Unwinding with Netflix is the perfect way to have a quiet evening, but what if you were able to watch your favorite episode while knocking out a creative project? Taking on a simple task can reset your week, decorate your home, and help you fix that piece of clothing you’ve been neglecting. Here are 5 easy projects you can do while watching Netflix.
Fix a button
Ok, yes, this one’s easy enough, but you know most people don’t sew their buttons on properly? If you think fixing a button solely consists of running a needle through the fabric and button holes several times, you would be grouped with ‘most people’. Alas, the right way to fix a button:
Step 1: Sew an ‘x’ on the outside of the garment, where the button should go.
Step 2: Place the button on top and thread the needle through all four holes, lining them up with your pre-existing ‘x’.
Step 3: Once you’ve gone through your ‘x’ pattern 3x, wind the excess thread around the ‘x’ underneath your button. This will reinforce your stitch and ensure that no amount of pulling on that button will remove it.
Make a throw pillow
Have you been to Target lately?? Who am I kidding, of course you have. Since when do companies get away with charging 30 bucks for two squares thrown together?? That’s literally all you’re buying, and you’re paying
at a markup for your couch to look the same as your friends’ do. With fall rolling in, throw pillows are a great way to add that extra kick to your decor, whether it be fluffy faux fur floor pillows, or giant sweater-inspired cuddly squares. Simply choose the size of your pillow & get enough fabric to cut two squares. Once you’ve sewn a 1/4″ seam almost all the way around the fabric squares, with right sides together (and pivoting in the corners), leaving a 3″ gap in your square – do not make your gap in a corner. Then turn it right side out. Choose which old, flat pillow you’d like to sacrifice (or just buy Polyfil) and stuff your pillow to your liking. The last bit’s easy – simply tuck in the 1/4″ seam and whip stitch a seam from the inside out to close the gap. Finish off with a few knots tucked back through themselves, and throw your new pillow on the couch, just in time to queue up the next episode of Pretty Little Liars.
Clean. your. machine.
Don’t be scared.. come back. A clean machine is a working machine. I’ve seen so many sparks and smelled burning so many times while working around stitchers who’ve said “oh I can’t remember the last time I serviced it.” While it isn’t necessary to have your machine professionally serviced every month (unless you’re in a sweatshop), it IS necessary to clean out the lint, thread fibers, and dust that accumulates inside your machine. This is the perfect mindless task for an episode of Westworld.
Step 1: Unplug that machine and grab your manual. If you’ve lost it, check Google for your model number.. Google is your friend.
Step 2: Remove your presser foot & needle, and use that handy little screwdriver that came with your machine to remove the flatbed attachment.
Step 3: Whip out those tweezers and a small brush and get to work! Remove all those dust bunnies that’ve been hiding out and slowing you down from all the fun. Then TAKE A PICTURE OF IT. If your bobbin basket is removable, take it out and wipe it down as well. Refer back to your picture to ensure you’ve put it back together, otherwise your world may just come crashing down while you fight to assemble the weird puzzle before it fits back into your machine.
Do not used compressed air. Ever. Ever. Ever. Don’t do it.
If you’re in the middle of a Suits marathon, hit up step 4 too..
Step 4: Grab that disc-shaped screw driver that came with your machine. It’s the thing you prob named a flux capacitor and threw into the bottom of your sewing box to be forgotten. Remove the needle plate and dust this part too. Again, TAKE A PHOTO. Put everything back together, and top it off with a brand new needle. Boom!
Make a reversible table runner
The holidays are here – and people are coming over. Which means you’re going to have to move all your crap off the table and make it look like you actually use it.. you know, to eat off of. A table runner is the perfect simple sewing project to make your home look guest-ready, and the beautiful part is, you probably already have the fabric scraps.
Step 1: Measure the length of your table, and add 12″ to that length (to achieve a 6″ run-over. Obviously you can customize). Choose how wide you’d like the runner to be, add 1″ to both the length and width for seam allowances, and cut a rectangle. I’m lazy and use a rotary board, so I typically fold the fabric in half (or even thirds) and roll the blade over it.
Step 2: Right sides together – pin and sew a .5″ seam all the way around your runner, leaving yourself a 3-4″ gap to flip it right side out after.
Step 3: Flip it right side out and tuck the unfinished edge under. IRON IT DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Top stitch that edge, and all the way around to give it a finished, professional look. Bonus points if you use a different color thread that makes the fabric pop.
Step 4. Throw it on the table and pretend it’s always there, looking fabulous, just like you. Return to Netflix queue.
I realize this one won’t fly for my year-round readers, but it has to be said. Store bought Christmas stockings are sort of lame. Actually really lame. The beauty of sewing is that you can make anything. So why not stockings too? This is where you get to let your imagination run wild, while simultaneously telling Netflix, “Yes, I’m still watching.”
Draw out on tissue paper (or whatever kind of paper you have) what you’d like your stockings to look like. Add .5″ all the way around for seam allowances, unless the fabric is very thick and your stocking is a tight shape (think: Dr. Seuss’s Grinch-themed). Elf toes are going to require thinner fabric, while faux fur make for great giant boot-shaped stockings. Go wild – you don’t even have to line them. Design away! And have fun with it.
If you want to add a cuff around the top, piece it right sides together after you’ve pieced the boot together and sew it the way you would a cuff. Add fringe, trim, whatever fills your heart, and after you turn it right-side out, iron and topstitch to embellish.
I’m not going to spell out this tutorial since there are at least 2,000 of them online already (why add noise?), so here’s a link to a pretty one by Sarah Langtry:
What do you think? Are there any other sewing projects you do while Netflix-ing without the chill?