Month: March 2007

Free Fabric Friday

It is Friday, right?  My daughter has been on Spring Break for 2 weeks, and I’ve lost track of…well, just about everything.     This week we have a Surprise Bag for three people.  It will include 6 different fat quarters.  It’s all lovely, trust me.  Please comment with a sewing tip that really helped you.  How to turn a tube, anchor a button or mend a tear.  It doesn’t matter if they are tried and true methods that your Grandma taught you, or if you just made it up yourself.  We’ll take comments through the weekend and post the winners...

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March Flickr Pool Winner

Yesterday was the drawing for the winner of this month’s SMS Flickr group prize.  We put the names in the hat and drew Samantha, know as dwelldeep on Flickr. Â  Samantha posted some lovely photos, included a picture of this cool dress. You can read Samantha’s Dwell Deep blog and see some of her handmade things (including some very charming drawings) in her etsy shop. Â  Samantha wins a $25 gift certificate to Sew,Mama,Sew!  Congratulations! For your chance to win a gift certificate, simply share a photo of one of your sewing projects with our Flickr pool some time in the next month.  We only enter each name once, so whether you share 1 photo or 20, you have the same chance of winning.  (I just happened to notice that we also hit 100 members yesterday!  Check it out–some very inspiring...

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Flickr Group Feature

Girl’s Dress by Erica, Pumkinlittle Erica created this stunning dress with Moda’s Paint by Numbers fabric (Erin Michael). She sells her beautiful clothing for children (and bags for their mamas) through her Pumkinlittle site, eBay and Blossom Street. Erica founded Pumkinlittle in 2002 after the birth of her daughter. She is primarily self-taught in her sewing and, as Erica says, she loves simple style and gorgeous fabrics. Erica designs incredible clothing, she has four children and she also has a blog, Bits and Pieces of a Happy Life. The photos of her children on the blog and her Flickr site will leave you in a state of awe. Girl’s Dress by Erica, Pumkinlittle Now that you’re beyond inspired, find some more of Erin Michael’s Moda prints here. Be sure to share what you create with our Sew, Mama, Sew Flickr...

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Readers’ Favorite Tutorials Part 2

We now present (Ta da!) a continuation of easy links to Readers’ Favorite Sewing Tutorials! Did you miss the first installment? Check here and then come right back because today you’ll be inspired to make a bag (or two or three) and you might just learn something new with these projects focused on sewing techniques and quilting. Let us know if you have other favorites to include! BAGS: Tote Bag Mariko at Super Eggplant has a popular Tote Bag tutorial with very easy instructions and photos. Patchwork Bag Autum from Creative Little Daisy was inspired to create a Patchwork Bag from a bag she found in a Japanese craft book, Machine Made Patchworks. She looked at the photos, made some adaptations and then shared her process with all of us! Tiny Happy Shoulder Bag The Tiny Happy Shoulder Bag tutorial comes to you from New Zealand (and Melissa at Tiny Happy!). It’s not really all that tiny but the bag will certainly make you happy! Drawstring Bag Amy from Happythings wanted to make a Drawstring Bag and had a hard time getting it right at first. After finally asking her mother for some guidance, she figured it out and kindly passed her techniques on with this handy tutorial. Mama Backpack The Happythings Mama Backpack builds on the techniques in Amy’s Happythings drawstring bag tutorial. The full creative process is...

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Lucky Number 14

Well, that was a lot of fun.  Thanks to everyone who commented about the book and their parenting values. Â The winner this week is Mo.  Congratulations–I hope you love the...

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Free BOOK Friday

Instead of the usual free fabric, this week I’d like to give away an amazing book to one lucky person.  This book has absolutely nothing to do with sewing, but it does have to do with being a Mama (which, as you can tell from the name of the business, is a huge part of my life.)  I don’t usually write about myself, but I feel I should give a little background about why I’m giving this book away and how truly great I think it is. My husband and I are lucky enough to be sending our daughter to a wonderful school...

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Flickr Group Feature

Lunch bags by Tracy, Jumilla Bugs We’re starting a new feature on the SMS blog. Each week we’ll highlight a project in the Sew, Mama, Sew Flickr Pool. Our first project by Tracy of Jumilla Bugs utilized SMS oilcloth and she didn’t just create these beautiful bags. Tracy explained, step-by-step, how you can make your very own oilcloth lunch bag (or two or ten)! Tracy keeps busy; her Jumilla Bugs blog is a beautiful collection of craft and glimpses into her family life. She makes some amazing things and has just joined a new collaborative blog Sew Green where she recently wrote about starting anew in her yard with native plants. Tracy takes beautiful photos and shares them here. Wherever you find Tracy you’re sure to be impressed and inspired. Tracy wrote about her lunch bags on her blog here, and shared her pattern with you here. For your oilcloth you should, of course, stop by here! Be sure to share your own creations in the Sew, Mama, Sew Flickr Pool. Each month we have a drawing from the pool entries for a $25 SMS gift certificate (you could get a little...

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Readers’ Favorite Sewing Tutorials Part 1

The craft world is full of wonderful, free patterns and tutorials. Here are some of our reader favorites. Do you have anything new to add to the list? Write a comment and we’ll check with the author to see if we can include it in our compilation. We’re starting with softies and other fun things to make. Check back soon for our compilation of favorite sewing techniques, links to help with quilting and favorite bag tutorials. Now go explore and sew! SOFTIES: Wee Bunny Hillary Lang from Wee Wonderfuls has many fun, easy patterns available on her site. We love the Wee Bunny and all of the variations we’ve seen. After downloading the pattern head over to the Wee Bunny group on Flickr for some more inspiration. Felt Monsters Nina created this Flickr tutorial for making stuffed Felt Monsters. Her blog Informationi Inutili features more of her creations and illustrations (it helps a little if you understand Italian!). Design Your Own Softie Michal of Yarn and Coffee created a Flickr softie tutorial to help people with the steps as you design Your Own Softies. Owly Tutorial Sophia was seven when she created this Owly, and she worked with her mother to create a tutorial. Her mother Lizette’s work is really the product of family collaboration; for more you can visit Lizette’s site. FUN THINGS TO MAKE: Luggage Tag Colleen...

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Pattern Review ~ In-Town Bag #2

From Kristin: This pattern review was written by Beth. You can read her introduction here. This is the second of 2 reviews for this pattern.   Pattern In-Town Bags by Amy ButlerBag #2–Drawstring Purse Description The pattern has instructions and measurements for making a 10″ wide x 14″ tall drawstring bag with handles. It also includes one full size pattern for the Smart Handbag (separate review), a 10″ x 10″ bag with handles and a very “finished” look. Materials 1st Coordinating Fabric: 1/8 yard of 44″ mid-weight cotton (handles and drawstring) 2nd Coordinating Fabric: 1/4 yard of 44″ mid-weight cotton (top section) 3rd Coordinating Fabric: 1/8 yard of 44″ mid-weight cotton (middle section) 4th Coordinating Fabric: 1/4 yard of 44″ mid-weight cotton (bottom section) 5th Coordinating Fabric: 1/3 yard of 44″ mid-weight cotton (lining) 22″ each of two different ribbons Scrap of fusible interfacing 1 spool of coordinating thread Overall Design The design is simple and lends itself well to embellishment and alterations for unique bags. It’s a good, easy design. The inside of the bag can look a little bunchy with all of the seams hidden by the lining, but if you press it well it makes for a nice bag. Some pockets on the lining would help with a little in-purse organization (something I know I always need). Written Instructions The written instructions are excellent. They are clear...

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Pattern Review ~ In-Town Bag #1

From Kristin: This pattern review was written by Beth. You can read her introduction here.   Pattern In-Town Bags by Amy ButlerBag #1–Smart Handbag Description The pattern includes one full size pattern for the Smart Handbag, a 10″ x 10″ bag with handles and a very “finished” look. It also includes instructions and measurements for making a 10″ wide x 14″ tall drawstring bag with handles (separate review.) Materials Exterior fabric: 1/2 yard of 44″ mid- to heavyweight cotton* Interior fabric: 1/2 yard of 44″ mid-to heavyweight cotton* 1/8 yard of 13″ wide Timtex** 1 yard heavyweight sew-in interfacing 1 spool of coordinating thread optional buttons & ribbon for closure*see notes about amount of fabric in the review **see notes about Timtex in the review Overall Design The design is very good and precise. You could easily modify the handles and closures to make variations, but the pattern is quite good for a little handbag. It’s not a hold-extra-diapers-wipes-sippy-cup-wallet- pens-makeup-everything-else-Mama purse, but it’s a “Smart Handbag” and looks good. The pockets inside help keep everything organized.     Written Instructions The written instructions were excellent. Any time I ran into trouble I would double-back to reread and usually the pattern seemed to state a tip in BOLD letters that specifically addressed how to avoid the mistake I just made. I had just missed it. I tried to be good and precise...

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Introduction..Beth

From Kristin: For the past few months Beth and I have been corresponding in various ways–she as a customer of SMS; me as a big fan of her blog; she as a volunteer pattern reviewer; me as an overworked mama looking for some help. Beth makes beautiful things, which she sells in her shop, Kitchen Table Mama, and she is a wonderful writer. I’ve asked her to write for the Sew,Mama,Sew! blog on a regular basis and I’m ecstatic that she has agreed. She’s started off by compiling all of the tutorials that were suggested by readers, and she’s also written a great review of the Amy Butler In-Town Bags pattern. Look for those things in the coming week. Welcome, Beth! Beth’s Introduction: Life has changed a lot (in a good way) since our little guy arrived a year and a half ago. I used to teach 25 first graders each year; now I spend my days looking for pinecones, dancing on the rug, snuggling under blankets with a stack of board books and strolling around town looking for crocus blooms. In the evenings, after the boy is asleep, I create! Most of my creations are for the boy, for family and for kiddo friends when they celebrate big days (1! 2! 3!) but the rest goes into my little shop. I try to keep track of it all...

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Pattern Review ~ Betty Shopper

From Kristin: This pattern review was written by Bethany. You can read her introduction here.   Pattern Betty Shopper by Amy Butler Description Extra-large tote style handbag Materials Main Fabric: 1.5 yards Lining fabric: 2.5 yards 1 1/8 cotton canvas 1 3/4 yards Timtex( or in my case similar extra heavy duty sewn in stabilizer Finishing: 4 extra large eyelets or grommets, 1 Spool coordinating thread. Overall Design I made the smaller Betty which is still a sizable 25 inches across the bottom.The bag is just darling in it’s shape and I felt it would make a perfect tote for summer for the mags, handcrafts, and sunscreen.. ( Also it would be a really cute knitting bag.) I made mine using the quilting cotton recommendations and it is as light as a summer breeze. The main draw back design-wise is the small top opening, and lack of smaller interior pockets to corral smaller items. Both are pretty easy to fix. The best thing about the bag is it will hold my water, magazine lunch, embroidery, and suncreen and probably even a light sweater in impeccable style.. and I didn’t even make the big version !! Written Instructions The written instructions for this pattern are very clear and detailed. Obviously written to keep even a novice out of trouble on their project. Diagrams / Images There were lots of nice diagrams...

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Introduction…Bethany, aka “Bitter Betty”

From Kristin:  Bethany wrote a review for the Amy Butler Betty Shopper sewing pattern, which is coming up next.  You absolutely have to check out Bethany’s blog, Bitter Betty Blogs. She makes amazing things, takes great photos, and always makes me laugh. Some of her beautiful handmade goods are for sale in her shop. From Bethany: Previous to my rather delux gig as a full time crafter and  adolecent’s chauffer, I was a fashion stylist and display trimmer for an upscale department store. I am happily living in the woods in California and currently devoting  my craft time to using vintage patterns to create a new...

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FFF Winners

I asked my daugther to choose two numbers between 1 and 20. That means the winners are Meg and Joanna.   Thanks, everyone.  I have a very special surprise for this Friday.  It has nothing to do with sewing, but it does have to do with being a Mama, so please stop by....

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Free Fabric Friday

If you haven’t heard yet, the third installment of Sandy Klop’s Building Blocks group is being shipped to stores.  I just love the way the three collections–Building Blocks, Basic Building Blocks, and Peas & Carrots–have complimented each other.  It has been so fun to see all the different ways these prints are being put to use.  We just received some of the Peas and Carrots prints, as well as a few more Basic Building Blocks.  We’ve put together a cheerful pack of six red and orange fat quarters, which we’ll give to two lucky winners.  Random drawing this week,...

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Free Fabric Friday winners

Wow! What a lot of fantastic tutorials you’ve found out there! We’ll compile them into a user-friendly format and post them later this week. In the mean time, here are the winners of one yard of fabric: Melissa, Megan, Ali and...

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Pattern Review ~ Kitchen Kouture

This great review was written by Kelly (Modern June.). Check out Kelly’s Modern June blog and Modern June shop for beautiful totes, aprons, bibs and other fun stuff. Pattern Kitchen Kouture by Linda Flake Description Indygo Junction, Inc. IJ734 One size fits most Materials View 2 3/4 yard of 44″-45″ fabric for apron 2/3 yard of 44″-45″ fabric for accent 7/8 yard of ric rac (I did not use the ric rac this time) Overall Design The over all design is great. I only gave it 4 starts because of the pockets. I just did not like the look of the finished pockets. They are too high and too small for my tastes. I have two young children and I am constantly picking up Legos, Magnetix and trash. I could not do my regular collection of household junk in this apron! I also think that if the pockets did not overlap the waistband the apron would look more polished. It would create a nice slim waist. When I make this apron again I will reshape the pocket making it bigger and then I will drop it down into the main body of the apron.   Another thing I would change would be the length. I feel it is a bit long for me. But if your tall this would be perfect. I am 5’4″ and it goes to mid knee...

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Introduction…Kelly, aka Modern June

Note from Kristin: Kelly is one of our pattern reviewers. Check out Kelly’s Modern June blog and Modern June shop for beautiful totes, aprons, bibs and other fun stuff. From Kelly: After a career in Costuming for Film and Theatre I began to play around with working for my self at home when I had our first child. Today I am a stay-at-home-homeschooling momma of two great kids. I have a great old home and a cute husband. In an effort to organize my creative energy I started Modern June. I love all things vintage, ric-rac and the word “housewife”! I say: Always be Creative. Updated to add: Kelly now has an Oilcloth Addict shop and blog, for all things...

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Free Fabric Friday

First, the prize:  We’re giving away one yard of fabric of your liking to four people.  That’s right, you can choose anything in the shop!  Oilcloth, cotton, minkee or chenille–your choice! To qualify, please comment with a link to your favorite online sewing tutorial or free sewing pattern.  The winners will be the four people who submit tutorials that knock our socks off! (In the event of multiple submissions of the same link, we’ll draw the names from a hat.) Â We’ll take comments all weekend and announce the winners on Monday.  A little peek at a corner of the shop. [tags]free fabric, fabric contest, sewing tutorials,...

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