Friday 20 December 2013


Holiday Sewing: Simple Leather Christmas Ornaments Tutorial

I'm bringing Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom's Holiday Sewing Series to a close today with a super speedy tutorial: simple leather ornaments covers
I know, right? So easy I actually feel pretty guilty about posting it but but BUT I did some googling when I had the idea and surprisingly there wasn't anything too similar.  The tree and stars are complete no-sew, but the baubles require a tiny bit of sewing (although you could omit the detail and just use the outline).  You can download the templates for the three shapes here, but there are a tonne of Christmas clip art templates if you want to add more shapes... Reindeer? Stockings? Snowflakes? Candy canes? Leather ornament all the things!

1 leather ornaments trace shapes

Cut out your shapes and trace them on your leather.  Using sharp scissors, carefully cut around the outlines.  If you're going to sew the zigzag detail on the baubles, cut the zigzag from a second colour.  Use a glue stick to position the zigzag on the bauble.

2 leather ornament sew bauble

After the glue is dry, put a heavy duty needle in your machine (specific leather needles are best but general heavy duty needles are fine too). To stop the leather from waving / distorting, I use a slightly longer stitch length of 2.8.  Start sewing close to the edge, stopping at the corners and with the needle in the down position, and pivoting to continue sewing around all the edges until you get back to where you started.

3 leather ornaments makes holes

Use an awl or craft knife to make a hole at the top for hanging.  If you have the hardware, grommets would be pretty nifty too.

4 leather ornaments hang up

I used leather cording with a simple knot at the top for hanging.

5 leather ornaments all hung

And that's it!  They took me fourteen times longer to photograph than make and our tree looks (marginally) more classy so that's a result by all accounts.

Make sure that you check out the series for lots of Christmas sewing ideas, including yesterday's tutorial from Jamie herself with reversible holiday placemats.  There will be a linky party on Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom tomorrow for everyone to link up their recent holiday sewing, and there's a even a giveaway for a Brother 1034d serger closing tomorrow!

Wednesday 18 December 2013


The Mini Penny Pinafore sewing pattern is go!

Mini Penny Collage 

You've maybe already seen the announcement on other social media outlets that weren't being jerks last night but let's smack it down here for posterity's sake too.  Please, Blogger?  The Mini Penny is also finished and available in my shop!  Let me show you two that I made eons ago and never blogged...

Short Sleeve Mini Penny

I needed to make a short sleeve one for photographic proof that short sleeves were a possibilty so it was lucky that we were going to Spain the next day for some heat.

Short Sleeve Mini Penny backdrop

Prettiest photographic location to date.

Short Sleeve Mini Penny

MOST DIFFICULT TO ACTUALLY PHOTOGRAPH.  Seriously, blinding white hot light.

Mini Penny tunic

Back to darker / colder / more familiar territory (ie our back garden), here's a tunic length version I did in ye olde French terry from the stash.

blue euro Mini Penny

The fabric has around 10% stretch so this pattern is definitely doable in winter-weight knits.

blue euro Mini Penny pockets

Like most of my other Mini Pennys, this one has pockets.  I made the executive decision not to include the pockets in the pattern as with 12 sizes in two lengths each the pattern pieces are very crowded without pocket placement lines but I'll be offering them on the blog in the new year as a free add on.

Mini Penny Testers Collage

And here's a selection of the testers' Mini Pennys!

Penny Pinafore x2

Katie even made a matching Penny and Mini Penny for her and her daughter!  Based on this picture alone, I'm going to have to try this to improve my relationship with Maia. I have never seen two people more delighted to be in each other's company wearing matching clothes.  If mini doppelgangers are your bag too, from now until Christmas Day you can use PENNY at checkout for 20% off two or more patterns.  It's good for any of my patterns, it doesn't specifically have to be the Pennys.  If you have bought two or more patterns since Monday, expect a refund!


Monday 16 December 2013


The Penny Pinafore Sewing Pattern is go!

Release the hounds, release the kracken, release what you have at hand but The Penny Pinafore is finally available in my shop!  If you haven't heard me talking about nothing else for the last month, here's a description of the pattern:
This striking knit dress has shapely princess seams, a scooped banded neckline, a gently curved a-line shape in three different lengths (tunic / mini / knee length), and options for banded cap sleeves, ¾ length sleeves or long sleeves. It's designed to flatter the figure with a close fit through the bust, subtle waistline shaping through the natural waist, and then gently skimming over the lower waist and hips. The separate panels and princess seams give ample opportunity for fitting to individual shapes and adjusting to preferred ease. In a single colour or overall print the dress lends itself to a casual wardrobe staple that's cute thrown over leggings or tights, or use a contrasting print or colour in the centre panels for an striking hourglass shape. There are eight sizes included in the pattern, ranging from a 30” to 44” high bust, and a 24” to 38” high waist. Due to the slightly challenging nature of sewing princess seams and easing different curves into each other, I would class this an intermediate pattern but essentially it's a very quick sew.
And just to cleanse the internet's visual palette of only me wearing the Penny Pinafore round these parts, here's a fraction of the makes my awesome testers made.  I think they made nearly twenty between them, they are the absolute best.  And my mum tested for me this time so I am nearly a family business.

Also the best is my digitiser, Susan, from Crafterhours.  If you're looking for a digitiser she's a joy and a pleasure.  Better comb your hair, though, as she really likes Facetime.

Want to wear coordinating Penny Pinafores with your little doppelganger?  The Mini Penny will be released tomorrow!

I released this pattern specifically for the Designer's Challenge (initiated by the awesome Andrea from The Train To Crazy), where designers were challenged to come up with the unique 'original' pattern.  It's being going strong for over a month now, there's some fun patterns!  You can check them all out on Pattern Revolution.

Saturday 14 December 2013


This just in: a new retailer and lots and lots of prints

New Hilco Collage

I'm absolutely delighted to introduce Hilco from Germany as a new retailer!  You might recognise the designer, Hamburger Liebe, from the Simply Apples and Supahero that I have stocked in the past but she has now teamed up with Hilco and it's every more exciting to have her great designs on sweatshirting and woven babycord.  You heard me correctly, sweatshirting.   You're lucky I'm not saving all of these for me.  The three on the left are 95% cotton / 5% elastane sweatshirting and the three on the right are 100% cotton babycord.  They are slightly narrower than some of my other fabrics, coming in 145 cm / 55" width, but as they're not directional you can make the absolute most of your cut.

New Lillestoff Collage

Also arriving yesterday was a huuuuge box from Lillestoff!  I've restocked deep turquoise plain jersey (which is just as well as I recently sold out of the very-close-shade petrol plain jersey) and the popular Light Blue Scandiflower, but also added another six prints.  We've got the top two AMAZING feather prints (my favourites), two apt-for-British-winter Rain themed prints, the gorgeous Christmassy Fall birds with holly berries, and a glorious Woodland fabric with bears, deer, rabbits, hedgehogs and squirrels.  The rabbits are giving the side-eye, guys, so despite the fact I sold out of the brown side-eye foxes this week the cosmic balance of judgmental animals is maintained.  Somebody really needs to write Phd thesis on the use of the side-eye in Scandinavian fabric design.

Monday 9 December 2013


It's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Today is the biannual Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day and I'm offering one metre of your choice to the winner, international entries welcome!  The giveaway closes on Friday 13 Dec at 5pm PST / 8pm EST / 1am GMT. Check out my shop for all the fabrics I have in stock and leave your entries below.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday 2 December 2013


The Amazing Technicolour Paneled Pinafore

dotties paneled pinafore full 

As I got towards the end of the bolt of this Tulipa Dotties I selfishly took it out of the shop and reserved it for me. Yes, it's a bit garish and riotous, and the just-over-a-metre cut mean it's also super mini but I regret nothing.  I think I have tights to match at least half of these colours.  The resident / reluctant photographer didn't notice that there was a random shaft of light coming around the side of the building so there's a weird streak across the dress in all the pictures.

Meh, whatever.  I'm in love with this dress and nothing can taint that.

dotties paneled pinafore back

Not even my roots situation or derp feet.

dotties paneled pinafore close

Testing is going awesome and I'm getting pretty excited about this pattern.  All I need to do is settle on a name.  I like the Little and Lady play on the Skater and would like something similar for this.  Any ideas?