Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sewist of the Week - Hanna

Fashionista Hanna!!!!!

HANNA is in her 2nd year of sewing with me here at the Paradiso Designs Sewing Lounge, and this girl has the best sense of humor.  And check out the lovely smile too!!
I love how Hanna is so oorganized too.  She is a careful sewer, and really makes sure that all of her threads are cut.  She keeps her sewing area quite clean too!!! 

Look at how cute Hanna is with her newsboy hat on, she just made this cute pillow with the sunflower!!!

Here is a take on the Lolita skirt that Hanna made, she gathered the bottom ruffle, and then she added the pockets on the sides too!! 
How cute is that!!

Here is Hanna with her best friend Lia. Lia just finished her book bag, and then wouldn't you know it, this turned into a true Kodak you know how hard it is to get the sewing hounds into the picture, and everyone is looking at the camera, and most everyone is smiling.  You all know Genny, and her buddy Truffles,  the other sewing hound.  Truffles loves the kids, and he makes us laugh when he snores like an old man when he sleeps while we are busy sewing away!! 

Here is Hanna with her fabulous city tote just finished, and well...we were trying to get Genny in the picture!!

Hanna just made the Tiny Bag here!!
OMG, by george we did it again....somehow we got the hounds in the picture again....I believe it is because the hounds love Hanna. She gives them Hanna love pets every time she is hanging at the Sewing Lounge.  Which is why we will miss Hanna as she takes a little break from sewing!!!  We cannot wait until she is back!!  Thanks Hanna for being such a cool student, and really awesome, great sewer!!!!
Cheryl, Melissa, Genny, and Truffles!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yo Girls, Hang This Bling on your Arm........

Amazing Color Story No. 2


*Kona Bay print
*Textured polyester fabric
*Silk ombre ribbon
*Vintage czech glass buttons


*Paradiso Designs "Xine Basket" bag pattern


 One cool, hip bag!!

And here's the inside, with 4 pockets.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wanna Make and Apply Your Own's how!!!!!!!

I have an awesome applique artist for one of my dear friends.....Ms. Sad!!!  Ms. Sad is the cooolest chick  She likes 80's music, and boho fashions!!  I know that she is going to rock out when she sees that I am showing you her very own techniques for doing applique'.  Please check out her blog if you want to see some really hip, eclectic applique that you have ever seen!!!!!  You have not seen anything until you have seen this!

Okay....let's get to appliqueing!!!!!

The Materials that you will need are:
* single sided lightweight fusible interfacing
* clear plastic template sheet
* permanent marking pen (for tracing template)
* vanishing marking pen (to trace template onto applique)
* Applique fabric
* Glue stick
* tear-away pellon (optional, only recommended if using the satin stitch around the applique)

1) Resize applique pattern to desired size, if needed, meaning in a copier that can add or subtract in percentages.

2) Lay the clear plastic template sheet over the applique pattern and take your permanent marking pen to trace the pattern to create a template from the plastic.

3) Make sure you mark each template "Right side up".

4) Cut out the template from the plastic sheet.

5) Choose applique fabric. Cotton quilting fabrics work best, but felt, home decorator weight cottons, and even denim are great choices for appliques, too.

6) Iron any creases out of your applique fabric. Flip it over to the wrong side and iron on the single sided lightweight fusible interfacing. Make sure that the fusible side of the interfacing touches the wrong side of the applique fabric. Follow manufacturer's instructions to apply the interfacing.

7) With the right side of the applique fabric face down, take your plastic applique template and place it on the interfaced side of the fabric. Make sure that you place the template "right side up" face down on the interfacing so that you see the letters backwards.

8) Take your vanishing marking pen and trace around the edges of the template.

9) Cut out the applique pieces from the fabric.

10) Position applique pieces as desired on top of your skirt fabric.

11) Apply glue from the glue stick to the interfaced side of the applique pieces.

12) Adhere the applique pieces to the skirt fabric. Now you are ready to stitch down the applique to the skirt fabric.

13) You can use a straight stitch, denim stitch, small zigzag or even a satin stitch around the edges of the appliqued pieces. If you stitch using a satin stitch- place tear away pellon underneath your skirt fabric, as it will help you smoothly stitch around the applique.

14) Stitch around the applique edges- stitching at least 1/8" inside from the edge. Make sure to use the correct needle, tension, and thread.

15) Backstitch at the beginning and end of each applique piece. Clip threads when finished.

16) Voila! You have just added a super cute flower applique to your skirt!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

You may think that stabilizers are sooo boring, .....but,

well, sometimes they can be boring.
 Did I get your attention?

I was looking through my pictures to find fine examples of how stabilizers are sewn into all the different handbags that I design.

Then, I found the pictures.  The pictures that I took of a lovely lady of a handbag, that I bid fair well to in San Francisco last September.

I would call this well used and well loved!
But see how good the top stitching looks.

I went to a wedding in August with a couple that are dear friends of mine, and Jenn looked at my then filthy dirty, worn-out handbag that yes I had brought to a beautiful wedding, and said "Really Cheryl?".  She again said "Really Cheryl?". 
"You design handbags, and this is what you are carrying, as a representation of your design work, really? 

Now, I have to admit that I had thought twice about taking this ratty looking endearment with me to this event...but I work tons, and I dashed to Jenn's house after teaching a beading class in Swellevue ( my name for Bellevue).  I had to drag all my jewelry stuff (there is alot), and a change of clothes, and my self, and hope that I did not lose my head in the process. Did I really have time to even think of using one of my samples?  Obviously not.

Check out this cracked bag bottom, I use iron-on vinyl on my handbag bottoms, and it lasted for over 3 years, and I ladore this classic Amy Butler Home Dec fabric, and I love the colors !!

I have to say that I do not have alot of time to whip myself up a handbag that often.  So, I had a new design that I was going to film with Sandra Betzina in San Francisco, so I thought....that will be my new handbag!  Problem solved.

But even as this girl was quite worn, she really did hold up, and the lining looks great...which of course made it even harder to through her away.

So, as I walked to the bus stop...thank-god it was down hill, I threw that weary bag away.  I buried it in a waste basket on Hayes Street in San Francisco!  But, like any good sewist that never wastes anything that could be used again,..not before I cut off the buttons and metal rings. 

Now I am using my new design, that will make it's debut in a magazine to be named later this year.  Two months later I officially intiated this bag when i dumped a cup of coffee in it......ladies that is the true test of a handbag, if you can dump an entire cup of coffee in it, and still use it again after it dries out!
I am very good at dumping cups of coffee into my bags , I have done this to all of them, at least once.

Please keep these pictures in mind next week when I really talk about stabilizers, because when you use good materials and good stabilizers, and the correct way to use your stabilizers, your bag will hold up even if the ribbon frays, and the bag gets really grubby!!
And I will happily tell you what will makes a handbag really be a handbag!!
See you tomorrow with Method Monday...oh yeah it will still be on applique because I did not blog about it last week...Sorry,
silly, tired  me. 

Sewist of the Week - Bella!


Bella started sewing with me last summer in my summer sew camps!!  Once I got her stitching, she just went to town making all kinds of stuff!  Including my Tiny Bag Pattern.  She made this for her Grandmother!!

This is my Corseted Vest Pattern that Bella made last fall without the corsets...I love the ties in the back view, and the front is stunning too!  WE thought 3 buttons was just right!
How about this light pink Hoodie!!
Oh yeah, Bella whipped this out in no time.  Check out the mound of muslin.  Muslin does a sewist good!!

Here is Bella, Lia & Hanna just last week hanging with Genny the sewing lounge hound!!  Bella just finished making the garland, she had round her neck.  Thanks Purl Soho for this project.  She cut a bazillion circles with stabilizer fused to the fabrics first.  Then she sewed the circles together...using of course variegated thread (my favorite), then she connected all the circles with a straight stitch.  It turned out so cool.  Click on garland to see how you can do it! 

Last summer this was the first thing Bella ever made at the SEwing Lounge.  This Lolita skirt was sooooo cute on Bella.  And I think it goes well with the soccer jersey!  Genny is cool with the styling Bella too!  Please note that Bella was quite shy here posing with her new creation, it was her first project!  Go back to the first photos in this here blog...the girl can really model now!!


I love these lavender sachets, that the kiddos make for their moms.  We love making this pile o' sachets when they are all done, and putting a big old bow on it!

And last....Here is a fabric "container", that Bella said if full of thread!!  We Love-Love!!  Click on container to see how it is made!!  Thank-you again Purl Soho!

On a final note...Bella you are on your way to being a super star in the SEwing Lounge with all the cool stuff you are churning out with amazing speed.  You are so fun to have in class, as you are incredibly polite, and such a sweet person!!  We all know that you are a super star on the soccer field, and never lose all that fabulous enduring motivation that you have.  I am sure that one day I will more then likely work for you.  You Go Girl!!!!!!

Tomorrow....lets get busy with the all enchanting stabilizers  (snore.....) (or not) galore!!  They make your bags really be bags....!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Have you used variegated thread YET?

I am NUTTY about variegated thread & all that it can do for my designs!!  Wonderfil, YLI, & King Tut are all great variegated threads.  It is a bit thicker then normal sewing threads, which are ideal for sewing my pleather/vinyl straps!!

I am feeling so rich...when I see all these lovely spools of variegated thread.

This is what I call a snake ruffle.  I love this technique for adding trim to a skirt hem.  When I cut the ruffles I add a row of stitching on the bottom of the ruffle pieces with a 1/8th  seam allowance, just to edge stitch here with...of course variegated thread.  This was a brown and green combo thread.  This fabric was of a bunch of can labels by Robert Kaufman.

Check out this strap....can you see the subtle color change of the threads?  This bag pattern will be available later this year!!

This is a ruffle panel of my Retro Granny Skirt.  Check out the stitching on the binding.  This fabric is Love by Amy Butler for West Minister.

Can you see the stitching on the strap?  I think that the variegated thread really pops when stitched on a solid color as you can see there on my Okashi Courier Bag.
The Okashi is made out of Kona Bag Fabric!

This is my Xine Bag pattern.  If you look at the stitching can see that it changes colors!!  This fabric is by Erin McMorris for Free Spirit.

Here is my Okashi Pattern again...Check out alll the rows of stitching at the top of the bag, and the top stitching on the seam...ain't it pretty!  I love the colors in this Kona Bay Fabric.

Variegated is a awesome thing!  Try some today!

I'll be back tomorrow...with a new sewing technique for method Monday!!!
Until then......xoxox Cheryl

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sewist of the Week - Olivia !


Check out this headband of flowers from last summer that Olivia made in 1 hour!

OLIVIA......isn't she the cutest gal!!!  Olivia is one of the funniest kids that I know.   And she is always asking for more cookies too.  Look at this picture of her with a twinkle in her eyes, and those dimples!!

Check-out this cool plush dude that Olivia designed and made herself!!

Here is Olivia with her other sewing buddies Ella and Gracie.  Ella just made this "hand purse", and Gracie just made her skirt that she is yummy mint green taffeta.  

Last summer she made this watermelon for her sister Gigi.
Can you believe she made this vest, how cool is that?!
Olivia's been sewing with me for two years.  Soon she will be moving away from Seattle due to her father being in the military.  She has learned so much about sewing and she had never touched a sewing machine until she started making appearances in the Sewing Lounge.  You can tell by every picture of Olivia how happy of a kiddo she is!!!  Olivia has made skirts for herself and for her mom.  She has produced so many fun little plush animals, and see that vest?  You should see the dress she is finishing now!  We will have to post a picture of that!!

Olivia, I am so glad that I got to teach you how to sew, and I have had a ton of fun times with you.  You must always stay in touch.  To Olivia's mom.....Katy,   thank you so much for all of your support when I was getting these kiddo's sewing classes off the ground.  You are a special lady to me, and your entire family is so beautiful.  You, Olivia, Gigi, Cordy, and Cord will be sorely missed.  I worry that the Sewing Lounge may be a little too quiet after Olivia has left!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Amazing Color Story No. 1

Check out our first-ever Amazing Color Story!

* Dark Chocolate pleather from Pacific Fabrics,
*Mettler thread  ( Medium Rose) #769
*2 designs from Alexander Henry's "Meadow Lark"
 *blue dot print from Kaffe Fassett.


*Paradiso Designs Carry All bag pattern


A one of a kind creation!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Versatility of Binding...what can you do with it?

bind·ing [bahyn-ding]
1. the act of fastening, securing, uniting, or the like.
2. anything that binds.
3. the covering within which the leaves of a book are bound
4. a strip of material that protects or decorates the edge of a tablecloth, rug, etc.

BEAUTIFUL BINDING ... let's show you how to do this!!!

Using binding to trim the pockets on the Tiny Bag

Trimming the ruffles of the Retro Granny Skirt.

I have been using binding in so many different ways, and I love the look of it. If you use the right fabrics together you can really make a design pop. You will see the pocket top, or you will see trim on the edge of something, where before you may have never noticed it before!!

With this simple tutorial you can make binding to make ties. Have you seen how you can buy yardage of kitchen toweling? Use binding to trim it. What if you made 2" wide trim? How beautiful could that be?  It's kind of a fun thing to do ... let's get started...

First, figure out what you want to trim, and what you would like to trim it with!  For a regular trim, I generally cut a 2" wide strip from the trim fabric along the width.  This will give you about a 1/2" trim width.  Fold in half legthwise and iron.

Cut along the width.

Iron it in half.


Now fold in bottom edge towards center crease and iron down.  DO NOT TRY TO FOLD IN BOTH SIDES AT THE SAME TIME.  It will be very difficult to get them even, and once you iron it, it will be difficult to fix.

Fold bottom edge up to crease.
Fold up again so that the center
crease is now on the bottom 



Rotate the strip around so the now ironed side is on the bottom, and repeat to enclose the last raw edge.

Fold up top edge to center crease.
Fold other edge into the center and iron down both creases together.

Your trim should now look like this.
 Next, pin the begining of the trim to your fabric so that it is in the right place to start sewing together.
No need to pin it all, you can
 guide the fabric into the binding pretty easily.

Trim pinned where you will begin to sew.

Start sewing using a 1/16" sa, 1/8" is okay too.

 Begin sewing trim using a 1/16" seam allowance, OR you can use a 1/8" sa too.

Manually guide the trim into the middle of the binding between folded edges.
Check your alignment
every 2" or so to keep it even.

Ta Da!  Check out this binding on the edge of this dress ... pretty cool, huh? 

We will get a picture of this dress soon, so that you can see the total look!