Question of the Week #2

How many pincushions do you own? If you’re like us, probably more than one! Depending on the type of sewing, it may require the right pin for the job. Glass head pins are great, because they won’t melt under an iron. Ball-point pins are a must for sewing with stretchy knits. To work with delicate silks, I keep some extra fine silk pins on hand. Quilting pins, plastic head pins, T-pins…no wonder we have an obsession with pincushions! In this question of the week, we polled our employees to see what kind of pincushion they use the most.

Our winner was a magnetic pincushion!

Magnetic pin cushions make it super easy to store pins, because you can loosely set it close by and it snaps right into place. They eliminate the dread pin spill, and make cleaning up pins a snap, in the event that some get loose.

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Flat Fell Seam Tutorial

This strong, sturdy seam construction is used for sportswear, men’s sport shirts, children’s clothes, and pajamas. Garments which will receive a great deal of stress or must withstand repeated washing will be sturdier if constructed with flat-fell seams. However, avoid using the construction on bulky fabrics; the seam is think and difficult to construct in a heavy, bulky fabric.

Place the pieces to joined wrong sides together, and stitch a plain seam. Press the seam to one side and trim the lower seam allowance to 1/8 inch. Turn under the raw edge of the other seam allowance and place over the trimmed edge. Stitch close to the folded edge through all thicknesses.

Question of the Week #1

One of the best things about working with sewists is getting to learn from your co-workers! We’ve polled our Mill End employees to find out preferences on some of the most burning sewing questions! This week’s question is a big one…what kind of sewing machine do you use? We got a variety of answers, but, interestingly, somewhat evenly distributed.

Do you have a brand that you swear by? Let us know! Click here to take our survey!

 

Click for Babies

We are proud to be a drop off location for donations going to the Click for Babies’ “Period of PURPLE Crying” campaign.

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Donate your handmade, purple colored baby caps here! We will distribute the caps to participating hospitals, public health offices, and home visiting programs that are educating families about the Period of PURPLE Crying. New parents will receive the purple cap as a gift from the community to remind them that their baby will go through this period of normal increased crying.

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Our Yarns dept (PDX) has lots of examples of purple caps (and free patterns to share) on display. Stop by and knit for a cause!

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Tutorial: French Seam

Summer can be a great time to tackle new projects and learn new techniques. Whether you are making lingerie, a sheer cotton top, or a children’s garment, a french seam is a useful skill to have in your repertoire.

In this tutorial video, our sewing expert, Sue Magee, will walk you through how to execute a french seam step-by-step.

2015 Row By Row Experience

Are you participating in Row by Row? This is our first year, and it’s been a blast for far. It’s such a fun event to do with friends, and it’s interesting to see all the variety of patterns from different shops. Here’s our row:

Row By Row 2015_row sample

Our pattern is free to all, and we have pre-made kits available for purchase in our cottons department to make it nice and easy. All you have to do is get to sewing!

Tutorial: Ribbon Bookmarks

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” ― Charles William Eliot

We can’t get enough books on textiles, sewing techniques, quilting, needlework…in our libraries. Our newest beloved is Fabrics A to Z: The Essential Guide to Choosing and Using Fabric for Sewing by Dana Willard. We have it in the store, and a lot of our staff has picked it up, so you know it’s good!

Here’ s a little craft for creating a bookmark that won’t shift or fall out. They are great for gifts for teachers and friends…or use them to mark all of your favorite reference pages!

Ribbon Bookmarks

Supplies:

  • Ribbon
  • Shock cord
  • Awl
  • Needle & thread
  • Button

1) Tie your piece of shock cord into a loop knot.

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2) Using  an awl, poke a hole through one end of your ribbon.

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3) Feed the loop through the hole.

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4) Fold the raw edge under and secure with a pin. Then, handstitch (you can also machine stich this) the 3 sides shown below to close the loop end.

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5) On the other end, simply fold under and stitch around all 4 sides.

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6) Using the awl as a shank to create a space for closure, sew on a cute decorative button.

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7) Tie a knot around the button base several times to secure. 

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Voila!FullSizeRender

Tutorial: DIY Pacifier Clips

Here’s a quick DIY for the new moms in your life. Make a pacifier clip for under $3!

Supplies:

  • Ribbon- about 12 inches
  • Shock cord- about 4 inches
  • Needle and matching thread
  • Awl
  • Clip

1) Tie your piece of shock cord into a loop knot.

2) Using  an awl, poke a hole through one end of your ribbon.

3) Feed the loop through the hole.

4) Fold the raw edge under and secure with a pin.

5) Handstitch (you can also machine stich this) the 3 sides shown below to close the loop end.

6) Thread the ribbon through the clip, fold raw edge under, and secure with a pin.

7) Stitch along the folded edge to secure the clip.

FIN!

Tiny Quilt Challenge

We love Seattle-based American Made Brand. Supporting local businesses and stateside produced fabrics is really important to us! We’ve got a nice selection in both our Portland and Beaverton stores (see photo below).

Looking for a fun little weekend project? Why not enter AMB’s Tiny Quilt Challenge. Quilts must be no more than 15″ x 15″ and must have 4″ hanging sleeves attached.

Prizes include…

1st Place: 1 yard each of the 62 colors of American Made Brand Cotton Solids, a color card and an AMB tote bag

2nd Place: 62 fat quarters – 1 each of the American Made Brand Cotton Solids, a color card and an AMB tote bag
3rd Place: 31 fat quarters of American Made Brand Cotton Solids, a color card and an AMB tote bag

Best of Show Grand Prize: An airline ticket to sunny Southern California in January 2016 plus 2 nights accommodation to see the Tiny Challenge exhibit debut at Road to California 2016!

amb farm to fabric

 

Tutorial: Two Ways to Sew Box Corners

Box corners are a quick & easy technique to make your tote bags, pillows, and cushions fuller and roomier with a structured look. Totes with box corners are great for carrying groceries or books from the library. Box cornered cushions make comfy additions to benches and booth seating for both indoors and outdoors!

We’re going to show you two different ways to make box corners. We use them both!

To try this technique, you’ll need…

  •  Two rectangular pieces of fabric- Any fabric will work, but a stiffer fabric, like canvas, will give you crisper corners
  • Ruler
  • Paper
  • Marking pen
  •  Sewing Machine
  • Iron
  • Pins

Method 1:

1) Layer your fabric together, right sides together. Sew a 5/8″ seam allowance around 3 sides.

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2) Fold the corner to align your seams in the center. Press the corner & seams with an iron.

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3) Measure and mark along both sides of the corner for your desired depth. In this example, we used 2″ on each side, which will give us a 4″ finished corner seam. Use a ruler to connect the two marks with a straight line.

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4) Sew along the line you drew, back tacking both ends. Cut off the corner.

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5) Turn your project right side out to form your box corner!

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Method 2:

1) Layer your fabric together, right sides together. Sew a 5/8″ seam allowance around 3 sides. This is the same as Method 1.

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2) Make a template the depth that you want your box corner. In this example, we made a 2 5/8″ x 2 5/8″ square template for a 4″ finished corner seam. The added 5/8″ is for your seam allowance. Trace the template onto the corner.

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3) Cut along the traced lines. Back tack where you cut through the seams.

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4) Center & line up the two seams. Secure with pins. Sew a 5/8″ seam allowance, back tacking at each end.

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5) Turn your project right sides out to form your box corner!

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This tutorial was brought to you by our Home Decor Dept.

Thanks, Sarah & Karen!

Check out the totes in their etsy shops:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/StitchAndPop

https://www.etsy.com/shop/PurityPurity

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