SMP Craft
14 Oct

How-to Tuesday: Fabric Pumpkins!

I’m not a fan of Halloween but I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart (and stomach) for pumpkins. Maybe it comes from watching Cinderella so many times as a little girl, or the numerous field trips to the pumpkin patch followed by roasting seeds, but the reappearance of pumpkins is a bright spot in October for me. So when I came across how to make fabric pumpkins on Me and My Shadow, I couldn’t resist the urge to make my very own pumpkin patch. Special thanks goes to Michelle Cashman, one of our guest posters who is a crafting guru.

materialsSupplies
– Orange material
– Green material
– Yellow/light orange embroidery floss
– Green embroidery floss
– Sewing needle (preferably a long one, size 16 or bigger)
– Polyester filling
– Scissors

 

step 2      step3     step 4

step 5     step 6     step 7

step 8     step 9      step 10

            finished one

Step 1. Cut your orange fabric into a rectangle. The size doesn’t matter as long as it is twice as long as it is wide. The pumpkins above were 8″x16″, 6″x12″,     and 4″x8″. We also tried out different material for each pumpkin. The biggest was made with orange felt, the polka dotted with cotton fabric, and the smallest came from t-shirt scraps. Once your material is cut, fold it in half making a square. The inside of your pumpkin is now showing.

Step 2. Using only three strands of the floss, take your yellow-orange floss and stitch the right sides of the square together.  This works best if you use a very long piece to keep using for the whole pumpkin

Step 3. After stitching the right sides together, move to the bottom of the square and sew a running stitch going all the way around the bottom. Once you go all the way around, pull the thread taut creating a pouch. Sew some back stitches to keep in place and turn the material right side out.

Step 4. Stuff the pouch with the polyester filling. This craft works best with stretchy material so don’t be afraid to really stuff those pumpkins!

Step 5. Just as before, sew a running stitch along the top of the pouch. Pull taut and sew a few stitches to keep in place. If you have a little  extra fabric and don’t want to stuff your pumpkin anymore, just tuck in the edges into the pouch and sew shut.

Step 6. Take the needle through the center and come out through the bottom. Repeat this step a few times to have the pumpkin take shape.

Step 7. This step requires a lot of thread or floss so I would check to to make sure you have enough to circle the pumpkin five or so times. Take the needle around the outside of the pumpkin and come back through the bottom giving the pumpkin one of its signature ridges. Repeat as many times as you’d like to finish the pumpkin shape. Knot and cut your floss.

Step 8. To make the stem: cut your green material into a small rectangle and roll it into a sausage shape. We used felt for our stems. Thread your needle with green floss (using 1 or 2 strands) and wrap it around the stem sporadically from top to bottom.

Step 9. Sew the stem to the top of the pumpkin. Make sure it’s secure before knotting and cutting.

This craft is doable despite your sewing experience. I have never sewed anything besides the occasional cross-stitch and with Michelle’s guidance was able to make my own pumpkin. When making your own pumpkin patch, experiment with different material and don’t be afraid to mix up the colors and patterns. The orange polka dotted pumpkin was our favorite!

all pumpkins

 

Check out our October and November titles!

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6 Oct

Author of the Month: Molly Goodall of Wild Things to Sew and Wear

Hello, Molly Goodall. WELCOME!

MollyGoodall

Molly Goodall, photo by Hoyoung Lee

This month, we sit down for a Q&A with Molly Goodall, artist, designer, creator of the unique children’s clothing brand, Little Goodall, and author of Wild Things to Sew and Wear. Originally from North Carolina, Molly earned her BFA in fashion design from Parsons School of Design in 1997, where she became focused on children’s wear. She then worked as a toy designer in New York before deciding “it would be more fun to be an artist” and moved to North Texas, where she, her husband, and son currently live.

MollyGoodall_Workroom

1. What’s your craft?

I design and sew unique children’s clothing.

lion front etsy  SweetheartOwlHatCheekyGreenDinosaur

 

 

 

[The original Ferocious Felt Lion Coat, Sweetheart Owl Hat, and Cheeky Green Dinosaur Coat pictured above are among an incredible collection of children’s playwear, animal-themed coats, dresses, and accessories (and a few adult sized coats under the label “Mrs.Goodall”)–all handmade in North Texas–at the Little Goodall online shop. Founded in 2010, Little Goodall grew out of the original Ferocious Felt Lion Coat, which Molly designed and made to inspire her then two-year-old son who refused to wear the hoods on his coats.]

2. What project would you consider an all-time best?

It’s usually the one I’ve just finished! This year I reworked two of my first designs; a lion coat and an owl coat. I made them from more luxurious fabrics, added removable hoods and several other details so they could be more versatile. Part of the process I enjoy the most is seeing how garments wear and what children like best about them, and then figuring our how to make them even more special.

3. What project would you consider an all-time worst?

Once, when I was about 17 I decided to make my dress to wear to a cotillion dance. I found a lovely and feminine rose print chiffon and a pattern which was all cut on the bias. I hadn’t had any experience sewing with the tricky chiffon, and I chose a lining which was not compatible. I ended up in tears the night before the party, with an ill fitting puckered disaster of a dress which wasn’t even finished. Needless to say there was an emergency shopping trip the next day to find a suitable dress.

4. What tool or material could you not live without?

My iron! It makes everything look finished, helps construct 3-D shapes when sewing, and revives tired looking fabrics. A garment which is pressed throughout construction is much more professional looking than one which is pressed only after finishing. I am a big fan of pressing thoroughly and often.

5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Making time more elastic. I always misjudge how long something will take me, so if I could stretch time out when needed it would definitely be super. Most days could use an extra hour here or there, whether for finishing a project or just catching up on sleep.

To learn more, visit Molly’s blog and the Little Goodall company website at www.littlegoodall.com.

Interested in sewing something a little wild for your little one? First: WARNING: These are simple, bold, and playful clothes that your child may never ever want to take off.

wildthingstosew

In Wild Things to Sew and Wear Molly expertly guides you through the creation of 15 adorable children’s garments and accessories in the shape of woodland animals, wild animals, and farm animals, including a lion or fox coat, an owl hat, a leopard skirt, kitten mittens, and more. The book includes easy-to-follow patterns to suit all sewing levels, from beginner through advanced, a comprehensive techniques section that shows how to lay out the pattern pieces on the fabric, transfer markings, and cut with confidence, and as an added bonus, a pattern CD is also included!

 

Buy Wild Things to Sew and Wear at your favorite bookseller:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our October and November titles!

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15 Aug

Freebie Friday: A Felted Spectacle Glasses Case

Are you the kind of person that shoves their stuff into their bag randomly and later regrets it? No, just me? I once threw my spectacles in my overstuffed bag (as a backup! I was wearing contacts!) right next to my keys and have ever since regretted my hasty actions. Why? Well, the left lens on my spectacles now sports a lovely circular scratch from one of the keys on my key-chain.

 Today’s Freebie Friday is a huge help for anyone like me: A Felted Spectacle Glasses Case from CARNIVAL OF FELTMAKING by Gillian Harris. I think Gillian had me in mind when she came up with this project. Or at least people like me!

Look how cute and stylish it is:

FELT CASE

  The exuberant projects in this book showcase Gillian’s vibrant style and creativity, making this is an excellent resource for both newcomers and more-experienced fiber crafters looking for exciting inspiration.

Carnival of Felting

Add a splash of color and charm to your wardrobe or home by creating the delightful felt projects in Carnival of Feltmaking. In the follow-up to the successful Complete Feltmaking, Gillian draws on inspiration from the carnival atmosphere, featuring a diverse range oftwenty-six brilliant felt accessories and home items, like:

  • a plush rose-trimmed evening bag
  • a luxurious cowl-like scarf featuring
  • a stunning swirling floral designa luminous eight-panel lampshade in a medley of patterns, accented with felted flowers and ribbons
  • a heavenly nuno-felted heart-shaped cushion
  • a dazzling tropical-inspired knitting needle case variegated vintage-style plant baskets decorated with either
  • a floral or oceanic pattern
  • a sweet and adorable strawberry deerstalker hat for baby

Additionally, Carnival of Feltmaking contains an overview of equipment and materials, plus step-by-step breakdowns with close-up photographs of all the major techniques used in the book, including wet felting, 3D felting, needle felting, fine cobweb felting, and more.

Like what you see? Order the book today!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s

Check out our August and September titles:

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5 Aug

How-To Tuesday: Needle-Felted Pig

I am not the craftiest of crafty individuals. My skills with a needle are typically limited to my ability to hold still during my annual blood donation. But once in a while a new craft comes along that challenges me to up my game. I present to you: needle felting!

Photo credit: www.inhabitots.com

This technique involves sculpting shapes from unspun wool by manipulating the fibers with a special needle until they interlock and become dense. There’s really no limit to the cute little treats, animals, plants, and toys you can create by jab-jab-jabbing at some wool for less than an hour.

I decided to make a tiny pink pig with the materials I had on hand. It seemed like the easiest project for a beginner like me, since it only requires two colors of wool.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 felting needle (these are  sharp, barbed blades that you can find at a craft store)
  • 1 toothpick (for holding the wool in place to spare your fingers!)
  • 1 foam cushion (to use as a workspace and to absorb the needle jabs)
  • wool roving in various colors (pink and dark brown for my piglet)

What to do:

Tear off enough felt to make the pig’s body, and roll it into a loose ball with your hand. Then take your felting needle and poke at it repeatedly. You’ll notice that the longer you jab at it, the tighter the fibers become.

photo 2

Once you’ve needled the body, it’s time to make its little snout! Tear off a small piece of wool and press it against the larger piece using your toothpick. Jab at it until it sticks, and then needle it into a snout shape. photo 3photo 4

Next, make his eyes! Tear off the tiniest two pieces of dark brown or black wool, pin them to the body, and keep on jabbin’. (Definitely use your toothpick for this–your fingers will want to get in the way.)

photo 5

The ears can be a little challenging because you need two pieces of felt that are roughly the same size. So, rather than pulling off two pieces of felt, I just pulled off one piece and split it in half. Then I did the same thing I did for the eyes.

And voilà! What do you think of this little guy? He’s not the prettiest pig at the party, but he’s mine all mine.

That'll do, pig.

Want more felting ideas? Buy Carnival of Feltmaking by Gillian Harris at your favorite retailer.

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books

 

Check out our August and September titles:

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CAUGHT CRAFTING: SMPCraft’s Spotlight on NYC Crafting

SMPCRAFT #CAUGHTCRAFTING Thursday morning, Astoria, Queens. Accessorizing with a lovely temporary floral tattoo she learned to make from DIY Temporary Tattoos: Draw It, Print It, Ink It by Pepper Baldwin!

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

PROJECT OF THE MONTH: JUNE DIY Father’s Day Gifts to MAKE NOW

Father's Day is less than three weeks away -- Sunday, June 19th in the U.S. -- just enough time to start prepping for what would make dear old pops feel loved....What dad, what MAN, wouldn't want to get a bright red tool box full of homemade BBQ, bacon, and chili flavored chocolate? Or a handmade Paracord hammock? Does he play golf?--hand dipped tees? Does he like to hike? Enjoy nature and the great outdoors? How about homemade beef jerky? Or does he enjoy watching sports--Remote Control Cookie? What about beer? One of the coolest new items coming out of Japan is a Frozen Beer Slushy Maker by Kirin Ichiban that perfectly pairs with the DIY black and tan soap! Scroll and click for more homemade DIY Father's Day gift ideas sure to make pappy happy! Hashtag #SMPCRAFT #DIYFATHERSDAY!

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