Make it a Handmade Holiday!

Make it handmade for the holidays. make your own holiday crafts, organise a family craft party or simply buy handmade for the holidays this year.

Back in the day when my kids were tiny I made handmade ornaments and gifts to save money. I made everything from wallets, to ornaments, to kitchen gifts. I’m no longer strapped for cash like I was back then, but I still love to make special gifts for special people in my life. I do it now because I love to. If you need ideas, they are everywhere! Back in the day I would spend endless hours at the library looking at sewing, quilting, and crafting books, as well as magazines for ideas. It’s so much easier to find ideas and tutorials today. With sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Etsy, and the numerous sewing websites like this one, you can find so much inspiration. Supplies are also easier to find today as well. Just type into a search engine what you are … Continue reading

It’s a Snap! Where and how to use KAMsnaps

Introduction to KAM Snaps. Where and how to use them, how to set them, examples of projects where they can be used.

Hi from Laura over at CraftyHour!  I’m excited to be here today to talk to you about how to use KAMsnaps! I’ve been using KAMsnaps for several years and I’d like to share some thoughts on installing them and where they are useful. I originally bought my snap press over 6 years ago when I was sewing baby garments to sell. I had a lot of snaps to set and some trouble setting the basic metal snaps with pliers, especially through the 2-3 layers of fleece I was using in my little BabyBean Ponchos. My KAMsnaps press is able to set snaps through several layers of thick fabric with ease! I’ve even seen ways to convert the snap press to a foot kick press to make it even easier. The table top snap press is not the cheapest tool, but if you are going to set a lot of snaps it’s definitely worth … Continue reading

Insulated lunch bag pattern – POTM

Make your own insulated lunch bags with your favorite fabrics. Includes make your own laminated fabrics for a wipe-clean option too.

I’m loving my new lunch bag and know that you will too.  Whether you live in a hot or cold environment or somewhere in between, we often need to take things with us we want to keep insulated.  I like to take some cold drinks with me out in the car (and perhaps a bar of chocolate too – shhh) and don’t want them warming up.  Hubby and I have also bought hot take out and used these bags to carry it home too. These insulated lunch bags are perfect to take to work with your lunch, perfect for the kids to take to school and ideal for just making some sandwiches and getting into the big outdoors on the spur of the moment for lunch in the park or at the beach. It’s a fun thing to carry and … Continue reading

Scrap-busting stocking stuffers and gift ideas

Great ideas here for gifts to sew from scraps and small pieces of fabric. Love some of these projects.

Hi! Stephanie from Swoodson Says, and this round-up features one of my favorite things.. scrap busting! I focused on small gifts so they’d fit in a stocking, but if you’re looking for more ideas you can check out my round-up of scrappy gifts from last holiday season. I also have a fun series of “half-handmade” for the kids in your life – matching up a free softie pattern with a beloved kid’s book, perfect for gift giving! Stocking stuffers are a fun way to coordinate with larger handmade gifts – use the scraps from a bag or a quilt to make one of these and get double the delight once the recipient opens their “big” gift and realizes they match! This round up even includes items to sew for a cat or a cat you can sew – you can’t … Continue reading

Color Block Pillow – With A Twist!

How to make this stunning reversible color block pillow with knife pleat panel and cording. Videos help you every step of the way.

Hi everyone!  It’s Jann again from Newton Custom Interiors.  As some of you know, I LOVE pillows!  I love how they can quickly and easily change the look of a room.   Today I’m going to share my tutorial for how to make a color block pillow with a twist. This pillow is made with two or more fabrics, and is a great way to use those small scraps of fabric that you can’t bear to part with! The twist is the knife-pleated middle section on the front.  I love how the pleating adds a lot of detail and dimension to the pillow. The back side is plain – no pleating.  A nice reversible option! This pillow also has cording around the outer edges.  (Which is completely optional!) You can make any variation of this type of pillow that you … Continue reading

What if you won free fabric for the rest of your life?


Something caught my eye in my social media news-feed a while back.  WIN FREE FABRIC FOR LIFE.  What!!! Where?  How?  Really?  I was all over that like ants on sugar. Turns out that it’s not totally unlimited free fabric for ever, but still, this is surely the best sewing giveaway I have ever seen, and so I just had to share it with you.  There are a number of prizes: TOP PRIZE – free fabric for life – comprises 52 yards of fabric ever year for the next 20 years.  You receive a gift card each year for you to order 52 yards of fabric a year, equivalent to 1 yard a week, every week for the next 20 years.  Yup, that would keep me pretty happy.  (From Keepsake Quilting.) FIRST PRIZE - Lyric Sewing Machine from Baby Lock valued at $2,199.  Yes … Continue reading

The Stack and Store Bobbin tower

Look at the features of the Stack n Store Bobbin Tower - makes sewing storage more fun

It arrived at last! I’ve been waiting on this for ages, ever since I started writing that series about sewing tools – budget/quality. We talked about bobbin storage in a couple of articles recently: Tool tips – sewing storage ideas Best bobbin storage ideas and solutions I decided to upgrade my shabby bobbin storage for something more space-age and nice to look at and here she is.  ‘Babs’ the bobbin tower. (Am I the only one that names my favorite things?) Let’s take a look at her and how she makes me happy. Stack and Store Bobbin Tower That’s how the tower arrives and as you can see it has 6 levels.  What I wasn’t expecting is that these all come apart and what’s more they aren’t hard and stiff plastic, they are far more flexible and rubbery, with some … Continue reading

Easy snowflake coasters to sew

Quick and easy snowflake coasters to sew in either fabric or no-sew in felt too. Fun kids activity or ideal hostess gifts too.

We can’t deny it, the holiday season is soon upon us. I’m not planning to sew a lot of Christmassy or winter themed items this year. It’s just not that wintery here in Cayman! That doesn’t mean I don’t want to dot around a few subtle Christmas items around the place, and with all the extra entertaining and visitors that happens at this time of year, I needed some coasters for all those cups of tea. These are really quick and easy to make, and make ideal hostess gifts too. Make half a dozen and wrap them with a festive ribbon and they make a nice little ‘thank you’ to hand over to the hostess if you are invited round for drinks or dinner. Materials you will need: White felt Fusible web such as Heat N Bond Ultrahold Pen & … Continue reading

Types of Bra Patterns you can sew

A look at the various different types of bra patterns and styles you can sew for yourself, and where to buy them.

Did you see my earlier article about sewing your own bras and underwear?  We’ll be running a series of interesting articles on this subject and I’d encourage you to give it a try – honestly bras are a lot easier than you might think!  Here’s our earlier introductory article in case you missed it. What you need to sew a bra… Types of Bra Patterns There are quite a few bra patterns available to the home sewist. In this post, we’ll look at different types of patterns. We’ll also look at which pattern you might want to choose for yourself. Underwired or Non-Underwired The first two categories are similar to what you’ll find in Ready-to-Wear – either underwired, or non-underwired. Let’s look at the non-underwired category first. Non- Underwired Bra Patterns Non-underwired bras are often called soft-cup bras or bralettes because they … Continue reading

40 Techniques every sewer should know-do you ?

Essential sewing skills for sewers of all levels. Review of the 40 techniques class.

I was fortunate, learning to sew at school  - it was one of the few lessons I took to but that’s a rather long time ago now. The course “40 Techniques every sewer should know” is great!! Divided into seven sections covering: Pressing, Stitching, Curves and Corners, Interfacing Tips, Beautiful Bindings, Getting Closure Each section covers a variety of tips. The division of the class into sections means you can easily refer back to subjects to refresh your memory. There is something for everyone in this course. Pressing Matters – This class has changed my relationship to my iron. Gail has converted me!!! A good press with the right tools improves the quality of the finished garment, within three minutes of the class starting I had learnt the value of pressing rolls. Stitch Perfect - Don’t you just hate wobbly top stitching?! Learn to use any foot with a guide (the guide is a … Continue reading

November Mug Rug Tutorial – Autumn Harvest

Sew this Autumn Harvest mug rug pattern. Nice for Thanksgiving tables too.

When I think of November, I think of harvest time, pumpkins, gourds, squash, and other vegetables surrounded by leaves and acorns. When I designed the November mug rug, I had all these images floating around in my head. For this harvest mug rug, I chose to use a straight stitch with black thread. I felt this would give the best look since some of the pieces are so small. I was afraid that a satin stitch, zigzag stitch, or buttonhole stitch would be to much and overwhelm the small pieces. I’m so pleased with the way it turned out, I’ll be using this method more often! I hope you will follow us along here on our Mug Rug of the Month Tutorials. Lets get started! What you will need for one Autumn Harvest mug rug: Small scraps of fabric for appliqués 1/8 to 1/4 yard … Continue reading