Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ruffle Notebook Cover Tutorial

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
*I was given fabric to participate in the This and That blog tour. All opinions and projects are my own.
Notebook cover with ruffle accent
I love the florals in the main print of the This and That fabric line, but what I love even more, is the accent of black that runs throughout this line. It's such a fun contrast to the bright colors. That element of contrast is what led me to create this ruffle notebook cover. The pleated ruffle on the front is a fun element, made even more fun with the contrast of the black fabric. This tutorial will show you how to create your own, so that you can dress up your composition notebooks for doodling, bullet journaling or keeping track of your sewing projects, which is what I use mine for!
Ruffle Notebook Cover
Fabric:
4 fat quarters
OR
1/3 yard for lining
1/3 yard for front accent (less if not directional)
1/3 yard for back of cover
2 1/2" strip of accent fabric, or 1" wide ribbon

decorative elastic if desired for closure

ruffle notebook cover cutting requirements

Cutting:
1-10 1/2" X 16"  Lining fabric (stripe)
3- 5" X 10 1/2" front feature fabric and cover flaps (floral)
1- 2 1/2" X 10 1/2" front feature fabric (floral)
1- 2 1/2" X 20" strip ruffle fabric (black)
1- 9 1/2" X 10 1/2" back cover fabric (red)

Assembly:
pleated ruffle to front accent piece of cover
  • Press ruffle strip in half along the length
  • line up raw edges of the ruffle strip with the right side of the 5" front accent piece. Pin pleats into the accent strip so that it covers the length of the 10 1/2" side.
  • baste into place 
  • Place 2 1/2" front accent piece on top of ruffle, right side down, lining up right sides. 
  • Sew in place using 1/4" seam allowance
ruffle notebook front cover assembly
  •  press the ruffle toward the 2 1/2" accent piece
  • top stitch on both sides of the seam a scant 1/8"
  • line up the left side of the accent piece with the right side of the back cover piece- right sides together
  • Sew the accent piece to the back, using 1/4" seam allowance
  • press toward the darker piece (in this case, the red side)
  • add top stitching if desired
add elastic for closure

  • if using decorative elastic for closure, line up the elastic 2 1/4" from left edge of front cover
  • pin in place
put the notebook cover together
  •  press the cover flap pieces in half along the length (5" X 10 1/2" pieces pressed to create 2 1/2" X 10 1/2" pieces)
  • line up raw edges of flap pieces with both sides of the notebook cover front. *tip: pay attention to the direction of the print on the fabrics at this point
  • place the cover lining right side down on top of the cover front.
  • pin in place
  • Sew around the entire cover using a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 3-4" opening on the bottom for turning
  • clip all four corners and turn right side out
  • press
  • stitch opening in bottom closed
tutorial to create ruffle notebook cover
 Slide your composition notebook into the flaps and bring the elastic around to the front to keep closed.
ruffle accent cover for composition notebook
Now you have a beautiful new cover for your composition notebook! I use mine all the time to keep track of the projects I am making, adjustments to patterns and ideas for future projects. I LOVE having one in my sewing room (or two or three!!).
Enjoy!!
xoxo,
Amy

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Exposed lace zipper sleeping bag tutorial

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
tutorial to sew a sleeping bag for 18" dolls
*I was given fabric to participate in the Safari Party blog hop. All opinions and projects are my own.

Whenever I make a project, I always hope that it will do two things- show off the fabrics I love, and be something useful, practical or fun. When I saw this Safari Party fabric from Melissa Mortenson for Riley Blake I knew immediately what I wanted to create with it- this fun cozy sleeping bag for my daughters and their 18" dolls.  The hardest part was figuring out how to get it come together. I wanted it to have the feel of a real sleeping bag, with a zipper, but I also didn't want to have to use a separating zipper. I came up with a fun compromise- using these darling lace zippers I have loved forever, but never had a project to use them on, until now!
I love that the lace zippers add a bit of fun to an already darling project thanks to such cute fabrics! Read on for the tutorial:

Exposed lace zipper sleeping bag:

Cutting:
2- 21"X10" rectangles for back (sleeping bag back, and lining)
2- 16"X10" rectangles for front. (I wanted a patchwork look for the fronts on mine, so I pieced different fabrics together, feel free to use a solid piece of fabric)
1- 21"X 10" and 1- 16"X9 1/2" rectangles of fusible fleece
1- 12" lace zipper

Sewing:
Sew the front 16" rectangle to the 21" rectangle you want for the back of the sleeping bag. Line them up at the bottom of the 21" rectangle with right sides together and with the front (shorter) piece on top, sew on the RIGHT SIDE. Press the front of the sleeping bag to the side.
Sew the lining 16" rectangle to the 21" rectangle that will be the lining back (you will see this fabric when the sleeping bag is zipped closed). Line them up right sides together and with the shorter piece on top sew the LEFT SIDE. Press the front to the side.
*Sorry for the lack of pictures on the next steps!
Fuse the fleece to the two pieces of the lining that are already sewn together. Place the outside and lining pieces on top of each other right sides together and sew around using a 1/4" seam allowance, leaving a 2-3" opening on the bottom for turning. Clip all corners and clip a "V" out of the corner where the short side meets the long side. Turn right side out and press. Add a few lines of quilting if desired.

Attach the zipper:
Line the zipper up with the top of the sleeping bag front. Make sure you leave a scant 1/4" from the zipper teeth to the fabric to make it easier to slide the pull. Fold under the zipper ends to create a 45 degree angle and hide the raw edges of the zipper. Stitch the zipper in place. I ran two lines of stitching, one 1/4" away from the zipper teeth and one on the scalloped edge of the zipper to hold it down.
To attach the second side of the zipper you will need to fold the sleeping bag so the sides line up. Make sure the bottom corners are level and zip up the zipper so it lines up. Carefully pin the zipper to the back of the sleeping bag, again making sure to leave a scant 1/4" from the teeth to the fabric so it will pull open easily.  It takes a bit of patience for this part, so just go slowly and make sure everything is lined up. When you are done, fold under the zipper ends again and sew down the same as you did the front. You will need to unzip the zipper to get it all sewn down and it will involve some serious manipulation of the sleeping bag to make sure everything stays in place, but it can be done and you will make it!! :)


You can finish the bottom in one of two ways. On the blue sleeping bag, I turned it inside out and used my machine to edge stitch from the bottom of the zipper, around the corner to the center fold. It makes it a bit narrower at the bottom, but it was fast and easy. On the pink sleeping bag I used a needle and thread and ladder stitched it closed, a much more precise, but time consuming option. Either way you choose, make sure to close the hole in the bottom you left for turning.
The final step is to give it to your doll owner of choice and see them squeal in delight!
Have fun sewing and let me know if you have any questions!
xoxo,
Amy

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mini Banner Flags

Sunday, October 15, 2017
Mini Banner sewing tutorial
 I love making mini banners for accent pieces in my decor. They use a fairly small amount of fabric, can be customized for any style and they are a quick and satisfying project for an afternoon. Today I'm going to share with you the measurements and methods I use to make these mini banner flags.
make ornaments with mini banner flags

You can hang them individually with dowels and twine. They  make a great addition to a gallery wall. Or, use them as ornaments on a seasonal tree. **If you would like to embellish your banners with these badges, you can find the patterns Here on my contributor post for The Polka Dot Chair.
make a bunting with mini banner flags
Or, string them together to make a bunting.
Are you sold? Ready to make some?
Mini Banner Flag
Supplies:
Fabric- fat quarters or scraps, if buying yardage I recommend 1/3 yard for directional prints, 1/4 yard for non directional prints.
Finishing supplies: twine or ribbon for stringing, dowels and twine for individual hanging.
Felt for embellishments if desired.

Cutting:
cutting instructions for mini banners
 Cut a rectangle of fabric 4" wide by 10".
Fold in half along the length to create a 5" X 4" rectangle.
Fold in half again along the width to create a 5" X  2" rectangle. Now you will cut the angle to create the banner. Position your small rectangle so the fold on the short side is at the top.
 If you want one center point on the bottom:
  • measure up 1" on the side OPPOSITE the fold 
  • draw a line from that point to the opposite corner on the bottom.
  • Cut along that line
If you want two points on the sides on the bottom:
  • measure up 1" on the side WITH the fold 
  • draw a line from that point to the opposite corner on the bottom
  • cut along that line 
For both:
*If you want to embellish the flags, you can do it either before or after you sew the sides of the banner together. I like to do it after so that I can use more dimensional embellishments without it making it harder to sew the flags together, but if you don't want to see the stitching on the back, you may want to do it before.
  • Unfold the center fold to go back to your 5" X 4" rectangle, now with angles at the bottom.
  • Starting 1/2" down from the top fold, start sewing around the flag, using a 1/4" seam allowance.
  • Once you have sewn down 1 side and the bottom (the part with the angles) sew up the last side, leaving a 2" opening for turning before finishing the side 1/2" from the top.
  • Clip the bottom angles
  • turn right side out and press
  • topstitch around the flag, leaving 1/2" opening from top on both sides to create a channel for stringing or dowels, making sure to close the opening left for turning.
  • Repeat for as many flags as you'd like
 If you are making individual banners, cut your dowel down to 4 1/2" long and string through top channel on flag. Tie twine or ribbon on both sides of dowel to create hanger.
If you are making a bunting, arrange the flags in your desired order then string onto twine or ribbon.
sew mini bunting for seasonal decor
Let me know if you have any questions!
xoxo,
Amy
 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Spider Swarm Pillow

Thursday, October 12, 2017
This is a sponsored post. I was given a Cricut EasyPress to use and review. All opinions and projects are my own.
Use EasyPress to create fun halloween decoration

I love having the ability to customize my projects and Iron on is such a fun way to do it. My problem with using iron on is getting it to adhere well to my projects. It always seemed to lift and peel. I have discovered that the problem wasn't the vinyl I was using- it was me. Not only was I using an iron, I wasn't heating the vinyl nearly long enough. Enter the EasyPress. The large heating surface heats evenly across the entire plate and a built in timer makes sure I don't stop before it's ready. It's so easy now to create projects that use iron on vinyl with confidence. Behold: The Spider Swarm pillow!!
I'm definitely one who prefers cute over creepy when it comes to Halloween decorations, but I don't mind a bit of skin crawling fun here and there. This spider swarm pillow fits my style perfectly.
Want to make one of your own? Read on:
Spider Swarm Pillow How-to
Supplies:
fabric for pillow cover: 1/2 yard white fabric
black iron on vinyl
trim (optional)
sewing supplies and vinyl cutting tool
16" X 16" pillow form

Cutting:
1- 16" X 16" square white fabric
2- 12" X 16" rectangles white fabric for back

Using your Cricut Maker, or other cutting machine, cut spiders out of black iron on vinyl- I used 4 different spiders, resized them and turned many of them different directions to create the swarm. One thing I didn't do, was make sure the spiders weren't touching each other- something I would definitely change next time. Using the BrightPad made the weeding process much easier- it takes a while, but it's worth it (I think!) Since you can only cut 12" wide on the mat, I made the swarm fit within the 12" and then cut a few more spiders on another mat to individually scatter around the white edges.

Pressing:
Use EasyPress to adhere vinyl to pillow front. A couple of things to note- when placing your swarm, remember to leave room for your seam allowance (1/4"). I also left a bit of room on the bottom and sides because often pillow forms are squishy and you don't see that part of the pillow and I wanted to make sure you saw ALL the spiders. ;) This project would be a million times faster if you just created the swarm and then pressed it onto a premade pillow cover- like ones you can find at Ikea. But, the envelope closure of this pillow makes it a fairly straightforward sew- which lets you customize both the background fabric and add any trim or embellishments you might want.

Take one of the pillow back pieces and press one 16" side over 1", then again another 1" to create a finished edge. Top stitch down hem. Repeat for second back piece **Tip: If fabric is directional, make sure the sides you create hems on will overlap once placed on pillow back.



Assembly:
add vintage trim to pillow front by basting in place

If adding trim to edge of pillow, baste the trim down on the pillow front
back of pillow with envelope closure
Take your first pillow back piece and lay on the top of the pillow front, right side down. Line up the raw 16" edge with the side of the pillow and line up the top and bottom. Place the second pillow back piece, right side down, on top, lining up the opposite 16" side from the first piece. The two back pieces should overlap. Pin well, especially where the pieces overlap. Sew around all four sides of pillow using a 1/4" seam allowance.
Turn right side out and add a pillow form. Just like that, you have a new pillow!
halloween is much creepier with a spider swarm pillow

Making spider swarm pillow is easy with Cricut Easy Press
Now all that is left is to enjoy your creepy new decoration!
Happy Halloween!!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Sew a Bunny Softie with the new Cricut Maker

Thursday, September 28, 2017
cut softie pattern with Cricut Maker
I was given a Cricut Maker to review and this post contains affiliate links.

You have probably realized by now that my current crafting mostly involves fabric. I love all the new fabric prints and the fun things you can sew. I love that things last longer when made with fabric than with paper. What I don't love is all the prep work that goes into getting ready to sew. Preparing your fabric, cutting out the pattern pieces- it's a lot of effort that goes into getting ready to do the thing I really want to do, which is sew. That's where my love for the Cricut Maker runs deep! All the steps of printing or cutting out the pattern, pinning or tracing the pattern and then cutting out the fabric- they are all gone with this awesome machine! When I started looking for a pattern to try out this fun feature with, I couldn't resist these darling bunnies- and the best part is that the pattern is free if you have a Cricut Access membership!
All the pattern pieces were cut out with the Cricut Maker
Once I made one, my girls all decided they needed their own, so I ended up making three! I have a few tips for you if you decide to make this pattern that will hopefully help you out! Read all the directions for the project first- they will give you all the steps for assembly, but here are some of the things that worked for me:

baste bunny limbs closed before attaching to body
The first tip is to baste the limbs closed before attaching them to the body. I like my softies nice and firm since the batting tends to break down over time and I want them to have a nice feel for a long time. But, firm limbs are hard to attach since they don't have a lot of room for seam allowances. If you are new to sewing, I would leave a bit more space at the top of each limb so you have more room to work with. Basting will hold the sides of the limbs together and make them easier to attach.
adding limbs to the bunny can be tricky
The second tip is to baste the limbs to the body before adding the back. You can see that once you add arms, legs and ears, it's a bit crazy looking. Trying to keep everything pinned neatly in place can be tough, so go ahead and use a long stitch, and a scant (just smaller than) 1/4" seam allowance to stitch them all in place. Also, note the position of the ears on this bunny. I like them a bit to the sides so they don't always hang over the bunnies' face.
pin the bunny back on
Once you have the limbs sewn down, start at one of the notches on the body and line up the back. Normally when you pin two pieces together, you like them to be flat and even, but with so much bulk in the middle, you have to rely on the notches, and the seams to guide you when pinning. I start just below the notch on one side and pin that side in place, you can see that I leave the legs out of the bunny for now. It makes it much easier to sew the neck if you do the bottom last. Pin up the side and make sure the neck seams line up. Go around the head, pinning more than you normally do and down the other side. Again, check to make sure the neck and notch seams line up. Sew around the bunny where you have pinned- *tip: I like to back stitch a couple of times on places that will get a lot of stress- if your bunny will be loved (and if you give it to a child- it will!!) the limbs and ears will all get pulled on, so, I back stitch whenever I get to the beginning or end of a limb as I go around.
Now it's time to do the bottom. Feed your legs up and into the body of the bunny. It might take a bit of manipulation to get the feet through the neck. Get the bottom as neat as you can and pin from the inside of each leg and around the corner to where your stitching stops. Sew the two legs in, leaving the space between the legs open for stuffing. Make sure to back stitch when starting and stopping- especially the opening where you will turn the softie right side out and stuff it!!
**The biggest tip I have is to go slow and watch your seams. You want to make sure you are catching the front, back and both sides of each limb and ear so they are securely stitched into the bunny. Use a smallish stitch length and lift your presser foot often through the curves.
bunny softies
** Before you turn your softie right side out use pinking shears or sharp scissors to notch your curves. You will get a much smoother shape to your softie if you do!
dress for bunny softie
This is how I ended up making the dress. Cut out the pocket pieces and the dress pieces- skip the straps.
  •  Sew the pocket pieces right sides together, leaving 1-2" on the top straight edge for turning.
  • Clip seam on curves and turn right side out, press.
  • Edge stitch along the top of pocket to close the hole. 
  • Center the pocket on the front dress piece and sew around the bottom curve, back stitch at the beginning and end of pocket to secure. 
  •  Press the top of each dress piece down 1/4", then again 1/2". Press the bottom of each dress piece up 1/4" then again 1/4". 
  • Unfold the pressed hem pieces and put the two dress pieces right sides together. Sew down  both sides of dress (with notches)
  • Fold hems back up and top stitch down.
  • turn arm curves under 1/4" and top stitch
  • fold top hems back down and stitch at just under 1/2" to create a channel for the elastic.
  • Take a 7" piece of decorative elastic and thread it through the front and back channel of top of dress. Sew ends together and turn the elastic so the seam of the elastic is in the casing.
    elastic makes easy straps
The elastic allows the dress to easily come off and on.
sweet bunny softie
 I had so much fun making these bunnies. My three youngest girls have all claimed their favorites and are having so much fun playing with them.
fun bunnies to play with
I even used scraps and my Cricut Maker to create the little bunting in the background. I can't wait to use my Maker machine for all the crafting I want to do!

As always, let me know if you have any questions- I'm happy to help!
xoxo,
Amy

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Fabric, Felt and the New Cricut Maker

Thursday, September 7, 2017
This is a sponsored post. I received a Maker machine to review and this post also contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Wondering why you might consider upgrading to a new Maker machine from your Explore? Curious as to what the fuss is all about? Interested in just how excited should you be if you sew or just love fabric? Today I am sharing exactly why I have been so giddy since I first heard about the new Cricut Maker machine.
cut felt and fabric with the Cricut Maker

I have owned a Cricut machine since they first came out. You might remember the cartridges? I still have some! As Cricut has grown and changed I have loved the updates and increased capabilities of their machines and design space. I was given an Explore when they first came out and I have used it over and over again. But, there has always been one draw back for me- working with fabric was always a challenge. I didn't always want to have to back my fabric with something in order to get it to cut. And, even if I did, I often felt like the cuts weren't clean. And don't even get me started on cutting felt! (the pictures below are from the Room Challenge I did for the Cricut Design Star challenge I participated in a couple of years ago, you can see in the first picture that the cuts are pretty good, but there are still a couple threads that didn't get cut all the way)
Cutting Fabric on the Cricut Explore- fabric backed with freezer paper

Reading pouf created using the Cricut Explore


I was told that Cricut was coming out with a new machine that would cut fabric- I was thrilled, but also a little skeptical because I had been told that before with the Explore machines. (which, while it technically does cut fabric, requires backing your fabric and sharp, new blades to get crisp, clean cuts)
So, when I went in to check out the machine- I came prepared with samples of my own! I wanted to see if it really would cut fabric, wool felt and even the cheap acrylic felt from the craft store.
cut fabric with Cricut Maker
Fabric cut with Cricut Maker

Let me tell you, this machine knocked my socks off! The rotary blade is magic!! It's a tiny 12mm blade and it lifts and pivots amazingly!
cut wool felt with Cricut Maker
felt bird cut with Cricut Maker

There are a couple of limitations you should be aware of:
 First: you can only cut down to a 3/4" radius on curves. Any smaller than that and you will damage your fabric mat. For really intricate cuts, they recommend using the bonded fabric blade and fabric backed with a stabilizer such as Heat n Bond
 Second: There is an over cut programmed into the machine so that the corners are sharp and neat, since there is a round blade involved. Why this matters is if you are cutting something thin, like the stem of a leaf, you might find that the stem is cut off because of the over cut. Just something to be aware of.
There are free projects available in Design Space to get you started cutting fabric and felt. In addition, Cricut has teamed up with Simplicity Patterns and Riley Blake Designs to provide patterns and quilts for you to purchase and make. Plus, with design space, you can upload your own designs and create your own projects! I will be sharing the file to make the pincushion in this post soon!
If you focus on paper projects or mostly cut vinyl and already have a Cricut Explore- I would definitely enjoy your machine and not upgrade. But, if you're like me and spend most of your time with fabric, needle and thread I would not hesitate for a second to make the switch. The adaptive tool system provides accuracy and pressure to cut cleanly and the new fabric mat holds the fabric in place so you don't need to add backing to your fabric.
Watch for lots more projects and videos from me soon!
xoxo,
Amy


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Fabric Rose Projects to make for your home

Thursday, July 20, 2017
Rose projects made with coming up roses projects
*fabrics in this post were provided by Penny Rose Fabrics as part of their Coming up Roses Blog tour. Projects and opinions are all my own

The first time I saw this Coming up Roses fabric by Penny Rose Fabrics two thoughts came into my mind. The first was that I needed to make an abstract rose mini quilt and the second was this quote by Anais Nin:
blooming flower Anais Nin quote
I have loved this quote forever. It makes me really think and want to try to bloom. :)
Coming up Roses fabric bundle
Don't these fabrics make you feel the same way? I love the purples, but I chose to work with the traditional rose colors of red and pink.
abstract rose pillow
I wanted to mimic the abstract look of the flowers in the main print and found this great tutorial on Hey Let's Make Stuff. I followed most of her instructions, although I didn't do the final quilting until the end because I wanted to do a wavy spiral to mimic a flower. I started with 1 1/2", 2" and 2 1/2" strips of fabric for the center and then moved to 2 1/2", 3" and 3 1/2" wide strips for the outer petals. I just adore the green striped binding!!
I initially thought I would make a mini quilt, but in the end decided to make a fun pillow!  I used a 16" pillow form and a simple envelope closure for the back.
Dimensional roses on fabric banner
The next project I did was this dimensional flower banner. I just love how these 3-d flowers look! I'll be posting a tutorial as soon as I get better lighting. :)
banner with dimensional roses
And last, but not least:
Long stemmed fabric roses for decor

These fabric roses were a fun accent piece to make up! I used this tutorial from Snowy Bliss. The only changes I made were to cut the strips 3" wide instead of 4 1/2" and on the two smaller flowers I used 26" long strips instead of WOF to make them smaller. A tip when making these: if you want the flower to be more open, gather the fabric strip more, it will push your petals out more.
use fabric to create rose themed home decor
I just love how these projects came out and I can't wait to find a special place in my craft room to display them and remind myself that it might take courage to blossom, but it's not as hard as staying small!
xoxo,
Amy
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...