Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Trends

Hey crafty peeps!  It's Karen here.  It's a very bittersweet week for me.  You may have heard that this is my last week with the Trendsetters and each post I write makes me just a little bit more nostalgic.  I love this fabulous group of women and we've really bonded over the years and I'm not really ready to say goodbye.  So I'm not going to focus on that just yet - today is Wednesday Trends!!

I sew on 99% of my cards now, so I thought it might be fun to show you all how I do it.  I know there are lots of you out there who already sew on your cards, but since I've only been sewing on mine for a bout a year, I know there are some of you who have wanted to give it a go, but didn't know where to start, or are a little worried about straight lines.  It just takes practice and getting comfortable with the sewing machine you use.

Here is one of the first cards I made with sewing -
Lots and lots of swervy lines.  I think I pretty much just held on for dear life and let the machine do what it wanted to.  LOL!   Plus, I didn't pull the strings through to the back of the card, I just cut them where they were - rookie.  Ha ha!!

I made a little photo tutorial and I wish I had a video camera so it would be a little easier to show you, but hopefully my photos will show what I need them to show.  This is a looooong post, so grab a snack.

My disclaimer is this - I'm not a professional seamstress by any means - I just sew on paper.  I'm sure they won't be calling me to mend trousers at Downton Abbey anytime soon, so just keep that in mind. 

First, I glued my patterned paper to my cardstock and got all of my individual pieces ready to go.  Be sure to avoid adding adhesive to the areas of the paper that you are going to sew.  This will help keep your needle gunk-free.  Sometimes this is unavoidable like with my scallop trim pieces, so I try not to all a lot of adhesive there. 

I'm going to use the D setting on my Janome Sew Mini. 

I start with my layer base sheet and will align the needle in the lower left corner, about 1/8" in from each side.

To keep my stitches fairly straight, I hold my fingers next to the cardstock, using both hands on both ends of the paper, as a guide.  I found this method to be easier for me rather than holding the top of the paper and guiding it through.  I let the foot of the machine do all the work, I just keep the paper in place.  

When the needle gets close to the end of the paper, I take my foot of the floor pedal and manually turn the wheel on the side of the machine to make those last few stitches so I can be sure not to get crazy and sew off the paper.  It happens. 

To make the corner, lift the foot while the needle is still in the paper and then turn your cardstock 90 degrees and then put the foot back down.  Continue sewing around all 4 sides.

Now that I've finished my border, I'm going to add the next layer. 

I love using the zigzag settings for my sideways panels, so I'm going to use my favorite - G.

I usually line up the needle on the top edge of the panel so that my stitches overlap both sheets of paper.  Each zigzag setting moves the needle to different places, so be sure to line up an edge before you start sewing full speed. 

I've completed my sewing, so now I'm going to pull the loose ends through to the back side of the paper.  This gives the card a more polished and completed look.  To do this, simply pull on the string on the back side of the paper and it will pull a loop through from the front of the card, like this:
Then pull the loop until the thread is pulled completely from the front side.

Here is my finished card.  I also did some zigzag stitching on the tag where the scallop border is attached.
I used Retro Sketches RS#13 for this layout and the stamp set is Cute as a Button.  I hope you'll try some sewing if you haven't tried already.  It's quite therapeutic! 

I use a Janome Sew Mini, which is small and sits nicely on my craft desk.  It's a perfect little starter machine.

Thanks 'sew' much for stopping by today!  I hope you have a wonderful day.


  1. Sorry to hear you are leaving TSG. Have always enjoyed seeing your wonderful creations with the sets. Thanks for the tute on sewing. I have been wanting to try it for years and have a Mini Sew on my wish list.

  2. Great tutorial, Karen! I remember sewing on paper in my 8th grade sewing class. It seems I've come full circle!! I enjoy stitching on my cards and I think it gives a great finished look. Of course, I use my "old faithful" Brother machine from college days. It's a little bigger than the Janome, but still works great.

  3. I Love your work,and am said to hear you're leaving. Great tutorial! I've hand stitched on cards and a machine would make it go so much faster :)

  4. Karen, I LOVE my Janome Sew Mini, and I love to sew on my cards as well, but I never do straight-stitching because I can't get my lines straight. Thank you SO much for your tips!! They were very helpful! Hugs! Oh, and I LOVE your adorable card!

  5. Karen, great tutorial. Thanks for sharing. I miss having a sewing machine; I love to stitch on cards. The Janome mini sounds wonderful. I am going to have to look into getting one.

  6. This is a great tutorial for those of us who are a little fearful to get started with sewing on our cards.

  7. Fantabulous! Thank you "SEW" much for all those photos too - I'm a 'visual' gal!

  8. Wonderful tutorial...thank you for all the very detailed steps. Will miss your work here but I always like visiting your blog. All the best.

  9. I got the Janome mini for a Mother's Day present. It is sitting in the box still. It skeers me. You may have given me the boost of encouragement I needed to take it out of the box.....this weekend perhaps.

  10. I've had mine for almost two years, still new in the box. I HAVE TO CHANGE THIS!!!

    Oh, and I'mma miss you SOOOOO MUCH!!

  11. Great tutorial. Stitching IS your signature accent! I will miss seeing your postings of the TSG site, but will think of you behind your camera, capturing all the fun your kids will have this summer. I'll see you on your "sweetest thing" blog.


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