Fabric Pumpkins Tutorial

Looking for an easy DIY pumpkin? Look no further! Here’s a cute way to make them out of fabric. You could even have an older child make or help make…

Free Pattern Features: Halloween Pillows

Looking for ways to add some Halloween fun to your decor? On Craft Buds we’ve featured Halloween printables, fabric pumpkins, and owl smores. Lots of other crafty sites have been…

Jack-o’-Lantern Shirt Stencils

Looking to add some Halloween fun to your family’s wardrobe? Here’s a shirt idea for either you or your kids to make. It would also be a fun project for…

Giveaway: Modern Fabric Studio

Today, I’m excited to introduce a new online fabric shop to you, with a special sale and giveaway for Craft Buds readers at the end of this post.

And since we love to highlight craftepreneurs, I chatted with Modern Fabric Studio owner Amanda Norton to get the scoop on how she started her handmade business.

Amanda Modern Fabric Studio

Amanda, what’s your sewing story?

I have always been into crafting, but I started sewing only a few years ago. One day I came home from work. It was snowing and I knew I wouldn’t be going to work the next day. I went and bought a sewing machine that night and locked myself up in my apartment and taught myself how to sew! I have been LOVING it ever since!

What made you decide to start up Modern Fabric Studio?

I fell in love with the designer fabrics I sewed with, and I have always wanted to own my own company. So, in short, that is how Modern Fabric Studio started!

What fabrics or designers are you loving right now?

My favorite designer is Anna Maria Horner. She was the first designer I started sewing with so I’m in love with all her fabrics! I’m also loving Tina Givens’ new line, Lilliput Fields. The fabrics are absolutely gorgeous! And of course I love Amy Butler’s new line, Lark!

Amy Butler Lark

What do you do when you are not busy creating or running the business?

I live with my boyfriend and our 5 month Chocolate Lab puppy, Hooper. I actually have a full time job in addition to Modern Fabric Studio, so I can definitely say life is a bit busy at times! I love to sew and I love crafting. I am a “Do-It-Yourself-er” at heart!

Modern Fabric Studio

Sale!

Just in time for the season of thanks, Modern Fabric Studio is hosting a Thanksgiving Sale starting today, where you can get 15% off all Anna Maria Horner, Valori Wells and Etsuko Furuya / Echino fabrics through November 27th.
  • Amanda is also offering free shipping for orders of $35 or more for the duration of her sale!
  • Plus, get an extra 10% off your purchase with the coupon code craftbuds.
Valori Wells Wildfield in Cherry

Valori Wells Wildfield: Now 15% off

Little Folks Voile from $8 per yard

Little Folks Voile from $8 per yard!

LouLouThi Voile

LouLouThi Voile: now 15% off!

 

Giveaway!

Amanda is offering one Craft Buds reader $25 shop credit to spend on anything in the shop. And with her ultra-affordable Sale Fabrics (designer cotton prints starting at $5 per yard and designer voile starting at just $8 per yard) that’s a whole lotta fabric to love . . .

To enter:

  1. Stop by Modern Fabric Studio and leave a comment telling us what you’d like to buy with your shop credit.
  2. Subscribe to Modern Fabric Studio’s newsletter and leave a comment.
  3. Like Modern Fabric Studio on Facebook and leave a comment.

That’s 3 chances to win! This giveaway is open worldwide, and we’ll choose one lucky winner on Saturday, November 19.

Free Pattern Features: Fall Printables

Ready for some fast, easy and free decorations for fall and Thanksgiving? I’ve put together this list of some of my favorite printables from around the web.

At The Letter 4 is this whimsical tree illustration.

Love Fall Printable from The Letter 4

 

Pink Ink Doodle shares this fall subway art.

Fall Subway Art at Pink Ink Doodle

 

At The Creative Paige you can find this Fall is Here printable in vertical or horizontal formats.

Fall is Here from The Creative Paige

 

This printable from It’s a Crafty Life just made me smile!

Happy Fall Y'all from It's a Crafty Life

 

And lastly, Kind Over Matter has a huge list of all sorts of Thanksgiving printables. Enjoy!

Free Thanksgiving Printables at Kind Over Matter

 

If you’re feeling lucky, don’t forget to check out our weekly list of crafty and handmade giveaways!

Review: The Colette Sewing Handbook + Winners

Colette Sewing Handbook Cover

After interviewing Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns fame, I was so excited to get the chance to review her new book. The Colette Sewing Handbook (F+W Media) is both a project book and teaching tool for sewists, meaning it does include 5 sewing patterns that the reader can make and feel proud of. However, the basis of this book is actually on explaining the techniques needed to sew clothing with a great look and fit. This includes how to choose fabrics, read and alter patterns, how to care for garments and so forth. Quick, someone give this book to Project Runway winner Anya!

Colette Sewing Handbook excerpt

As a self-taught sewist that mostly works with quilting cottons, I was excited to read about how I should actually be sewing things. For instance, did you know that pressing a garment is different than ironing? I didn’t! I was also intrigued by the concept of ripping fabric from the bolt instead of cutting, which is actually the preferred method to get a “trued up” (even) edge. I also learned the many ways to transfer a pattern from the original to the fabric, using markers and chalk pens (and why each one is useful).

Colette Sewing Techniques

The book also reviews some techniques I use regularly, like gathering, hand-stitching and inserting facings into a garment. Still, no matter how many times you’ve installed a zipper, you might find yourself referring to this book’s helpful step-by-step photos as a reminder.

Colette Sewing Handbook Fabric Types

Did I mention that the whole book is just really pretty? I’m going to bookmark the pages on fabric selection, because I know this will come in handy time and time again. Sarai details the qualities of fabric (What fibers is it made from? Woven or knit? How does it drape or reflect light?) and explains which fabrics are better for which project. Brilliant!

Colette Sewing Handbook Fabric Drape

Overall, Sarai encourages sewists not to rush into their projects, but to take time selecting fabric that is right for the garment, pre-washing and ironing the fabric, prepping and altering the pattern and making a muslin (inexpensive trial run) of the garment. All of this comes before cutting into your pretty fabric. This technique helps you to get a great fitting dress that you’ll actually want to wear, which saves money and time in the long run. And once you’ve altered the pattern to fit your body, you might want to make the “Truffle Dress” in six different colors. I do.

Colette Sewing Handbook Truffle Dress

Techniques aside, one thing I took away from this book is the desire to think thoughtfully about my wardrobe.  Sarai’s patterns have a cute, vintage-infused style that can be personalized with fabric choice and thoughtful details (like including or omitting a bow or fancy hem, which she gives the reader full permission to do). She encourages sewists to find their personal style and use clothing as self-expression. If you have a fabulous fitting garment in a fabric that complements your skin tone, you’re going to feel great in your clothing.

Colette Meringue Skirt

For my first project from the book, I’ve decided to conquer the “Meringue Skirt.” So far, I have gone through Sarai’s tips and selected my fabric: a textured, matte, wool-based gabardine. (Can you tell that my sewing vocabulary has increased tenfold since reading this book?) I’ve also cut the pattern pieces and adjusted for length (since I’m shorter than the model). Next, I’ll be ready to make my muslin and check the fit before starting on the skirt. Although I am pretty thrifty and don’t like to “waste” fabric, I liked Sarai’s explanation of making a wearable muslin. This means I might use a fabric that I’m not in love with, but it echoes my actual fabric choice, so I could still potentially wear the skirt if it fits.

The Colette Sewing Handbook is an invaluable tool for the sewist that wants to learn more about making garments. Although I probably won’t make all of these patterns for myself, I am definitely excited to sew two of the five, and I could see myself making more than one of each.

Winners

Out of 261 comments, the winner of The Colette Sewing Handbook is #101, Margie! We’ve sent you an e-mail with more info. If you didn’t win, why don’t you join my by signing up for the free webinar Thursday all about choosing fabrics? Participants will also get a discount on the book.

Free Webinar
Out of 636 comments, the lucky winner of the Epic Letterpress Combo Kit chosen by random.org was #90, Jessie Prince! Congratulations and Mary has sent you an e-mail with more information.

For everyone else make sure you check out the Lifestyle Crafts blog where they’re doing some amazing giveaways! This week you can enter to win a dream craft workspace worth $800 just by following their blog. For additional entries you can tweet or blog about the giveaway (and don’t forget to mention that Craft Buds sent you!).

Crafty Kitchen: Turkey Cookies

There are lots of turkey cookie recipes out there, but I wanted to come up with one that was easy and didn’t involve and baking so kids could easily be involved. To make these cute little guys, you’ll just need the following ingredients: Double Stuf Oreos, Nutter Butter cookies, candy corn, M&Ms, red jelly beans, white frosting, and a handful of chocolate chips (optional)

To get started, press 7 candy corns into the white filling around one side of an Oreo. Then pipe on white frosting on the Nutter Butter for the turkey face and a glob on the Oreo to attach the turkey body.

For the face, press 2 M&Ms in for the eyes, break a candy corn in half and press in with the pointy side up, then press in the red jelly belly below. Then place the Nutter Butter on top of the Oreo.

The turkeys have kind of a blank stare, so if you’d like you can melt a tablespoon of chocolate chips and use a toothpick to draw on the pupils of the eyes.

To finish them off, I piped on a tiny dot of white in each pupil (also optional). Now you have  more Thanksgiving turkeys to eat!

Additional notes: I used homemade buttercream frosting in a piping bag with a round tip, but you could use some of the ready to use frosting in a can or tube from the grocery store (the kind that comes with different tips like Betty Crocker decorating icing). Also, buttercream frosting can be frozen when wrapped tightly in plastic wrap so when you have some leftover, save it for projects like this!

 

Linked up to the Ladybird Ln Turkey Daze Showoff Party with lots of turkey inspired links!

Fresh Picks for Sunday, 11.6.11

There a chill in the air, and we’re loving these cool-weather crafts. Warm up with fall colors and cozy accessories for yourself and your home. Don’t forget to enter this week’s giveaways!

Love Your Veggies: Who can resist this friendly fall scene? Download the free embroidery patterns at Wild Olive.

Cover Up: Jeni blogs a cute scarf tutorial at In Color Order. Warm your neck with some pom-pom fringe!

Candy Corn Bars

Fall Kitchen: Thank goodness not all candy disappears from stores after Halloween. Three cheers for these delicious-looking candy corn bars from Sweet Peas and Bumblebees.

Draft Catcher

Catch My Draft? The cover of this smart draft stopper is removeable and machine-washable. Get the tute at Mauby’s.

Thanks for checking out this week’s Fresh Picks!
Weekly Giveaways Linky
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The Happy Couple Blanket

Like many couples, I find that my husband and I never want the same amount of blankets. So, every night there’s always rolled up blankets in the middle of the bed because one person is too hot. I finally decided to do something about it since that extra blanket is taking up too much room! Enter the Happy Couple Blanket. It’s easy to make and as a bonus you can make two finished blankets to give one as a gift this Christmas!

To get started, choose a sheet and a blanket based on how hot or cold you need and purchase one of each in the size of your bed. I purchased a queen size flat sheet and queen size blanket. A few other options you could choose would be a flannel sheet, down blanket, lightweight blanket, comforter, quilt, or whatever would be the perfect temperature for each of you. In this post I’ll be referring to the sheet and the blanket since that’s what I used. I was able to find a sheet and blanket that matched exactly in color at WalMart. You’ll start with a sheet and a blanket that fit the size of the bed the final product will be used on (example: start with a queen sized sheet and a queen sized blanket for a queen sized bed).

1. First, cut both the sheet and blanket in half lengthwise. Then, with right sides (the top sides) together line up the cut edges of one sheet half and one blanket half and sew the edges together with a 3/8″ seam allowance (for a thicker blanket you may need a larger seam allowance).

2. Flip the blanket and sheet around so the wrong sides (bottom sides) are together. Sew along your center seam leaving a 5/8″ seam allowance to trap the seam you created in step 1.

3. Looking at the top of the blanket, fold the seam you created in step 2 to one side, then topstitch along the open edge. This will be much easier if you have the sheet side going under the arm of your sewing machine and the blanket side off to the side of the sewing machine. You now have a very sturdy seam and the blanket is finished! Repeat with the other blanket half and sheet half for a unique gift that lots of couples would enjoy.

Because it’s hard to see the whole project in the photos above, I’ve also created this illustration that matches the steps above. This process is known as a French seam.

And because this post needed a more interesting photo to wrap it up, my dear husband agreed to show off our before and after, infomercial style!

 

Edit: My sheet and blanket were the same color so it’s a little difficult to see the difference in the “after” photo, but the sheet side is on the left and the blanket side with the quilting lines is on the right. You can click on the photo for a larger view.

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