Category Archives: Video Library

Click to watch video clips from Nancy Zieman, StitchinJenny, and more…

Meet Jenny Doan at Humble Sewing Center!!!!

Jenny Doan

WHO is Jenny Doan???

She’s a Sewing Sensation on YouTube, a new Sewlebrity Spokesperson for BabyLock and she’s COMING HERE SOON!!!

We are excited to have her with us for an exclusive Sewing/Quilting Lecture and autograph session.  Each attendee will receive an issue of Fons&Porter’s Quilting Quickly Magazine featuring 19 Easy Projects by Jenny Doan.

How to Transfer Embroidery Designs to your USB Stick

Hey! Hi! Hello!

It’s been a little while since I’ve added a post of my own.  I hope you are all enjoying the Skirt Sew Along with our wonderful Stacie!

(The t-shirt quilt sew-along is kind of on hold for now – Sorry ’bout that!  Please be patient with me!  I promise that I won’t leave you hanging too much longer….)

Ok, so today I’m sharing a very brief, 2-part video clip, in which I demo how to transfer embroidery designs from your design CD over to your USB stick.

Before viewing, I have 2 disclaimers:

#1 I used my husband’s iPhone to film this, so it’s a skinny screen.

#2 In the video, we are transferring all the designs from the cd onto the USB stick – but that is not generally recommended.  You see, your USB stick is really not meant to “store” your collections of embroidery designs.  If you cram it full of 30 or more designs, your embroidery machine is going to take FOREVER to read your USB stick the next time you plug it in.  So, instead of bogging down your stick with hundreds of designs that you may not ever stitch out anyway, you may want to only transfer the designs that you are ready to stitch out right now.

And…..without further delay….da, da, DA!   Transfer Part 1 & Part 2 by:  StitchinJenny

I’m no computer guru, but I hope this helps!

Thanks so much!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny


Quick and Easy Kitchen Curtains….


I’ve had a busy past few days holding classes for a couple of new sewing students in my home.  It’s always a pleasure to meet new people and especially to help them get started with the love of sewing!

If  you live locally and you’ve never made it to one of my classes, I hope you can make it sometime.  We always have a good time and learn plenty, too.  Here’s a link to my website in case you want to see when my next classes are:  StitchinJenny Class Calendar

Anyway, getting to today’s topic, a while back, my mom gave me some fabric that she thought might go well in my kitchen.  Some of it is becoming an apron for her and some of it has just become curtains for my naked kitchen window.  Yay!

At the end of this post, I’m sharing a link to a free Sewing with Nancy video tutorial that shows how to make these in short order.  Honestly, I spent maybe an hour from start to finish and I think they dress up my window nicely.



(so maybe I should have put up the dishes but, you don’t mind, ‘cuz we’re practically family by now right?)


(Hee, hee, my dishes are still there, but a little photo cropping can make me look like super mom!)

Ok, here’s the video tutorial!  The only thing I added that wasn’t in the video, was that I needed to make a couple of tie-backs.  Otherwise, these curtains would have been an overwhelming wall of blue plates.

For the tie-backs, I cut a long strip of fabric that was 5 to 6 inches wide and was 45 inches long.  I folded the long strip with right sides together and stitched the long edge.  Then I turned my fabric tube right side out, pressed it, and cut it in half so I’d have 2 tie-backs.  I hemmed the raw ends and tied them around my curtains.  Easy-peasy and they are quite functional.

Create quick rod pocket curtains

Donna Fenske shows you step-by-step how to make quick curtains with style. You’ll learn:

  • The 4 simple steps to sewing a rod pocket curtain
  • Easy ways to determine how much fabric you need
  • The supplies to use for professional results every time

I hope you enjoy this short tutorial and perhaps it will help you dress up a window of yours, too!

Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Tips for Sewing Custom Sized Buttonholes & Sewing on Buttons by Machine

Hello and Happy Thursday!

Heads up ladies!  This post is two-fold.

First some tips about button-holes and sewing on buttons by machine and second, I’m sharing something I posted on The Sew Weekly Challenge – “StitchinJenny’s Favorite Wrap Skirt”.   (This skirt has 2 buttonholes!)

For those of you who own Janome machines, I’m linking to 3 different Janome video clips that focus on buttonholes and sewing on buttons.  Hopefully, the information demonstrated will also shed some light on the matter for those of you who own various other brands of machines.

And, I’m also posting a VERY helpful video from Nancy Zieman demonstrating:  making buttonholes, safely cutting them open, properly placing them on your project etc.  As usual, Nancy is the Queen of sharing lots of wonderful tips!


We're outside for this picture, so I could only safely show you one of the two buttonholes!

Video Links:

Custom Sized Buttonhole

Sewing on a 2-hole Button by Machine

Sewing on a 4-hole Button by Machine

StitchinJenny’s Favorite Wrap Skirt – The following is reposted from my contribution to The Sew Weekly:

Name & Location:  Jenny Gabriel, New Caney, Texas

Blog:  Sew Vac Outlet (Humble Sewing Center) Blog

How Long Have You Been Sewing:  I first started sewing with my Grandma’s needle and thread at the age of 5.  But, I didn’t really pick up sewing until 1997 when she passed away and bequeathed me her entire sewing room, machines and all.  Since then, I have become quite the sewing junkie.

Why did you want to commit to The Sew Weekly Challenge:  I’ve been following along from the sidelines for a while now, and decided it was time to join in on the fun.  I’m also hoping to bust my fabric stash by sewing out as many of the upcoming challenges as possible.

What do you love most about sewing garments:  I love the entire creative process and being able to customize the fit for my short waisted, small bosomed, pear shaped body.

What do you hate most about sewing garments:  I hate being reminded that I’m short waisted, small bosomed, and pear shaped. JK. The only thing I hate about sewing garments is that I don’t have the luxury of unlimited time to sew.

What do you want to accomplish this year with regard to the challenge:  I want to expand my sewing skills and see if I can produce something worthy to achieve the spotlight on the Sew Weekly.

Your biggest non-sewing goal of 2012:  I want to find a better balance between work and play.  I’m such a type-A personality that I will work, work, work and forget to take time to relax, play, and enjoy the people in my life that mean most to me.

What are your favorite sewing/fashion blogs: Nancy Zieman, my lifetime sewing mentor from afar, has just invited me to participate in her January blog tour! (I love this lady, her show, and her blog!)

Another blog I that I enjoy reading because it’s so fun to follow her sewing adventures and sense of humor is:  Stacie Thinks She Can.

I also appreciate the content found at anna maria horner and colette.

Lastly, when I’m on pinterest, clicking around on crafty and sewing related pins, I’m constantly stumbling into some wonderful blogs which I then pin so I’ll be able to find them again: My Pinterest Link

Me, flirting with the cameraman, my handsome hubby! All photos by Rory Gabriel Photography

My favorite garment of 2011 is the wrap skirt I made from McCalls pattern 5430.  During 2011, I made several garments, but aside from my favorite pair of pj’s, I wear this skirt the most.  It was quick and easy to make.  I like the fit, the waist tie and the button up closure.

The Facts

Fabric:  Cotton Print

Pattern:  McCalls 5430

Year:  2011

Notions:  two 5/8″ buttons from my Grandma’s button box

Time to Complete:  Start to finish, about 4 hours

First Worn:  to my friend, Shawn’s, baby shower

Wear Again:  Yes!

Total Price:  less than $20

I love these waist ties!

Skirt has 2 Buttons in waistband to keep the wrap skirt from slipping down while wearing.

Fringed Fleece Scarf Tutorial

We’ve had a very chilly Tuesday, so I thought, “Hmmm, maybe it’s not too late to post the scarf tutorial I created….”

Considering how often Texas weather changes and considering that maybe you are a reader living in a colder region than Texas, I figured that it’s ok to post this scarf project sooner than later.  Right?  Right!

This project is perfect for the beginner who is just learning to sew AND/OR it’s a great gift to give to loved ones who’s birthdays are during the cooler months.

Here’s the PDF link to instructions for the Fringed Fleece Scarf

And, if you’d like to see a neat trick to help make cutting all that fringe an “easy as pie” job, then take a few minutes to watch Nancy Zieman’s video tutorial for making some fringed fleece blankets.  Yes, this blog post is just full of surprises and bonus projects!

Nancy shows you step-by-step how to make quick low-sew and no-sew fleece blankets.

Thanks for reading!

Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Sewing Basics: An Illustrated List of Essential Sewing Supplies

Because I am a sewing instructor, I am frequently asked certain sewing questions.

The number one question from my beginner students is:  “What supplies do I need for sewing?”

I’ve recently created an illustrated  list that I am sharing here.  Feel free to share this list with the beginner sewers in your life –  it may save them some time when they venture out into one of my favorite places on earth:  The Notions Isle!

The Bare Essentials Sewing Kit:

1.  Straight Pins:  They come in a variety of lengths and even gauges of thicker, thinner, sharper, etc.

My personal favorite, multi-purpose pin type is the flat-heat flower one you see to the left of the quarter.  It’s got no-melt technology so if I bump it with my iron, no melting occurs.  Yay!  And, it’s long and very sharp which really saves time when pinning through multiple layers of fabrics or even when working with delicate fabrics.

2.  Pin Cushions:  Gotta have a place to keep all those pins!

But, I must tell you, not all pin cushions are created equal…. let’s look at the magnetic pin cushion verses the traditional “tomato”.

Ever wonder what that little dangling chile pepper you find on tomato pin cushions is for?  Well, it’s filled with sand, and it’s for sharpening your dull pins.  Just jab your dull pins in and out several times to re-sharpen.

That chile is pretty impressive, but wait, I think I hear the magnetic pin cushion talking some smack!

"Hey little tomato! Check out my fully awesome magnetic powers!"

"Hah! I am on a mission to save feet from pins on the floor!"

A Trio of Kai Scissors

3.  Scissors:  Invest in a set of scissors that will be used only for fabric.  Using them to cut paper or plastic will cause them to become dull.

You are looking at a trio of Kai scissors.  Notice the scrap of selvage that I have tied to my scissor’s handles?  This is a gentle reminder telling me, “Fabric Only, Please!”

From left to right:  8″ Dressmaker Shears, a pair of 5″ Scissors for precision cutting, and Curved embroidery scissors (great for cutting threads, and teeny tiny cutting jobs requiring great accuracy).  I love these scissors because they are easy on my hands and are noted for their ability to handle multiple layers of fabric.

4.  Threads:  Most projects will do well with a coordinating poly-cotton blend of thread.

As you can see, I use a variety of brands.  Coats n Clark all-purpose thread, Mettler, Gutermann, etc.  If you inherited someone’s old thread collection, check to make sure it’s still good.  If the thread strand seems fuzzy, has lumps, or breaks easily, it should not be used in your machine.  Thread on a wooden spool is definitely too old and should not be used either.

You may want to get some extra bobbins and a little box to keep them organized. Just make sure you get the right sized bobbins for your particular machine.

Fabric Marking Tools - Mechanical Chalk Pencil with Interchangeable colors

Dressmaker's Tracing Paper and Tracing Wheel

5.  Fabric Marking Tools:  Often times, you will need to transfer marks from your pattern to your fabric and it’s important to use something non-permanent that will wash or rub out.

Choose from chalk pencils, dress maker’s tracing paper, water soluble markers, air soluble markers, etc.  My personal favorite is presently the mechanical chalk pencil that I found in the quilter’s notions at Joann Fabric.

I’m also looking forward to buying the new fine line, heat erasable, Frixion pens… Check out the video link below!

I was going to say, “These are so cool!”  But, maybe I should say, “These pens are so HOT!”

Seam gauge

Measuring Tape

6.  Measuring Tools:  You will need a measuring tape and a seam gauge.  Trust me, these will come in handy many times as you dig in and get sewing.

Seam Ripper - Your Friend and mine!

7.  Seam Ripper:  Last but not least, in your bare essentials sewing kit, you will need a seam ripper.  Think of it as an eraser for thread.  If you stitch something in the wrong place etc., this tool is used to cut individual stitches so you can pull them back out of the fabric.

Bells & Whistles Sewing Kit:

As you sew and try different kinds of projects, your tool box may need to grow.  This is because, there are some jobs that are easier done if you have the gadgets and do-dah’s invented to make them a piece of cake!

For example, when I’m hemming a large area of fabric, I whip out my handy dandy….. Ezy Hem Guide!

Ezy Hem

And, when I’m making straps or fabic tubes, I love to use my awesome….. Tube Turners!

Dritz Quick Turn

When I have a lot of cutting to do, I often use my rotary cutter, rotary ruler, and mat to make quick work of it:

Rotary Cutting Supplies - It's like a pizza cutter for fabric....

If I’m making a pillow, a pocket, or anything that needs crisply shaped and pointed corners, I use my point turners:

Point Turners can be bamboo, plastic, wood, metal, etc. As long as it's "pointy"!

5-in-1 Seam Gauge:  In the beginning, you may be quite content with the traditional seam gauge for most of your measuring needs, but later on, you may want to pamper yourself and get the 5-in-1 Seam Gauge.

It has many features and functions beyond the norm, but one of my favorite things is that the slider clicks into place and does not shift or slide out of place when using it to measure and mark, etc.  Take a few minutes to watch Nancy Zieman demonstrate this versatile little tool in the video clip below!

5-in-1 sliding Gauge

Thanks for reading!  I hope you found this list helpful and that you will share it with your sewing friends.

By the way, what are some of your favorite go-to sewing notions?  I’d love to know about the tools you’d recommend as well!

Have a great week!  The New Year is almost here!

Let’s get sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Easy Pillow Case Dress Tutorial – w/ Elastic, Bias Tape, and Ric Rac!

Hello again!

I hope you and yours are enjoying a wonderful season of fun, family, food, and fellowship!

Our friend and mentor, Nancy Zieman, has shared a wonderful video tutorial for making a pillowcase dress.  She also demonstrates embellishing with ric rac, some hemming tips, making the casing for elastic, and also using bias tape to finish the raw edges of the arm holes!  (If you’ve ever had to press a tedious, narrow hem around little arm holes, you are going to love the bias tape method as an easier and quicker alternative!)

In the video, Nancy is encouraging us to participate in making this dress for a little girl we love, but also in making a 2nd dress to send to a needy child in Africa.   She’s even provided us with a pdf including yardages and templates for sizes 3 to 12.  Click here for the printable instructions and be sure to watch this helpful video:

It would be so easy to add a cute embroidery design or applique to the front of these little dresses!

This project is perfect for using up your extra fabrics and it’s a great way to touch a needy child’s life with love from halfway around the world.

Contact me to share pictures of your completed dresses and I’ll share them on the blog!

The new year’s almost here!

Let’s get sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny

Embellish Towels with the Ruffler Foot and Flower Stitch Foot

As Christmas draws near, I am steadily working on those last few gifts that are not quite finished….  If you are looking for something special to give a friend or family member this year, but you are feeling short on time, why not try making some embellished towels?

In this video clip from Nancy Zieman, you will see how to use the Flower Stitch Foot and also the Ruffler Foot to make some beautiful transformations to an ordinary kitchen towel.

Nancy’s so sweet, she even provides us with free instructions!  Embellished & Ruffle Trimmed Huck Towel

Isn’t Nancy awesome?

Well, I’ve got to get back to those unfinished gifts…..  I’m still in the process of making about 4 pairs of slippers, 4 more in-the-hoop wallets, some key fobs, embroidered mugs, 2 or 3 aprons, a couple of monogrammed towels, and a pair of tie-dyed looking batik bell bottom pants for my 14 year old….    (This list just needs a partridge in a pear tree and it could be a song!)


By the way, take a look at these slippers!

These are a downloadable PDF pattern I found online. Click the image to go there and purchase. The pattern is half price for the holidays!

Let’s get sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Place Mat Luv – Video Tutorial “Mitered Binding”

Let there be much rejoicing!!!!  After 3 prior attempts to film a sewing tutorial, edit, render, and upload it with EPIC FAIL results….. My dear, sweet, hubby, stepped in and rescued me!

He filmed me demonstrating this mitered binding method that does not require any hand sewing and I am sooooo HAPPY!  Yes, I am doing the dance of JOY!

Watch the 3 part video tutorial to see how you can get from this....

To This!

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

Well, thanks for watching!
That’s all for now!
Let’s get sewing!
Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny

Place Mat Love Part 1 of 2 – Stitch ‘n Turn Quilting Technique

Part 1 of 2

Is my virtual sewing mentor, Nancy Zieman,  following my blog posts and copying my projects?  Not likely, but, creative minds must track on the same wave lengths or something because, the same day I posted my patchwork place mat tutorial, she posted a clever method of quilting a place mat.

Nancy’s video clip was so helpful, I just had to show it here.  I’m calling this post “Part 1” because, in “Part 2”, I’m going to show you a nifty way to make and apply the binding for the place mats that are featured in Nancy’s video clip.

Nancy’s Tips Summarized:

  • Cut 2 fabric layers and 1 batting layer 20″ x 14″.
  • Use chalk to mark bias lines on placemat.
  • Pin layers together.
  • Stitch along one marked bias line. Turn the placemat 1/4 turn, stitch along next marked bias line. Repeat until all marked lines are sewn.
  • Trim placemat to desired size.
  • Use your favorite binding technique to apply binding around edges.

(The binding of the place mats is where I come in!  Keep a look out for Place Mat Love Part 2 of 2!  The binding method I’m going to share works great on quilts, too!)

Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

P.S.  Click Photo Below to  find out how to Enter our Current Gift Give-Away:

(Drawing will be held on Dec. 16, 2011)