Thursday, August 11, 2011

How to sew a kerchief

I've been asked by a few people to write up a step by step guide to cutting/sewing a triangle kerchief. Really, they are very easy but I understand some people are more visual. (This is a repost from my old blog).

At the end I will show how to make this into a rounded headscarf  - more like a veil.

My brown triangle tichel/kerchief that I am wearing in previous photos is a 36 inch square cut in half to make a triangle. This one is a little smaller, but another size I like. If you want to be able to wrap the ends up fully around the head in a crown tie, you'll need to make a larger sized one - probably at least 30 inches. I'd say maybe try measuring your head and seeing what the total length you need to go around your head in the fashion you desire. This will be the length of the long edge of the triangle. Once you get the basics of making these down, you can adjust and play with the shaping of your scarf to make it fit your needs and likes.

I like to use light weight/thin fabrics the best. One of my favorites is cotton gauze. Lately, I've been just trying to use up fabric in my overflowing stash.

First lay your fabric flat. To make cutting easier, I folded my fabric in half. If you wish to just mark the fabric, you can cut it without folding it. If you fold it in half, make sure you divide your desired width in half.

This one is going to be a square 28 inches wide (then cut into a triangle). So measure your width (over the fold) and then measure the length (same direction as the fold). Draw a line or cut directly using a rotary tool and ruler.

Now you have a square. Draw a line from one corner to the other and then cut - making 2 equal triangles.

Now we'll work with one of the triangles.

I don't always cut straight when sewing for myself, so I fold it over and make sure it's even. If not, I'll trim the edge to make it even.

 The most basic thing is to just hem or finish the edges and leave it a triangle. For my brown one, which had no obvious right side, I just finished it with a narrow zig-zag stitch. I tried to show it in this photo by adjusting the color of my photo - use the same color thread so it blends :) . Gauze and many other light weight fabrics will frey (come apart) so you must do something to finish the edges. Sewing a zig-zag stitch around (ideally twice) will give it a rustic look more-so than a double pressed edge.

For the printed one I'm showing here, I am sewing  double pressed edge because there is an obvious right/wrong side. If you have a serger, you can do a rolled hem. Lay your triangle flat and iron a narrow hem. Then go around again, folding a second time, so you cannot see any raw edges. Then sew with a straight stitch. You can even do this by hand if you don't have a machine.

When you get to the corners, you may have to tuck in the edges or you will have long pointy, almost string-like, ends. I like to fold down the tip (sometimes even trim just a pinch off of it) and tuck it in.

End then you are done -you have a basic triangular headscarf that can be worn many ways  :)

Now, if you want a more rounded veil like scarf, you just cut a little differently. When you get to the point of having a triangle, after making sure it's even, you'll cut a slightly rounded curve at the end that will hang down in the back. I like to do this on the fold to make sure I cut evenly, but you can cut it however you wish. After you cut it, hold it up and look at it, try it on, and see if it is more or less the way you want it (remember you will be hemming it).

Then hem like you did above and this gives you more of a veil type headcovering.

I sometimes wear mine longer and sometimes fold them shorter.

Worn long without any folding.

If you fold it shorter and nice style is to twist the ends before tying.

I like this style because it can be worn with the hair up or down.

I hope this helped a little bit. I'll try to add some more instructions on how to sew various headcoverings in the future.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Grocery Tote Sewing

I love making these bags! The pattern is the Grocery Tote by  Keyka Lou.  She sells both on Etsy and via her store. So far, I've sewn up two of her bags and they are wonderful. Easy and clear directions and not a bunch of stuff that you really don't need to see in her pictures. 

I made these today out of some left over fabric (I'll make another post later this week showing the tunic I made and reviewing that pattern). The bags are reversable and washable. 

Last year I made these at the end of the year for all of the kids teachers. It was great because they got to choose the fabric and personalize them. The teachers all loved that their bags were made with prints in their favorite color or favorite colors (or both). I'm always getting asked where I got the bags when I'm out and about at the stores too. My youngest daughter even has one with pink dogs on one side and Disney princesses on other.

Guinea pig sewing

Yes, you read that correctly.

We have 2 guinea pigs and I had read online about using fleece for bedding. As a mom who has made and used cloth diapers, it's not all that different. I had left over fleece in a container - just waiting to be donated or used.

For the absorbant layer I used an old beach towel for my first one. It's heavy but works. For my second one, I went to The Salvation Army Thrift store and got a bunch of old matress pads for $2 each.  These are much lighter in weight when washed.

I also made them two "cozies" (basically a bag they can climb/sleep in).

Friday, August 5, 2011


Another give-away! at Bakers Royale
$100 Best Buy giftcard.

Good luck!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Crochet Art

We recently went to the San Diego Children's Museum downtown and they had this large crochet hanging art project near the entry. I tried to take some pictures to show it to you all.





And my children made bubbles! They got to design a bubble blower out of pipe cleaners and then see how well it worked. They also made clay things and their own stencils and paintings from it, but no pictures of that.