Recently in Free Category
February 19, 2014
We are constantly getting new, beautiful fabric and yarn stock in at fabric.com so I wanted to take this opportunity to reintroduce you to our free knitting pattern downloads by pairing them up with some of our newest stock of yarn. Since most you are still in winter's grips it is nice to explore something new if you have cabin fever. For those of us getting a taste for spring's rapid approach (it was in the 70's in Atlanta the other day), we have a taste for brighter colors. So new is needed all around; check it out with me.
Autumn Stars Sock Pattern: more like Spring Stars so let's knit these socks up in brighter hues and sequins.
Beach Pillow Knitting Pattern: Spring Break is coming and many of you will head to the beach. Coordinate this pillow to match your beach blanket or swimsuit in Cotton yarn.
Belle Handwarmers: Who needs handwarmers in spring? Anyone who works in an office, early mornings or night shift. But knit them up in a softer shade and some pima cotton and alpaca.
September Shawl: This is my favorite of the free pattern downloads I've designed for fabric.com. I have made it as teacher presents and gifted it to friends. I love working it in different yarns, fibers, and sheens. This cotton metallic yarn works up with a soft hand and nice drape, espcially if you go up one needle size. The metallic sheen means you can wear this to glam up your tunic and jeans or over a little black dress for a night out.
January 24, 2014
We work hard and when it's time to relax we want to do that hard as well. When we go to work we wear work clothes, when we go someplace nice we wear nice clothes and when we relax we wear relaxing clothes.
I don't mess around with my lounge clothes. I want soft. I want comfy. I also want cute; it makes me feel good. But, and please bear with me, I don't always want yoga pants. Wait, don't stop reading. The only reason I say that is because sometimes, just sometimes, I want a slimmer fit. Some days, I am clumsy and the wider leg of my yoga pants is not condusive to walking, running after kids or even watching a good movie. So I created an alternative version for those days. You decided for yourself or better yet make both so you can have another reason to relax.
I started with my previous yoga pants pattern that we drafted back here but from the just above the knee down I tapered the leg all the way down to the ankle taking off an 1.5'' on the inside and outside of each leg. This is not enough to give the pant a tapered look when wearing, it appears as a straight leg when worn. I cut the pattern pieces out of ITY Jersey Knit Fabric and stitched the two front pieces together at the crotch. All seams are 1/4'' unless otherwise noted.
Next, cut 4 patch pockets from printed Jersey Knit Fabric using this pattern piece and with right sides together stitch two pieces together leaving the top open for turning. Press. You can finish the top with your serger, bias trim or fold over and top stitch. Repeat for second pocket. Pin pockets to the front of your pants 1'' from the top and 1.5'' from the center seam. Top stitch each pocket in place.
Finish assembling the pants by sewing the two back pieces together at the crotch seam (right sides together) then stitch the side seams, inseam and assemble the yoga band and stitch it to the top of the pants. (see this previous post for instructions). Finish the bottom legs with a turned hem.
Now cut four pieces of 1/4'' elastic to 4'' long. With pants right side out, pin one piece of elastic 1'' above bottom hem on the side seam. Using a small zig zag stitch (your machine may have a elastic zig zag stitch, see your manual) start sewing about 1/2'' from the edge of the elastic, back stitching in place. Sew for about 1/4'' then start stretching the elastic. Keep sewing and stretching until you reach the last 1/2'' of elastic then back stitch in place and clip your threads. Repeat for the remaining piece on that leg and the other 2 pieces of elastic on the other leg. This will give you a ruched effect at the bottom of each leg.
These lounge pants are just the thing for hanging out, running errands, making sure you don't look like you just rolled out of bed to drop off your kids at school though you totally did, pajama pants, and yoga pants. Add your own style with different pocket shapes or add length to your pants and increase the length of the elastic for a greater ruching effect. The pockets are just the right size to fit an MP3 player, cell phone, lip balm or to hide chocolate candies which you can eat unseen during a movie.
January 9, 2014
I love casseroles. I really really love them. While I do love to cook I am not about 30 ingredients and several hours of tastings and seasonings. I love chopping a few things, throwing them in a dish and tossing that into the oven. 20-40 minutes later I expect my nose to be in ecstasy and shortly there after my belly to be full and happy. Soooo, since I am such a casserolian I realized one day that I need a mode of transportation for my beloved one dish wonders. The glass lids on my corningware are not suitable for car trips so I improvised something that ended up doing the job but was a one-way venture only. I was lucky enough to be dropping off a casserole to a friend who happened to have a casserole carrier she inherited from her grandmother. I stole it quickly and used it until it disintergrated. In this post I will remake this carrier and show you how to make your own to fit your casserole dishes. I made mine out of only lightweight cotton but feel free to add insultating batting.
1) Grab your biggest casserole dish and place it on a large sheet of paper (I used the butt end of a roll of newspaper print) and trace your dish, rounding any sharp edges. Next, measure the height of your dish, divide it in half and add that all around your traced shape. Add your seam allowance (I prefer 1/2'') all around. Cut out your pattern piece.
2) On a fold piece of quilting cotton (I used Clothworks), trace your pattern piece and cut it out. You should have 2 pieces, a top and a bottom. Set your bottom piece aside. On your top piece, measure and mark 3.5'' in all around your piece. With a fabric marker connect all these marking until you have a shape similar to your top piece. Cut it out so you have a hole in the middle of your top piece and the remaining top piece is 3.5'' wide.
3) Cut 2 straps 15'' long by 4'' wide. Fold strap in half lengthwise and press. Open and fold each long side toward the center and press. Fold the strap in half again with raw long edges tucking toward the center fold and press again. Top stitch down the strap on both sides. Repeat for second strap. Fold your top piece in half along the length and mark the center. Pin each strap short end 2-3'' from the center mark on either side of the center mark, matching the raw short ends with the outside edge of the top piece. Baste straps in place. With wrong sides together, pin and stitch the top piece to the bottom piece.
4) Cut 4 yds of 2'' wide bias trim from a coordinating solid quilting cotton and 1 yd of 4'' wide bias trim. Press both trim pieces into a double fold. Using the 2'' trim apply it to the outside raw edge of the casserole carrier. Apply the 4'' bias trim to the inside hole of the casserole carrier leaving a 2'' gap for the drawstring. Serge or zig zag stitch the remaining 2'' bias trim to use as the drawstring. Thread it through the casing your created with the 4'' bias trim with a bodkin or a safety pin. Knot each end several times until the knot is bigger than the opening. Place your casserole in your carrier and pull the drawstring. It will tighten the whole carrier around your dish to secure it and the lid in place. This carrier can adjust to any shape dish. I've used mine for oblong and round. It is great and very handy.
December 13, 2013
If you are like me I am still trying to get everyone on my list a little something homemade. Luckily, my family all knows how much I love them everyday so they are at the bottom of my list and my daughter's teachers are at the top. Even though I tell them all the time how much I adore them I also know how much they give and sacrifice to give my daughter a great education so I place them at the top of my "homemade list".Also at the top are all my hostess friends who work so hard to make my holiday season festive. Everyone's list is long so the only way to get it all done is to pick great gifts that pack a punch. I love tote bags, cowls and sweet little details for those really special givers in our lives.
For my teacher/hostess gifts I chose to make a chic but simple cowl, a quick but so cute tote bag and a super sweet little girl's dress. The cowl makes the perfect hostess gift because you can wrap it around a bottle of wine and its use goes beyond the party. I learned to make this cowl from Craftsy's Beginner Serging class but it is basically two 60'' wide fabric pieces serged together. It is so easy but so lux. There is knit on the inside and twill print on the outside.
For a teacher gift I made the Pleated Shoulder Bag from Amy Carol's Bend the Rules Sewing. This is a great book for quick, creative gifts. I had previous cased out my teacher's handbag to determine her style but I wasn't sure I had the time to take on a really great handbag project. I opted for a super great tote bag instead; something every teacher can use. This bag came together with 1/2 yd of each fabric: Organic Cotton in Gray and Denyse Schmidt Cotton Print. This tote carries a lot and looks great doing it. It goes together pretty fast and it is easy to customize. The large gussets help it to accomodate lots of books, games or tasty treats.
Finally for my daughter's head teacher I made something for her own daughter. She has a 2 yr old who is very dear to her and I wanted to make something special since she is always admiring my little one's dresses. I casually asked about her daughter's favorite colors and when I found this pink dog print I knew I had struck gold. I modified the back for a zipper for ease and added a tie to the back so there would be a big pink bow on the back for cutness. You can't go wrong with an Oliver + S pattern.
For those of you still scrambling or looking for more quick gifts check out our other great gifts blog posts here.
December 10, 2013
Around the office, we are buzzing about all the really cool fabrics for kids of all ages we have in stock right now. We are dreaming up quick gift ideas, and the one that keeps coming up is to make pillowcases with a theme. Sew4Home has a great Sleepover Pillowcase project that's quick and easy. Here are just a few of the really cool prints we have: Peanuts, Star Trek, Star Wars, Marvel Comics, Family Guy, Angry Birds, Strawberry Shortcake, Sesame Street, The Big Bang Theory and Hello Kitty. Check out the Famous Character Cotton Print fabrics if you want to see all the great prints of characters you know and love.
November 28, 2013
It's officially time to churn out some gifts, especially if you like to keep a few around. (I also like to make a few small things for myself while I work on gift projects.) And one of the projects I'm making this year is a simple little travel roll for keeping makeup brushes organized when you're going glam on the road.
This one makes use of a free pattern download from our friends at Hot Patterns! It uses the outer section piece from the Bijoux Baby Jewelry Roll pattern. For my makeup brush roll, I untaped this piece at the join and retaped it so it's not as long, but if you or the person you're making this project for has a lot of makeup brushes, you might want it wider than mine.
November 26, 2013
Tis the season for hostess gifts which are one of my favorite gifts to make and give. I love reciprocating when I've been invited for a good time and good food. One of the best gifts to give is an apron. An apron doesn't need to be sized, is easy to make and easy to customize with colors, details and embellishments. I saw this version at Target a few weeks ago and fell in love. My family spends Thanksgiving and Christmas at my parents' house and twice my mom creates an incredible meal in which I usually repay by cleaning the kitchen. This year I thought I would step up my game and make her a beautiful apron as well, in her favorite color: pink.
November 13, 2013
If you sew and you have not heard of Burda Style then it must be because you are new (then you would have discovered Burda shortly), live under a rock (in this case you probably don't read this blog either) or don't own a computer (see previous). It is, quite simply, an awesome resource for sewing. And when I use the word "awesome" I mean it literally- it inspires awe. I have not written about it before because I have been referencing Burda Style for so long that I guess I have taken it for granted. It is my go-to resource for techniques, fashion/project inspiration and general time-filling while I have an idle minute.
I recommend checking out all the sections of the Burda Style blog which are listed below. I have a few favorites myself which are the Fashion & Trends and Guest Columns.
- Editors' Pick
- Fashion & Trends
- Backstage Report
- Web Seminars
- DIY to Try
- Mandie's Picks
- Denise's Desk
- Meg's Magazine Mash Up!
- Featured Member
- Guest Columns
- Comment to Win
- Monthly Memo
- BurdaStyle Sewing Vintage Modern
- Sewing Techniques
If you don't use Burda for the sewing resourses, tutorials, videos or inside tips then use it for the Fashion & Trends. Oh, the fashion! There are many free and purchase patterns available through Burda Style's blog but there are also tons of pictures, modifications and fabric ideas to be had. This is especially true around fashion week when you can expect a slurry of posts referencing your favorite designers and some Burda Pattern recomendations. I love this and always have it open along with a Fabric.com window so I can match fabric as well.
Another of my frenquented spots on Burda Style blog is definitely the Guest Column section. It is like a fresh take on Burda Style. Not that Burda Style is stale but it is all the style you expect from Burda but in a different voice and with a different spin. I liken it to discovering that your favorite author's best friend is also an author in the same genre. Double Jackpot! I enjoy the different voices and viewpoints and love the modifications on my favorite patterns.
November 6, 2013
The secret to my success is not skill or creativity, it is my mom. She is among other great things my main babysitter and without her many of these projects would still be sketches on paper, unintelligible thoughts in Evernote or dreams that I keep captured in my head. So when she said she wanted a cushion for her window seat and that it should be smushy, cozy, and make you want to flop down and read a book, I said "Of course. I'm on it". We were able to translate smushy, etc into a picture of an old-fashioned horsehair mattress, which includes many imperfections in stuffing and tufting (Oh joy, I muttered sarcastically). The window seat is 101'' long by 24'' wide which is pretty hefty but perhaps your's will be smaller and more enjoyable because of it. Here's what you will need to get started.
Fabric to fit your window seat (Choose a heavy weight fabric from our home decor section. It will hold up to the tufting and aforementioned flopping)
2'' thick medium density foam to fit window seat (Your finished cushion will be 3'' thick)
Poly fil stuffing (I actually pulled apart several old pillows. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)
High loft batting to fit cushion (again I reused an old fluffy blanket)
approx 10 yds of wool yarn for tufting
22'' zipper (or zipper need to insert foam into cushion)
Cut 2 pieces from your fabric using this formula (width of cushion + depth of cushion + seam allowance = A, length of cushion + depth of cushion + seam allowance = B) AxB. Add in your zipper to the middle back of both panels along the width using this tutorial. With right sides facing, continuing sewing around the rest of the cushion fabric becing careful to open the zipper a bit so you can turn it rightside out. But before you do turn it rightside out make the gussets. I added 3'' gussets since that is how thick I intended the cushion to be. Turn right side out and insert foam. Then spread the blanket on top of the foam and finally lightly (and I mean lightly) add stuffing on top of the blanket. The tufting will thicken it up and too much stuffing will prevent a good, deep tuft.
Using a long ruler and a pen mark the placements of your tufts. You can choose a square pattern like this or a diamond, off set like me. I laid mine out 6'' spacing in rows and each row was 8'' apart. Then I threaded my big needle and went down from the top and out the bottom. I left a small 14-1/2'' gap and went back up from the bottom. Remove the needle and cross your thread to make a knot and pull it tightly. Complete by knotting it 2 more times. Trim yout yarn to 1'' piece ends. These will fray and fuzz and look delightful. Once you complete your tufting you are done. Mine took about 2 hours just for the tufting but again it was a huge cushion. Get your self a nice coffee or ice cream, because you've earned it. Don't forget to dress your cushion with some cozy throw pillows, a warm blanket and a good book.
October 30, 2013
Everyone is looking for great, fab but easy to make girlfriend gifts. I always have a long list of little reasons to send a friend a small something for a thank you, thinking of you or because I spotted some fabric that would be just perfect for "so & so". One such project is my Anthro Inspired Corset Belt that is influenced by the beautiful corset belts at Anthropologie (one of my favorite stores, especially for holiday shopping and hostess gifts). They are heavily beaded this season and I have neither the inclination nor the time to commit to serious bead work though I love the look. Instead I choose to recreate the style with with fabric that looks beaded (Michael Miller Beadwork). In the spirit of Anthropologie I added a contrasting fabric in a bold print as an accent band (La Plaza Beaded Stripe) . If you lay the two fabrics next to each other you would probably never think to use them but they really work once all sewn up. I also took inspired from the Gathered Clutch Tutorial I used eariler this year because I loved that look.
To make your own Anthro Inspired Corset Belt you will need:
1 yd 3'' wide elastic
Start by measuring your waist where the belt will sit then dividing that number in half and adding 2'' (ex: waist is 30'', 30/2=15, 15+2=17), we'll call this number "A". This is the finished length of the fabric portion of the belt. Cut 1 piece from Michael Miller Beadwork that is the length of A by 4'' wide. Cut 1 piece from Michael Miller Beadwork that is twice A by 4'' wide. Baste 2 lines of stitches down the center of the longer piece and pull the bobbin thread to gather to the length of the shorted piece. Press gathers in place.
Cut 1 piece of interfacing to A long by 4'' wide. Fuse it onto the wrong side of the gathered Beadwork fabric. Set aside.
Cut 1 piece from La Plaza Beaded Stripe that is A long by 3" wide. Tri-fold and press this piece; it will be the center band. Pin band onto center of the gathered piece and top stitch in place down both long edges.
With right sides facing, sew both beadwork pieces together using a 1/2'' seam down both long edges. Turn right sides out and press. Tuck in the shorted ends and press.
Cut 1 piece of elastic to A- 4'' long (ex. A=17, 17-4= 13). Stick one end of the elastic in one open end of the beadwork piece, about 1/2''. Pin in place. Repeat for the other end. Top stitch both ends. Congrats! You are done. Wear your belt with your favorite outfits; it looks best cinching billowy shirts and dresses or over fitted shift dresses. Since it is elastic you don't need exact waist measurements. If you know the approx. size of your friend then you can create a lovely Anthro Inspired Corset belt for her in one afternoon. Have fun!