How to mend crochet lace

My dear friend bought a lovely shirt which had crochet lace around the sleeve and hem.  As she was leaving home one day, she caught the sleeve on a snag and ripped it.  She brought it to me to see if I could mend it.  After some careful thought, I figured it out!

Mend Crochet Lace

It’s not perfect, but to the naked eye, you can’t tell!

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To do this fix, I used same/like colored thread as the original.  I sewed a few loops of thread between the two broken pieces and left the same distance between them as was there before.  Then by grouping together the original frayed threads along with my added threads, I looped the thread around them to create a cord.  From a distance, you can not tell the “fixed pieces” are corded thread because they blend in with the original crochet links.

After you have a few threads together, loop the thread around them to create a cord.

After you have a few threads together, loop the thread around them to create a cord.

Be sure to follow the original pattern in logical order so all the connections are reestablished and it mimics the original pattern.  Good luck!

How to Make Custom Napkins and Napkin Rings

I decided to make a custom table cloth to match the china I already owned.  For the tablecloth instructions see here:

How to Make a Custom Tablecloth

This post explains how to make custom napkins and napkin rings to match a tablecloth or match whatever decor you choose.

How to Make Custom Napkin and Napkin Rings

For the custom napkins, it is as simple as taking fabric squares 12″ x 12″ and hemming all the way around.

Custom Napkin

For the napkin rings, start by using a strip of fabric that is 14 ” wide and fold it in half.

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Cut strips that are 3″ wide.  I needed six napkin rings, so I cut six strips.

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Next, turn the strips with right sides together and sew both of the long sides by using a 1/4 inch seam.

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Then, on the one remaining open end, turn down the top just 1/4 of an inch and iron it.

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Then turn the whole ring to be right side out and press it flat.

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Because you turned down the edge before turning the ring right-side-out, now all four sides has a clean edge.

Insert the sewn edge into the open end so the ring forms a circle.

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Now for the tricky part, either hand sew or machine sew the two pieces together so they are permanently attached.  Below is a picture of how to accomplish this on a machine, but it’s not exactly easy.

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The finished seam:

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You can accentuate the napkin rings with pins for various holidays.

Holiday Napkin and Napkin Rings

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Or make them to match your custom table cloth.

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How to Make a Custom Tablecloth

I searched every store for a dinning room tablecloth which would match the china I already have, but was unable to find one.  So after investing a bit of thought into the topic, I decided to make my own.

How to Make a Custom Tablecloth

I bought two coordinated fabrics and made the table cloth and matching napkins and napkin rings.  The accessories shown here are Christmas/Winter themed, but you can use a tablecloth like this for any occasion.

Start by laying out the base fabric on top of your table and trim it within 6 inches of your table top.

As the second step, I always like to ensure I have a straight edge to work with.  So I take one thread of the fabric and pull it through so I can find the grain and straight edge of the fabric.

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This line creates a straight line to trim the tablecloth top so it is square on all sides.

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Next, cut the fabric which will be used for the accent to match the length of the tablecloth.  In my case, I had a perfect rectangle shaped table and cut six equal length strips (two for the short ends and four for the long ends).  I had to sew two lengths together for each of the long sides.

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Next, sew both strips of accent fabric to the short sides of the tablecloth.  Place right-sides of the fabric together and sew a simple 1/4 inch seam.  Then sew both of the long sides together in the same manner.  This is what it will look like:

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You can leave it like this and hem it, however, if you want it to look a little more symmetrical, I suggest making a “fake” seam so it will look like this:

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You do this by pinning the underside of the corner and then sewing it, as if you had sewn two pieces together.

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Close up of the fake seam (sewn like a dart):

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The only thing left to do is hem the whole perimeter and you are done!

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For the post on making the matching napkins and napkin rings, see here:

Custom Napkins and Napkin Rings

Rainbow Table Skirt

The entire post for “The Lorax” birthday party:

The Lorax Birthday Party

This post is the how-to for making a rainbow table skirt (or any color table skirt with fabric).  This particular party had theme colors of orange, blue, yellow and hot pink, but any color can be used.

Rainbow Table Skirt

Materials needed for standard 6 x 2.5 foot table are:

  1. 2 yards of four colors of fabric (or 8 total yards of any color)
  2. 4 yards of fabric ribbon
  3. thread
  4. sewing maching
  5. safety pins and straight pins

I started by cutting the fabric for the top into five panels of 15 1/2 x 37 in panels.  The rest of the fabric is cut into 29×24 inch panels for the skirt.  This is enough to cover the front and two sides of the table.  If you want the skirt to go all the way around the table, you will need additional fabric beyond the total 8 yards.

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The top of the table is very easy, just sew the panels right sides together with a simple 1/4 seam until all the of panels are attached.

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For the skirt, start by sewing all the panels together in the same manner.  You will have a very long train, much longer than the perimeter of the table.  This is because it will reduce by about half in length because of all of the gathering.

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Then, using straight pins, attach the skirt to the ribbon.  I used the finished end of the fabric at the top and left it about 1 inch above the top of the ribbon.  Gather the fabric as you pin it so that is has approximately 1/2 inch darts all the way around.

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Front view:

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Back view:

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Then sew the ribbon to the fabric using a 1/4 in seam at the top edge and bottom edge of the ribbon.  Be sure to sew the skirt in the direction of the dart folds you made, otherwise you are going to have a very hard time with the fabric catching against your feeder!

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Lastly, you can hem the bottom of the skirt if you choose.  My new sewing machine had a wonderful hidden-hem stitch which I used, but any way you choose to hem is fine.

I used safety pins to attach the skirt to the table cover and you can not see them.

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What fun!

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Toddler Pillow aka Teen Travel Pillow

Just before my son turned 2 years old, I saw this super cute mini-pillow at a craft sale.  The woman at the booth advertised the pillows as travel pillows for teens to take on Away Games for football or Cheerleading Camp or wherever.  I thought it would work really well in my son’s crib and I was right!  He loves his pillow!  He is now almost 4 and even to this day he still loves it.  So now that my daughter is almost 2, I decided to make her one.  It seemed easy enough, and little did I know, how easy it really was!  It took me less time to sew this pillow than it did to stand in line to buy the fabric!

This is the picture for the original pillow and he is about 18 months old in this photo:

To start, cut the main portion of fabric 25 1/2 inches wide by 17 inches tall. (a little less than 1/2 yard).

Next, cut the top strip of fabric to be the same width 25 1/2 inches by 5 1/4 inches and fold it in half (wrong sides together).

Iron everything and then sew the pillow top to the pillow bottom by placing the edges together with right sides together.

Then fold the entire pillow case in half length-wise and sew the bottom and side seam.

The case will look like this:

It will fit a standard decorative pillow size 12×16 which are available at any craft or fabric store.  You can also have their names embroidered on the pillow top.

My son still loves his pillow and now my daughter does too!