SMP Craft
30 Oct

Kwik Sew Harley Quinn Halloween Costume by Angela Craft

Today’s SMP Craft piece is written by special guest blogger Digital Marketing Manager Angela Craft AKA Batman villain Harley Quinn!

It’s been an exciting fall for comic book fans! Between new superhero shows like The Flash and Constantine and the huge Marvel Phase 3 announcements, there’s never been a better time to love comics and media. To celebrate the superhero spirit, as well as Halloween, this year I’m dressing up as Batman villain Harley Quinn, and making the costume from scratch.

Harley Quinn has many incarnations, so for this costume I drew my inspiration from the animated DC film Assault on Arkham, creating a Harley costume that wouldn’t leave me freezing in New York City in late October. The base costume is from two Kwik Sew patterns, meaning that from start to finish assembling the costume can be done in just a few hours. The top is Kwik Sew KP-3497 (view C), and the leggings are Kwik Sew KP-3636 (view A – stirrup pants may be passé but I want to keep the pants effortlessly tucked into my boots all night!). I used stretch jersey knit in burgundy and black, about a yard total of each.

Harley-Quin-ArkhamACHarleyQuinnHarley Quinn suppliesThe trickiest part of the costume is putting together the patchwork effect of the top. The trick is to sew your two colors of fabric together before making the first cut. Fold your fabric along the seam, and place the edge of the pattern on that fold just like you would normally. The leggings were easier, as each leg is one piece of fabric, so I could cut one of each color.

The final details are the collar and arm warmers. The collar is cut from a square of fabric as wide as my shoulders, with a triangle pattern cut into it. I’ve bulked it up a little bit with peel-and-stick felt. And while patterns for arm warmers exist, I simply sewed two tubes of fabric and cut holes for my thumbs.

Accessorize with a blonde pigtail wig (not pictured) and a maniacal smile!

Happy Geeky Halloween!

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Tagged with: batman, comics, DC Comics, halloween, harley quinn, Kwik Sew, superhero
28 Oct

Happy Pub Day!

Do you like bags? Crafts? Delightful wordplay? If so, you’re in a world of luck, my friend, because today is the official on-sale day for Tote-ally Amazing Bags: 30 Quick and Easy Bags to Make for All Occasions by Helen Angharad Henley! This one comes with a CD of full-size patterns, too. How can you beat that?

tote 4 tote 3

tote 2

Can you believe how cute these bags are? (They’re quick and easy to make, too!)

The tote bag in its humblest form is a simple rectangular bag with two handles, but the possibilities offered by the style are limitless. This colorful book guides the reader through all the possible incarnations of the tote bag, from children’s bags and simple grocery totes to stylish shoulder bags in contemporary fabrics, with patterns ranging from the fun to the functional. Techniques cover all the basics of machine sewing and finishing, from straight seams to topstitching, as well as detailed instructions on the specifics of bag construction, handle making, patch and zipped pockets, and interlining. And the styles in this book range from appliqué to stenciled designs using fabric paint, giving you the freedom to design the tote-ally amazing bag of your dreams!

You should tote-ally buy one today.

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Tagged with: books, how to books, Sewing
26 Oct

Goodreads Giveaway: 50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet by Cat Thomas

Last Friday we offered you a free project download but teased you a touch with images of other projects from 50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet: Stash Your Sharps in Something Cute and Handmade by Cat Thomas. Now here’s your chance to have a go at all 50 projects and win a finished copy of the entire book!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet by Cat Thomas

50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet

by Cat Thomas

Giveaway ends October 30, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Whatever your skill level, and whether the project is intended for yourself or as a gift for a fellow crafter, 50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet offers something for everyone. Each pattern comes with:

  • A Key that denotes the level of difficulty
  • Beautiful color photographs of the finished pieces to show you what you should be aiming for
  • Clear instructions for assembling
  • Supplemental charts for clarity

FPKC_p001-007v1_.indd FPKC_p001-007v1_.indd FPKC_p001-007v1_.indd FPKC_p001-007v1_.indd

Cat Thomas is a trained textile artist who has taught art and design for most of her career. She now designs, selling under the name of “Baban Cat” on sites such as Etsy and Folksy. Check out more about Cat Thomas on her blog.

Remember to enter the giveaway before you click off and if you simply can’t stand to wait–order the book now at your favorite retailer below!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

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Tagged with: Crafts, giveaway, goodreads giveaway, how to crochet, how to knit, pincushions, sweepstakes
24 Oct

Freebie Friday: Pear Pincushion

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A well-known Italian seamstress once told me that Pincushions are a sewing necessity and that, “è vero, vero” It’s true true that one’s pincushion reflects one’s personality. I don’t think I want to know what it means about my personality that the “pincushion” in my sewing box is an old Whitesnake rock band patch I used to accessorize a Heavy Metal Halloween costume.

Whitesnake

Nonetheless, while combing through 50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet by Cat Thomas, I couldn’t help but recall her comment; despite loving the absolutely adorable sushi, bear, and cactus pincushions pictured above, the moment my eyes landed on the Pear Pincushion, I knew I found my (dare I say it) PEAR-fect pincushion match. So for this week’s Free Pattern Download, I offer you Pear Pincushion, which is knitted in the round, uses worsted weight yarn and no seaming so it knits up quickly.

FPKC_p001-007v1_.indd

I’ve decided that this pear pincushion is a Green Anjou, an all-purpose variety valued for its culinary versatility–from slicing fresh into salads to baking into tarts and pies to pureeing for sauces, beverages, and toppings. It’s the most abundant variety in the U.S., is almost always available, and most importantly, has a wonderful flavor profile: refreshing, sweet, juicy, with a hint of citrus!

It’s my friend’s birthday this weekend and I’ve decided to make her a “Pear-themed” present–pear pincushion, a few fresh pears, a pear tart, and pear juice!

If you’re not quite the pear connoisseur but say… have a thing for the circus, or want to make a pincushion for a cat-lover, or maybe love reindeer… and have been learning how to knit or crochet and want a finished handmade something something that you can complete in just a few hours, look no further than  50 Pincushions to Knit & Crochet, which is available at your favorite online retailer.

50 Pincushions cover

 

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Tagged with: Advice, anjou pear, Crafts, crochet, crocheting, d'anjou, how to crochet, knitting, pear, pincushions
14 Oct

How-to Tuesday: Fabric Pumpkins!

I’m not a fan of Halloween but I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart (and stomach) for pumpkins. Maybe it comes from watching Cinderella so many times as a little girl, or the numerous field trips to the pumpkin patch followed by roasting seeds, but the reappearance of pumpkins is a bright spot in October for me. So when I came across how to make fabric pumpkins on Me and My Shadow, I couldn’t resist the urge to make my very own pumpkin patch. Special thanks goes to Michelle Cashman, one of our guest posters who is a crafting guru.

materialsSupplies
- Orange material
- Green material
- Yellow/light orange embroidery floss
- Green embroidery floss
- Sewing needle (preferably a long one, size 16 or bigger)
- Polyester filling
- Scissors

 

step 2      step3     step 4

step 5     step 6     step 7

step 8     step 9      step 10

            finished one

Step 1. Cut your orange fabric into a rectangle. The size doesn’t matter as long as it is twice as long as it is wide. The pumpkins above were 8″x16″, 6″x12″,     and 4″x8″. We also tried out different material for each pumpkin. The biggest was made with orange felt, the polka dotted with cotton fabric, and the smallest came from t-shirt scraps. Once your material is cut, fold it in half making a square. The inside of your pumpkin is now showing.

Step 2. Using only three strands of the floss, take your yellow-orange floss and stitch the right sides of the square together.  This works best if you use a very long piece to keep using for the whole pumpkin

Step 3. After stitching the right sides together, move to the bottom of the square and sew a running stitch going all the way around the bottom. Once you go all the way around, pull the thread taut creating a pouch. Sew some back stitches to keep in place and turn the material right side out.

Step 4. Stuff the pouch with the polyester filling. This craft works best with stretchy material so don’t be afraid to really stuff those pumpkins!

Step 5. Just as before, sew a running stitch along the top of the pouch. Pull taut and sew a few stitches to keep in place. If you have a little  extra fabric and don’t want to stuff your pumpkin anymore, just tuck in the edges into the pouch and sew shut.

Step 6. Take the needle through the center and come out through the bottom. Repeat this step a few times to have the pumpkin take shape.

Step 7. This step requires a lot of thread or floss so I would check to to make sure you have enough to circle the pumpkin five or so times. Take the needle around the outside of the pumpkin and come back through the bottom giving the pumpkin one of its signature ridges. Repeat as many times as you’d like to finish the pumpkin shape. Knot and cut your floss.

Step 8. To make the stem: cut your green material into a small rectangle and roll it into a sausage shape. We used felt for our stems. Thread your needle with green floss (using 1 or 2 strands) and wrap it around the stem sporadically from top to bottom.

Step 9. Sew the stem to the top of the pumpkin. Make sure it’s secure before knotting and cutting.

This craft is doable despite your sewing experience. I have never sewed anything besides the occasional cross-stitch and with Michelle’s guidance was able to make my own pumpkin. When making your own pumpkin patch, experiment with different material and don’t be afraid to mix up the colors and patterns. The orange polka dotted pumpkin was our favorite!

all pumpkins

 

Check out our October and November titles!

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Tagged with: Crafts, Fabric, halloween, how-to-tuesdays, pumpkins, Sewing, smpcraft

Author of the Month

This month we sit down for a Q&A with Molly Goodall, artist, designer, creator of the unique children’s clothing brand, Little Goodall, and author of Wild Things to Sew and Wear. Originally from North Carolina, Molly earned her BFA in fashion design from Parsons School of Design in 1997, where she became focused on children’s wear. She then worked as a toy designer in New York before deciding "it would be more fun to be an artist" and moved to North Texas, where she, her husband, and son currently live.


Molly Goodall, author of Wild Things to Sew and Wear

Project of the Month

Little Monster


Perfect for any rambunctious little dude or dudette, this frighteningly cute hat, mittens, and booties set will have the neighbors forkin’ over the treats in no time. All measurements are given for sizes 6-12 months, 12-24 months, and 2-3 years. From Nuriya Khegay’s fun-packed Monster Knits for Little Monsters: 20 Super-Cute Animal-Themed Hat, Mitten, and Bootie Sets to Knit.

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