Thursday, June 22, 2017

Free Stuffed Animal Carrier Sewing Pattern + Beginner Sewing Project for Kids

FREE Stuffed Animal Carrier Sewing Pattern and Tutorial
DIY Stuffed Animal Carrier / Backpack
*The pattern download link is below
The other day my daughter wanted to spend some of her birthday and allowance money at Build-A-Bear so off we went to the mall! She quickly realized that there were too many things she wanted and not enough money for them of course :) She found the bear she wanted - Squirtle the Pokemon character - and then wanted a stuffed animal carrier for him. But, when she saw the price and looked at it, she said, "Mom, I think we should go home and make this!" OMGOSH did my heart explode! My little girl loves a project and this one was going to be so much fun to do together!

Catherine is almost 8 years old and has been "sewing" with me the past few years. She usually sits on my lap and I let her lift the presser foot, push the backstitch button and turn the hand wheel to lift the needle, then trim the threads. Well, this time it was different! My big girl sat at the machine all by herself and I stood next to her, in awe of her moving the fabric as she sewed, knowing exactly when to lift and lower the presser foot and watching her little hands trim the thread. Just in awe. It was a beautiful and proud moment and I love watching her grow up! 

Tutorial below...
I could watch her create all day long. That persistent look, those creative ideas that never stop - she is full of so much joy daily and I love her heart!

Trying hard to keep the fabric straight.

Stuffed Animal Carrier Sewing Tutorial

Print the FREE stuffed animal carrier pattern pieces HERE.

Materials: 1/2 of a yard of cotton fabric; 1/2 yard of fusible interfacing; 36 inches of bias tape (for straps or 1/8 of a yard of fabric for the straps)

Make sure your 1 inch square measures 1 inch. Do not overlap pages when you lay out the pattern pieces. Cut out pattern pieces.

1. Cut 2 carrier pieces in the fabric you are using.  
2. Cut 1 stuffed animal holder pattern piece. Trace the foot arch but do not cut out the foot arch yet.
3. Cut 2 straps 18 inches long (we used bias tape) OR cut out two straps 2 inches by 18 inches. Fold the straps in half so they are 1 inch by 18 inches, sew along the long side and turn right side out. Press with iron. 

4. Iron on interfacing on the back (wrong side) of one carrier piece.

5. Iron on the interfacing on the back (wrong side) of the stuffed animal holder. 

6. Fold down a 1 inch hem along the top edge of the animal holder. Pin and sew. 

7. Cut out 2 arches for the stuffed animal's feet. Zig-zag stitch the arcs to reduce fraying.

7. Lay one carrier piece right side up. Lay the stuffed animal holder right side up and centered along the bottom edge. Gather it and pin. You need this to be roomy because of the depth of the stuffed animal - they are not flat like a piece of paper :) 

8. Lay the straps 3 inches apart and centered along the top and 2 inches in from the left and right bottom edge. Pin.

9. Place the other carrier piece right sides together. Pin all around. 

10. Sew all the way around but STOP SEWING 4 inches before your starting point. Turn right side out through the hole. Sew the hole closed. 

You're done!!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How to add pockets to shorts + FREE pocket pattern piece

How to add pockets to shorts - sewing tutorial how to add pockets

Our best selling shorts pattern, The French Market Shorts for Women, found HERE are a staple in my summer wardrobe! I have them in seersucker, a printed stretch twill and solid black, but they were missing one thing! Pockets!! I found myself trying to put my hands in my pockets while I was standing around, or trying to put my keys in my pockets as I ran my errands, but guess what? There weren't any pockets, so today I am showing you how to add side seam pockets to shorts. This same method is also used if you want to add them to a skirt pattern you have.

Grab the pocket pattern piece HERE to download and print. Then get your copy of the French Market Shorts HERE and let's get started!

Here's a tutorial with photos of how to add side seam pockets (below) OR scroll down and see it illustrated for you!
1. Lay front and back pieces right side up. Lay pocket pieces right side down and pin down pocket. Sew along the pocket edge using a 1/8 inch seam allowance. Repeat for other front and back, making sure they are also laid right side up.

2. Press pocket away from the shorts with an iron.

3. Lay front and back shorts pieces right sides together. Pin down the top edge until you reach the pocket, then pin around the entire pocket, then pin down all the way to the bottom edge of the shorts. Next, line up the inseams and pin.

Sew along your the pinned inseams and down and around your pocket using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Serge or zig-zag stitch the raw edge. Repeat for other front and back.

4. Lay one piece right side out and lay one inside out. 

5. Take the right side out piece and stick it into the piece that is wrong side out. Line up the crotch seam (it will form a U shape) and pin.

Sew around the crotch curve using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. Serge or zig-zag stitch the raw edges. Trim threads.

6. Turn shorts right side out to see pockets!

7. Attach waistband, hem legs and insert elastic just as pattern directions state. 
You're done!!

You did it!! Go make yourself a pair and come join our facebook group HERE and share a pic! Or post to instagram with hashtag #seaminglysmitten to show it off!

If you like illustrations find it below!

Continue pattern as stated to finish! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Off the Shoulder Top pattern - NEW RELEASE! Off shoulder top pdf sewing pattern

Women's Off the Shoulder Top PDF sewing pattern
You can make it 4 ways and wear it 3 ways! 
*You can make it with a single ruffle with trim or without trim, a double ruffle with trim or without trim PLUS you can even add can wear it OFF both shoulders, ON both shoulders or ONE ONE shoulder! You will definitely find a look you love!!

Check out all these awesome looks for summer that these ladies made! You can make one in fabrics such as lightweight or medium weight cotton, cotton blend, poly, poly blend, cotton lycra, lightweight knit, seersucker, voile, rayon, jersey, eyelet, gauze fabric, linen blend or similar.

lace trim single ruffle

double ruffle

You will be all set for summer when you make yours! SHOP IT HERE!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Maxi Skirt PDF Sewing Pattern with Pockets and Center Front Slit NEW RELEASE

Orleans Avenue Maxi Skirt PDF Sewing Pattern for Women with Pockets and Center Front Slit

The NEW, MUST-HAVE Maxi Skirt is here and you will definitely want more than one for your closet! I took the basic maxi skirt and added some oomph to it with large pockets and a center slit! You can find it HERE in the pattern shop.
*Keep reading to see customer photos and fabric inspiration!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

DIY Shibori How to Dye Fabric Tutorial

*This post may contain affiliate links. 

DIY Shibori How to Dye Fabric with 
Indigo Tie Dye Kit

A few weeks ago I started seeing shibori tie dyed fabric all over pinterest and was blown away by the bright, blue indigo color and knew I had to learn more about it. I was lucky enough to take a class from Andrea Eastin of Fair Fit where she showed me how to use powder based dyes on fabric, using these shibori folding techniques. Then I used what she taught me to dye with indigo! 

Indigo is one of the oldest dyes used to dye fabric and of course blue jeans. Indigo dye comes from a plant and the blue dye is made from the leaves of the plant. Dyeing with indigo is different than dyeing with other dyes because in its natural form it is insoluble with water - so it must go through a process to be reduced which turns it into a liquid form and actually removes oxygen from it! Shibori is a technique of creating designs in dyed fabric by using various form of folding and securing the fabric. Where there is resistance to the fabric, the dye will not seep through, leaving the original fabric color. Where the dye is absorbed turns the color of the dye you are using.

Let's get started! It is so much fun!!

What you need: 

100% cotton fabric 
**Recommended fabrics are: Kona Cotton here or this Boundless solid cotton
clothes pins or chip clips
rubber bands 
stirring stick (old paint stirrer)
2 wooden square boards
2" diameter PVC pipe if you want to pole wrap (shown below)
2.5 gallon bucket or bin
drop cloth
clothes line for hanging

**The Indigo Tie Dye Kit comes with rubber bands, gloves, 2 wooden boards, soda ash and reduction agent

DIY Shibori Tutorial -Fabric Dye with Indigo

1. Gather materials

2. I cut my yard of 100% cotton fabric (or other natural fiber fabric such as linen or silk) into 4 fat quarters by cutting up the middle and then cutting that in half. 
You get 4 pieces that are 18 inches x 22 inches.

3. It is very important for you to fold your fabric accordion style. Lay your fabric out, fold bottom up.

4. Flip fabric over and fold up the previous section again.
 5. Flip fabric over again to repeat this process until you have one single strip.

6. Now we are going to make a square shape. Once again, fold up the bottom, flip over and fold up that piece and repeat until you have one square. 

 7. You want your square about the same size as the wooden boards in your Shibori Die Dye Kit.
 8. Use rubber bands, clothespins or clips to bind your fabric together tightly. Where you have the rubber bands and clips will resist the dye, leaving the fabric white.
 9. For your next piece of fabric fold it accordion style again. 
 10. Secure your piece of fabric using rubber bands equally distributed along the fabric strip. I also added some clips. The rubber bands will stripe your fabric beautifully!
 11. For the next fat quarter you will accordion style fold it and then fold it into a triangular shape.

 12. Flip it over and continue to accordion style fold the triangle.

 13. Secure with rubber bands.
 14. If you want to try shibori pole wrapping, use a 2" diameter PVC pipe. Roll your fabric around the pipe and secure the bottom 4 or 5 inches with twine tightly.

15. Push the fabric towards the bottom of the pole, squishing the twine closer to the ones below it. 

16. Continue wrapping and pushing your fabric down along the pole. 

17. For the last fat quarter of fabric I used a gathering method using my sewing machine. I baste stitched equal columns then pulled on the bottom, bobbin strings to equally gather the fabric.

18. I had an extra fat quarter and made another triangle, but used fewer rubber bands to see the difference.

19. Fill up your bucket with 4 gallons warm water.

20. Empty the indigo dye into the bucket and stir.

 21. Empty the soda ash and then reduction agent packets into the water while stirring.

22. Cover the vat with a lid and let it sit for 30 minutes. When you remove the lid it will look like this below. The layer that floats on top of the water is called "flower" or "bloom". If you push the bloom to the side, underneath the water will look clear yellow or yellowish green. It will not be blue. Now it is time to dye your fabric!

23. Thoroughly wet your pieces. Squeeze out air and water.

24. Push the flower or bloom to the side (or scoop it out into another container while you dye your fabric) and submerge one piece into the bucket. You can leave it in for one to several minutes, but do not let it fall to the bottom of the bucket. When you are ready to take it out, squeeze out the dye slowly and remove it. Place it into an empty bucket or on a plastic cloth to drip. **The fabric will look yellowish green when it comes out. As oxygen in the air comes into contact with your fabric, it will begin to turn blue. Leave it alone for 20 minutes while it oxidizes. 

25. If you want a darker blue, redye your fabric by placing it back into the bucket for one to several minutes, squeeze out and let oxidize for 20 minutes. 

26. If your fabric is dark enough, rinse out the dye until water runs clear. 

27. Unwrap and untie the pieces of fabric to reveal your indigo tie dye!

Place the bloom back onto the top of the indigo dye bucket of water, stir the bucket in a circular motion, then reverse the stir, making sure the bloom is centered.
Place the lid on top so air does not get into the bucket.
Let it sit for 60 minutes before using it again.
The vat will keep for several days and several dyes. I kept mine for 4 days and dyed plenty of fabric!

Here are some things I made:

*above left is triangular shape
*above right is fabric set on a square

*above left is pole wrapping technique
*above right is triangular shape

 *above right is the long strip with rubber bands evenly spaced throughout.
*above is when I baste stitched and gathered the fabric 

Are you going to give it a try? Doesn't it remind you of tie dyeing t-shirts when you were little?