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Book Review: Reinvention

Reinvention is a lovely and inspiring sewing book by Maya*Made blogger, Maya Donenfeld. I've been holding on to this book for quite a while as I wanted to make something before sharing the book. But, the project I'm going to make will be on the back burner until after Christmas, so I thought I'd share this beautiful book now.

Reinvention is all about "reinventing everyday materials into remarkable items of beauty and utility." My favorite sewing books always provide inspiration with lovely photographs and this book is no exception. It is filled with wonderful ideas in Maya's signature style.

I have plans to make the barn quilt, pictured above. And hopefully a few more things, too!

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(Full disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. All opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.)

Book Review: Fabrics A to Z by Dana Willard

Fabrics A to Z is a fantastic little sewing reference book by Dana Willard (you may know her from her blog, MADE). I would highly recommend it to anyone who sews, especially those who sew garments, accessories and/or home decor. 

The book is really straightforward and easy to use. The fabric sections are divided between wovens, knits, specialty, blended and patterns. The reference page(s) for each fabric type not only explain what the fabric is and its properties, but (my favorite part) what type of needle, thread, interfacing, stitch length to use and more (under "working with"). Oh how I could have used this book last week when standing in front of a shelf of interfacing, trying to figure out which one to buy! Or, how about when you go to the fabric store with a certain fabric type in mind, only to fall in love with another and wonder if it will work for your project. Or, there's a really good deal for a certain fabric and you're wondering what you could use it for?

At the top of the reference pages are little symbols indicating what this type of fabric is used for (garment, home decor or craft/quilt). Very handy! 

There's another section all about notions and tools (again, who hasn't stared at a notion wall, wondering which one to buy?) 

The book is a convenient, small size so it will fit right into your purse or bag. Above, I placed it next to a typical paperback so you can get an idea of the size. 

Basically, I think this book is a perfect, little sewing reference book perfect to take along on your trip to the fabric store, at home buying online and when you're ready to sew that fabric up!

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(Full disclosure: I was provided with a copy of the book for the purpose of a review. All opinions expressed in this review are honest and my own.)

Inspired By: Sewing with Vintage Sheets

Today I'm feeling inspired by these lovely sewing projects made with vintage sheets.

Clockwise from top left:

 

Round Up: Tea Towel Tote Bags

I love picking up tea towels, both vintage and just "pretty", when I see them. I was thinking about how fantastic it would be to use them to make tote bags and I found plenty of inspiration on the web.

Clockwise from top left:

Clockwise from top left:

 

 

Rhapsodia Collection by Art Gallery Fabrics

Art Gallery Fabrics sent me some pictures of their gorgeous Rhapsodia fabric collection made into a variety of inspiring and beautiful clothing, quilts, bags and more. 

From Art Gallery Fabrics:

We want you to enter a world of golden sands and lustrous emeralds. Rhapsodia will take you on an exotic journey to far away destinations and places so beautiful and rich in color that you can only dream of... When you look at Rhapsodia you will experience the ethnic textures that were inspired by a world of rituals, rich foods, dance and the lights of Bollywood.

 

And they produced another fantastic video to introduce the collection!

They also have a giveaway going on right now over at The Creative Blog of Art Gallery Fabrics!

Round Up: 9 Mother's Day Gifts to Sew

Today I have a little round up of nine gift ideas to sew for Mother's Day. You can also find some ideas in this Twelve Pretty Gift Ideas to Sew post. You might also find ideas in my Feather Your Nest Sewing for Home round-up post. 

All projects are free tutorials. Clockwise from top left:

 

All projects are free tutorials. Clockwise from top left:

Fun Stuff, Motivational Stuff

For fun: did you see the Fat Quarter Idol contest over at Sew, Mama, Sew? If you love fabric and Pinterest, you'll want to get in on this one! Above is my entry - do you think you can beat me ;)  The theme is "Sweet Child of Mine". See details at Sew, Mama, Sew!

For motivation: I signed up for the Kids Clothes Week Challenge at elsie marley. I'm always promising the kids that I'll make them more clothes. Here's my motivation to do it! There's a ton of great inspiration at elsie marley, too - you should check it out!

(PS - I'll have more motivation for you next week with a Feather Your Nest Project at Stumbles & Stitches!)

Round Up: Sewing for Home for Feather Your Nest with Stumbles & Stitches

Have you heard about the Feather Your Nest contest over at Stumbles & Stitches? Hurry, go read about it! It's a really exciting month of tutorials and ideas for sprucing up your home complete with a contest with REALLY FANTASTIC PRIZES (seriously). Oh, and there are some pretty cool judges, too. I am one of them, but, really, the other judges are way more "famous" and exciting. Check it out!

In honor of the kick-off of Feather Your Nest, I thought I'd put together a little round-up of ideas for projects.

Clockwise from top left:

Also, check out my Kitchen Curtain round-up if you're thinking about sewing some kitchen curtains for Feather Your Nest!

Inspiration: Kitchen Curtains to Sew

I'd love to sew up some cheery curtains for my kitchen and thought I'd share some of my favorites:

Tutorial: Kindle Clutch

Emily Taylor's Verona fabric collection is the perfect fabric choice for a stylish Kindle Clutch!

 This simple zippered pouch is easy enough for a beginner to make.

NOTE: The following measurements are for a 1st generation Kindle. Measure your device and add 1.5" to create a snug clutch.

Supplies:

  • 2 pieces of outer fabric and 2 pieces of liner fabric cut 6.25" x 8.25" each
  • 2 pieces of strap fabric cut 11.5" x 2.5" each
  • 2 pieces of quilt batting cut 6.25" x 8.25" each
  • 1 zipper at least 9" long

1. To make the strap, fold fabric in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and press. Unfold and fold each raw edge in to center line that was just created and press again. Fold in half with raw edges in center and press closed.

2. Stitch close to the edge along each long side of strap.

3. Place outer fabric wrong side down on quilt batting.

4. Mark quilting lines with your favorite marking tool. I used tailors chalk. I made my lines approximately 1" apart.

5. Stitch along marked lines.

6. Repeat with other outer piece.

7. Adding the zipper part 1: Line up your pieces at the top edges and pin in the following order:

  • Outer piece face up
  • Zipper with teeth face down, slider to left
  • Lining piece face down

8. Sew, using your machine's zipper foot.

9. Press fabric away from zipper and top stitch close to edge.

10. Adding the zipper part 2: Line up your pieces at the top edges and pin in the following order:

  • Remaining outer piece, face up
  • Zipper with teeth face down and slider to right
  • Remaining lining piece, face down

11. Sew together using your machine's zipper foot.

12. Press fabric away from zipper and topstitch close to edge.

13. Check your work. Are the pieces in the right order? Does the zipper move without getting caught?

14. Open the zipper a little more than half way.

15. Arrange pieces in the following way and pin:

  • Outer pieces right sides together with the strap in between the two pieces
  • The strap should be folded in half (like a loop) with the folded side towards the middle and raw edges lined up along the edge of the outer pieces
  • Place the strap about an inch below the zipper
  • Lining pieces right sides together
  • Leave a 3" opening at bottom of the lining pieces for turning
  • Trim the zipper to approximately same size as clutch, if needed, at this time

16. Stitch around the outside edge of the entire clutch, leaving a 3" opening at the bottom of the lining pieces.

17. Turn the clutch right side out by pulling through the 3" opening and open zipper.

18. Use a tool to push out corners.

19. Sew closed the opening in the lining by turning the seam allowance under and top stitching.

20. Push lining back into clutch and enjoy your handiwork!

Working On ... Something Pretty!

Right now I'm working on something with Emily Taylor's pretty Verona collection. I adore the colors in this collection, perfect for brightening up dreary winter days.

 

This collection also features apron panels! Yes, aprons ready to cut out right on the fabric. Riley Blake produced this excellent video where Emily Taylor shows you how to cut out and make these really cute aprons with the panels.