Tag: sewing

Renaissance Costumes for Halloween with Cricut

Renaissance Costumes for Halloween with Cricut

I have been designing some fun Renaissance costumes with leather trim for Halloween, it’s easy to complete this project with your Cricut!

Renaissance Costumes for Halloween with Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com     Renaissance Costumes for Halloween with Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

These projects are really fun to sew. We love Renaissance costumes and my son and I have always wanted to have a matching set! I made these frocks with a little help from my Cricut Maker. The costumes are made from the Simplicity Patterns line of historical costumes. The sewing isn’t enormously difficult, but the details do take a bit of time to execute. Read on!

The Cricut Maker can cut all kinds of things, but I am excited to try cutting leather with it. Using Geniune Leather calls for a different blade a few special modifications to the cutting machine. This video shows the basics of what to do.

Costume Details & Directions:

Renaissance Costumes for Halloween with Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com    

 

Men’s Costume Supplies:

  • 2 pieces black genuine leather
  • Cricut Maker
  • Deep cut blade
  • Strong grip mat
  • 27 Silver 5/8” grommets
  • 18 nickel 5/16” rivets
  • Rubber mallet
  • Hard surface to work on
  • Scissors
  • Faux leather cording for lacing

Directions for men’s costume:

1. Sew the jerkin according to Simplicity #s4059 pattern directions.
3. Attach grommets to center point of the hexagon shape pieces using the premade holes using a rubber mallot.
4. Attach leather hexagons to hem of the jerkin with rivets. Poke a hole thru the leather and fabric with a large nail, then insert the rivet. Secure by pounding with rubber mallot on a hard surface.
5. Mark placement of holes on center front for lacings with the leather placket. Cut holes with a scissors, insert grommets and attach  thru the leather with a rubber mallet.
  Renaissance Costumes for Halloween with Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com   

Women’s Costume Supplies:

  • Cricut Carmel genuine leather
  • Nickel colored 5/8” grommets
  • Nickel leather rivets (kit comes with tools for applying)
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Chalk pencil
  • Faux leather lacing
  • Rubber mallet

Directions for women’s costume:

2. Clean up any messy leather cuts with a sharp knife.
3. Baste leather in place with spray adhesive. Check fit and placement of appliqué before proceeding.
4. Mark placement of grommets and rivets with chalk.
5. Cut small holes for grommets with a sharp scissors, place leather appliqué in place, then hammer in grommets with rubber mallet. Use a hard surface to hammer on such as a cement floor or hard tile for best results.
6. Repeat above steps for rivets, marking placement with chalk. Use a leather punch to make holes in appliqué and fabric where needed (comes with the rivet kit). Install the rivets and hammer in place with the mallet.
7. Place leather appliqué over center back seam. Mark placement, spray appliqué with adhesive and attach. Make holes with leather punch at critical parts of the design to hold it in place. Install rivets into holes, hammer in place.

Women’s wristlet:

For the wristlet, cut the leather according to the design space directions. Mark placement of rivets ( I used every 1”), then attach. Cut holes for grommets closure, attach grommets and tie closed with faux lacing.
        Renaissance Costumes for Halloween with Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

Tips for working with genuine leather:

1. Use a strong grip mat with leather face down. Tape the edges of with masking tape to be sure it won’t the leather to the mat to avoid shift when cutting.
2. Use the deep cut blade.
3. Select genuine leather when choosing material type.
4. The Cricut Maker will ask if you are finished cutting, check your cuts, if it’s not cut completely cut you can cut it again. There were a couple parts that I had to cut trim with a knife afterwards because it didn’t cut all the way thru the material.
5. Use grommets with “teeth” for the best adhesion. I bought some generic ones that didn’t work at all because they couldn’t grip the fabric and leather. Stick with the name brand to save some frustration.
6. The Maker can cut the small rivet holes too. I realized this too late and used a nail to make them, but the Cricut would do a better job of it. I will update the design so you can have it done right.
Renaissance Costumes for Halloween with Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com
Since the sewing construction details of this project are rather involved, I will cover that in a separate post. Keep an eye out for that post which will be coming soon!
This has been a fun project, we are ready for Halloween or the Renaissance Fair! Our son Ted has always wanted a costume like this, he is very excited to wear it!
Thanks to Cricut for sponsoring this post!
This post is sponsored by Cricut, any opinions given are completely my own.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience . By making a purchase I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. Thank you for your support!

 

Here are a few other projects I’ve made using my Cricut:
Don’t forget to Pin this post for later! 
Renaissance Costumes for Halloween with Cricut|Chambray Blues|www.chambrayblues.com

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

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How to Have a Sewing Portfolio: Interview with Candice Ayala

Do you have a place to host all your sewing projects, connect with other influencers and brand partners? Sewing Portfolios is exactly what you need to fill the void! In this episode we talk with Candice Ayala from Sewing Portfolios.com.

Interview with Candice Ayala|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

Welcome back to the podcast! I have a treat for you today. My special guest is an amazing business woman. She has found a huge need in the marketplace for connecting influencers who sew with brand partners. Sewing Portfolios is a way to showcase your work and find connections for sponsored posts, collaborations and other sewing business related relationships.

Sewing Portfolios|chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com

 

 

  1. Tell us a bit about what inspired you to create Sewingportfolios.com? Are you a sewer?
  2. Can you give us some examples of how Sewing Portfolios has worked with influencers who sew?
  3. What are some brand partners that you have worked with?
  4. How does one become a member of Sewing Portfolios?Do you work with specific types of influencers like bloggers, Instagrammers, You Tubers?
  5. What’s in the future for Sewing Portfolios? I just saw your new Look Book and it is great!
  6. I would love to see a conference where brands and influencers can connect, is that a possibility?
  7. How can people connect with you? What’s your favorite form of social media?

Thanks so much for being here and sharing your story! Here’s how you can connect with Candice:

Website: SewingPortfolios.com

Twitter @sewingportfolio

Instagram @sewing portfolios

Facebook: Sewing Portfolios

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How to Triumph Over Your Unfinished Sewing Projects

How to Triumph Over Your Unfinished Sewing Projects

We all have sewing projects we haven’t finished lurking in our closet. This week on the podcast we talk about how to work through the tough projects and finish them!

Finish Your Sewing Projects|Chambray Blues|chambrayblues.com
We all have unfinished projects, here’s how to finish them!

 

Sewing Unfinished Projects

There are three projects sitting on my sewing table that I have been avoiding. One is frustrating because I don’t have the right equipment to sew it quickly. The second is not fitting properly, the third one I hate the pattern that I am using. What to do? Here are ways you can get through the project when the going gets tough!

  1. Go through your stack and reevaluate why the project is unfinished. Sometimes things sit for so long we forget what the problem was in the first place. Make a note of what needs to be done on a sticky note and store the project in a large size plastic baggie with all of the pattern pieces, notions and supplies. Attach the note to the bag and set it aside. Do this for all your unfinished projects.
  2. Line up your unfinished projects with the easiest one first. Make a commitment to finishing one project per week or month as you can. Try to finish all those projects first before starting new ones.
  3. Evaluate your frustration with the project. Did it not fit well? Perhaps you can read some books on fit, take a class or consult with someone else to figure out how to fix it. Don’t be afraid to post a photo in the Chambray Blues group, we can help evaluate the problem.
  4. If your project stalled because of a sewing machine issue, take your machine in for repairs. A good cleaning can solve a host of problems. Bring a sample of the fabric and stitch you were using to show the repair technician. Often they can help you decide how to correct a wonky seam.
  5. Was the fabric not ideally suited to the project? Sometimes we don’t always get it right on the first try. If it was a large dollar investment, you have to evaluate whether or not it’s worth continuing. Perhaps it would be easier to repurpose the fabric into something else instead of trying to continue with a frustrating project. Repurchase a different fabric and try again.
  6. Was your garment cut off grain? This is a popular problem that even experienced sewers can make. Off grain pattern pieces will never hang straight. Buy more fabric and recut if necessary.
  7. Was the pattern construction hard to follow? Many times I have been stuck on a pattern with poorly written instructions or unclear drawings. You can purchase another pattern with similar design and look at how they wrote the instructions. Sometimes I read directions for patterns in the fabric store that I don’t even buy. A different point of view can make the light bulb go on in evaluating how to fix it. Going to the shopping mall and looking for construction ideas also can be helpful. Find a similar garment in the store and turn it inside out to see how it’s constructed. Most commercially produced garments are far simpler than the ones designed by pattern companies. Take pictures with your cell phone of seams and finishes so you can refer to them later. You can even try the garment on to Compare fit. I keep a tape measure in my purse to measure garments in the store that fit me well. You can change your pattern and sewing directions to work through your frustration.
  8. Do you have too many sewing commitments? Are there a dozen people bugging you to sew for them? Learn to say no to people that want to take advantage of your skills for free. Suggest they learn to sew themselves. Give back the unfinished projects you have already collected, tell the owner you simply don’t have time to finish them.
  9. Make note of how much time you have already invested in your project. Is it worth it to invest more time to finish it? Sometimes it’s freeing to add the whole works to the scrap pile and count it as a learning experience. Feel free to move on to a new project with a clear state of mind if it seems like it’s already been a waste of effort. We all have been there at one point or another, don’t let this keep you from starting something new.

How to Triumph Over Your Unfinished Sewing Projects|Chambray Blues|Chambrayblues.com

Like this episode? Don’t forget to Pin it! Check out these other posts:

Meet Mimi Goodwin, Successful Sewing Entrepreneur

001: Interview with Melissa Viscount of Silhouette School Blog

Basic Sewing Terminology, What You Need to Know to Start

The History of Sewing, How We Got Where We are Today

The Tale of the Seamstress

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Scrappy Denim Boho Necklace Tutorial

Scrappy Denim Boho Necklace Tutorial

Making things from scraps that you normally throw away will help you take your sewing to the next level! Not only is it challenging, but so much better for the environment! This Scrappy Denim Boho Necklace is a great project to use up odds and ends in your fabric stash.

 

Scrappy Denim Boho Necklace

Hi, I’m Jessica! I blog over at Designers Sweet Spot.com (lifestyle blog) and I have a new sewing blog at Chambray Blues.com. Deborah and I are great friends because we both love recycling! I am excited to share this easy project with you today! I saw a necklace like this recently that retailed for $70.00. It was just scraps of material! Crazy amount of money to spend for a simple piece, so I decided to make my own.

Scrappy Denim Boho Necklace|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

This project is a great way to use up those old clothes that you would normally give to the thrift store. I used scraps of old denim jeans, t-shirts, an old pillow case and some fabric from the thrift store to make this piece. This would be a fun project for kids too! Here’s how you can make your own Scrappy Denim Boho Necklace:

Supplies Needed:

•scraps of old denim jeans, cut into 1/2″ strips

•double stitched seams cut off old jeans, any length

•strips of old t-shirts or knit fabric cut into 1/2″ strips in different lengths and colors (I used yellow and green)

•strips of blue and white print, cut 1/2″ wide in different lengths (this was an old pillow case)

•fabric scissors or rotary cutter

•sewing machine (optional)

Scappy Boho Denim Necklace|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com
Strips of light and dark denim

Directions:

  1. Cut pieces of denim into 1/2″ wide strips. I used the double stitched seam from several pairs of jeans in different colors. Cut the fabric close to the seam edge on both sides.
  2. Cut additional strips of denim, about 1/2″ with a scissors or rotary cutter.
  3. Cut strips of t-shirts or jersey fabric 1/2″ wide. If the t-shirts are printed it’s even better because the print will add more color to your necklace. Strips can be in any length.
  4. Cut strips of one print fabric into 1/2″ wide pieces. These should be roughly the same length as your other pieces.
  5. Pile all the pieces together and look at the colors. You can add or subtract the colors as you wish.
  6. Design your necklace on a form or on yourself while looking in the mirror.

    Boho Necklace Assembly

Design your necklace by draping pieces of fabric around the neck of a dress form or on yourself while looking in the mirror. I recently rescued this mannequin from the trash and she has come in pretty handy for this purpose!

Some of the shorter strips of fabric were tied together to make longer circles to drape around the neck. You can tie the t-shirt or knit jersey pieces of fabrics together and trim the ends as needed.

Sew some of the ends of the denim fabrics together in circles to reduce bulk instead of tieing them if they are too thick. Layer the pieces around the neck in a circular fashion and down either side of the front neck until you achieve the look you are after.

Pieces can be trimmed in length as you wish. My necklace has pieces that drape almost to my waist.

Use one piece of jersey or t-shirt material to secure all of the loose pieces together at the back neck. Tie the wrap piece on, twist it tightly around all of the fabric strips and make a knot to finish. Trim the ends and hide the knot under the rest of the fabric.

You are all set to wear your creation! Thanks to Salvage Sister and Mister for having me post today!

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Meet Mimi Goodwin, Successful Sewing Entrepreneur

Meet Mimi Goodwin, Successful Sewing Entrepreneur


Download this episode here!

Recently I had an opportunity to chat with Mimi Goodwin of Mimi G Style. She is an inspiration to so many women, listen to her amazing success story!

Intro: I met Mimi at a business Conference a few years ago. Love her unique sense of style! I’ve been following her ever since. Mimi is a huge influencer in the sewing, fashion and lifestyle niche. She is very accomplished with her tutorials, online courses, and her partnership with Simplicity patterns. I had asked her a bit about how she works with Simplicity and we will learn more about that in today’s episode among other topics. Mimi has been through a lot in her life, she’s been on her own since she was 15 years old. She’s got an amazing story to share, from being a victim of abuse, becoming homeless, and struggling as a single mom. Her great sense of style and business savvy has made her the successful entrepreneur she is today.

I am incredibly excited to have her with me on the podcast!

Mimi’s bio: Award winning trending Expert Mimi G. is Editor-in-chief of the outrageously popular Fashion, Lifestyle, and DIY blog, MimiGStyle.com, as well as the Mimi G Style YouTube Channel, which houses tutorials, fashion and beauty tips, health and fitness videos, product reviews and more.

Her axiom, “Buy It, Make It, Mix It, Rock It!”, is the mantra for her fully engaged daily followers, as well as industry professionals. Garnering thousands of “new followers” by the day, Mimi G has quickly become an International fashion icon, influencer, role model, and an “in demand” speaker and panel member at blogging conferences across the country. Mimi G has also developed her own line of products ranging from ready to wear collections to commercial sewing patterns. She was recently featured on Project Runway Junior alongside Tim Gunn on Lifetime TV, has won numerous awards including Best Shopping Inspiration by InStyle Magazine and Best Latina Blogger.

Mimi G is a contributing designer to Simplicity Patterns and has a number of online sewing courses. Her YouTube Channel,  blog, Instagram and FB are followed by thousands of people. Mimi also has her own style conference. Mimi is a wife and mom who loves to sew and create for real life curvy women.

  1. How did you first learn to sew?
  2. What motivated you to start your blog?
  3. What do you think was the most instrumental thing that you did to grow your blog/sewing business?
  4. How did you become a Simplicity Pattern designer?
  5. Tell me about your new adventure with Sew It Academy and the Kids Sewing Classes that you offer.
  6. I noticed that you have also started a ready to wear division. Tell us about how that began and what your future plans are.
  7. What is your favorite sewing pattern(s) you have designed?
  8. What do you do when you are not sewing?

 

Where is the best place for people to connect with you online?

Find Mimi on Twitter

Find Mimi on FB

Find Mimi on Pinterest

Find Mimi on Instagram

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Basic Sewing Terminology, What You Need to Know to Start

Basic Sewing Terminology, What You Need to Know to Start


Download this episode here!

In today’s episode we will talk about some basic sewing terms that you need to know to embark on your first sewing project.

Basic Sewing Terminology

  1. Straight stitch, single needle 2.5 or 3.0

  2. Zig zag stitch: Side to side stitch, different widths small for buttonholes, wide for overcast and uses (elastic, decorative, finishing edges)

  3. Interfacing, what is it for? Cuffs, collars, waistbands, pockets, button placket. Fusible or non fusible. There are uses and different weights, bumpy side is glue. Use warm dry iron to a shear to wrong side of fabric.

  4. Rotary cutters and plastic matt used in quilting for cutting narrow fabric strips and squaring quilt blocks.

  5. Back tacking, reverse stitching. 1-2 stitches at the beginning and end of seams will secure the seam.

  6. Basting, long straight stitch length 4.5-5.0. Used for securing zippers, gathering fabric, easing sleeve caps into place.

  7. Bobbin, winding on each machine should be marked. Be sure it’s smoothly filled to avoid problems.

  8. Tension on machine, how to adjust look at top stitches, compare to bottom stitches. Some machines adjust automatically.

  9. Needle threader on some machines. Best to trim thread, insert front to back on most machines.

  10. Flywheel, move by turning toward you to insert needle into fabric at a specific place.

  11. Always begin sewing with the needle in the fabric. Check the stitches, make adjustments. If it’s loose on the back, tighten the tension. If it’s loose on the top and tight on the back, loosen the tension.

  12. Tailor’s Chalk, marking pens

  13. Types of pins and needles

  14. Bias cut, used for close fitting garments, usually woven fabrics

  15. Selvedges are across from the fold of the fabric, must be removed before sewing.

  16. Grain is the direction of the fabric, noted on the pattern pieces. Pattern pieces must line up with fold of fabric, measure for consistent distance.

  17. One way print, pattern is printed one direction. More yardage is needed to cut one way prints.

  18. Two way prints, print runs either direction.

  19. Nap cut edges of velvet or corduroy. Nap is directional and patterns must be cut one way only.

Sewing Terminology|Style Blues Podcast|chambrayblues.com

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The History of Sewing, How We Got Where We are Today

The History of Sewing, How We Got Where We are Today


Download this episode here!

In this episode of the Style Blues Podcast, I talk a bit about the history of sewing, the beginning of the big pattern companies and how we got to where we are today. It wasn’t that long ago that everyone sewed. Over the last 30 years things have changed, here’s what happened.

Show Notes:

The History of Sewing

Let’s learn a bit about the history of sewing, how did we get where we are today?

Abbreviated History of Sewing as per Wikipedia:

 

  • The Industrial Revolution shifted the production of textiles from the household to the mills. In the early decades of the Industrial Revolution, the machinery produced whole cloth. The world’s first sewing machine was patented in 1790 by Thomas Saint. By the early 1840s, other early sewing machines began to appear.
  • By the 1850s, Isaac Singer developed the first sewing machines that could operate quickly and accurately and surpass the productivity of a seamstress or tailor sewing by hand.While much clothing was still produced at home by female members of the family, more and more ready-made clothes for the middle classes were being produced with sewing machines. Textile sweatshops full of poorly paid sewing machine operators grew into entire business districts in large cities like London and New York City. To further support the industry, piece work was done for little money by women living in slums. Needlework was one of the few occupations considered acceptable for women, but it did not pay a living wage. Women doing piece work from home often worked 14-hour days to earn enough to support themselves, sometimes by renting sewing machines that they could not afford to buy.
  • Fine quality Tailors became associated with higher-end clothing during this period. In London, this status grew out of the dandy trend of the early 19th century, when new tailor shops were established around Savile Row. These shops acquired a reputation for sewing high-quality handmade clothing tailored to one’s particular fit needs.
  • Sewing underwent further developments during the 20th century. As sewing machines became more affordable to the working class, demand for sewing patterns grew. Women had become accustomed to seeing the latest fashions in periodicals during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, increasing demand for sewing patterns even more. American tailor and manufacturer Ebenezer Butterick met the demand with paper patterns that could be traced and used by home sewers. The patterns, sold in small packets, became wildly popular. Several pattern companies soon established themselves. Women’s magazines also carried sewing patterns, and continued to do so for much of the 20th century. This practice declined during the later decades of the 20th century, when ready-made clothing became a necessity as women joined the paid workforce in larger numbers, leaving them with less time to sew, if indeed they had an interest.

One of my friends who is a bit older than I am was telling me that when she was in high school everyone made their own clothes. This was probably in the 1960’s. When I was in middle school in the 1970’s, I was the only kid who made her own clothes. Many of us learned to sew from our mothers but many of us have not had the opportunity to learn from anyone. You can learn to sew and I can help you succeed!

Growing up, I️ always wondered how home sewing was so different from commercial sewing. You would think they are the same but they aren’t. Mass produced garments are sewn by the thousand and use piece work technology to put them together. Garments are completely sewn in minutes, not hours. Commercial sewing patterns have been the same since the 1950s when clothing was produced on a much smaller scale, but the home sewing industry largely hasn’t changed since then. Today we have downloadable pdf patterns and many independent designers that are changing the home sewing industry.

Sew Along with Me!

Sew Along Masterclass 2018, going on now on the Chambray Blues Facebook page.

12 projects using easy commercial patterns, one each month

Video Tutorials, FB live sessions, plus question and answer

Closed group, only open for a limited time

Access to professional designer

Help choosing fabrics, notions, cutting, altering and sewing

Join the fun!

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Sweet Mom and Me Apron Pattern Review

Sweet Mom and Me Apron Pattern Review

Every little girl wants matching Mom and me outfits. Some of us wait a long time to get them! This easy apron is a great project for a beginner sewer, make one for you and your child in a single day!

Mom and Me Aprons

I love aprons. I have at least 6 of them that I use all the time for cooking, crafting, or cleaning. Some of them have pockets, some don’t. A few of my aprons are for specific holidays or making Sunday dinner. I don’t have many that are prints, and I was smitten with these lovely fabrics from Cross Cut Sewing Company the minute I saw them.

This pattern is very easy, requires only a yard of each fabric and is reverse-able. I love the contrasting bit of fabric at the hem that gives you a hint of what’s on the other side. The pattern, fabric and trims come as a complete kit and are customize-able for children or adults. It’s easy to make a mother child combo, or you can make two adult size aprons as I did. You can choose your fabrics too, and I loved this combination of floral and chambray. Chambray is my favorite thing you know…..

Sweet Mom and Me Apron Pattern Review|ChambrayBluesblog|chambrayblues.com

The Cross Cut Sewing Company pattern directions were easy to follow. I didn’t change any of the construction, but I did add top stitching 1/4″ from the edge of the apron around the perimeter. Also, I applied Fray-Check to seal the raw edges of the twill tape after cutting. The twill tape is used for the neck band and waist ties. You could also melt the edges with a cigarette lighter to seal them, but this method will slightly discolor the edges where the Fray-Check is completely clear.

I also added a stitch in the ditch seam at the hem where the contrasting fabric band begins. To do this, just top stitch over the seam line, it will appear on both sides. This stitching helps keep the layered fabrics together and keeps things from shifting during washing.

 

The great thing about the pattern is the reverse-able nature of it. The apron is fast to cut out by layering the two fabric pieces before you cut with a rotary cutter. Just be sure the edges and folds match so you don’t end up with one piece that’s larger than the other.

The pattern kit came with D-rings for the neck band which were easy to stitch in place on the twill tape.

Sweet Mom and Me Apron Pattern Review|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

Mom was more concerned about eating her breakfast before it got cold and putting her lipstick on before the photos. But, she likes her new apron. I caught her with it on while she was doing dishes this morning! Finally, we have a Mom and Me outfit. I always wanted one as a kid! You are never too old for this sort of thing, Mom is 87 and still going strong!

Thanks to Cross Cut Sewing Company for sponsoring this post!

Don’t forget to Pin it!

Sweet Mom and Me Apron Pattern Review|Chambraybluesblog|chambrayblues.com

 

Try some of these other great ideas:

3 Step Easy T-Shirt Pattern Hack

How to Read a Sewing Pattern Envelope

5 Step Easy Headband

How to Restyle a Boring Denim Jacket

What You Should Know About the Cricut Maker

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Why Self Care Makes for Better Sewing

Why Self Care Makes for Better Sewing

We have all been there: feeling, sore, tired, overwhelmed and unfocused. These things can disrupt your mindset and decrease your sewing productivity. Here’s why you should make self care a priority for better sewing.

 

Why Selfcare makes sewing better|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com
Taking care of yourself will make you a better sewer!

I sometimes think that as sewers, we are destined to take care of everyone else but ourselves. We spend long hours hunched over a sewing machine or cutting table, laboring away on the things we make out of love for everyone else. So often we end up with sore backs, wrists, dry cut hands and cut bleeding fingers from our efforts. Forgetting to take care of yourself actually disrupts and slows down your sewing production. Here’s how you can remedy your physical issues that keep you from being more productive in your sewing.

 

Why Selfcare makes sewing better|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com

Take Time for Self Care

This post is sponsored by Love and Leche. I was compensated in some way for writing this post. Any opinions given are completely my own. See the disclosures page for more information.

Why Selfcare makes sewing better|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com

Top Self Care Issues

  1. Cure dry chapped hands. Here in Wisconsin, our long cold winters attribute to dry skin and cracked hands. With all the cutting and sewing I do, I find that my hands are just a mess. Nothing seems to keep my hands from feeling chapped and sore. Sewing just makes the problem worse. Love and Leche sent me their natural lotion bar to try and it’s been a game changer. This bar is incredibly moisturizing, and it doesn’t leave a greasy residue on your hands. I love that it comes in this adorable bag, and has a mini-lotion tin for my handbag. This eco-friendly gift bag is made by Work + Shelter in New Delhi, India. Your purchase of this product (the gift bag) goes to help impoverished women giving them more control and dignity in their lives. It’s a win, win.
  2. Be sure your sewing table is at the correct height. Working on a table that is too low, or too high for long hours will cause back and shoulder pain. Your hands and wrists should be perpendicular to your machine while sewing to relieve stress in your neck, back and shoulders. If your table is not the correct height you are at risk for injury. Look for a lower table or adjust your machine height by setting it into the table top. A handy man can cut a hole in your table to set your machine down in it without too much trouble.
  3. Take frequent breaks while sewing. This may seam obvious, but it’s easy to get so involved in your project that you spend hours and hours without moving or changing position. You should get up and walk around at least every 20-30 minutes to relieve stress and relax your muscles.
  4. Cut out your project on a waist high surface. Many women who sew have lower back pain from leaning over their cutting surface. You will be amazed how much better you feel by raising your table up when you cut. Try using an inexpensive 8 foot plastic dining table raised up on concrete blocks for cutting. You can even put two tables together for a wider cutting surface. Look for inexpensive plastic risers to add to your own table at Walmart or Ikea for this purpose.
  5. Pace Yourself. It’s easy to over commit to your sewing projects. I have 5 cut projects waiting to be sewn as I write this post. As much as I love to sew, no one can sew 24 hours a day. Set a realistic deadline or goal for your sewing. I have a project scheduled on my calendar for each month. If I get it done before the month is over, I start another one. If not, then I have some time to squeeze it in during the next month. Sewing is ment to be an enjoyable hobby, it’s not enjoyable if you are stressed out trying to finish a project and make mistakes because of it. I limit my sewing to 2-3 hours per day. If I try to work longer hours, I end up making unnecessary mistakes in my work. Pace is important!
  6. Treat yourself to a massage. I am a firm believer in massage. Get one once a week or once a month to stay loose and limber for sewing. Massage releases toxins that build up in your muscles over time. The most effective massages are at least 60 minutes long, it takes that long to truly relax and enjoy the massage. It may cost a few dollars, but you will be more productive in your sewing if you feel good. This is particularly helpful if you sew for a living, or have a big stressful project your are working on such as a bridal gown or large quilt. You won’t regret it, I promise.
  7. Drink plenty of water. Headaches are the first sign of dehydration. Be sure to keep a bottle of water next to you as you work on your projects. It’s easy to forget that you need to keep hydrated as you work. Definitely will help you concentrate longer and get more done.

Why Selfcare makes sewing better|Chambraybluesblog|Chambrayblues.com

 

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The Tale of the Seamstress

The Tale of the Seamstress

The latest episode of my podcast is now available! We will talk a bit about my childhood seamstress, blogging, sewing and how it all got started.

The Tale of the Seamstress|Chambray blues blog|www.chambrayblues.com

I am not very good about sharing personal stories. I love to read other people’s stories, but for some reason it always seems less important that I share my own story. In this episode of the Style Blues podcast, I talk a bit about how I learned to sew and what inspired me to go to design school. Perhaps listening my blog story will inspire someone else!

Show Notes:

Intro

Blogging history and story behind my lifestyle blog Designers Sweet Spot.

Your 10 Biggest Sewing Mistakes

  1. Not pre-washing your fabric first
  2. Not believing in yourself, it’s not rocket science
  3. Buying the wrong size pattern
  4. Not measuring correctly
  5. Not making pattern adjustments
  6. Not placing the grainline correctly
  7. Using the wrong type of fabric for the pattern.
  8. Using a machine that hasn’t been serviced
  9. Using the wrong needle
  10. Using the wrong thread

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