Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sewing Night: Fleece Socks/Slippers

Socks/Slippers Project: Buy an easy fleece sock/slipper pattern. Alternatively, cut out for each slipper:
  • A) Sole - Piece for around the bottom of your foot
  • B) Heel - Piece going frombottom of your heel to 4 inches above your ankle
  • C) Top - Piece for over the top of your foot going from the tip of your toes to 4 inches above your ankle

Be sure to cut out the pieces so the direction of most stretch runs across them, not top-to-bottom. Now sew the sole piece to the heel piece, right-sides together, along the base of the heel. Next, turn the seam allowances in towards the heel piece and sew, this time using a zigzag stitch. Now, unfold the sole-heel combination and pin to the top piece with wrong-sides facing out. Sew all the way around the outside of the slipper leaving an opening at the top for your foot to enter. Turn the slipper right-side out. The only thing left is sewing the cuff - Fold about one inch of the cuff inside the slipper and sew all the way around the cuff once. Done!

For those who do not know how to load a sewing machine: Here are some general instructions – you will still need your sewing machine’s manual. Turn your machine on. Load thread onto a bobbin using the bobbin-winder on the top of your machine. Now, load the bobbin into the chamber underneath your machine. Next, load your spool of thread on top of your machine and follow your manual’s directions to get it to come out near the sewing needle. For my machine, the thread has to be caught by a little hook at the top of the machine, and then feed down and around a knob, then up and through a hook, then down and through another hook. Next thread your sewing needle from front to back and hook the thread throug the foot. To get the thread from the bobbin underneath up, turn the knob on the side of your machine until the needle comes down and hooks and loops that thread. Keep turning the knob and it will bring up the thread. Pull both of the threads (the one coming from the top and the one coming from underneath) up and away from you and your machine so they won’t slip away. Place the foot down to clamp your fabric under the needle. Begin sewing!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stepping Stones with Pawprints

You could do this project with pawprints, handprints, or any other kind of print.

Procedure: First, mix cement with water in a large bucket. We got a 60-pound bag of cement from Home Depot. We used a long thick-diameter wooden dowel and a trowel to mix the cement with the water. Then we coated our molds with cooking spray to prevent sticking and poured the cement into them. You can use pie dishes or any disposable plastic or aluminum container. The mixture should be difficult to smooth, but not so grainy that you can’t smooth it all together and get rid of air pockets. Excess water rises to the top, so place a paper towel on top of the freshly laid and smoothed concrete and blot it. Then we firmly pressed each toe of the animal’s paw into the wet concrete. After making a print, we thoroughly washed the animal’s paw. We added glass marbles to our design which are best to add when the concrete is rather wet, so that the stones can be properly nestled into the concrete. We also added letters to our stepping stones using stamps.

Tip: The letters were best to add when the concrete was a little drier in order to avoid water pooling in the cavities of the freshly stamped letters.