Monday, February 8, 2016

this is the day after......

This is my zoo!!
This is my bed.
My kitty Bobbin & my pup Jackx are my faithful companions.

They stay pretty close to me regardless if I am sewing or sick in bed.
 Have you ever had a little nasty cold with high temps, and every cell of your body aches.
There is NO comfortable.
You are cold with chills
You are hot with sweat.
You just want to die quickly.
You want & pray it will end.
For 3 very long days.
But then the day after happens.......

Today is the day after.
I now know I will live.
And I can get on with all the work ahead of me  because Sew Expo is a few weeks away!

I thought I would give a preview of my new bag called 
"The 4Way Tote".
Here is Look No. 3

It is made with hand-dyed wool, some Paradiso Pleather for the bottom and the adjustable strap.  Check out the new Paradiso Hardware, buckles for 1" straps

Here is another view of The 4Way Tote,
This is Look No. 1.

Notice that this Look No. 1 has 2 straps and each adjusts with the buckle.

I always worry that many of my handbag patterns are intense.  I wanted to offer with a bag pattern that is mid size so that anyone could use it, and they had choices too!!

I truly hope that you will like it.

And did I mention........
yep there will be a sew a long, right here on this blog!!
It will happen in March!!

Thanks for hanging out & reading!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sew Expo 2016....come say hi!!

Happy New Year...can I still get away with saying that?

Sew Expo is coming!!!!!
This is my home event, and I am very proud to be in it once again!!!!

I will be teaching 8 classes.

One 2 Needle Class
about handbag get to see me is pretty cool.....

Four 1 Needle Seminars
Dynamic Easy Totes will be 2 
learn how to make 4 different looks from one pattern!!

Pattern Hacking
Learn how to make a blouse top, a tunic, a dress, & a bohemian lace frock from one pattern......& bonus, that pattern fits ALL sizes!!

then there are the make & takes...3 of em'
 mod embroidery with metallic threads & beads...oh my!!
    For more information click on the events tab at the top of this page, and the links will take you directly to registration for class.
Thanks to all my sewing loves.....cannot wait to see you & say hi!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How to Make a Stuffy that stands up!!

I promised
Now I deliver!!
Are they pretty cute?
I think so, gonna get started.
Making character stuffy/ pillows/plushies is really fun and simple to do.  And if the fabric is as cute as this “Little Red” by Cori Dantini for Blend Fabrics, then these pillows will steal your heart!!
As a designer I hope to be able to show you a few tips that will enhance your maker/sewist skills!
To get started, here is a list of materials that you will need.
Materials needed:
-One Blend fabric panel of Little Red Characters
-Matching fabrics to complement the character, 1/3 Yard per Character
-Muslin. 1/3 Yard for 1-3 characters
-Fiber Fill, I recommend Silky Soft Ultra Plush Fiber Fill
-White Thread
Here is little Red, as you can see I included the fun blue flowers!
I first traced, and then cut out Little Red with a ½ seam allowance.  And I included the beautiful blue flowers in the scene with Red which I loved.  After I cut out Red, then I laid her onto her backing fabric on the wrong side to cut out the same shape.
Then I cut a muslin to match the front and the back of the stuffy.  the muslin acts like a stabilizer, and the stuffy feels super soft & strong at the same time!
Measure the bottom edge of the puppet, multiply that number by 2, and that is the amount the diameter of the bottom needs to equal.  In the next step I will show you how to do that.
Find a object with a round bottom, I used this wooden spool that is about 2.5” wide.  I used the spool to draw a half circle.  I measure the perimeter of the half circle, and double that.  Going back to step Three, I have the measurement of the bottom; it needs to equal the perimeter of the bottom piece. 
If the stuffy bottom equals 10”, and 2 x the half circle= 6”, then 4” must be added to get the correct bottom piece size.  Now trace the half circle.  From the center top and bottom of the half circle draw 2 straight lines 2” long (2 x 2 = 4), and then draw the other side of the half circle to complete the bottom piece which will be cut out of the backing fabric along with a muslin backing.  I used this spool to make all the bottom pieces for each stuffy.  It was perfect because when I had all the stuffy characters finished, they could all stand on their own!!
With all the pieces layered (character & back, right sides together, then sandwiched with the muslin on both sides so that there is 4 layers) pin around the sides and the tops!
Then starting at the bottom of a side, sew around the edge up to the top and back down the other side, but leave an opening so that the stuffy can be stuffed.  If you look at this picture closely you can see where the opening will be on the left side  Do not sew across the bottom because we need to add the bottom and need it to be open.  Next trim the edges down to 1/8-1/4”, clip to the corners, and around the round edges!!
 On the bottom piece the sides are pinned to keep them from shifting.

In this picture you can see the opening on the left side.  Now pin the bottom to the bottom edges, start with matching the centers of the front & the back to the centers of the straight sides of the bottom piece.  Then match the side seams to the center of the curved sides.
Make sure to pin from the bottom.  Pinning in this manner will allow the sewing machine to sew on top of the front & bottom edges easily as done in the picture below.

And this is what is meant by sewing on the top of the front & the back.  As seen in the picture, by pinning up through the bottom, the top can be sewn, otherwise the pins would be in the way if it was pinned from the top.  If there are little tucks & pleats caught when sewing a circular item to 2 sides, it is okay because it will help the stuffy to stand up.
Time to Stuff!!
This is the fiber I love to use for stuffing.  It is so soft and really makes a difference in how the stuffy feels!!  Make sure to stuff the little corners and points first, before filling it to the brim…we want all parts of the stuffy to be full and not at all flat!
I like to leave one side flat, and then fold only one edge in.  This is another tip on easy pinning.  Hands sew the opening closed….and this character stuffy is done!!


I think the sweet wolfie is my favorite!!

my And here is the whole gang!!
Thanks for reading,
Sewing hugs for the new year!!,

Thursday, December 24, 2015

How about a little hand puppets in your life!! FREE TUTORIAL!!

I was very lucky and had the opportunity to meet & work with the lovely folks at Blend Fabrics!!
And the best part is I get to work with fabric designed by Cori Dantini!!
If you have seen Cori's fabric, I do not know anyone that has not fallen in love with it.  Through her designs Cori has been able to convey a beautiful sense of purpose with her artwork about what life should be like.  It makes me stop and think about if I am doing everything I do @ 100%....all the time.
Needless to say....she is one of my favorite artists!!
And go to here to see her artwork for sale too!
It was not hard to play with this fabric "Little Red", which is due to hit fabric store shelves in January 2016!
Here is the "Red" puppet, isn't she sweet!!
I also made puppets out of the rest of the characters too!!
 Here is Little Red with the rest of the gang, which includes The Wolf, The Woodsman, Grandma, and the Wolf acting like Grandma.  The puppets are actually standing here on the trim that finishes the bottom, but are open so that these really are hand puppets! is what you need to jump into making!

To get started, here is a list of materials that you will need.  Materials needed:

-One Blend fabric panel of Little Red Characters

-Matching fabrics to complement the character, 1/3 Yard per Character

-Muslin. 1/3 Yard for 1-3 characters

-Bosal #326 Sew-in Fleece, 1/3 yard for 1-3 characters

-White Thread
 ****Hint, You could also use this same technique to make potholders, but substitute Bosal#364 Poly Therm Fleece for the #326 Sew-in Fleece.  Use about 5” of a 2” strip to make a hanging loop, which would be ironed just like the 2” trim.  Sew the trim shut with a 1/8” seam allowance, fold in half to form the hang loop & sew the edges into the side seam.

Step one:
The characters come on a fabric panel; the other fabric will be used for the back of the puppet and the bottom finishing trim


Step Two: 
Trace around Little Red (Or any character with a ½” border for the seam allowance & cut out.  As seen here then Little Red is laid out on 2 layers of muslin & 2 layers of fleece, and cut out!
Step Three:
Now Layout just Red, and notice she is laying on the wrong side of the fabric that will become the puppet back.  Pin this and cut out.

Step Four:

Measure the bottom of Red, multiply by 2, and then add 2 inches to determine the length to cut the bottom trim.  Cut the trim out of the backing fabric at the length determined above as a 2” wide strip.  And here is how it will be ironed….

The 2” wide trim will first be ironed in half, then on only one side, the raw edge will be tucked into the center fold, and ironed along the whole length,
then turned around and the other side will then be ironed in also.  One side at a time is ironed to maintain that center fold!  If you have ever sewed with any of my Paradiso Patterns I used this trim for all sorts of finishes, and it is truly easy to make & sew on!!

Final finishing iron on the trim!!

Step 5:

Here are the 3 layers that we need for each side of the puppet.  There is the exterior fabric, the fleece in the middle, and the muslin to sandwich the fleece just like in a quilt.  Pin around the edge to hold the pieces in place so that they will not shift.

If you look closely  here at the rest of the Little Red crew, you can see that all the layers to both sides of the puppets are pinned to keep the layers from slipping!
Step 6: 
In the first picture, here is the muslin side of Red, and the quilting outline of Red is visible.  As you can see in the second picture I free motioned stitched around Red to make her cuteness stand out.  One the back I stitched a big flower that mimics the blue flowers she has in her basket.    

Step 7:

 Sew the front and the back together!!  Pin the front & back together, and sew the sides and top with a 1/4” seam allowance, or even sew with the edge of the pressure foot, and move the needle all the way over for a “fat” 1/8” seam allowance.

**Notice the quilting lines of Red…it is easier to see here!

This is the Woodsman puppet below.  I sewed with the right edge of the pressure foot on the edge of the fabric, and I moved the needle over to have a fat 1/8” seam allowance, which means that there is not a lot of trimming to do.  Stitch on the sides and the top, leaving the bottom open.  Make sure to trim at the points, & clip up to any corners so that the puppet will turn nicely.

Step 8: 

Add the trim to finish!

Find the middle of the trim, and the middles of the front & back of the puppet, and I generally use pins to mark these points.  Match the center fronts of the trim to the puppet and envelope the bottom raw edge with the trim.  I pin the trim on as seen in the picture so that I will not poke myself with the pins.  Pin to just the side seams.

As seen in this picture on the back side I use that center back pin (the pin above), and then mark the center back of the trim on either end of the trim. 
Then I measure 3/8” from that point to allow for a seam allowance, and cut off the extra.
After trimming the excess length, the trim edges are pinned & sewn with a 3/8” seam allowance.
Then the corners are trimmed to eliminate bulk as seen in the picture below!  Fingerfold the seam open, then finish pinning the trim to enclose the bottom edge into place.  

This is where you need to take your time to sew the trim on with a 1/8” seam allowance. 
***Tip: Start in the back, and make sure the front edge is not folded under where it could get caught underneath, sew about an inch at a time, then check & adjust the edge not seen so that it is out and away from this finish stitching!

Here is the whole bunch!!

Wolfie, Grandma, Little Red, The Woodsman & The Wolfie as Grandma!

Have fun with your puppets too!

If you liked the puppets, next will be another free tutorial to take this one step further to make pillows!!  See ya in a few days!!
Merry Christmas
Happy Holidays
With Many Holiday Sewing Hugs,


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Life is nutty........

I have already asked to no one in particular where does the time go?
It just goes and goes as I work & work.

I have worked at getting it together, and it appears I am just finally getting the just of what it means to be an entrepreneur...kinda!

I have been busting a booty designing ........
                                            a few bags:

This is the Alison G4 Hobo

                                 (The Paradiso Pouch Trio (3 sizes)
                            The Lorelai Skirt (3 lengths....ANY Size)

to really make it in this business you have to diversify, there has to be many sides to your brand.  And then you have to be organized....I can personally vouch for being one HOT mess.  But I am getting there slowly & surely!!
There will be more to come on this blog from me, and I am really excited to do that!  Tomorrow morning I will be posting a free pattern to make hand using Blend Fabrics, designed by the incredible Cori Dantini!!  The Line is called Little Red.  Merry Christmas & Happy holidays to all.

See you tomorrow,
Cheryl  xo