Archive of ‘tutorial’ category

Sewing With Sweater Knits :: The Laurelhurst Cardigan

Sewing with sweater knit fabric - The Laurelhurst Cardigan

I love the drape and feel of sweater knit fabric but I’ve long been scared to sew it given how lightweight it is.  Seems like this scrumptious sweater-like lightweight fabric is just the kind of thing my sewing machine loves to tangle up and eat. As soon as I saw the Laurelhurst Cardigan from Straight Stitch Designs I knew I had to make it as a sweater knit.  It was time to conquer my fear!  Along the way I learned a few things and I’m sharing them on the UpCraft Blog.  What is better than a sweater knit in fall? Not a whole lot! Sewing with sweater knit fabric time, y’all!

Sunprinted Tablecloth and Napkins

DSC_1076 (1)

Way back (ah, decades ago!) when I was in college in Madison, WI, I met a vibrant, adventurous, elegant woman whose bohemian and artistic outlook was a revelation and an inspiration.  One of those friends whose free-spirited nature stills shapes me to this day.  When she got married this summer I knew I wanted to make her something special as a wedding gift.  I decided to make a sunprinted tablecloth and napkin set. (more…)

The Great Pattern Hack :: My Marigold Blouse and Marigold/Alder Dress

The Great Pattern Hack :: My Marigold Blouse and Marigold/Alder Dress

It is finally my turn to share on the Great Pattern Hack tour! I had so much fun hacking this Marigold blouse and Marigold/Alder mashup Dress.  Also, I also have a million things to say and don’t want to forget any of them.

First of all, though, the fabric.  I fell in love with the entire Indigo fabric collection from the moment I saw it at the Michael Miller offices.  I’ve always been fascinated by the gentle art of sashiko embroidery and I love the way this collection mimics both sashiko as well as a woven ikat look. It’s very wearable too.  I ended up making three garments some with Indigo and one with the MMF solids line Cotton Couture and I love them all.  Love, love, love.

But before the nitty-gritty I need to get minorly sappy.  I’ve been kind of cheerleading about this whole pattern hacking idea without really explaining why.  When Kait from Michael Miller asked me for an idea for a blog hop I suggested pattern hacking because I’ve noticed a split in the sewing world.  It sometimes seems there are two persectives and they are polar opposites…you either follow a pattern to the letter or you learn how to make your own patterns from scratch through pattern drafting classes.  I see it all the time among students in my sewing classes; this feeling that those are the only two options.  Yet, I know that somewhere quietly in the middle lives pattern hacking. It’s in hacking up a pattern that some of my best lesson have been learned….frustrating ones for sure, but alongside the failures has been the highs of successes.  I love that I don’t have to be a fit expert to take a pattern, tweak it a little and make it into what I’m looking for.  I started sewing because I wanted to make things that fit my body shape and define my own style.  I like being able to tinker with an existing pattern to make something my very own; my vision and no one elses but without the hassle of figuring out a sloper, etc. I don’t have to reinvent the wheel; I’m a hacker, baby!  I’d much rather pattern hack than pattern shop. I’d rather sew and experiment than read a pattern making book.  You feel me? I want to DO THE THING!  (more…)

The Great Pattern Hack :: The Sewing Rabbit hacks shorts to a skort!

Great Pattern Hack _ The Sewing Rabbit Hacked Shorts into a Skort

Yay!! It’s here! Today is the official kick-off of The Great Pattern Hack co-hosted by myself and Michael Miller Fabrics and we are starting off with such a great pattern hack! The inimitable Jess from The Sewing Rabbit loves bike rides with her husband so she pulled together an ingenious Skort DIY.  She hacked a pair of BurdaStyle shorts in peacock Seedling fabric. Such a perfect, happy summer outfit idea and she stitched up an adorable little girls outfit to boot! Catch all the details (and bury yourself in amazingness) on her blog!

Are you a pattern hacker? Then, play along!
I hate when blog hops feel like a party I didn’t get invited to and I don’t want this one to feel that way to anyone!  Do you tweak your patterns and stitch up magic just like Jess does? Then join in! Grab some Michael Miller fabric and show us your skills! Hack a pattern, any pattern, and share your creation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  Make sure to tag your photos so we can find you– @michaelmillerfabrics and @ahappystitch and use the hashtags #GreatPatternHack #MichaelMillerFabrics #AHappyStitch .

No time to stitch something new? Leave a comment and tell me about your favorite pattern hacking experience.  Let’s inspire each other, my fellow sewing ninjas!

There will be lots of giveaways —fabric and patterns!–throughout the hop so stay tuned!  Tomorrow we get to see what Kait, the behind-the-scenes beauty at Making It Fun the Michael Miller blog has sewn up!

The Great Pattern Hack team:
Monday 6/29 :: kick off with Jess Abbott from The Sewing Rabbit
Tuesday 6/30  :: Kait Witte from Making it Fun (Michael Miller Fabrics)
Wednesday 7/1  :: Flash Giveaway Day!
Thursday 7/2  :: Jane Kohlstein from Buzzmills
Friday 7/3  :: Me!  A Happy Stitch
Monday 7/6  ::  Rachael Gander at Imagine Gnats
Tuesday 7/7  :: Tamara Serrao at Kaya Joy
Wednesday 7/8  :: Betsy Blodgett from Indygo Junction
Thursday 7/9  :: Laura Titchner from Craftstorming
Friday 7/10  :: Kristin Timm from Skirt As Top
Saturday 7/11  :: Jessica and Ericka at Violette Threads
Monday 7/13  :: Celina Bailey at Petit A Petit and Family
Tuesday 7/14  :: Sanae from Sanae Ishida
Wednesday 7/15  :: Erin Sundet at Sewbon
Thursday 7/16 ::  Delia Randall from Delia Creates

Friday 7/17 :: Wrap up and Surprise Giveaway!!!

“love”-ly smoothie sippers!

lovely smoothie sippers | easiest way to decorate a straw on valentines day

It is almost Valentines Day!  The boys both had their classroom parties today and came home so excited about all the valentines they got.  All of which means tiny temporary tattoos and glossy pieces of paper are scattered all over every surface (because everything must be looked at in its entirety).  It also means our household has an additional six unsharpened pencils that I will promptly add to our junk drawer, which is mostly full of unsharpened pencils.  I swear pencils are this generations version of double bubble gum from…the supply seems endless as does its popularity as the completely safe gift nobody wants.

Our family, however, has one plan for Valentines day and it’s a big, celebratory breakfast.  We decided on our menu over dinner two nights ago.  The plan is that J will make a fruit salad with only red fruit (strawberries, watermelon, red grapes, etc.), I will make pancakes and my husband and C are making smoothies.  It’s going to be spectacular.  I decided to make some special straws for our smoothies and that is how these “love”ly smoothie sippers came to be.  It’s totally the easiest thing ever but here is how I made them, just in case.  (more…)

How to Wrap a Heart :: Resuable Fabric Wrap for Valentine’s Day

how to wrap a heart  a stamped fabric wrapping for all your valentines day goodness

Valentine’s day is a hand-makers holiday. No doubt.  I always catch the crafting (love) bug and cannot stop. This year is no exception and I’m excited to share Valentine projects all week. (I realize it’s a little late but inspiration strikes when it strikes and I’m running with it!)

I’m starting with this reusable, hand-stamped fabric wrap–basically a burrito for your Valentine treats.  We don’t give each other big gifts at our house but we always have a nice breakfast with pancakes and smoothies. This year I’m adding this sweet little package of chocolate goodness.  These people I Iive with are such very good people and I’m tucking some love into this hand-stamped package of love using only a fat quarter!  So here is how to wrap a heart! (more…)

Kindergarten Chair Pockets

Ooh, what is this stack of rainbow goodness? It is, in fact, a stack of kindergarten chair pockets. You know, those easily accessible pockets that hang over the back of a child-sized chair making their folders and supplies within reach?

How to:: Quick and easy kindergarten chair pockets

Or maybe you don’t know.  I didn’t know about them until C started kindergarten a few years ago and I immediately thought they were so clever.  They are super simple, basically a rectangle with one pocket on one end to fit over the back of a chair and one pocket on the other side that you can reach into.  When J started kindy this year and his teacher didn’t have them I asked her about it and she told me SHE couldn’t afford them (Yes.  She, as an individual.  Don’t even get me started).  They are, apparently, around $8-$10 each, which gets pretty pricey when you have 20-25 kids at any given time. (more…)

DIY :: Make your own Product Tags for Handmade Items

Hello December! It is getting busy around here.  I’m gearing up for a wonderful artisan market coming up this weekend (it’s here if you are local) and I’m so excited.  People inevitably ask me, at these markets, where I get my product tags and are always surprised when I tell them I make them.  But, it so darn easy!  And, super cheap!

A super cheap and easy way to make your own product tags! Label your lovely stuff!!

Today, I’m sharing how I make them so you can add them to your handmade items.  (Quick public service announcement: Whether you sell things or not, you should label your handmade goods.  They are so special! You made them.)

This is my super cheap, easy and spectacular method for making product tags.  (more…)

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