Sew Mama Sew: Giveaway Day!

Welcome Blog Hoppers! (Note this Giveaway is now Closed)

Twice a year the amazing sewing blog, Sew Mama Sew, puts together an incredible Giveaway Day for bloggers and makers of all types.

This December we thought we would get in on all the fun! Simply tell us what you are making and gifting this holiday season in the comment section below for your chance to with a $50 gift certificate to our shop, Style Maker Fabrics. A winner will randomly be selected on the evening of Sunday, December 13th, 2015.

$50 Gift Certifcate

Need some ideas for your holiday sewing or gifts? Be sure to check our our 12 Days of Sewing here on the blog. We are posting a new gift idea and some daily specials everyday. Check out all the post HERE.

To all of the new visitors, we’d love to connect with you and stay in touch!

Sign up for our Email Newsletter HERE

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Good luck!

The Style Maker Fabrics Team

 

12/14/15: This Giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered and congratulations to Bobbie, our randomly selected winner. Happy Holidays!

 

Selecting the Random Winner

Selecting the Winner

Bobbie's comment- the 5th comment posted.

Bobbie’s comment- the 5th comment posted.

 

Note: The winner will be randomly selected from those who entered via comment on 12/13/15 and be notified via email. By entering this contest you are agreeing to sign up of our email newsletter. You may unsubscribe at any time.

 

Day Nine: Cozy Cowl

On the Ninth Day of Sewing…

We are in the home stretch of the 12 Days of Sewing. For today’s gift idea we thought about something extra toasty to keep you warm on a chill day- a cozy cowl. The question was… how do we want to construct it? Then we had the great idea to use the same technique that we used in for Day Three’s Infinity Scarves and they turned out perfect! So quick and easy to sew, these snuggly neck warmers are a great last minute gift. You could sew up a few of them in just an evening!

Cozy Cowls using Faux Fur and Shearling

Cozy Cowls using Faux Fur and Shearling

For our cozy cowl we chose two soft and warm fabrics, a cotton flannel and faux shearling. We cut our fabrics to be 12″ x 30″- for wide fabrics you get 2 cowls with just a 1/3 yard of each!

Cowl Supplies

Cowl Supplies

Layer the two pieces, right sides together, and pin along both long edges. Stitch each side using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Pinned layers of the cowl.

Pinned layers of the cowl.

Just like the infinity scarves, pull one end of the cowl up through the middle matching the raw edges of both ends. You will be matching up the like fabrics- flannel to flannel and shearling to shearling. Take care to match up both seams and pin securely.

Carefully stitch the layers together starting just before one of the seams. We started on the flannel side- we thought it would be easier to whip stitch the opening closed on the flannel than the plush shearling. Leave about a 3 to 4″ opening for turning when you get all the way around. Turn the cowl right side out and whip stitch the opening closed.

Remaining opening to whip stitch closed.

Remaining opening to whip stitch closed.

This shearling cowl went together so quickly we sewed up another one right away using faux fur and a coordinating woven. You can totally customize this project with any combination of fabrics. The shearling is a nice choice for one side since it is so plush and warm but it would be great paired with any knit or woven.

Here are our finished cowls- you can even wear them as a hood for even more warmth.

We also used the same technique of using two fabrics to make another infinity scarf, with the full width of the fabrics. We chose matching sweater knit dots– so that the two sides ended up being reversed. Another great project and gift!

Opposites attract- dot knit infinity scarf.

Opposites attract- dot knit infinity scarf.

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 9th Only! Save 20% on select warm and cozy fabrics and our Precision Stiletto is just $10! Shop Here

Day Eight: Guest Post with Girls in the Garden

On the Eighth Day of Sewing…

We are very excited to have a guest blogger for today’s 12 Days of Sewing post! Lori, writer and seamstress of the Girls in the Garden, is joining us today with her most recent Style Maker Fabrics creation, the Oslo Cardigan from Seamwork Magazine. Lori has been a Style Maker customer from nearly the beginning and we always love seeing the amazing garments she creates using our fabrics. Today, she took one of our plush new sweater knits and yet again turned it into an incredible creation!

Hop on over to the Girls in the Garden and check out Lori’s post for Day Eight. Here is just a little preview… isn’t it stunning! Read her post HERE.

Oslo Cardigan by Lori from Girls in the Garden

Oslo Cardigan by Lori from Girls in the Garden

The Oslo Cardigan is not only a perfect garment to make for yourself to enjoy in the cooler months or to wear to some of your holiday parties, but it is also a great pattern to make as a gift for others. It is loose fitting and flattering on all body types, making it a great choice due to the flexibility in the sizing and fit.

Until now, we have been sharing mostly accessory items that don’t necessarily have a size, they are more one size for all. If you want to go that next step and make more fitted garment to give this holiday season you do need to think about the sizing and fit. One option would be to have the recipient’s measurements or know their size exactly.

If you have more of a rough idea about their size, you probably want to stick to pieces like the Oslo Cardigan where the fit is more relaxed. That way if there is a little variation in the sizing, the garment should still fit nicely and all you hard work and love will not be wasted.

Here are a couple other great garment patterns with a more relaxed fit you also might want to consider for holiday gift sewing…

Links to the patterns shown above:

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 8th Only! Save 20% on Sweater Knits. Plus, save $3 on our Professional Pattern Notcher (a must have tool for garment sewers)! Shop Here

Day Seven: Fringed Scarf & Throw

On the Seventh Day of Sewing…

We are giving the sewing machine a break again today and making a simple, but very cozy, fringed scarf. On trend for the cool weather, this scarf can be made from a warm flannel, wool or other plush woven. Anything that is soft and warm and that you can separate and pull the threads to make fringe. We have found there is something very therapeutic about fringing fabric- once you start, you just want to keep going- Fringed scarves for all!

Fringed Mammoth Flannel Scarf

Fringed Mammoth Flannel Scarf

For our scarf, we cut a square of this wonderfully thick Mammoth flannel. It is roughly 44″ wide, so start with 1-1/4 yards. Next, cut off both selvages and square up the piece. It is very important that the grain of your fabric be square, otherwise when you go to fringe the edges, your fringe will be all different lengths and will end up crooked.

Close up of one corner on fringed scarf.

Close up of one corner on fringed scarf.

Once you have your piece all squared up, carefully start separating the threads at one corner (Note: If you need a little help getting started or along the way, the point on a good seam ripper can be very handy). You will basically unweave the fabric along the edges. Get a thread or two, going one direction, separated from the rest and pull them all the way out. Repeat this process a couple threads at a time until the fringe is the desired length. We gave all four sides of our scarf 1″ fringe. Note: If you wanted to add fringe to a particular side- take care to only pull/remove the edge threads running parallel to the desired side.

For the flannel that we used, we didn’t find it necessary to secure the threads in any way due to the tightness of the weave. If you feel your fabric might continue to unravel, use a row of short machine stitches just above your fringe to secure things in place and prevent any further separation.

Completed fringed flannel scarf.

Completed fringed flannel scarf.

Like I said, fringing can be very addicting- after completing our cozy plaid scarf, we took this “project” a step farther and created a soft throw to use during the holiday season. Again, we only used 1-1/4 yards, creating a throw approximately 45″ x 58″ (Note this was a wider fabric). You can make your scarf or throw any size and the fringe any length- it is all personal preference and what will suit your desired use or look. Our official “Blog Dog,” Toby, kind of adopted the finished tartan throw as his own… he loves anything that is soft and cuddly that he can snuggle up with! Guess I know what he is getting for Christmas…

Fringed throw with our official "Blog Dog."

Fringed throw with our official “Blog Dog.”

Either of these projects would make great gifts this holiday season. And so easy to finish when you have some down time- a perfect TV or movie project!

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 7th Only! Save 20% on All Plaids and our Favorite Seam Ripper is just $3.50 Shop Here

Day Six: Tote Bag

On the Sixth Day of Sewing…

We took inspiration from one of our favorite fabrics in the shop. This tape measure canvas has been calling to us for some time now to make it into a tote bag and today was the perfect day to do just that. You can never have too many tote bags- especially adorable ones like this! An easy project to complete in just a few hours, this handy tote bag would make a great handmade gift for anyone on your list.

Gift Idea: Canvas Tote Bag

Gift Idea: Canvas Tote Bag

Here are our instructions and tips for sewing this amazing tote bag. It includes one of our favorite methods for bag construction- a bit unusual but it will change you sewing life! At least it did for us when we first learned it.

Tote Bag Tutorial:

Note: All seam allowances are 3/8″ unless otherwise noted.

1. Gather your supplies- cutting tools, matching thread and fabric amounts listed below:

  • 2/3 yd for bag exterior- we prefer canvas or other durable fabric (you can take a lighter fabric and fuse interfacing to the wrong side to strengthen it)
  • 5/8 yd for bag lining- this can be any weight woven
  • 1/4 yd for bag contrast- canvas or other durable fabric is preferred
  • 1/3 yd for bag handles- canvas or other durable fabric is preferred
  • Fabrics used here: Measuring Tape Canvas, Plaid Sateen, Brushed Twill Magenta, Cotton Twill Black

2. Cut out your pieces.

  • Cut (2) 18″ squares from exterior fabric
  • Cut (2) 18″ squares from lining fabric
  • Cut (2) 7″ x 18″ rectangles from contrast fabric
  • Cut (4) 2-1/2″ x 27″ from handle fabric
Cut tote bag pieces.

Cut tote bag pieces.

3. If desired- fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the exterior pieces and (2) handle pieces. (We did this on ours for a more stable tote.)

4. Prepare the handles.

  • With right sides together, match up (2) handle pieces and stitch along both long sides. Carefully turn handle right side out and press. Repeat for other handle.
  • Topstitch the length of both sides of each handle using a 1/4″ seam.
  • Find the center of each handle and make a mark 2″ on either side. Fold the handle in half and stitch along the open edge between the two marks. This creates a nice hand hold.
Sewn handles.

Sewn handles.

5. Prepare other pieces.

  • Exterior and lining- cut a 2″ square out of the bottom (2) corners of each lining and exterior piece. This will be used to create the gusset/bottom of the tote during a later step.
  • Press contrast pieces in half lengthwise, wrong sides together- they should measure 3-1/2″ x 18″ when folded.
Preparing the Exterior and Lining Pieces.

Preparing the Exterior and Lining Pieces.

6. Attaching the handles.

  • Find the center of each exterior piece along the top edge. Center both handle ends along this edge, right sides together, spacing them approximately 4″ apart. Pin in place.
  • Lay a contrast piece over the top, unfolded, and pin along the top edge. The handles should now be sandwiched between the exterior and the contrast band. Stitch in place and press seam toward the exterior.
Attached Handles- between exterior and contrast

Attached Handles- between exterior and contrast pieces.

7. Attach Lining- stitch each lining piece to the opposite side of the unfolded contrast band. Press seam toward the lining. You should now have two halves of your tote that look something like this.

One half of the tote bag.

Completed one half of the tote bag.

8. Now for the cool part! Sewing the bag together.

  • Match up the two halves, right sides together and carefully pin all the way around. Take extra care to match up any seams and pin securely.
  • Stitch all four sides leaving a 4″ opening in the bottom seam of the lining for turning. Leave the (4) cut out corners unstitched.
  • Carefully press all seams open.
Sewing the two tote bag halves together.

Two tote bag halves pinned right sides together.

9. Creating the gussets.

  • At each corner, match up the raw edges and seams creating a new seam- pin carefully.
  • Stitch across each of the new seams being sure to backstitch at the beginning and end for security.

10. Turn bag right side out and tuck the lining inside the bag, folding the contrast band along the pressed fold. Topstitch around the top of the exterior fabric using a 1/8″ seam. Also topstitch each handle in place to the contrast band.

Topstitched exterior and bag handles.

Topstitched exterior and bag handles.

11. Hand stitch the opening in the lining closed and your tote bag is complete!

We hope you love this tote bag as much as we do. Isn’t that a cool way to construct a bag- two halves make a whole in a couple of easy steps! A great gift idea for fellow seamstresses, readers or really anyone who loves a good tote! Customize the fabric to suit their personality or how they will use it and this bag is sure to be a winner!

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 6th Only! Save 20% on select twills and canvas. Plus, get 2 sets of our favorite pattern weights for just $35! Shop Here

Day Five: Ornaments

On the Fifth Day of Sewing…

During our 12 Days of Sewing there is also a special photohop on Instagram going on, organized by Rachel from House of Pinheiro. We are thrilled to be one of the her 12 Day sponsors and also very excited to join in all the fun! Yesterday’s daily theme in the hop was “Memories”– a lot of things come to mind for this but one in particular was all the memories the Christmas season brings. New ones that are created and the old ones that you get to revisit.

A few of our treasured ornaments.

A few of our treasured ornaments.

For us Christmas ornaments are filled of memories! We pick them up on trips, receive them from special people in our lives or choose them because they represent something about us. Each ornament has its own story to tell and unwrapping them and finding the perfect spot on the tree each year lets you relive all those moments.

Many of our favorite ornaments were given to us during the holiday season- some are even handmade, making them even more special. For today’s Day of Sewing post we thought we would share a few handmade ornaments of our own. Perfect for tying to the top of a present, using as a hostess gift or as a token of your appreciation for a friend or co-worker. Small treasures like these ornament are filled with love and holiday cheer making them very memorable.

Handmade Ornaments from Apparel Fabrics

Handmade Ornaments from Apparel Fabrics

Our first handmade ornament is an adorable little bird. We used a natural linen blend for the body and then used a variety of scraps for the wings. Simple but very sweet- you can even make a pair to symbolize two turtledoves. The movie, Home Alone 2, comes to mind- share one of the two doves with a friend and you will be friends forever…

Adorable Linen Bird with Tweed Wings

Adorable Linen Bird with Tweed Wings

Bird Ornament Instructions:

  • To create these adorable little birds we first cut out a pair of the bird bodies- one for each side- and two pairs of wings.
  • With right sides together, stitch around each pair of wings leaving a small opening for turning (1/4″ seam allowance). Clip your curves, turn right side out and press. Hint: One of our favorite tools to have at our ironing station is this handy double-ended turner from Clover- perfect for getting into those small points and pressing out curves.
  • Hand stitch the opening in each wing closed.
  • While the body pieces are still flat- attach the wings and the eyes to each side. You can simply use a french knot for each eye or a small bead or button.
  • Once both sides are done stitch the two pieces together, right sides together, again leaving a small opening for turning. Lightly stuff the little bird and hand stitch the opening closed.
  • Attach a small hanger or ribbon and your ornament is complete.

Have fun with the fabric choices for wings! We have used tweed, denim, flannel, etc. and they all turned out amazing.

Houndstooth Scottie Dog Ornament

Houndstooth Scottie Dog Ornament

The other ornament we wanted to share is an adorable little scottie dog.

Scottie Dog Ornament Instructions:

  • For this little guy we simply layered two pieces of our chosen fabric with a layer of batting between and cut the dog template.
  • Use a blanket stitch around the edge to hand stitch the layers together. You could use a machine but we like the more handcrafted look when we did it by hand with floss or yarn.
  • Add a hanger and you have another great ornament.

Super easy! Perfect for tweeds, boucles or other bold patterned fabrics, it is fun to experiment with texture and color!

Click Here for the templates used for each ornament.

We also started a Pinterest Board with a few other handmade ornaments we would like to try this holiday season. Be sure to check those out as well and follow along with us!

Other Handmade Ornament Inspiration on Pinterest

Other Handmade Ornament Inspiration on Pinterest

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 5th Only! Save 20% on select tweed and boucles and one of our favorite tools, the Point to Point Turner is only $7.00 Shop Here

Day Four: Fabric Brooches

On the Fourth Day of Sewing…

Sometimes you just want to take a break from the sewing machine- After sewing all of those infinity scarves yesterday, we thought we would switch gears and do a little hand work today. We love projects that we can do while curled up on the couch with a cup of tea, while watching a favorite TV show. These fabric brooches, not only make great gifts, but can be done entirely by hand!

Holiday Gift Idea: Fabric Flower Brooches

Holiday Gift Idea: Fabric Flower Brooches

This project is a great way to use up some of your left over fabric or scraps from previous creations. If you want to add some new fabrics, you only need a 1/4 yard or so. The fun part about making these, is experimenting with different layers and textures. Try new fabrics, new combination and even mix in some other textures, like lace. Add a special button, beads or other accent to finish the look.

To make these fun little accessories all you need is a variety of fabrics, a few unique buttons, cutting tools and a needle and thread. In the following photos we used a lace fused knit from the shop- perfect texture for the “petals” on these brooches. We also used one of our favorite hand sewing tools… self-threading needles! Not only are they great for projects like this but we also love using them when tying off threads on our garments.

Here are the basic steps for creating these stunning brooches and then you can experiment with making changes here and there!

Fabric Brooch Supplies

Fabric Brooch Supplies

First, we cut our fabric into five 5″ squares. These squares can really be any size you like. You could do one layer with 5″ and then another layer with 3″ squares. Don’t be scared to try something and see how it looks. We find ourselves assembling and disassembling quite a few pins to see what we like best.

Next, we folded each square in half, then in half again and then in half again giving us a triangle that looks something like this:

Folded fabric square for one petal.

Folded fabric square for one petal.

Using a pair of very sharp scissors and holding the center point, round the top corner making a petal shape. Then, with our needle and thread, we partially unfolded the petal and refolded it so it was more like an accordion and stitched through all the layers at the center point.

Single threaded fabric petal.

Single threaded fabric petal.

Repeat these steps for all of your fabric squares and shape the threaded petals into your flower. If you like the desired fullness for that layer, stitch all of the petals together at the center and tie off your thread to secure them in place. If you want a bit more fullness, add a few more petals. We decided we liked how our brooch was looking and stayed with just the five petals.

Completed petals for fabric flower brooch.

Completed petals for fabric flower brooch.

Now our favorite part… adding layers. One of our favorite ways to do this is with yo-yo’s or gathered fabric circles. They are so easy to make- just a fabric circle, gathered at the edge and pulled tight- and they add a great texture and depth to projects like this. Finish it off with a button in the middle, a pin on the back and you have a gorgeous brooch!

Finished knit fused lace fabric flower.

Finished knit fused lace fabric flower.

We made a couple other brooches as well with some other fabric choices. The first one is denim with a lace circle, chambray yo-yo and finished with a button. And the second is a thick, sparkly sweater knit that didn’t need any additional layers just a beautiful button for the middle- this one is our favorite, but the photos just don’t quite do it justice!

Other completed fabric flower brooches- great gifts!

Other completed fabric flower brooches- great gifts!

Now time for you to get those creative juices flowing and create your own stunning brooches. Don’t forget to make one for yourself and wear it to some of your holiday events this season. You are sure to have people asking you one of our favorite questions- “Where did you buy that?”

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 4th Only! Save 20% on select bottom weights and Self Threading Needles are just $4.00 Shop Here

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