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121  Happy Halloween! Reverse appliqué pillow + blind-hemmed lapped zipper tutorial in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Calabaza on: August 07, 2013 08:28:09 AM
What's something Craftster means to me? Going for it! I can freeze up with fear of failure but this site has really helped me be okay (or more okay) with making mistakes and "never speak of this again" projects. I always learn something at least! Learning is awesome!

To represent this, I sewed up this pillow and put in a zipper.

I LOVE pillows (former swap partners, you know that Smiley ) and I LOVE Halloween (ditto last comment) and I LOVE zippers! Several pillow covers ago I went looking for tutorials on making deep laps (the fold of fabric hiding the zipper.) I found a mention of using a blind hem to do so. That sounded cool! There were no pics or directions or anything but I liked the idea and went for it! It's become 2nd only to invisible zippers for me!

Since this post is more about the pillow and how it's closed, not the Halloween theme, I thought it fit best here with home decor.

The front is done with reverse appliqué (here's a great tutorial on it.) I did the lettering and drew the pumpkin shape (eventually- so not an artist) on paper then traced it onto the press and seal. The brown fabric is on the bottom, orange in the middle and black on top. The colors are off in the pictures. I'm still working on photography.

I know some people fear zippers so I made up this little tutorial as well. Don't fear the zipper!

Decide what size pillow you want. Generally your pillow cover should end up the same size to 1" smaller than your pillow form. This helps the stuffing fill the corners and such better making for a nice, plump pillow with minimal limp "wings" at the corners.
Plan for a 1/2" seam allowance. If you do reverse appliqué or piecing or something else fiddly, leave lots of extra material for squaring later.

Get a zipper at least a couple inches longer than what your pillow will end up being. It makes life so much easier.

Make your front. Have fun!

Now cut 2 pieces of fabric for the back leaving extra for squaring, positioning and cutting if using a serger to finish.

I have them marked with blue-headed pins so I can tell the right side from the wrong (blue=b=back. Yeah, even plain fabric can have a right and wrong side.)
They should be the same width (or height, depending on if you want the zipper running from top to bottom or side to side) of your pillow front. On this 16" pillow planned to finish at 15" the lapped side ended up using about 10 and 3/4" and the other about 11 and 1/2" not including the bit shaved off by the serger knife in the next step. Having the lap fall before the middle of the pillow helps avoid gaping.

Edge finish sides where the zipper will be attached. That's 1 side finish per back piece. There are tons of options for finishes out there. I'm fortunate to have a serger so I used it.

Okay, now pin the zipper to one of the back pieces (top or bottom, doesn't matter unless you absolutely want the zipper pull to end up on a certain side and are using 1-way fabric.)

Right sides together, remember. And line up the long edge of the zipper with the finished edge of the fabric.

Slap a zipper foot on your sewing machine and stitch away.

Don't have a zipper foot? You can still do this method of insertion. See next steps.

As you can kind of see (the little arrow is helping to point it out) there is a space between the stitching and the zipper teeth. The fabric can pull away and reveal that zipper tape! Noooo! This will probably be an even bigger gap if you didn't use a zipper foot! Double nooooo!

But no worries.

Roll the fabric up to close the gap.

Sew! If you don't have a zipper foot, you might want to do this step by hand using some sort of unnoticeable-from-the-outside stitch.

Yay!!!! All closed up!

Now repeat for side #2.

Remember to close the gap as well.

Onto the blind hemming bit.

Fold down your side to be lapped so the fold is even with your edge finish. Press. (you've been pressing all this time, right?)

Then fold the fabric back up about 2 and 1/4" below the last fold. This is the lap part of the lapped zipper!

Roll back to give yourself room to sew beside this roll. Don't press! Really!

Go over to your machine and change your presser foot to a regular one. Flip the stitch type to blind hem.

It looks like "C". The straight stitches will go along on the fabric beside the roll while the zig-zags will get the roll. You'll want to test this out on some scraps first to get the hang of it and/or to make sure your fabric will unroll (see below.) If you look up blind hem, it's the same thing. The only difference here is the zipper.

Blind hem away!

When you get all done, roll out the rolled part so it lays flat.

Cool, huh? I LOVE this stitch. Works great for curvy hems and all sorts of other stuff too.

Remember to iron. Smiley

Now you've got your zipper inserted! Your back pieces have joined as one. Pin it to your pillow's front (right sides together) and square up!

You'll need to unzip your zipper a few inches to turn your pillow right side out. To keep the unzipped part close together for sewing (and future zipping) I pin the sides down then sneak my hand inside the front and back and unzip. Don't cut the zipper even with the rest yet to avoid any possible headaches.

Now sew around the whole thing. Twice if you weren't paying quite enough attention  Tongue Backstitch over the zipper to really secure it. Stitch and backstitch zipper again 1/8" away (on seam allowance) to really, really secure it.

Reduce stitch length as you come to the corners. This gives it extra strength. If I was never going to see the inside of this again (like for a lined bag) I would trim the corners differently, but since I'm not going to be closing this pillow forever (that's why I'm putting in a zipper!) and will be serging to finish, I just cut off a triangle.

Trim the zipper to right next to the on-the-seam-allowance stitching so you keep both lines. You don't want that zipper coming loose but you also don't want the bulk and, if you're serging, you don't want to go serging over those teeth (creates lumps and your knife will be disgruntled.)

Finish the edges. Serge/zig-zag/whatever down each side.

See how the serger caught the zipper end but the knife didn't have to cut it? You can't? Well, trust me, that's what happened. The lighting in my crafting area is not the best as you picked up in the other in progress pics.

If serging, I like to leave nice, long tails of serge then tie them so the corners come together all nice and pointy.

Go ahead and turn it right side out, slip in a pillow form...

...zip it up...

...And there's your lovely, neat and tidy back!

Happy, happy!
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122  Re: One Item Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Calabaza on: August 03, 2013 03:14:45 PM
Ooooh - can you post a pic of the button detail side?  That looks cool!
Sure thing!

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123  Re: One Item Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Calabaza on: August 03, 2013 02:15:41 PM
I received from Trekky a couple days ago and lookee what she sent!

TONS of extras all perfectly me  Smiley There're oodles of train tickets (so cool!), a bunch of postcards (also cool!), a personalized flamingo card (I hid my name for the pic) and what's that everything's on top of? Why that's a travel poster tea towel in one of my favorite color combinations!

And the 1 item?

This gorgeous knitted hat. Wow! I wish my job wasn't what it was so I could post a pic of how it looks on but, trust me, its perfect! Fits like a glove, great color (orange! The pic is off; it's a kind of light burnt orange ) and weight for autumn and it's got that asymmetrical brim. Love it!

Thank you so, so much, Trekky!
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124  Re: Summer Nerd Games --May15, 2013-September 2, 2013-- JOIN ANY TIME! in Craftalongs by Calabaza on: July 30, 2013 07:43:50 AM
Challenge/Battle/Alert: July randomizer
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): I didn't have any in mind when I made this
Bonus Points: discovery (my 1st time dying. That sounds odd  Wink )
Project Name: Shibori scarf
Project Page Link (if available): N/A
Brief Description:
Shibori is a term given to several methods of resist dying that were developed in Japan starting around the 8th century.

I made this scarf (just used my serger to roll the edge of some very light muslin) then mixed up some black rit dye. That stuff stinks to high heavens! Was not expecting that! So glad I did this outside. Anyway, I used a sort of pole-wrapping (arashi) technique to bind the scarf to a fat piece of PVC. I started winding the scarf around the pipe in a spiral. When I ran out of pipe I took some cotton yarn and wound it over the fabric then scrunched it down so I had room to get more scarf on the pipe and help create the resist. Google it for way better instructions  Smiley

When everything was all wrapped up, it got stuck in the dye for a while. After dying, it was unwrapped, rinsed, then wrapped again in the opposite direction. (I didn't want a zebra look; I was going more for stormy skies.) Then it was into the dye unwrapped a couple more times to fill in between the lines created by the wrapping and even out the overall color.

Project Picture:

Very faintly lined result. Not quite what I envisioned but not zebra-y! Yay!

Hanging out Smiley
These were the best pics I could get. Just imagine the worst  Tongue

Final thoughts: I like dying, but that smell! Ugh! Ah, well. I'm already researching other dyes!

Great batman bag and sock monkey bat...monkey! Love the idea for the quilt. How cool!
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125  Re: Summer Nerd Games --May15, 2013-September 2, 2013-- JOIN ANY TIME! in Craftalongs by Calabaza on: July 09, 2013 03:23:51 PM
Challenge/Battle/Alert: May Multimedia- I chose red
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): -
Bonus Points: Discovery
Project Name: Shirred sundress with flared skirt
Project Page Link (if available): http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=425463
Brief Description: This started out as a test piece (I'd never made a dress quite like this before) but then it started turning out. As I was fighting with my serger and telling it to roll that hem or else, I starting thinking that it'd be nice to get points for this. Then I remembered I was sewing with red fabric! Duh. I think the black thread threw me off  Smiley
Project Picture:

The shirring is all in black too.
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126  Shirred sundress with flared skirt in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by Calabaza on: July 09, 2013 03:12:28 PM
This started out as a test piece but then I got into it and voila:

Instant blurred face! No, kidding. A shirred sundress. Smiley

The skirt is flared and sewn onto the shirred bodice.

I didn't have enough red thread and since this was just going to be a "I wonder what would happen if..." piece I tossed some black thread and black thread elastic on the machine and away I went. Twenty rows later I added a piece of thin, knit elastic to the top and one on the seam allowance under the bust so it keep it's shape. This was no longer going to be just a test piece if I could help it.

So, I added a ruffle at the bottom and fancy patch pockets. Well, not that fancy. I was petering out a bit (this wasn't going to be a lengthy project, remember.) The $3 sheet I chopped up for the endeavor was the perfect length for the ruffle: cut top to bottom for front ruffle and top to bottom for back ruffle. Sweet!

And it pairs nicely with my black cardi for other seasons. Yay!

Thanks for reading about my little sewing adventure!
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127  Re: Summer Nerd Games --May15, 2013-September 2, 2013-- JOIN ANY TIME! in Craftalongs by Calabaza on: July 05, 2013 10:28:27 AM
Challenge/Battle/Alert: July Textbook: Guts and Glory (digestive)
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): -
Bonus Points: discovery
Project Name: Gluten-free lemon cake
Project Page Link (if available): -
Brief Description: My friend served this cake a while back so I begged for the recipe as my sister and one of my aunts are gluten-free. I just used the recipe for the cake itself (not the curd or frosting) and substituted the lemon extract for additional vanilla, used regular-old cow's milk and a scant measurement of table salt for the sea salt. For the frosting I basically used the recipe for lemon frosting off the C&H powdered sugar packaging. I used the frosting for the filling as well. When my sister's home next, I'll give a vegan version a whirl. This version is so good!
Project Picture:

Challenge/Battle/Alert: June Multimedia: Disco
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): -
Bonus Points: -
Project Name: Vegan sugar cookies
Project Page Link (if available): Here's the recipe I posted ages ago: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=355606.0#axzz2YC17uJMH
Brief Description: The rush-job on pics is partly due to the limited amount of time yesterday morning before heading up to my aunt's then back down to another of my friend's and I had to bring a dessert to each I. Day celebration. For party #2 I made vegan sugar cookies from my go-to recipe and decorated them with sparkly red and blue sprinkles.
Project Picture:

Super bag, gozer! Lovely jewelry, bunny1. Those maracas are great, ffrogg!
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128  Disco ball-esque macaroon in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by Calabaza on: June 25, 2013 09:25:12 AM
Yep, I still love macaroon coin purses! Here's my seventh one, with a bit of a twist:

It's a macaroon compact!

Outside shiny, disco-ball-y, mirror-y fabric, inside real mirrors. I used that plastic mirror stuff and cut it to fit the small (less than 1.5") interior. It reflects great and wasn't too bad to cut either!

I used a metallic metal zipper and metallic ribbon to hold the silver clip. It didn't turn out as disco ball-ish as I'd hoped, but it is quite reflective  Cheesy

As I mentioned above, this guy is my 7th design. I just love all the things one can do with a circle! It's been so much fun. You should totally try it!
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129  Re: Summer Nerd Games --May15, 2013-September 2, 2013-- JOIN ANY TIME! in Craftalongs by Calabaza on: June 21, 2013 06:50:55 PM
Challenge/Battle/Alert: June randomizer
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): Fantasy and many more
Bonus Points: nerdy, super nerdy
Project Name: Monster pins AKA here's looking at you  Wink
Project Page Link (if available): N/A
Brief Description: Project Picture:
I went to see Monsters University today! I, for one, loved it! I'm glad I prepared and made these little guys (inspired in part by Lovely Miss' googly-eyed hair bow) to carry them with me. I have used "silly eyes" soooo much lately at work that if they weren't a no-brainer material before, they sure are to me now.

I painted each with nail polish and/or regular paint (the yellow one got some glitter paint too!) Everyone has a nice, thick coat of clear nail polish on top.

There's my own kinda-sorta little Mike on the side, horns courtesy of wire, floral tape and glue. It was the best I could do with a round piece of balsa wood and my extremely limited artistic abilities  Roll Eyes
The 3-eyed one glows in the dark.

Well, trust me. He does glow.
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130  Re: IYP 23: Summer Do Si Do GALLERY!! in The Swap Gallery by Calabaza on: June 15, 2013 08:12:59 PM
Kwality's monsters are always quality  Cheesy He's a sweet one!

I just got a great package from Toralune! We agreed on a small swap too. She sent me...

This lovely, lovely pillow case! I am a huge admirer of yarn crafts and she was kind enough to send me this knockout.

The colors are perfect for me. I love it! She sent some yarn and a needle too so I can finish it up how I want. I'm thinking loops and buttons but I haven't quite decided yet.

She also sent candy (yum!), cookie cutters and a bunch of citrusy goodness. I do love citrus! I'm having some friends over next weekend and now I have plates for them to eat off of that I don't have to wash  Wink Excellent timing, Toralune!

In the note she said she didn't forget the pumpkin. I took the above pics then discovered this wonderful piece on the floor:

 It had fallen out of the box and I didn't notice! That would have been heartbreaking if I'd lost it without ever seeing it. It's such a cute and sweet little pumpkin necklace! I'll be wearing it a bunch!

Thanks much for everything, Toralune! You are a great secret santa and regular swap partner. Thank you!
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