Learn to Sew Lesson 2: Rice Bags

The second Learn to Sew lesson continues to focus on hand-sewing. Most of the time when we are hand sewing we are not working with felt or yarn. As a result, it is very helpful to practice your stitch size and placement, as well as working with regular all-purpose thread.

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Recommended prep before this lesson:

Lesson Category:

  • Hand Stitching

Lesson Topics:

  • Careful Cutting
  • Identifying the Right Side of the Fabric
  • Using a Seam Allowance
  • Double Threading a Needle
  • Tying a knot
  • Sewing a Back Stitch
  • Blanket Stitch Applique
  • Stitch Size & Placement
  • Slip Stitch

Whether you have been sewing for a while or are picking up a needle and thread for the first time, rice bags are always a fun project 🙂

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For this project, you get to add decoration of your choice to really personalize your project! Decorative stitching can add dimension to any project and is a great skill to have even when sewing complex projects. These also make great gifts when you are finished.

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Supplies:

5.5 x 11 inches of Cotton Fabric

Scrap Felt

1 Cup of Rice

Coordinating All-Purpose Thread

Here is the free pattern:

Owl and Sloth Rice Bag Patterns by learncreatesew

LESSON:

Blanket Stitch vs Buttonhole Stitch

Yesterday I was working on a project that I had hoped to have ready for you today. The project involved a lot of blanket stitching, and as I was in the middle of sewing it I realized that without noticing I would randomly switch how I made the stitch.

It got me thinking…what stitch am I actually sewing? This led me to do some research. Come to find out, the blanket stitch is often confused with the buttonhole stitch. I practiced both for quite a while and as I did so I found a stitching method that worked great for me for both stitches, and allowed me to distinguish between the two.

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I realized after doing this that I had actually been using the blanket stitch the whole time, I would just every once in a while switch to making the stitch backwards. This wouldn’t have been a big deal if I always did it that way, but going back and forth isn’t the best method. So, I made a consistent routine that helped me keep my stitches uniform. Since this helped me with my sewing project, I thought it may also be helpful to others, and decided to share it with you today.

The Blanket Stitch

The Blanket Stitch is often used for decorative edging, embroidery, and in felt crafts. You can sew the blanket stitch on the edge of fabric for decoration or to join to layers together.

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It’s a little tricky at the corners, but not too bad once you know the process.

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I most frequently use the blanket stitch for applique. This is when you sew one piece of fabric on top of another, usually for decoration.

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The video will explain how to change your thread if you happen to run out or want a different color.

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To help me remember the correct way to stitch a Blanket Stitch I think of this…

FRONT to BACK…UP and OVER.

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The Buttonhole Stitch

The buttonhole stitch is stronger than the blanket stitch. While the blanket stitch hooks over the next stitch, the buttonhole stitch actually wraps around it.

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This stitch is not as commonly used, but you do see it in embroidery, as well as actually constructing buttonholes. When making the buttonholes, you don’t leave space between the stitches. You stitch them side by side. This creates a really strong edge with all of the “knots” right next to each other.

To remember how to sew the Buttonhole Stitch I think of this…

BACK to FRONT…AROUND and DOWN.

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I hope you find this information as helpful as I did! Happy Sewing!

DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS:

QUICK OVERVIEW: Blanket Stitch vs. Buttonhole Stitch

Sewing Skill Builder: Slip Stitch

I am happy to share with you today my first Sewing Skill Builder video. There are a lot of essential skills in sewing that if mastered, make your projects beautiful and professional looking. However, when those same skills remain a mystery sewing can become a challenge and at times frustrating. In this series I hope share with you essential skills that you can use and build upon as you make projects in the future!

The slip stitch is also often referred to as a ladder stitch or invisible stitch.

The slip stitch is used to close pillows, linings, stuffed animals, and more.

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The slip stitch comes up again and again in sewing regardless if you are making bags, plush toys or garments. Being handy with a slip stitch is extremely useful.

When you slip stitch you are usually joining or closing two folds.

We make our stitches parallel to the folds, essentially hiding the thread inside.

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Your stitches often begin to look like the rungs of a ladder, hence the name.

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Once you pull the thread, the layers will join making the stitching invisible.

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It helps when slip stitching if you use a thin sharp needle. I also like to double thread my needle so I don’t have to worry about it sliding off.

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DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS:

Learn to Sew: Lesson 1: Name Tag Stitch Sampler

Welcome to our Learn to Sew series!

This lesson is the first in a series that will teach the basics of sewing. Through a series of projects and exercises we will learn a variety of skills and techniques that are essential to sewing. We will cover everything from hand-sewing to basic bags and crafts, how to use store bought patterns, and general garment construction.

I look forward to sharing with you all that I have learned! I hope you enjoy these lessons.

Lesson Category:

  • Hand Stitching

Lesson Topics:

  • Using a grid ruler
  • How to select your needle
  • Threading the needle
  • Tying a knot
  • Sewing a Backstitch
  • Sewing a Running Stitch
  • Sewing a Whip Stitch

Whether you have been sewing for years or are picking up a needle and thread for the first time, hand stitching is essential. To learn a few basic stitches we are going to make a Name Tag Stitch Sampler. It’s a great project to begin your sewing experience, and it’s fun to display in your room, or on a shelf or locker.

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The backstitch is great for the name. It is a strong stitch and there are no spaces between the stitches.

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The running stitch is your most basic sewing stitch, and one that is used in most hand sewing projects. The whip stitch also comes in handy in general sewing.

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LESSON:

Rag Doll Part 2 – Adding the Hair

Here is the second installment of my rag doll tutorial. This was by far one of the most difficult videos I have made. Not because the process is hard, but because there are so many different styles of hair that can be selected and so many methods with which it can be applied.

I spent a lot of time deciding what I would share because I didn’t want anyone to feel limited in the approach they had to use. Not to mention, there was a whole lot of yarn that did not want to cooperate and stay in place while filming! Apparently it does not take direction well.

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I really enjoyed using multi-colored hair on this doll. Mixing and matching colors strand by strand was a lot of fun, and I really like the look it created.

On the above doll the majority if her hair is the dark purple color. The wefts added at the bottom were all the same color, however at the top, I added just a bit of contrast.

I hope that you can take the methods used in this video and expand upon them to make something all your own 🙂

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I love the drastically different looks you can create by altering hair styles and color.

Here is my rag doll pattern in case you missed it in the last post. The doll is just over 14 inches tall when completed.

Rag Doll Pattern by learncreatesew

ADDING THE HAIR DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS:

Pig Plush Pattern & Instructions

The Pig Plush pattern and instructions are finally ready!

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They are cute and cuddly! With awesome little tails.

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The pattern comes with two different sizes so you can choose the size that best suits you.

The smaller plush stands 5 – 6 inches tall and the larger 7- 8 inches. The size varies a bit depending on the stretch of your fabric and how much you fill your plush.

Pig Plush Pattern and Instructions

Fox Plush

I took the pattern I used for the Pig Plush and altered it to make a Fox Plush!

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I was really pleased with the results.

I don’t know why, but the cute little tails are always my favorite 🙂

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I also changed the size of the pattern, making two different size options.

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You can also decorate the plush as you like, or leave it simple.

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I’m happy to say that the pattern and instructions are done and ready to share!

Happy Sewing! I hope you have just as much fun making these cute little plushies as I did.

Fox Sewing Pattern and Instructions