Monthly Archives: July 2014

NICU Holiday Smocks: Charity Sew Along

NICU Holiday Smocks Charity Sew Along

Today, I’m excited to share a charity sewing project I’m taking part in with my local quilt guild. If you’d like to join us, please stay tuned for how you can help!

Once in the spring and once in November, the Music City Modern Quilt Guild meets together to sew outfits for babies in the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU). These teeny, tiny NICU smocks are designed to fit babies weighing 3 to 5 pounds! When babies are in the NICU, it can really be a gift to the parents to see their little ones wearing some sort of clothing. (With all the monitors & wires, clothing is difficult to get on.)

The NICU smocks pattern is a FREE download from Everything Your Mama Made, and is available on Craftsy. Get it here!


I decided to get a head start on cutting out holiday fabrics for our November charity project with these beautiful fabrics from Anna Griffin and Blend Fabrics! The deer and ornament prints you see above are Treelicious by Maude Asbury for Blend Fabrics. The chevron design is from the Yuletide Greetings collection by Anna Griffin. I discovered I can cut two smocks from a half-yard of fabric and still have a bit leftover.

NICU Charity Smocks (Free Pattern)

Here’s what the finished smocks look like! According to the pattern, you can either finish with a serger or sewn them together as I did here (with the outer and lining fabrics right sides together, flipped outward, pressed and top-stitched). With a serger, these would go together in no time at all. For the back, I used a flannel fabric, and I’m going to pick up some Velcro for the closure “wings.” Just a tiny rectangle on each side does the trick!

As a quilt guild, we sewed together and donated 40 smocks this spring, with some delicious fabrics donated from Ann Kelle. (You can see them here!) For the holiday drive, I’m hoping we can multiply our donation and bring some holiday cheer to even more families at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.


You’re Invited to Sew Along with Us!

Craft Buds and the Music City Modern Quilt Guild would like to invite you to sew along with us! Here’s how it works:

1) Download the free NICU smock pattern here.
2) Print off the last 6 pages, and follow the directions for the preemie 3 to 5 pound size.
3) Sew one or more NICU smocks in cheerful holiday fabrics or child-friendly prints! (We’re using quality quilting cottons for the outside and flannel for the lining.) We’re always on the lookout for cute boy-friendly smocks that can be used any time of year.
4) Leave a comment here anytime before Friday, November 1, 2014 if you plan to sew along, and we’ll provide a mailing address to donate your sewn smocks to our guild’s charity drive (which will go directly to Nashville’s Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital). All smocks must be postmarked by November 14, 2014. Alternately, you’re welcome to donate to your local children’s hospital; just contact them first to make sure they can accept them.

We hope you can join us!

You’re Invited: The Sewing Party!

Have you heard all about The Sewing Party yet? It’s a really fun online sewing conference on November 8, and today you can enter to WIN A FREE TICKET ($40 value, 5 winners)!

Read more to learn all about The Sewing Party and how you can attend more than 30 classes during this super fun event!

The Sewing Party

The Sewing Party is the first ever online-all-day DIY event in history.


On November 8, 2014, thousands of DIY-ers will gather for a fun-filled day of sewing and crafting classes taught online by leading bloggers and educational experts. It’s all about connecting, crafting and creating.

Attendees will have access to more than 30 online classes available on the day of the event and for an additional 90 days. There is truly something for everyone! Classes include home décor, fashion sewing, quilting and upcycling, crafting, costume design, techniques for turning your craft into an entrepreneurial venture, and more!

So who’s putting on this party?

Some of the biggest names in the industry are behind this super fun day- take a look!

The Sewing Party_Sponsors

This video sums up what The Sewing Party is all about!

Get your Tickets:

Space is limited and likely to fill up fast. Tickets are just $40,  and “The Sewing Party” participants can attend classes; chat with participants from across the country; interact with top bloggers and educational experts who are teaching; and explore the latest crafting and sewing tips, techniques and products in our marketplace.

** This year The Sewing Party is open to US residents only. They hope to expand in the future.**

** As a gift for you… if you go ahead and register between between July 15 and July 31 you’ll receive a free $20 t-shirt! Just be sure to use the promo code: LETSPARTY when you register. You’ll receive a follow-up email requesting size info and all that jazz.

So how about that GIVEAWAY?

How would you like to win a free ticket to The Sewing Party? Craft Buds has 5 free tickets to give away. Just enter via the Rafflecopter form below!

(U.S. only please.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be announced Monday, July 28th!

To stay on top of the details, be sure to follow The Sewing Party on social media!

Q&A with ‘Sew in Style’ Author Erin Hentzel + Giveaway!

Today, I am excited to have Erin Hentzel. Erin just wrote a book targeted toward kids learning to sew, and it’s called Sew in Style – Make Your Own Doll Clothes: 22 Projects for 18″ Dolls Build Your Sewing Skills. (FunStitch Studio).

Erin is here to tell us more about how she started sewing, how that creative passion ultimately led to writing a book, and what’s next on her radar. Be sure the enter the GIVEAWAY at the bottom of this post.

Erin Hentzel

Erin, can you tell me how you got started with Avery Lane Designs and sewing in general?

As a child, I was surrounded by sewing. All the grown-ups around me could sew; my grandmas, my mom, aunts, older sister– even my dad could sew. I wore mostly handmade clothes as a little girl and looked forward to picking out patterns and fabrics for my new school clothes each year. I still remember these bright orange corduroy overalls that my mom made me (mind you, it was the ’70s). I loved those and wore them all the time.

I started my own sewing journey when I was 7. I attended a hand sewing class with my brother and younger sister. After that, I would sew in my room all the time. Using the patterns from sewing magazines, I taught myself how to make stuffed animals and would give them to friends for their birthdays. I would sew doll clothes by hand for my dolls and stuffed animals. I also have fond memories of sewing with my grandma and cousins in the summertime when we would visit them.

I was in 4th grade when I first learned how to use a sewing machine. In middle school, I took sewing at school and began making my own clothes. I sewed for myself throughout high school as well. It was a great skill to have when I wanted to give my clothes an updated look, to keep up with the changing fashion trends. Now they call that upcylcing, right?  In my early twenties, I worked for a local sewing machine and fabric shop. I received a real sewing education while working there. I loved my time there. Sewing has always been a huge part of my life.

As a parent, I got really into sewing for my kids. My girls wore a lot of my handmade skirts and dresses to school. I started Avery Lane Designs! when more and more preschool moms kept asking me to sew for them, and sell them these skirts and dresses. It evolved from there.

Sew in Style—Make Your Own Doll Clothes

How did you decide to go about writing a book about sewing clothing for dolls? Was this a big part of your childhood?

I’ve always loved dolls and so do my girls. I would sew matching outfits for my daughters and their dolls and stuffed animals. When I started Avery Lane, I was selling children’s clothing and matching doll clothes. It became harder to find the time to sew and sell my wares at the Saturday Markets and Street Fairs, so I began selling the patterns that I had drafted for the doll clothes through my Etsy Shop: Avery Lane.

After a few years of selling my patterns, I thought it would be cool to write a book and have it published. It’s always been kind of a pipe dream of mine to become an author. I’m sure many people have that thought. I even took a few fiction writing courses in college. I used to think about writing a children’s picture book and even sketched out pictures with story lines.  But sewing has always been my thing, writing not as much.

Sew in Style—Make Your Own Doll Clothes

What was the process of putting your book Sew in Style together?

It took me a long time to build up the courage to contact C&T about my book idea. And once I did, I wasn’t sure I’d hear back from them. I was really surprised to hear back so soon. But instead of a sewing book for adults, they asked if I would write a book for kids. As I thought about it, it made sense for me. I’ve been teaching children to sew for years and love working with kids. A sewing book for kids to sew for their dolls would also bring me back to my own beginnings. It was the perfect project for me. Drafting doll clothes patterns for children to sew would be a new challenge for me: trendy and modern styles that were also simple in construction. I really felt inspired to face the challenge.

It’s been just about 2 years since I first contacted C&T, and it’s been a wonderful learning experience. At times, I found myself without time to sew, as I wrote and edited the text part of my book. All the people at C&T were great. They’re all so personable and answered all my questions–there were a lot of questions along the way. I feel honored to have worked with so many amazing and talented people at C&T who helped to create my book.

Sew in Style—Make Your Own Doll Clothes

Erin, what’s next for you?

I have so much that I hope to do. It has literally been a dream to have sewing be a career for me. Ever since I was young, I loved sewing and had a special talent for it. I never seem to have enough time to get all the projects done that I would like and my “to-do” list just keeps growing.

I will continue to teach sewing, because I love watching kids catch the “sewing bug.” I don’t know who gets more excited about their projects: the kids or me. That’s the great thing about sewing– everyone inspires each other. I always leave class feeling inspired, and it’s awesome to have kids come back to class with projects they felt inspired to sew at home. Teaching keeps me pretty busy, especially during the summer when I offer more classes. I would love to open up a sewing studio where kids could come in after school and sew for an hour or two. And of course, I would love to write another sewing book. I have lots of designs in my head and some already in the works.

 Sew in Style—Make Your Own Doll Clothes


Do you know a child who would like to learn to sew? Leave a comment on this post telling us who it is, and we’ll choose one winner a week from the date of this post to receive a copy of Erin’s new book Sew in Style!

If winner is in U.S., they will receive a hard copy; international winner will receive an e-copy.

Blog Tour

Be sure to follow along for some fun tutorials and giveaways, as well as reviews of the book! Here’s where it’s going:

July 15:
July 17:
July 18:
July 21:
July 22:
July 24:
July 25:
July 26:
July 28:

Dress Up a Summer Hat with Goorin Bros. + Giveaway!

Goorin Bros. Hats

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors, and a great summer hat can help keep you cool. Goorin Bros. has a new poolside collection of summer hats, and although I had a really hard time choosing, I chose this beautiful chocolate brown straw hat with red accent as my favorite.

The hat is the called “Mrs. Davis” and although this style is not available on their website, there are several comparable styles of floppy hats like the Mrs. Perfecta and Sun Kissed. I also found some really pretty cloche hats (think The Great Gatsby) and fascinators that, frankly, I’m not sure I could pull off. But they are adorable, nonetheless!

Goorin Bros Hats

This brown sun hat comes with a pretty red trim and a women’s Goorin Bros. bronze hat pin. The great thing about this hat is that the cap is fitted, so you can measure specifically for the recipient to get a great fitting hat that won’t blow away in the wind.

Mrs. Davis Hat from Goorin Bros.

This hat was a gift for my mother, and I decided to dress it up for her with a pretty fabric flower to coordinate with the ribbon. To make the flower, I used the Accuquilt GO! Baby fabric cutter and a red seersucker twist fabric print from True Blue by Ana Davis for Blend Fabrics.

Accuquilt GO! Baby

I tried out the flower die pictured, but ended up switching to the 5″ circles die instead. I then folded 6 fabric circles in the same way I did in this Pretty Petals Pillow tutorial, stitched them together and pinned to the hat ribbon with a safety pin. It was so simple!

If you’re looking for a summer hat, check out the poolside collection from Goorin Bros., and perhaps you can even win one today!

The Poolside Collection from Goorin Bros. on Vimeo.

This is a sponsored post from Goorin Bros. I received a compensation for this post, but all opinion are my own.


Would you like win a summer hat from Goorin Bros.? Enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter form, and we’ll choose one lucky winner on Sunday to receive their choice of a FREE Goorin Brothers hat (men’s and women’s styles available) from the poolside collection.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Goorin Brothers Hat Sale
Be sure to check out the current 50% sale on Goorin Bros. hats! Good luck!

No-Sew Fabric Baby Blocks

Fabric Baby Blocks Tutorial at Craft Buds

These large, fabric-covered foam baby blocks are an easy-to-make soft toy for newborns. I made some for my son in less than 20 minutes, and you can, too! Best of all, this no-sew fabric project is something you can put together in between naps or while catching up on your favorite show. Let’s get started!

True Blue fabric by Ana Davis for Blend Fabrics


– Quilting Fabric (I used True Blue by Ana Davis for Blend Fabrics)
Foamology (TM) Pull-Apart Design Foam*– Fabric scissors
Optional: glue gun, glue sticks and 1/2″ or wider grosgrain ribbon

Foamology Design Foam


1. Pull apart the perforated “blocks” of Design Foam. Each block has one stickybase(tm) surface which adheres to fabric, but not until you peel off the protective backing.

No-Sew Fabric Baby Blocks

2. Cut a piece of fabric 2″ wider on each side than your foam block.

No-Sew Fabric Baby Blocks

3. Peel off the protective sheet and place the block on the fabric, with the sticky facing side up toward you. Wrap the block like a present. With triangular corners, you may have to fudge the corners, but you can make it work. Leave the center sticky area bare.

No-Sew Fabric Baby Blocks

4. With matching fabric, wrap another block of the same shape in the same way. Press the two sticky surfaces together to make one fabric “block.”

5. Optional: If you want to finish off the edges, use a glue gun to adhere grosgrain ribbon around the perimeter to cover up the seams. You can also insert “tags” of ribbon in between the sticky blocks to make a “taggy” block! The possibilities are endless, so have fun and use your imagination.

No-Sew Fabric Baby Blocks

My 5-month-old son loves these blocks because they are easy to grab and soft to touch. Toss a few around your baby’s play mat, and they won’t mind rolling over them… or even taking a bite.


What is your child’s favorite soft toy?

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