Category Archives: Project Tutorials

Dog Bed Makeover

I absolutely love my dog. She is my best buddy and super assistant, but I’ll be honest. She has hideous taste in sleepwear. I buy her cute dog beds with shaping or cool designs and she just is not interested. This has been her go to for years now:

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It is a big pillow covered with lumberjack chic fleece with a zipper along the side. It is the cheapest dog bed ever. I bought it for $10 at Walgreen’s and it is all she uses. She also has it in tiger print in the bedroom. She totally pulls that one off, but the plaid one is in the living room and no longer matches my new super cute curtains. Now it looks like this:

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Still lumpy, but that is what she likes. At least now it is a great print that is the same color as my curtains. Here is how I did it.

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I wanted to reuse the zipper because it is so long, so I ripped it out.

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Like my new band-aid? Patrick from Sponge Bob Square Pants would like to remind us all that seam rippers are sharp. ūüôā

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I got one yard of each of these to match my other home decor fabric. I love the chevrons, but decided to use the polka dot for her bed because I think it would show less dirt.

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I used a chenille for the bottom and just cut it about one inch bigger than the inner pillow of the bed.

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I cute my top fabric the same size as my bottom fabric.

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Place the zipper right sides together along one short side of your fabric and sew down the edge using your  zipper foot.

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Then flip your fabric right side up and top stitch your fabric to your zipper tape.

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Now sew the other side of the zipper right sides together with your bottom fabric using the same process.

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I noticed a lot of fabric shedding while I was sewing my zipper, so instead of flipping and top stitching like I did before I used my serger to finish the edge of the zipper tape to the bottom fabric. You could just top stitch it like we did on the main fabric.

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Now open your zipper a bit so you don’t sew your cover shut and sew around the edges of the three remaining sides right sides of the fabric together.

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My zipper was plastic, so I just sewed right over it about three times to secure it. If your zipper is metal do not sew over it. Do what you need to to avoid the needle hitting the metal zipper teeth.

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I serged my edges when I was done to finish them, but you could just pinking shear them.

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Turn your case right sides out, and make sure your zipper works.

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Reinsert your pillow and zip up. You’re done!

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Well, almost. Make sure it feels right to your best buddy. Now her bed looks super cute in the living room. Thanks for reading, and as always I would love to see if you make one.

 You can see more of me (and my four legged assistant) at Stacie Thinks She Can.

Easy Panel Curtains

I had a friend come over and teach me how to make panel curtains. I used hardware I bought ¬†from Ikea that the curtains clipped onto, so I didn’t even need to make a pocket for a rod. The results were beautiful, and I wanted to share her method with you.

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The fabric is the same color blue as my table cloth and valance. They make my living room feel bigger and   finished.

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Here is the before shot. There was nothing wrong with the old curtains, but they were so dark. They were also thinly lined and that window gets direct sunlight in the afternoon. I also have a window next t the brown couch you can’t see that had no curtains at all. It’s just one of those things I always meant to get around to.

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There wasn’t a specific method to measurement on this, but I would estimate we cut the fabric and lining 10 inches longer than the length of the window. I did not cut the width of the fabric. I used the full panel. Both the fabric and the lining measured 54 inches. I used two full panels on my 75 inch window and one panel cut in half on my 36 inch window.

ImageI placed the lining fabric on the floor and smoothed it out. I used a blackout lining which felt kind of like plastic and was afraid to press it. In the end all the wrinkles worked themselves out. I placed the lining with the right side facing down.

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Next place the fabric on top right side facing up. Your lining and fabric should right wrong sides together.

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Then I pinned the fabric together along the two long sides and one short side.

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Next slowly baste the fabric and lining together along one short side and one long side. It was nice to have a second person to help me deal with that much fabric. It wasn’t hard to do, but it was heavy. Also, I found sewing with the fabric side up kept me from stretching out the lining as I went.

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Now lay it back out and check the pins on your remaining side. If any ripples formed readjust the pins and continue basting the other long and short side. As you can see, I got some ripple in mine. Once your fabric is basted you will treat it as one piece of fabric.

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If you are making two panels out of your one piece of cloth this is the time to cut it as needed and go ahead and baste the fabric together again on the newly cut edge.

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Trim off any excess fabric or lining that may happen. I did not get very much of extra to trim off. Next I double folded the fabric to hide any raw edges and pinned it around both long sides and one short side. Because I had striped fabric, I cheated. I did not measure. I simply followed the edge of a stripe to ensure it would be straight. Making striped curtains really has its benefits!

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I can’t resist a shot of my assistant wondering if we will ever get to stop pinning! When you are finally done pinning go ahead and sew all the way around where you just pinned.

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 I laid the panels out again at this point to check for anything weird, but everything looked good.

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Now go hang your panel up. You finally get a peek at how your curtains will look! This is also how we hemmed them.

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Pull the bottom of your curtain a few inches out from the wall and pin along the bottom where it is touching the floor. My friend Holly said that is how you get a hem that will just skim the floor. It worked! If you look closely you can just see a pin on each side. If you are hemming a wider curtain you will want more than two pins. For some reason I just got better pictures of the thin paneled curtain hem.

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Take the curtain back down and head to your machine to hem it. I left my pin in and simple double folded the curtain so that my pin was still at the bottom. Next I stitched all the way across. Again, with a wider panel we used the same concept. We just pinned more and went a little slower.

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Now you have custom made floor skimming panel curtains! I completed this project over two evenings. I would say total time spent on all curtains was about five hours. It is not hard just a lot of fabric to contend with.

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Here is the view of my side window curtains from behind my monster television. I have not jumped on the flat screen trend yet. I just love the look of the final results! I find myself standing in my living room and just looking at the difference these curtains made. I can also see my dining room from the living room and my living room from my kitchen, so having this blue in all the rooms provides a nice sense of continuity. I have some more leftover fabric again, so expect to see accessories!

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Again, here is the front window with the large panels. Thanks for reading, and I hope you will share pictures of you make any of the projects featured here.

To read more from Stacie you can visit her personal blog here.

Kitchen Valance Tutorial

After my table cloth success, I decided I would make a little valance for my kitchen window. It changes the feel of the whole kitchen! I love it!

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And it looks great from the dining room, where the same fabric makes up my new tablecloth. As you can see I have a narrow little kitchen, so a valance was the best choice for me. I feel like anything bigger would have been too much.

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Here is what I did I cut a piece of fabric about 25 inches by width of fabric. I wanted my valance to be about a foot tall. I thumbtacked my fabric up over the window and eyeballed the width.

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I added about 2 inches past the width of my window and cut the excess fabric off. Take it down and get it back into the sewing area!

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I pressed both the sides of my valance in a half inch and pressed. I then sewed that half inch in along both edges.

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In this picture I have sewed down both sides. On the right side I just pressed in my selvedge and sewed it down. Then I took the piece of fabric and folded it right sides together.

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I sewed a seam all the way across the top. I reversed it at the beginning and end of the stitch.

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You should have a fabric tube with no raw edged. Go ahead and turn it right side out.

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I pressed that seam open, then I pressed it so that it was even across the top.

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I used a cheap tension rod from Target that required a one inch opening. I followed along my guide to make a one inch seam below the top of the valance.

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Your valance should look like this all the way across the top.

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I slipped my tension rod in the top and hung it up! All steps included this probably took about 20 minutes to make. I can’t believe I did not do this sooner!

Note 2 our Readers:  Find even more adventures from Stacie at her personal Sewing Blog

Easy table cloth

I just made a table cloth that was even easier than I though! Ready to have your mind blown?

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I think it turned out very summery and matches my pictures that were already hanging well. Would you like to see a before?

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I bought this table cloth during Christmas (2009!) and it has been there ever since. It is very pretty, but I wanted to brighten up the place a bit.

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Yes, it actually has poinsettias in ribbon work on the corners, and it is velvet. It was time for a change.

My friend Holly and I made a table cloth for her a few weeks ago. She has a round table, so we sewed two pieces of home decor fabric down the middle and created a circle. I thought I would do the same, but just make a square.

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I started by taking my current table cloth and folding it in half. I laid my new cloth over it and cut it to the same length. I thought the two were pretty close in size, so I laid the new cloth on top of the table and really liked the size of the width for the table cloth.

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I eyeballed it to make the cut edges skim the chairs to match the width. I just cut it from there. I wound up with a pretty even square.

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I took my square cloth to my serger and just serged around all the edges. Holly and I did this on her circle table cloth and it looked very cool and was so much easier than hemming a giant circle. I decided to do the same for mine, and it is so easy! I used a three thread overlock stitch. I love my serger!

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My serger even cut my selvedges and uneven cuts for me! Yay!

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Here is a close up of the final results on my table! You can hardly even see the serged edges.

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And here is my after shot again. I just love it!

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I have some excess fabric left over…

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I think I feel some matching kitchen accessories coming on!

Baby diaper cover

I admit the diaper cover came out cute. I found a free pattern here, which was very easy to follow. However, this was my least favorite baby project.

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It was the elastic that turned me off on these. The pattern was well done, and construction was easy enough. I am just not an elastic person. It doesn’t look like a clean finish to me. ¬†I know you’re thinking, well a zipper just won’t work here. I agree, so I tried it. They did turn out very cute, but I am only making this one pair.

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The pattern was two pieces and used very little fabric. I love that. Also, the pattern came in four sizes ranging from 0 – 24 months. I made the 0-3 month size.

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Here they are just sewn together before the elastic went in. All raw edges were serged, but there is an option to finish them with bias tape on the tutorial that goes with the pattern.

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Here is the admittedly cute rear end with the elastic inserted. I recommend this project, but with the elastic insertion it just was not for me!

The easiest baby blanket ever

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This baby blanket was so easy it feels like I cheated! It’s not fancy at all, but here in Texas there is rarely a need for blankets, and especially for a baby born in June. A piece of flannel should be more than enough for a couple months. Out of my three fabrics I had the most of the polka dot flannel left. I used just about one yard to make the blanket.

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I took my piece of flannel and laid it out on the floor.

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 I folded up one corner of the fabric to make a triangle.

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I cut around the edges of the triangle to even out the fabric. This left me with about a one yard square of flannel to make my blanket.

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Next I used a three thread overlock stitch on my serger around all four sides of the blanket.The knife helped even out the edges since my cutting was a bit jagged.

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I used a dot of Fray Check on the corner where I started and finished serging to help secure the threads. It was that easy! I could have embroidered this one, but I didn’t. I like the polka dot fabric on its own. It is just a single sided piece of flannel with serged edges!

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Just look how good that easy-peasy blanket looks with the other gifts we have put together! I love it!

Just keep sewing!

Stacie

Stacie Thinks She Can

Baby Burp Cloths

I was at a friend’s house recently and she had some really cute burp clothes someone had given her. Her cloths were a cloth diaper on one side and a piece of fabric on the other. In the past I have just used pieces of fabric on the end or as accents when making a burp cloth. I thought hers looked great and would be even easier to make! Here is what I did:

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I placed a cloth diaper right sides together with a piece of my flannel. I did embroider my fabric first on this one, so I made sure that was centered. I made my pink fabric larger all around because the diaper is such a loose weave it is hard to keep it straight. The extra room gave me room to maneuver a bit.

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Top stitch around the edge of the diaper, trying your best to keep the diaper from shifting much.

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Leave an opening along one side a few inches wide to pull the burp cloth right side out.

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Trim your excess from around the edge leaving a good half an inch outside the opening you left. Pull your burp cloth right side out.

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Press your cloth. If you embroidered yours be mindful not to press your threads. Press the extra fabric you left for your opening into the diaper and make sure it is even with the sides of your cloth.

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Top stitch around the edges of the diaper. The middle can be thick, so I slowed down on the ends when sewing through there. I chose to stitch in the ditch along the lines on either side of the middle portion of the diaper. My friend had hers stitched across the diaper so it folded in thirds. I think as long as you stitch it to keep it from shifting it is fine.

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I made three cloths, one out of each of my three coordinating fabrics. I only embroidered the solid pink one.

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 Here is how the baby gifts look all together. So cute!

Note 2 our Readers:  Find even more adventures from Stacie at her personal Sewing Blog

Baby Bibs

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In continuing my baby gift mission, I decided to make a couple of boutique style bibs. One of the great things about baby gifts is there are so many free tutorials out there! I followed this tutorial from Craft Gossip. Again, I wanted to embroider the bibs as well, so I varied just a bit from the instructions.

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The first one I did I placed just the bottom of the front (the pink part) in the embroider machine. While that was going I put together both pieces of the front of the other and embroidered them after they were connected.

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The important thing is to embroider the bib front before you attach it to the bib back. Once the bib front is complete, just sew following the instructions provided on the tutorial.

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I lined the backs of the bibs in coordinating fabrics.

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I decided against Velcro as my closure. I plan on adding snaps. I don’t like how Velcro snags things in the washer, and all I had was this weird flesh color anyway. Where did that even come from?

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We’ve got some great goodies going in the gift basket! I still have a couple more up my sleeve, so stay tuned!

Jelly Roll Quilt Idea!

Are you looking for a fun, easy, fast quilting project? Are you a beginning quilter? Do you want to make a throw quilt top in just a few hours? If so, this is for you.

Start with a Jelly Roll. ¬†A Jelly Roll¬†is a collection of 40 strips of fabric that are 2 1/2″ wide. There are usually about 40 strips in each Jelly Roll. Similar to a Jelly Roll¬†is the Bali Pop which is packaged differently than the Jelly Roll. Jelly Rolls are usually available for each new fabric collection designed for Quilting. The Jelly Roll shown is Primitive Little Gatherings by Moda. The sample quilt that Annette made for the store is from the Cherish Nature collection by Moda.

Here is how Annette made the quilt top.

  1. Take your strips from a Jelly Roll or Bali Pop or any other set of 40 ea. 2 1/2″ width of fabric strips, remove the selvedges.
  2. Sew the stops together short end to short end, forming a 1600 inch strip (REALLY LONG!)
  3. Cut about 18″ from one end of long stip. This will randomize the seams on the long stip.
  4. Fold this long strip in half with right sides together and stitch the long sides together
  5. When you get near the end cut across the strip and finish sewing.
  6. Now you have an 800″ X 4 1/2″ strip. Fold again, cut the fold and sew long sides together.
  7. Now it is 400″ X 8 1/2″. Fold again, cut and stitch so the quilt is now 200 X 16 1/2.
  8. Fold and cut again and stitch so the piece is 100″ X 32 1/2″.
  9. And one last time. Fold, cut and stitch so you have a quick quilt top that is about 50″ X 64″, a great lap quilt size. Or add borders to make a larger quilt.

You can use 3 Jelly Rolls to make a king size quilt. Complete steps 1-8 for each of the 3 Jelly Rolls. Then sew the 3 sections together on the long side. You now have a 96″ x 96″ quilt. Add ¬†borders to the top and sides to make the quilt 108″ x 108″.

Have fun.

Happy Quilting,

Marje

Baby Gifts: Changing Pad and Diaper Wipe Pouch

One of my very favorite projects is baby related gifts. When you make a gift for a baby shower or new child, I feel like it is really appreciated and means a lot to the parents. I just found out I have a new baby celebration coming up in June, and I thought it would be fun to share my projects with you.

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One of the best parts about baby gifts is you can pick fun materials that you would not typically wear. I picked these three flannels for a baby girl. I got the fabric on sale for $2.49 per yard plus my 15% teacher discount. I bought two yards each of the polka dots and solid and one yard of the zebra print.

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I made The Sushi-Roll Changing Pad and Diaper & Wipes Pouch. I love Sew, Mama, Sew for great tutorials and ideas. This project can be made from fat quarters as well. Needless to say, it does not take much to create these projects. I used just under a half yard each of the polka dot and pink fabrics and a scrap of the zebra.

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I began with the wipe pouch. When I make things for babies I love to use my embroidery machine to personalize the gifts. I can’t get enough of new parents seeing their child’s name on their presents. I used the Curlz Three Applique Alphabet¬†to add the first initial of their little girl. I used the Lacy Edge P from the applique file. It turned out very cute and the detail is fantastic.

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To add the ‘P’ I embroidered it onto the bottom center of the outside fabric I chose for the pouch. After the ‘P’ was on, I followed the directions from the tutorial as written.

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I lined the pouch with the polka dot material. It turned out very nicely and went together quickly.

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I made the changing pad to match. I did not embroider on the changing pad because I could not decide where to place the embroidery. I did choose to use twill ribbon instead of the elastic. I had twill on hand. I was also able to use a scrap of batting for the changing pad. I love being able to use up scraps.

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I had to show the set again. I just think they are so cute together, and the cost for these was just over a dollar each for fabric.

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I also managed to use all three machines today! I used the sewing machine for the most part. I used my serger to finish the inside of the changing pad to reinforce it before turning it right side out. Finally, I used my embroidery machine to make the ‘P’. I always feel so accomplished when I get to run them all in one day. Stay tuned for more baby gifts!