Tag Archives: sewing projects

Making a Tiered Ruffled Comforter

These comforters are so adorable and super expensive if you bought anything equivalent in a store or online.  You can make these for any size bed and out of any type of material.  Get creative. I used knit material since you don’t have to hem all of the ruffles, but you could use basic cotton as well. An all white ruffled comforter would be great for a feminine touch to an adults bed.  Any color scheme worked into varying shades like we did with these is also great. Remember if you are working with knits you need to use a walking foot, and often stabilizer if the knit is thin and you are using a regular sewing machine.  This is definitely not a beginners sewing project.  Expect to take some time creating these.  Also expect to purchase quite a bit of material. Make sure you have a large workspace set up as well, as you will need to be able to lay the comforter out in whole to place the ruffles.  2 Table tops pushed together would be ideal.

IMG_9004There are several ways you can make this comforter. You can make a duvet cover that is removable, or you can attach batting or an old piece of comforter into the inside which won’t be removable.  I chose to make a non removable comforter for these 2 tiered ruffled comforterssince they were for two young girls bunk beds who have a hard enough time getting their beds made every day as it is.  I think children’s beds should be as easy to make as possible if you want them to get into a good habit of making them.  The color scheme that was chosen for their shared room was turquoise and purple, so we chose to coordinate the comforters in various shades of these colors.  Since they would be used on bunk beds we also chose to make the ruffle tiers cascade down the long side of the bed as opposed to the traditional way of cascading down from the pillow side to the foot of the bed.

IMG_6233 If you don’t feel like you are up to making one, email our shop at info@summerscloset.com for a custom quote.  You can also visit our shop for other great bedding and decor options like the Live, Laugh, Love sheet set shown here.  We also have personalized and monogrammed sheet sets, and great throw pillow covers to update any rooms decor.




We found a cheap white IMAG0957cotton knit on sale for $1 a yard which is what we used for the main part of the comforter and the top several ruffles.  It is hard to find a fabric this cheap, when I do, I try to purchase as much as I can for large projects such as these.  Then the girls chose another textured white knit and 3 different textures, shades and prints of the knits in their color scheme for the rest of the ruffles.  Initially, 1 yard of each of these colored fabrics IMG_9010was purchased.  1 yard only did about 2 ruffles each which is why we had to add more white ruffles than we initially planned.

Making the ruffles:  Cut the strips of fabric into the height you choose for the ruffles.  We cut our about 8 inches high to maximize the amount of fabric we had and to get at least 2 ruffles of each.  In general for a nice full ruffle, you need the length plus half the length per ruffle.  After you cut the strips, sew the pieces into two long strips.  If you are using a fabric other than knit that will fray, you will need to hem both the top and bottom at this point.  Since we used knit we skipped this step.  There are benefits to knit and also challenges.  Knit is much harder to work with, especially a thin knit like the white we used for the main parts of the comforters.

Next you need to make the ruffles.  There are several ways to do this.  You can use a ruffler foot for your sewing machine which works great (until the foot breaks).  I recently purchased a generic brand ruffler foot and loved how easy and beautifully it made the ruffles.  However after using it only a couple of times it broke.  I read many reviews of these feet and saw how many people had issues with them breaking but still gave it a shot.  I still plan on trying a better brand, but haven’t gotten around to it.  You can also use a gathering foot on your sewing machine, but I haven’t had much luck with my gathering foot working properly either. Another option is to use the longest stitch you have and adjust the tension to the lowest setting.  Sew this stitch without locking it in one continuous stitch along the top edge of the ruffle material.  After you have done this, pull on the top thread from both sides gathering the material as you pull and creating a ruffle.  With knits, I have found this doesnt always work perfectly since it often gets caught on the knit material.  If you work in smaller sections this will help prevent that.

Next you need to measure the material to the size that you need.  You can use an old comforter as a template.  Cut the material accordingly.  For the twin comforters we were able to use the width of the fabric  as the width of the comforter.  For larger sizes you may either need to purchase extra wide width fabric if you don’t want seams, or sew 2-3 pieces to get the size you need.  For the base of a comforter like this seams wouldn’t be a problem on the top as the ruffles will cover them.  You will need 2 pieces one for the front and one for the back.  Make sure you watch the video for more detail on these instructions.  You also need to add about 3 inches of seam allowance on one side to add buttons or a zipper if you plan on making it a removable duvet cover.

Take one of the pieces you cut and assembled and lay it on a large flat surface.  Pin the ruffles on in straight rows.  It is easiest to pin one ruffle at a time, sew it and then pin the next ruffle.  You can also make chalk lines with a straight edge to mark your ruffle lines which will make it easier to pin and sew your ruffles properly.  Sew the ruffles on with a straight stitch at the top edge of the ruffle.  (You could also get creative and make non tiered ruffles and sew the ruffling stitch in the center instead of the top in the previous stitch. See our post on Textured Rose throw pillow for ideas on making ruffles this way, or even a whole comforter! Imagine a comforter covered in roses like these?)  Continue sewing the ruffles on from bottom to top, overlapping each one slightly.

After all the ruffles are attached to your top piece of the comforter, it is time to assemble the whole thing.  To make a removable duvet cover, lay the top piece right side up, lay the bottom piece right side down, making sure right sides of both are touching.  Pin all sides.  Sew three sides, leaving a large opening in the 4th side.  Add a zipper or hem this opening adding buttons and button holes.  If you are making an attached comforter.  Lay a piece of batting, or an old comforter flat on the ground, lay the top piece ruffled side up on top of the batting, and lay the back piece right side down, making sure right sides are touching of both pieces.  Pin, and sew all 4 sides, leaving a small opening large enough to turn the comforter right side out when you are finished.  Once you turn it right side out, turn in the seam allowance at the opening and sew the opening shut.

You now should have a beautiful tiered ruffled comforter completed!



Glass Mosaics Part 3- Grouting and Finishing

This is my last post on the glass mosaics. You will see how to grout and finish your mosaic piece. Don’t forget to check out the first two posts for all the steps on creating a glass mosaic.

Glass Mosaic Step 1:

Glass Mosaic Step 2:

IMG_1602What you will need for this step:

-Bag of sanded grout in color of your choice

-Grout mold and mildew preventive mixture (optional) good for bathroom projects

-Mixing paddle for electric paint mixer or cordless drill (optional), You can also mix it by hand with a paint stick, but it is much easier with the electric mixing paddle.

IMG_1491-Tile float

-Rubber heavy duty tile gloves

-Empty buckets

-Large sponge

Make sure your mosaic completely dried from step 2.  You should have left it to dry for 24-48 hours depending on how humid it is where you are. Here in South Florida, we have to leave it at least 48 hours on these big projects because it is so humid.

IMG_8996Mix the grout according to the directions on the packaging. I mix mine to a slightly thicker consistency than I normally would for normal tiling.  Start with a small amount of water in a small amount of grout and mix in a large bucket, adding water and grout as needed.  You can always mix another batch of grout.  Only mix what you will have the time to use since the grout will harden if left in the bucket after it is mixed and you will have to throw it out.  Add mold mildew mixture if you choose, before water as it will water it down. Let the grout mixture sit after mixing for 10 minutes or according to package directions.

Work on one area small area at a time perhaps a couple of square feet. It is best to start from the top down of your mosaic. Using the tile float, spread grout back and forth and up and up and down in the section you chose. Make sure you are getting grout in all the little holes and spaces. Use your tile float to scoop some grout from your bucket, and work from the bottom up of your section to help keep the grout from spilling off the wall while you work.

IMG_1608Let the section sit for a couple of minutes and then take your damp sponge and gently sponge over the section to wipe off excess grout.  You will need to rinse your sponge several times as you clean the tile. You will need to change your water often as well.

Continue the same steps until you have completed grouting your mosaic.  The glass will have a haze over it that you will wipe off with a dry cloth after everything is dry.  Make sure it is only a haze left before you let it dry.  Do NOT let the grout dry on the glass without sponging it or it will be difficult if not impossible to remove.  This is why you need to work in small sections.

IMG_1599Also, make sure you tape off everything but the edges of the mirror if you do a mosaic around a mirror, since the grout can leave a haze on the mirror that doesn’t come off.

On the tropical mosaic dock, I added tiny little pebbles on the dock posts and edges that I had gotten from a trip to the German Alps.  Try adding fun little mementos into your mosaic, be creative, just remember grout doesn’t stick to wood like it does stone. The wood edge framing that we built on the bathroom wall, and any other edges like that need to be caulked with matching color caulk when everything is completely cleaned and dried.

Use cheesecloth or a soft cloth to buff and clean all the grout haze off when the grout has dried. If there is a lot of dust you may want to wipe it again with a clean damp cloth again first to remove some of the dust.  You will then need to let this dry and buff again with a soft clean cloth.

Check out our great Womens handbags that we sell in our shop. Like this Green Bohemian Quilted Sling Bag. It is great for everyday and has plenty of room for a change of clothes for an over night bag, or even a small laptop or tablet!

Sewing a Ruffled Flower Pillow-Sewing Projects with Texture

IMG_9012This is a fun sewing project that you can use for all sorts of things.  In our video today we are going to show you how to create textured flowers from handmade ruffles and attach them to a pillow you will also make.  You could use these textured flowers for all sorts of sewing projects like apparel, handbags and much more.  Let your imagination go wild for ruffles!

We used scraps of knit fabrics that we had used on a ruffled comforter as well as pieces of flat lace.  Be sure to follow our blog for more great posts such as the ruffled comforter.


IMG_8434Be sure to check out our Matching Dresses and outfits for girls and their 18 inch dolls in our store.  Like this cute Lilac sundress made from flowered organza fabric and pretty ribbon straps.  The matching dresses fit most 18 inch dolls like our own Soft Bodied Seasons Dolls or American Girl Dolls.





What you will need:

-Long strips of knit or other non fraying fabrics cut anywhere from 1/2″ to 1 1/2″ depending on your desired look.  Pick 1 type of fabric or go for coordinating fabrics with different textures like we did.  The options are endless.

-Fabric for pillow

-Stuffing for pillow or pillow form

-Sewing machine, thread, and siccors

IMG_9011First cut your strips of fabric for the ruffled flowers.  Next cut your fabric you are using for the pillow covering to the size you want the pillow or the size of your pillow form plus 1/4 inch on all 4 sides.  You need to cut 2 of these being sure you put the fabric wrong sides together when you cut if you are making an irregular shaped pillow.

Make sure you are using a stretch needle if you are using knit fabrics.  Put your sewing machine on the longest stitch possible and on the highest tension to make the ruffles.  Sew a seam close to one edge making sure not to back stitch at the beginning or end so that you can pull the threads when you are done with the stitch.  Next pull one of the threads (whichever is easiest to pull top or bottom on both sides scrunching the fabric creating a ruffle.  Do this to the whole strip.

Next decide where you are going to start placing your first flower on one layer of the fabric you cut for the pillow cover.  Make sure you put your machines tension and stitch back to normal.  Start from the center of the flower, wrapping the ruffle in a tight circle. Sew little by little keeping the bottom edge of the ruffle outwards and sewing on the top edge.  Continue this spacing your ruffles to the desired space for your flower and as big as you would like your flower to be.  When you have reached the desired size, cut the ruffle and tuck the end under the last ruffle that overlays it and sew slightly over that last ruffle so that the edge is hidden under the stitch.

Continue adding as many flowers as your creative mind desires in the same manner!


Glow in the Dark Embroidered Applique Pillow

These adorable pillows make a great project for seamstresses of all sizes.  My video today shows one of my young sewing students, my adorable niece Summer, creating a custom pillow for her new bedroom.  We made ours reversible for an extra special pillow.  FUN on one side for the daytime, Zzz on the other for night time.

IMG_9002What you will need:

-Pillow form or stuffing in your desired size

-Plain fabric of your choice for pillow cover

-Scrap patterned fabric for applique

-Glow in the dark embroidery thread

-Sewing machine, pins and scissors!

doll1Be sure to check out our great products in our store http://www.summerscloset.com
  We have adorable hand made 18 inch dolls in our Seasons Series which features Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.  These dolls have cuddly soft bodies and yarn hair and are perfect for any age girl or doll collector.  They have beautiful embroidered faces and detailed hands and feet.  There is a ton of cute clothing, outfits and accessories to fit them, and they can even wear most clothing made for other 18 inch dolls like American Girl Dolls.

This is such a versatile project.  You can choose to use patterned fabric for the pillow with coordinating patterned fabric for the applique.  You can do one large initial or a whole word. Or how about a simple shape?  You can use soft flannel fabric like we did or a silky satin.  You can also use a variety of embroidery thread colors or even a mutli colored thread that changes colors as you sew it on.

IMG_9001The first thing you need to do is cut 2 pieces the same size to the measurements of your pillow plus adding 1/4 inch on all sides for the seams.  Make sure your two pieces are cut with wrong sides together if you are doing a shape that is not equal on both sides.

Using a plain piece of paper or tissue paper, draw and cut out your letter, word or design.  The simpler and more angular your letter is the easier it will be to embroider around.  You can use a computer and print a letter if you have a hard time drawing letters.

Place the letter template on your scrap fabric and pin it down with lots of pins to one layer of your pillow cover fabric.  Set your machine on a tight zig zag stitch and place the pinned fabric under the needle starting with one point of the letter.  Be careful that your fabric is laying flat and non of the edges are stuck underneath.  Start sewing a zig zag stitch over top of the edges of your letter or design.  Make sure most of the zig zag is over the letter fabric and just slightly over the pillow cover fabric.  When you get to the corners you need to turn make sure the needle is in the down position and lift the lever and turn your fabric to the new direction you need to sew.  Be sure to back stitch your first and last stitches to lock them in place.

Last step is to place the embroidered side of the pillow cover right sides together with the back and sew a 1/4 inch seam all the way around, leaving an opening to stuff with filling or to insert a pillow form.  Close up the opening with a simple stitch on the sewing machine or if you feel more comfortable hand sewing a slip stitch.