Tips for Sewing Soft Toys for Kids and Relatives

sewing soft toys

One of the most fun and rewarding sewing project that I have ever undertaken is sewing soft toys for my kids, relatives and friends. It is fun not just because of the myriads of colors and accessories used in crafting it, but also very rewarding when you see the smile it ultimately brings on some little one’s face.  Not to mention the cute little product that finally emerges after the work. For all those who are looking to sew that cute bunny or teddy bear, here are some tips from my own experience. Fabric choice: There is no set rule regarding the type of fabric that can be used for making a soft toy. You can mix and match different fabrics and material according to your imagination to get the best result. For example, for the below teddy bears, velvet is … Continue reading

Free Pattern Weekend: Let’s try this one final time!

free pattern weekend

We had a huge response to our free paid pattern weekend last weekend with the Easy Breezy Blouse.  While the pattern is back in our store at $4.00, some 4,500 members downloaded the project while it was free.  We’re glad so many people were able to take advantage of this special offer.  In fact, the offer was so successful, that we’re going to try another one this weekend. My family and I are on the way back home from our summer vacation now.  I’ve almost finished the latest new project I’m working on for you all and I have a couple of great stories to write up when I get back including the detailed report from the Bernina factory in Switzerland as well as a visit to what I’m convinced is the finest fabric shop in the world.  I know, … Continue reading

Wandering Waistline Giveaway Winner Announced

Giveaway Winner Announced

We’re delighted to announce the winner of the Wandering Waistline Giveaway of the $100 Amazon.com eGift card. Please refer to the article to learn the details of the lucky winner at Wandering Waistline Explained. We were amazed by the participation in this giveaway.  Thanks to everyone for their entries and fantastic comments on the Wandering Waistline article. We have a sponsor lining up a great new giveaway that we will announce shortly.  We’re certain you’ll really enjoy this one, so please stay tuned. Wandering Waistline Giveaway  

The Return of Nonchalant Retro Dress

retro dress

Stop! Before you embark on your next sewing project, you might learn a thing or two from this article… Retro fashion is regularly making a comeback in the fashion cycle and many people are showing a preference to wearing garments from the past. ‘Retro’ refers to a look that is consciously imitative of a 15–50 year old fashion style. This preference has prompted some fashion designers to make a habit of drawing inspiration from fashion styles of bygone days for the next season’s trend. Also known as the nostalgic look, this is a fashion trend inspired by the 1930’s to the 1990’s and it is perhaps one way of cherishing fond fashion memories. It can also be a lot of fun to go decades back from time to time, by wearing the fashion of the era.  So what retro styles … Continue reading

Ship in the Sea Mug Rug Tutorial of the Month

august

I always think of my dad as an old sailor, which is funny because he’s the youngest 76 year old I know. He is the inspiration behind this ship mug rug. Back before I was born he spent many years with the United States Navy. Maybe that’s where I get my love for the water? Mug rugs remain so popular! For the past couple years they are by far my biggest pattern sellers. This is probably for many reasons. They are super easy to make, they can be made using your favorite techniques (hand or machine), they make great gifts, and they can be decorative as well as functional. Most of all, they are so much fun! I hope you will follow us along here on our Mug Rug of the Month Tutorial. What you will need for one ship mug … Continue reading

Free sewing pattern: this weekend only!

Free this Weekend Only!

We try to provide our regular readers with a fun and informative variety of sewing-related articles as well as one free sewing project and pattern each and every week.  However, as many of our regular readers know, I’m away on vacation with my family now.  You may not know it, but the weekly sewing projects takes almost a full week of work to design, document, test, illustrate and write up.  I just haven’t been able to do it this week. So, we’re going to do something special instead.  To make sure everyone has something fun and seasonal to work on, we’re going to make one of our popular paid patterns free for this weekend only.  Yes, that’s right, FREE.  As long as you download it on Craftsy this weekend, it will be free for you forever.  After this weekend, the pattern … Continue reading

Why do we use the baby swaddle?

baby swaddle

So why do we use the baby swaddle? Swaddling is the the age-old practice of wrapping a newborn up tight and cozy in a blanket, in order to restrict the movement of limbs. It helps to keep the baby on it’s back and makes for a sounder sleep with less upsets and tears. The practice dates back millennia and has been practiced in varying degrees throughout history. Statues and engravings from Cyprus and Crete, depicting babes in a swaddled state, date back as far as 4500 years. In the Christian Bible, Mary is said to have wrapped her newborn baby Jesus in swaddling clothes, before placing him in the manger. The original swaddling garb was a linen cloth which was bound tight with bandage-like strips. Common practice was to wash and oil the baby down after birth and immediately bind … Continue reading

A Brief History Of Fabric

history of fabric

Well, there’s just so much to say about the history of fabric…It’s almost as basic a human need as food or shelter, truly. Where would we be without our clothing, our blankets, our sofas, our mattresses, our curtains? The list goes on and on. Indeed, many of us might not have been drawn to the art of sewing and the love of fashion were it not for the wealth of rich and intricate fabrics, the variety of textures and colors available for us to experiment with and express ourselves through. And that doesn’t just go for sewists and fashionistas, the number of industries which benefit from the myriad fabric types made available by development is staggering. Status Symbol: Throughout the ages, clothing has been a reflection of both the resources available to a civilisation and the level of technology in … Continue reading

The bralette, perfect undergarment for summer

bralette

It is warm –so warm that the heat sometimes almost knocks the wind out me.  I am blaming my bra for it.  I want to burn my bra! It is the right fit, but it is so hot here and I feel I should be walking around in a swimsuit.  When I walked back home from the train, it feels like I spread butter under my armpits, (too much info I know..). Seriously, it is warm and humid and I was walking under a dreadful sun on a shopping street called Orchard Road back from you guessed it, buying fabric.  I decided to go back and buy some stretchable lace to make myself a bralette.  I am not looking for extra support, just a bit of support and some modesty. I have made the pattern for the following chest measurements … Continue reading

The History of The Crinoline Petticoat

Crinoline Petticoat

Think Mary Antoinette, Queen Elizabeth or the recently revived 1950’s Rockabilly movement, think Swan Lake and the fairy tale wedding gown.  What do they all have in common? You’ve got it, serious petticoat action, brought to you by none other than the trusty, centuries old crinoline… Let’s take a closer look at this feminine phenomenon and you’ll see that the crinoline petticoat has been the backbone of so many fashion movements throughout the ages. Crinoline Petticoat Versions: A crinoline is in essence a petticoat, structured with wire, wood or other sturdy materials (in a cage formation or a hoop skirt) or made out of a stiff fabric of horsehair (“crin”) and cotton or linen, which would be gathered, layer upon layer, to make great big voluminous underskirts. The horsehair version was the original one, but was later replaced (in the 1850’s) by … Continue reading