One item that I kept seeing on my Stocking Swap partner’s wish list was holiday themed pillows.. which means this was a great excuse to finally sew up the Believe pattern I purchased last year (and never used). This pattern is by same designer who created the Personalized Name Pillows that I love to sew so much – so I thought I would enjoy whipping up a couple of holiday versions (one for the swap, one for a gift)…. I was wrong. I didn’t like this project at all.
First off, I had a harder time finding Christmas fabrics that worked well together. I think it might be easier to tailor material for the name pillows because there is a lot more variety, it’s just harder to find a bunch of holiday prints that coordinate (and isn’t heavy on the reds and greens). Secondly, the construction process is different: The name pillows are designed so you apply random cuts as the border while this pillow has an additional border and specific ‘sizes’ you have to cut for the patchwork (I like the more ‘free form’ cutting better.) Lastly, there’s lots of appliquing involved. While I usually like this part, I found the swirly lettering a bit more difficult (especially for my usual blanket stitch style) and just not as much fun the second time around.
The end result is very cute. I am needing more fiberfill to give this a nice firmness, but otherwise this project is DONE. Thank goodness.
Hot off the heals of last week’s Christmas stocking are goodies to fill it! Since I don’t really have a ‘theme’ with this stocking swap, I’m just trying to make a lot of my items ‘work together’ (keeping in the same color family or same ‘feel’ as the stocking). The panel I used for the stocking came with quite a few appliques so I used one of them (the hot chocolate) to make a coaster… I would have gone with a whole mug rug, but they appliques are pretty small and would get lost in something larger. My only regret is ‘over quilting’ this coaster because it lost quite a bit of it’s loft after I was finished.
Now to nap some Christmas coffee (maybe some candy too) to put inside the mug and I think I’m set with this stuffer!
Seeing that I’ve been in the “Christmas Spirit” all week by crafting\sewing up some holiday gear, it’s so very appropriate to share with you my latest article that appears in this month’s Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine (on newstands now), Gold Tidings!
I used a lush, white moleskin (I had a booger of a time finding white velvet), gold lame for the appliques, and a beautiful brocade for the lining to create this luxurious tree skirt. While the thought of working with all those materials sounds daunting, I assure you, it’s a lot easier than what you think (plus I give tips for dealing with them, too) and the results have a very ‘high end’ feel. One word of warning: moleskin attracts every bit of fuzz that is in the immediate vicinity – keep a lint brush handy.
Learn how to make pajama pants for any size.
Need a new tee? Try the Hemlock.
This little bag is labeled as a back to school supply pouch, but I totally see evening clutch with this design.
Keep you lip balm handy (as long as you bring your keys). Works great for USB drives, too!
Big enough to carry books, but still small enough to be considered a purse (purses seem to be running big lately): The Rocky Mountain Satchel.
Boys shirts can be a struggle to embellish, but this bleach pen applique technique is a fun way to add a unique touch to your next tee.
Add a fleece beret to you fall wardrobe.
Save your scraps! You’ll want to use them to make these cute little cloth shoes!
Start getting ready for winter. Make a Snow Mum pillow to add to your favorite room!
Taking market bags to a whole new level by adding leather.
After awhile, everyone starts despising their diaper bags. Make a diaper clutch for on-the-go quick trips!
This may be one of the cutest little raccoon dolls that I’ve seen!
Sew a sweet little (knit) girl’s dress with pockets.
It’s been awhile since I’ve made a ‘big’ fabric purchase, but I couldn’t resist picking up a few prints for fall\winter sewing recently.
I can honestly say, I have no idea how to use the mustache material, other than underwear (this was a request from Easton after seeing these during back to school shopping - I told him I refused to pay $7 for a pair of kids boxer briefs), but the rest will undoubtedly become shirts and a hoodie (for the sweatshirt fleece). The stripe is also not quite what I expected – it is far thinner than what I wanted so I may have to re-think how I will use this without making it look like I’m wearing prison stripes! Now, back to some holiday sewing before I become too distracted to work on some of the projects I have lined up…. I am finding one is taking far longer to work on that what I envisioned and am quickly losing interest in it!
Whew, what a busy few weeks this has been! The past week has been full of…. golf! While I don’t really play myself, my oldest does and qualified for state again this year (it was a four-peat!). State was held yesterday which is why there was no post yesterday…. but I’m back at it today!
Since this past week has been full of lots of activities, I haven’t had as much opportunity to spend with my sewing machine. I did, however, work on my swap partner’s Christmas stocking!
After looking at her Pinterest, I had several ideas of what I wanted to do. Fortunately, one of them included a Moda stocking panel that I had purchased last year from Fabric.com and never used (it’s now on clearance, so grab it while you can).
To give the stocking a bit more interest, I made several modifications to the directions that were included on the panel (it also changed from a ‘quick and easy’ style stocking to a lot more labor intensive!):
- I made the appliques ‘dimensional’. I roughly cut out the printed applique I wanted and made a ‘fabric sandwich’ (the applique image, batting, and plain white fabric) and sewed around the edges of the design, then cut it close to my stitching. I then sewed it to the stocking (the leaves are only sewn at the bottom edge so they can ‘hang free’ in places).
- I added a name. I used the lettering on my embroidery machine to stitch out my partner’s name. I also gave this some dimension (as described above) so it seemed to match everything else.
- Since this panel looks like it was pieced together, I added faux quilting to give it some texture. To do this I sandwiched some batting between the printed panels and a lining, quilted it, then cut off the excess material.
I have to admit, I really like the way it turned out – especially for a panel! Since there is another stocking design included in this, I may eventually give the other one a try (skipping the applique and going with more quilting).
It’s that time again – time for Christmas Stocking Swap crafting! This is my 9th consecutive year participating in this swap and is by far my favorite to make items for. Not only does it get me in the mood to start sewing\crafting for my friends\family, it gives me a chance to make holiday themed items I might not otherwise have the chance to create (or even thought of)! A great case in point: this cork reindeer.
4 corks, hot glue (only because my E6000 disappeared, the hot glue seems to be holding well), tiny bells\beads, and a trip down the holiday isle at my craft store is all it took to make this little guy. I think he’s pretty cute and I have enough materials to make one more (for myself).
A pretty little pumpkin pincushion that will get your sewing set for fall.
Get in the mood for Halloween – make a Monster Bag!
Win a (mystery) box full of sewing goodies.
If you need a quick bag that makes a statement, check out this Clean & Simple Clutch.
Soft and comfy bracelets that are easy to make.
Need a new look? This 3/4 crossover top\dress is the perfect solution.
If you don’t do Halloween decorating, try fall instead. This Vintage Pumpkin Pillow is a pretty way to spruce up a room.
I love these travel changing pads for baby!
Getting chilly? This toddler ear flap hat will keep their head warm.
A sweet little tiny tunic.
I have some pans that the handles get hot (they are metal and aren’t covered) so this pot holder for skillet handles are perfect!
Summer may be over, but it’s never too late for a big bag like this Nautical Tote.
Have a child that loves Build-a-Bear? Hate paying so much for ‘bear clothes’? Now you can make your own with this free tutorial.
A quick and easy Robin costume – a perfect complement to a Batman or stand alone!
You probably already know that I’m a big Papercut Patterns fan – so many of their (more casual) designs really call to me. On pattern that I never picked up from their last collection was the Anima Pant - so when they put their patterns on sale recently, I decided to order it. I determined that I wanted to stay away from bulky fabrics with this one (because I don’t want to look bulky when I wear it), I went with a two-tone jersey (almost a slubbed knit) for the pants themselves and black ribbed knit for contrasting waist and leg cuffs…. I thought I would look trendy. Instead, I decided that this Anima didn’t work for me – but they looked fantastic on my daughter!
As for the pattern itself, I had some issues:
- The pattern has a mock fly. I don’t really see the need for this because it’s small and doesn’t really add anything to the design, IMHO. Next time, I’d leave this off.
- I DETEST the waistband construction. They took a simple pant design and made it 10x more complicated than what it needed to be. Next time, I’m simplifying it to speed up the sewing process and make it look neater on the inside (because this version is a hot mess).*
- The drawstring isn’t really necessary since there is elastic on the inside already. For this version, I made a ‘faux drawstring’ – I just laced it through the two front buttonholes and tied it.
* The current waistband is is constructed by attaching the waistband piece to the pants, then attaching the elastic to the other side of the waistband, folding over to the wrong side and top stitching it to the pant. If found that the 2″ elastic that this pattern calls for doesn’t have a lot of ‘give’ so folding it over and top stitching is pretty difficult. Instead, I think I would use a slightly smaller (1 1/2″) knit elastic that has more give and insert that into the waistband like a casing.
Pattern: PaperCut Pattern’s Anima Pant
Fabric: Two Tone Jersey & Black Rib Knit from Joann’s
Total Cost $31.51
My favorite type of books are the ones that are packed with projects – I love having a variety of ‘themed’ titles on hand for when the mood strikes me to make something ‘specific’. After seeing Rachael talk about her latest book purchase, I knew I had to get it for myself, too: Adventure Time Crafts: Flippin’ Adorable Stuff to Make from the Land of Ooo… a book filled with all sorts of fun Adventure Time themed items. This title has over 20 different projects inside that cover a wide variety of crafts and skill levels – from needle felting and sewing, to crocheting and perler beads (and shrink paper too!). Easton was excited to get started so we went with something that even he could do by himself, Perler Bead Coasters.
Since we didn’t have any of the items on hand to make this project, we went to the craft store and purchased a giant bucket of perler beads (11,000) and a set of peg boards (with a coupon it came to about $13, and there looks to be enough to make all the coasters in the book, and then some) and went to work. It was a great time spent with my youngest and we were really impressed with our finished coasters! The downside? Because we went with the perler bucket, we spent a lot of time rooting for colors which wasn’t so much fun.
I’m looking forward to doing more projects from this book (the reversible Jake\Cake stuffie as well as the Finn\Fiona hat are next on my list) and highly recommend it for anyone who is a fan (or knows a fan) of the show!