SMP Craft
14 Nov

Freebie Friday: Reversible Tote Bag

My mood, like New York weather in November, can change on a dime. So how am I supposed to choose a single pattern for my everyday bag? One day I may be feeling gingham, and the next, classic Victorian. One day black, next day plaid. Heck–I may not even wait a day to change my mind. That’s the level of volatility we’re talking about, people.

So you can imagine my elation! Followed by incredulity! Followed by elation again! after seeing this week’s FREE PROJECT: a reversible tote bag that can be designed using two totally contrasting patterns to suit my “flexible” personality. tote freebie 2All you need are two different cotton fabrics, two yards of fusible hemming web, and a spool of thread. The drop-in construction and hidden seams make this tote bag truly reversible, just like your changing mind (hey–it’s our prerogative!).

tote freebie 1This is just one of 30 tote-ally fun projects in the new book Tote-ally Amazing Bags: 30 Quick and Easy Bags to Make for All Occasions by Helen Angharad Henley, who also happens to be our Author of the Month. This colorful book, which includes a CD of full-size patterns,  guides you 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.

Buy a copy today, and be sure to check back here on Sunday for our Goodreads giveaway.


Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our newest November title!

3D_50 delicDecCookies-100x100

Tagged with: bags, books, free project, patterns, reversible, Sewing, smpcraft
7 Nov

Author of the Month: Helen Angharad Henley, author of Tote-ally Amazing Bags

WELCOME, Helen Angharad Henley!

HelenAngharadHenley

Helen Angharad Henley

This month, we sit down with Helen Angharad Henley, mother of three, handbag designer, self-proclaimed “compulsive maker,” and author of newly published Tote-ally Amazing Bags: 30 quick and easy bags to make for all occasions. Helen lives and works in Wales where she designs, makes, and sells her sewing patterns and handbags. She blogs her stitching endeavours at angharadhandmade.blogspot.com and sells her bags online at angharad handmade. herringbone tweed clutch bag_small1. What’s your craft?
I am a compulsive stitcher, and enjoy all kinds of needlework from bag making to quilting; I’m never without a project or three on the go!

finished scrap quilt_smalltweed bag_small

2. What project would you consider an all-time best?
I’m quite fickle when it comes to favourites–one day it might be a herringbone tweed bag and the next a hand-quilted scrap quilt. For me the pleasure is all in the finishing touches, whether it be a pretty row of Liberty tana lawn covered buttons, or a neat line of topstitching.

3. What project would you consider an all-time worst?
I’ve had some cracking craft-fails over the years, but I know my husband would vote for the lederhosen I made for him out of some old 70s curtains when we were students. He was forced to wear them through central London on the way to a fancy dress Sound of Music sing-along with friends, and I don’t think he’s ever quite recovered from the experience!

purple organiser_small4. What tool or material could you not live without?
I couldn’t be without my rotary cutter, rulers and mat. I find that cutting out is the most tedious part of a project as I’m generally itching to get needle and thread to fabric, so anything which can speed up the process, and introduce a bit more accuracy to boot, is a winner in my book.

5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I’d love to have the power to accomplish several tasks at once – that way I could be stitching up a bag or two whilst simultaneously helping with the children’s homework and making a cup of tea.

sausage dog coin purse_smallChristmas stockings_small

Follow Helen’s stitching adventures on her blog, angharadhandmade.blogspot.com.

Happy stitching!

 Tote-ally Amazing Bags includes a wide variety of 30 bag designs and full-sized patterns and instructions, guiding beginners and intermediate sewers through all the possible incarnations of the tote bag. Available now at your favorite bookseller:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our new title in November!

3D_50 delicDecCookies-100x100

Tagged with: Fashion, handbags, purses, Sewing, stitching, style
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!

Check out our October and November titles!

3D_toteallyamazingbags-96x1403D_50 delicDecCookies-100x100

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.

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

 

Check out our October and November titles!

3D_toteallyamazingbags-96x1403D_50 delicDecCookies-100x100

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

Check out our October and November titles!

3D_toteallyamazingbags-96x1403D_50 delicDecCookies-100x100

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

Author of the Month

This month we sit down with Helen Angharad Henley, mother of three, handbag designer, self-proclaimed “compulsive maker,” and author of newly published Tote-ally Amazing Bags: 30 quick and easy bags to make for all occasions. Helen lives and works in Wales where she designs, makes, and sells her sewing patterns and handbags. She blogs her stitching endeavours at angharadhandmade.blogspot.com and sells her bags online at angharad handmade.

Helen  Angharad Henley, author of Tote-ally Amazing Bags

Cookie Jewelry Box


They say there are two types of women in the world: those who love jewelry, and those who love cookies. What? You say you're both types of woman? Well then I sure have a treat for you, with this free pattern from our new book 50 Deliciously Decorative Cookies: Easy-t0-Make Cookie Creations by Fiona Pearce, you can have your jewelry box and eat it, too!

My Recent Pins

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