Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

Men’s Boxer Shorts [Free Pattern + Juxaposey llama Fabric]

Hi all! We are all back from our spring break, feeling fresh and revived.  It’s the perfect time for me to release my first free pattern. Eek! This whole thing started because I felt I was neglecting my husband, sewing-wise. Here is the deal, sewing for men can be difficult. It’s certainly harder than choosing what I want for myself or even my kids.  Plus, unless you are sewing for one of those Florida dudes in need of an endless supply of breezy, patterned shirts it’s also a little dull.  But…you know what isn’t dull? Boxer Shorts! Full of fun patterns and colors and easy to construct, men’s boxer shorts are basically the wild and crazy guy of a dude’s chest of drawers. So guys! Guess what? It’s time to bust out some awesome fabric and get cranking out boxer shorts!  I picked llamas and a fun print from Betz White’s new Juxtaposey line. In fact, Betz really is the inspiration for this whole project.  When she asked me to make something in her new line I knew it had to be boxer’s short for my dude. (more…)

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!

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…)

make it :: sewing weight

one of the women in my fantastic tuesday night class this week enthusiastically reminded me of how wonderful it is to sew with weights.  (it’s not sewing while pumping ironing, which is how I’m making it sound.)

so let me explain because sewing weights are fantastic.  by weighing down a pattern rather than pinning it, you can trace directly onto fabric (with tailor’s chalk or another marking tool) and skip having to pin things down.  then you just toss the pattern aside and cut the fabric along your easy to see lines.  no more fussing with straightening the pattern, pinning its fussy self down only to find it has puckered up and needs to be re-pinned.  who has the time or patience for that?  technically speaking, anything can be used as a handy sewing weight…soup cans, scissors, pincushions, etc.  but, c’mon that isn’t very fun or very pretty. and, every once in a while it ought to be ok to indulge in making even the sewing process pretty.

so, now that you are sold on their unbelievable usefulness and the need for more pretty in the process, let’s get down to making one. I used random scraps of linen to make mine…it’s amazing how beautiful a little scrap of fabric can be and there is little more of a useful feeling than using up some scraps.

 1. hold up a piece of paper and trace this triangle.  yep, right on the screen.

 2. cut out 4 triangles

  3. with a 1/4″ seam allowance sew together one side of two      triangles.

  4. along another side of the triangle sew another triangle.

  5. folding the middle triangle in half, match the final open sides        and sew shut to form a three dimensional triangle.

 6. it should look like this.

 7. take the final triangle and set it along one side of the triangle you have already sewn.  sew with the same 1/4″ seam allowance you’ve been using all along.  this can get a little tricky, just be sure to sew only what you intend to and don’t miss something you mean to sew. (ha! I just realized that the preceding would be the rule for just about every stitch ever.)

 8. do the same stitch with the next side.

 9. sew a 1/2 an inch or so at the beginning and end of the final side, leaving an opening of about 2 inches in the middle of the final side.  then turn the whole thing inside out, exposing the pretty sides. (take a quick moment for a victory dance. it’s awfully pretty isn’t it!)


10. now…fill it up!  you may want to fill yours with something heavier than beans (which is what I used but it doesn’t end up all the heavy…heavy enough but not super heavy). you could use metal bits from the hardware store, I’ve heard of people using that to give it some heft. i digress a bit.  to fill, cut a corner off an envelope and fill it with your weight of choice.  this forms a convenient funnel for pouring into the opening you made. it works best if one hand is holding the funnel while the other is holding the sewing weight opening.

  11. last, hand sew the opening shut using a slip stitch or other hand stitch.

now…go sew like mad with your handy-dandy weights!

p.s. filled with poly-fill this would make a great pincushion for a gift to someone else or yourself.

valentine idea :: from the archives

I thought I would share of my past valentine creations this week starting with these cards from last year.  I’m particularly proud of them because I got to use up fabric scraps AND sew on paper, which is a weirdly satisfying thing to do…it feels almost naughty. they are pretty simple and it’s probably pretty obvious how to make them but indulge me while I share what how I went about it.


I started by ironing my fabric scraps (cut cleanly using my trusty clear ruler, rotary cutter, and cutting mat) onto freezer paper.  freezer paper is this crazy stuff with paper on one side and a waxy coating on the other side and it just so happens that it sticks to fabric superbly when ironed.  you can find it in the grocery store, sometimes it requires a bit of hunting but most places seem to carry it.  I used the freezer paper to stabilize the fabric so that my cutting and tracing could be more precise.  next, I traced some hearts using cookies cutters onto the fabric using a fabric marking tool to make uniform heart shapes.

after cutting out my hearts, I peeled off the freezer paper and held them in place while I sewed them onto the paper.  you can’t really pin through the paper without actually making things more difficult and/or sloppy.  other than that, it’s just regular sewing, except it makes a cute punch-y sound while you sew.  I used alphabet stamps and standard stamping ink to print the letters.

easy-peasy.  and, so cute and modern looking…in my humble opinion. I had a few clear vellum envelopes leftover from some other card-making escapade and I especially liked how those looked when you could see through to the card as below. 

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