I’ve been working on a quilt pattern for the new issue of the Craft Leftovers Zine (out in the next weekish) and was combing other tutorials to see how they write them. Because you know, while this is the second quilt I’ve designed, it will be my first official quilting pattern. And there’s a fun twist on using it as a picnic blanket. But you’ll have to get the zine at the end of next week to find out.
Personally I feel like quilts are the ultimate scrap-use-er-up-er as far as fabrics go. So many little pieces to use up! On the the quilted goodness:
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It was a funny thing, I was collecting up sewing articles and patterns to post a round up about and I realized that 6 out of the 8 post I picked out to share with you were from Coletterie.com. When I was in Chicago I stopped by The Needle Shop and couldn’t help but buy a Coletterie pattern. I’m sure many of you have seen these wonderful vintage inspired patterns. Charming, well made, super clear instructions. So I’ve opted to gush purely about my love of their website and patterns.
See the 6 posts that really stuck with me after the jump! Read more →
After taking into account comments, twitter, and facebook The Fickle Sense Circle Skirt has it! When this was picked I was a little worried I wouldn’t have a good fabric on hand to make what I had in my head. But, I did! Ha. More on that in a second.
So, same rules as last time. Pick out your fabric, get sewing, post your pictures in the Flickr Group by
Friday Midnight (I don’t know about you, but I needed the weekend. Sunday Midnight!) – 3 max. I suggest materials, a wip, and finished shot. Oh and it would be super awesome if you happen to post about it if you leave a link to your post in the commets. Winner by random selection will get a copy of the digital edition of Issue 1 of Volume 4 of the Craft Leftovers Zine (due out Wednesday).
Well, and that’s the best thing about doing Craft Leftovers. I was thinking, “I don’t have anything on hand that will work for a flow-e circle skirt”. But when I took a look through my stash I found this pile of beautiful vintage fabric. I had completely forgotten about the pile of vintage fabrics my bestie Jill gave me for Christmas!
I knew the pink fabric wouldn’t be enough though, so I filled in the vision with my head with this cut of yellow floral cotton, some hem tape, and a little bias tape. Pockets. There needs to be pockets. Which means I’ll need to add in some side seams. I’m not sure how that will turn out, but I think it’s definitely worth the risk. I love pockets.
This is pretty much what I’m shooting for, so I’m going to try the full circle option. What’s your plan for the skirt? What kind of fabric will you be using? Are you going to go for a flow-y look or something a bit more straight and narrow?
After the last (and first) Make-a-long Quicky challenge, many readers said they would have loved to participate if only they had known it was happening. So this time around I’m giving you a full week’s notice and a full week to vote on which pattern to make. And this MAL Quicky focus is going to be sewing skirts! So just to recap what a MAL Quicky is: One week. One skirt. One pile of leftovers used up. I’m making something, make it with me. Join in or sit back and live vicariously though my craft leftovers adventure.
I’m announcing it this week, weigh in on what you’d like this MAL Quicky pattern to be, whatever gets the most votes is what we’ll make together, and you can vote by leaving a comment, tweeting @craftleftovers, or posting it on the Craft Leftovers facebook page. I’ll announce the winner and we’ll start sewing on Monday (1 week from today) and we will post all our finished project photos on Friday. You have until Friday midnight to post your pic in the flickr group to be entered to win a copy of the Craft Leftovers zine (due out this Friday). I’ll add the winner announcement to the Friday post so check back on Saturday for that announcement. capisce?
I was looking around and thinking, what do I wish I had that I don’t. A new skirt! I’ve had this idea for a skirt in my mind for quite some time now. A skirt that I’ll want to make over and over again to suit my every whim. A skirt that makes me look super cute but is also casual. A skirt that has huge pockets! A skirt that can be made on a whim to suit my every whim.
Okay, you get the idea. Basic things I took into consideration:
Option 2: Amy Karol’s *5 Minute Skirt over on Angry Chicken – it’s fast, it’s cute, and trying something on the serger could be fun since it’s been awhile since I’ve dusted it off.
Option 3: Ruffles and Stuff’s Jersey Skirt (with pockets!) - it’s fast, cute, and has huge pockets! And it might help me to finally use up the last of that pale blue jersey knit fabric.
Ever since I Love Patchwork: 21 Irresistible Zakka Projects to Sew by Rashida Coleman-Hale came out, oh, 3 years ago, I’ve been drooling over it. It’s one of those books that every time I would go to the book shop, I would flip through it, contemplate buying, then put it back because “I already have so many craft books, I need to make projects from those”. Well, last year I was able to buy this book under the guise of “research” for the book (and the zine) because I found the design so endearing and the book structure was pretty appealing to me.
But I had yet to make anything from it until this past week! There was a lot of overwhelming “rah rah” for this book when it came out. And rightly so. It was one of the first groupings of books that really embodied the now prevalent japanese styled american craft books.
And looking at it now, three years later, I still find the projects as inspiring as I did 3 years ago. But this book is so much more than just cute projects, I think that would be missing the main point of this collection: Linens & Patchwork.
And true, it is for the beginner. And granted, I’m no master of linens OR patchwork/quilting, but I’m no slouch either, and found a lot of really useful tips included in this book that were then reiterated in the projects. And that’s my favorite type of instructional book. Show me how to do something, then show me how to use that skill in a larger project.
Maybe you’re like me and love the idea of English Paper Piecing, but don’t really feel up to making a whole quilt. Well, that’s the beauty of this book right there – each project is the chance to play and experience different types of patchwork processes and learn new techniques.
So what did I end up making? The simplest of the projects, but for me, the most immediately useful – a utensil basket for all my chop sticks. I love how easy this comes together, that it uses up some of my little “craft leftovers”, and adds a spark of inspiration in an unexpected place – my kitchen drawer.
It’s a traditional little design that I’m definitely going to use again and again – especially when I start re-doing my studio space! I’ll need lots of little baskets for my pencils, brushes, and the like.
Do you have this book? What did you think about it? Have you made any of the projects?
I’m part of a really great local arts group called Ames Collaborative Art, we like to call ourselves Ames C.art. Each month we get together for what we call Creative Collision. Basically, we flood a local coffee shop, bring some kind of portable project, and hang out for a few hours and share what’s going on in our studio and life.
All of us are very creative, some of us lean towards the artist side, others towards the craft side, and those like me strattle the fence and indulge in both. Late last year we decided we would choose a local charity to support each month by making handmade items. We’ve done hats and scarves for the Emergency Residence Project, blankets for the Boone Animal Shelter, collected donations for a rummage sale for our own annual project (we are technically a non-profit too) and donated a car load of family items to the residence project (we like that one, they do great work), and I’m can’t remember what else.
It’s a lot of fun and it feels good to use our skills for good. For the past month we’ve been seeing little fliers everywhere for a school supply drive that’s being coordinated by the Youth and Shelter Services. Of course we thought “bingo, perfect for this month’s charity”.
We decided that we would all make pencil clutches and stock them with school goodies. They asked if I could post a few patterns for pencil clutches. Imagine my surprise and delight when I googled “pencil clutch pattern” and my own patterns popped up in the number 1 spot! It inspired me to share with you these oldie but goodies and encourage you to craft for your local schools this month too. There are so many kids who are having a hard time. Who can afford unique fun school accessories or even the basic supplies.
So, there are a lot of school drives going on, and you can always contact a local school or one of your kids’ teachers if they have an in-school pool of supplies for those in need.
Turns out I really like making pencil clutch patterns! I found five in the archive that even I had forgotten about. Make a few, stuff with stuff on the school’s list, drop off at your local school or school drive drop off point.
I hope this inspires you to whip up some pencil pouches for your local school kids or at least drop off some supplies at your local drop off locations.
I didn’t even know it, but my book is officially up on Storey’s site as “coming soon!” as of last week. Thanks to @staciemakedo who clued me in to this exciting news.
Here is the run down on the book according to their site. Those marketing folks at Storey sure now how to make a book sound as great as it.
Welcome to the new face of mending! Learn how to use traditional mending techniques to make worn clothing not just wearable, but better than ever. Don’t hide patches — make them into bold, beautiful embellishments. Repair holes with colorful thread and a creative darning stitch. Revive a stained shirt with fun embroidery. It’s easy!
With detailed step-by-step photography, Kristin Roach teaches you a wide range of patching, darning, and repair stitches using both hand and machine sewing. The how-to text is accompanied by inspiring examples from Roach’s own work and that of other notable craft bloggers and artisans. You’ll love the innovative solutions and the fabulous “new” clothes that you’ll create!
And isn’t the cover just adorable! Alethea, the creative director over at Storey, did a great job sourcing that cute scalloped vintage fabric and stitching up the title.Those step by step photos are really good too. I actually did all the hand modeling, how fun is that.
Storey has been so great to work with and I can’t wait to get my hands on the first copy of this book. I’ll be selling signed copies in the Craft Leftovers shop when they it comes out in February. Still a long way out, but the hard part is over.
I’m getting 2nd pages to proof tomorrow (the second copy of the book unbound to edit). So there is still work ahead, but compared to writing the book, making all the projects, traveling for a photo shoot, the first round of edits, this should be cake. Hard work, but cake.
Hooray for my first book! Just a few, okay, like 6 more months and I’ll have it in my hands!
I snatched up this dress at the Salvation Army a couple months ago while picking out things for my book’s photo shoot. It was plain, a little frumpy, an awesome neckline, and an excellent candidate for redressing!
Here’s what I did to make this frumpy dress into a cute little summer top.
Measure up from the bottom and cut off 11 inches.
Oh and make sure to not just cut straight across, the back is usually slightly longer than the front to accommodate your our behinds.
Press the edge under and straight stitch to finish off.
Sew together 3″ wide pieces of the scraps to make a fabric band.
Tie it off and enjoy OR pin and stitch it to the front so it stays put while wearing and then tie in the back.
I love it when I get to take something I wouldn’t be caught in and convert it into my new favorite piece to wear around town!
What have you refashioned into a summery piece lately?
When we got Jak last month, I thought I was being oh so smart by getting a dog bed with a removable cover. The theory was that I could just take off the cover, give it a wash, and be good to go again. Well, that’s true except in the case of accidents where the whole thing gets soaked through. Next time I’ll make sure to get a cover that’s water proof as well as removable. Ah well. Hopefully we have dealt with the last of the pee issues.
We’ve found that Jak has some separation anxiety issues starting about a week and a half ago and consistently messes in his crate every time we leave or go to sleep for the night. Usually within 15 minutes of us leaving too. Gross.
I had to toss the whole inside filler because there was no way to clean it, it was soaked through. I did actually try, but it just shredded the “fabric” that the stuffing was contained in. Bah.
It was surprisingly easy, so I thought I would share this with you, just in case you have a pet with a bed that needs a new inside.
First: Measure your dog bed cover. Mine is 36″ x 60″. (Jak is a huge dog.) Add 8″ to the length and width to allow for the stuffing. I honestly skipped the width part because I didn’t want to sew on a panel of fabric. My fabric was exactly 36″ wide.
Second: Cut two pieces of fabric that size. The seam allowances will make it slightly smaller so it fits well. Prewash and dry them so they don’t shrink if you have to ever wash the inside. (I used muslin because I have a bolt of it and it’s cheap.)
Third: Round up a pile of polyfil. I have a whole box that I had purchased wholesale years ago. I was on a knit plush kick and was going through bags of the stuff. Of course as soon as I got the 5 lb box, (just think about how much polyfil it takes to measure 5 lbs!) I stopped. Ha. Anyway, it took about 2 pounds to fill Jak’s bed. But it’s pretty huge.
Forth: Sew it. It’s a big rectangle, so just stitch around the entire thing, leaving one side open. I used 1/2″ seam allowances and did a straight stitch and then a zig zag stitch over that. Extra sturdy was the idea. Turn the whole thing right sides out and stuff with chunks of polyfil. You only need to fill it loosely, don’t pack it.
Last: Tuck the open edges under and sew shut. Make sure to lock the stitches at the beginning and end so it doesn’t unravel. Shove into the freshly washed cover, zip it shut, and give back to your pup.
Oh and happily, after figuring out that it’s not a house training issue, we’ve been able to work on it. We’ve figured it’s a combo of three things – schedule change, irritable bowel syndrome (I kid you not), and separation anxiety. Poor guy. But hey we are on day 2 of no messes, whew! Yeah Jak! That’s a good dog!
Winter is always the season of weaving for me. With my overly large floor room, it’s the only time of year that I’m okay being tucked into my basement studio for hours shuttling back and forth. I turn on the space heater, bring down a pot of tea and put it on my candle warmer. [...]