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Painted Initials on Cork Mat

finished intial cork board

For my cousin’s wedding, I made a whole stack of projects themed on cork (since it was at a winery) and the color blue (her and her husband’s favorite color). After sewing a recycled sweaters blanket, and making a chalk and cork message board, I wanted to add another little something that was personalized for Lindsey & Max. While at the thrift store, I found a whole stack of large cork coasters and decided that I would paint their initials onto one of the coasters as a finishing touch. Lindsey had admitted to me that she knew they would be very short on decorative items to hang on their walls when they moved in together after the wedding, so I thought something like this painted cork mat would be a fun, personal little piece of art that would fit nicely into their house and hopefully make them think of their wedding (and …

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Handmade Scarves for Christmas Presents

SeamstressErin PomPom Scarf

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 plan on making one more thing. Before last week, I had already planned on being selfish this December, thinking I would sew myself a jacket instead of making many Christmas gifts. And I was already feeling guilty about it. And now I’m engaged (eep!) and so the little free time I have this month for sewing just disappeared with the fact that I need to start planning my wedding (not that I’m complaining or anything). Fortunately, a couple of people on my list will be getting handmade scarves. I put together a couple of fun …

How to Sew a Picnic Set

picnic set on grass tablecloth placemate napkins

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 sewed a picnic set of tablecloth, placemat, and napkins. If your weather is already turning, this tablecloth is a great size for a kitchen table and the placemat and napkins can be used for any dining table. The image above shows the suggested dimensions for how to sew a tablecloth, placemat, or napkin. For the tablecloth, cut it into the largest square that you can cut. Fabrics differ in widths, usually ranging from 45″-60″, sometimes larger for upholstery fabrics. Measure the width of the fabric from selvedge to selvedge and then cut that length …

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Batch of Baby Booties

batch of baby booties simplicity 2278 view b

There are a lot of babies being born to people I know these days. While I like to make something involved for the babies of the people most important to me (like knitting a baby sweater for my step-sister), I like to have a selection of small handmade gifts on hand  for more casual acquaintances. I love gifting handmade because of the love given that is clearly a part of the gift. In January I made a giant batch of baby shoes from Simplicity 2278 (see that post for more details on the pattern) and I just replenished that stash. I decided to use all View B because I enjoyed sewing it the most the last time around, and using all the same pattern made it easier to streamline the sewing process. I dug through my bag of scraps and put together slippers with scraps from my Robson Trench Coat, Mad …

Easiest Homemade Dog Treats

cormeal chicken liver dog treats in tin

 For valentines day, what about making your beloved canine a special treat? I make these treats for my mom’s dogs every Christmas and they go nuts for them. (They love them so much that I simply could not get a picture of them patiently waiting for the treats.) They are about as easy to make as possible, but healthy and delicious (well, from the dog’s point of view).

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How Do I Love Thee Embroidery Pattern

how do i love thee

I’m so very excited to announce the release of an embroidery pattern! It’s a love letter, stitched onto notebook paper. The pattern was inspired by one of my favorite movies, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It’s from a love letter that Roger Rabbit writes to Jessica Rabbit and reads “How do i love thee? Let me count the ways. One one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, four one-thousand, five one-thousand, six one-thousand, seven one-thousand, eight one-thousand, nine one-thousand….”

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Baby Shoes Galore!

simplicity 2278 baby shoes

I got a little carried away this weekend cutting and sewing baby shoes! I decided to participate in the stashbusting sewalong and baby shoes seemed like a good way to use scraps, January’s stashbusting theme. I sat down on Saturday with my friend Beth to catch up on Season 7 of Doctor Who and while we were watching I went through my scrap bin and just kept cutting and cutting and cutting.

Wrapping Paper Ribbon

Wrapping Paper Ribbon Christmas Package

I love wrapping Christmas/Hanukkah presents. When I was young it was the task that mom gave me to help her prepare for the holidays. I got great at cutting paper to the right size, getting crisp corners, getting odd shapes to package nicely. However, once I had the packages wrapped, mom would take them back to add on the bow. That was her domain and she made big, elaborate, showpiece bows.

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Sweaters Blanket Tutorial

Sweaters blanket on railing

This is one of my favorite projects. I have one of these blankets in my living room, my mom has one in her television room, and I gave one to my cousin for her wedding this summer. It’s certainly a bit more involved than the last several days of tutorial projects that I have shared, but it makes for such a lovely finished project and is so easy to customize for anyone on your gift list (or yourself!).

Wool Leaf Potholders Tutorial and Template

Wool Felt Leaves Potholders

Want another gift to nicely complement the tree ring coasters from yesterday’s tutorial? How about some potholders in the shape of leaves made out of green felt? Again, you can make them in muted tones for a subtle and earthy aesthetic or go to town with bright colors and play up the kitsch! You Need: Wool Leaf Potholder Template Green (lots) and brown (a little) wool felt* Green thread Sewing machine *You can buy wool felt at the fabric store (make sure that it is wool felt, not craft felt as craft felt is synthetic and will melt when hot). I recommend buying 100% wool clothes at the thrift store to use for your felt. Cut the garment into pieces by cutting off all the seams and then wash and dry the wool on hot. I used a pair of brown trousers and a green jacket. In Short: Cut the Template …

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Wine Cork Coasters Tutorial

Cork Coaster Close Up

I love to make my holiday presents. While I have grand intentions of having everything done before the month of December, I’m honestly usually just getting started (and a little frantic) right about now. For those of you like me, I’m publishing a week of tutorials for easy, fun, gift-able craft projects that you can make in time for Christmas! (Although you’ll be pressed to get them done in time for Hanukkah since it’s so darn early this year!)