Free Pattern: Back-to-School Hangers

College Hangers

Send your college student off to school with something special this fall.  Cover hangers with theme fabrics or sport their alma mater.  Storage is always a challenge in the dorm room, but add a pocket to the side of these hangers and your student can store their iPod, jewelry or other accessories out of site.

For the full instructions, click here: College Hangers Instructions

Maternity Pants

We just got some great news in my family – my daughter is expecting a new baby in January!  Now, while this means many great and wonderful things – it also means thinking about the clothing she will be wearing for the next several months.   She has a career job that requires her to wear suits to work each day – and she would rather not go out and buy new slacks for all her suit jackets.  She is a very tall woman who has difficulty finding slacks that fit correctly off the rack.

So, we decided to alter her existing pants instead of buying (or making) new ones.  And the pants can be altered right back to their original size later on.

I started with a pair of her existing slacks.  Sorry, I didn’t get a picture before we cut the pants up – but they were originally purchased at The Limited, so you have an idea of what they looked like.   The pants had a low-cut waist line, so I removed the waistband and the zipper (which was only 4″ long), then I sewed a maternity band into her pants where the waistband had been.  Here is a picture of the pieces I removed, and with the maternity band added.

When she is ready, I will just reverse these steps and add the waistband and zipper back into the pants.  If the pants had a higher waist line originally, then I would have measured up from the crotch 8″ and cut the rest of the pants off.  Use a 1/2″ seam so the maternity band will start about 7 1/2″ above the crotch.

I’ll be doing this with all of her pants, it’s very easy to do, saves some money (and shopping time) and she loves the results!

One important thing to note, this method uses a maternity band (sometimes called a belly band), and NOT a maternity panel.  Maternity panels require you to cut up your pants much more than using the band does, and while it is possible for a skilled seamstress to restore the pants after the alteration is done using panels, they would never look quite the same.

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

More Hexagons!

Yesterday, I promised that I would show you how to finish a quilt made with the hexagon blocks.

If anyone was brave enough to purchase equipment and start making their own hexagon block quilt after reading yesterday’s post – that brave soul now has a quilt that looks something like this:

And by the way, if anyone WAS that brave – I’m shocked – but congratulations!Laughing 8

Now, how to get from that admittedly interesting, but difficult to work with, pointed border to something a bit more traditional? Get out your rotary cutter! Using a straight edge ruler, trim the points from each side of the quilt (top and bottom won’t have points)

After you have straighted the sides, all you have to do is add a regular border to finish the quilt top!

This quilt is quite obviously not made of several different fabrics the way the “I Spy” quilt from yesterday was. Instead, the fabric in the hexagons is a young ballerina, with a coordinating pink fabric used for the points and as the border. Here’s a closer look. As you can see from the image below on the right, the ‘star’ effect of the triangles is more obvious in this quilt because the colors are all very complimentary instead of having as much contrast as you will naturally get in the much busier “I Spy” style.

But, we aren’t done with this fabric yet! Take a look at this project, which uses all three sizes of hexagon rulers:

The jacket pattern is Butterick #5039.

This jacket took on a new look when the seamstress decided to embellish by using the Marti Michell hexagon rulers. Because there are three sizes of hexagons in the package – all were used. The bottom of the jacket has the largest hexagon or a border. The border going up and down on the front of the jacket uses the medium hexagon. And of course at the bottom of the sleeves is the smallest hexagon.

As you can see, there are lots of things that can be done with the hexagon block. The jacket shows that it makes a great border, think of what a border like this would look like going around a quilt with a large focal block in the center….

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing