Crafty Kitchen: Oreo Spiders

I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with Halloween related goodies like our Owl S’mores and now these spiders! These are an easy treat to make. For ingredients you’ll…

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…

Fabric Wrap Belt

Summer is great for cool cotton dresses and flowy shirts, but sometimes they need a little extra color or a more defined waistline. Enter the wrap belt, inspired by an Anthropologie design! This fabric band wraps around your waist to give you definition and a pop of color. You can vary the fabrics in color or pattern, or even try a patchwork version.

This is a fairly easy project, especially if you use a decorative ribbon for the narrow center strap. For the way I made it with the fabric strap, here’s a list of the materials you’ll need:

  • The wide strap is going to be 9.5″ wide and the length is the measurement of your waist plus 6″. Measure wherever you plan on wearing the belt—under the chest, around your natural waist, or lower at the hips.
  • The narrow strap is 2.5″ wide and the length is the measurement of your waist plus 6″ multiplied by 3. For example, your waist is 34″ +6″=40″, then 40″x3=120″. You may have to cut several strips of fabric and sew them together for this length. From my fabric, I had to cut three strips 40.5″ long each, and then I sewed them all together.
  • Additional notes: I used upholstery weight fabric. For thinner fabrics you may want to use stabilizer in the wide band to help it keep its shape. Also, if you have problems with the wide part of the belt shifting, you can hand stitch one or two snaps to hold it in place.

Making the Belt:

First, if you had to cut several pieces of fabric for the narrow strap, stitch them all together. Next you’ll iron under the edge of the fabric 1/4″ on all four sides. Then fold the fabric in half lengthwise and iron again.

Stitch around all four sides of the strap (including the side that’s just a fold) to give it a more finished look.

The narrow center strap is now complete! Now on to the wide strap. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with right sides together and iron. Stitch around the sides and top, and leave a 6″ opening in the center.

Snip the corners and turn right side out through the opening you left. Fold in the open edges and iron flat. Next, sew around all four edges.

Wide strap is complete! Now you just need to line up the narrow strap in the center of the wide band. Line up the narrow strap so there is a 6″ opening on the left as shown in the photo below. Both narrow straps hanging off the wide band should be the same length. You can offset them by a couple inches if you want the ends to be at sightly different heights once it’s tied (see the right image, 2 photos down). Once you have the narrow strap and wide band lined up, sew them together where you see the yellow rectangle in the photo below.

Your belt is now complete! Now to actually wear it, you’ll first wrap the wide band around your waist. The flap (left side in the photo above) goes underneath and the other side (right side in the photo above) goes on top of that. Then wrap the two long, narrow bands all the way around your waist in opposite directions. Bring them around to the front and tie in a knot. You can either leave the bands hanging down as they are below or tuck them under the other straps as I did in the very top photo of this post. You can click on the photo below for a larger view.

Here’s a photo of the back of the belt, and another of the front withe me looking goofy in front of the camera (and a little nervous because you can see my toddler sneaking up behind me with a baseball bat).

Enjoy! And if you make one of these Anthropologie-inspired belts, feel free to share the link with us in the comments or add to our Flickr group.

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Free Pattern Features: Summer Dresses + Winner

Do you end up doing more sewing for other people than yourself? Take some time this summer to whip up one of these cute dresses just for you! (Sewing Hope winner annoucement and link to more giveaways at the end of the article.)

Suburbs Mama keeps coming up with great dress patterns and refashions! Her latest is this cute Shabby Apple knock-off!

Shabby Apple Dress by Suburbs Mama

 

Want lots of options in one dress? Try this infinity dress by Sew Like My Mom! You can vary the look depending on how you wrap the top. You could even use different colors for the top and bottom sections.

Infinity Dress by Sew Like My Mom

 

This tank top dress from Talk 2 the Trees looks fast and comfortable for those really hot days! And its a great way to use up an old shirt or tank top that’s too short. 

Tank Dress by Talk 2 the Trees

 

And lastly, for any expectant readers, this grecian maternity maxi dress from DIY Maternity looks cool, comfortable, and cute. Exactly what a pregnant woman wants!

Grecian Maternity Dress from DIY Maternity

 

In other news, the winner of our Sewing Hope giveaway, chosen by random.org, was comment #70 by Heather Nash! Congratulations Heather! If you want to try your luck at other giveaways make sure to check our Giveaways Roundup  every week for handmade giveaways from around the web.

CHA News & Fresh Picks for 7.13.11

CHA: Craft and Hobby Association Guess what? Mary and I are heading to Chicago next week for the Craft and Hobby Association’s (CHA) summer trade show! This is the first time either of us will attend, and we’re excited to learn about lots of new craft products and developments.

I’m particularly happy to stop by all the booths for my favorite products and see what’s coming soon, like this die-cut machine that cuts without a mat. Or how to use this electronic fabric cutter for applique.

We’ll try out new products and snap photos along the way, so look for a special Fresh Picks: CHA Edition next week! In the meantime, here are this week’s Fresh Picks: little gifts you can whip up in no time!

French Press Cozy

French Press: You’ve seen coffee cup cozies. But have you considered a French Press warmer? We love this patchwork version from Malka Dubrawsky at A Stitch in Dye!

Mini Photo Album Tutorial

Memory Maker: This week at Sol de Eira, Liliana shows us how to make something crafty to store memories. And no, they’re not just paper “W”s.

Resin Craft Molds

Resin Nation: Have you ever worked with resin? Carmi gives a great tutorial (part 1 and part 2) showing you how to get started working with resin molds and tiny objects from around the house. The results are stunning!

Needle Case Tutorial

Sharp and Silver: Store your needles in this handmade needle book made with just a few fabric scraps! Crafty Mummy shows you how in her quick and easy tutorial.

Featured Giveaways

Win Handmade Bag Win this Bag: Enter here by this Friday for a chance to win this gorgeous handmade bag from A Winding Road.

Bust My Stash: Accuquilt is hosting a fun giveaway challenge. Upload a photo of your fabric stash for a chance to win a GO! 12″ Mix & Match Started Set ($581 value). Enter here!

Thanks for checking out this week’s Fresh Picks!
Weekly Giveaways Linky
| Submit Your Project

 

Sewing Hope: Missional Crafts by Jessica K.

Some people craft for their business, and others just create for fun. Jessica Kenenske has paired both her love for crafts and running a business with a mission: to help raise money for those in need. Read on for a great and inspiring story! (There’s also a giveaway at the end of this post.)

1) Tell me a little bit about your handmade shop and how/when you got started?

I’ve been selling my handmade stuff for probably about 6 years now. I started out creating and selling handmade dolls, softies, pillows & etc., using all vintage materials. I did that for a while and even had a couple segments on HGTV that aired about a year ago.

In 2008, I had my first (long awaited) child and then 22 months later I got pregnant with my second, so I was a little pre-occupied for a few years there! When I finally started getting back into crafting again I wasn’t that interested in making dolls anymore and found myself designing and making handbags….over an over again. I never get tired of them because, well, because I’m a girl and the possibilities are endless with bags!

It allows me the creative outlet to do something I love and to raise money for a mission that is close to my heart.

2) What is the overall purpose or vision behind your shop?

One of my best friends spent 5 years as a missionary in Haiti. Being able to see the people and their needs through her eyes has really given me a heart for that country. During her time in Haiti she met Roberteau Desilhomme who grew up in a village in the Mountains of Haiti called Fond Baptiste. Roberteau and his wife Carolyn have taken first aid and cultural development and amazingly were given an unfinished building to be used as a medical clinic. They are now in need of supplies to make the building usable. They have a doctor, and a few nurses willing to give of their time. Together they will help to care for physical and spiritual needs of those who come through the clinic.

My friend will be visiting Haiti again this summer, along with some others from my church who went last summer constructing a roof for the clinic, and will bring any funds raised to be sure they are used to help with this clinic. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Roberteau this year, his passion for his ministry is very inspiring and I wish to do whatever I can to help.

I have found that I am WAY more productive and inspired to keep creating product to sell when I know it can help someone in need. It feels much more purposeful.

Kids from Haiti

3) Do you have any advice for someone who is looking to raise money for a charitable organization through their craft or handmade store?

I have participated in fundraising events like auctions and live music shows. It is a lot of work and sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get people to donate items and/or their time but it’s definitely worth it. Fundraising events are a great way to raise money if you’re willing to do the work.

The only advice I have at this point (I’m pretty new at this) for someone interested in crafting for a cause is, please just do it. There are so many people in need in this world. What we spend a week for coffee could save someone’s life, so even if you sold one thing, that could change someone’s world. It seems like a selfless act, but really, it will totally bless you too.

Thanks Jessica, for sharing your story!

Etsy store

Be sure to check out Jessica’s website, blog, and Etsy shop, where 100% of the proceeds go to help the clinic in Fond Baptiste, Haiti.

Giveaway!

Craft Buds is so impressed with Jessica’s mission and quality handcrafted bags that we are giving away this adorable bag from her shop to one lucky reader!

Handmade Bag

To enter:

1. Visit A Winding Road on Etsy. Leave a comment telling us your favorite bag! (1 entry)

2. For a bonus entry, follow Jessica’s blog and leave another comment. (1 entry)

3. If you make a purchase from Jessica’s shop, come back here and leave 2 comments! (2 bonus entries, and a huge warm/fuzzy feeling)

That’s 4 possible entries! This giveaway closes on Friday, July 15 at 11:59pm (EST). Giveaway open worldwide; one winner will be chosen via Random.org.

Reversible Sewing Machine Cover

You sewing machine does so much for you. Why not give it a little present?

I made a reversible sewing machine cover in some of my favorite fabrics, including Japanese Echino (the bicycles print) and Momo’s Wonderland (the scissors print), plus some Kona solids. The front incorporates improvisation piecing, and the back is a bold plus-sign design. This is an intermediate to advanced sewing project which incorporates techniques such as machine quilting and working with fusible fleece and bias tape.

Want to make a little jacket for your sewing machine?

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Supplies:

  • Fabric Scraps
  • Fusible Fleece (1 yard, or 30 inches if you’re buying from the bolt). You can also use regular quilt batting, but you’ll need more pins to hold it in place.
  • Rotary Cutter, mat and ruler
  • 1 package of Extra-Wide Bias Tape (3 yards) or make your own bias tape
  • Matching Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron
  • Sewing pins

Choose coordinating fabrics. You’ll want a couple pieces that are a quarter-yard or a little larger, and some scraps to liven up the design.

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For the plus-sign design, cut your pieces as follows:

Fabric A (off-white): 10 (3.5″ x 3.5″), 8 (6.5″ x 3.5″), 4 (9.5″ x 3.5″)
Fabric B (bicycles print): 2 (9.5″ x 3.5″), 4 (3.5″ x 3.5″)
Fabric C (scissors print): 2 (9.5″ x 3.5″), 4 (3.5″ x 3.5″)
Fabric D (purple): 1 (9.5″ x 3.5″), 2 (3.5″ x 3.5″)

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Arrange your pieces with the purple plus-sign in the middle, and the other plus-signs to each corner. Fill in the blank spots with solid white.

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Start sewing together each long row on your machine. Once the rows are joined, pin together and sew each row side by side, starting at the center (purple plus-sign). Trim your edges.

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Your finished block should look like this.

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You’ve finished one side! Now on to the other side, which uses a technique of improvisational piecing.

Start piecing a few blocks together, and machine stitch right sides together along one edge. Use your rotary cutter to trim off rough edges, and add another piece. It’s okay to make diagonal cuts, which increases the wonkiness of the design. (Here, I pieced the scissors and purple prints, then added the white to one edge before trimming.

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Next, I added a large green block. Then I added white along an entire side and trimmed.

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Keep adding pieces until your block is the same size (or a little larger) than the plus-sign piece.

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To make the design more interesting, you can slice right through some of the blocks you’ve sewn together. Add in a strip of another color (I chose purple), stitch along both sides, and trim edges.

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Eventually, you’ll end up with something like this:

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Test it out on your sewing machine and see how it fits. (When you quilt the layers together, it will naturally “shrink” just a bit, so start out with a piece that’s a few inches longer than the machine.)

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Here are both pieces after I trimmed the edges to make them the same size.

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Next, you’ll want to cut a piece of fusible fleece to the size of one patchwork rectangle. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to iron on the fleece to the back (wrong) side of the plus-sign piece, making sure no stray threads are sandwiched between the layers (these may be visible through the white on the finished product if you leave them in). Repeat with the improv pieces side.

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Once you’ve iron the fleece to both patchwork pieces (wrong sides), stack the two pieces with fleece sides together, like this. Trim sides to match.

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Pin together the two sides and begin to machine quilt long, straight lines down the seams of the plus-sign side.

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This is what the quilted cover looks like now. Next, you’ll add bias tape to finish the edges. Make sure you buy the extra wide, double fold type.

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Begin to pin the bias tape to edges of cover, sandwiching all raw edges inside bias tape.

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I rounded the corners of my cover by using a drinking glass and my rotary cutter. Machine stitch the binding around the edges. I used my fingers to hold the bias tape taut, and didn’t rely solely on the pins to hold it in place. This is especially true around the corners, where you’ll want to stitch slowly.

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When you get to the end, fold under one edge of the bias tape, and hold tightly to sew a smooth finished edge. Turn the project and sew a perpendicular stitch to fasten down the flap all the way to the edge.

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Next, you’ll want to make the ties. With the remaining bias tape (several inches), open and cut in half length-wise, then cut both in half width-wise. You should now have four pieces of the same length.

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Sew a wide zig-sag stitch on these single-folded ties to keep them from unraveling.

Place the cover on your sewing machine, and mark the strap placement with pins. Fold under the edge and sew ties in place with a forward and backward stitch.

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You’re done! Here’s the plus-sign design facing out.

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Here’s the back of the improv pieced side. I like how the detail in white looks like a mod sewing machine.

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Here’s the front of the improv pieced side. This is my favorite overall look, and yours can be totally personalized and unique if you follow my basic steps of improv piecing detailed above.

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Side view:
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The great thing about this sewing machine cover is that you can change the look with your mood. Simply slip off the cover and fold it inside-out!

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If you use this tutorial, please share a link to your project in the comments or add to our Flickr group. We’d love to see it!

Fresh Picks for Wednesday, 7.6.11

Lavender Sachets

Sachet, Shante: Aren’t they gorgeous? You’ll never guess what Lisa whips up out of these colorful dyed doilies and bright gingham fabric. Check out the tutorial at A Spoonful of Sugar.

everything etsy directory

The Best Things in Life… Are free, like listing your Etsy store or supplies shop at the Everything Etsy directory. Upgrade to a premium listing or check out the sites blog hosting options for a one-stop solution for your crafty business!

Dressed Up: Midwestern Sewing Girl Jackie really knows how to set a table! Just look at these transportation-themed place mats she stenciled with her kids. Get the tutorial here.

Accuquilt Giveaway Ruffle Pillow Tutorial

Round and Round: If you didn’t win the Accuquilt, check out another GO! Baby Giveaway at Bugglebee! Also, check out Mary’s darling Rosette Ruffle Pillow Tutorial while you’re there.

Thanks for checking out this week’s Fresh Picks!
Weekly Giveaways Linky
| Submit Your Project

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