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Round Up: 7 Big Bags to Sew

Sometimes a girl just needs a big roomy bag, no? Probably some guys, too! Here's a little round-up of some of my favorites.

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[Disclosure: Any links to books link to my Amazon Affliate shop where I receive a very small commision from sales]

Inspired by Nani Iro

Yesterday, Miss Matatabi posted photos of sneak peeks at Nani Iro's 2012 fabric line on her Facebook page. I immediately headed over to naniIRO's website to see if any images were up yet, they are not. However, while I was there I remembered how much I love all the inspiration on that site. The fabric, the patterns... Below are a few collages I put together of some of her free patterns from over the years. They can be found on the naniIRO website, but are written in Japanese in the manner that most Japanese craft books are written (with detailed diagrams).

Round-Up: 12 Felt Flowers to Inspire

Today, I'm feeling inspired by pretty and happy felt flowers. Here are twelve to inspire:

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Tutorial Round-Up: 18 Hearts to Sew

For those of you looking to do some Valentine sewing, here are 18 pretty hearts to sew (all are tutorials).

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See anything you want to make?

1, 2, 3 Sew - Book Review and Giveaway

I mentioned in an earlier post or two that I made some Christmas gifts from this book, 1, 2, 3, Sew, by Ellen Luckett Baker of The Long Thread. The really wonderful thing about this book is that not only is it perfect for beginners, but also has more challenging projects as well. Each section of the book has three projects in which each builds on the techniques used in the project before. What I really love is that it is packed full of great gift ideas to make, from items for the kitchen and home to kids and babies. There are a total of 33 sewing projects! And the instructions are clear with great suggestions on how to customize the projects.

My favorite project of the two I made is this potholder. It uses thread to create a design on the front of potholder. It was a very easy and quick project that produces a truly impressive result! (My project is the pictures on the right, Ellen's book on the left.)

I also made these little pouches, though I didn't use the stamping technique she explains for the one in the book. A cute and easy project, this was the intermediate project in the pouches section. The first is for an eyeglasses case and the advanced is a cosmetic bag. (And, for those who are interested, I used linen and fabric from Lecien's Fabulous Blooming collection for mine).

Near the top of my 2012 sewing projects list are these two projects from the book: Mouse Pincushion and Change Your Mind Skirt.

Now, onto the giveaway! Ellen has generously offered to giveaway a copy of 1, 2, 3 Sew to one of the readers of this blog! The giveaway is offered to those with US addresses only. 

Leave a comment on this blog post about what you might like to make from this book. You can see more images and the table of contents here. Giveaway closes Sunday, January 15 at 10pm Central Standard Time. Winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck!

[Disclosures: My copy was given to me as a gift by Ellen with a request, but no obligation, to do a pattern review. Links to the book in this blog post lead to my Amazon Affiliate store from which I receive a small commission on items purchased through that link.]

Sewing Goals for 2012

Have you made plans for your 2012 sewing projects? I know I was thinking about it already during the holiday season! Here is my list for the, dare I say, first quarter of the year? A girl can dream...

(You'll note many of my projects come from books. I've been lovingly perusing my books and have been inspired!)

First two projects will be those pictured above:

  • Finishing the "a beautiful mess" quilt. After seeing this quilt on Posie Gets Cozy and discussions with my Twitter and Facebook friends, I've decided to tie this quilt rather than "quilt" it. (Yes, I know purists will insist I call this a coverlet and not a quilt. Oh, well.) I really want a fluffy, crinkly look and, considering all the mistakes in the quilt top, I don't think anything fussy needs to happen with the quilting. I will fill you in on the progress and show you the finished quilt. So far, the top is done & the backing is almost done. I'm so excited!
  • Flannel PJ pants for the girls from that gorgeous Anna Maria Horner LouLouThi flannel. I plan to purchase some plain t-shirts and put an applique of something on each. We live in Wisconsin, so flannel PJ pants are practical about 8 months of the year...

A little further down the road:

There are more things, but I'll stop the list there for now. Do you have a list? What's on it?

PS - Speaking of 123 Sew, I made a few projects from this book as gifts. I will be talking about these soon!

PPS - In the interest of full disclosure, all book links lead to my Amazon Associates Store and I get a little commission when items are bought there.

Handmade Christmas

1. Christmas workshop for kids and families 12/2011, 2. felt and fabric leaves and berries, 3. Trim The Tree Handmade Ornament Swap received, 4. Handmade holidays Created with fd's Flickr Toys

Today I plan to start and finish my Christmas shopping! (Wish me luck) And the rest of the week will (hopefully) involve finishing my handmade gifts. And wrapping. And school Christmas parties. And baking...   How are you doing on your holiday to do list?

Kids Craft: Gingerbread Man Felt Ornament

This is a really easy craft for kids (and adults) that can be made with a minimum of supplies and skill. I'd estimate the age level at 6 and up (with help from grown-ups), but my 4-year-old was able to help with some aspects of this craft.

Supplies needed:

  • Brown felt
  • White embroidery floss
  • Embroidery needle
  • Fiber-fil
  • Scissors
  • Disappearing ink pen (or chalk)
  • Gingerbread man cookie cutter (or download pattern)

Trace cookie cutter to make 2 gingerbread men. Do as I say and not as I do here and make sure your disappearing ink pen shows up on your felt. You can also use chalk.

(Optional) Mark Xs where to cross stitch eyes, mouth and buttons. It's pretty easy to figure out where they go without the markings.

Using the full 6 string thickness of the embroidery thread, cut the string rather short to prevent knots. Knot the bottom of the string. I found that both my 6-year-old and my 11-year-old had no problem with the large Xs, but I did the small Xs for the mouth for my 6-year-old.

When finished with the face, snake the thread through the back of the stitches to secure and cut. Then stitch Xs for the buttons the same way as for the face (short string, knot on end, snake through back of stitches when done).

Estimate the amount of thread needed for sewing around the outside of ornament by circling the thread around it as above and cutting a little extra.

Sew the two pieces together using a running stitch around the perimeter of the ornament. Hide the knot by starting the stitching in the middle of the "sandwich" (see photo above).

When stitching around the perimeter of the ornament, be sure needle catches both top and bottom pieces. Depending on the age of the child, help child hold the two pieces together so they remain straight.

Leave a hole in the side to stuff with fiber-fil. 

After stuffing, stitch the hole closed hiding the end piece of the last stitch in the middle of the "sandwich" by piercing only one layer of the felt. Tie a knot as close as possible to the inside of the ornament and tuck inside.

Use a length of embroidery thread to make a loop at the top of the head for a hanger. Tie and turn knot to bottom to hide.

We had fun with different colors of embroidery thread and made sugar-cookie-men in addition to gingerbread men!

To include younger children: let them choose colors and let them hold the cookie cutter while you trace. When stitching, after you pierce the felt with the needle, let them pull the thread all the way through. Consider using a straight upholstery needle, which is dull (a little difficult to push through the felt, but doable) and let them do some of the sewing.

Most of all - have fun!

Christmas Inspiration: 13 Ornaments to Sew

Ornaments always make a nice handmade gift. Here are a few I find inspiring.

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Holiday Sewing Inspiration: Red and Aqua

Etsy Inspiration: Organic Christmas

On Tuesdays, I like to look at eco-friendly and/or organic sewing crafts and fabrics. Today, a little inspiration via Etsy in the form of an organic Christmas.

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Round Up: 12 Laptop Sleeves or Bags To Sew

Laptop sleeves and/or bags make a great gifts and there is no shortage of tutorials on the web. Here are a dozen featuring different techniques and fabric choices to inspire your own gift-making.

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Inspiration: Christmas Cross Stitch

Such a pretty way to get into the holiday spirit! Cross stitch is also great to work on while waiting for the kids during their various practices and such.

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