I am always in search of nice, handmade and useful (but fairly inexpensive) gifts to give to others at Christmas. You know, just a little something to let them know that we are thankful for them.
So this year when I came across these key chain kits here from Sun and Moon Craft Kits I thought they would be perfect! I even purchased some of my most beloved fabric from Liberty of London. I bought this bundle here. Most of the fabrics are perfect to work with on small or tiny projects like these little key chains.
I did run into a few issues while making these at first but the people over at Sun and Moon Craft Kits were so helpful and shared all of their tips and tricks with me. They are amazing!
Watch out, making these little key chains can be highly addictive!
I think we can all agree that coming up with handmade gift ideas for men is tough. Like rack your brain for days tough! Well thankfully about a month ago I was perusing Pinterest and saw these beer cap fishing lures and thought they were such a great idea. They are the perfect gift for those men who love to fish or drink beer…or do a little bit of both…at the same time.
Of course you don’t have to use beer caps. You could use soda caps as well.
Instead my husband helped with drilling the holes and bending the caps. We found that bending them by hand gave us the best result but after a few even my fingers were sore. I didn’t think of it at the time but I bet wearing rubbing gloves would have helped a bit.
As you can see, these are super easy and cheap to make. You just need some bottle caps, treble hooks, swivel snap connectors and some round slip jump rings. I purchased all of my items from Amazon. Start off by pinching the caps together with your fingers. Now you will want to drill the ends of the caps right in the pinched crease. Measure with the split rings to see where you should drill. You may need to flatten the pinched end of the cap just a tiny bit to get the drill in there easier. Plus it makes getting the split rings in easier too. Just use a screwdriver or any small blunt item to flatten them. Drill the other side. Now insert the split rings into the drilled holes. Next attach the hook and swivel to the split rings. And that is it.
How cute are they?!
Recently I had the opportunity to read Sewing To Sell by Virginia Lindsay. It is a newly released book that covers just about anything you ever wanted or needed to know about selling your handmade items locally and/or online. The book covers everything from how to start up a business and/or an etsy store, to the equipment you are going to need and how to price your items.
The book not only talks about starting up your own business but it also shares photography tips, ways to organize your craft space and how to present yourself and market yourself. Plus the book has a ton of copyright free patterns to help you get started. I really wish a book like this existed when I was starting up my etsy shop years ago. It really would have made things much easier! It took me years to learn what I could have learned in a few hours of reading this book.
To help promote Virginia’s Book I decided to sew up one of the patterns in her book, The Grocery Tote. With Christmas right around the corner I thought these would make great gifts! Everyone loves and needs a bag right?!
The Grocery Tote is a really quick and easy sewing project that only takes one yard of fabric to make. As you can see below I made five bags. I find it much easier to make a few items while I have the pattern out. The more you make the faster you will get. Plus you learn new little tips and tricks that will make the process go smoother.
You may notice that the construction of my bag is a tiny bit different then how it is done in the book. I used a technique that I learned from this pattern for the handles instead. It is just how I have done it in the past and find it easier for me. In her book Virginia encourages you to come up with your own unique designs or techniques. She gives you the basic foundation with the patterns but then you can customize them to meet your own personal style.
And that is what I did with these bags. If you look really close at them you will see that three of my bags have handles on the same side and two of my bags have handles going on opposite sides. Again, make it your own and what works best for you.
For each of my bags I used either a medium weight interfacing or a fusible fleece to give it a little more shape.
I also ended up adding a pocket to the inside of the totes. Nothing fancy but a pocket big enough to hold keys and a small wallet.
My littlest heads off to kindergarten next year and I plan on selling my handmade creations again. I have been a bit nervous about it and wonder if I will make any money…or if I should take a job elsewhere. By reading this book it has helped me better understand the business aspect of selling my handmade goods and how to actually make a career of it. I felt like I was ready to get started with this whole sewing to sell business thing once I finished the book and that I could really do this. I love seeing another mother take her passion for sewing and make it into a business…and even better she shares her tips and tricks for doing so!
If you are thinking about selling locally or online I would highly recommend you reading this book first! Seriously, it will save you do much time and effort. You can focus more on the making end of things instead of the set up and logistics of the business.
Now here comes the fun part! How would you like to win your own copy of Sewing to Sell by Virginia Lindsay? Simply enter the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway is open to US residents only and will end November 25th.
And don’t forget to follow along with the rest of the blog tour. I am sure you will be seeing some other amazing creations!
Recently I had the opportunity to review a product of my choice from Uncommon Goods.
Have you ever heard of Uncommon Goods before? If not, it is the perfect time right now…especially with the holidays right around the corner. Their site is full of handmade and personalized gifts as well as fun and unique items I have never seen before. The best part is that half of what is sold on Uncommon Goods is Handmade or created right here in the USA. Plus one-third of their items are made from recycle or upcycled materials. How wonderful is that?! As you can imagine, I had a really hard time choosing what I wanted to review but in the end I decided on this beautiful Kantha Blanket.
I chose one of the warm colors in hopes that I would receive a blanket with some orange in it. Well much to my surprise the entire blanket was orange. I was completely thrilled! Kantha blankets are made from strips of saris that are hand stitched together. Once the blanket is piece together they use bright, ticked kantha stitching throughout the blanket to give it the textured look. The fabric itself is very soft and comfy against the skin. I am very pleased with the look and feel of it. It does not look cheap at all and kinda has a vintage look to it. It is a lightweight blanket which is perfect for layering on your bed or for using it in the living room as a throw blanket. I happen to be using mine as a throw right now. I have to say that my favorite part of the whole blanket is that cute little square of contrasting striped fabric.
Lastly I have to mention all of these kids arts and crafts kits. I am a huge fan of giving crafts to kids. That way they can explore their own creativity and it encourages them to be makers. I think it is so important to encourage to use their minds as well as their hands.
Next time you are looking to purchase a handmade or personalized gift make sure you give Uncommon Goods a chance. I promise you will not be disappointed!
Today I am participating in Sewing for Kindergarten by Mie from Sewing Like Mad.
Sewing for Kindergarten is a fun little series were we make an outfit for that special little one starting kindergarten. Starting kindergarten is a big deal in this house. We choose not to send our kids to preschool at all so kindergarten is their first experience with school. Below are a few questions that Mie wanted me to answer. It’s been so fun reading through everyone else’s answers.
Do you feel like crying or celebrating? And what about your child? I feel like crying for sure…and do! I love having my kids home with me and it feels so weird when they are not around. My little girl is celebrating all the way. She told me the other day that if I get sad and start missing her then I should look at one of her pictures and I would feel better. So then I asked her what would she do if she started missing me. And her answer was that she does not miss me at all. Ouch! Actually I am very thankful that she feels that way. It means that she is ready and she is just fine without me. Its a huge sense of relief. But I do know that she misses me a tiny bit. The way she yells “Momma” and runs off that school bus each day shows me so.
What type of school (public, private, homeschool) will your child attend?My kids attend public school
For my little kindergartner I wanted to make something comfy and for the cooler weather that will be arriving soon. My girls are all about comfort and anything that can be paired with tights or leggings, so this is the perfect outfit.
For the top I used The Perri Pullover pattern from Cali Faye.
I used a soft sweatshirt fabric that I had in my stash. I sewed up a size 4 even though she wears a 5/6 right now. And as you can see it is still a little big on her. I have sewn the Women’s Perri Pullover Pattern a few times so I knew that the sizing was very generous. The pattern itself is a very easy to follow and a pretty quick sew. I highly recommend it.
For her pants I used the Hosh Pants Pattern from Lou Bee Clothing. This is my fourth time sewing this pattern and I just love it! These pants go together super quick and the sizing is spot on for my kids. The only modification I did to the pants was make them with a ribbed knit waistband.
It is still so hard to believe that she is in kindergarten!
If you follow me on facebook or instagram you know that I am competing in the Summer Flip This Pattern over at Frances Suzanne. I shared my “flipped” look over on Frances Suzanne this week and today I am finally sharing it with all of you.
First of all, here is an overview of the Flip This Pattern Series for those of you who have never heard of it before. Basically four Sew-ers were given the same pattern the Ethan Shirt Pattern by Sis Boom to start with. From there we could turn it into whatever we wanted to. All this week we got to have a look at everyone’s “flips” and they were all amazing! Each look is so different and unique but have the same basic pattern in common. Today the voting finally opens, so head on over here to vote for your favorite look.
Now on to my “flipped” look!
I will admit, I was super nervous to reveal what I made. Flipping patterns is not really my thing and I had so many struggles along the way with this one but in the end, I really like what I came up with. More importantly my little girl LOVES it and that is all that really matters. She loved it so much that she decided to wear it on her first day of kindergarten. Way to make your Momma feel loved right?! Oh and by the way she LOVES school!
As you can see I decided to turn the Ethan Shirt by Sis Boom into a dress for my little girl.
I had to make a lot of changes to the pattern in order to get a well fitting dress for my daughter. Starting with the shoulders I had to adjust the width as well as the armhole a few inches. I also made the back of the shirt under the yoke slightly gathered. I just added a few extra inches to the width of the pattern to allow for the extra gathering and then matched the gathered piece up to the altered yoke piece.
Then I did the same gathering technique to the front of the dress as well. Since there was no “yoke” piece for the front of the dress I just cut the front of the pattern where I wanted to gathering to be and then added in the seam allowance. I didn’t make any changes to the collar but should have made it a bit larger. It is too tight around my little girls neck and cannot snap it. I should also mention that I used snaps instead of buttons. I am just not a huge fan of buttons on my kids.
I made a little tie belt as well as added some belt loops to the dress.
I decided to make some flutter sleeves instead of the long sleeves so that my little girl could wear it now as well as into the cooler months. A cardigan layered over it will allow for wear throughout the seasons.
Surprisingly I did not adjust the length of the pattern at all. I happen to love the length and it even looks super cute with a pair of leggings or tights underneath.
Now make sure you head on over here to vote for your favorite look. Voting is only open until Saturday, August 30 and I know all of us would love to see our “flips” shown a little love!