SMP Craft
30 Sep

How-To Tuesday: Make Your Own Label and Sweeten Your Life!

It’s my pleasure to introduce Kim Harrison… our guest blogger this week.

By day, Kim’s COO of Simon Sinek, Inc. By night (and often weekends) she transforms into… SUPER CRAFTER! Kim sews, crochets, and knits–quilts, blankets, afghans, aprons, plush baby toys, bags to hold liquor flasks… and she promises to share her projects with us throughout the year (yippee!) which means we have some fun cool crafts and insight to look forward to!

For this post, she encourages us to sweeten our lives by adding personal LABELS to our homemade projects. YES!

photo 3

Here’s how:

For years I talked about learning how to sew. I had some basic skills my mom and grandmother taught me, but didn’t really know how to do a project from scratch. About five years ago I received two amazing gifts for my birthday.  My boyfriend got me a sewing machine and my mom got me a serger.  This was the year I really began to experience the magic of crafting. I didn’t really have a choice! When you live in New York City, everything in your apartment has to be used and these two machines took up quite a bit of room. I couldn’t justify keeping anything that I don’t really use.

I currently spend two to ten hours a week working on sewing projects. Mainly gifts for people I love.  A few years ago my best friend Lissa suggested I make my own label for my projects.  It seemed like a silly idea being as though I don’t sell my wares, but I explored it with her anyway.  We came up with the idea that hand made gifts “sweeten your life” just a bit. We were working with a “sweeten your life” theme when one day she called me and said ‘Dab of Honey. A little honey just makes everything better.” I loved it!  We decided it would be our collective label.  Lissa isn’t much of a crafter, but she helps me pick fabrics, choose projects, and is the receiver of many of my homemade gifts.

I gotta admit, having my own little label makes a project feel polished.  It’s a nice little touch and I feel a great deal of pride when I see something I made at a friends house featuring this little tag. They are very inexpensive to produce and make a very special addition to any sewing project.photo 4A few tips:

1) Spend some time brainstorming about what theme or images inspire you. photo 1

2) Doodle away even if you don’t consider yourself good at drawing. The clearer you are on what you want, the cheaper and faster the design turnaround will be. If you don’t have a friend who is a designer (which I fortunately did), I suggest using one of the amazing design websites out there to help find someone, like 99designs.com. photo 2

3) There are countless options for labels. I ordered 100 labels made with satin/polyester for about $20. If you google “printed garment labels” or “fabric tag labels” you can explore fabrics, sizes and colors. Etsy has some fantastic options. I plan to use inkaprint for my next print run.

Make your own label. Sweeten your life!
Dab of Honey


For your serging needs, we think you’ll find Julia Hincks’ The Serger’s Technique Bible: The Complete Guide to Serging and Decorative Stitching incredibly useful.

9781250042729_FCAmazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books


Check out our new September and October titles!

3D_50-Ribbon-Rosettes-100x1453D_SewingMachineEmbroider-100x145

3D_Wild-Things-to-Sew-100x1453D_toteallyamazingbags-96x140

16 Sep

Happy Pub Day!

How excited are you to be dusting off that old box of coats you stored in the back of your closet last April?? If you’re anything like me, the answer is NOT VERY. But mostly that’s because my coats are purely functional, designed simply to minimize my whining when the weather gets frigid. Maybe it has something to do with my childhood growing up in Phoenix, where it rarely gets cold enough to warrant a stockpile of cute outerwear. But maybe if I’d been transformed into a lion or a fox every time I put my coat on, I’d have been more enthusiastic! (Does everyone think this way?)

But guess what: Inspiration is at hand! We’re thrilled to publish Molly Goodall’s delightful Wild Things to Sew and Wear: 15 Animal-Themed Garments and Accessories for Your Little Critters, on sale today.

Everyone has a little wildness inside; now you can make these charming animal-inspired designs so your children can have the fun of wearing it proudly on the outside! This collection of 15 animal-themed garments and accessories includes easy-to-follow patterns to suit all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, and in a range of sizes.

These are simple, bold, and playful clothes that your child won’t want to take off. Learn how to create adorable wearables in the shape of woodland animals, wild animals, and farm animals, including a lion or fox coat, an owl hat, a leopard skirt, kitten mittens, and more.

A comprehensive techniques section shows you how to lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric, transfer markings, and cut with confidence. The combination of classic tailoring techniques mixed with contemporary styling makes for timeless garments sure to be treasured for years. As an added bonus, a pattern CD is also included!

Author Molly Goodall has a background in childrenswear, toy design, and fine art, and earned a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons the New School for Design. She began to design and sew animal coats to encourage her two-year-old to wear his hood in the cold. This led to the 2010 launch of her whimsical kids clothing range, Little Goodall, using classic tailoring techniques mixed with contemporary styling to craft unique garments.

With this fun book, it can be Halloween for your kiddos all year round. Now that’s definitely something to be excited about!

 

Buy your copy today:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
iBooks
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our new September and October titles!

3D_50-Ribbon-Rosettes-100x1453D_SewingMachineEmbroider-100x145

3D_Wild-Things-to-Sew-100x1453D_toteallyamazingbags-96x140

 

Tagged with: animals, books, costumes, DIY, Sewing
7 Sep

Goodreads Giveaway: Game Day by Cindy Cummins

 

Friday night, I watched the Miami Marlins crush the Atlanta Braves in an 11-3 victory. I have no loyalties to either team, but I like the description ascribed to Miami–the fighting fish–and the font they use and their official team colors.

Miami-Marlins-Logo

Whether you’re in my camp, the side that enjoys an exciting well-played match and has affinities influenced by factors other than a particular loyalty to one team or another, or are at the other end and have, say, transformed your daughter’s room into a Chicago Cub’s den, we assure you that Cindy Cummins’ Game Day: 50 Fun Spirit Fleece Projects to Sew will be invaluable to you if not right this instant, then in the future. Game Day

At some point, you’ll find yourself searching for that perfect gift for the sports fanatic in your circle or headed to a frigid NFL football game and need to show support for your sweetheart’s favorite team but don’t own a bright green puffy jacket. It’s moments like these where you’ll be relieved to have Game Day in your library.

 Game Day includes fun and stylish fleece fabric projects, including items for the entire family (and pets!). The projects are designed to be fast and easy to make; few take more than an afternoon to complete, and many can be made in less than an hour. Fleece is wonderfully forgiving for the newbie sewer and comes in literally thousands of textures, colors, and prints.

And… guess what? You’re in luck. Our Goodreads Giveaway of Game Day starts today! Enter now for the chance to win one of 20 copies.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Game Day by Cindy Cummins

Game Day

by Cindy Cummins

Giveaway ends September 11, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Crunched for time? Need more than one copy ASAP? We’ve got you. It’s available to purchase now at your favorite bookstore and online retailer:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
iBooks
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our new September and October titles!

3D_50-Ribbon-Rosettes-100x1453D_SewingMachineEmbroider-100x145

3D_Wild-Things-to-Sew-100x1453D_toteallyamazingbags-96x140

 

5 Sep

Freebie Friday: Ear Warmer Headband

I love summertime and if I had my way, I’d bask in warmth and sunshine all year long. But I’m also a sucker for the changing of the seasons and all the loveliness that comes with it. I tell my friends and family back home in southern California who brag about the weather and question my choice to live in what they call a ridiculously cold and unbearable place, that it’s only unbearable if you’re not prepared and dressed properly for the weather.

So today’s FREE PATTERN DOWNLOAD, an Ear Warmer Headband from Cindy Cummins’ Game Day, is both a look ahead to the coming fall and winter briskness and an homage to being prepared. I’m not quite ready for the full-on winter wool beanie and this stylish alternative (the pattern includes a clever hole for a ponytail), which uses fleece, is perfect for those chillier evening strolls through the park or sitting in the bleachers at your favorite baseball team’s postseason game.

Feel the need for more fleece?

Ear-Warmer-Headband

Game Day includes more than 50 projects that use fleece–from blankets and scarves and chic arm warmers to drink cozies and even a pet bed! and features ways for you to showcase and celebrate your favorite sports team’s logos and colors. Game Day is also a guide to choosing the right fleece variety for your project and includes all sorts of tips on how to sew fleece. Fleece is arguably a super fabric; it’s available in a variety of weights, colors, and prints.

So… get it now…err…while it’s hot!

Game Day

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
iBooks
Indiebound

Check out our new September and October titles!

3D_50-Ribbon-Rosettes-100x1453D_SewingMachineEmbroider-100x145

3D_Wild-Things-to-Sew-100x1453D_toteallyamazingbags-96x140

 

 

 

4 Sep

Project of the Month: Pencil Case

Happy September!

It’s officially that time of the year again. It’s back-to-school week here in New York City and we’re reminiscing about all those ‘first days’ of school once again. A new year means all new supplies, clothes and accessories. For me, my pencil case was the highlight of all of the back to school supplies I badgered my mom into getting for me. So, our Project of the Month is in honor of those that want something different from their pencil cases. We pulled this Pencil Case pattern from Sweet & Simple Patchwork Gifts by Hisako Arai and Yoko Sanjo because it offers not one but two methods of making the case – one with a zipper and one with a spring clasp!

9780312591366

This charming collection of delightful, easy-to-make patchwork projects, originally published in Japan, is perfect for creating gifts for loved ones. Using five classic quilt patterns—simple squares, hexagons, log cabins, stars, and polygons—the projects range from pincushions, potholders, and pillows to handbags, coin purses, and a variety of zippered cases that are quick to make. This is the perfect book for beginner quilters or veterans looking for small projects and fun ways to use up their fabric stash. 

(Note: Instructions below are for the spring clasp pencil case but the pattern download includes both)

Materials (for spring clasp pencil case)

  • Fabric a, backing, and casings (plaid)
  • 9 3⁄4″ x 11 3⁄4″ (25 x 30 cm)
  • Fabric b (pink print)
  • 2 3⁄4″ x 3 1⁄2″ (7 x 9 cm)
  • Fabric c (yellow print)
  • 2 3⁄4″ x 3 1⁄2″ (7 x 9 cm)
  • Fabric d (floral print)
  • 4″ x 7 3⁄4″ (10 x 20 cm)
  • Fusible batting 6″ x 13 3⁄4″ (15 x 35 cm)
  • Lining 6″ x 13 3⁄4″ (15 x 35 cm)
  • Clasp
  • One 4″ (10 cm)–long spring clasp

pencil case1img_Page_1

Cut the fabric.
Trace and cut out templates A and B on page 17 (following template cutting instructions on page 107).

Cut fabric pieces adding a 1⁄4″ (0.7 cm) seam allowance:
• 2 A pieces of fabric d
• 2 B pieces of fabric a
• 2 B pieces of fabric b
• 2 B pieces of fabric c
• 2 casing pieces of fabric a: 1 1⁄4″ x 4 3⁄4″ (3 x 12 cm)
• 1 backing piece: 4 1⁄4″ x 6 3⁄4″ (12 x 16 cm) of fabric a
• 1 lining piece, cut without seam allowance: 4 1⁄4″ x 12 3⁄4″ (12 x 16 cm)

pencil case2

1. Make the pencil case top: Sew the pieces together as shown in the patchwork diagram on page 15. Sew the case top to the case backing along the short edge. Press the fusible batting to wrong side and quilt as shown in the above diagram.

2. Fold the pencil case in half with right sides together. Sew both sides and press the seams open. Miter corners by stitching across each corner at 3⁄4″ (2 cm).

pencil case3

3. Repeat step 2 for the pencil case lining.

pencil case456

4. Make the clasp casing by folding each piece in half lengthwise with right sides together. Sew both short sides and turn right side out. Fold in half again and sew 1⁄4″ (0.7 cm) along the raw edges. Make second casing.

5. Position the raw edges of the casing on right side of the pencil case top. Sew the casing to the top of the pencil case, then repeat for second casing.

pencil case6

6. With wrong sides together, insert the lining into pencil case. Fold over the seam allowance on the lining and hemstitch to the case. Insert spring clasps through casings to finish.

Et voila! Your pencil case is ready to rock ‘n’ roll!

pencil case

Each project in Sweet & Simple Patchwork Gifts by Hisako Arai and Yoko Sanjo is accompanied by clear construction diagrams, with easy-to-follow step-by-step photos for how how to cut, arrange, and sew up the project, making this the perfect book for beginner quilters or veterans looking for fun ways to use up their fabric stash. Also included are complete instructions for inserting zippers, plus many other techniques to help you give all your gifts a professional-looking finishing touch.

Can’t wait to get your own copy?

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our new September and October titles!

3D_50-Ribbon-Rosettes-100x1453D_SewingMachineEmbroider-100x145

3D_Wild-Things-to-Sew-100x1453D_toteallyamazingbags-96x140

 

Tagged with: free patterns, free project, projectsf, quilting, Sewing, sweet & simple patchwork gifts

Author of the Month

This month we sit down for a Q&A with expert sewing machine embroiderer Liz Keegan, author of The Sewing Machine Embroiderer's Bible. Liz launched, compiled, and edits Flair, the U.K.'s only machine embroidery magazine. She also teaches and lectures about machine embroidery. With expert advice about what to look for when buying a new machine and a troubleshooting section for solving common mistakes and problems, Liz's new book will help you get the most of out of your modern sewing machine.


The Sewing Machine Embroiderer's Bible

Project of the Month

Pencil Case






Happy September! It’s officially that time of the year again. It’s back-to-school week here in New York City and we’re reminiscing about all those ‘first days’ of school. A new year means all new supplies, clothes and accessories. So, our Project of the Month is in honor of those who want something different from their pencil cases. We pulled this Pencil Case pattern from Sweet & Simple Patchwork Gifts by Hisako Arai and Yoko Sanjo because it offers not one but two methods of making the case--one with a zipper and one with a spring clasp!

My Recent Pins

Follow Me on Pinterest 
My Pinterest Badge by: Jafaloo. For Support visit: My Pinterest Badge