SMP Craft
6 Oct

Author of the Month: Molly Goodall of Wild Things to Sew and Wear

Hello, Molly Goodall. WELCOME!


Molly Goodall, photo by Hoyoung Lee

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.


1. What’s your craft?

I design and sew unique children’s clothing.

lion front etsy  SweetheartOwlHatCheekyGreenDinosaur




[The original Ferocious Felt Lion Coat, Sweetheart Owl Hat, and Cheeky Green Dinosaur Coat pictured above are among an incredible collection of children's playwear, animal-themed coats, dresses, and accessories (and a few adult sized coats under the label "Mrs.Goodall")–all handmade in North Texas–at the Little Goodall online shop. Founded in 2010, Little Goodall grew out of the original Ferocious Felt Lion Coat, which Molly designed and made to inspire her then two-year-old son who refused to wear the hoods on his coats.]

2. What project would you consider an all-time best?

It’s usually the one I’ve just finished! This year I reworked two of my first designs; a lion coat and an owl coat. I made them from more luxurious fabrics, added removable hoods and several other details so they could be more versatile. Part of the process I enjoy the most is seeing how garments wear and what children like best about them, and then figuring our how to make them even more special.

3. What project would you consider an all-time worst?

Once, when I was about 17 I decided to make my dress to wear to a cotillion dance. I found a lovely and feminine rose print chiffon and a pattern which was all cut on the bias. I hadn’t had any experience sewing with the tricky chiffon, and I chose a lining which was not compatible. I ended up in tears the night before the party, with an ill fitting puckered disaster of a dress which wasn’t even finished. Needless to say there was an emergency shopping trip the next day to find a suitable dress.

4. What tool or material could you not live without?

My iron! It makes everything look finished, helps construct 3-D shapes when sewing, and revives tired looking fabrics. A garment which is pressed throughout construction is much more professional looking than one which is pressed only after finishing. I am a big fan of pressing thoroughly and often.

5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Making time more elastic. I always misjudge how long something will take me, so if I could stretch time out when needed it would definitely be super. Most days could use an extra hour here or there, whether for finishing a project or just catching up on sleep.

To learn more, visit Molly’s blog and the Little Goodall company website at

Interested in sewing something a little wild for your little one? First: WARNING: These are simple, bold, and playful clothes that your child may never ever want to take off.


In Wild Things to Sew and Wear Molly expertly guides you through the creation of 15 adorable children’s garments and accessories 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. The book includes easy-to-follow patterns to suit all sewing levels, from beginner through advanced, a comprehensive techniques section that shows how to lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric, transfer markings, and cut with confidence, and as an added bonus, a pattern CD is also included!


Buy Wild Things to Sew and Wear at your favorite bookseller:

Barnes & Noble

Check out our October and November titles!

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Tagged with: animal, animal coats, books, halloween, kids clothing, kids fashion, littlegoodall, playwear, Sewing, smpcraft, Tips
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 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 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.

Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books

Check out our new September and October titles!



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.


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:

Barnes & Noble

Check out our new September and October titles!




26 Aug

How-To Tuesday: Cardboard Mailbox

Y O U ‘ V  E   G O T   M A I L  ! ! !

Finished-with-letterLast year, a pal confided that she thought texting and email was unattractive and tiresome. She also expressed concern that her seven-year-old daughter might never know the true beauty of the handwritten word if she didn’t start teaching her now. She decided shortly thereafter to unplug (as realistically as she could) and declared that she would help restore the dying art of carefully crafted handwritten letters.

I’ve since received several letters in the mail from her. She handwrites that she’s still going strong, using her cellphone strictly in its traditional form and has greatly reduced the frequency of emailing with her clients. And in recent letters, I’ve noticed her daughter has become a more prominent participant in the process–her notes and doodles accessorizing every envelope.

Which got me to thinking about other means of making letter-writing appealing to kids. The “mailbox” came to mind and how great it would be for kids to have their own physical personal mailbox. Just a small mailbox, I mumbled to myself. For little notes. For sharing… Teachers could use it in their classrooms. My niece and nephew could use it with their neighborhood friends. They could leave each other surprises.

TheCardboardBoxBookSo this week’s how-to post is a mini version of the mailbox from The Cardboard Box Book by Sarah Powell and Roger Priddy with illustrations by Barbi Sidobox. The Cardboard Box Book is family friendly, eco-conscious, and uses the cardboard box as the foundation for learning and creating. It shows kids that by using easy-to-find art and craft materials, the ideas, templates, and stickers included in the book, PLUS a ton of imagination, simple cardboard boxes can be transformed into a robot costume, a princess castle, a circus, and, of course, a mailbox!

I didn’t actually use a cardboard box or the stickers in the book to make my version of the mailbox. Mine measures about seven inches long and three inches high and I used instead the leftover cardboard packing material I had laying around–two pieces, sturdy, and used the terrifically illustrated and simple instructions from the book as a guide.

To make my version, I also used masking tape, scissors, white paint, stickers, glue, and designed/pseudo washi tape to decorate and personalize. Here’s how I did it:RoofInstructions

First, I CUT one of the cardboard pieces into a 12″ x 3.5″ strip. Next, I DREW the base as shown. cardboard-formThen, I CUT away the base, front and back, and door, SCORED and FOLDED the two center lines. Because of the size of my mailbox and thickness of the cardboard I used, I skipped the reinforcing brackets that you’ll notice in the instructions. Completely unnecessary. Cardboard-scoredNext, for the roof, I WRAPPED a long piece of cardboard around the mailbox base. I first used masking tape to stick the cardboard to one side of the base and then ROLLED the cardboard around the mailbox.Tape

I TAPED the connecting parts and cut the remaining excess cardboard. FormedMy last steps involved slapping on a coat of latex house paint. While waiting for the paint to dry, I CUT out the flag, “latch” to keep the door closed, and the letters M A I L from the cardboard scraps. For the last steps, I glued the cardboard letters on and used the designed tape as borders and accents.

Ta Da! Our How-To Tuesday Takeaway?  Try to find balance between the realm of the inbox and the mailbox. mailboxinbox

You’ll find the original big version of this mailbox and a slew of other fabulous cardboard box projects in The Cardboard Box Book, on the shelves and at your favorite online retailer:


Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books


Check out our August and September titles:



22 Aug

Freebie Friday: Stencil It!

For this Freebie Friday we decided to mix it up a bit. Instead of a pattern or project download, we’ve given you some FREE TIPS on using paint and a stencil brush from Stencil It so you can get started on your next design project immediately!

stencil 1   stencil 2    stencil 3

stencil it

There are lots of ways to customize your home: paint, new furniture, fancy home decor items from those fancy catalogs you never seem to ask for…but by far, one of the most expressive—and least expensive—is stenciling. Did you know stencils have been used for centuries to decorate interiors? It has come a long way these past few centuries! Helen Morris, founder of The Stencil Library, has kept stenciling a popular craft by developing numerous designs, styles, and techniques. (She’s even stenciled on glass, mirror, concrete, and even plaster.) Stencil It shows 101 ways to stencil in your home. From lamp shades to walls and even furniture, you’ll learn how to achieve new decorative schemes by using various configurations and color combinations to create a range of dramatically different looks. Stencil It comes with 15 specially-designed stencils to help you turn your entire home into a blank canvas.

Ready to start? Buy your book now!

Barnes & Noble

Check out our August and September titles:


Tagged with: Advice, books, Crafts, DIY, free, smpcraft, Stencil, Tips

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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