Thursday, August 04, 2016

Wood Stairs

I have been wanting to rip the beige shaggy goodness off of our stairs for several years now. Finally it is done!

My kiddos didn't want wood stairs because they prefer to lounge on them and wood stairs ain't good for loungin'. Good grief.

But I am the queen of my castle, well sort of. So once the kids got old enough that falling down the stairs was less likely, and once they accepted chairs for sitting, not stairs, we began the process. Here are some before pictures:
bottom stairs were always dirty....always :(

shaggy goodness should've stayed in the 1970s

posts were just 4x4 pieces of wood stained. Nuttin' special.

I sent our contractor some inspiration photos. I wanted wood treads, white risers, and wainscoting. Thank you Pinterest!

Demolition began.....
Bye bye carpet and ugly rustic handrails.

Wainscoting begins going up

Once wainscoting was done and sprayed the stairs could go in. I used my favorite white I use everywhere else, White Dove by Benjamin Moore.
White Dove was sprayed on wainscoting and walls

Hickory treads went in next. White Melamine was used for the risers because they are super easy to wipe scuffs off instead of having to repaint scuffs on white-painted wood risers.

Every project take longer than you think but it's always worth it in the end. I repainted some of my outdated picture frames navy blue and we are done!
not really into yellow and orange anymore

Monday, August 01, 2016

Mini Make-up Bags

Every lady needs a little make up bag for her purse. I have been making these bags for about 8 years now and giving them out as small gifts to friends and family. I can make a bag in about 15 minutes if not embroidered. Adding some embellishments like embroidery will add a few more minutes.

Enjoy the tutorial! (Click on any photo to enlarge)

- Cut 2 lining pieces:  6 1/2" x 8 1/2"
- Cut 2 solid linen pieces:  9 1/2" x 4 1/2"
- Cut 2 printed cotton pieces: 9 1/2" x 3"
- scrap of same printed cotton piece for the applique of the embroidered bird
- Heat n' Bond Lite (optional) enough to applique the bird, follow directions on package
- One 7" zipper (I buy these in bulk at
- Heavy Duty spray starch
- Tear Away embroidery stabilizer of your choice
- Scribbled Bird design, use the 2x3" applique

Starch all fabric pieces before starting

Sew each linen piece to each top piece to form the exterior of the bag. Add some tear away stabilizer to the back in preparation for machine embroidery. Place the hoop in the bottom left corner. Of course you can embroider the bird anywhere, I just like it in a corner.

Attach hoop to machine, place bird in desirable location (at least an inch from each side, and stitch placement stitch.

Stitch placement stitch first
Optional but recommended, fuse Heat n' Bond Lite to scrap for bird. Prevents puckering and fraying.

Second, place your fabric scrap over the placement stitching and stitch in place.

Remove hoop from machine and trim excess fabric from bird.

Finish the topstiching for the bird.
View from back. Always tear away excess stabilizer after embroidery is done. After embroidery, trim down exterior pieces to match the size of the lining pieces, 6 1/2" x 8 1/2"

Place zipper, face down onto your exterior embroidered piece of fabric.

Place one lining piece face down onto zipper and pin.

Sew the exterior and lining pieces together with a regular zipper foot. Move the needle all the way to the left and use the edge of your presser foot as a guide along the edge of the zipper.

Needle to left, stitch length of 3

This is what it looks like after sewing one exterior piece to one lining piece with the zipper.

Place the lining and exterior pieces sewn with the zipper, wrong sides to together, as seen below.

Then, following picture below, take the other lining piece and other exterior piece and "sandwich" the other side of the zipper between those two fabric pieces.

Pin together just like you did the first time. Lining, edge of zipper tape, and exterior piece should all have edges together.

Sew just like you did the first time.

This is how the bag should look now.

Pulling fabric away from zipper, iron and starch.
Make sure the lining is pulled away from the zipper as well. Iron really, really well or else it will get caught when you topstitch.
Now you can topstitch, both sides. Use the same settings for your machine as before: needle moved all the way to the left, use the edge of the fabric as your guide, as seen below.

This is how it looks all topstitched on the front.

And from the back:

Unzip about 3/4 of the way down.

Place exterior pieces together (right sides together) and lining pieces together (right sides together.)
Where you see the Xs above is probably the most important part of this tutorial. The pins at the Xs have to match up perfectly, as seen in the photos below.
The black line marks the spot where you should pin and where you want the needle of the sewing machine to pass through.

Pin and sew through the black line
Make sure the zipper tape is going the same direction and make sure the topstitched lines match perfectly as well. You will place the pins (as seen in the Xs two photos up) at the exact spot at which you want the sewing machine needle to pass through. You want to sew far enough away from the metal of the zipper (or you'll bust your needle) yet still catch the zipper tape for a nice finished look.

Sew all the way around the perimeter (leaving opening to turn)  about 1/2"-3/4" seam allowance and trim corners.

Turn bag right side out through opening in lining, tuck raw ends of lining into bag and sew shut. (Don't you love my green chipped manicure!)

Tuck lining into bag, iron, and enjoy.


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