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…

Fabric Corner Bookmarks

Some friends living in South Korea tipped me off to a trend they’ve seen in stores: the corner bookmark. These slide-on bookmarks can be made from fabric or paper, and…

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…

Thanksgiving Place Setting Printables

Is everyone getting ready for food and family? I know we are around here! To help dress up our Thanksgiving place settings I designed a few printables. There’s the menu:…

Broken Herringbone Quilt

My younger sister and her husband are expecting their first baby next month and it’s a girl! For their baby shower, I made them a quilt with matching pillow and…

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

Giveaway!

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: www.sewmamasew.com
July 17: www.probablycrafting.com
July 18: sweetjanesquilting.blogspot.com
July 21: www.craftbuds.com
July 22: www.sameliasmum.com
July 24: www.polkadotchair.com
July 25: www.fishsticksdesigns.com/blog
July 26: generationqmagazine.com
July 28: averylanesewing.com/the-blog

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.

Giveaway!

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

Materials:

- 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.

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What is your child’s favorite soft toy?

Women’s T-Shirt to Baby Romper

Women's T-shirt to Baby Romper
When my friend Raeanna asked me if I’d sew a project for Romper Week, I thought this would be the perfect motivation to do some sewing projects for fun and experiment with simple clothing patterns. The project I chose, an upcycled Threadless T-shirt to baby romper, is about as simple as it gets!

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I was inspired by this tutorial at Feather’s Flights, which includes a free baby romper pattern for sizes 6-12 months. I followed this pattern for the most part, with a few changes . . .

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1. My boy has a big noggin. It’s in the 90th percentile for his age. So instead of cutting into the neckline of the adult T-shirt, I chose a women’s tee with a smallish neck, which easily fits over his head without being too frumpy.

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2. I also made the pattern longer and wider. In addition to having a big head, Elliot is very tall for his age, so I needed to make this work for both of us. Easier to pull over his head = happier baby!

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3. I used snap tape for the closure! For more details on how to attach snap tape, you can refer to this excellent romper tutorial by Vanilla Joy.

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4. I also enlarged the size of the sleeve seam by about 2 inches. When dressing the little man, I like it to be as painless as possible for both of us (he prefers to be unclothed) and this looser sleeve makes it much easier to bend his arms into place.

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Overall, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out! It’s not sewn perfectly, but I did learn more about sewing with knits. And this is a cute Threadless shirt that would never fit me again . . . I’m happy to keep it in the family.

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It’s Romper Week!

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For your chance to win one of several fabulous prize packs, you can link up your romper sewing project to the inLinkz collection below! We will begin voting June 21st through the 28th and the top three entries to the link party will walk away with an awesome prize!

1st place (voting)
$30 credit to Girl Charlee
Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop Romper
Blank Slate Pattern Retro Romper

2nd place (voting)
Riley Blake Fat Quarter Bundle
Shaffer Sisters Betty Skirt Pattern
Winner’s Choice Sewing Mama RaeAnna Pattern

3rd place (voting)
Fat Quarter Shop Fat Quarter Bundle
Winner’s Choice Muse of the Morning Pattern

Romper Week Linkup Prizes

An InLinkz Link-up

Don’t forget to enter the Romper Week Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win:

 

romper button

Sewing Pattern Release: Hugh Manatee

This is a long time in the making. I’m happy to share with Craft Buds readers that my Hugh Manatee stuffed animal pattern is now available for purchase! The pattern first appeared in a sewing compilation book, and it is now available as a PDF pattern with full-size printable template and step-by-step color photos.

Hugh Manatee pattern
Get the Hugh Manatee pattern on Craftsy

One of my goals with this pattern was to create a truly inexpensive handmade gift that kids will love. By using coupons at Jo-Ann fabrics, I was able to pick up all of the supplies for two manatees including blizzard fleece and stuffing for just $6, for a cost of $3 per manatee.

And from what I’ve heard, kids really do love them! Here’s what some of my pattern testers had to say:

Hugh Manatee Pattern Test by Jenn

Jenn made this super-cute blue manatee, and said, “He would have been a super quick project had I had all of my supplies together!”

Hugh Manatee Pattern Test by Alyssa
Alyssa made a boy and girl manatee, and I am obsessed with her heart eyes, bow and tutu! She said: “My kids love them, they haven’t let them go since I finished them.”

Hugh Manatee Pattern Test by Stephanie

Stephanie of Swoodson Says added her own spin with these cute glasses! “It was very satisfying to have a quick easy sew!” she said.

Hugh Manatee Pattern Test by Lisa

I can’t get enough of Lisa‘s polka dot version! I really want to snuggle this guy.

Hugh Manatee Sewing Pattern

Speaking of polka dots, check out the pair of manatees Missy made from polka dot fleece! She said, “I found the pattern to be very easy to follow. This was a fun project, and my granddaughter picked out the fabric. I managed to get both of them out of 1 yard of fabric.”

Hugh Manatee Plsuh Doll by Jamie

How about a mini manatee? Jamie made this awesome 9″ long mini Hugh by downsizing the pattern. “I did follow the pattern throughout and I had no troubles at all! It was well-written and easy to read and follow,” she said. “I have only made a handful of items using patterns so I sometimes struggle with following, but this pattern was very clear.”

Hugh Manatee Sewing Pattern by Bethany

Holy cute! Bethany made this adorable snow-colored manatee, which her daughter affectionately named “Poofy.” She said: “I already had a friend ask me to make two of them for her bosses new twin granddaughters.”

Hugh Manatee stuffed dolls by Kimberly

Don’t be afraid to go wild and personalize your manatees, like Kimberly did. Someone is ready to party! She said, “This was a fun, quick sew and my grands will love it.”

Hugh Manatee by Caroline

Caroline made her Hugh Manatee in a pretty, winter-themed fleece. This would make a great holiday gift idea! “As a newbie, I was able to put Hugh together with the snippets of time that my 4- and 2-year-old allow. Maybe 1.5 hrs total,” she says.

Hugh Manatee Sewing Pattern

How adorable is this lakeside buddy sewn by Jess? Hugh definitely wants to be in the water.

Note: If you substitute fleece for another fabric like quilting cotton, take note that you may end up with some extra wrinkles around the body and tail, which is A-okay since he’s a manatee! The top pattern piece is purposefully larger than the bottom, which is why a material with some stretch works nicely to give Hugh the desired fullness.

Hugh Manatee Stuffed Animal Sewing Pattern

Ready . . . Set . . . Hugh!

The Hugh Manatee PDF sewing pattern is now available for purchase at Craftsy. For a limited time, the price will be discounted by 50%, making it only $4. Then, on or around Father’s Day, it will go up to the regular price of $8.

Happy sewing!

 

How to Add or Sell a Pattern on Craftsy

In addition to wonderful online courses and craft supplies, Craftsy also has an independent online pattern store that lets anyone upload and sell downloadable e-patterns with no fee! Get more information on how to sell a pattern through Craftsy!

Baby Gift Idea: Personalized Wooden Blocks

Are you looking for a personalized gift idea that’s handmade and unique to the recipient? Then you’ll love a new handmade shopping site I discovered called Hatch.co.

If you are a handmade artist specializing in custom embroidery, quilts or any other handmade product, you may want to check out becoming a vendor at Hatch. It’s a marketplace of hundreds of hand-selected innovative makers and artisans who create customizable products.

Personalized Wooden Blocks Baby Gift Idea

It’s simple and fun to customize or personalize an order on Hatch, and there are some really fun and unique handmade gift ideas! Think made-to-order jewelry, custom decor, beautifully designed gifts, and fashion and wedding accessories.

Little Saplling Toys Personalized Wooden Blocks

I ordered 8 personalized wooden blocks for Elliot from a vendor called Little Sapling Toys. (You can also order 5 wooden letter blocks or 11 blocks (or any combination of the sets) depending on the length of the child’s name.) Aren’t they fun?

Little Saplling Toys Personalized Wooden Blocks

Each of the letter blocks has a photo on the back with a word that starts with the same letter. You can order extra blocks with a star or heart on them to use as spacers.

Elliot and Personalized Wooden Blocks

I really enjoyed browsing the selection of customized gifts at Hatch.co. This concept is unique among handmade marketplaces because every product can be customized in some way! With a name, with a photo, with a date or a location. I was this close to ordering a fun Instagram photo pillow!

Father’s Day Special: Free Shipping

If you’re looking to try out Hatch, here’s a special offer for Craft Buds readers! Hatch wants you to try out their site, and they will reimburse your shipping cost up to $10.

To get your discount, just e-mail discount@hatch.co with code ‘DAD14′ in the subject line and Hatch will reimburse the shipping cost (up to $10) to your credit or debit card. This offer is valid for up to 3 separate orders and expires June 14, 2014.

Disclaimer: I received this product free in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

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