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Scrappy Coasters

October is here and my head is swimming in Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving table runners, Christmas stockings, and Stocking Stuffers! Today I am going to go into detail on a quick little project that would be perfect as a Christmas gift, or even Holiday decor for your own home. I made this set of coasters as a gift for a friend using the Art Gallery Soulful collection by Maureen Cracknell. (click photos to expand)

*Iron all fabrics before cutting to make sure you get a precise cut.

Using my quilting square and rotary cutter, I cut 2 squares sized 5.5″ x 5.5″. During the fall/winter I enjoy large cups of hot drinks like apple cider, tea, and hot cocoa so to make these coasters sturdy I cut out a 5.5″ x 5.5″ square of Insul-Bright. Insul-Bright is a breathable/washable material that is also heat-resistant! It’s normally used in oven mitts, so you know your surfaces will be safe from heat when using these coasters. (If you make them big enough you could even use them to hold a bowl of soup!)

Lay one square right side up then place your next fabric square right side down, so that the right sides are touching.

Next, lay your Insul-Bright on the top and clip together. Make sure you remember to leave an opening of about 2.5″ for turning. (Marked in red on my photo.)

Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, take your coaster to your machine and sew. Once you have sewn it (leaving an opening for turning) you can clip the corners and trim the seam allowance. You will want to leave the seam allowance on your opening so you can iron it and topstitch later to close.

Turn your coaster right side out using a turning tool or whatever method works best for you. I forgot to photograph this step. Check to see that your corners are poking out as much as possible and look great. Iron your coaster down now, making sure to fold the opening in on itself so you can stitch it closed.

Bring it back to your machine to topstitch and close your opening.

Here comes the fun part that I love! Once you have stitched it closed you can get creative with your decorative stitching and really make these pop! Just a tip for using your decorative stitches; make sure you go slow and take your time with the intricate decorative stitches since they take a bit more work to achieve. I promise it will be worth the extra time.

 

I made a set of 4 coasters, but you could do as many as you want! They make great gifts, stocking stuffers, secret Santa gifts, the possibilities are endless. They are 100% cotton so you can throw them in the washer/dryer!

If you are giving these coasters as a gift, you can refer back to one of my older blog posts on using scrap fabric to make a beautiful fabric rope!

I would love to see what creations you come up with for your coasters!

 

 

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Fabric Organization

I have an addiction to fabric and the bank statements to prove it! My husband just shakes his head and says his only request is that I keep all my fabric organized so it doesn’t take over our house. Together he and I came up with a system that works for us, for now. When it comes to shopping, I love Target almost as much as I love fabric, so of course that’s where I went for my storage solution! I ended up purchasing two sets of the 3×3 cube storage and two sets of the 1×3 cubes. The cubes measure 11.25″x11.25″. I also have a black cabinet that I removed the door from, but most of the fabric in there is just folded, patiently awaiting the day I will put it on “bolts”.

I love going into quilt shops and fabric stores and just ogling the gorgeous bolts of fabric and so I wanted to recreate this environment in my own sewing room. Instead of just stacking fabrics on top of each other I wanted something that would create a miniature version of fabric bolts. Amazon to the rescue!! I went in search of comic boards, but none of them seemed to fit my cubes until I found these magazine boards.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B002JQY0NG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The magazine boards are just the right size for me to fold my fabric and line them all up in the cubes.

I start with my fabric folded selvage to selvage, just like it comes off the bolt. 

Once all the wrinkles are smoothed and the fabric is perfectly folded, I fold it once more lengthwise so that it is around 11″ tall. It’s never completely perfect, so I usually just eyeball it.

Now that my yardage is folded twice, I grab a board and line it up on top of the edge of my fabric, overlapping the board over the end of the fabric by a few inches.

Next, I start folding the backing board towards my left, where the remainder of the fabric is. While folding, I make sure my fabric remains smooth and folded properly so I don’t end up with a wonky “bolt”.

Once I have wrapped all of my fabric around the board I take some pins and pin the end of the fabric to itself and the board, then just slide into my cubes!

I find that this method works best when you have at least 1-2yds of fabric to work with. The more yards you have, the bigger your “bolt” will be.

*Fabric pictured on “bolt” is Michael Miller Magic, Stars and Stripes in Aqua. It’s currently on sale!! Here is the link:

http://threadsandstitchesfabric.com/?product=michael-miller-magic-stars-and-stripes-aqua

 

 

 

 

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Pattern Mash-ups

Pattern Mash-up Isla/Havana romper!

Hi all!  I’m Hayley from Oinky Beaver Originals…nice to e-meet you!  I don’t know about you, but I am always envious when I see fellow sewers post cool combinations of different patterns (often referred to as a “mashup”) – you take the things you love from each pattern and make something amazing!  So for today’s blog post, I thought I would share some tips for combining patterns using a mashup that I have been wanting to make for months.  I love the look of the Isla Top/Dress by Little Lizard King and really wanted to see that as a romper.  So I decided to mash it with the romper bottoms in the Havana pattern (also by Little Lizard King).  While I am using specific patterns to illustrate, the concepts are similar no matter which patterns you choose to combine.  

Let’s get started!  

 

Once you’ve decided which patterns to mash, you will need to compare the pattern pieces to figure out any modifications that may be required.  I printed and assembled the top piece of both the Isla and the Havana along with the romper bottom piece of the Havana.

I started by determining the length of the Havana top by measuring the length from the bottom of the armcye to the bottom seam of the pattern piece.  I know that I want my modified Isla top piece to be approximately the same length to ensure that the romper has a similar fit.  

Before I move on, I have a tip for you (let’s call it quick tip #1): I would suggest drawing your new waist seam line on your modified pattern piece right now.  Lay your top pieces one on top of the other and line up the bottom of the armcyes.  Make sure that the fold line of the Isla piece is perpendicular to the waist seam line of the Havana piece.  It may look a bit odd at this point, but it’s okay!  Go ahead and draw a line across your Isla piece right where the Havana piece ends (making sure that the line is perpendicular to the fold line of the Isla piece).  

Clear as mud?  Wouldn’t this be easier if I had a picture for you?  Yes, yes it would.  But alas, I haven’t got a picture of this step because I didn’t follow my own instructions and skipped ahead.  So let’s jump ahead a little and I will show you my comparison picture after I made the modifications.  You can see in this picture that I have drawn a waist seam line that is perpendicular to the fold line.  When I line up the bottom of the armcyes, my newly drawn waist seam line should match up with the waist seam line of the Havana piece.

(On a totally unrelated note – please ignore the hideous state of my cutting mat!)

 

 

You should now have an unmodified Isla piece with a line drawn through it that will soon become your new waist seam line.  Let’s move on…

Next, I took a look at the Havana top and bottom pieces where they would be connected.  You can see here that they are the same width…so we know that we need to make sure that the Isla top will be the same width as the Havana bottom piece (otherwise one of the pieces would require gathering and the pieces may not end up looking like they work together as one outfit).  

Now let’s take a look at how the Isla top piece lines up…uh oh!  This is a completely different width and shape.  Time to make some modifications…

…But before we start – it’s time for quick tip #2 (read: do as I say, not as I do!): compare the top pieces.  Is one supposed to be cut on the fold?  If so, you will need to take that into consideration before making your modifications…if you don’t, you will make a big mess (read: when I made my first modification, I made a big ole mess…I won’t share those pics…but thankfully I realized my mistake before I cut into any of my precious Threads and Stitches fabric!).

The Isla top piece is to be cut on the fold whereas the Havana top piece is not.  In order to ensure that my pieces line up, I need the waist seam line of my modified top piece to measure ½ the width of the Havana bottom piece.  

And that brings me to quick tip #3 (read: yes I definitely made this mistake, but because I was working with knit, it didn’t cause any issues in the final product…again…do as I say, not as I do!): make sure to take into account any seam allowance AND any other things that might impact the shape of the piece.  In this case, the Havana top piece has straight sides whereas my modified Isla top piece does not.  You will see in the picture above that I accounted for the ½” seam allowance, but what I failed to do was account for the waistline facing piece that needs to be added to make the elastic casing for the romper.  Since that is cut as a rectangle, I should have either (a) changed the shape of that piece to mimic the shape of my modified Isla piece, or (b) account for the waistline facing when making my modified Isla piece.  My advice (if you decide to make this specific mashup) is to follow (b) so your modified Isla shape would look more like the picture below.  Remember to take into account any seam allowances in your modification – you will see in the picture below that I should have had a 1.5” straight line to accommodate the seam allowance and waistline casing before starting to angle my line towards the armcye.

You will see in this picture that I have drawn a straight line to account for seam allowance (and waistline casing) and have then drawn a line connecting the top of that line to the bottom of the armcye.  This is my new side seam.  You can now cut along your drawn side and waist seams to create your modified Isla top piece.

Are you feeling brave?  If not, go back and compare the pieces again…make sure that you are comfortable that everything lines up.  Remember that the tops of the pieces will not line up and will look really weird compared to each other…this is okay.  We will be sewing the pieces separately before joining them together…so we’re just looking to make sure that where the two patterns join together, they will line up.  

I’m feeling brave, so I’ve cut my pieces.  Look how nicely the modified Isla top piece lines up with the Havana romper bottom piece!

Now cut out the rest of your pieces so you can get sewing!

Follow the Isla tutorial to make the top using your modified pieces.  Look how cute it is so far!

Follow the Havana tutorial to sew the romper bottoms together.  You will follow the instructions for joining the bottoms to the top, but will just be using your Isla top piece instead!  Because you have made the modifications above, your pieces will line up nicely and should go together easy-peasy!

Are you ready for some cuteness?  Here is my knit version of the Isla-Havana Romper using gorgeous fabric that I got right here at Threads and Stitches!  This is Art Gallery Soulful Floral Universe Plum, in knit.

I hope this was helpful and that you can use it to make your own mashups (whether it’s the Isla-Havana Romper or something totally new!).  Please share your creations in the Threads and Stitches Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/threadsandstitches/!

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Sewline Glue Pen

Guest blog post by Alex S. from Ava Callie Creations

Hey y’all!

Imagine you are sitting down to start a sewing project. If you are anything like me, you already have a handful of *must have* sewing gadgets and notions to help you along like maybe a favorite pair of scissors, a well loved measuring tape, or your trusty seam ripper (most used tool, am I right?!). Well get ready to add to your must haves when I explain to you why the Sewline Fabric Glue Pen is one of my top 5 sewing notions to have handy when I create! I’m sure you’re thinking, “GLUE?! When sewing?? Has she lost her marbles?” While the amount of marbles I may or may not have is up for debate since having 2 kids, I assure you I am 100% serious about this glue stick.

Now you might be wondering how I include glue into my sewing and designing…I was really curious too when I first saw this pen. I played around with it for a while and got comfortable with the idea of putting glue on my fabrics and trims and I’m telling you now, it’s LOVE!

One of the first ways I used the pen was just to simply keep my trims in place while trying to visualize my design. I would draw a thin line of glue and lightly tack the trim down so I could see how it laid against the fabric. Using a small amount of glue means it isn’t sticky, isn’t permanent, and doesn’t leave a mess. From there I would use it to stick my trims down to make sure they stayed in the exact right spot while I sewed them down. Trust me when I say that the glue doesn’t gunk your machine, create bulk under your trims, or leave your hands or fabric sticky. It’s saved me SO much time since I don’t have to pin my trims down or continue pulling out my measuring tape to make sure it hasn’t moved off the mark.

After using my glue pen for a while I started talking to other designers about it and swapping uses for it. Madison Cox from Maddie Kay Creations told me she used hers to keep her buttons on the mark while sewing them down. Say what!? All this time I was hand stitching every.single.button down in order to prevent my machine from knocking them out of place. Talk about another time saver!

Since I have a 4 year old and an 9 month old, I prefer to keep my pins as out of sight as possible, so I have pared down my use of them. Now, if I’m working on a bodice I will line up my seams or trims and use a swipe of glue to tack them so they don’t wiggle around while sewing. All my seams and trims are nice and lined up and I don’t even have to drag out the pins!

I’m sure there are a million other ways to incorporate this handy tool into my sewing and I look forward to figuring them out and also hearing from others how they use their glue stick! If you don’t have one of these handy pens, what are you waiting for?! Snag 1 or 2, or hoard 10-20 like me…no judgment!

http://threadsandstitchesfabric.com/?product=sewline-fabric-glue-pen-plus-refill

Happy sewing,
Alex

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Dresses with Sass

Hello, Fellow Sewers, Seamstresses and the like,

I am so excited about the blog posts that we have in store for you.  Some of my favorite children clothing designers as well as ladies who love to sew for their families or themselves will be posting their tips and tricks from everything to adding a special touch to a project, changing up or mashing a pattern or tutorials on using a sewing tool.  I will also have blog posts by people who love to quilt, make handbags and anything else that you can put together with a needle, thread and fabric.  Let the fun begin!

-Christine, Threads and Stitches, Owner

Hi, I’m Jessica Fox, owner/designer behind The Frilly Fox. I’m a Southern Momma of two rambunctious toddlers. I’m married to my best friend. I feel so blessed to be able to share my love for fabrics and sewing with everyone. Enough about me, let’s get to the fun!

Being a southern momma, I’m drawn to classic colors and prints. I love seeing little girls twirl in vintage styles. I wanted a fabric that captured southern summer charm. When I saw the tan floral, Coney Island by Fig Tree & Co, I knew it was perfect! It’s soft, has gorgeous colors, and is simply elegant. The white daisies remind me of summer fields full of wild flowers. The pops of orange, brought sunshine to my eyes. I paired it with Free Spirit-Tanya Whelan in green to bring out the leaves on the daisies. I feel that this combination was perfect.

 

To complete my vision, I had to find the sassiest pattern. Not only did I find the sass I wanted, I found the charm that I needed as well. I chose the Violet Fields Threads Lola top. I modified it to make more of my own style. This top is perfect for Alabama summers. I’ll share my tips with you!

First of all, prepare your fabric, print and cut your pattern pieces. I personally cut my pieces the night before I plan to sew. I do this while my littles are asleep. I have one little helper who likes to get my scissors and pins! Kiddos, we have to love them. This helps for a speedier sew the next day.

The first modification I made was omitting the ruffle on the bodice. Instead of the ruffle, I simply added a flat center panel about four inches wide to the bodice. I also added an extra crochet trim. Pictured above is my modification. Stitch both of them down. For the rest of the bodice I followed the VTF instructions.

Every time I sew, I remember my mother saying, “use your iron.” She’s a veteran seamstress and swears by ironing. I agree with her, but we won’t mention that if she asks. How many of you love your iron? Starch is another on of my favorites. This combination make sewing much easier for me.

The next modification that I made was lengthening the top. I lengthened the skirt portion about four inches. I left the band length the same. Personally, I like a little longer length as it allows longer wear for my customers. You can add length, or keep the original. The choice is yours. That’s what I love about sewing. We can turn anything into our very own masterpiece. Sew with love and the rest is made easier!

I followed the pattern directions to finish. The only difference is that I hem my skirts before gathering. I also like a wider hem. Are you a rolled hem, wide hem, or narrow hem type of gal?

Now to gather, I recently learned a trick of machine gathering. I was skeptical of this at first, and I still am a little bit. On your machine, set your stitch width to the longest setting. Just like you do when preparing for a gathering stitch. Then adjust your tension until you reach the “gathered” look you want.

This was super easy, and it gave me beautiful even gathers. 9 out of 10 times, I’ll probably stick with the traditional two stitch method, but wanted to share with you ladies something a bit faster.

After I gathered, I followed the rest of the  VTF instructions.

 

To complete my masterpiece, I had to bring out my “arch enemy,” the seam ripper. I hate that little tiny tool! Not sure why, it’s just not my friend. Do y’all feel this way? I picked out extra seams, ironed, and stared at my work.

I find some pieces are harder to let go than others. Sometimes I think, why did I not make this in my little’s size? Then I stop and think, I can also recreate something even more special than this one. My favorite thing about sewing and creating is knowing that someone will love this piece as much I do. Thank y’all all for joining me. I hope these tips will help you in modifying future patterns. Until next time, keep sewing and having fun!

Thanks Jessica for the amazing tips on gathering and walking us through sewing a dress!

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Welcome to Threads and Stitches

Hi, I want to welcome you to the Threads and Stitches blog.  My name is Christine and I am the owner of Threads and Stitches, an online fabric business and community.  You can get the day to day details about ordering in my Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/threadsandstitches/ or you can shop here at my online webshop, www.threadsandstitchesfabric.com.

While this is a brand new blog about my passion for fabric, I’m not really new to blogging.  I have a paper crafting blog as well that I created some years ago to share my love for paper.  My love of all things in paper crafting is really what led me into the fabric business because a lot of the paper designers started putting their designs on fabric.  I don’t craft with paper as much as I used to but it might make it’s way into a couple of posts here and there.

I plan to share some fun things that you can create with fabric and hopefully have a guest blogger every now and then too.  There isn’t too many projects that I haven’t tackled in the past using fabric so you will see everything from home decor and bag making, to clothing and quilting and much more.

Thanks for stopping by.

Christine

Threads and Stitches