Monday, May 28, 2012

Pretty Adele Pattern Options

Pin It
I don't know about you guys, but I like to get my money's worth out of a pattern.    So, I thought I'd share a few pictures showing you how I've done it with my Adele dress pattern -- Adele gone wild, if you may.

 These two versions of the Adele pattern were made from men's shirts.  If you look closely you can see the skirt and apron still have the curved bottom edge and front buttons.  Upcycling at its best!

Patterns are meant to be tweaked.  I think they might even like it.

Pin It

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Dog Silhouette Pillow on the Cheap and Easy

Pin It
Here is a dog silhouette pillow I made similar to those I've seen in decorating magazines. 

My pillow was super quick and easy to make using a painters drop cloth and permanent markers. 
I'll show you how but, Jack.  
Fifteen pounds of completely adorable,
totally out-of-control dog flesh.  

It was much easier to find a dog silhouette by googling "dog silhouette pictures"  than to get Jack to sit for a picture.  I enlarged the view and used a little cheat I've done before.  I taped my drop cloth fabric
over my laptop screen and very lightly traced the image with a fine tip marker.

I'm not recommending this...I'm just telling you how I do it...
it's your laptop...

I traced, removed the fabric to a flat surface and filled everything in with black markers -- how easy was that?  I like the "drawn on" look, myself.

Back at the computer, I typed "Jack" into a document, enlarged it to fit and cheated again by tracing directly from the screen.

I will say this all works best when done in a dark-ish room.

I drew a border with a marker around the edge.


There you have it -- 

Pin It

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Make your own Pattern Weights

Pin It

It all started when I googled "pattern weights" and was asked by Amazon to "compare prices from $9 at 8 stores" for these. . .

Seriously, from $9...I think that means starting at $9.....for 4 pattern weights.  According to my calculations that's (hold on while I get my calculator) $2.25 each. 

Not I, said the cat.  So I set out to make my own. In minutes I had a half dozen ideas off the internet but none as easy as a suggestion by a friend to use butter knives.  She said she could still remember her grandmother holding down tissue patterns with them. Because I didn't have handy what I needed to make my own, I used my knives for a couple of weeks.  They worked out great and I would probably still be using them if my husband hadn't started questioning why there were never any knives in the drawer. 

Plan B, break down and go get what I needed -- the biggest washers (nuts, what ever they're called) I could find.  Eight of them for $5.  That's way more like it.

I bought the biggest my local hardware store had.

 I ripped lengths of my favorite cotton prints in strips about 3/4" wide.

 A dot of hot glue held the end in place so I could start wrapping.

 I wrapped the washers all the way around until I overlapped 
the spot where I started.

Then, put a line of hot glue across the end of the fabric and 
tucked it into the hole.


 ...and they work almost as well as a butter knife.

Pin It

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I caught myself.....

Pin It
...being my grandmother, today.  It's the second time this week.  First, I folded a slightly used piece of tinfoil and stuffed it in a drawer for another day.  Now, I've ripped a zipper from an old skirt to use again.  As much of a "upcycle - a - holic" as I am, I have never done that before. 

It made me think of my grandmother and the sewing basket I inherited from her.  It's not really a basket at all.  It's an old cookie can that's well worn, for sure.  It's full of buttons and thread and odds and ends.  Ever so often, I open it up and poke around.  I always seem to find something new, something I never noticed before. 

I've never had the heart to use anything out of it even though I know she'd want me to...

Pin It

Friday, May 11, 2012

Things I've learned.....from mistakes I've made...

Pin It

Two things you can't skimp on -- pinning and press.  I've tried doesn't work.

Let's face it -- there's nothing, NOT A THING, glamorous about pinning. It might even seem like it's only for the weak but I have finally embraced it as a necessary evil. And, why?  Pinning makes you pause.  And think.  It makes you test that seam before actually sewing it (and then ripping it out).  It helps you distributes "ease" evenly so you don't experience those pesky little surprises at the end of a seam. 


All I have to say about pressing is that it makes all the difference in the world in your finished project.  It's hard to make myself stop and go to the ironing board (I never mastered the "iron while sitting at the sewing machine" thing) but I make myself and I'm always happy I did. There are some seams that can't be properly pressed once a garment is complete and, like with pinning, pressing makes you pause...and think things through.

If it sounds like I need something to make me pause it's because I do.  I sew like the wind, getting ahead of myself all the time.

This is bound to be a regular post topic, because, I'm making and learning from my mistakes all. the. time.
Pin It

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Peek at Our Pattern Instructions

Pin It
Go ahead -- take a peek...

All RJ's patterns have tons of pictures along with detailed instructions.  Here's a sample of what you find in one of our patterns...

All RJ's patterns have tons of pictures along with detailed instructions.
Pin It

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The "Annie" Dress

Pin It
This adorable dress could be Ruby Jean's favorite.  It was the dress that started it all -- the first original pattern that made me think I might have something to offer other sewers.

 This is the perfect pattern to using when upcycling a men's shirt.  The front of the men's shirt, used for the back of the dress, gives the dress a cute button detail...

The "Annie" dress is great for beginners!
Pin It

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Pin It
Blogging for Ruby Jean is going to be fun -- I'm sure of it!  I'll be sharing all her latest designs along with some pretty neat sewing tips and tricks.  We'll have to see what all we can get into together, won't we!

Pin It