Style Maker Gift Guide 2016

Some of our favorite gifts are related to sewing in some way! There is just something special about receiving a gift connected to your favorite hobby and passion. After lots of searching for the unique and unusual we have put together a handy gift guide to help seamstresses with their own gifting or maybe to create their own wishlist to pass on to friends and family!

– Treat Yourself –

At times we all make due with the tools that we already have. But wouldn’t it be nice to have that special tool that would save time and make creating even more enjoyable. Here are a few of our splurge items that are a special treat!

Kai Professional Scissors – Our favorite scissors of all time! They cut even the toughest fabric like butter and the handles fit like a glove in your hand.

Simflex Sewing Gauge – Take all the guesswork out of marking buttonholes. Accurate and fast, a win-win situation!

Professional Pattern Notcher – No more snipping or marking. This has become one of our favorite tools and it now permanently lives on our cutting table!

(Looking for other notion ideas? Check out all of our favorites HERE)

– Sew Unique –

We are always looking to the unusual and unique. Here are a few of our favorite finds!

Ceramic Button Pattern Weights – Measuring 4″ across these pattern weights are both functional and adorable. You can’t help but smile everytime you use them!

Giant Thimble Tool Organizer – Keep all of your tools close at hand in this sturdy ceramic caddy. Available in metallic silver or gold, choose the perfect look for your sewing room!

Style Maker Charm Bracelets and Necklaces – Carry a token of your love of sewing everywhere you go! Choose between silver or gold and pick your favorite sewing related saying for the charm.

– Other Fun Ideas –

Looking for some other ideas. Here are some great gifts to give the sewers that have it all or those that are particularly difficult to shop for!

Maker’s Sewing Workbook – The perfect journal for any seamstress! Keep track of all your past projects, organize future sewing plans and dream up new designs all in one handy place.

Made with Love Gift Tags – Add the perfect touch to your handmade gifts! And you get 12 tags (3 each of 4 designs) for only $1.95!

Ingredients for Making – Great for stocking stuffers or something small to give with a handmade item! And isn’t the packaging cute! Choose between the Pin & Thimble Set or the Tailor’s Set.

Style Maker Fabrics Online Gift Card – Give the gift of fabric or choice with an online gift card. Perfect for the seamstress that has fabric on their wishlist or if you just can’t decide what to get.

Hopefully this has inspired some gift choices to give your sewing friends and family members. Or maybe you need to add a few of these to your own wishlist. Feel free to pass this link on to help others with their shopping. Or maybe add a couple to your wishlist on Pinterest! (For easy reference, pin the image below!)

Happy Gifting!

Style Maker Fabrics Sewing Gift Guide

Day 11: Travel Set

On the Eleventh Day of Sewing…

We are in the final stretch of the 12 Days of Sewing and we saved our favorite handmade gift for today! We love taking inspiration from fabric and for today’s project the fabric truly spoke to us. A little unconventional, it is a printed canvas panel from Japan with fun hipster items- a tote, eyeglasses, camera, shoes and headphones- in trendy colors. (Panel is also available in Aqua here)

Printed Hipster Panel in Plum and Grey

Printed Hipster Panel in Plum and Grey

We thought, how fun would it be to make the ultimate travel essentials using each of these pieces? What a fun way to organize all of those necessities for anything from an overnight to a trip overseas! Now keep in mind any of these items could be made in any durable woven fabric, we just wanted to have a little fun and really show off how cool this “hipster” panel is.

Complete travel set created using a Japanese fabric panel.

Complete travel set created using a Japanese fabric panel.

We started with two printed panels– so that we would have a piece for each side of our travel items. We then paired it with a fun cotton print for the linings and a solid black twill as needed. Our goal was to have everything coordinate and truly look like a set- something to consider when selecting fabric. Now, let’s go through each item- here are the dimensions and steps that we used to create each one.

Cut panel accessory pieces.

Cut panel accessory pieces.

Eyeglass/Sunglass Holder:

To start off these travel essentials we decided to start with one of the easiest projects- the eyeglass case. We cut out each eyeglass piece from the panels (8″ x 4-1/4″) and stitched them together giving us an 8″ square. Cut out matching squares from the lining fabric and some scrap batting and layer the pieces as follows- canvas and lining right sides together on top of the batting. Pick two matching corners to round and cut all the layers to match.

Then, stitch all the way around the square leaving a small opening for turning at the end opposite the rounded corners. Turn right side out and press. Topstitch across the end with the opening to close it, add an additional row of topstitching for an accent. Fold the holder in half and stitch along the long side and rounded end, backstiching at the beginning and end. Just like that the eyeglass holder is complete!

Finished eyeglass/sunglass holder.

Finished eyeglass/sunglass holder.

Note: You could also make a phone case using the same type of technique and the corresponding panel pieces. We chose to use the phone pieces as a pocket in our Carry-All Bag.

Camera & Headphone Pouches:

For these protective little totes we used the same technique as the zipper pouches for Day 2. Rather than run through all those steps again, here is a link to the instructions- Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Finished headphone and camera pouches.

Finished headphone and camera pouches.

Here are the dimensions of the fabric pieces we started with- each ended up being the perfect size for their matching accessory.

Headphones- Cut your fabric and batting pieces 9-1/2″ x 9-1/2″ square and we made the bottom gusset 2″ wide.

Camera- Cut your fabric and batting pieces to be 8″ x 4-1/2″ and we made the bottom gusset 1″ wide.

Note: You could also make a pencil pouch using the same technique and the corresponding panel pieces. We chose to use the “notes” pieces as a pocket in our Carry-All Bag.

Carry-All Bag:

For this handy on-the-go tote we based the pattern off of one of our favorite bag patterns, the Super Tote from Noodlehead. We simply adapted the pattern’s dimensions so that the printed purse panels could be used as the front and back. Other than that we used the same overall construction. Inside we added cell phone and note/pen pockets using those pieces from the panel as well. We also used the printed handles as one side of each handle with black twill on the other side. We highly recommend having this pattern in your arsenal of go-to patterns but if you have another favorite bag pattern you could similarly adapt that as well.

Completed carry-all bag.

Completed carry-all bag.

Our main goal when sewing up the bag was to not have any of the cream background of the canvas showing. We cut each bag panel piece out about 1/2″ larger than the outline and then went back to stitch a bit large seam allowance wherever needed to make sure no cream was showing. The result was well worth the extra time and steps.

Note: For the pockets, we cut the cell phone piece 7″ x 5″ and the “notes” piece 7″ x 7″. We then layered them on top of a matching piece of lining, right sides together, and stitched all the way around leaving an opening for turning. Turned them right side out, pressed and then topstitched them to one side of a bag lining piece.

Carry-all bag pockets.

Carry-all bag pockets.

Shoe Bag:

Time got the better of us on this project and we just didn’t get our dream shoe bag in time to post. Our thoughts are to create a simple drawstring bag to keep a pair of shoes in using the matching panel pieces. Perfect for a short trip when you want to throw everything in one bag and don’t want your shoes to get everything else dirty. We promise as soon as we get this done we will give you all an updates!

Complete Set:

Together all of these pieces make such a great travel set, modern but sophisticated and a little geeky all at the same time. We love the idea of the set as a whole- perfect to make out of any fabrics (or the panel if you like) and give to someone who loves to travel, loves to have everything in its place or just loves to have everything match!

The perfect handmade travel set to give this holiday season.

The perfect handmade travel set to give this holiday season.

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 11th Only! All jersey and ponte knits are 20% off. Also save on some of our favorite tools by buying them as a special bundle. Perfect to treat yourself or to give as a gift to a seamstress friend. Shop Here

Day 10: Pillowcases

On the Tenth Day of Sewing…

One of our favorite gifts to make throughout the year is pillowcases. If we have visitors from out of town, we make them their own pillowcases using some Washington themed quilting cotton and then let them take the cases home when the leave. A small keepsake of their trip to Seattle. We are also guilty of having a whole shelf in the linen closet full of pillowcases we have made over they years. There might even be one for every season/holiday but we would never actually confess to that… A custom pillowcase is something handmade that you can enjoy everyday. The pattern, the fabric, all of it just puts a smile on your face when you crawl into bed, especially after a long day.

Our Handmade Pillowcases

Our Handmade Pillowcases

This holiday season we are kicking our handmade pillowcases up a notch- trying some other fabrics besides just flat cotton. How about lawn, voile, double gauze or even some textured cottons? All of these fabrics would make amazing pillowcases to gift this holidays season- so soft and more unique than just your standard pillowcase.

Over the years we have the art of perfected pillowcase construction and we thought we would share our steps with you! Quick and easy, you can have a half dozen of them made in an evening.

Pillowcase Tutorial

1. Supplies & Cutting

  • Main Fabric – 3/4 yard (1-1/4 yards if the fabric is directional)
    • For Standard Pillowcase: Cut to 25″ x 40″
    • For King Pillowcases: Cut to 35″ x 40″
  • Cuff Fabric – just shy of 1/2 yard – Cut to 14″ x 40″
  • Accent Fabric – just a few inches – Cut to 2″ x 40″
  • Our fabric choices: Lawn Floral, Handcrafted cotton, stash fabric.
Cut fabric pieces for our pillowcase.

Cut fabric pieces for our pillowcase.

2. Preparing Pieces- Press the Cuff and the Accent pieces in half lengthwise, wrong sides together.

3. Attaching the pieces- With the Main Fabric wrong side up, layer the folded Cuff and then the folded Accent piece on top along one edge matching up all the raw edges and pin and place. Stitch along the pinned edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seam toward the Main Fabric.

Layered and pinned fabrics.

Layered and pinned fabrics.

4. Finishing the Accent Piece- Press the Accent piece toward the main fabric, covering the seam from the previous step. Topstitch in place.

Topstitched accent fabric.

Topstitched accent fabric.

5. Sewing the Pillowcase- Fold the pillowcase in half widthwise, wrong sides together matching up the seams and pinning along the unfinished side. Stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance, backstitching at the beginning and end. Press seam to one side.

6. French Seam- Turn the pillowcase right side in and stitch along the same edge, this time with a 1/2″ seam allowance and backstitching at the beginning and end.

7. Finishing- Stitch along the bottom edge of the pillowcase using a 1/2″ seam. Finish edge as desired. Turn the pillowcase right side out and press well. Finished!

Finished pillowcase.

Finished pillowcase.

How easy was that? Just 5 simple steps and only sewing straight lines!

We went ahead and made just one more out of some different fabrics. For this one we again used a lawn for the Main Fabric but paired it with a wonderful woven cotton for some added texture.

Finished pillowcases in different cotton fabrics.

Finished pillowcases in different cotton fabrics.

Happy Sewing!

P.S. December 10th Only! Save 20% on Cotton Lawns, Shirtings and Double Gauze. Also one of our favorite secret weapon notions, Fuse ‘N Gather, is just $6 today only! 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 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