Adding an underlining is one of my favorite tools in my sewing arsenal. It’s so simple to do - just cut all your pieces out of two different fabrics and use them wrong sides together as one. Easy as pie (which is a phrase I’ve never quite understood because baking a good pie isn’t actually […]
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Making simple necklaces is quite easy. But, like many crafts, you can make simple projects truly special by paying attention to craftsmanship. I wanted to make a pearl necklace to wear for my wedding so I bought some pearls and set about to learn how to string a pearl necklace in the best possible way. […]
Gloves, mittens, mitts, fingerless gloves – whatever you’re knitting to put on your hands, it will be even prettier after you have blocked it, most especially if there is any lace or cablework. In my humble opinion, every knitting project is improved by a good blocking (even if I thought it was superfluous for years, […]
Flowers make everything happy and daisies have always seemed to be one of the happier flowers. Lazy daisies are such a simple embroidery stitch (seriously deceptively easy. There’s a reason the word “lazy” is in their name!) but they can have a great impact to perk up, spring-ify, sweeten, and otherwise improve any garment you […]
Leather is the oldest material used for clothing and yet is always au currant. It can seem like such an exotic material to work with, and while it certainly can bring its own challenges, those challenges can be overcome. Here I share some tips that I have learned through my experiences in sewing with leather […]
Although I keep announcing that I’m not making anything for Christmas this year, I guess I keep proving myself wrong, because I got inspired and had to make a cute handmade ornaments to give out, gift, and decorate with! These handmade ornaments are made from pom-poms, corks, ribbon, and buttons – all things that I […]
I’m feeling guilty. You see, every year I spend a lot of time and energy making Christmas gifts (and often at the last minute!). It’s important to me to be able to show my love for my friends and family through the gift of handmade goods. But this year, I’m not going to. I don’t […]
I knit a lot. Through work meetings, while watching TV at night. I love to knit sweaters for myself, which can be complicated projects, and I like to do so when my attention is divided. To keep projects going smoothly, I make sure that I have things well organized and prepped so I can pick […]
It may be turning into crisp fall weather in the rest of the northern hemisphere, but here in San Francisco we’re getting our little bit of Indian summer sunshine. We’re covered with fog during summer months, but right now we have a lovely dose of warm weather, perfect for picnics! To celebrate the warm weather, […]
I can never seem to have enough pretty tote bags. I use them to carry groceries and stacks of library books, to organize things in my sewing room and in my car. Tote bags are simple to sew with just a few rectangles of fabric. They are perfect for any season – from carrying Halloween […]
I have a large cone of undyed wool that is perfect for hand-dying to use in needlepoint projects. The last time that I dyed a large batch of it, I ended up with tangled messes that took me hours to untangle so that I could use them. Super frustrating. So, this time around, I decided to be smart about it and appropriately […]
My go-to cast on for knitting is the cable cast on. It’s simple to do and produces an even, sturdy stitch for perfect edges that don’t need to stretch too much. 1) How to cable cast-on: Start with a slip-knot on the left needle. 2) Knit into the slip-knot. 3) Transfer the stitch from the […]
Stem stitch is a great workhorse stitch for embroidery. It makes a lovely straight line that has interesting texture but is quite simple to stitch. It is the only stitch that I used in my Anatomical Leg Embroidery. Start the stitch by bringing your needle up from below on the left side of where you […]
This is how I take in a guy’s tee shirt to flatter a girl (i.e. this is what happen’s when I co-opt Adam’s old shirts, as I did for this bleached star shirt). This isn’t about majorly reconstructing a massive shirt to make it tiny. This is about taking a male shirt that almost fits […]
Underlining a coat like this has two major perks: It gives you the chance to really spice it up as your underlining and bias taping will be visible. It also opens up the fabric options you have for the outer fabric as you can hide ugly or scratchy wrong-sides or add weight to a not-quite […]
Novelty fabrics like painted, metallic, or heavily embroidered fabric can add great pizzaz to your sewing projects, but they can be quite challenging to work with. I’m currently working on a coat with the painted fabric whose scraps I used for my Radial Purse. Here, I’ve assembled a few hints for working with these fabrics […]
As I have dived into my new craft obsession, needlepoint, I’ve learned some tips for successful needlepoint projects. These are all things I learned from stitching my Anatomical Heart Needlepoint.
This really is my favorite skirt. I’ve been wearing it just about weekly for 7 years? 8 years? I had an amazing time teaching people at Maker Faire how to make this skirt. The shape is flattering on all body types (Seriously. I have yet to see a gal that doesn’t look fabulous in this skirt) […]
This is a simple technique for invisibly finishing arm holes or necklines using bias tape (seen above on the arm hole of my Pink Peplum Brocade Top. For the technique used to pipe the neckline, click here). If you have double-fold bias tape, press it open so that it is single fold (top row). Take […]
As I show-off in my Pink Brocade Peplum top, piping can be a really fun way to spice up a neckline. It can add an extra bit of polish or help bring out a contrast color. You can find a great variety of colors and sizes of pipings in the upholstery section of your fabric […]
I have an assortment of specialty sewing machine feet, most of them given to me by my mom (thanks, ma!). I’ve been working on a project that has involved a LOT of bias tape. So, I’ve been using my bias binding foot. If you have a foot yourself (or plan on getting one, or are […]
Seriously. The title says it all. Clean your sewing machine with a pipe cleaner. It’s the best way that I have found to get lint out of a bobbin case. I give my bobbin case a quick swipe with my pipe cleaner every time I change the bobbin. Doesn’t take but a moment and it […]
Have I mentioned yet that I’m in love with my Mad Men Joan dress? So much so that I wrote a tutorial for drafting sleeve flounces so I can spread the love. The only problem with inserting these pretty arm flounces onto a dress sleeve is that when the flounce flops around, as it looks […]
For my Mad Men inspired dress, I simply had to have flounces on the sleeves, which I drafted myself and added to a commercial pattern. I’ve written a tutorial so you can do the same!
While organizing my knitting pattern library in Ravelry, I noticed that there is the option to mark pattern books and magazines as available for sale or trade, but it took me a bit of mucking about to figure out how to do so. I put together this little tutorial to help anyone that might be […]
I love to knit socks. One of my favorite socks that I have knit is a pair of knee socks. However, I found that I initially couldn’t wear them because they didn’t stay up on my leg. It was quite frustrating and likely due to two factors – 1) I used yarn that had a […]
There are many ways to frame an embroidery. I really like how they look framed in wooden embroidery hoops. This is tutorial for how I permanently frame an embroidery in an embroidery hoop.
I’ve now made February’s blocks for the Craftsy 2012 Block-of-the-Month. Both blocks use all half square triangles (HST), but use different methods to make the HSTs, which I will explain below. For a video demonstration of the methods, register for the Craftsy class – it’s free! This is the Balkan Puzzle Block. I think this is […]
My favorite embroidery stitch, and the one that gave me the most persistent headaches while learning, is the french knot. It makes a lovely accent with other stitches and can be quite beautiful on its own. It’s one of only two stitches you need to know to stitch my embroidered love letter (along with backstitch).
I thought I would share how to do a couple of different embroidery stitches for those of you interested in getting into embroidery for your wall or to spice up a handmade wearable. First up, backstitch. One of two stitches you need to know in order to stitch my How Do I Love Thee? embroidery. […]