Mary

Sewing Apps for iPhone and Android

While we’re focusing most of this month on printed craft books, we wanted to highlight some digital applications for iPhone or Android smartphones that can assist you as you’re purchasing and cutting fabric for all those great patterns!

Android or iPhone

Jo-Ann Fabrics (Free for Android or iPhone): Browse products, check out customer reviews, find a store and best of all, save your coupons! You can load coupons and show them to the cashier for a discount rather than using a printed coupon.

Quilting Calculators (Free for Android or iPhone): From Robert Kaufmann Fabrics and Quilter’s Paradise is this great collection of eight free calculators.1. Fabric Measurement Conversion, convert between decimals and fractions. 2. Backing and Batting Calculator, calculate how much yardage is needed for the backing and batting of a quilt. 3. Piece Count Calculator, shows the number of fabric pieces that can be cut from a large piece. 4. Pieces to Yardage Area Calculator, fabric needed to cut a set amount of a certain size piece 5. Binding Calculator, calculated fabric needed based on quilt dimensions and binding strip width. 6. Border Calculator, shows the amount of fabric needed to create borders. 7. Square in a Square Calculator, calculates dimensions of a square within a square block. 8. Set-in and Corner Triangle Calculator, calculates square size needed to create unfinished triangles.

iPhone only

Fabric Stash ($4.99): When you’re out shopping do you have trouble remembering what’s at home in your stash? Use this app to snap photos of your fabric along with any notes you may want to include such as measurements, where you bought it, price and more. You can view your stash according to color, style, manufacturer or project.

Pattern Pal ($4.99): Use this app to keep your patterns organized with name, brand, number, notes and photos. You can also track the fabric and notions needed for each pattern.

Quick and Easy Quilt Block Tool ($3.99): Browse 102 quilt block patterns and view cutting instructions and yardage requirements for each block in five sizes.

Quilt Index ($0.99): Browse through thousands of historical and contemporary quilt photos. You can also view the quiltmaker and quilt pattern names, dates and more. 

Yardage Calc ($2.99): Convert between yards and meters or calculate how much fabric you’ll need when buying a different width than whatis specified on the package.

Android only

Quilt Binding Calculator ($0.99): Calculate the length and width of fabric needed for single or double-fold straight grain binding.

Note: To download the apps, go to the Android Market or the iPhone App Store depending on the type of phone you have, search for the app and download it directly on to your phone. If you have any favorite sewing apps that we’ve missed, let us know in the comments!



Book Review: Growing Up Sew Liberated

Growing Up Sew Liberated (Interweave) by Meg McElwee is full of fun and functional items you can make for any boy or girl in your life. It’s a great mix of clothing staples for infants and toddlers, playthings for all ages, and useful everyday pieces.

The book is nicely divided up into five chapters that each focus on a different part of the day: Greeting the Morning, Bread Sharing + Homemaking, Inside Play, Outside Play, and Good Night, Sleep Tight. The back of the book includes a helpful section on sewing tools, techniques, terms and stitches. In all, the book includes patterns for 9 clothing items, 13 play items/clothes and includes an envelope with full size pattern pieces.

Chapters one (daytime) and five (nighttime) include clothing items for newborns to size 5. The actual sizes included for each individual clothing item varies depending on the type of clothing and what stage in life your child would wear it (ie. the baby sleep sack is only available in 0-6 month size). The clothing patterns are all gender neutral with classic shapes. Chapter two is about items used around the house including a ring sling, bib, and embroidered placemat. Chapters three and four focus on inside and outside play with patterns for a variety of creative play items. A few of the items include a cat blankie for babies, a doll for younger kids, and a messenger bag for older kids.

Overall this book has a nice variety of gender neutral clothes and projects. It’s just slightly more biased towards girls with three of the patterns being for a doll, doll clothes and doll backpack and most of the models are girls. That certainly didn’t keep me from enjoying the book though. The instructions are well written and easy to follow and the diagrams are simple and easy to understand. The overall layout is well organized with a nice balance of color and white space with beautiful photographs throughout.

My Project

I initially thought about making the hooded play cape or art satchel, but then I realized my son had suddenly outgrown all the new pajamas we had just bought! So I decided to make a long sleeved envelope tee and sleeping johns. There are patterns printed on both sides of the pattern paper in the back of the book so you have to trace out the patterns you want to use. The envelope tee pattern only goes up to 18-24 months and I needed a 2T. The pattern was simple enough to make larger for my son and it was easy to trace out the patterns on sheets of computer paper I taped together.

After cutting out all my pieces I got started sewing everything together. I was a bit intimidated to sew this small pair pajamas out of knit fabrics but the instructions were very clear and easy to follow. There’s even tips for sewing knit fabric in the back of the book! I appreciated that you don’t have to use a serger and the instructions tell you what stitch to use where. In not too much time, I had a cute pair of pjs that fit my son perfectly! The neck may look a bit too big in the photo but that’s because my son tried to tear off the shirt because it was 90 degrees out when I took the photos :).

 

Craft Book Month at Craft Buds

Free Patterns from Books: Bags + Winner

After looking at free patterns for the home last week, this week we’re highlighting a variety of patterns for bags, purses and totes.

 

From Amy Butler’s Style Stitches (Chronicle): Blossom Bag

 

From Sewing with Oilcloth (Wiley): Farmer’s Market Tote

 

From Bags, Pillows & Pincushions (Wiley): Quilted Market Bag

 

From For the Love of Hand Stitching (Stash): Daisy Makeup Bag

 

From Interweave Press: 22 Assorted free sewing projects

And just a reminder, you can use one of these patterns to participate in the Craft Book Month linky party through the end of September! And, our winner of the book  I Am Cute Dresses: 25 Simple Designs to Sew by Sato Watanabe from Interweave is #31, R Carter, who said, “6 months to a year is less than I thought it would take! once I actually have something to share with the world that is..” Congratulations R Carter (I’ve sent you an e-mail with more information)!

Free Patterns from Books: Home

Some publishers release a free pattern (or two) from a craft book to celebrate a new release. In honor of Craft Book Month, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite patterns that you can download for free online and we’ll feature a different category each week. You can even use one of these patterns to participate in the Craft Book Month linky party through the end of September. Now on to this week’s projects for the home!

 

From Sewing with Oilcloth (Wiley): Chalk Cloth Table Runner

 

From Applique Class (Wiley): Petal Pushers Table Runner

 

From Stash Happy Patchwork (Lark): Bento Box

 

From 100 Pretty Little Projects (Lark): Scorchin’ Potholder
and Spot On Pillow

 

From Scrappy Quilts (Wiley): Sun-Drenched Strips Quilt

 

 

Free Pattern Features: Totes + Winner

One of my first tutorials was for a tote. They’re incredibly useful in so many everyday activities! They also make great gifts and can be used in place of a disposable gift bag. And, some of the simpler patterns are great for a beginner. Here are some of my favorites but there are tons of tote tutorials out there!

Just like it’s name implies, The Market Tote from Bijou Lovely is a sturdy bag great for groceries or the farmer’s market.

Market Tote at Bijou Lovely

Market Tote at Bijou Lovely

 

The Knot Tote at Me Sew Crazy is a fast and cute project to whip up.

Knot Tote at Me Sew Crazy

Knot Tote at Me Sew Crazy

 

This Mini Market Tote from Chubby Hobby has some nice extra details on the handle and in the bottom corners.

The Market Tote at Chubby Hobby

The Market Tote at Chubby Hobby

 

Gardening season may be wrapping up this year, but get started on this great Garden Tote featured on Sew Mama Sew for next year!

Quilted Garden Tote at Sew Mama Sew

Quilted Garden Tote at Sew Mama Sew

 

And at think liz. is this Diana Hobo with pretty pleat details.

Diana Tote at think liz.

Diana Tote at think liz.

 

And lastly, our winner of the $25 Crafty Girls Workshop giveaway chosen by random.org is the lucky Ariane! Ariane, I’ve sent you an e-mail with more information.

Ruffly Flower Tutorial

These ruffly flowers are fast and easy to make! To get started you’ll just need a stack of fabric cut into squares. I used nine 3″ squares from knit fabric so it wouldn’t fray (you may want to use more squares for a fuller flower). Fold the square in half, in half again, then into a triangle as shown in the diagram below. Then cut a curve into the top of the triangle to form the petals.

Here’s my pile of cut flowers. You can see that they’re not exactly identical but it won’t be noticable in the final flower.

I found it easiest to fold the flower into quarters, and stick the needle through the folds and string them all together. Once you’ve run the thread through all the flowers, bring it back around to the beginning (upper right photo) and tie it off (lower photos). Once you’ve tied it off the flower petals will be in a circle. Set it on a flat surface and fluff out the petals. This version is ruffly on top and the bottom is flat. For a ball shape make two flowers the same size and then sew them together.

My final flower arrangement! These are fun for headbands, shirt or bag embellishments, or just decoration.

Pin It

Free Pattern Features: Cats

Last week we looked at dog-related sewing projects so this week we’ll focus on some items for your furry feline friends! Just like last week, a few of these projects would work for dogs too.

From Sew 4 Home is this cute and cozy pet bed.

Pet Bed at Sew 4 Home

Pet Bed at Sew 4 Home

 

At Craftstylish is a tutorial for a cat mat to protect your furniture or to use for food and water bowls.

Patchwork Cat Mat at Craftstylish

Patchwork Cat Mat at Craftstylish

 

Fantastic Toys has a fantastic set of patterns for a variety of cat toys.

Cat Toys at Fantastic Toys

Cat Toys at Fantastic Toys

 

From Canadian Living is this fur lined kitty tunnel for your playful pal.

Kitty Tunnel at Canadian Living

Kitty Tunnel at Canadian Living

 

And because these colors and this cat are so fun together, here’s one more pet bed option from Design Sponge.

Pet Bed at Design Sponge

Pet Bed at Design Sponge

Crafty Kitchen: Stromboli Recipe

This recipe is the one I am most often asked for. It’s what we make when a big group of people comes over (I think we’ve made up to 8 in one night before!) and it’s an easy to prepare meal. Basically it’s a rolled up pizza that’s good fresh out of the oven or cold from the fridge the next day. Each stromboli loaf serves approximately 3 or 4 hungry adults.

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 2 eggs yolks (save whites separately for glaze)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 pound pepperoni (or whatever toppings you normally like on pizza)
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • Optional: Spaghetti sauce for dipping.

Basic instructions:

  • Roll or stretch out dough into a rectangle approximately 10″x14″ or larger. Mix the next 6 ingredients and spread over the dough. Cover with pepperoni and/or other toppings (sausage, onion, green pepper, etc.).
  • Roll up dough into a loaf and pinch the seam together and fold over the ends. Place seam side down on greased pan (or a pan covered in non-stick foil) and brush top with egg whites.
  • Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until top is well browned. Slice and serve with spaghetti sauce for dipping.

 

Step by step instructions with photos:

1. Thaw the dough. It usually takes about 6 hours to thaw. I take it out of the freezer bag and rub it with olive oil and place it in a loosely covered bowl. In the warmer months I just leave it on the counter and in the winter I put it on or near a heating vent. You can find the frozen dough in the freezer section, usually near the garlic bread and frozen rolls. It usually comes in a bag of 5 or 6 loaves. You can also make homemade bread dough.

2. Let the dough thaw until it at least doubles in size. The larger it gets, the easier it is to stretch so it’s okay if it even triples in size.

3. Stretch out the bread dough into a rectangle. Mix together the egg yolks and seasonings.

4. Spread the egg/seasoning mix over the dough.

5. Put on all your toppings then roll up the dough.

6. Pinch the seam shut and fold over the edges.

7. Place on greased pan, or pan covered in non-stick foil, or pan covered in foil sprayed with Pam with the seam side down. Brush with egg whites.

8. Bake until brown. Some cheese will probably bubble out.

9. Slice and serve! Serve with spaghetti sauce for dipping. (I usually use a can of Hunt’s Roasted Garlic and Onion.)

Free Pattern Features: Softies + Winner

These cute little softies (plush animals) are fun for kids and adults alike! There are lots of patterns available for purchase on Etsy but here’s a few you can try out for free.

First up is this adorable little hedgehog from LollyChops. I’ve always thought a hedgehog would be a cute pet but this version would be a lot easier to care for.

Hedgehog from LollyChops

Hedgehog from LollyChops

 

Molly Monkey is from mmmcrafts and you can customize her colors and clothes for any kid!

Molly Monkey from mmmcrafts

Molly Monkey from mmmcrafts

 

Chez Beeper Bebe created this Mooshy Belly Bunny from recycled T-shirts. Just like the name says, it looks squishy and delightful.

Mooshy Belly Bunny from Chez Beeper Bebe

Mooshy Belly Bunny from Chez Beeper Bebe

 

And lastly, we already featured Pippa the Fox and Rascal the Raccoon from Ruffles and Stuff awhile back in our Fresh Picks. They’re just so cute here they are again in case you missed them the first time around!

Pippa and Rascal from Ruffles and Stuff

Pippa and Rascal from Ruffles and Stuff

Winner!

The winner of Margot Potter’s book, New Dimensions in Bead and Wire Jewelry: Unexpected Combinations, Unique Designs, chosen by random.org is Shaiha! If you’re Shaiha, I’ve sent you an e-mail with more information. Don’t forget to enter our current giveaway for the Slice Fabrique!

Fresh Picks for Thursday, 8.4.11

Sometimes, life doesn’t go as planned. Like yesterday, when our server went down for about 8 hours. Though the Craft Buds site was inaccessible, we’re back up now and planning to change servers to make sure we can continue to give you the best Craft Buds ever!

Please bear with us over the next day or so if you get an error message when logging into the site. We’re aware that there may be a slight delay in switching servers, and we’ll do our best to continue everything as planned, including our . . .

Giveaways! You can still enter the Margot Potter book giveaway (through Friday night) and the Slice Fabrique giveaway (through Tuesday night). We may adjust those end dates if we experience more delays with our site, so please bookmark these links and check back if you get an error message.

Here are this week’s Fresh Picks!

Fruit Mini Cards

Fruit Salad: Learn how to make these fruity mini cards at Little Lovelies! Allison explains paper piecing with stamps and colorful paper to make little gift tags that really pop.

Fabric Pom Pom tutorial

Shake Your Pom Poms: It’s a bright twist on the traditional pom-pom trim. Learn how to make your own fabric pom poms from this colorful tutorial at Maureen Cracknell Handmade.

Baby Girl Sandals from Leather

Leather Be: Can you believe these baby girl sandals are handmade from faux leather? Get the tutorial at Make it and Love it.

Redecorating a Room

Before and After: If you’ve ever attempted to redecorate a room from start to finish, you’ll appreciate this family room re-do at I Am Momma Hear Me Roar! It has lots of cute decorating ideas, like this jar filled with whimsy.

Adoption auction fundraiser Adoption Auction jewelry

For a Cause: Go shopping for a cause at the Gotta Have Faith Fundraiser Auction, to support adoption. Online bidding for handmade items starts Thursday at noon and ends Monday! Thanks to Kristy at Hopeful Threads for sharing.

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