Older Entries

Inspiration: Across The Pond by Cloud9 Fabrics

How about some organic fabric inspiration for your Tuesday? Across The Pond is designed by Michelle Engel Bencsko for Cloud9 Fabrics.

Clockwise from top left:

Round-Up: 12 Capes or Capelets to Sew

Capes and capelets are so cute and fashionable for fall! Sew one for yourself or your daughter (or grand-daughter or friend...)

For girls, clockwise from top left:

For women, clockwise from top left:

Eco Sewing Round-Up: 10 Upcycled Sweater Bags to Sew

As winter approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, it's the perfect time to upcycle an old sweater or two for a stylish bag! Here are a few I found from around the web!

Clockwise from top left:


Clockwise from top left:


Tutorial: Lined Mini-Totes, 2 Totes From 2 Fat Quarters

Cute little totes for gifts or small items, made from 2 fat quarters of 44" wide fabric. These totes are quite easy and quick to make. Follow the picture tutorial below and let me know if you have any questions or if anything is confusing.

A few notes to start:

  • A fat quarter of 44" quilting weight cotton measures about 18" x 22"
  • I used Starburst in Pool and Starburst in Strawberry from Circa 50 by Monaluna for Birch Fabrics organic cotton fabric for the outside of my totes
  • I used Chairs and Houses from Circa 50 by Monaluna for Birch Fabrics organic cotton fabric for the lining of my totes
  • You will need to use fabric without directionality for the outside of the totes
  • You can use any directionality for the inside of the totes if you don't mind one side being "upside down". I didn't mind for mine.

The straps are made with excess fabric from each fat quarter. I used the selvedge edge of one fat quarter for the inner side of one strap. This works as a design decision with Circa 50 fabrics because the selvedge is very wide (see below). On a typical fabric, the sevedge may be smaller and will be folded into the strap.

Let's get started!

Cut Fabric:

Make Straps:

Make Outside of Tote & Lining:

Put Tote Together & Insert Straps:


Top Stitch Edges:

Enjoy Your Totes!

Inside view:

Side view:

Hanging on a Chair:

On a 9-year-old's Shoulder:

Easy Ruffle Trim Scarf Tutorial

For last minute handmade gifts!! A fairly easy scarf with ruffle trim. The only reason I say "fairly" is because the ruffle requires a small amount of gathering, which isn't hard but is sometimes frustrating. However, there are only two small ruffles, so the gathering isn't very time-consuming. This scarf is made on one side with organic cotton gingham fabric and the other side soft, medium-heavy weight organic cotton flannel. It is super-soft and incredibly warm!

The dimensions of this scarf are such that you can make 4 scarves from exactly 2 1/2 yards of 44" wide fabric with no waste. Hmmmm, multiple Christmas gifts? See diagram below!

You will need:

:: For 4 scarves: 2 1/2 yards 44" wide cotton fabric (I used yarn-dyed organic gingham - advantage: no wrong side!) For one scarf: 1 3/4 yards of 44" fabric (you will have extra fabric) or 1/2 yard of 60" fabric
:: 1 1/2 yards med-heavy weight 59" flannel (I used un-dyed organic cotton)
:: Thread, needle, sewing machine, scissors, etc


Step One:

Cut gingham fabric according to diagram above. (Note: the cutting diagram is assuming you plan to make 4 scarves, cut accordingly if you plan to make one)

Step Two:

Cut flannel fabric into 4 pieces, 11" x 59" each. (Assuming you are making 4 scarves, cut accordingly if you plan to make one)

Step Three:

Fold each ruffle piece (22" x 7.5" pieces) in half legthwise, right sides together, and press. Sew along each short side with a 3/8" seam allowance. Turn right side out. You will have 2 ruffle pieces for each scarf you make.

Step Four:

Sew gathering stitches along one long side of the ruffle piece (the non-folded side). Gather to 11". Repeat with other ruffle(s).

Find great instructions on gathering here: The Handmade Dress: Little Gathering Tutorial (video)or here: Tinylicious: Tiny Tutorial: Easy Gathering (photos & instruction)

Step Five:

Lay scarf piece right side up and place one ruffle on each short end. Align raw edge of ruffles with edge of scarf. Pin and sew using a 3/8" seam allowance, keeping gathering stitches inside the seam allowance.

Hint: use your seam ripper to help guide gathered material through the sewing machine.

Repeat with other side(s).

Step Six:

Pin ruffles to side as shown above to prevent them from getting caught up in the seams. Lay flannel scarf piece on gingham scarf, right sides together. Pin.  Sew around scarf using a 3/8" seam allowance, checking and double checking that the ruffles are not getting caught up in the seams when sewing near the ends. Leave a 6" gap on one long side. When sewing the short ends, place the stitches from the ruffle inside the seam allowance, even if it means creating a bigger seam allowance, for a clean and professional look.

Step Seven:

Turn scarf right side out. Hand stitch the gap closed. Admire your work and keep warm :)

Green Craft Magazine Autumn 2011

Green Craft Magazine is published by arts and craft magazine publisher, Stampington & Company, so you know it will be chock full of stunning and artistic craft projects. Here is a little sampling of some of the sewing projects from the Autumn 2011 edition. There are also fantastic non-sewing projects as well. I'm in love with that clutch made from an old tea-towel calendar. How clever! Find more information on the Green Craft Autumn 11 web page.

How To Sew Fabric Coasters

You can find me over at Skip To My Lou with a tutorial on how to sew fabric coasters! This is, of course, a really easy and quick project - perfect for a hostess gift for the upcoming holiday season. My tutorial is a part of the Holiday Sew Along being hosted by Skip To My Lou. There's a different sewing tutorial every day! And the Holiday Sew Along is a part of the Holiday Bake Craft and Sew Along, where you can find craft and food ideas every day as well. Go here to see what's been posted so far!

My fabric coasters are reversible and made with Daisy Janie's Shades of Grey organic fabric collection. The solid grey is an organic shirting fabric from Bishopston Trading Company. The peach fabric is an organic cambric from Adya International. I received the Daisy Janie fabric complimentary to be used in an upcoming post for another blog, but had some left and decided to make these coasters with it. The other fabrics are left overs from my old shop.

Stitch by Betz White

Betz White has designed a new, organic cotton fabric collection for Robert Kaufman called Stitch. It is due in shops in November. From Betz:

Stitch is inspired by all types of stitchers and the beautiful handiwork created by them. ... Stitches and textures from crochet, embroidery and crewelwork and more are interpreted as bold and graphic motifs. 

I picked a few of my favorites for the collage above, you can see the entire collection on Betz White's flickr page and more information on her blog.

Organic Soul by Amy Butler

Amy Butler Organic Soul Inspiration

Amy Butler's Organic Soul collection is now available in fabric stores. It is a lovely collection that is derived and rescaled from some of the prints from her Soul Blossoms collection. The fabrics are printed on 100% certified organic cotton using low impact inks and dyes. This collection is a really beautiful addition to the organic fabric marketplace.

(all inspiration photos above from Amy Butler's website)


American Grown Spun Milled Organic Cotton Fabric

A new online fabric shop from the owners of Near Sea Naturals, American Grown•Spun•Milled aims to be a single source for local (US) fabrics made from organic fibers. In their own words:

We have nothing against China, India, or any other country, and if we lived in India we would be encouraging the development of a local sustainable fabric industry. We simply believe in the ... local sustainable fabric industry; we think the environment, the economy, and consumers all benefit when fabric isn't shipped around the world three and four times before it ends up in the US to be sold.

All fabrics sold on our American Grown•Spun•Milled site meet the following criteria unless expressly noted in the fabric's description: 

  • The fabric is made from certified-organic fibers
  • The organic fibers from which the fabric is made are grown in America
  • The fibers are processed (spun into "yarn," which is very different from knitting yarn) in America, in an eco-friendly fashion
  • The yarn is milled, that is, woven or knit into fabric, in America
  • Any finishing (dyeing. flannelling, etc) also takes place in America

We try to contain all the various steps within as small a geographic area as possible. The majority of US organic cotton is currently planted in Texas; from there it's a fairly short trip, using established transportation systems, to the Carolinas and thereabouts, where most of the fabric creation (the spinning, milling, and finishing) takes place. Rest assured that as innovation makes it possible for other parts of our system to be further streamlined, we will eagerly take advantage of any such options.

 Find out more information and see the fabrics on their website.

Tutorial: The 3-2-1 Throw, A Quick & Easy Little Quilt

It's true! This really is an easy and fast quilted throw! Perfect for beginners who feel a bit intimidated about quilting, or for the more experienced who want to put something together super-quick! This quilt utilizes the "pillow-case" method of binding, so there are no bias strips to make. Please note, however, this method of binding quilts is best only for small quilts like throws and baby blankets.

The 3-2-1 Quilted Throw is made with organic fabrics and organic batting. I used fabric from the My Happy Garden collection by Cloud9 Organics. (Found at Modern Organic Fabrics Shop)

~My Happy Garden organic cotton fabric as follows:

  • Speckle Grass - 12 1/2" x 48"
  • Meadow - 12 1/2" x 24 1/4"
  • Speckle Sun - 12 1/2" x 24 1/4"
  • Speckle Sky - 12 1/2" x 16 1/4"
  • Toadstools - 12 1/2" x 16 1/2"
  • Flock - 12 1/2" x 16 1/4" 
  • Lines -  approximately 37" x 49" (this is the backing fabric, it is cut a little large at first and will be cut to size after the front is finished)

~Organic cotton batting: 
  Approximately 40" x 50" (cut a little large, will be cut to size when the front is finished)


~Rotary cutter & cutting mat (or scissors)
~masking or painter's tape
~sewing machine (or needle & thread) 

 ***1/4 inch seam allowances are used, unless stated otherwise***

Diagram is not to scale

~Step One~
Cut pieces for quilt front. Do not cut back to exact size yet.

~Step Two~
With right sides together, pin Speckle Sky and Toadstools together on one short side and stitch. Place Flock on Toadstools, right sides together, pin and stitch on short side. 

~Step Three~
With right sides together, pin Meadow and Speckle Sun together and stitch on one short side. 

~Step Four~
Place each column on the batting in it's approximate finished spot. Remove the 3-piece column and the 1-piece column. Pin the 2-piece (middle) column to batting.

~Step Five~
Stitch the middle row to the batting by stitching around the edge.

~Step Six~
Place the 1-piece column right side down on the 2-piece column. Pin and stitch long sides together (you are also stitching it to the batting).

~Step Seven~
 Flip the 1-piece column back, pin wrong side to batting. Stitch around edge.

 ~Step Eight~
 Place the 3-piece column face down on the 2-piece column. Pin and stitch long sides together (you are also stitching it to the batting).

~Step Nine~
Flip the 3-piece column back, pin wrong side to batting. Stitch around edge.

~Step Ten~
 Trim the batting to the quilt top. Make sure the quilt edges are straight and corners are squared up, trim if necessary.

~Step Eleven~
 Tape the backing fabric to a table or the floor right side up. Place the quilt top right side down on the backing and pin. Trim the backing to same size as top, keep quilt pinned together.

~Step Twelve~
Stitch front and back together, leaving a 4-inch opening on one short side.

~Step Thirteen~
Trim the corners. Turn quilt inside-out and use a dull, pointed instrument (such as a chopstick) to turn out corners.

~Step Fourteen~
Press edges. Sew opening closed (the best way is to hand sew it closed).

~Step Fifteen~
Sew around edge of quilt using a 1/2-inch seam allowance.

~Step Sixteen~
You can be finished, if you'd like. This quilt is small enough that you don't have to quilt the back. However, this is a great little quilt to practice some machine quilting. I used a walking foot on my machine and stitched random diagonal lines.

~Step Seventeen~
Wash the quilt in cold water with a mild, eco-friendly detergent. Hang dry, or put in the dryer on low heat.

~Step Eighteen~

Love A Tree Organic Fabric from Timeless Treasures

If you've been looking for an organic cotton fabric collection with a nature theme, Timeless Treasures may have what you're looking for. Love A Tree organic fabric collection will be nice for those marketing towards the "nature" and environmentalist crowd. I don't think it has been released to shops yet, so keep your eyes open for it.

Round Up: 14 Organic Cotton Quilts to Inspire

organic cotton quilts

Today, a look at comfy, cozy organic cotton quilts.

Clockwise from top left:

organic cotton quilts

Clockwise from top left: