Customize Your Clothes with Embroidery

Customize Your Clothes with Embroidery

Embroidery is one of the oldest ways of embellishing and decorating your clothes known to man – it dates back to 30,000 BC. Archaeologists discovered hand-decorated clothes, boots, and even a hat from these Cro-Magnon days. This craft of using thread and other materials to decorate fabric is just as relevant today, as it was back then. It is a great way that we can express our style, and personalise the garments that we wear. unsplash-logoAnnie Spratt Embroidery in fashion Embroidery is very much on trend for 2018, you only have to look at Gucci’s latest offerings to see how versatile this sewing technique is to personalise clothing. It goes hand in hand with the arts and crafts style that is sweeping the catwalks. Working for Gucci, designer Alessandro Michele has been taking inspiration from bygone eras, using embroidery, applique and prints, and using them to create contemporary designs. From beautiful, rich colored bird, to sprawling English roses, the designs are ones that truly stand out. Currently, there is an enormous influence from tattoo styles, particularly American Traditional – think sailors and beautiful, bright flowers.   Choosing your materials When you are choosing the fabric that you are going to embroider, you need to pick something that isn’t too thin or flimsy, especially if you are planning to add heavier materials to it, such as beads or pearls. Embroidering a tote bag is a great place to start if you are fairly new to sewing. It is a project that should take 3-4 hours. There are many of the Gingercake designs that can also be customised using embroidery. You can also give new life to existing garments that you own, for instance maybe you can’t afford that fabulous new dress, but you can customise your existing clothes, so that they look unique.   Basic Embroidery Techniques An embroidery hoop is a must have, as it will pull the material flat, making it easy for you to work with. Place the material within the hoop that you want to embroider, and make sure that it is taut before you tighten the screw. Just like drawing a picture, it is a good idea to begin your embroidery design with the outline. You can use a basic running stitch or back stitch for this. When you are filling out your design, even using a simple cross stitch can give your design some great texture. You don’t have to be an expert in sewing, you just need to have a clear idea of what you are going to sew.   Embroidery Inspiration All you need now is a little inspiration for your design. You can take this from anywhere. It might be the tapestries from a manor house. It might be your own name,...

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The Mountains are Calling Embroidery!

The Mountains are Calling Embroidery!

I am far from an embroidery expert but this time of year I feel the calling to make something slow.  It is so pleasant to create something stitch by stitch.  To me, that is the fun of embroidery!  It’s not a race but a commitment to crafting and I love that concept. We have made the journey out to Breckenridge, Colorado again!  This time just for one month.  In fact, we have been here almost 4 weeks already and now only have a few days left.  I will share some details of how we made this trip with 4 kids (and not being millionaires!) in a different post.  The mountains are absolutely beautiful, needless to say!   Before we came, I created this embroidery design and I thought I would share with you.  It is very easy!  Simply download the template, and either trace it onto your fabric or use a wash away stabilizer.  I recommend the stabilizer since you can print directly onto the paper and then fuse it to your fabric!  It is so easy and simple.  Here is a video to watch that explains this process very clearly. You can download the template by clicking here ~ mountains are calling I used chain stitch, satin stitch and back stitch.  I like this video that explains all 3 stitches if you need a refresher or to learn them for the first time! I ripped 1” strips of fabric and wrapped them around the outside hoop to give this a more finished look.  I simply ran a line of glue around the exterior hoop edge and wrapped away! I also embroidery this FREE mountain template I found on instructables.  It is so pretty!  I would recommend doing it when your skills are little more confident in your skills… I used the same 3 embroidery stitches as in my own design (can you tell those are my favorites??)!   Do you have some embroidery tips or template you like in particular?  Where is your favorite place to get patterns?  What are your thoughts for embroidery beginners??  I would love to know more from you crafty friends out there 🙂...

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Modern Folksy Bunny 2017 Sewing Kit

Modern Folksy Bunny 2017 Sewing Kit

  I can’t resist making Modern Folksy Bunny Sewing Kits!  It’s something I look forward to every spring.  My youngest, Marion, loves the Peter Rabbit stories.  My others were only moderately interested but she loves them.  Something about being naughty I think!  Although she is interested in the stories about Peter, Benjamin, (and that very naughty Squirel Nutkin), she likes how the very sweet Flopsy Mopsy and Cottontail look.  She always wants me to stop and admire their pretty pink shawls and sweet innocent faces.  So, this year I decided to change up the modern Folksy Bunny and give it a new look inspired by those sweet sisters of the more famous Peter Rabbit.   I changed the regular Modern Folksy Bunny Pattern quite a bit to create this version.  First, I changed the shape of the head by moving the dart to the center.  Then I made both ears face forward and created this sweet little face.  There is something so special about embroidering little faces and it really takes your handmade projects to the next level.  From a simple afternoon project to a family heirloom in my opinion!  In the altered pattern you get with this kit,  I provide lots of instruction (including links to very helpful video tutorials) to insure that you are successful at the embroidery.  No need to feel intimidated if you have never done embroidery before.  It is easier than you think and you will probably find that you love it. The shawl is also a new creation and it adds a special touch for sure.  My girl loves playing and dressing her bunny with the shawl!  I think I will make her a few more so she can change it up.  It is a quick and easy sew with the pattern pieces included in the kit.   It took a lot of trails to get this shawl just right, but it was worth it since the fit is so nice 🙂 Although I originally wanted to use linen, I decided to use this lovely Robert Kaufman Essex Linen Blend instead and I think it’s a better choice.  The essex blend gives the pretty look of linen (and is part linen!) but is much easier to sew with.  The pink shawl fabric is Art Gallery fabric and has that wonderful “art gallery feel.”  The fabric is smooth and easy to sew with, and has a lovely bright pink color and delicate white pattern.    The kit not only includes the fabrics, you will also receive yarn for the tail, interfacing for the ears,  and the embroidery floss for the bunny face.  Visit my shop to get your Modern Folksy Bunny Spring 2017 Kit...

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Yes- I do still sew for my family

Yes- I do still sew for my family

Hello friends.  I realize it’s been a long time since I shared things I sew for my family here. As many bloggers have noted, with social media, sometimes blog posts about simple things sewn never get blogged about anymore.  I have every intention of sharing these simple projects on my blog, but then the task of perfect photography and lack of time always gets in my way.  So, today, I am going to play catch-up (with iphone photos!) and share the things I made over the last 6 weeks or so.  These things were practical and fun- the whole reason that I began sewing in the first place!  Nothing too widly original or especially well done either, just fun sewing projects. First, I made a couple dresses for my little peanut.  The one on the left is the geranium dress and the one on the right is the Sally Dress.  I have made both of these before and still love them.  Although, I will admit my machine hates sewing button holes right nowso the Geranium dress was sorta a pain for that reason alone.    Above is a detail of the bottom of the geranium dress and Marion’s fabulous new turquoise Mocs.  I used corduroy (from Joanns) for the dress and embroidered these little stitches by hand to add some extra interest.  The mocs are the lil papoose moccasins by Peek a boo pattern shop.  I have made them before and they are really fun.  Not super practical for this age- but fun, easy, and they really make an outfit super adorable! And above is another shot of the Sally Dress.  I love how she is showing us her displeasure with photo taking in this picture.  2 year olds are hilarious in a million ways.  This fabric was found at the thrift store the day before I made it and then she wore it to church the next day.  It’s really sweet how all the older ladies at church fawn over her when I make these kinds of dresses.  It must bring back many happy memories of dress making for their own kids.  It also motivates me to bring her to church in handmade!   I have been potty training at my house over the last month.  It has been a challenge but worth it to stop using diapers.  I remembered that I had a cute underwear pattern from the Sew Fab Bundle a few seasons ago and decided to try it out.  After a few mistakes on the first one, I made 10 of these quickly and they are fabulous!  The pattern is by Red Kitchen Katie and its adorable.We were having a lot of fights in the morning about back packs- the culprit was...

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Sew Cute Love Your Lunch Bag by Alex

Sew Cute Love Your Lunch Bag by Alex

  I have been admiring the great looking bags and sewing by Alex on instagram for quite some time.  I knew she would create a really cute Lunch box for our sale this month and I was not let down!  Alex actually made 2 Love Your lunch boxes.  First up is this adorable green chevron in which she used homemade (the best!) piping, added a lovely embroidered monogram, and (on both bags) she used these cool swivel clips… I need those for my next bag for sure!  She made this bag for her 15 year old and it is so perfect!  Youthful but not childish, don’t you think?   The other bag made by Alex features this cute Moda Dottie charm pack.  I have never thought to do a Love Your Lunch Box in patchwork!  It is so cute. And check out this cute quilting on the inside.  This bag looks so sturdy and ready for a delicious packed lunch.  Right? Thanks so much Alex!  All these photos were taken by Alex and shared on her instagram.  She is planning on getting back to blogging soon so add her to your list!  Her blog is called Sew Cute by Alex.  I hope this gave you some good lunch bag inspiraiton!  ...

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Hello Hoops

Hello Hoops

For my Handmade Arcade back in December, I made these fun Hello Hoops.  I have been buying hoops from the thrift store for years.  They are irresistable, no?  I am on a thrift store diet currently, but I still have my stock pile of hoops just waiting for something cute.   I printed out "hello" in a nice font (i think it was little days) and then taped it to the window and put my fabric on top of it to trace it.   For some reason I always just thought of embroidery on white fabric so I liked the freedom on using bright solids instead.  I used my favroite chain stitch to outline the word except on this one below I tried out a rope stitch which was fun too.   I wrapped the outside hoop in 1'' strips of colorful fabric.  I ripped the strips and then just applied paste to the hoop before I wrapped them.  This way of finishing the hoops came from here.  I think the fabirc wrapping really finishes the look and brings the colors together. The "hi" signs were obviously done the same way!  These were a fun addition to my regular bags and pillows in my booth AND I could make them while watching movies and a marathon of The Good Wife with the hubs in the weeks before the show.  After working out the kinks on the first couple, I was able to make them really fast.  I sold them for $15 to $20.  What have you found to do with your stash of hoops?  I know you have some tucked away in your craft...

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A Baby Book

A Baby Book

Baby Books!  Love em or hate em?  The pressure of filling them out makes me aprehensive.  I am fine with the initial info about when baby was born, what was happening, what the birth was like, etc.  It's just the follow up that gets me!  All the other kids have half filled baby books- great at the beginning and then lots of blank pages!  Life gets in the way and I forget to stop and fill out baby book info.   This is where my big girls will be helping future Marion.  They are PSYCHED about the baby book.   Fabric used: Pretty Little Things Tree by Dena Designs, Free Spirit Get Together Flock of Birds Pink & Valori Wells Wrenly Rosette Cerulean Blue I knew the notebook slipcover pattern would come in handy for this project.  My older daughters helped me choose the fabrics.  I added a double layer of cotton batting to make it softer and decided not to add the extra top stitching.  A cleaner edge just seemed right for this project. I purchased the whole set of pages from the lovely Shanda over at CustomMemoryBooks.  These are so nice!  Shanda customizes the cover page and all the pages just for the baby.  Check it out if you are in the baby book market.  So so sweet.  You can either have her print the pages and send to you or she will customize a set that you can print out yourself.  They are clean and simple with modern graphics. Brilliant. I bought a binder and clear protector pages from Office Max- an invest of about $15.  At first I thought I wouldn't like using the protector pages but they are actually really nice.  You can insert photos and cards in with certain pages and it keeps the whole thing more organized.  You scrap bookers probably already know about this trick but it was new to me!   So, were you good about your baby books?  Does it really even matter?  All I know is that when I mentioned baby book to the big girls they were so excited.  We brought out their baby books and it turns out that I filled in just enough to make them happy and together we talked about their baby times.  Phew!  Hopefully we can give that gift to Marion...

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Pencil Cases- Back to school gifts

Pencil Cases- Back to school gifts

School has already begun and the routine is in full swing.  Since our school provides almost all of our school supplies, the only thing I can really contribute to the girls' supplies is a cute pencil case.  I made up these simple cases.  I found a very similiar tutorial to how I made mine here.  There are lots of pencil case tutorials out there since they are fun and easy to make and the kids (and grown ups!) love them.   The girls are really into cursive so I did a simple running stitch embroidery of their names on each case. Since they have a gusset bottom (mine is smaller than the tutorial I referred to above) they stand up nicely when loaded with their pencils. I took pictures to make a tutorial up for this pencil case but there are so many nice tutorials for pencil cases out there, I decided to link up to some of my favorites instead.  Just click on the picture to take you to the tutorial if you are interested in trying one of these cuties!   Hope you liked this little pencil case celebration.  My girls were pretty crazy about their cases!  Are you making any back to school gifts for your kids or grandkids?...

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Hooped Valentines

Hooped Valentines

Whenever I see embroidery hoops at the thrift store, i gather them up in my basket.  They are addictive!  I have too many now and it is time to start using them up.  I thought Valentine's day would be the perfect time to get started! These are on our stocking nails which I thought was the perfect place.  The idea began as just hearts with fun fabrics and I could practice my embroidery stitches.  I then changed them into including envelopes to encourage valentine notes (more about this later). I made Cal's first.  I also tried chain stitch for the first time.  Remember when I made the quilt I said I was trying to flex my crafty muscles?  Well this is about doing that again.  The stitching is a little messy and the fabric choices are a little more country than I usually like.  I was going for boyish though so this is what I got… Not bad.  He likes it- especially the truck. Next came Elsie's valentine hoop.  She is 7 and loving purple, pink & girlyness in general (You would never know she loves getting dirty in the garden and pushing kids over on the soccer field). Again, I wanted to practice some new things here so I used Jessica's felt flower tutorial (fun and EASY) and worked again on the chain stitch.  It turned out nicer this time!  Loving the chain stitch.  I also told Amy recently that I didn't know how to use trim so I stuck some trim ribbon in the corner.  Hmmm?  Not sure about that choice but I DID use some trim! Finally came Anne's which is my favorite.  She wanted (after my suggestion!) a rainbow theme.  I tried all sorts of different ways to get the look I wanted and then remembered this technique that I saw on pinterest.  It worked great and I loved the final look. The rainbow and thrifted crochet doily took up the entire hoop so I added this simple duck cloth envelope to the bottom.  The heart is made from wool felt and then I used my embroidery threads to do a simple stitch to mimic the rainbow colors.  Whole lotta cuteness.   And one more shot of the rainbow.  Wouldn't this make the sweetest baby quilt on a biger scale?   The kids are really excited about these.  Valentine making and giving has been at an all time high. Aren't they cute?  You would never know with all this love going around that I had a crazy meltdown last night after I had to clean up yet another HUGE valentine making mess.  This time included glitter EVERYWHERE.  I yelled at them that I was going to...

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