HOME MAKERS SEWING CORNER- Here is help for ladies who Keep the Home. Sewing and Quilting. Crafts.
 Sewing Helps and Crafts

Proverbs 31:13 She seeketh wool, and flax,
and worketh willingly with her hands.

Proverbs 31:19 She layeth her hands to the spindle,
and her hands hold the distaff.

Proverbs 31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household:
for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

Proverbs 31:24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it;
and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

Cutting Costs Updated 1/03

Fix It Up

1.  Do you have a skirt that is just a little too short?  If it's suitable to this remedy, try sewing ruffled or flat eyelet around the hem.  Choose eyelet that is long enough to lengthen the skirt to a decent length and that doesn't have too many holes in it.

I top stitch it when I do this, but the main thing is to make sure that you pin it on so that the edging or raw edge doesn't show.  (If you are using flat eilet, I would suggest zig-zagging the raw edge first to help keep it from unraveling.  If it is cut in a zig-zag, you may want to trim it so that it is straight.)  Also, do not cut the end!  I have found out from experience that it's better to leave the extra  eyelet on and sew topiano coversd it.  This way, if /when you get "extra" skirt hem starting to bunch up as you sew around, you will have the extra eyelet you need to make up for it.  Work the extra skirt hem down as you go. When you get to the end, the excess eyelet will be there to keep you from running out before you can make a seam allowance

Leave some unsewed space at the beginning.  When you get to the end, cut it with enough excess to make the "seam." Fold this back and place the extra from the beginning behind it so that you have a clean fold on the front.  Finish sewing it on making sure that your stitching overlaps where you started enough to keep it from coming undone. Then, top stitch the seam in the eyelet down from the hem to the edge.  Back stitch at both ends.  Trim off excess seam allowance if desired or needed.

-- Mary Van Nattan

Use It Up

1. Teresa G. of Texas says she cuts up clothes she and her husband have stopped wearing and makes them into clothes for kids.  The scraps she saves for making baby quilts.

2. A string quilt-- Save the narrow scraps from cutting out woven fabric clothes, quilts, and projects for making a string quilt.  You can use cheap muslin for the "stabilizer." Cut it into squares, rectangles, or long strips the length of the quilt size you want.  The strips may be the most practical.  Sew your first piece on in the middle or at one end.  The  middle is handier since you can sew on two pieces before you have to iron.  Lay the next piece face down on the first one.  Sew it on with a narrow hem.  If you started in the middle you may wish to sew a third piece on to the other side of the first one before ironing.  Be sure to iron your pieces flat before proceeding to the next piece or pieces!  The pieces will not all be straight across, some will be diagonal.  You'll have to work it out so it comes out right, and make sure that you sew the piece on so that it will cover the muslin all the way across from side to side!  Use your imagination in organizing the colors.  You may sew pieces on with the "straight" running a different direction than vertically IF you have your muslin cut so that the straight is going the right direction.  The nice thing about this project is that you can work on it over a period of time as you collect scraps from your sewing.   The scraps should all be of a similar thickness, but not necessarily exactly the same.  Be sure your fabric is all prewashed! Also, ask a sewing friend for her scraps if she doesn't want to make a quilt like this.  When you assemble the quilt you may wish to sew strips (or squares or rectangles) of a solid color fabric between the string strips (or squares or rectangles).  I have not gotten this far yet, but I plan to use fabric that is a similar thickness to the thickness of the muslin with the fabric sewed to it.  Use however much or little batting you want, and backing to suit your tastes.  You may quilt or tie it.

Mary VN  

If you have questions please email us, so that we can fix the directions if necessary.  :-)

3.  Candace writes:  I am presently in the process of making a table runner from yo-yos. I have old material and have been gathering buttons and putting them on each yo-yo and sewing them by hand together.  Looks unique and pretty.

[HMC Editor's Note: If you don't know how to make a yo-yo, here are some basic directions.  Use a plastic margarine lid for a pattern or make your own circle pattern.  The finished yo-yo will be less than half the size of the circle you cut so figure accordingly.  Thread a needle and make a substantial knot in the end.  To hem the yo-yo fold over about a quarter of an inch, folding as you go.  Sew with a running stitch.  When you get back around to the knot where you started, pull the knot and the end with the needle.  Gather the yo-yo up and press it flat with your fingers so that the gathered hole is in the middle of the circle that you have pressed.  Make sure it is pulled tight, then tie it off well and clip the threads.  Yo-yos can be used for a number of things from quilts to decorations.  Yo-yos made in different sizes can be used to make flowers.  To make leaves to go with them take a circle cut in the color you wish and fold it in half. Iron if you wish.  Fold the the 2 corners down to the center of the arch forming a quarter of a circle with the 2 folds running down the middle.  This is the top (unless you prefer the other side).  Sew along the arched edge as directed for the yo-yo, only when you come to the  opposite end from your knot end simply gather it without pulling the knot at the other end.  Tie it off and trim thread.  This edge will have to go under the edge of a yo-yo so that the raw edge and sewing do not show.]

Quick and Easy

1.  Elizabeth writes:  For children and messes:

Sew baby bibs by cutting a terry cloth hand towel or kitchen towel in half. Gather the cut edge, and sew on bias tape, extending the tape 6 inches past the end. These bibs are inexpensive and large. They also conveniently double as a wash cloth after the meal, so that one can also lighten the laundry load.

[HMC Editor's Note:  Be sure to measure the baby's neck first and add room for comfort  and for the ties so that you know about how much bias tape you will need.  The kind of bias tape you will want for this project is the double fold type.  In making the the tie extensions, tuck the raw ends in before sewing along the length of the ties so that they will be closed properly.]

2. An extra quick way to gather waists, sleeves, etc.:

Using your widest zigzag stitch, sew over a piece of fine string or crochet cotton just above where you seam allowance will be.  Use the string to gather the skirt, sleeve or whatever you're gathering.  Secure at ends as usual and then sew your seam below the gathering trying to make enough seam allowance to not sew over the string.  Check your work to make sure that it is all fine before pulling out the string.  Proceed with the pattern instructions.  

If the zigzag stitches show in places, pick them out carefully from the front where they show.  Save the string for future use till it starts to look somewhat worn.  You don't want it to break while you're using it.

This works easier and quicker than gathering with basting stitches, and the thread is less likely to break when working with heavy fabric.  Kite string might also work for this.      M. VanNattan

Hello, I just wanted to add a little tid-bit for gathering material. Instead of using yarn or string and zig-zagging over it, I have found fishing line works best. The thread slides very easily over it. Because He Lives, Jayna D.

1.  Make a nifty decorations or place card holder for Thanksgiving by hot gluing a walnut to one end of a pine cone and several silk or dried leaves to the other end to make a "turkey."  If using for a place card holder, simply put the card in between the tines on the pine cone.  Be sure to glue the things on a side that will ensure that the "turkey" will sit up properly on it's own.  :-)  If using small pine cones, use a smaller nut such as a filbert or hazelnut.

2. Make napkin rings for yourself or as a gift.  Buy metal cookie cutters in a small size that would be suitable for a napkin ring. Paint them in matching, contrasting, or complimentary colors, using spray paint.  If using a bottled paint that requires a paint brush you may want to give them a coat of clear acrylic.  Make napkins that match or compliment as a nice touch for a gift.

3. Cathy A. of Louisiana writes:

One decorating idea is to take a cowboy boot, one in bad condition with a rather stiff feel to it, and spray paint it a solid color if it is an bad condition. After this, a tall vase can be inserted into the boot, and a western theme of grasses, tumble weed, dried flowers etc. could be inserted....the same can be done with any stiff shoe..only make a low arrangement, and decorate with whatever theme you have in mind...this is just one idea of what to do...there are many. I sometimes visit my local library for ideas....

4.  I saw a really neat idea the other day for napkin rings.  You can buy the tiny terri-cotti pots at Walmart for about 30 cents. Using a glass cutter cut out the bottom of the pots. Decorate the pot with acrylic paints, ribbon, raffia etc. They make darling little country napkin rings.

 - from Jackie R.

Measurements For
Various Items

MATTRESS SIZES:                                                         DUST RUFFLES:

Standard:                                                                           (Sizes include standard 14" drop)

Twin - 39" X 75"                                                                Twin - 57" X 89"

Full - 54" X 75"                                                                   Full - 96" X 110"

Queen -60" X 80"                                                               Queen- 102" X 115"

King - 76" X 80"                                                                 King - 120" X 115"

Waterbed:                                                                        COMFORTER SIZES:

Single- 48" X 84"                                                               Twin - 69" X 90"

Queen - 60" X 84"                                                             Full - 84" X 90"

King - 72" X 84"                                                                Queen- 90" X 95"

                                                                                          King - 106" X 98"

Day Bed:

39" X 75"                                                                         TABLECLOTHS:

                                                                                         52" X 52"

Crib: 27" X 52"                                                                52" X 70"

                                                                                         60" X 84"

BED PILLOW SIZES:                                                   60" x 102"

Standard - 20" x 26"                                                         60" X 120"

Queen - 20" X 30"                                                            60" X 144"

King - 20" X 36"                                                               70" Round

                                                                                         90" Round


(Sizes include standard 21" drop)

Twin - 81" X 110"                                                             NAPKINS:

Full - 96" X 110"                                                               Dinner - 16" Square

Queen - 102" X 115"                                                        Luncheon - 14" Square

King - 120" X 115"

From Basic Measurements, Jo-Ann Fabrics, 1991

-- Thanks to Denise F. of Arizona.


Mary's Craft Corner.  This has a lot of crafting stuff:  http://home.rmci.net/michael/index2.htm


Some quilt blocks:  http://www.mountain-inter.net/~graham/

Submit your suggestions, ideas, and hints!

background and graphics by mary vannattan

spchk  mt/se