8 steps to Beautiful Balanced Scrap Fabric New Yardage

8 steps to Beautiful Balanced Scrap Fabric New Yardage

Have you ever tried to put scraps together only to find that you can’t seem to get the look you want?  Yes, me too.  Well, after all these years, I have a solution for YOU! I was helping my daughter make her drawstring backpack (from this post a few weeks ago) and as we were going through how to put all the fabrics together, I realized that maybe a lot of my readers might like some help with these strategies- just like my daughter did! In the photo above you can see how she combined her scraps in a visually pleasing way, and although it looks random, we actually put quite a bit of planning into it!  So, I made a new video to explain these simple strategies that can help you to combine scraps and make pretty new scrappy yardage.  Want to try it out?  Watch the video below to learn… I divide the process into 8 easy steps that will help to make it feel more organized.  These steps include combining textures, fabrics sizing, seam placement and sewing together in sections. Leave me comment below to tell me how you successfully combine scrap fabrics!  I look forward to hearing from you!...

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How to Sew an Easy and Fast Pencil Pouch with a Zipper

How to Sew an Easy and Fast Pencil Pouch with a Zipper

Back to school is in full swing at my house!  All FOUR of my kids are now going to school all day long.  Yes, I am crying a little but also looking forward to this new chapter of my life.  It actually feels pretty hectic getting everyone ready.  I took an afternoon last week to make some really cute and easy pencil pouches.  This pencil case DIY project is easy and great for beginners.   Feel free to Pin the image below for later use if you don’t have time to make one now! You all my know by now that my favorite way to do tutorials is by video!  I feel like I can really explain what is happening and this is great for beginner sewers.  You experienced gals, just fast forward through the simple parts! You will need a 7” nylon zipper, 10” x 9.5” exterior fabric, 10” x 9.5” lining fabric, and 10” x 9.5” fusible interfacing.  Let me know your thoughts about going back to school and how you like the look of this pencil case below!  ...

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Roll-Up Organizer Sewing Tutorial

Roll-Up Organizer Sewing Tutorial

My newest Youtube video features this adorable roll-up organizer!  I used mine to for bathroom supplies for my girls going to camp but the possibilities are endless!  I know you will love it!  Here is a sneak peak of the organizer… Click below to watch the video and make your own!  All the supplies needed are in the video description.  You can make this in about an hour 🙂  Enjoy! While you...

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HST Quilted Pillow Tutorial Video

HST Quilted Pillow Tutorial Video

Have you been nervous to try quilting?  This is the project for YOU!  Or perhaps just looking to try something new (but really this is OLD) ?  This new tutorial over on my Youtube channel is an easy and modern twist on the classic Lamoyne star quilt block.  This block has been around a very long time!  Some theories link it to Versailles and others to the LeMoyne Brothers and the beginnings of New Orleans.  Cool, right?  It is also called the Lemon Star in New England. This new video teaches you an easy way to make perfect Half Square Triangles (HST) called the magic 8.  I am also not responsible for inventing the magic 8 either 🙂  I wish I knew who to give credit, because it is a brilliant and easy way to make HSTs.  Watch below and make your own… As discussed in the video, here is a “map” to help you create your pillow.  Click on the blue letters to download the PDF and print, or you can just use your phone or tablet to view. LeMoyne Block I would love to see how YOU would mix it up!  I am looking forward to adding some serious color to this project 🙂 . Here is one more photo of the pillow in action in my home…...

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Make your own EASY eye mask Sewing Tutorial

Make your own EASY eye mask Sewing Tutorial

Eye masks are the perfect project for using up some of those precious scrap fabrics you have been saving!  They only use a small amount of fabric and look adorable.  AND, they work really nice too 🙂 . My newest Youtube video tutorial will give you all the detail on how to make one! To download the pattern piece, click on the blue letters below.  Enjoy your sewing! Easy-Eye-Mask-Tutorial This Funny Eye one was made using fabric markers!  Cute,...

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Boho Beach Bag Tutorial

Boho Beach Bag Tutorial

I love summer and going to the pool, beach and lake with the kids.  They splash around and I relax (sorta) and it is really nice.  But, I admit that sometimes I feel  a bit like a pack mule lugging all the towels and chairs and snacks etc.  Yes, the older ones carry their own towels and chairs.  Yes, my husband helps me when he comes along!  But, I am often the one doing the majority of the carrying.  THUS, a new beach BAG! This one was made using very lightweight fabrics and wide handles so I can just fold it up and put away without having it take up too much space.  Bonus!  I like making video tutorials nowadays :).  So watch below to see the movie magic and make yourself a new boho beach bag too…   You will need a yard for the exterior and almost a yard for the lining too.  I didn’t use any interfacing but you are welcome to add for a sturdier version.  Here are a few more...

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Fabric Gift Box Video Tutorial for Mother’s Day

Fabric Gift Box Video Tutorial for Mother’s Day

FRIENDS!  I made this last mother’s day but never shared on my blog.  DUH!  This space is like an old friend though- i am going to just jump back in and pretend like I haven’t neglected her so much.  The blog will still love me, right? Here is the super cute and easy video to make these fun fabric baskets.  I made them last year with Mother’s day in mind so that I could add some new dish towels, lotions, etc into a pretty fabric caddy.  It turned out cute and FAST!  you will love...

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The BEST 1/2 yard tote EVER :)

The BEST 1/2 yard tote EVER :)

Does anyone else out there always click on the Pinterest recipes that say (for example)”BEST MEATLOAF EVER”?  I do!  I can’t help it.  I think, if they claim it is the best, it must the BEST!  Well, I think this 1/2 yard tote is pretty great, so I am going to go ahead and call it THE BEST.  Haha!  I will let you be the judge but I may as well shoot for the moon 🙂 I am teaching a little sewing class to a few local kids.  They are so fun and I am really enjoying sharing my love of sewing with them.  Our first project was pin cushions and now we are making our second project, this tote bag!  I think it is perfect to teach them how to follow a simple pattern, learn If you are coming from my Youtube channel, WELCOME!  If you are already a blog follower, head over to my channel and watch this new video and learn how to make this adorable tote bag. You can download the cutting guide to by clicking on these BLUE words below.  Print out this page for easy reference when making these bags (because I KNOW you are going to make more than one!). QuickEasy1:2YardTote-byGingercake Here is the stabilizer I use.  It is my favorite now and I love only using that expensive fusible interfacing when I have too.  I love saving the $$$, the time, and I love how sturdy this stuff make my bags!  Here is for sale on amazon.   Here are a few more photos of the bag!  I used chambray fabric from Andover for the lining and the exterior fabric is from Blend fabrics.  I love this combo, don’t you?  What would you use this bag for?  Library tote?  Piano bag?  Crafts on the go?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments!...

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Cheery Fabric Chicken Tutorial

Cheery Fabric Chicken Tutorial

This is one cute chicken!  I don’t know about you, but tons of my neighbors and friends have chickens now.  It may be that I live in a rural area that is still pretty close to Pittsburgh and lots of people around here love the whole hobby farm thing, but I know that chickens are super popular all over the country, right? So, just in time for those hens to start laying again (and for my sweet neighbors to give me some fresh eggs!), I created this new video on my Youtube channel to celebrate our favorite domestic feathered friend. Head over to my Channel (and subscribe for more fun sewing videos!) to watch the video!  Click below (on the highlighted letters!) to get the pattern pieces.  They are just 2 pages and make sure you set your printer to 100%...

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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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Seraphina Swan Sewing Pattern all dressed up!

Seraphina Swan Sewing Pattern all dressed up!

I am so excited about my newest sewing pattern, Seraphina Swan!  Swans are a favorite of mine and to bring this idea to life has been a really fun sewing journey.  The original pattern version has wings made from cotton or felt stacked together.  I love that version since you can mix favorite fabrics and give your personal style to your swan. But I was also interested in making a dressed up version.  I came up with this gorgeous gal with her tulle wings and sparkly crown.  Do you want to know how to make your own dressed up version of the Seraphina Swan?  It is easy and fun (of course!) I have to admit, making the wings this way is even faster than the original version.  I used plain white tulle and gold glitter tulle.  These are both very easy to find at your local craft store.  I imagine it would be gorgeous is pale pink or dramatic black too! Making these tulle wings is as easy as folding napkins 🙂 . Below are picture directions…  Now, just like adding the fabric feathers in the pattern, you stack these tulle feathers.  First 4, then three and then three more at the front edge.  I mixed in 1 gold “feather” in each layer.  I love how light and airy they look!  Continue with the binding just like in the pattern instructions. One extra tip for these wings- use a pressing cloth (just a layer of cotton fabric is what i used!) and press these wings flat after you have the wings finished and before you attach to the swan body.  It makes them less pouffy but you still achieve this pretty and floaty look. Now for that cute little crown.  This can be accomplished in many ways!  I used a glitter felt from National NonWovens but the options for making a sparkly crown are endless!   Here is my version… There!  It is so easy to create a beautiful swan!   Don’t forget, now until November 16th, 2017 the brand new Seraphina Swan PDF pattern is only $5!  Don’t you feel like making a swan today?? Let me know in the comments how you would dress up your swan.  I would love to hear your ideas.  If you make a swan, tag me on IG with @gingercakesews and using hashtag #seraphinaswan.  Or, send me an email!  I love to see your creations.    ...

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Picnic Quilt in just 3 hours!

Picnic Quilt in just 3 hours!

Over on my Youtube channel today I shared a new tutorial to make this cute and fun Picnic Quilt!  I have had a great time collaborating with Organic Cotton Plus to make a few videos and I love how this one turned out!  Scroll down to get the PDF map of the quilt and print if you are here from Youtube 🙂 This was an easy and fun quilt to make.  I loved ripping the FQs and then using their size to determine the size of the quilt.  It really made it easy to assemble!  Miss Marion likes it too!   You can watch the video by clicking the play button below.  It is almost 20 minutes long which feels LONG for youtube!  But I will tell you- it’s really hard to show how to sew a whole quilt in less than 20 minutes!  I think it will be worth your time 🙂 Here is the PDF version of the quilt :  OCP quilt design.  Click on that link and print it out on your computer or use the image on your phone like I did in the video.  Here is a photo version you can view from your phone or computer while you sew.  Enjoy your quilt...

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Add a Side Pocket to the Classic Bowling Bag

Add a Side Pocket to the Classic Bowling Bag

The classic bowling bag look great with pockets on the end!  Here are instructions to show you how to add end pockets  and make them look really nice. First, take a piece of fabric, in the same direction as your end piece, that measures 8” wide by 12” long.  Pay attention to fabric direction.Fold in half with wrong sides together so the piece is now 8” wide by 6” high.  Cut a piece of stabilizer (I am using non fusible interfacing but Pellon 931TD also works fine). that is also 8” x 6” Layer the interfacing inside the folded fabric and top stitch across the top folded edge.  Now you have a pocket!Layer the end piece on top of the pocket piece, face down on your work table.  Pin if needed.  Baste together by sewing 1/8” close to the edge of the end piece.  Then, trim off the edge of the pocket to match the curve of the end piece.  See the photo below. Turn the piece over and now you see your pocket piece in place! Follow the pattern instructions to add the end piece onto the sides.  Your basting stitches that you make to ease the end piece in place, should begin just above the pocket top edge. In the pattern, I  give you the option of hand stitching the seam of the end pieces over toward the sides to define your bag.  It is optional in the pattern, but if you add pockets to your ends, it is highly recommended.  Otherwise, the pockets with bow out and distort the look of the bag. Now you can enjoy the extra storage of end pockets on your Classic Bowling Bag! Visit my PDF pattern shop to purchase your copy of the Classic Bowling bag pattern and make something beautiful today!        ...

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Halloween Front Door Decor and Tutorial

Halloween Front Door Decor and Tutorial

It has taken years for me to find my halloween decor groove.  My kids want to see our house get festive for the holidays and I remember loving halloween stuff when I was a kid too.  But the retail stuff available  can be kinda ugly, right?  And creepy too.  So, here is my compromise!  Still festive and a little spooky, but not over the top. First is my new wreath!  I made this by recovering my spring wreath from this video tutorial.  I simply cut two 7” x WOF pieces of fabric and sewed them together to make an 7” x approx 84” piece of fabric.  Then I sewed it right sides together to make a long tube.  I turned it inside out and covered my wreath just like in the video.  Very easy! The flowers are 2 colors of orange wool felt.  These types of felt flowers are very easy to make!  I used the method described here.  I usually make my cuts kinda wavy to add more imperfection to the flower if that makes sense. I love the simple gathered wreath and felt flowers look.  Not too much and still festive!   Here is a quick photo tutorial for making the flowers.  You can read that link above for more detailed info on making the flowers.Don’t worry, I did get a little spooky for the kids !   A couple of years ago I made these ghosts to fit over my front door lights.   Aren’t they fun?  The kids love them so much and they are so excited to come home from school to see them up.  And they are SUPER easy to make.  I measured how far it is the from the top of the lights (where the glass starts) and down to the ground.  Then I added 1.5” for the casing on top.  I used the WOF and made a large tube by sewing the piece right sides together.  I just used inexpensive muslin fabric that was about 42” wide.  With the height of my lights and front door, I bought 6 yards of fabric for both lights. I used 3/4” wide elastic.  When I sew a casing like this, I use this classic method.  Very simple and easy!  You can see from the photo below that the fabric does not fit over the light entirely.  It doesn’t matter!  It will still look great. Making the face is easy too.  Simply draw a face that you like on a piece of paper.  Cut out shapes to make pattern pieces.  Use pattern pieces to cut out shapes on the black material.  Then use black thread to sew the face onto your ghost.  I did mine backwards and then cut...

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7 Faux Fur Sewing Ideas

7 Faux Fur Sewing Ideas

When you make the Lulu Llama sewing pattern, I recommend buying a 1/2 yard cut of faux fur.  (if you go to JoAnn’s you can save more by purchasing only 14” instead of 18!).  Fur is usually 60” wide!  This means your Llama only used HALF of the fur you purchase!  What to do with that other half?  Well, first, you can just make another llama.  But there are also lots of simple and fun project out there for sewing with faux fur.  Here are a few… Make a fur pom pom for your favorite hat!  This is really cute.  You can find this tutorial here .    This hood from Lemon Squeezy home is ADORABLE!  THis is free pattern that comes in several sizes.  With your left over Llama fur, you might only be able to make the little one.  You can get the pattern here. My girls would love a stool like this one above for their room!  It is so fun!  You can get the tutorial here. Ok, ok.  The instructions to this one are in either spanish or portuguese, but look at this sweet cappella!  That collar makes it really special.  I know some of you are up for a challenge.  You can find the pattern here. This are really cool boot cuffs!  I’m not sure I could pull it off with my wardrobe (PJ pants?) but I know some of you could really rock this look!  Or you could make them for someone you know who could rock it!  Get the simple tutorial here. Add a little fur to your holiday with this trendy stockings!  Get the tutorial here. This little fur vest would make a really cute baby gift!  so cozy and stylish for the little one!  Get the tutorial here. I hope these ideas got you inspried to use up that other half of your faux fur!  I know I am excited to see what you are making!  ...

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Vacation Tote with Flap and More pockets

Vacation Tote with Flap and More pockets

At the end of this month I am sewing a couple of bags for one of my favorite fabric designers, Kelle Boyd of AnnKelle.  YAY!  She sent me 1 yard of this 108” wide remix yellow daisies which was WAY more than needed to make the bag she requested.   I thought it would be perfect to sew up a cute and summery vacation tote! This version has a twists I wanted to share.  I made the bag just like in the pattern describes but added a flap and magnetic snap closure.  I cut 2 pieces of fabric that were 4” x 8” and fused interfacing to the backs of each.  Then I cut a matching 4” x 8” piece of cotton batting.  I then added one half of a magnetic snap to one fabric side. See the drawing below~Next, layer the pieces together in this order, cotton batting, 4” x 8” piece right side up, 4” x 8” right side down.  See drawing on the left.  Then, sew them together with a 2.5” opening on one 4” end.  Curve the corners at the other 4” end (the one where the magneic snap is attached.  See the drawing on the right. Turn the flap right side out through the opening, poke out the corners, and press flat.  Then top stitch around the entire piece 1/8” toward the edge.  See the dawing below on the left.  Then center the flap on the top edge of the bag- the opposite side of the bag that you want to be the front (both sides are identical in the pattern but maybe you like something better on one side of the bag that the other!).  Pin the flap 2.5” from the top edge and stitch on with a box that measures about 1.75” x 3.25”  you can draw this with water soluable ink or chalk if desired.  See the drawing on the right below. If you are adding the flap on AFTER making the bag (like I did), you will have the problem of inserting the other half of the magnetic snap to the front side exterior.  Simply use your seam ripper to gently take out about 3” of the top stitching and then open the seam between the lining and exterior up.  Measure down 2.75” from the tope edge, centered, and make a mark with chalk or water soluable pen.  Use this mark as your placement for the other half of the magnetic snap.  See the drawing below.   I used steam a seam to close the opening back up but you could also use a blind stitch or simply just use the top stitch to close the opening back up.  Be careul though in...

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Another Day Off Backpack Tote and SALE code

Another Day Off Backpack Tote and SALE code

I really like the dimensions of the day off backpack.  Big enough to carry my things but not so huge that things get lost!  A few weeks ago, before we left for Colorado, I made a winter tote version of the backpack that I love using everyday. I have discovered that a tote is better for me to use everyday than a backpack.  The backpacks I save for special excursions- to the pool, on a hike, etc.  The tote I can use for carrying just my wallet and a few essentials, and then add everyone’s extra mittens and library books if needed!For this tote, I added a zipper pocket to the interior using this technique which is nice for those things you don’t want just floating around in the bottom of your bag!  The fabrics used are a black wool suiting for the exterior and a lime green duck cloth for the base and lining. For the front zipper pocket, I used this cute fabric for the lining.  I always love picking out lining fabric for pockets like this- it’s like a little surprise everytime your open it up!  It is from Joanns. This tote is made by using the pattern pieces for the large backpack.  You omit the drawstring casing and the flap (obviously!).  Also, you do not add the back top exterior piece.  To make up for not adding that piece to the back exterior, you make the front top exterior 16” x 6” instead of 16” x 7.25”. These handles were really fun to make and I can add a special tutorial for them if you are interested!  Please let me know here with a comment. Thanks for the comments!  Tutorial below~ Want to try one yourself?  The day off backpack is pattern is VERY versatile.  In honor of my newest tote, let’s have a 25% off sale on this pattern!  Use the code TOTEVERSION when you purchase the pattern in the shop.  This makes the pattern only $8.00.  Enjoy! To make the handles, begin by cutting 2 pieces of quilting weight fabric 3.5” x 24”.  Fuse interfacing to the wrong side of each piece.  I use Pellon 931TD.  If you use canvas or some other thicker fabric, omit the interfacing or perhaps only fuse to half of the handle. Working with one of the the pieces, fold in half lengthwise, right sides together.  With a 1/4” seam allowance, sew up one short side and toward the center.  Leave a 4” opening at the center, and then sew the other side closed.  See the drawing below. Clip the corners and turn the piece right side out.  Poke out the corners the press flat. Pay special attention to line up the folds of the...

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Make Your Getaway Duffle with Long Handle and Front Pocket

Make Your Getaway Duffle with Long Handle and Front Pocket

If you follow along regularly, you may remember the version of the Make your Getaway Duffle that I made for Elsie back in August.  That version has become very popular and although the original version is a bit quicker, this one is not much more effort and might be fun for you to try if you want to change up the look of the classic Gingercake duffle pattern. I did not include the shoulder strap (like on the bag that Elsie has) in this tutorial since it turns out it wasn’t very useful.  I don’t want you adding something to your bag that doesn’t work well!  I might try to revisit that shoulder strap in the future since the idea is right- it just needs more padding or width or something! I have only tried the straps and pocket like this on the adult size version.  I imagine it would work fine on the child size if you experiment with the proportions a little.  These instructions are meant to be a supplement to your purchase of the Make Your Getaway Duffle!  They will not make sense unless you already own the pattern.   The handles in the original pattern are 16” x 6”.  To make these long handles, I simply used the WOF (width of fabric) since it is easiest and doesn’t waste fabric.  So, cut 2 strips that are 6” x WOF.  This usually is 42” to 44”.  I wouldn’t go less than 40”  length or you may have trouble putting the finished bag easily over your shoulder. Press in half lengthwise, right sides together (light gray center press line).  Unfold and then press the 2 long raw edges in toward that center fold, again wrong sides together.  Open back up, mark the center, and fuse the 3” x 20” interfacing to the wrong side centered.  See the drawing below. Press the sides back in toward the center, and then press the center again.  Top stitch down both long sides, 1/8” close to the edge. Follow instructions in the Make Your Getaway Duffle to complete the folded center of the handle.  Repeat with the other 6” by WOF piece. To attach the handle to the body piece, measure in from the left side 5” and mark with a pin or marking tool.  Then measure 5” from the right side toward the center and again mark.  Take one of the long handle and center it over the marks you just made.  Make sure the handle is not twisted.  See the drawing below for placement.  Pin the outside of the handle in place on the body- use a long ruler or similar method to make sure that you keep the handle straight.  Stop pinning where you can...

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