The girls have been coming to after school sewing classes in DUMBO for a year now (for some 2 years), but we have never made a quilt!
Because we are quilting novices everyone start by making a 12x12" square pattern piece. We were going to start XS with just 12 pieces; All the girlies were NOT happy with that, so we bumped it to 16 pieces. We used Extra-Loft full sized batting, and cut them in quarters. The batting ended up being a few inches too big on one side and I had to cut everything to fit at the end.
I had them all start by picking fabrics they liked together, and that would match their room. They thought about how the fabrics would look together. They were given two options- to cut pieces that fit the 12x12" squares or to take many smaller pieces and patchwork them together to fit into the 12x12" pattern. I encouraged them to get creative with their fabric choices.
After they had their pieces cut out, we laid everything out to see how they wanted their layout. We started by sewing one strip of 4 fabrics at a time, trying our best to keep the lines straight/seam allowances even. Then they sewed their 4 strips together. This completed the top of our quilt.
They chose a backing fabric (some chose 2 or 3!) and stitched everything together, turned it right-side-out and closed up the opening.
We finished the quilts by stitching around the outside one full time to make it look nice and neat. I am so impressed with all the thought and hard work all the girls have put into their quilts.
Animal Ears Fur Hood Mini-CAMP
Oh My- Last week we had a special WINTER themed workshop for our students. We made FUR everything! Don't worry vegans- no animals were harmed with our special faux-furs.. Fur hoods, mittens, and pillows.. (the Rice-Crispy Treats were Fur Free)
The kids were given the choice of many different styles and furs to make rockstar combinations for the best furry hoods I have ever seen.. No REALLY! Have a look for yourselves..
We had all sorts of combinations of ears, mittens, linings, fleeces and furs. We used Simplicity Pattern 1514, but had to modify the length of the arms so the mittens would reach everyones hands. This was an easy change, just adding length based off of the sample. In the end, everyone's hood matched their personality and were SO super cute on.
That day we also made a special winter snack-Rice Crispy Treats!! The girls created all sorts of shapes - They made me a big A and G for Alexa and George. Some had mountains and others made doughnut shapes filled with chocolate chips! The photo below is from another blog, but you can imagine that these kid-hand-crafted treats looked this beautiful. ;)
At the end of camp as we were finishing up the hoods, the kids started making paper snowflakes and furry throw pillows with the scraps of fur and fleece! I'm sure you have noticed the beautiful Faux-Fur pillows in all the stores now like Neiman Marcus ($125), Urban Outfitters, Pottery Barn, Ikea, Nordstrom, they are très chic.
Warning: I don't suggest making a furry hood at home because working with fur is like working in a hair salon, you end up with a mess of loose fur everywhere. I didn't take a photo of the pile of fur at the end of the day, but you can imagine it was like grooming 5 dogs. I would say it was well worth it for the warm fuzzy hoods we can all wear through this cold winter, especially this past weekend while playing in #blizzardJonas!
You've started sewing and you are now thinking "What sewing machine should I get?"
Not knowing where this craft will take you makes it hard to decide as a beginner what kind of machine to buy. Machines have a variety of functions, costs and abilities.
You do not want to get the cheapest machine out there. The super cute toy machines are great for about 5 minutes, but in my experience, after the first or second time, they end up breaking.
Think about how it is built. What parts do they come with? You don't want to grow out of your machine too fast, but you also don't want to over buy with a ton of features and embroidery functions that you will never use. If you plan on using embroidering and quilting these can be great (Think - Bernina, Pfaff, Janome)!
At Brooklyn Sewcial we use the Brother CS6000i, it is relatively inexpensive, smallish (great for NYC/BKLYN), has a wide variety of stitch options (including 1 step button hole) but most of all it has safety features for kids that I find SO SO helpful while teaching. You can set a speed limit to go fast or slow, and the machine will not sew with the presser foot up! This saves us from so many silly mistakes, and makes sewing much more enjoyable for everyone.
A few key things to think about:
-Top loading bobbins are easier to thread than front loading
-LCD screens usually have more options, but are harder to fix if they break
-Machines with metal parts last longer, but are heavier and more expensive
-For younger students look for something with extra speed control, and safety features.
-Make sure your machine comes with the basics: a seam ripper, extra bobbins, extra needles, mini-screw driver,
Really think about what you want your machine to do. How much you feel comfortable spending. Feel free to ask us about your sewing questions, we are happy to help with your machine hunt!!
The link above is for the Brother CS6000i, the machine we use in class. I love it because it is VERY user friendly, has speed settings for the heavy footed sewers, has MANY stitch options, several button hole options, durable, and did I mention easy to use! It is also really reasonably priced on Amazon.com. If anything goes wrong you can contact Brother or Amazon and they are very quick to replace parts or the whole machine!
I saw this super cute Mummy Jar on Pinterest when I was looking around for some Halloween crafting inspiration. I loved it so much I ended up making it, along with a 15 second YouTube How To (at the end)..
Start by collecting the necessary materials. See Above ^^
Then put a dot or two of glue on your jar to hold the first piece of bandages down.
Then wrap the bandages around the jar as you like it.
My bandages were stretchy and it was easy to stretch them tight to tuck the end into the folds of the bandages. You can also use shorter pieces, and tie them in knots the whole way down. Pick a style you like better or do a combination of both!
You will now use the glue for the googly-eyes! Pick your favorite kind...
Then put a batter operated tea light indie and you are done! SO EASYYYYY! Tell your friends about us :)
Easy DIY Halloween Ghost
For most DIYers Halloween is one of our favorites, from costumes, geeky fun baked treats, to all the cute crafts we spend the whole month making.
This weekend we had an Open House at the studio with some free sewing and pottery classes! It was so much fun!! For the new stitchers that came we made these cute Halloween inspired tiny stuffed ghosts. Scroll down for a 15 second how to video!!
They are super easy to make and only a few steps.
First you will need the following supplies (don't forget the glue):
You can sew this with a machine or by hand. Start by threading your needle or machine. You will sew from the left bottom corner to the right bottom corner, leaving a small hole for stuffing. Use a whip stitch if hand sewing, and make sure to knot the thread at the start and finish.
Now stuff the ghost until he/she looks nice and fluffy.
Stitch closed your hole.
Glue on the eyes and mouth; wait for glue to dry.
Viola you are done already!!
The Cutest Fabric EVER/Bunny Backpack
Maybe I was recently trolling through Instagram (okay I do this every morning) when I found this super cute fabric and haberdashery shop that is new to Insta.. @AlwaysKnittingAndSewing on Twitter and Instagram.
They are based out of the UK and sell a variety of Quilting weight cottons and poly cottons, knitting supplies, sewing necessities and really great gift sets (HOLIDAY SEASON) for your crafting friends and family.
The fabric they sent me is adorable!! You're going to flip out... Maybe you're thinking I should have waited for Spring but I'm a sucker for illustrated prints and any sort of polkadot combo. There was no waiting with this cutie.
I was inspired to make a backpack with the little bunnies and mushrooms. I picked up some interfacing and fleece batting from B&J Fabrics, and some ribbon, webbing and a striped ribbon from Daytona Trim You can get these things from most fabric stores, but I love these two! .. I used Simplicity 1388 OS
I would not suggest this project for beginners! If you are new to sewing I recommend starting with the messenger. It is fun to sew though. For mine I switched up some of the fabric selections, putting a bit of contrast on the bottom gusset. I thought the polka dots looked so cute with the mushrooms on the fabric.
Knowing what I know now, when I make the backpack again I will add a divider on the inside for my computer. It's nice to have it in it's own section. I would also add a mesh pocket to the outside for my water bottle. I love extra pockets in my backpacks!
I was pleasantly surprised with the size. I thought this would be a bit smaller from the images. The gussets are bigger than expected and I can fit quite a bit in it. It's been great for my back and forth to the studio- Computer, Book of the week #GIRLBOSS, Lunch and Water.. oh and all the misc things that accumulate when I'm not looking. ;)
about 1 yard of both lining and main fabric (leaves you with a tiny bit extra in case you make an extra pocket) 45"
2 yards webbing, 2 yards ribbon
2 gliders to match webbing size
1/4y elastic for loops
2 matching zippers 22"
1y interfacing medium weight, 1y fleece interfacing
If you try this pattern and have questions just comment below- I will try to help.
Cats and Doughnuts
Say hello to the Cat in the Doughnut... Or would you prefer The Dog in the Cupcake (Spoiler alert: there are no puppies or cupcakes)
There was a holiday for a certain private school this week and I had two lovely girls come in for a semi-private lesson.
They had very specific projects in mind, so we got to work and made them come to life. I just think the their projects came out darling with all their lovely details they picked out. I never thought of sear-sucker for frosting but it works quite well. Would you say those purple felt sprinkles are lavender? I would definitely eat this doughnut!!
Miss. Cat is adorable as well, although I don't have the urge to eat her! Her owner drew out a face that she saw for her cat, and we cut it out of felt, then stitched it up, and viola!
The fall semester has gotten off to a great start. We have some younger girls on Tuesdays and a little older on Wednesdays. Both groups have been so great! We started the semester off with T-Shirt Dresses with Pleather patch pockets (totally vegan, but more importantly- SO CUTE). The girls all chose their own contrasting vegan leather and each made their pockets slightly different. One little cutie asked to make her pockets Heart Shaped with red leather.
We recycled the pattern (The Charlie) used to make the T-shirts and sweatshirts from summer camp. To adapt for the shift dress shape we started by measuring out what length each girl wanted their dresses. Then added the difference (plus 1.5") to each pattern. On both the front and back patterns we added 2" to the width of the new hemline. THEN took this new width and drew a line connecting it to the armhole. (See Red line in drawing).
We shortened the sleeves a little, and added a patch pocket. *Note: If you are also sewing with a pleather it may be a bit sticky, and won't go through the machine easy. We used a walking foot to help this issue.
When using this pattern I found the shoulder curve on the sleeves to be a bit too short. When cutting add a little extra to each. See red lines below.
If you would like any more info on the project please let me know. If you make one at home I would love to see your version!
Planes, Planes, Planes...
Last month I helped Wynne out with the DUMBO, Kids At Clay summer art camp and it was such a treat. Working with clay is such a different experience then sewing and making clothing. I love the contrast and how differently the projects taken home function. The biggest project of the week were the airplanes. These had so many parts to them, and took a long time to build. Each bi-plane came with wheels, propellers, two sets of wings, and some even have people and figurines built in!
You can see from the photos above how unique each student decorated, from the difference in color story, patterns to style of painting. I love the individuality that shines through of each student with each piece of pottery, and watching the art come together from the very first conception of the ideas, through the beginning stages of building, to the completion of painting each piece.
I love the thought of having my own plane. There are endless possibilities of adventures, trips, and traveling that could be done if we all had our very own airplane. What would my plane look like? Colors, style, patterns? Who would I bring with me? Where would I go first? I might have to start taking pilot lessons!!
Some Projects from Camp
Last week was a blast! I hope all the students had as much fun as I did.
We started out with the classic Brooklyn Sewcial Chicken Pin Cushion; This is one of my favorite projects!! We learn a variety of skills through the basics of making a stuffed animal: why/how to sew everything inside out, placing anything that will stick out on the inside of our stitching lines, clipping corners, machine stitching, hand stitching, sewing straight lines and so much more. The students this week really impressed me with their concentration and skills!
Then we moved quickly onto sweatshirts! This was a really challenging project, but the students killed it with limited need to pull out the seam ripper! We had set in sleeves and lined hoods for these hoodies, real skill building techniques. They used a variety of fabrics from Polar Fleece, shark printed minky to paisley printed ITY. They were each so fabulous and unique to everyone's personality. I have to say if I were to make one I would go shark print!!
What do you think of the hoodies? We played with sleeve length and fabrics. Anything can go for a fun summer pull-over. I found a very basic childrens pattern on Craftsy.com that can be used for T-Shirts, Hoodies and color blocked shirts. I recommend buying the pattern- You can even print it full size at Kinkos! http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sewing/clothing/the-charlie-tee--hoodie---big-kid-sizes/52829
More to come on last weeks camp in the next few days.
Bringing ideas, tips, and tutorials about sewing, DIY and modern crafting.