Sunday, February 15, 2009

Stethoscope Cover

I actually had someone ask me how to make a stethoscope cover. I was thrilled to be able to help someone out. I know being new at sewing or anything, it's really hard to understand some instructions. Especially without pictures. Videos are even better. I didn't do a video as I had no where to set the camera right. It's even worse when the instructions have all these terms, I'd be trying to refer to another website or a book at terms...........frustrating. I'm going to try not to use terms.

This particular type of stethoscope cover is very forgiving. There are quiet a few patterns on the internet for free and good instructions. This is the one I went with for my customers, it's kind of several internet patterns, then I just did what I needed that I think works for the customers. I've sold over 100 at my store and so far (knock on wood) no complaints.

The following pictures were taken using a Brother SE350, it's a computerized machine, it's the first stethoscope cover I've made using it. I normally use my Kenmore, non computerized machine. Straight stitch and regular zigzag stitch are all you need.

Ok, materials - material 6.5 inches wide 30 to 34 inches long. I do mine 34. I I cut several pieces with these measurements that way they are laying there ready. Here's the material, a simple rectangle. Remember when using prints, that the stethoscope cover runs up and down. This particular frog pattern doesn't really matter.

I don't have a serger so I take each of the 6.5 inch ends and fold them down about 1/2 inch, then fold again 1/2 inch. This way the raw edge is well enclosed and won't be fraying. I do this to both of the thinner ends (6.5 inch ones)

Don't worry about everything being exact, have fun. You can iron this fold down and then you probably won't have to pin in place. Then I sew it in place using a straight stitch. I don't have an exact width, as I use the edge of my presser foot on these. It's about half way between 1/4 and 5/8. My needle is set to the left side, you do not have to do this. You want to sew it within a quarter inch of the folded edge (left folded edge in picture below). Do this to both ends.

Both ends should look like the above picture.

Now it's time to add the elastic. The first time I did this, it was a mess and didn't think I'd be able to do it. Now I hardly need to look. Some say you should zigzag stitch this, some say it doesn't matter. If I was using wider elastic, I'd definitely zigzag, but I'm using 1/4 inch wide elastic and just use a straight stitch. I basically line up the elastic next to my hem stitch I just did. The elastic goes on the bottom of the stethoscope cover, this prevents the cover from slipping down the head of the stethoscope.

I start the elastic approximately 1/4 inch from the edge of the material. When the long ends are put together, you don't need the elastic double up on top of each other. I hope this makes sense.

When I start sewing the elastic, I don't start pulling it yet. I anchor it down first, which do this like you start any stitch. Stitch a few stitches forward, then backward, then back forward. After that, I start pulling on the elastic. I pull the elastic and stitch at the same time. Do this very slow until you get used to guiding the material, elastic and pulling at the same time. This is where I had a heck of a time at first, I just kept doing it really slow, would stop a lot to be sure the elastic and material are where I wanted before they'd go under the presser foot. This is where I'm a bad teacher, I should have measurements, seam allowance, etc.
When I'm pulling it, the width of the elastic gets thinner, I don't pull it tight enough to where it's half it's original width. I pull it to where its pretty taught. I stop my stitching about 1/4 inch before I reach the edge of the material, then backstitch. Cut the elastic off after the stitches stop.

This is the elastic part after it's been sewn.
Now it's time to sew the side. Put right sides togther. Line it up nice and even and pin in place. I start sewing at the top (no elastic side). I sew with almost a 5/8 seam. I actually use a zigzag stitch here to help prevent the material from fraying. Then I sew a straight stitch along the inside edge of the zigzag stitch. Sew from the very top of the cover to the very bottom. Be sure to do your backstitching at the top and bottom.
First picture is the right sides together at the top hem of the cover.

If I have a lot of edge, I will take the pinking shears to neaten up the seam. You don't have to do this.

The top of the cover needs something to hold the top up so it doesn't slide down the stethoscope. I've always used velcro. I now have the tool to do snaps. To do the velcro, I used the half inch wide velcro, be sure to get the type that doesn't have the glue/sticky stuff as this stuff gums up a needle really quick. I cut the velcro about 3/4 inch long. The at the top of the cover, inside, sew a piece to each side to where it can velcro together to keep the cover from sliding down. I now am doing the snaps, basically because its a few minutes quicker.Thats about it. Feel free to ask me any questions or to help clarify anything. This is by far thefirst real tutorial I've ever done.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My perfect Model

I've been making a few doggie bandanas. Zeus is the perfect model. He will stay perfectly still for a few seconds, then he gets tired of that.

Had to show off Zeus some!

Friday, February 13, 2009

For the Ladies Some Recipes

This is what I made for dinner tonight. All of these recipes originated from then I changed them to what I needed or had on hand:

Chicken Breasts - We eat this one a lot.

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place chicken breasts in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Season with ground black pepper to taste. Top each breast with a slice of cheese.
Mix together the soup and milk and pour mixture over chicken. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and drizzle with melted butter/margarine. Bake covered in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.

And here's a unique potato salad depending on what you are used to. I don't like cold potato salad, I like hot. Here's a German Potato Salad
  • 6 potatoes, peeled
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup distilled white vinega


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 30 minutes. Drain, cool and slice thin.
  2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside, reserving drippings.
  3. Saute onions in bacon drippings until they are golden-brown.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, celery seed, and pepper. Add to the sauteed onions and cook and stir until bubbly, then remove from heat. Stir in water and vinegar, then return to the stove and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for one minute. Carefully stir bacon and sliced potatoes into the vinegar/water mixture, stirring gently until potatoes are heated through.
Ok, thats straight from all recipes. I was out of bacon. I did the onions in butter, then added a bit of olive oil. Then added bacon bits at the end.

We love green beans. I do them in chicken broth, or just some butter, salt & pepper. When I have fresh green beans, will just saute them. Here's one I tried tonight.
1 can or package frozen green beans, 1 medium onion, butter salt and pepper, shredded cheese.
Saute the onions in butter, add salt & pepper, then add the green beans. AFter all is heated through, sprinkle some cheddar on there!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

You Tube

I don't know how many of you use For those that are learning to sew, learning to work with jewelry, rocks, it really doesn't matter........when you go to search for how to's on something, try you tube also.

As most of you know, I've gotten back into sewing. I've had some problems learning some basic things as when I read a how to, it would help, but maybe something I wasn't understanding. I finally started using youtube and there are excellent video instructions on so many things. I looked up a few things on rocks and same thing, lots of basic and advanced skill video instructions, just take a look at you tube.

Now when you're searching, don't give up if you don't find anything. I've found sometimes you have to put one basic term in - like embroidery stabilizers - tons of info, I had to type just that in and th en started finding all types of videos on stabilizing different materials, just had to sift. Sometimes I can type in exactly what I need - machine sewing pant hemming.

Don't forget about you tube for learning and it's free!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blujay site updated

I've been posting to blujay this past week. I put up some more of the Brushy Creek Mine specimens. There is a link on the right side of the blog to the blujay site. I'll get some pictures posted her as well.
Calcite crystals on marcasite, dolomite and galena
Marcasite or Pyrite on Dolomite

We may or may not get to do some rockhunting this weekend. It's supposed to be warm, but the area we go to will be sloppy red clay, so might look for some easier access spots hopefully.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Rock Tumbling Hobby

For the rockhounds out there, if you are wanting to learn, please visit this website :
This is a group of folks that are terrific. I'm not sure how long I've been a member, but I can tell you, I've met some terrific people. They answer all questions for the newbie to the experienced. I've got to meet some in person at the rock show we do in June and they are just as great in person. I've been kind of absent from the group for awhile and have missed them.

They plan lots of trips throughout the year all through the U.S. I still have not been able to make it to any and hate it. It's due to lack of funding, but they always post lots of pics and stories when they get back.

We got our paperwork for the rock show in June Missouri Mines Rock Swap Park Hills, Mo June 12, 13 and 14. If anyone needs information on it, send us a comment here or look for me on Rock tumbling hobby under Chinook203.

Will be posting more pics after the weekend hopefully. It's supposed to be warm, so hopefully will get to rockhunt somewhere!

I've been making tons of stethoscope covers the last 2 days and am ready to go outdoors!
I've just learned of a bill about gun ownership. I'm just now reading on it, but in short, it want's all guns to be recorded, for us gun owners to get certain licenses, fingerprinted and so on. Here is one link to some information on it:
I still haven't found an actual copy of the bill itself. A lot of paranoia has been talked about with the new President taking away guns. I have no idea on this, but I do know, being an honest citizen, we should be able to keep our guns.
Most people that are killed by guns are either 1. killed by a criminal that has a gun who presently isn't allowed to own a gun already or 2. accidental shooting. Gun control laws couldn't have saved either one of them. Most states are offering or have mandatory gun safety classes.
If I find out more on the this bill, I will post it.
I am a reserve deputy (full time 8 years) who loves to sew, loves the outdoors and love America. I believe we have some problems and can only hope and pray that President Obama can help this country. I hope he doesn't take away our guns, I just find it frightening if that would ever happen.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sloooow time of year

It's become a bit scarier this year and for the most part, very real.
The store has been slower which means less income and it's going to be a struggle to pay the bills this month. I can't wait for the terrific St. James Farmer's Market to start. I visited with some people in Rolla today and thats all we talked about was when the farmer's market will start. The people are great there, vendors and buyers. My crafts typically sell very well and I hardly ever go home with eggs that my chickens have given me. This year Ed has decided we will be selling veggies as well, he's been working on the garden already when the temperatures and ground have allowed. He's trying to make room for 100 tomato plants.

We sold out of stethoscope covers at the store, so made a bunch more tonight and got some patches sewn on shirts for some area deputies.

Great wishes to all and anyone who's struggling like us, keep your head up!