I have always been good with my hands.
I have a knack to make something out of nothing when it comes to arts and crafts and all things DIY. I love spending time learning new techniques or “upcycling” old stuff that I can find lying around the house.
A few months ago I started quilting for throw pillowcases and my kids’ blanket. It was fun because I love how I get to arrange the extra fabrics into attractive designs. But because I don’t have a sewing machine, it was a slow project.
Then I did wall decals for my kids room and the living room.
I bought one of those large stickers and then cut them up into shapes. Saw the design on an interior designing website and I thought, I can do that with half the cost because the site offered professional interior consultation and professional painter to paint the mural and all that it almost cost me a new house.
So I bought those A3-sized stickers and cut them up into the same design I picked from the site and it turned out darn well, thank you very much.
Recently I’ve tried my hands at monogram letters. *By the way, I really love to put step by step photos of what I did but because I don’t own a fancy hi-res camera, I decided not to put any. That is until I get a new camera!
It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.
I mean, I’m pretty good at sewing but this time around, the letters did pose quite a challenge. They sure made it looked easy on the tutorials sites but when you really sit down and do it, it can be a little tricky!
Like I said, I have yet to get my own sewing machine so everything had to be done by hand. The first time I did I spent almost 2 hours getting the stitches and the measurement right.
Even so, I was pretty proud with the result because it didn’t look too bad at all. And Mohen thought it looked good for someone who did monogram letters for the first time.
For this one, I used a cardboard as the base and then I taped rolled newspapers onto it to fill out the letter. Then I cut the fabric into shape and sew it into place.
This wasn’t exactly the best way to do it because even though you will get a perfect shape of the letter, it was rather tricky and awkward to wrap and sew the fabric around the cardboard.
Perhaps if I were to try it again then I could be better at it because I kind of like this technique (even though I think it isn’t the best) since it gives me a definite shape of the letters and I don’t have weird looking corners pulled too taut from the sewing and stuffing.
The next night I did my second letter, for my daughter (in case you’re wondering, the E above was for Eros). I was happy that the second time around it took me half the time than the first time I sew monogram letters.
Again, I used cardboard as the base and sew the fabric around it. Since this was my second attempt, I knew how to estimate the fabric required and how to sew it better than the first time I did E.
Still, there was something that I find difficult.
I knew I had to try again and again until I find sewing monogram letters an easy thing to do.
So the next thing I did was to make a template of all the alphabets from cardboard and cut out the fabric into shape.
I was going to try sewing them without the cardboard base because I thought it would be easier since the fabric will be flimsy and I would be able to sew around corners much easier than if I were to sew around a hard cardboard.
I learnt two things:
1. It is easier to sew letters without the cardboard base
2. It isn’t as easy as I thought to sew corners without the cardboard base
Because I didn’t wrap and sew the fabric around the cardboard like I did before and I had to sew inside out first before turning it right side out, I had to get used to straightening the fabric into shape, especially the corners because I love to make the alphabets flare at the end like the above two.
Then there the case of stuffing.
I didn’t have the polyester wool yet because this isn’t a project that I take seriously before. I know that that would be a much better material to work with since it’s very light and very easy to push into shape. I am definitely going out and getting them very soon because I can’t wait to have all the alphabets done!
So instead I used old t-shirts and the excess fabric from the letters cut up into small pieces as makeshift stuffing for the time being.
I cut them up as small as possible but most of the times I got too lazy because you try cutting up a big t-shirt into small shreds then you’ll know how long it can take!
With cloth stuffing and instead of rolled up newspaper to fill out the letters, their shape did turn out better because it gives the full, rounded look of the alphabet, like a pillow. With the cardboard base, I have one side flat and the only the front filled up.
Because I didn’t want to waste so much of the stuffing (since they took such long time to cut!) I did a small one first, about 3 inches in length, like the ones you can hang as key chains.
It was really cute and I love how it neat it looks but it was a little tough to get the edges to close up when I’m done with it. But really, it was just a matter of practice because I have yet to really understand how it works because I seldom work with invisible seams before.
Once I got the hang of it, I’m pretty sure I can do it with my eyes closed!