Mary

DIY for Dogs: 5 Projects to Make

It’s fun to pamper pets whether you are a pet lover or know someone who is. Here are some of our favorite DIY ideas for those special dogs in your life. And if you’re a cat lover, don’t worry! We’ve got some cat projects listed here (and some of those projects would work well for dogs too!).

First up, Urban Threads shares this cute tutorial for a dog hoodie.

Dog Hoodie at Urban Threads

Dog Hoodie at Urban Threads

 

At Totally Stitchin’ is this cute and easy customized dog leash.

Dog Leash at Totally Stitchin'

Dog Leash at Totally Stitchin’

 

This great tutorial for a collapsible travel dog bowl is featured at craftstylish.

Collapsible Dog Dish at craftstylish

Collapsible Dog Dish at craftstylish

 

Have some fleece scraps? Use this tutorial at HGTV to braid a fleece rope dog toy.

Fleece Rope Dog Toy at HGTV

Fleece Rope Dog Toy at HGTV

 

And lastly from Martha Stewart are these fun pet ID tags with a free downloadable template.

Pet ID Tags from Martha Stewart

Pet ID Tags from Martha Stewart

Happy pet sewing! This post is part of the 2014 Dog Fence DIY Hackaton.

Prizes! Craft Book Month 2014

Did you see the Craft Book Month 2014 blog hop schedule and sew along details? All month long, we are inviting you to create any project from a craft book and share it via your blog, instagram or Flickr.

If you link up your crafts here, you’ll have a chance to win one of the prizes below! Refer to the original post for rules and to link up your crafts.

Prizes

1 Winner (International): Fat Quarter Shop $75 Gift Certificate

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1 Winner (U.S. Only): Fat Quarter Bundle of Geofabulous from Blend Fabrics

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1 Winner (U.S. Only): Fat Quarter Bundle of Turkish Delight from Blend Fabrics 

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1 Winner (U.S. Only): From Quarry Publishing, Complete Photo Guide to Clothing Construction and Made by Yourself

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1 Winner (U.S. Only): From C&T Publishing, Patchwork City

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2 Winners (International): 3 Sew Sweetness PDF Patterns

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1 Winner (International): 3 Clover & Violet PDF Patterns

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1 Winner (International): From Emmaline Bags, Spring Sling, Butterfly Sling and Totes Ma Tote PDF Patterns

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1 Winner (International): Complete set of PDF Patterns from Imagine Gnats

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1 Winner (U.S. only): From Fabric Seeds, Signed copy of Little Stitches by Aneela Hooey

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1 Winner for each book (U.S. only): From Tuttle Publishing, Basic Black and Stylish Skirts

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1 Winner for each book (U.S. only): From Storey, Little One Yard Wonders and Quilting with a Modern Slant

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1 Winner for each book (U.S. only): From Martingale, Sew a Modern Home and Imagine Quilts

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1 Winner (U.S. Only): From Potter Craft, Adventure Time Crafts and Let’s Sew Together

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1 Winner (U.S. Only): From Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Better Homes and Gardens
Best of Halloween and Best of Christmas Ideas

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1 Winner (U.S. Only): From Lark Crafts, Wee Felt Worlds

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1 Winner (U.S. Only): From Lark Crafts, Fabric Blooms and Never Been Stitched

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1 Winner (U.S. Only): From North Light Books, New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry
and from Wiley, More Jewelry Making

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Are you ready to create with us? Grab your favorite craft book and sew along!
Here’s the post with the official rules for Craft Book Month 2014.

 

9 Free Women’s PDF Shirt Patterns!

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This post contains two of my favorite things, sewing and freebies! Here’s a roundup of women’s sleeveless or short-sleeved shirt patterns that bloggers and companies have graciously released for free. These aren’t just tutorials, there are printable pdf pattern pieces for each one along with instructions! Click the link below each photo to go to the pattern’s website learn more about each one. Some are multi-sized and others are not so see each description.

If you know of any more free shirt patterns, feel free to leave a link in the comments. Or, let us know if you’ve tried any of these patterns and how it turned out!

Note: We wanted to let you know about these patterns, but they are not affiliated with Craft Buds. If you have any questions or problems, please e-mail the website the pattern originates from.

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Deer and Doe: Plaintain T-Shirt

Includes European sizes 34-46 with options for short, long and 3/4 sleeves and elbow patches.

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Colette: Sorbetto Top

Sizes 0-18.

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Tanit-Isis Sews: Ariadne Tunic

Sizes XS-XL.

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Skirt as Top: Scoop Top

Size small/medium.

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It’s Always Autumn: The Easy Tee

Includes size L pattern with instructions to grade up or down and 5 variations. Scroll to the bottom of the post for different looks.

Portia Top

Dixie DIY: The Portia Top

Includes 5 sizes ranging from bust size 32″-40″.

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Made with Hugs and Kisses: Button Down Peplum

Includes pattern for bust, 40 inches and waist, 32 inches.

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Cake Patterns: The Tee

Includes multi-sized pattern for 30″-59″ bust. Click the link above to go to the website, and on the right side of the website you’ll see an option to purchase the $10 paper pattern, and below that a link for a free pdf pattern download.

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Grainline: Hemlock Tee Pattern and Instructions

One size, finished measurements are 44.5″ bust and 46.5″ hip. Just leave off the sleeves for a summer top!

Fast Teacher Appreciation Gift! (+ Free Printable)

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Last night I realized I hadn’t gotten anything for my son’s preschool teachers and their last day was today. So, we had to do some quick thinking. I love new scissors and I figured it’s something teachers could use so we ran to the store and picked out a few pairs of Fiskars designer scissors in different colors. They also have some fun prints like zebra print or a blue and white design (my favorite!) but those weren’t available at our local store.

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I designed and printed tags, then we cut them out, glued them to cardstock, taped them to the front of the scissors and tied a big bow around the top. After these photos my son signed his name in the white space and I wrote a little note on the back. Fast and easy and the teachers were excited to get new scissors!

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You can download the free printable Thanks for making me so sharp! and/or the You’re a cut above the rest! and there are 4 per page. Happy summer!

printables

 

Panasonic Cordless Iron Review

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A couple months ago I was ironing some pieces for a quilt. The best place for me to set up our iron has the plug on my left and I iron with my right hand. I’m constantly trying to get the cord out of the way so I don’t accidentally iron and burn up the cord. I needed a break from ironing so I checked my e-mail and had literally just received an e-mail asking if I’d like to try out a Panasonic Cordless Iron. My answer was YES!

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I’ve had the iron for awhile now and have been able to give it a good test run. I will definitely be using this iron now to replace my old one! It comes in a pretty carrying case with handle that has worked well just for carrying it around the house. It would be especially great for someone taking it to quilting or sewing groups. There’s also a charging base with a retractable cord. The iron has a lot of great features. One of my favorites is that the water tank is detachable so I can just take the tank over to the sink and fill it up. No more trying to pour water into a hot iron! The water tank also has a lid to seal it shut.

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There are 3 steam settings to choose from; off, low or high. The steam also works vertically so you can use it to steam a hanging garment. Just push the steam button! I tried to take a photo but it turns out it’s difficult to steam a shirt and take photos at the same time. You’ll have to take my word for it that lots of steam comes out! There’s also a spray mist button which works great on stubborn wrinkles. I found the steam to be nice and steady while ironing and I didn’t get any water spots on my fabric.

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The iron is just a few ounces heavier than my old Black and Decker. It heats up using the charging base so there are no batteries or anything to worry about in the iron. It heats up in less than 2 minutes and it’s ready to go. You do have to get used to putting the iron back in the charging base so it can stay hot. After using it once or twice I got used to putting it back in the base rather than setting it down on the side of the ironing board. Every couple minutes I’m moving my fabric or clothing around and putting the iron back in the base to re-charge so for me it works really well. It might be an issue for someone that doesn’t set their iron down for long periods of time.

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I’m used to a non-stick sole plate but I was pleasantly surprised with how smoothly the stainless steel sole plate worked. There are 3 temperature settings for high, medium and low. There’s a chart to help you choose the correct setting for each type of fabric.

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So to sum it up, you get lots of great features along with no cord to deal with! Ironing is so much easier now that I don’t have a cord in the way. Because the only cord is the base that plugs into the wall, it keeps everything out of reach from my kids so I appreciate the extra safety too.

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If you want to get your own Panasonic NI-L70SRW (just in time for Mother’s Day!) you can order it directly from Panasonic for $59.95 with free shipping. You can also use that link to get more details on the iron and see more photos, or visit here to see a 1 minute demo video.

Disclaimer: I was provided with this iron free of charge in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

Knit Bess Top by Imagine Gnats

I was so excited when Rachael of Imagine Gnats e-mailed us this pattern as a “thank you” for Craft Book Month back in September. It looked really cute and flattering on any size, and it comes in sizes 2-20! And this week, Rachael is hosting Selfish Sewing Week so it’s a great time to make something for yourself!

I decided that my knit tops are the ones I wear the most, so even though this pattern isn’t technically meant for knits I went for it and I’m so glad I did! Here’s the final product and I’m so happy with how it turned out. Now I’ve got a flattering, comfortable, and stretchy shirt.

Because I was using a stretch fabric, I went down a size from what the size chart recommended. If you’re not sure on size, line up a favorite knit shirt on the pattern and mentally add a 1/2″ seam allowance to determine size.  If I were making a non-knit shirt I would have gone with the size recommended. The pattern was awesome and the way the sleeves are incorporated is genius, the pattern is just two pieces! There’s a front piece and back piece that has the sleeves incorporated that wrap around to the front. I made mine a colorblock version so it was 3 pieces, plus some strips of knit to finish off the neck, arms, and hem. The instructions and accompanying photos were easy to follow and this was a relatively fast project to sew.

 

As for sewing with knits, there’s definitely some things you can do to make it easier when using  a sewing machine rather than a serger. First of all, make sure to pre-wash your fabric! When sewing, I used a ballpoint needle and my Janome even feed foot to ensure that the top and bottom fabrics didn’t get stretched at different rates.You can check out this YouTube video to see the even feed foot in action (video is by Ken’s Sewing Center). When feeding in the knit fabric, I let it have just a little slack so the machine was pulling the fabric through all on it’s own without me pushing or pulling at all.

I also set my machine to use a special stretch stitch (button #6). The icon looks like a lightening bolt on my Janome QDC4120. For each seam, I started and ended with a regular straight stitch so I could reverse and lock the stitch in place. Then I switched to the stretch stitch for the length of the seam. I wanted this shirt to be durable so I did each seam at least twice (first the recommended 1/2″ seam allowance, then again at 3/8″) and then topstitched most seams. If you don’t have the lightening bolt stitch, a narrow zigzag will give you similar results.

The only thing I did that wasn’t in the pattern was to topstitch the neckline a second time closer to the neck opening after doing the intial 1/2″ seam. It helped the neck look smoother with the knit fabric, but I think it would have been fine with a single seam on a non-knit version. The method for finishing the shirt was new to me (basically sew a strip of knit fabric to the outside of the shirt with a 1/2″ seam allowance, then fold it to the inside and topstitch down) and turned out great.

And as for the fabric, I used this reversible knit from JoAnn’s in black (what I used in this post) and stocked up on orange (also shown below). One side is a tiny stripe and the other side is solid with a very subtle (almost nonexistent) sparkle effect. It looks a lot different on the JoAnn’s website so I can’t guarantee it’s a match but the item numbers match up to what’s on my receipt. After this top turned out so well I’m excited to make a few more!

If you have a serger (hopefully I’ll get one someday), this knit shirt could be made in no time! But even without the serger, it was a fast sew with the right techniques and I’d definitely recommend this pattern in a knit fabric, or woven fabric as recommended in the pattern. Happy sewing!

 

 

Frosted Easter Cookies: A Craftsy Class Review

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I’ve always been so impressed by the frosted cookies I’ve seen online, but I never thought I’d be able to make them! So when I had the opportunity to take the Craftsy class, Decorating Essentials: Designer Cookies with Autumn Carpenter, I jumped at the chance. With this class there are 9 online sessions. They cover the dough, royal icing, run-sugar, fondant, painting & flocking, designs and displays. The class teacher, Autumn Carpenter, also gives some cookie templates and shows you how to decorate those specific shapes. 

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Autumn does a great job explaining each topic thoroughly. By the time I had watched all the videos I was ready to try my hand at some cookies! I was a little apprehensive but it turns out I had no reason to be. I made these cookies with my mom and we were both surprised and excited as each step turned out perfectly. Autumn supplies all of her recipes and they worked great. First we made our cookies in the shapes of bunnies and carrots.

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Next we followed Autumn’s techniques to outline our shapes then fill them with color.

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We ended up with a great set of bunnies…

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… and carrots!

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After the cookies dried we packaged them up into Easter gift bags with jelly beans and one of each cookie. For both my mom and I, these were our first cookies using this techniques and we couldn’t be more pleased! The class taught me everything I needed to know for great results.

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If you’ve never taken a Craftsy class, now’s a great time to try! It’s free to sign up and they even have some free classes. You can find cooking, baking, sewing and quilting classes and more on their site. The website is easy to navigate and new classes are being added all the time. Besides classes, you can also find supplies and there’s even an Easter sale going on right now!

Craftsy

 

I was provided with this class for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. The links to Craftsy and the Designer Cookies class are our affiliate links. 

Swedish Fish Valentine Printables

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Happy Almost Valentines Day! I designed these cute and quick valentines for my son earlier this week and thought I’d share. I’ve seen other variations of this idea, but they tend to use candy fish that have been opened and repackaged in clear bags. Of course you can do that with this printable, or if your school requires original unopened packaging for food use the mini bags of Swedish fish like I did.

To get started, download the free printable here: Swedish Fish Valentine The file is a pdf that will open in a new web browser window and you can save or print it using the buttons in the lower right corner of the page.

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Next, use the back of a butter knife to score along the dotted lines on the sides.

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Then cut along the solid black lines.

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Fold along your score lines, then wrap the paper around the Swedish fish bag so the Swedish Fish logo is showing. Attach with clear packing tape.

 

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Have your child write the “To” and “From” and names and you’re done!

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Book Review + Giveaway! Quilting with a Modern Slant

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Today we’re excited to be a part of the Quilting with a Modern Slant blog book tour! This book was just released on January 28 by Storey publishing. It was authored by Rachel May and is 224 pages long. That includes 7 chapters covering different aspects of modern quilting including techniques, color, scale, pattern, improv designs and more.

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Whether you’re a beginning quilter or one with years of experience, this book is a great resource for anyone interested in learning more about the modern quilting movement. On every spread in the book you’ll find beautiful color photographs of quilts and techniques. It’s inspiring to look at just the photos alone.

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Inside you’ll find 9 projects with patterns and instructions and 13 tutorials. There is helpful information for new quilters like supply lists and quilt binding techniques. There’s more advanced patterns for experienced quilters and new techniques like making natural fabric dye with avocado pits.

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While the patterns and tutorials are interesting, the real strength of this book is in the stories and contributions of over 70 modern quilters. There were some names that were familiar to me (Rashide Coleman-Hale, Angela Walters, Denyse Schmidt, Anna Maria Horner and more) and some new ones. I’ve seen many pattern books but this is one of the few quilting books I’ve read that focuses less on patterns and more on the people behind them. 

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It’s fascinating to read their stories, how they became involved in quilting, their tips and tricks and more. The stories touch on other areas of quilting like creating fabric or opening a shop. While those sections are brief, they are interesting and may help you find a new area of interest to pursue.

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Overall, this book is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the makers of quilts. The patterns and tutorials are a bonus but the personal stories from modern quilters are what really make this book shine and bring the modern quilting community to life.

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If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book, visit the Quilting With a Modern Slant website for a list of online sellers.

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Giveaway

Just leave a comment below telling us what you’d like to learn about quilting (one comment per person please) to be entered to win your own copy of the book. Contest is open through Saturday, Feb. 8 at 11:59 pm EST to US and Canada residents. The winner will receive a copy of Quilting with a Modern Slant from Storey Publishing.

The winner chosen by random.org was #24, Fenna from Fabulous Home Sewn Products! Fenna, I’ve sent you an e-mail with more information!

Disclaimer: Storey publishing sent me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

 

January’s Baby Quilt: Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along

Today’s guest poster is January from Sew Sew Go with her take on the Mosaic Tiles quilt block! Here’s what she had to say:

My sweet friend Lindsay from Lindsay Sews got her first book published and is doing a blog hop. I hope you guys have been following along.  The book is amazing and has beautiful quilts in it. I met Lindsay at Sewing Summit a couple of years ago in her creative journey class.

 She was such a sweet person and so easy to talk to. I really enjoyed hearing her story and the journey she had been on with wanting to publish a book. At that moment her book wasn’t green lighted yet. I got to hang out with her again last Feb. at QuiltCon and heard the exciting news that she was being published!!! You can order your own copy here.

 

 

I’m so happy and proud of her and her accomplishments. I was honored when she asked me to join her hop. She asked us to make anything we wanted out of the Mosaic Tiles Pattern. I chose to make a baby quilt because it seems like everyone I know is having babies. I picked a bunch of blues/turquoise and gray fabrics and got right to work.  It was such an easy patten and the directions were great. I had so much fun sewing this up.

 

On the design wall trying to randomize the prints.  


I liked using the 2 different grays. I really thought it made the blocks pop out. 

I love the back just as much. Simple, clean and modern. It was really fun being apart of her hop and I can’t wait to make this quilt again. Go check out her book and join a bee.

 

~January~
Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along
This post is part of the Mosaic Tiles Quilt Along, which you can read about here! You can enter your project any time between now and February 14, 2014 for a chance to win some great prizes. We hope you’ll join us in this beginner-friendly and stress-free quilt along.
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