Monday, December 31, 2012

Fleece Hat with ear flaps- DIY TUTORIAL

Brrr! It's been chilly here in North Central Florida. We've had several nights now where we've had to cover plants or bring some indoors. Frost and freezing nights are a little more than what we are used to here especially when my kids want to spend all day outside. I whipped up an easy pattern and tutorial for these super warm and comfy fleece hats with ear flaps. I think it will come just in time for a lot of you who live in waaaay colder climates than us!

The hat is fully reversible and really easy to sew up. If you are a beginner definitely think about giving this project a try! I also enjoy working with fleece because the raw edges don't fray and it's very forgiving.

If you are looking for fleece fabric click HERE. 

A few tips for sewing with fleece: 
- Check your machine's manual to see if you can loosen up the presser foot tension {not the top thread tension- two totally different things}.  The bulky layers of fleece can be difficult to keep even if the presser foot is biting down on your fabric too tight.

- Use a walking foot on your machine if you have one. It always makes my sewing life easier. If you don't have one click HERE to find a compatible one for your sewing machine.

Side view of the fleece hat. Super soft & comfy!
Click HERE to download the FREE fleece hat e-pattern (PDF) in two sizes- Adult and Child.  {Patterns are one size fits most.}

Note: When printing your patterns make sure your printing settings are set to 100% or the original size. Do NOT select the "fit to page" option.  You want to make sure they print out at the proper scale and I've included a little 1" x 1" square to help you check that you printed it out correctly.
Gotta keep my babies warm while we harvest veggies from the garden!

Now I'll leave you with the step-by-step video tutorial where I will also share with you.... my new haircut!! Let me know what you think of it.  I'm trying to start 2013 with a fresh new look. Hope you enjoy!

Click HERE to watch the video.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dancing & Sewing

When my husband is on vacation it's a mad dash to get as much work done as I can! So, this week it's been pretty crazy over here so I'll fill you in with a quick recap on what we've been doing around here...

Had a blast at the Noche Buena party at my mom's house. Jonathan was the life of the party and everyone was enjoying his cool dance moves. He looooooves the spotlight, can you tell?! {hmmm.. I have no idea where he gets that from}
Jonathan in the dancing circle.
He was also the youngest {and shortest} in the conga line and loved every second of it. He kept telling me he loved to "play follow the leader." What a cutie my little man is growing up to be!
Jonathan in the family conga line!

He's also started using the new sewing machine he got for Christmas. {Disclaimer: I DO NOT recommend this with all kids his age. You know your kids/grandkids. Teach them how to use a sewing machine when you think they are ready.} He is so careful and meticulous that I feel comfortable letting him start learning the basics.  All the sample muslin scraps you see in the picture below are lines he sewed ALL BY HIMSELF! I jokingly tell my husband that at this rate he is going to be making quilts by his 5th birthday!

My silly guy with his very first sewing machine and some samples he stitched by himself.
He is loving his new machine and already knows basic sewing terminology: thread spool, thread, bobbin, bobbin winder, presser foot, feed dogs, pins, straight stitch, zig zag, etc. I only need to teach him something once or twice and he catches on. He's a very fast learner. So far so good.

Many of you have asked me for tips on starting to teach a child to sew so I'm working on a series of videos to show you what I'm working on with him in hopes that it will give you some confidence and ideas to try out with the little wannabe sewists in your life! Stay tuned for that...

Jonathan's first sewing lesson on his new machine! I love his little foot on that pedal! AH!
He's also been playing in the garden and wanted to harvest this big turnip today.

...and my baby girl just walks around the garden yanking up random chunks of kale for a midday snack.  She sure does love to eat... don't ask me where she gets that from.
15 month old Allie eating a kale snack from the garden.
 Hope you are enjoying the holidays! Happy New Year to you and yours!
Online Quilting Class

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

His first sewing machine!

I took a break from posting a tutorial this week because we were out of town on Christmas Eve celebrating with my family.  It was also my 4-year wedding anniversary! So, it was great to spend it with my amazing husband and extended family.

My son got exactly what he wanted for Christmas. His "own sewing machine, race cars and monster trucks." I love that he listed them in that order, too!

Got him his first sewing machine just like he asked!

I finally decided on this baby blue Kenmore 11206 sewing machine.  I did some research and discovered that Janome makes the newer Kenmore machines...and I love the one little basic Janome machine I already have.  So, for less money you get a Janome machine that has the Kenmore name on it. Sounds good to me! If this machine looks familiar it's because it is the same as the ever-popular  Janome Hello Kitty sewing machine. Just a different color and the word Kenmore stuck on it. Cool, eh?! You can imagine how excited I was to see that Tuesday Morning had the machine on sale for $59.99! I had to jump on it! Click HERE to see if the sale is still running.

Opening up his first sewing machine... and looks like someone wants one too!
I originally purchased THIS sewing machine for him because it's the Kenmore version of a little Janome workhorse machine I have.  But after I found the blue one and it's just a touch smaller than a regular sized machine I thought he would love this one more so I ordered it too. But the 19106 is a great beginner machine so I kept it anyway. So what if I have the exact same machine already? I didn't return it. {Of course, not!} I'm keeping it for myself and just adding it to my sewing machine stash.

Total machine count as of today{not counting my son's}: 7
It really is an addiction. Sssshhhh... don't tell my hubby! 

I hope to do some reviews on these beginner machines in the coming weeks/months since I get so many requests for machine recommendations for newbies. So stay tuned for that!

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season. I'll chat with you again soon!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Up to 75% off all Craftsy Classes!

Craftsy is at it again!  This time it's their Christmas sale and they are offering all classes up to 75% off until tomorrow, December 24, 2012.  Perfect timing to sign up for my home decor class if you haven't already done so!

Craftsy Holiday Sale: All online classes up to 75% off. Sale ends Mon. Dec. 24th, at midnight!

I teach a class called Sew Little: Nursery Design and although it's titled like that it really is a home decor class.  The projects I teach you how to custom make can be used in any room of the house or office.

Here's a quick list of everything I teach you how to make step-by-step in the course:

- window valance
- window curtains
- seat & back chair cushions
- baby's changing pad cover (*this is the only nursery specific project in the class*)
- how to create your own piping
- how to insert piping in your projects
- how to make 3 different types of ruffles
- how to attach ruffles to your projects
- how to make a pleated panel
- how to make a french seam
- how to sew a blind hem
- how to sew a simple hem
- and a ton more including tips & tricks you can apply to many more projects!

Pleated panel I teach in my class.
Baby's changing pad cover I teach in my class.
Seat cushion cover with ruffle embellishment I teach in my class.
Seat cushion cover and piping trim I teach in my class. 
Valance and curtains I teach in my class.
If you haven't tried a Craftsy course yet here are a few FREE classes you can register for and try out completely for FREE.  Try it out... I think you'll love the unlimited access to their user-friendly platform. Remember the sale ends on December 24th so head over to Craftsy and pick out a few fun classes for yourself or a friend. Happy crafting!

Online Sewing Class

Online Quilting Class

modern buttercream free online cake decorating class at

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Pajama Pants - DIY Tutorial

We are driving down to the Orlando area on Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) to celebrate with my {very} Hispanic family like I've done just about every year of my life.  We don't do much but enjoy our gifts on Christmas Day so the big celebration for us to enjoy family and great food is on the 24th. We stay up until midnight (yup, even the kids!) and open the presents then.

The drive to my mom's house is about 2.5 hours.  Traveling for that long with a 3 year old and a 14 month old means we need to simplify our lives as much as possible and make sure they are both comfortable.  So, I decided to make my baby girl something she could wear to the party that would still be cute but easy to wear and play in.  I've matched it up with an "I love Santa" top we got her at a thrift store for $0.25 and voila! She's good to wear this on the car ride down and all night long while she plays with her cousins, puppies and shreds her gifts to pieces.  I don't like my kids to wear restrictive, itchy and over-the-top dressy outfits.  I prefer cotton and comfort.  She is just a kid and needs to be able to run, jump, roll and whatever else she feels like doing in her clothes. So, I think I've found just the outfit for her!

Aren't they cute?!

I think she approves!
They are super simple to make and no fancy patterns or instructions required. In my step-by-step tutorial I teach you how to make these pajama pants using an old pair of pants your child already has whether or not they fit perfectly.  You can tweak any measurements you need to and it will still turn out fine. I used an old pair of my son's Superman tights that fit her about right.  Made some minor adjustments and ta-dah! She's good to go!

I used my handy-dandy Slice digital cutter to create the snowflake appliques. If you aren't familiar with the new Slice or what it can do check out my review HERE. 
{p.s.- It's on sale right now HERE.}

In the tutorial I also teach you how to create the cuff at the bottom of the pants, which I love because you don't have to hem anything! Another shortcut I took was using FOE (fold-over elastic) to create the waistband.  No more casings or elastic shifting around on you.

Click HERE to watch the tutorial and remember to Pin! I love pins!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Slice Digital Cutter Giveaway winner!

...and the winner of the Slice digital cutter giveaway is...

Slice digital fabric & paper cutter
Click HERE to see if it's you!

p.s.- If you want to get one for yourself or a friend the Slice is on sale right now HERE.
And yes, this is the NEW slice that I reviewed in THIS video

Online Quilting Class

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Advent Calendar Tutorial & Fabric Giveaway

A little late... I know. But the project is so fun and easy to put together that although there are only two weeks left for Christmas I wanted to offer up this advent calendar tutorial and fabric panel giveaway!
Happy Christmas advent calendar- by Northcott Fabrics
The calendar is made from one Happy Christmas fabric panel manufactured by Northcott Fabrics. Our friends at Northcott have been kind enough to offer two of these panels as a giveaway prize to two lucky viewers! For all the details on how to enter the giveaway please click HERE to watch the video tutorial.

This giveaway is open to all international viewers as well! I'll be shipping them out myself and have no problem shipping overseas.

Giveaway ends: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 11:59pm EST. That means you only have 48 hours to enter!  I want to get these panels shipped off as soon as possible so the winners can still use it this year if they wanted to for at least a week or so. Just think... you'll get an early start on next year's calendar if you do win and make it now. Yay!
advent calendar in progress
If you'd like a panel of your own I found an eBay shop that is still selling them HERE. Otherwise, try contacting your local quilt shop and see if they still have any in stock.

Now, I'll leave you with the video tutorial. You can click HERE to watch it. Thanks!

Online Sewing Class

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Favorite Mini Iron

Every day I get at least a dozen emails from people asking me about the cute little iron I use in my video tutorials.  It's my favorite mini iron and I use it ALL THE TIME! In my studio, at guild meetings, for small projects, and I even take it with me when I travel. It's a great little iron that gets nice and hot AND.... it steams!

Almost three years ago I wrote THIS blog post on the mini iron and I always direct people to the post for more info on it. If you want to read it click HERE. But today I wanted to write and tell you that it is on sale HERE. 

I love this little iron so much that I have two of them.  I've been using them for almost three years with no problem.  If you are on the market for a small iron that is little but gets the work done... give this one I try. I think you'll really like it. That's all for now!
My mini iron on a 12.5" quilt block- for size comparison.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fabric Bookmark Tutorial- Slice Cutter applique

As promised in yesterday's video review of the Slice digital fabric cutting machine today I get to share my step-by-step tutorial on how to make my {super cute} fabric bookmarks! Yay!
each one finishes 2.75" x 6"
These would make great gifts!
I love the tulle poof tags!
Aren't they cute!? Sometimes I surprise myself with what I am able to come up with. I'm really proud of this little project design.

They are easy to make and I love the flower applique I used from the Applique Basics card that comes with the Slice starter kit. You can do so much with that one card! If you don't about the Slice cutting tool click HERE to learn more and watch my video review! It really is my new favorite gadget.

Here is the video tutorial for the bookmarks... enjoy! If you are reading this post in your email remember to click HERE to view the tutorial.

To access all the measurement information for the fabrics and materials you'll need to complete this project you'll need to click HERE to watch the video on the YouTube page and then access the drop down box underneath the video that says "show more." That will open up the video description box that has all the info you need to make these bookmarks and where you can get your very own Slice

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