Monday, December 19, 2016

Five Hand Embroidery Winter Patterns

Crafted Spaces is excited to introduce its' first winter hand embroidery collection. This embroidery collection features five beautiful holiday and winter motifs that can be used on many different projects. We are featuring these designs as 4" embroidery hoop ornaments, but you can scale the patterns to suite other projects. These charming little ornaments can be hung on your Christmas tree or given as sweet stocking stuffers for the holidays.

The designs range slightly in the amount of time it requires to create them, but they all have just a few simple embroidery stitches. Our online store offers a PDF download that you can purchase and receive directly in your email. We also have available, limited quantities of our full embroidery kits.

The embroidery kits include:
  • printed copy of the pattern
  • pre-printed 100% cotton pattern
  • instructions
  • ribbon
  • embroidery floss
  • embroidery needle
  • stitch guide
  • tracing paper
Transferring Your Pattern
There are several methods for transferring your embroidery pattern onto your fabric or other materials. The type of material you use will determine the best transfer method. The ornaments seen in this post, were made with eco felt. Felt is a bit heavy and the method I chose was to create an iron on transfer. To create the transfer I used tracing paper (transparent paper or onion skin) and an iron on transfer pen. I placed the paper over the "reverse" image of the pattern and traced over the design using the pen. I then placed the design down on my felt and used a dry, hot iron on the back of the paper. Any wax free tracing paper should be good for this process. I was able to find tracing paper at Wal-Mart and the dollar store.

Tip! Lift occasionally on one end to see if the design transfers successfully. Do not remove or shift the paper until the design has been transferred. With any method you use, it is recommended that you first test with a swatch of your fabric.

Embroidery Floss
Six-strand cotton embroidery floss was used in the projects shown. I chose white floss on a red background for a traditional holiday feel. I also think it will also look lovely on a natural linen fabric. I used DMC brand cotton embroidery floss in Blanc. Divide your embroidery floss by pulling apart three stands together. For the projects shown, three strands were used for all of the stitches except the French Knots. The French Knots were made using six strands (three strands doubled over). You can vary the thickness of your stitches by changing the number of strands you choose to work your stitches. I suggest playing around with the number of strands you use and see what you like best.

Finishing Your Embroidery Work
To finish the back of the embroidery ornaments, I tied off and trimmed the threads. I then trimmed away the excess fabric, close to the edge of the hoop. Using a small amount of fabric glue; I then attached a piece of felt cut to the size of the inner hoop. You could also use another type of glue, just ensure that it will not show through the layers of your fabric. The method I choice for finishing these embroidery ornaments can also work for other projects. I then tied a length of ribbon to hang.

Crafted Spaces Holiday Embroidery Collection is available here!
Check out our Pinterest board for great links to other embroidery resources.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pattern Review and Project Update

We recently shared our Fabric Haul: September 2016 video, and one of the lovely fabrics we shared was this beautiful cotton floral print from Len's Mills in Barrie, Ontario. I am not quite sure what I was thinking, but I only purchased one metre of the fabric along with a half-metre of a coordinating solid. I did try to get more of the fabric, but it was sold out. There was just enough fabric to make a basic shell top. The sewing pattern I selected is New Look #6483. This is a simple top with side (straight) darts, opens at the back of the neck and has bottom side slits. There is a sleeveless and short sleeve variation. The pattern is available as a printed enveloped pattern or as a downloadable.

Changes I Made
The top required just over a metre of fabric, so I had to adjust the length. I shortened the bottom of the top by three inches, making the adjustment just at the start of the side slit markings. I did not use the facing pattern pieces. I decided to make bias binding from the coordinating sold colour fabric, and used the bias to face the neckline and armholes. I also opted to not include the slits at the side seams, given that the top was shorter than the original pattern. I also used a half-inch seam allowance on the side seams, which has given me a tiny bit more ease across my bustline.

What I Will Change
The darts needed to be adjusted for a better fit on my body. Dart placement may not be an issue for someone else, but I suggest measuring the shoulder to bust and making any changes prior to cutting your fabric.

Overall, I really like this pattern and the fit is very comfortable. This pattern is included in our Garment Construction I pattern list. I look forward to trying the pattern with our students. It is a basic top, but the pattern provides an opportunity to learn about side (straight) dart placement, facing and the option to add sleeves. If you are new to sewing and will like to try making a basic top, this pattern is worth trying. The only down side is that only smaller sizes are available, ranging from bust size 30 1/2 to 38 inches. However, you could find a similar pattern with a broader size range. You can sew as instructed or use as a block and experiment with various modifications to make it your own.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fabric Haul: September 2016

There are many options for purchasing fabric online and at your local shops. However, if you are new to buying fabric the process can be intimidating. If you are purchasing fabric online, I suggest learning about the different types of fabric and to order a fabric swatch when possible.

The sewing pattern you are using will generally provide some fabric recommendations. Using the recommended fabrics will mean that your finished project will potentially fit and drape the way the pattern designer intended. However, I recommend trying other fabric options as a way of learning how different materials work. In some cases you may love the results and in other instances you may simple gain a better understand of why some fabrics work best for a given project.

We hope that our Fabric Haul video is the first of many such videos, where we will share with you the fabrics we are using at the studio. We also hope to provide you with great tips on how to purchase and use different types of fabrics.

Let us know what you think of our Fabric Haul: September 2016 video and perhaps share with us your favourite fabric designers and suppliers.


Simcoe Sew and Quilt - Located in Barrie, Ontario, this quilt shop has a beautiful selection of fabrics, mostly quilting cottons. They also sell sewing machines and other sewing supplies.

Len's Mills Stores - Several locations with a huge selection of fabric; including, home decor, dress making materials, quilting cottons and tons more.

Fabricland - Many locations across Canada. There is a huge selection of fabrics at different price points. Good chance you will find something on sale. They also have sewing patterns and lots of notions.

Jo-Ann Stores - Stores are located in the United States. They also sell online, but at the time of this post, they announced that they would no longer be shipping to Canada as of September 30, 2016.

Affordable Fabrics - Was unable to find a website. They are located in Toronto in the Queen and Spadina area. There is so much to choose from in this tightly packed store, so give yourself some time to visit this shop.

Tonic Living - Located in Toronto and also available online. Beautiful selection of fabrics with a focus on home decor. Great quality fabrics!

Value Village - This thrift store has many locations, and generally has a selection of craft and sewing items. It can be hit or miss given it is a thrift store. I recommend carefully examining the fabric pieces. Can be a great opportunity to find vintage fabrics and patterns.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Pattern Haul: September 2016

There are many options for sewing patterns that are available. Most of the patterns we use at our studio are commercial sewing patterns. The reasons for using these patterns in our studio are accessibility and the wide selection of pattern designs; which make them a great choice for our students. These patterns are generally available at local sewing and fabric supply shops. Commercial patterns can also be purchased online direct from the manufacturer's website. Other great options for sewing patterns include, downloadable pdf patterns and printed independent patterns.

If you are new to purchasing sewing patterns, I recommend starting at your local fabric shop where you can review and select your patterns prior to purchasing. There are generally pattern catalogues available for you to select from. If you are not sure what size pattern to purchase, look for the size or body measurement chart in the pattern catalogue. You can also review our posts on "How to Take Body Measurements" and on  "Selecting a Pattern." The catalogues will also indicate the skill or difficulty level for each pattern, which can be very helpful especially if you are new to sewing.

Let us know what you think of our Pattern Haul: September 2016 video and perhaps share with us some of your favourite patterns.

The McCall Pattern Company

Saturday, August 20, 2016

How A Journey Girls Doll Can Improve Your Sewing

We recently did a video to share with you guys our cute little model, a Journey Girls eighteen inch doll. The idea to add a doll to the studio has been something I have wanted to do for some time now. I had purchased a couple smaller dolls that I had found at the thrift store, but finally realized that I was going to have some difficulty finding an eighteen inch doll at the same location.

I can fondly remember learning how to sew as a child, by making clothing for my dolls and progressing to matching projects for myself. What seems life a lifetime later; I now have several young students that are eager to learn how to sew by making clothing for their dolls. I have found that the eighteen inch doll clothing is easy to make and is a great introduction to sewing. Several commercial pattern manufactures have developed patterns for eighteen inch dolls and there are lots of books available with patterns and instructions. The patterns are also easy to draft on your own.

As a mother of two boys, I can probably tell you about every video game and Lego set on the market; however, purchasing a doll was new territory for me. The American Girl dolls seem to be the most popular eighteen inch dolls, and most of the patterns I have found seem to reference these dolls. Several of my young students have an American Girl doll and we have done projects for them; however, I was not aware of the price until I started looking to purchase one. I did some research and soon discovered the significant price tag, which I was not willing to invest in a doll. With a bit more research, I found the Journey Girls and My Life As dolls. I then decided to get the Journey Girls (Chavonne) doll, which I purchased at ToysRUs.

As an adult learning how to sew, having a doll can also serve as a learning tool. You can use the doll to sew a complete outfit, see how different fabrics might work together and practice different sewing techniques. You can then transfer those sewing skills onto your other projects. I will share with you guys projects that are made for our little model. I am hoping to add another doll from the Journey Girls collection to the studio. I will also love to hear from you guys, how you think a Journey Girls doll or other type of doll can improve your sewing skills.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Sew-Along - Reversible Jacket

This jacket pattern is the "Kwik Sew K4104" and was originally planned as part of our Fall Sew-Along last year; however, I decided to make the jacket as a reversible spring/summer jacket. It is the first project in our Summer Sew-Along, which will include several fun sewing projects that are great for warmer weather. A picture of the jacket was shared on our social media a few weeks ago. Since then, I have been loving wearing the jacket and will be making another one. This sew-along will share details of how the jacket was sewn together. I hope it will inspire you to try making one of your own.

Style Details
This is a lined, three-quarter length sleeve jacket, with no closure. There are darts in the bodice and sleeves, a waist seam on the front and a centre seam down the back. I decided to sew View A, which includes front welt pockets that I did not include. I chose not to include the pockets in order to achieve a smooth, double-sided jacket with as little bulk as possible.

The pattern ranges from size XS to XL. I made the medium size, which is a tiny bit roomy for me, but allows me to wear various style tops. You will want to confirm your size, based on your body measurements and your desired fit.

I used 100% cotton fabric for both sides of the jacket and finished my seams with my serger (optional). The navy blue and lime green polka dot is a medium weight woven (fabric 1), while the floral print (fabric 2) is "Flourish in Twilight" a quilting cotton by Anna Maria Horner. I also used cotton thread in coordinating colours. No additional notions or interfacing was used.

I prepared my fabrics by pre-washing them to account for shrinkage. I felt this was particularly important since I was using two different types of cotton and was not sure if the shrinkage would be the same. I also reviewed the pattern instruction sheets and confirmed where I could make changes in the design.

Once I had identified the size I was going to make I confirmed if I needed to make any changes or alterations to the pattern, such as dart placement and shortening or lengthening. I did not make any adjustments at these points and proceeded to cut my fabric and transfer markings. I then decided to serge various edges of the fabric. This was particularly useful on the polka dot fabric to reduce fraying.

  • I worked through step 1, skipped steps 2 and 3 (regarding the pockets), and proceeded to step 4 and sewed as instructed.
  • I finished the center back seams by serging the raw edges together after sewing. If you do not have a serger, you can use a pinking shear or use the zig zag stitch on your sewing machine.
  • The side and shoulder seams were pressed open.
  • I then repeated the steps with fabric 2.
  • Once both pieces of fabric were at the end of step 4, I proceeded with step 5 and attached the sleeves. I found it very helpful to hand baste the sleeves prior to stitching.
  • With both the outer and inner sections of my jacket completed it was now time to attach them to each other. As instructed in step 12, I faced the fabrics with right sides together and stitched along the front center edge and around the neckline of the jacket.
  • I then did an under-stitching along the same edges as far as possible.
  • I followed the instructions for finishing the bottom edge of the sleeves and turned the jacket inside out.
  • I followed by stitching along the hemline, leaving an opening to turn the jacket inside out.
  • The finishing touch was closing the opening of the hemline with hand stitching.

Tip! I did not leave an opening on the side seam as instructed, but inside left the opening along the hemline. I then used hand stitching versus machine stitching to close the opening to create a finished look.

Pattern Matching
As noted before, there is a front waist seam on this jacket, as well as a centre back seam. As a result some pattern matching is helpful in order to achieve a sleek seamless look. I suggest familiarising yourself with pattern matching in order to get the best results. If you are pattern matching some additional fabric may be required. As an alternative to pattern matching, consider using a solid print.

I cannot stress enough how much ironing your project as you sew, can make a difference to the final project. Some of the seams in this project were pressed open, while ones like the center back seams; were pressed over to alternate sides. Some fabrics may require that you use a pressing cloth, while other may be best sent to the dry cleaners after sewing. Pressing tools such as a tailor's ham and sleeve board were very helpful for this project.

Changes I Made
I really like the simplicity of this pattern and it lend itself very easily to be made into a reversible jacket. Outside of attaching both sides of the jacket with the opening at the hemline, the only significant change I made was not including the pockets.

What I Will Change
I really thought about this project and what I will change the next time I make it, but really could not come up with any significant changes. As mentioned before, I did not include the pockets and perhaps I will try adding the pockets in a future version. I may also include the collar in the contrasting fabrics.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this project. I hope you will try making your own jacket along with the other sewing projects posted on our site. We are also excited to see your creations, so remember to share via social media with the hash tag #cssewalong. Visit us in the coming weeks for our next sewing project.

Happy stitching!

Summer Sew-Along | Next

Summer Sew-Along
How To Take Body Measurements
Selecting A Pattern
How To Prepare Fabric For Sewing
How To Cut Pattern And Fabric Pieces
Reviewing Pattern Instruction Sheet
Sew-Along - Reversible Jacket

Last updated 06/27/16

Friday, May 6, 2016

Giant Paper Flowers

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to share how to make a giant paper flower on Rogers TV Barrie Daytime show. If you are a Rogers TV subscriber you can view the show online or order a copy of the episode. It was a wonderful experience and I had lots of fun. I therefore wanted to share a little more about this super fun craft on our blog, which I hope will inspire you to give it a try.

Yvette-Michelle Cottle Darby on the set of Daytime | Rogers TV Barrie 

Paper flowers can be a great way to decorate a space for a special event such as a birthday party, engagement party, wedding or baby shower. You can also use them in your home as a decorative accent piece. I personally love having them on display in my craft studio. You can create an elaborate backdrop by attaching them to a wall or on a separate piece of material that you can hang from a wall. You can also create a whimsical atmosphere by just sprinkling them throughout your space.

There are many types of papers to work with, including card stock, tissue paper, crepe paper, construction paper, scrapbooking paper, Japanese paper and so much more. You can even repurpose the pages from newspapers, old books and magazines. I suggest you experiment with different types of paper and see what you like best.

On the show I demonstrated using fifteen sheets of white 65lb card stock for the petals, two sheets of green card stock for the leaves, and one sheet of yellow construction paper was used for the stamen. I used a standard card stock paper that can be found at your local craft or office supply store and there are usually lots of colours to choose from. Each sheet is generally 8.5 x 11 inches.

Here is a list of supplies you will need:

Card Stock Paper (65lb or your preference)
Construction Paper
Glue Gun
Glue Sticks
Stapler (optional)
Large Paper Clips (optional)

Tip! I recommend using a hot glue gun with high-temperature glue sticks, because it holds and sets really well. However, you can use low-temperature glue sticks, which will be safer if you are doing this craft with young children. Alternatively, you can use a stapler to secure your individual petals and then use your glue gun at the end when putting your flower together.

If you will like to make a giant paper flower, then try out our FREE template when you sign up for our email newsletter. You can scale our template to 200% to fit fully on an 8.5 x 11 card stock. You can also experiment on your own, or join us for an upcoming class at our Barrie, Ontario studio.

Upcoming Classes |  FREE Flower Template with Email Signup

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fabric Haul: Green Brocade

We are now twenty-six days into the new year and I already have a start on my fabric buying for the year. I have made a couple purchases which have mostly been for our Crafted Spaces sewing classes, but I have also found a few personal gems along the way. This year, one of my resolutions is to exercise self-control and limit my fabric purchases to pieces I plan on using within the following weeks or months. However, I know that once in a while I will come across a piece of fabric that is just too beautiful to pass up. I hope to limit those purchases as well, but we will see how well I do or if my fabric addiction will get the better of me.

I started this new "Fabric Haul" blog feature to share with you highlights of what I have purchased and hopefully the projects I will make. I will also share some details about the fabrics and tips on using them in different projects. The first fabric I will like to share with you, is this really beautiful green brocade.

When I first saw this brocade fabric I was not sure if the colour was WAY to BRIGHT, but I really loved the look and feel of the fabric. After some lamenting, I decided to purchase a small piece because it was way too beautiful to walk away from. I purchased .5 meters of fabric; just enough to make a beautiful accent pillow. I also got some luscious yellow vintage velvet ribbon and an invisible zipper to match the fabric. The weight of the fabric makes it a great choice for different home decor projects or for making a handbag. The other great thing about this fabric is that it can be used on the reverse side.

I purchased the fabric and notions from King Textiles. I have been going to King Textiles for a really long time and I do not think I have ever left this store without purchasing something. I love the insane selection of fabrics and there is literally something for every type of project. They are located at 161 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, just south of Queen Street. There are two floors of wall to wall fabric and I suggest giving yourself lots of time to shop.

It is no secret that I love fabric. I love the beautiful surface designs, texture, colours, drape and the endless possibilities for what you can create. I have several stores and online retailers that I regularly purchase from and I also like trying new shops. When I travel, I am always sure to visit the local fabric shops; not to mention, I regularly visit thrift stores where I find great vintage fabric. If you have any suggestions for shops that I should try, please comment below.

This post is not a sponsored post and the fabric featured was a personal purchase.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...