Giveaway Day!

It’s Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day again!

I’m giving away one of my quilt patterns to a lucky reader. The winner can choose from the Macro Plaid Quilt Pattern:

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Or the Two Carat Quilt Pattern:

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Or the Pantry Staples Pattern:

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Leave a comment by Sunday December 13th to be entered to win. I’ll notify the winner via email by Wednesday December 16th. If you need a prompt, let me know what you’re sewing this holiday season. For a bonus entry, follow me on Instagram and leave a comment with your Instagram username.

Can’t wait for your pattern? You can purchase your pattern now and still enter the drawing. If you win I’ll refund your purchase price (or you can choose a second pattern).
Good luck, and happy Giveaway Day!
[UPDATE] Cydnee is the lucky winner! Cydnee, I’ve sent you an email. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Envelope Needlebook Tutorial

I wanted to share my envelope needlebook tutorial and templates. These are based on the needlebook that my sister made for me years ago, and I use it all the time. It seems like a free tutorial existed for these once upon a time, but neither my sister nor I can find it. I think this style needlebook is so clever, so I’ve made a template and tutorial to share.

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Materials:
  • Templates
  • Freezer paper (optional)
  • Outer fabric – 8″ square
  • Lining fabric – 8″ square
  • Fusible interfacing – 8″ square
  • Fusible web, like Pellon Wonder-Under – 1″ square
  • Fabric for “stamp” – 1″ square
  • Felt
  • Sew-in snap
  • Thread
  1. Print and cut the template. I recommend ironing 2-3 layers of freezer paper to the back of the template before cutting it out. This makes it more durable and (I think) easier to trace.
  2. Prepare the “postage stamp”
    1. Iron the fusible web to the back of the “postage stamp” fabric
    2. Cut the stamp down to size, using pinking sheers if you have them
  3. Cut the pattern pieces from outer fabric, lining fabric, interfacing, and felt. Everything is ready for assembly now.IMG_6879
  4. Fuse the interfacing to the outer fabric. If you are using a delicate fabric, like voile, for the lining I recommend ironing a 2″x3″ piece of interfacing to the middle of the lining. This will reinforce the area  where you’ll attach the felt pages.
  5. Fuse the stamp to the outer fabric, following placement guide on template. Stitch in place.
  6. Stitch the “address” on the outer fabric, following placement guide on template. I used a straight machine stitch, but a decorative stitch or hand embroidery would be lovely.
  7. Center the felt pages on the lining fabric. Stitch down the middle of the felt pages.
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  8. Put the outer fabric and lining fabric right sides together. Pin. Stitch around the edges with a 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving at least a 1.5″ opening to turn right side out. I leave the whole bottom flap un-stitched.
  9. Trim the seam allowance and clip the corners.
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  10. Turn right side out. Use a crochet hook or knitting needle to turn out the sharp corners.
  11. Put the needlebook page-side up. Roll the seam slightly towards the lining, so just the tiniest bit of the outer fabric is visible. Finger press the seam. This minimizes the amout of lining visible when the needlebook is folded up.
  12. Press the inside and outside with an iron. If you’re using a polyester (or poly-blend) felt, do not touch the felt with the iron!
  13. Edge-stitch all the way around the envelope. I like to use a blind-hem foot for this.
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  14. Hand-stitch the snap in place. I attach the snap to the top flap first, then fold up the needlebook and press down on the top flap. This makes a little indentation in the bottom flap where the other snap should be sewn.
  15. Fill your needlebook with your favorite hand-sewing notions. Happy sewing!

 

 

[finished] Envelope Needlebook

This week I finished another envelope needlebook. My sister made me an envelope needlebook years ago, and I use it all the time. I’ve used hers as a template a couple times since she and I have searched the interwebs and failed to find the original tutorial. I just finished this needlebook and I hope to have it posted to a friend soon!

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I fussy-cut the stamp from a scrap of Japanese linen blend. The outer fabric is silk from India that a friend passed on to me. 

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The front of the envelope. The silk proved hard to photograph – my camera phone cannot deal with the sheen. 

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The lining is a scrap of Carolyn Friedlander Architextures. I love using text prints for the inside of these needlebooks. The lines on this print remind me of a security envelope. I think this needlebook is so clever and cute, I see a lot of them in my future. I’m working on a template and tutorial for these – I’ll be sharing that next week! 

I’m linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts finish-it-up-Friday post. It’s always a nice motivation to finish things! 

Play tent

Joel and I have been working on a super-secret birthday surprise for Isaac: an A-frame tent.

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Joel built the tent frame using this tutorial as a guide. He added a brace in the back and the silver caps to both ends of the top pole, so the tent can’t be easily knocked over or accidentally collapsed. I made the fabric cover from an IKEA fitted sheet and some navy quilting cotton I had in my stash. I used a bias tape maker to make the ties that attach it to the tent frame. The green matches the PLUFSIG gym mat nicely.

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I also made a pretend marshmallow roasting set, which makes for a super cute picture but I’m sure it will be dismantled in seconds. The fake logs were cut from a (surprisingly sturdy) wrapping paper tube. I doodled a faux bois pattern on them with a Sharpie. The campfire is a string of battery-operated LED lights inside a half-pint canning jar, surrounded by tissue paper fluffs. I knit a pair of marshmallows out of single-ply yarn and stuck them on twigs I found in the yard. I fully expect the twigs to be used as weapons within the first 2 minutes. After that they’ll be returned to the yard.

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If you want to knit your own marshmallows, see my pattern post here.

Kid’s clothes week – wrap up

I finished Kid’s Clothes Week with an Oliver and S Nature Walk shirt (http://oliverands.com/product/OLV-OS022NW.html) in size 4T. I used two Birch organic cotton prints that I had stashed for about 3 years. I think I bought the fabric intending it to be a size 1 Nature Walk shirt. It feels good to have finally put it to use!

Oliver and S Nature Walk shirt

My model refused to wear the shirt. Last week his favorite colors were orange and brown. This week he only likes “bright colors” and is on the record saying “that brown is not bright enough.” Maybe next week he’ll like brown again.

I’m super happy with the results of my Kid’s Clothes Week – I finished FOUR garments. None of the garments adhered to the theme, though. I’ll make that a goal for next time.

Kids clothes week

Kid’s Clothes Week is off to a good start for me! I finished an Oliver and S Field Trip raglan shirt for Ethan that he can wear NOW. It’s the 6-12 month size, and it just barely fits over his big noggin. I shortened the sleeves about an inch. I used fabric I bought at the Textile Center garage sale a couple years ago.

A photo posted by @carriebee04 on

I also finished a second raglan shirt, size 12-18 months, for Ethan to wear later. These shirts take an hour or less. And I made these two shirts from scraps leftover from other projects.

 

Oliver and S field trip shirt.

 

And I finished an Oliver and S Secret Agent Trench Coat, size 4T, for Isaac. It’s a little big for him right now, but I think (hope) he can wear it later this spring and into the fall.

Oliver and S secret agent trenchcoat, size 4T.

 

This trench coat was a warm-up for making a jacket/blazer/coat for myself. Some day. Soon. I hope. After finishing this I feel pretty confident about my top-stitching and button holes.

My favorite sewing hack

I recently learned from the Bobbin Doctor that I could use my blind-hem foot as an edge-stitching foot. Just move the needle a couple positions to the left. This goes in the “Doh! Why didn’t I think of that?” category.

A photo posted by @carriebee04 on


Perfect edge stitching, every time! This made the drool bandanas for Ethan even easier. I’ve been using this hack for cloth napkins and top-stitching pockets, too.

Baby clothes

Ethan has been sporting a few handmade garments lately. I’ll start by playing catch-up.

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A pair of Quick Change Trousers, 3 month size, from Handmade Beginnings by Anna Marie Horner. He outgrew these pants about a month ago.

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A slightly modified Tummy Warmer vest, size 3-6 month, knit using S. R. Kertzer Down To Earth Cotton. This still fits but it’s getting short and snug.

A photo posted by @carriebee04 on

A sunbonnet by Purl Soho, size 0-3 months. This is too small for him, but I made him wear it for a walk last week because all his other hats are too big. 

  A photo posted by @carriebee04 on

Ethan is sporting drool bandanas most days now. He is teething and drooling like crazy, and these are much easier to make than bibs. I used this tutorial by How Does She. I started with a 12.5″ square, because I have a 12.5″ square ruler.

Cherry Larry

For Valentine’s Day I made Isaac the little elephant he’s been requesting. Since Christmas he knew he was going to name it Cherry Larry. First Cherry Larry was going to be black, then yellow, then finally he decided on (what reminds me of) a Delirium Tremens pink elephant. With cherries.

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And a flower.

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Foxy Loxy and Cherry Larry are best friends. Both of them were made using the Heather Bailey elephant pattern.

2015-02-18 21.59.23They’re quite sturdy. They have already survived a few fights.

Christmas favorites

November and December were extra busy for us, making Christmas gifts and cookies and decorating in between bouts of cold and flu. This weekend we just finished packing away the Christmas decorations and downloading photos from the camera. I wanted to share a few of my favorite things from Christmas.

I started an advent calendar for Isaac, but for this past Christmas it was just a small holiday garland. I made 14 mittens in total, so I just need 10 more for an advent calendar for next Christmas. The pattern is Smitten. I used assorted wool yarn leftovers and US3 needles. I love it! I plan to fill each mitten with a little craft project or holiday activity.

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I also made matching pajamas for the kids. Isaac’s are Oliver + S Sleepover Pajamas in size 3T + 1 inch in length and Ethan’s are Reversible Baby Pants in the 6 month size from Anna Maria Horner’s Handmade Beginnings. I’ve made both patterns so many times I barely look at the instructions any more.

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My favorite gift is this little elephant. It’s a Heather Bailey pattern that Isaac and I made together. Isaac said he wanted to give Ethan a soft elephant for Christmas, just like one I made for Isaac’s friend years ago. Isaac picked out the fabric, I sewed it and he stuffed it. Isaac was so proud that he could help make something for his brother. While Isaac was stuffing the elephant, I asked him what he wanted to name it. He thought really hard. “Umm… … …Foxy!” You got it! “And next I want to make a black and red elephant for me and name him Cherry!” Ok… I guess we’ll be making another elephant early this year. Isaac is not forgetting about the elephants. He now calls Ethan’s “Foxy Loxy” and his will be “Cherry Larry.”

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This time around I used glue-basting for the elephant, which made the process faster, more accurate and meant a whole lot less seam-ripping. Win!

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