Sewn Valentines

Happy Valentines Day! We had a couple Valentine themed sewing classes this past weekend and even though my Valentine is two oceans away, I still love getting in the spirit! 

I always plan two projects for my three hour classes, one more time consuming one and one for the extra time we may have. I thought sewing felt hearts onto actual paper cards would be fun for our extra time project and my students really got into it! 

Here are some samples I made:

Sewn Valentines

Sewn Valentines

I had some heart patterns from our bigger project and I also got a few stamp phrases and ink pads out for them to use, plus a couple letter sets so they could make their own words. 

All the girls got so creative with these! 

Our main project for this class, though was Valentines zipper pouches, using this tutorial on The Polka-Dot Chair.  Zippers and boxed corners were new techniques for them and they did such a great job! 

Notice both Leah's headband and her t-shirt tassel on her pouch, both things she made using our YouTube video tutorials! Aw :) 

These were a really fun project and I always love how differently everyone's turns out! Kids are so creative. 

Cheers and Happy Sewing! :)

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Pig Neck Pillow * Free Templates

I finished a great month of sewing classes today. This month's theme was softies! Our first week's projects was these awesome pig neck pillows. I saw this idea on Pinterest, but it didn't link to a tutorial or anything related to the neck pillow, actually, so I drew the pieces myself and thought I'd share them here for you. 

This isn't really a tutorial because I didn't have the foresight to take photos as I was making the sample (bad blogger, I'm sorry!) but basically, this is what you do: 
 

  1. Go over to The Crafter Gemini Creates and snag her fab neck pillow pattern and watch the tutorial if you need to. I tried several kids neck pillow patterns and this one is the best! Once you have the pattern, cut it out of your pink prints. 
  2. Print my free pig part template below (just right click and save, then you can print) and cut those out of the right colors of fleece (or felt works too, but is not as soft on the neck as fleece). 
  3. Stitch the face pieces in place on one neck pillow piece. Assemble the ears and baste those onto the top where you want them (facing down so that they'll poke up when you turn it right side out. 
  4. Stitch the front and back together, right sides together, leaving an opening for turning. Clip inner curves to stitching.
  5. Turn, stuff and hand sew your opening closed. 

There are my super lame-o picture-less instructions. Note to self, always photograph the process ;) 

Free Pig Neck Pillow Pattern by Pin, cut, Sew Studio

Free Pig Neck Pillow Pattern by Pin, cut, Sew Studio

My students really enjoyed making these pillows! I think they would make great gifts and you could really get creative with different animals or funny monsters. 

I hope you can make use of this idea! If you do, I'd love to see it, especially if you make some with the kiddos in your life. 

Cheers and happy sewing!

Nikki

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Beginner/Kid Friendly Sewing Tutorial: Name Banner Bunting

This month in my local kids sewing classes, our theme is sewing for your room and Tuesday's project was these fun triangle name banners! The kids had fun with these and my favorite part is seeing what fabrics they each choose and how they got creative with their words, using nicknames, meaningful words, adding hearts before and after their names, etc... 

There are plenty of tutorials out there for these, but I wanted mine to  have finished edges and be lined so it would be look nicer and last longer. And of course I wanted to make a tutorial simple enough for beginner parents and kids to follow so my sewing students can make more at home!

What You'll Need:

A triangle template: I cut mine from a file folder and it measures 9.5" across the top and 10" down the center. You can make it any size as long as it fits the letter stencils you have. 

Letter stencils. Mine are from my old scrapbooking stash. You can get them in scrapbook sections in craft stores OR you can print out your own font to cut out and trace. This could be a really fun way to go! 

Fabrics: With my size triangle, we could cut four flags out of one fat quarter. So I'd say for an eight letter word, you need at least a half yard total of fabric. But, it's super fun to do each letter different too, so you can use scraps you have on hand. We backed our flags with solid colors, but you could use anything and you could even make your banner reversible! Just make sure you use fabrics that you can't see through. 

Double Fold bias tape. This comes in little packages by the zippers and rick-rack, but you can also make your own, there are several tutorials out there for that. 

Fusible Web: This comes either on a bolt, in a roll or in sheets. Steam A' Seam is a brand name for the kind you'll find in sheets, but any kind will work. 

Let's Get Started! 

Cut out your flags, as many as you have letters and cut out your backing flags too. Then sew each one together, right sides together (pretty side to pretty side!), leaving the tops open. Snip the bottom tip straight across, close to your stitching. This helps you get a nice point when you turn it right side out. 

Turn each flag right side out, use a chopstick to gently poke the corner out and press them nice and flat. 

Before we put the binding on, you'll want to trim off all these little dog ears:

Time to add your bias tape! Open up your bias tape and fit the first flag inside it's fold, starting about an inch from the end. (You can turn the end under, or not. I didn't have the kids do it this way and since bias tape doesn't ravel, it will be fine. Put it under your machine and use a zig zag stitch to sew down the length of it, adding flags as you go. I don't usually pin them, I just open it up and wedge them in as I go, but you can pin if you want! 

The sewing part is done! Time to add the letters. Whether you're using stencils like mine or printed letters, you want to trace each letter backwards onto one side of your fusible web. Don't cut them out! You can cut loosely around each letter, or if you traced them close enough together for it not to be wasteful, you can just iron the whole piece onto your fabric. Following the manufacturer's instructions if you need to, remove the paper backing (the side you didn't trace on) and iron your letters onto the wrong side of your letter fabric.

Now you can cut your letters out. Once you've cut them out, remove the paper backing and place each letter where you want them on each flag and press them on one at a time. Make sure you spell it right! haha. 

That's it! You're done! You can easily hang these up with thumb tacks. Natalie is so proud of hers! 

And so are my sewing students! They did such a good job, they should be proud. 

The kids thought of all kinds of banners they can make! Natalie suggested a football one to hang during Bronco games (Broncos season is coming!!!!!!) A few girls talked about making them for gifts. I've made these for baby shower decorations/presents. Seasonal banners would be fun too! 

A banner I made when I threw my friend a baby shower several years ago. She hung it in the baby's nursery! 

A banner I made when I threw my friend a baby shower several years ago. She hung it in the baby's nursery! 

And my favorite banner of all, the birthday banner I made when all my kids were tiny that I still hang up for every single birthday, even my own :) I can see many memories in all the fabrics I made it out of! 

Look at tiny Natalie there in the front and tiny Layla and Kelby too! Eeeeeeeek!!! 

Look at tiny Natalie there in the front and tiny Layla and Kelby too! Eeeeeeeek!!! 

Cheers and happy sewing! If you make any banners using this tutorial, I'd love to see! :)

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Sewing Camp Wrap-Up!

Sewing camps are over! I'm sad! And tired! Haha. I taught 28 kids to sew this Summer. And the best part is, many of their moms tag me or share with me pictures of them sewing at home on their own. That's the goal, after all! I had a fun group for my last camp and I'm about to unload all those photos on you here, BUT FIRST, I cannot wait to share with you the promotional video my talented friend Liz MacMurray made. I've watched it so many times, it just makes me so happy. If you are local and want something unique for your family photos this year, check out her site and just FYI, she's running special mini-sessions right now!! 

Both July camps were themed around sewing for 18" dolls and they were so much fun. We made a lot of things and the girls had a blast! This past week they ended each day just trying the clothes on their dolls and making up silly fashion shows. 

On the last day of camp, we made flip flops and visor out of craft foam, then we have a runway fashion show and then we have pizza and watch an American Girl movie (last week's vote was Lea, but this week they voted Isabell). But this time around, almost everyone just wanted to keep sewing during the movie! They made all kinds of doll tote bags, pillows and other little things, a few even designed little pet beds for their dolls' pets and Natalie made a doll-sized drawstring backpack. They turned the t-shirt pattern around to make jackets, made matching p.j./sleep mask/pillow sets and just got so creative! 

And now I'm going to take a nap. 

Ha! Not really, I actually have some sewing to do today ;)

Cheers and happy sewing! 

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Pattern Shout-Out: Jalie Pull-On Pants & Shorts

I would say the true test for any sewing pattern is to see if 14 kids can successfully sew it. All 14 of my June sewing campers went home with pajama shorts that they sewed by themselves and they all fit!

Sewing camp session 1: Jalie 3243

Sewing camp session 1: Jalie 3243

We used Jalie's Pull-on pants and shorts pattern. I measured each girl on day one of camp and then traced their correct size off of the pdf pattern I purchased. The size chart is so accurate, thankfully, as everyone's shorts fit perfectly! 

Jalie 3243

Jalie 3243

Jalie 3243

Jalie 3243

Love that glasses fabric Natalie used! This isn't a pajama pattern, actually, but it works great as one. The pockets are super cute. I'm going to make a pair for myself and then maybe pick up some linen this weekend and make some pants for myself too! I love the Jalie patterns come with all sizes, from kids to adults, it's awesome. 

Here are my week 2 campers! I got to be in the photo this time! 

Sewing camp session 2: Jaile 3243

Sewing camp session 2: Jaile 3243

I highly recommend this pattern! If all these kids can make it, you can make it too. 

Cheers and happy sewing :)

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Sewing Camp Session 2

We are halfway through sewing camp #2 and we have are having just as much fun as last time! For reals, I can't even believe how much fun I'm having. I was really worried that after the first few days of the first camp I'd ask myself what I was thinking, but I am really, truly enjoying myself each day. Whew! Haha. 

We made our pillowcases yesterday and started sleeping masks with our extra time. Today we made our drawstring backpacks and they once again turned out awesome! Here are just a few highlights from our first two days.

Getting my teach on! Hehe. 

Getting my teach on! Hehe. 

Yep, I totally let them iron! 

I'll be sure and post our pj shorts when we finish those, along with last week's pj shorts, which I don't think I showed off here either! The pattern we're using is spectacular, so I for sure need to share. 

Cheers and Happy Sewing! 

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Sewing Camp Progress!

My first week of sewing camp is in full swing and it has been so much fun so far! I'm completely wiped out, in the best of ways when it's over each day. My favorite moments in teaching others to sew are when someone finally turns their finished project right side out and they gasp and grin and are so proud that they made something! It's the best. 

Day two we made drawstring backpacks and these took the whole three hours. They were worth the hard work because they are so cool! And today some of the girls showed up wearing them and carrying their things around in them, which made me happy. 

We used the tutorial from hello, Wonderful.  I love how different everyone's fabric is! 

Today's project was pajama shorts and this one will spill into tomorrow morning. We only have a few seams left! I bought the pdf version of Jalie's Pull-on Pants and Shorts pattern. I taped the pattern together and then yesterday I traced each girl's correct size onto pattern paper, aka the huge cheap roll of banner paper I bought for the task. I had measured each person earlier and some of the girls wear the same size so I had them share. Still, it took time, but thankfully, each pair of shorts fits perfectly! Love that about Jalie patterns, their sizing chart is right on. 

So much concentration! I'm so impressed at how far they've all come since the first day! They're cutting straighter, learning the sewing terms, their seam allowances are looking nicer and the machines aren't coming unthreaded nearly as much today, ha! 

Super proud :) 

Cheers! 

Nikki

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