Monthly Archives: June 2012

Review: Improv Sewing + Giveaway

Improv Sewing book cover

Improv Sewing: A Freeform Approach to Creative Techniques is a new book from Storey Publishing filled with “101 fast, fun and fearless projects” to sew and love. The sheer number of projects is enough to get excited over, but the variety of techniques (from upcycling to reverse applique) is a huge bonus.

Improv Sewing book table of contents

Authors Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut show off 101 sewing projects in the same style of those on their blog that are suited for beginners and intermediate sewists. The freestyle approach to sewing includes appliqued and stitched motifs, based on simple designs, several of which require no pattern pieces. Many also feature recycled and upcycled materials. Projects in the book include embellished dresses, tunics, scarves, skirts, accessories, pillows, curtains and more.

Improv Sewing ruffled dress

The “Ruffled Dressy Dress” is a cute and comfy dress pattern embellished with texture, but there are several variations on this concept, including a simple two-piece shift dress. With clothing for women, men and kids, the book offers a diverse variety of patterns.

Improv Sewing rainbow mobile

Feeling the need for some home decor? The “All-Weather Applique Mobile” pairs bright fabrics with whimsical shapes and machine embroidery, for a darling project that would suit a nursery or creative space.

Improv Sewing fused plastic wallet

The authors of Improv Sewing have a definite bent toward upcycling, and many of their projects show how to use free or inexpensive materials in a new way. This “Fused Plastic Wallet” has decorative stitching and is sized perfectly to slip your cash and a few credit cards inside.

Improv Sewing Reverse Applique Tee

This men’s reverse-applique tee is simple and stylish, with an organic design embellished on the lower front of the shirt. Kids and beginning sewists can learn this technique of reverse applique and hand-stitching to make clothing, accessories and home decor.

Free Projects

Storey Publishing was gracious to share two free projects from the book, including the:

Reverse applique t-shirt

Reverse applique ottoman cover


Would you like to win a copy of Improv Sewing? Just leave a comment on this post to be entered to win. We’ll choose one random winner on Wednesday, July 4, 2012. Check out the rest of the Improv Sewing blog tour at:

June 29:
July 10:

Congrats to our giveaway winner, commenter #52 Fenna, who said: “Cool book! I like upcycling stuff–it’s a great way to re-use!”

Favor Boxes with Lifestyle Crafts

This month, Lifestyle Crafts is releasing their Bloom and Grow cutting dies collection just in time for summer! These dies are great for scrapbooking, crafting and decorating. They work in the Epic Six or any similar style of turn handle cutting machine. You can find more information on how the die cutting process works here.

I have bridal and baby showers coming up later this summer so I thought these dies would make perfect boxes for party favors. I’ve combined the dessert box with the flourish and scallop doilies from the Bloom and Grow Collection to make this great box.

I’m just showing one box in my demo above but you can combine 12 boxes to make a full cake like Kami Bigler did in these images below.








Below you can see the full Bloom and Grow collection. If you decide to purchase anything from this collection or Lifestyle Crafts, don’t forget to use our coupon code, CRAFTBUDS, for an additional 20% off!


Summer Crafts Linky Party!

Have you started crafting for summertime yet? Whether you are crafting with kids or creating for yourself, the sunshines brings out all kinds of fun possibilities for crafters.

We thought you might need some inspiration for summertime crafting, so we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite projects, and we’d like to invite you to link up your summer craft projects! We’ll close the linky party at the end of June.

11 Great Crafts to Make with Paper Plates, perfect for keeping the kids entertained on the cheap!

summer list jpg Ideas for summer fun from Ellison Lane Quilts, including laundry tub pirate ships and the classic lemonade stand. Don’t forget to link up to her Summer Sewing Contest!

We love these 10 Free Swimwear Sewing Patterns, including this T-Shirt Bikini made from upcycled materials.

Lacey Summer Shorts

Make some lacey summer shorts and 10 Summer Fun Beachwear Patterns for summertime lounging on the sand.

Summer Bag Patterns

Sew Sweetness

Sew yourself a big, summer tote like this beauty by Kim at My Go-Go Life, with inspiration from Sew Sweetness and Purse Palooza 2012! You can enter daily to win patterns and other fun giveaways all month long in June!

Also, keep an eye out for the “Shorts on the Line” Shorts Sew-Along, coming this July!


Now it’s your turn to link up! What have you been crafting for summer, or what do you want to make time to make? Link up any and all kids craft tutorials or summer crafting tutorials that adults would love. Let’s get this party started!

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