Monday, October 24, 2011

Scrap Stitching - Free patterns found on the net

I'm not at home, as you know, so don't have my whole sewing room with me, just a wee bit of it, and I'm feeling like sewing. I've been looking around at free patterns on the web and thought I would share a few with you that would go well with scrap sewing.

Here's a tote bag/CD case/glasses case from that looks pretty simple. What a better way to use up your scraps than to make a bag?

From the same web site, I found a nice pillowcase pattern. Simple and easy, and you can make these as gifts or for holidays at home, or whenever you want for a custom look on your bed.

Here's a nifty apron pattern that includes a pocket. They call it a Funky Kitchen apron. I call it a great way to do a patchwork piece or use up a colorful remnant you have hanging around. This one is from the folks at

This apron is a bit different. It's got an assymetric halter feel to it. You could almost wear it with jeans for a hippie sewing look.

You can never have enough tote bags. This one looks like it could double as a grocery bag. Just be sure to reinforce those handles!

Here are some lovely pillows to make and some birds to go with them. I love the fabrics they used, but you could use any you like to make these elegant or funky.

Heffalumps and woozles. Okay, no woozles, but some cute elephant patterns for pillows.

Maybe you could use a woozle or two on this bib from!

Classy up your sewing area with a Prairie Flower Pincushion. So cute! It uses paper piecing and hexagons, two of my favorite ways to sew.

Another pincushion to consider is this Eight-Pointed Civil War Buckshot one from Marcus Fabrics.

Michael Miller Fabrics offers this free Christmas tree skirt pattern. It's pretty enough to wear! Use your imagination, though; you're not limited to the fabrics shown.

I've brought you placemat patterns before, but this one looks like fun. It's a chicken pattern! First a picture of it and then the pattern.

Ever wonder how to make these cute little roses?   Wonder no more, for here's a pattern for ruched roses from

For a long list and to do some exploring of your own, this was my starting point. It's amazing how many people are generous enough to share their ideas and work with us, isn't it? Of course, there's always Google and some tutorials here as well.

Happy hunting!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Sorry to be gone for so long. I'm on vacation and thought I would take a quick minute to check in.

Before I left home, I cut out a Kwik Sew 3147 jacket/cardigan out of a light paisley denim and finally found enough time to get it together. There's a picture and a description of the pattern in my October 9 post.  It turned out really nice and fit really well. I'm so glad I added pockets. I did not use buttons and chose to leave the front open with no closures. I wore that and a brown V-neck tee along with beige capri pants for the flight, and my assistant after my last flight asked me if I was "a businesswoman." I told her that I wasn't really, and she commented on how "professional" I looked! What a great compliment, especially when you're wearing something you made. I thought it was a great looking outfit myself and the jacket pulled it all together. So keep sewing your stuff - you look great!

I also carried my Peter Max oversized tote as a carryon in lieu of a purse (my purse was actually in the bag!), and got unsolicited compliments and comments on that. Seeing as that was truly a scrap project, the fabric coming from a vintage curtain, I got another proud moment!

I'll be doing some hand sewing while I'm out of town. I always take my hexagon project with me. The flight attendant started a conversation with me about quilts when he saw me sewing. That led to conversation about tee shirt quilts and his grandmother and mother, and everyone else he had known who sewed. Let people see you sew! It makes for good chat openers and may encourage someone else to give it a try.

So enjoy your fall weather wherever you are, and I'll be here in Phoenix wasting away in their gorgeous climate.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sewing, sewing, sewing!

It's been a month or so of finishing projects, organizing fabrics after giving away about 20 pounds or more of fabrics that I sorted out as "stuff I just might not use." It's SO hard to do that! Every piece of fabric could be turned into something, right?

I realized that my hexagon quilt is going to take more than I thought to finish, so I have been basting fabric to paper seemingly endlessly. This is not something that will get done quickly, for sure. I love working with the English piecing and the hexagon shapes, but it has gotten to where I had to buy some charm fabric packets from a variety of people on eBay and Etsy. It turns out, a lot of people have just as much fabric as I do! By my last count, I'm about 1/3rd of the way done with the quilt top. What I thought would take about a year will probably take two years, and that's okay by me. I'm flying to Phoenix on Monday, and I will take the hexagon bag with me again to make rows while waiting in airports or just while doing a little bit of nothing else.

I'm on the lookout for more Peter Max fabric, and I have been working with my smaller Max scraps making potholders. What a great way to use up small pieces of fabric! I keep a small supply of heat resistant batting on hand so I can always fabricate a set. I had thought about decorating hand towels with scrappy bits of Peter Max fabric, but I'm not sure it would hold up to that much washing.

I also sold a few Halloween items. I made placemats and trick-or-treat bags and though they didn't all sell, some did and now I have a couple left for next season. Along the way, I cut squares of the Halloween fabrics and sold a few charm collections myself.

And just today, I finished a jacket I cut out some time ago, just in time to wear on my flight. I added pockets and did not add the buttons. I also redrew the hemline for the front pieces and made them into a wavy line rather than a straight one. The back is also straight. I used a light fabric with a brown and turquoise paisley pattern, and used a bias tape I made out of a complementary fabric (turquoise crystal type fabric) to bind the front, sleeve edges, and pocket edges. This gives it a bit of a retro look, but it also added a unique look to a very simple line. It was not a hard pattern to make, but it was a touch time consuming for me because I'm used to making smaller items. A full sized jacket was a bit bigger than I generally take on, but I loved making it. I love that it fits well and that I have the perfect tee shirt for wearing underneath it. I also love pockets and with the two pockets on the jacket and the several in my capris, I'll have plenty of  room! I'm flying from Virginia to Phoenix and this fabric is light enough that I can wear it for a bit of warmth on my side of the country, but not too much for the warmth of Arizona.

I have so many sewing projects in my head. Will I ever finish them all? Will you? Sew on, friends. Fall is here and it's time to sew clothes to keep you warm!