Quick Quilting Tips: Pinning Alternatives

Welcome to readers of Amy Smart’s Fabulously Fast Quilts blog hop! I’m happy to visit today to share my favorite quick quilting tip, along with the other bloggers on the tour.…

Summer Skirts with Simplicity 2606

  Over a year ago, a friend proposed a trade. Jayne would take photos of our family and newborn son and I’d make her a couple skirts. Over a year…

Sew Easy Burp Cloth Tutorial

The other evening, I was trying to pull double duty. I held the baby on one hip while tossing some vegetables in the skillet. My husband walked in the kitchen…

Quick Quilting Tips: Pinning Alternatives

Welcome to readers of Amy Smart’s Fabulously Fast Quilts blog hop! I’m happy to visit today to share my favorite quick quilting tip, along with the other bloggers on the tour.…

Your Projects: Craft Book Month

Craft Book Month has been such a blast so far, with some great projects being linked up on the main post. Here are a few things you’ve shared so far!

Jennifer linked up her Dreaming Under Dresdens Quilt, which was inspired by the book Material Obsession. Gorgeous!

Dresden Plate Quilt

Kelly’s handmade skewer book was a project from the book Handmade Decorative Books. What a cool method of book-binding!

Handmade Skewer Book

Sara stitched up the Blossom Bag, which is a free pattern. It’s from the Amy Butler book Style Stitches, and looks fabulous in Echino fabric!

Blossom Bag from Sew Sweetness

Anja whipped up a darling windbreaker from the book Sewing Clothes Kids Love, and it even has a fun media player pocket on the sleeve.

Sewing Clothes Kids Love

Amorette linked up this Quick Change Tabletop Set from Amy Butler’s Little Stitches for Little Ones book. Great fabric choice, and super functional project!

Quick Change Tabletop

And Mary finished up a huge, colorful quilt from a pattern in Passionate Patchwork by Kaffe Fassett. We are super impressed that she’s been working on the Handkerchief Quilt for the last two years, with fabric that she’s had stashed since 2004!

Handkerchief Quilt

If you haven’t yet, you still have a couple weeks to link up your project from a craft book for a chance to win prizes! We’ll announce the random winners from all entries received by September 30.

Free Patterns from Books: Kids’ Toys + Winner

We’re in our third week of free patterns from books after looking at patterns for the home, and patterns for bags. Up this week are kid’s toys and softies!

From Craft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose Scarves (Lark): Hoppy the Bunny

 

From Sockology (Stash): Be Free, Piggy Softies

 

From Make Stuff Together (Wiley): Appreciation Banner

 

From Girls World (Chronicle): Glitter Badges and Chloe Paper Doll Bag

From Socks Appeal (Stash): Striped Owl Softie

 

As we’ve mentioned before, 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 Sewing for Boys by Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage from Wiley is Cat, #30 chosen by random.org, who said, “I am getting ready to have a little boy in 6 weeks . . . would love to get to play with this book! Plus the authors are going to be teaching in Portland soon.  One more reason to move to Portland!” Congratulations Cat on your win and your little guy! I’ve sent you an e-mail.

And don’t forget, you still have until Monday to enter the giveaway for the book Sewing with Oilcloth!

Sewing with Oilcloth Book Giveaway

Sewing with Oilcloth book stack

Kelly McCants (a.k.a. Modern June and Oilcloth Addict on Etsy) has just released her first book, Sewing with Oilcloth.

The book is published by Wiley and incorporates sewing projects with oilcloth, laminated cottons and chalk cloth, a fabric you can actually write on like a chalk board. Fun!

Remember this free pattern we shared last week? This Chalk Cloth Table Runner is from Sewing with Oilcloth!

Here’s a video showing a sneak peek of many projects in the book and the materials used.

 

Giveaway!

One Craft Buds reader will win a copy of this gorgeous book, plus a sampling of oilcloth from Kelly’s shop. To enter, just leave a comment on this post telling me about something you’ve sewn with oilcloth or what you like about it. One winner will be announced on Monday, September 19. Update: The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to commenter #20, Valerie!

Thanks Kelly! For more peeks at this book, check out some previous stops on the blog tour:

Thursday, September 1: MADE
Friday, September 2: Craft
Monday, September 5: True Up and Craft Gossip
Tuesday, September 6: Oilcloth International
Wednesday, September 7: Average Jane Craft
Thursday, September 8: Prudent Baby
Friday, September 9: Craft Sanity
Monday, September 12: Crafty Pod
Tuesday, September 13: Sew Mama, Sew
Wednesday, September 14: Apron Memories
Thursday, September 15:  Here!

Book Review: Sewing for Boys

Earlier this week we interviewed Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage, the authors of the book Sewing for Boys (Wiley). Today I’m sharing my review of their book! I’ve been excited about this book since the moment I first heard about it months ago. As the mom of a little boy, I find lots of patterns for cute little dresses and tops for girls but not nearly as much for boys. This book is full of great clothing patterns with fun extra details that get you excited about sewing boy clothes.

I love the way this book is designed. It’s spiral bound so it lays flat, the patterns are in a nice sturdy envelope inside the front cover, and there are great illustrations and photos. One of my favorite parts about the book layout is that there are photos of every project in the front of the book. It’s so easy to browse through all the patterns this way. There are even more photos throughout the book so you get a really good feel for what your final product will look like. Each pattern sheet in the envelope is numbered so you can easily find the pattern sheet you are looking for. Also, each project is rated with a difficulty level. All those little well thought out details in the layout alone made this book enjoyable.

There are six total chapters including a chapter of clothing for each of the four seasons. There’s also a chapter for on the go items including a playmat and toy bag. And lastly is a chapter for items that repurpose your scraps or old clothing items into new things like a patchwork blanket. There are 24 projects total. Sizes available vary by project, but overall they go from 0-6 months to 7.

As for the patterns, there’s a great variety of clothing for inside and outside for all seasons. Every item includes extra details that make your project look like it was done by a professional. The directions are easy to follow and there are diagrams to help you out along the way. If you need any extra help, there’s a glossary in the back that will assist you with sewing terms and techniques.

My Project

It was a tough choice deciding what pattern to make for this review because they are all great! Some of my favorites were the ralglan T-shirt, the Luka hoodie and the reversible “two-in-one” jacket. In the end I chose to make the Easy Linen Shirt. First I traced the pattern onto sheets of paper then I picked out my fabric. Rather than purchasing new fabric, I cut my pieces of a gray knit shirt of my husband’s that he never wears and re-used the existing hem on the bottom of the shirt for the hem of this new shirt. I had a scrap of dark gray knit that I used inside the collar.

The instructions were easy to follow and I didn’t need to use my seam ripper even once on this project (amazing)! As I’ve mentioned, there are extra details in each pattern that makes your clothing look professsional. This pattern was no exception with topstitching around the arms and shoulders and extra tips on how to finish the seams to make them extra comfortable and durable. The fit was perfect for my son (I purposely made it a little large) and this’ll be a great shirt to easily pull off and on during fall weather, and to wear layered in the winter.

Want to win a copy?

Head over to our interview with the Sewing for Boys authors, Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage. Just leave a comment on that post for your chance to win! This giveaway is now closed.

 

Craft Book Month at Craft Buds

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!



Author Q&A: Sewing for Boys + Giveaway

Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage design children’s clothing for their company Patterns by Figgy’s and just released their first book, Sewing for Boys (Wiley). Today we’re excited to learn a little bit more about how these ladies decided to collaborate on a creative business and later a book. Shelly and Karen are living proof that dedication to your craft can lead to a very successful career in design.

I read on your website that you two met on Flickr and live across the country from each other. How did you decide to go into business together?

{S} We found one another in a group that shares a mutual love for fabric and design. Karen posted a photograph of a beautiful handmade pinafore, so I made a comment about how terrific I found her work and designs. That sparked a conversation, which then blossomed into friendship. As our friendship grew, we found that we had the same goals and aspirations, most importantly, the desire to write a beautiful book focused solely on BOYS. It was the desire to write this book together that sparked all the other collaboration we’ve done.

The Henry Shirt test

"The Henry Shirt" (Flickr / Shelly Figueroa)

I love the clean lines of your children’s clothing designs and the cute details. How you find inspiration for new patterns?

{K} We look to the past, because we both gravitate toward utility that is beautiful. We love the simple styles of the past, but we try to modernize them in a way that becomes a new classic. Of course, comfort is paramount, and because we focus on how a kid will feel in our clothes, we try to include details that are important to kids, like pockets and comfortable seams. Our aim is to always make a kid’s favorite garment.

{S} I am a lover of simple-to-sew projects and garments and I don’t like to make things more than once or twice, so it’s very important to me as a mother (because our time is precious) to make sure the designs have cute details and modern touches but won’t take all day to create.

Sewing For Boys book Do you have a favorite project in the new book?

{K} It’s so hard to choose! I love “Let’s Go Fishing Hat” for its simplicity and utility, but my very favorite is “The Henry Shirt.” I love to mix and match fabrics, and I love how this shirt can work through all the seasons. Its relaxed fit is a big bonus for fidgety little guys.

{S} Since Karen picked two, I will too. I love the “Kickin’ Back Sweats” because they are super quick to make and the fit is all about comfort but there are also a lot of options offered. They are designed so you don’t have to just choose knit fabric but also woven, you can use the pattern to make surf pants or shorts, optional faux fly and pockets are also offered. I also love the “Easy Linen Shirt” because once again it’s a quick sew but is still super stylish and laid back. The West Coast girl is coming out of me with these two.

How did your relationship with Wiley begin?

We engaged Stefanie Von Borstel from Full Circle Literary to represent us and our idea. Her enthusiasm and direction helped us clarify our vision which she then took to publishers to find a good fit. She brought us several offers to publish our book, including one from Wiley. We love the work they do, and some of our favorite designers have written books with Wiley, so we chose to accept their offer.

How would you compare the process of publishing your individual patterns with writing a sewing book? Any challenges or surprises you weren’t expecting?

The main difference was the ultra-tight schedule, really. When I think about it, it blows me away that we were able to put together 24 projects, patterns, illustrations and instructions in 12 weeks, whereas usually we give ourselves 3 months to put together a line of 3 patterns. There were A LOT of long nights. We were pleasantly surprised and can honestly say that the entire book was exactly how we pictured, and unfortunately not all authors get to say that. The entire team was a pleasure to work with at Wiley and they really listened to what our vision for this book was.

Sewing for Boys project

What’s next for you ladies?

During the Spring Quilt Market in Utah, we were able to meet a lot of the fabric shop owners that currently carry Patterns by Figgy’s patterns, and we also met a lot of fabric reps who asked if we would like to preview upcoming fabrics. This gave us the idea that it was time to offer “trunk shows” so that the shops will have a way to showcase not only the patterns but new fabrics. We love having that personal relationship with the fabric shops.

During the next few months we’ll be taking some time promoting and enjoying the fun part of publishing a book. We’re also teaching classes in our local areas (Portland and Detroit), and crafting as much as possible!

Giveaway!

Wiley Publishing is giving away a copy of Sewing for Boys to one lucky Craft Buds reader! If you’d like to win, leave one comment on this post telling us something you’ve learned about the authors or the book publishing process. This giveaway is now closed.

We’ll be back on Wednesday with a sneak peek of the book  Read the book review here and we’ll announce the winner of this book on Friday morning. For more chances to win, follow the rest of the blog tour:

September 5 Made by Rae
September 6 Sew, Mama, Sew
September 7 The Southern Institute & Film in the Fridge
September 8 Elsie Marley
September 9 Noodlehead & Oh, Fransson!
September 10 I Heart Linen
September 11 Anna Maria Horner
September 12 Craft Buds, Pink Chalk Fabric, Prudent Baby, Sew Much Ado
September 13 Very Purple Person, Quilt Story & Sew Sara
September 14 The Long Thread
September 15 Susan Beal
September 16 True Up
September 17 All Buttoned Up & Bolt Fabric Boutique
September 18 MADE & Wiley Craft

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