Category: tutorials

Embroidery Tutorial: {buttonhole stitch}

One of my favorite things I’ve started making lately are little tiny dolls. The best stitch for making these sweet little stuffed treasures is the buttonhole stitch. It’s a pretty easy stitch to master and perfect for all your little stuffies to be!

Embroidery Tutorial: {a knotless start}

Here’s a short video on how to do a knotless start.
This is a great little tip to learn when working with dimensional projects, such as stuffies or even stitching pillows closed.

Tutorial: Thank You Teacher Gift

It’s hard to believe it, but the end of the school year is quickly advancing and it’s time to start thinking about thank you gifts for teachers. I came up with this quick little project that is a great beginner embroidery project. It uses a little bit of felt and embroidery floss to mimic a old fashioned slate board. The perfect little gift to tuck into a little basket for your teacher.

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First up, supplies. Here’s what you need:

A 6×8 piece of brown felt (wool blend felt is your best option if available)
a smaller scrap of black felt
white embroidery floss, divisible into 2 strands for stitching
black embroidery floss, divisible into 2 strands for stitching
an embroidery needle
wonderclips or pins
sulky solvy to print your pattern on

First up, print your pattern pieces.
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And cut out your brown and black felt pieces accordingly.

Then, print your embroidery pattern onto the sulky solvy.
teacherpattern1

Cut out the center rectangle of your sulky solvy pattern and peel of the back paper. Place it, sticky side down, onto the black felt rectangle.
All the text and the apple are stitched with 2 strands of white dmc embroidery floss using a backstitch. You can fill in the apple leaf with a few satin stitches if desired.

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After you stitch your pattern, cut away as much of the sulky-solvy as you can. Follow the directions on the package and use water to soak it away.
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Once your sulky-solvy has dissolved and your felt has dried, place your black rectangle centered on top of your brown rectangle. Use wonderclips or pins to hold in place.

Take 2 strands of black embroidery floss and stitch a tiny whipsitch all the way around your black rectangle.

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Add it to a gift basket, wrap it up in a fun envelope and pass it off to your favorite teacher!

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Tutorial: Felt Scrap Wreath

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Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps

You will need to gather up…
a 4 inch hoop
black (or whatever color you want) fabric for the top
twine for hanging
needle/thread
sewing machine
scissors
wool felt scraps in a variety of greens
a selection of red buttons

Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps

Take your felt scraps and trim them into roughly one inch wide strips. Then snip off little 1/4 inch pieces to make your wreath with.

Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps
Take a chalk pencil and outline the top part of your hoop to use as a guide for your wreath. If you are using white or light colored fabric, use a water soluble marker.

Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scrapsWreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps
Now here’s the tricky part. I laid out just a few green strips and then stitched slowly over them. When I came near the end of the last strip, I lifted up my presser foot and laid down some more. Just go slowly and stitch along as you go around the circle. I never laid down more than about an inch or so of strips as I was going around the circle.

Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps

Now that you’ve made it once around the circle, take a a few little strips to add a second “layer” and fill in some of the holes that might have happened while stitching around the first time.

Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps

Stitch around a second time.

Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps
Now it’s time for buttons. Gather up a few red buttons, some red thread and stitch them down. I find it’s much easier to stitch them down if you go ahead and set your wreath in the embroidery hoop.

Use your pretty christmas fabric for the back and make a hoop sandwich. The hoop circle without the bolt goes on the bottom, then your pretty fabric (right side down), the sewn wreath (right side up) and top it off with the bolt part of the hoop.
Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps

When I finish my hoops, I trim off the back fabric down to the hoop and then trim about a 1/2 inch off the top fabric around the circle. Then using a glue gun, I tack that 1/2 inch all around the inside of the hoop.
Wreath ornament tutorial with felt scraps

Hang your little ornament on your tree or gift it to a friend! Happy Holidays!

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Sewing: Part Review – Part Tutorial

Sewing: Part Review – Part Tutorial

So my girl child has started swimming and she has been needing a good swim bag desperately. I looked around for something to buy and then I started looking into bag patterns. I found a tutorial that I thought would work and even better it had a built in “wet bag” so I went for it. I ordered some canvas cotton material and this past weekend I got to work.

This is the tutorial that I used. Now, the tutorial does mention that this bag is big. But honestly – this bag was big. Think Ikea bag. It was too much and I was so frustrated. I checked the dimensions on my cutting mat and it seemed like a good size, but really it was too large. I spent the next few days taking the bag back apart and today I shrunk it down and finished it up. I made a few modifications along the way so I thought I would share them.

This is the original bag. It’s really hard to tell how big it is, but there is a giant bag of fabric sitting inside of it – like a trashbag size bag. I’m telling you this bag was super big.

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REVIEWS AND CHANGES

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For fabric, I used a cotton canvas for the print and instead of using a nylon I used PUL fabric, which is mostly used for cloth diaper covers. I wanted to use something that was more waterproof than just nylon so I splurged and spent a little more money for that. The wet bag, the lining sides and the lining bottom are all with the PUL.

First off, here’s my dimensions:

front/back panels 20×18
side panels 18×7
bottom panel – after quilting cut 20×7

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For the bottom, I actually left it the original size from the first bag and decided to quilt it to make it a little more hefty on the bottom. I sandwiched a thin piece of batting between two layers of the canvas and just quilted lines about a half inch apart.

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I am super glad that I did this extra step because it gives the bag a good shape for the bottom. I kind of wish I would have quilted the sides too, but I’m not about to take this bag apart again!

Construction wise, the biggest change was how I did the bottom compared to the instructions.  The instructions tell you to stitch up the 4 panels and then sew the bottom on and then sew the last side together at the end. I tried that the first go round and it ended up super wonky. The second time, I sewed all the sides together, leaving me with a rectangular box shape and then sewed the bottom on starting with one of the short sides.

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I added a pocket on the other inside with sections. I decided to make a larger pocket with divided sections for her glasses, goggles and hair ties etc versus just one pocket.

So there we go. Honestly it was a great lesson in what I just wrote about for Seamwork Magazine. It was crazy how confident and powerful I felt after taking this thing apart that I’d super failed at and piecing it back together successfully. It was a great way to cap off the day.