay was $400!  This one is not worth so much because almost all the railings are missing and a couple of the window panes. The furniture did come with this but it is glued down!  Not sure who does that?  I have bought Legos at the thrift store before only to bring them home and find out they were glued together.  I guess parents don't want the pieces to get lost, but it sure seems like it makes it hard to play with.  
You can see a lot more of my thrift store finds in my craft room post HERE and HERE.  If you haven't been to a thrift store in a while, give it a shot.  There might be a treasure waiting for you.