Sunday, April 2, 2017

Hopping into Spring

Are you in the mood for a little stitching? Easter will be here before you know it. Sometimes it's fun to have a holiday project at your finger tips when you have a minute to stitch. I have a free Happy Easter embroidery pattern over on Craftsy that you might want to check out.

It is very simple and a great project for a kid or a beginner at embroidery. It also comes with instructions on how to frame it with fabric to make a pretty Easter wall hanging.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Printable Fantasy Dragon Valentine's Cards

My niece Melinda is 13 and has been obsessed with dragons ever since I can remember. She reads about them, collects them, and loves to draw them. She came up with some fun ideas drew these amazing printable Valentine's cards.

 Aren't they clever?

I've listed them in my Etsy shop for her as a downloadable PDF file. Download it once and print as many as you like. 

Check them out and let me know what you think.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sweetly Gathered Round Hangbag

Hi sewing friends. Are you joining me for the Just for You Sewalong? We are sewing our way through the monthly chapters of Just for You: Selfish Sewing with Your Favorite SewCanShe Bloggers.  We just finished out January and I have a project share with you. Here's my Sweetly Gathered Round Hangbag!

This pattern from the book is designed by Delia Randall of Delia Creates. I love the style of it. And isn't this fabric dreamy? It's called Sinister Swarm Rayon Challis by Anna Maria Horner. The lining is Sunprint Arrows by Allison Glass.

These flexible handle hoops are made from brown faux-leather and they took A LOT of practice to make.

If you're making your handles too here are a few things I learned...
Make a practice handle! I can't stress this enough. I personally never want to spend more time on a project than I have to. But for this project your first handle will be a mess and your 2nd handle will look WAY better. You don't have to buy a third length of cording for your practice handle, just cut along your stitches and remove the vinyl from your 1st handle and use it for your third.

Be careful not to turn the edges under too much. This is easy to do. If you turn them under more than the recommended 1/4in there isn't enough room to sew, even with a zipper foot

Grease your vinyl with a swipe of sewing machine oil (usually comes with your machine). Spread a very thin layer on top of the vinyl along your sewing path. Wipe it off with a paper towel when you're done. I was so so amazed at what a difference this made. I think every machine handles sewing on vinyl differently. My last machine would always skip stitches on vinyl, this one just can't feed it through. But with the addition of just a little oil for lubrication it seriously sewed so much easier. See the difference in the photo below. These are my 2nd and 3rd handles I used the same stitch length on each of these handles. I cut the vinyl off the messy looking one and sewed up a new improved one to match. So, yes, I sewed 4 handles.

I haven't had a lot of sewing time over the last couple years, I just constantly get tugged and interrupted with all these kids running around and trying to be ready for the next part of our day. But, I'm determined to take more time to do the thing I love this year,sewing!.  So in order to accomplish this project I decided to break it down into doable steps and list them. I just worked on one part of the bag each night I got a chance to sit and sew. Sometimes I just got to sew 10 minutes at a time. "Baby steps" is my new sewing mantra. :) I can finish a project if I just do it in baby steps, even if I don't meet my deadline.

Anyway, I sure think it's pretty.

Come join our Facebook page and see what everyone else is making, Grab a book and sew along!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Pullover Toddler Bib Tutorial

Hi Sewing friends! A little while ago I sewed up some fun colorful bibs for my 2 year old and promised a tutorial to show you how I made them. Well today I'm sharing my Pullover Toddler Bib tutorial over on the blog.  They sent me the cutest fabrics to work with. When Tom saw me sewing with it he immediately pointed to the 3 little pigs and said "Look, piggies, mom".  Please click on over and check it out and let me know what you think. If you make some I would love to see, just tag me on Instagram @bluesusanmakes #pullovertoddlerbib, or send me an email.

This Tutorial is a variation on my original Pullover Bib tutorial found HERE.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Just for You Sewalong

Hello! It's January so Happy New Year!!! I'm so excited for this new year. I've had a couple of slow sewing years and I'm excited to sew more this year now that my baby is 2! He's 2 and I kind of can't believe it. My kids went back to school today so I'm back to blogging too.

Let's talk about New Year's re'sew'lutions. :)  Are YOU making any?

We are kicking off the yearly Just for You Sewalong this month and I wanted to pop in and make sure you knew all the details about it so you could join in the fun. Each month we will be sewing our way through pages of my book Just for You: Selfish Sewing with your Favorite SewCanShe Bloggers. (affliliate limk) We've rounded up amazing projects from some seriously talented contributors. The book is perfect for meeting all your sewing goals. It is organized into monthly chapters, with 2 projects to sew each month.  Choose to sew your favorite or go all out and make them all. Each project comes with an opportunity to learn a new skill or sew with a different type of fabric. Come show off your projects in our Just for You Sewalong Facebook Group. We have over 2000 members and would love to have you join us.  We love to cheer each other on.

In honor of our January kickoff you can purchase a signed copy from my Etsy shop for $18 plus Free Media Mail shipping. This price will be good through the end of January so get one while you can.

If you haven't had a chance to check out our book yet it has beautiful magazine like photos and helpful step by step photos that make the projects easy to sew. Check out what we are sewing in January.

 The Sweetly Gathered Round handbag is a lovely lightweight bag with no interfacing, a set in zipper pocket and comfortable flexible hoop handles you can sew yourself. The Chevron Shrug is cute and comfy and just perfect for throwing over your favorite t-shirt.  I'm working on gathering my fabrics for these projects and will be posting my fabric choices on the Sewalong FB page soon.

Come join us. Let's have some fun!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

New Pullover Bibs for the Toddler

Hi Sewing friends! I sewed something for my baby the other day...he is more like a toddler now and not so much like a baby. He had grown out of all his little bibs so it was high time I made him some new ones. Plus, I have a baby!! I should be sewing cute things for him!! (that's what I say to myself at least) I use my Pullover Baby Bib tutorial and changed it up a little to make them. Have a look.
Instead of using terry cloth I used a layer of minky fabric for the backing and a layer of printed cotton instead of an applique on the front.

I love how bright and colorful they are.  He loves that they have pictures he can recognize on them. The animal one is his favorite.

I keep them stuffed in the space between the chair and his booster seat so they are ready when he needs one.

I also used knit fabric for the neckband instead of ribbing. It didn't have quite as much stretch as the ribbing so I had to increase the length of the strip to 14'' instead of 11''. I'm hoping to write up a new tutorial soon.

He loves them all and reminds me to put one on him if I forget. To tell you the truth though, he didn't like them one bit at first. He kept trying to pull it off. 

Thank goodness he likes them now because they sure are cute, and so is he.

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Rag Doll Baby Tutorial

I teach music at church for the 3-12 year olds. I'm always trying to figure out a way to make it fun. We needed a little baby prop for a song they were learning so I scoured Pinterest of course to see if I could find a little hanky baby tutorial, or something along those lines. NO luck. Then I called my Mom who happens to be a crafting genius. She dug around in her files and sent me a picture of a Rag Doll pattern that she drew long long ago. It is really so cute but a little more involved than I wanted it to be. So I used the same kind a of design and came up with a super simple baby shape.

Okay it also looks like a ghost, but it worked out perfectly for the little kids to rock their tiny babies as they sang the little lullaby they were learning. Just in case you are curious I'm going to show you how to make these little 6 inch rag doll babies.
I started with  a 12 inch square of Minky or "Cuddle" fabric. Of course you could make them larger if you wanted to, just start with a larger square. Pleat the fabric folding it like an accordion about every inch. Minky fabric has a plush side and a smooth side. You'll want to pleat the fabric so the plush side faces to the front.

Fold the pleated strip in half. Tie an 8 inch piece of yarn around it about 1 1/2 inches away from the fold to create the head. If you loop the yarn through twice as you are tying your first knot it will stay cinched better.

Make the arms by taking the outermost fold and tucking the end under the tie inside the fold as shown.

Wrap the tails of the yarn around to the back and under each arm to help hold them in place. You could also use a needle and thread to stitch the arms in place if you want them to be more secure.

Tie the strings into a bow in the front.

You could leave it like this or tie the bottom to finish it off like I did.

And there you have it a little bunch of babies to cuddle and rock.