Best Sewing Blogs!

I just discovered this today. An amazing list of sewing blogs. Check out the Runners Up!!!...this list is soooo long! I can't wait to discover some new favorites.

Maybe PostalThreads can be on there somewhere next year, eh?

M is for Mini Fabric Purse/Card Holder

New Favorite Stash Buster Project...

M is for Mini Fabric Purse/Card Holder
------  UPDATE: Mini Fabric Purse/Card Holder free pattern by PostalThreads, click here.
A tip for printing: Do NOT select "Fit to Page" otherwise, the pattern pieces come out slightly smaller than intended.  Tutorial Is Here!

Years ago I was gifted one of these. I recently took it traveling so I could have a handy, flat, little something to carry some cash in my pocket. I searched and searched for a pattern, but found none, so I decided to have a go at designing a pattern myself, based off the mini purse I was gifted. These are so versatile & fun to make--completely lined! You end up sewing the "purse" pieces right sides together and then turning the whole thing right sides out, and hand-stitching the little opening closed, at the end. As far as the closure goes, I think a little snap closure might be cute too, but I personally do not mind the Velcro--it keeps it all soft and flat. "Press as you Sew!" should be the motto for putting together these little dainties. This is my new favorite fabric stash buster project!

M is for...mittens

Sew Sweater MITTENS!

Here's What I Did: This is the coolest pattern for mittens! You can go to Sandy's website Roman Cake Designs and scroll down to the bottom. She has a link to her YouTube video tutorial, as well as a pdf of the mitten pattern. She gives instructions on how you can print off her pattern to the correct size. I think what I ended up doing was just enlarging it a few different amounts on a copier machine.  Then I followed her instructions from her YouTube tutorial.

You do everything twice--sweater layer for the outside, and fleece layer for the soft and cozy inside--so by the time you finish sewing a pair, you will feel like a pro! [And they actually sew up really fast]. I can't wait to make more!

M is for...moccasins

 Sew Baby Moccasins!

M is for moccasins!
Gathering leather from thrift store finds was fun--I looked through sections with purses, planners, pants, and jackets. I have also heard of people purchasing scraps of leather by the pound, from furniture stores.When I started out I followed Kelly's free baby moccasin tutorial and free pattern, from Sewing In No Mans Land, here. After one or two pairs, I got the hang of it a little better and enjoyed trying new details with the fringe and other little details--hearts, bows, etc.

L is for..."Let It Snow" Banner

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

L is for "Let It Snow" Banner
View my ALL TIME FAVORITE simple YouTube tutorial for pennant banners, here, from Hannah at Bride De Force.

I used stencils and acrylic paint for the letters, on the front pennants, and I used some lace trim in my stash for the detail below the DIY "double-folded bias tape" which I created with my bias tape maker and fabric cut on the crosswise grain.

K is for... Kitchen Aid Bowl Cover, but any bowl will do.

How to Sew a Reversible Bowl Cover...Works For Round Bar Stool Covers Too!

K is for Kitchen Aid Bowl Cover

Thanks to Lindsey's beautiful tutorial on her site The Cottage Mama, here, I learned how to make bowl covers. She sews hers with one layer of fabric, and then uses double folded bias tape to create the casing for the elastic. I like the clean look the bias tape gives, but I decided to sew two circles, right sides together, then turn it inside out, and create my own casing by sewing around the circle (now right sides facing out). This way the bowl cover is reversible!  And I did not have to try and coordinate double folded bias tape colors, nor purchase any of it, nor make any bias tape of my own!

The same principles for these fun reversible bowl covers can be applied to making round bar stool covers, as well. Simply place a layer or two of batting, for extra cushioning, and measure a little farther out for your circles, depending on the depth of the top of round bar stool piece.

Below I have written basic instructions for creating a reversible bowl cover, referring to the pictures in this post.

Reversible Bowl Cover:
Step 1: Create your bowl cover pattern--turn bowl upside down on paper; measure and mark 2 inches all the way around; cut out circle pattern piece

Step 2: Pin circle pattern piece to 2 layers of fabric for a reversible--they can be the coordinating fabric prints or two different looks; cut out your fabric.

Step 3: (not pictured above) With circle fabric pieces right sides together, stitch a 3/8" (1 cm) seam around the circle, leaving an opening (about 3" wide); turn fabric right sides out.

Step 4: (not pictured above) Press; Stitch all the way around top bowl cover. Casing is typically determined by stitching a seam 1/4" larger than the width of your elastic. (Ex. 3/8" elastic, stitch casing 5/8" from edge). Insert elastic through casing using a bodkin or safety pin.

Step 5: Stitch elastic together (for elastic to lay flat, lay one end on top of other end as shown in the photo).

Step 6: Hand- or machine-sew opening of casing.

You did it! Now try out your reversible bowl cover!

F is for...felt finger puppets!

To Sew or No-Sew?...

F is for felt finger puppets!
Felt finger puppets are fun! There are many ideas out there, so before you get too overwhelmed, try setting some expectations for a "finger puppet project". You might consider a few things before you begin:

  • How much are you willing to hand sew? machine sew?
  • Are you okay if the neighbor child (or your own child) tears apart every single "no-sew" finger puppet you have?
  • Do you want them to all coordinate, like characters in a storybook or fairy tale or nursery rhyme?
  • Do you have a finger play or song in mind? ex. "5 Little Monkeys..."
  • Do you need a pattern or are you making your own?
  • What colors do you need? Will your felt stash be sufficient, or do you still need a few colors or additional supplies---are you stitching eyes, etc. or gluing googly eyes, or pom-poms for a tail or nose, etc?
  • Are you trying to mass produce these, or just make a few?
These were created using a combination of machine sewing and hot gluing for the animal, airplane, & super-hero finger puppets, and hand sewing for the dinosaur ones.

For the dinosaurs, I searched for free dinosaur outlines to use as a pattern--I made them a little small--I guess they really are for kids!!

24+ Toddler Travel Activities

24+ Toddler Travel Activities by PostalThreads

 24+ Toddler Travel Activities For the Long, Long Flights

Here you will find 1-24 travel activity ideas, "...a few more things" and also view my "Quiet Book" progress!

We recently flew with our 16-month-old and baby-on-the-way, 4 hours, across the country, and then another 16 hours on a transatlantic flight, to visit family for 2 weeks. Then we traveled back home again.

We did it! We survived! Now I am ready to tell you that I really did have a lot of fun researching travel activities, all the while nervously wondering what our long flights would entail and how our Little One would do with it all. I ended up putting together way more activities and snacks than we actually "needed", but considering what it did for my peace-of-mind, every single one of these items was absolutely necessary!! :) Below is a list along with comments related to what we liked, and which things we never got to.

"Don't over-pack" is still sound advice, but do what you've gotta do!
Safe & Happy Travels!

1. First 100 Words Board Book by Priddy Books. ISBN 978-0-0312-51078-7
Pack a word or counting book with lots of pictures; mere page turning, identifying, verbal speaking skills.
2. "Who Loves Baby?" photo album--gifted to us. Clear covered pages to slip 4x6 prints of family. Practice identifying who you are about to visit, on the way there, and on the way home, who you saw.

3. Balloon Ball by PostalThreads. I left a deflated balloon in the fabric balloon ball cover so when we wanted to play with the ball, we found the balloon through the fabric slit, inflated it, twisted (instead of tie-off) the end, then tucked it under. The balloon stays inflated that way, so you can have a fun ball that bounces whenever and wherever you go, and you can take it down whenever you want! Never a dull moment!
4. TwistUp Crayons--less "messy" than regular crayons. Counting, in-and-out, and coloring, of course!

5. Doodle Board from the dollar store. I recommend only looking at a dollar store for one of these. Other places did not have one this simple. It was PERFECT though! She loved it!
6. Stacking cups. We took the entire set, since the place we were staying did not have a lot of toys for little people, and this is a very compact and versatile toy. However, we only took the smaller ones, from the set, with us in our carry-on. Move objects, in-and-out, "hide-and-seek" with items under the cups, or hold a few snacks, etc.

7. Fabric draw-string pouches. Conceals & organizes toys & activities.
8. Altoids tin magnetic fishing set (inspired by Doodlecraft): I used a sucker stick as the "fishing pole" instead of a wooden dowel, and I did opposite than tutorial in link--I put washers in the fish and a magnet on the string end. I would do it her way, if I did it over. I used some under-the-sea themed scrap fabric to sew a "pond".

9. Snap closure mini change purse from the dollar store, with a few rings and quarters in it. In-and-out, open-shut, over and over again!
10. Card holder from an old wallet with expired/used gift cards. More page turning, in-and-out, etc.
11. Fabric napkins. This was more for me than for Baby. Sometimes you just want your lap tray table to look fun and pretty, right? We ended up using one of these for the Button Container Fun.

12. Button Container Fun Assortment of buttons--colors, sizes, shapes, in a small plastic container with lid. In-and-out. [Yes, a choking hazard, but I can't tell you how many minutes were occupied with these! Many! And did we lose any?....perhaps one or two, but I actually do not believe we did.]

13. Sticky notes--we actually never opened these! I had another, even smaller pad already open and we played with those, for more in-and-out things with the snap closure mini change purse. Possibilities with sticky notes are numberless!
14. Blue Painters Tape--I kept reading recommendations for traveling with blue painters tape because it is easy to remove and won't damage various surfaces. I thought how silly to take the ENTIRE roll, so I wrapped an empty thread spool with several inches. (I don't think we ever got to this, though!)
15. Printer paper page filled with toddler fingerplay lyrics I gathered from an online search. You have your standard Itsy-Bitsy Spider songs on file, in your head, but I am always up for adding more to my sing-song mommy repertoire! I wish I would have pulled this out---it's not like we didn't have enough time!!

16. Stop Watch--Indiglo and a faint "beep" that gets drowned out by the airplane noise anyway; too fun!

17. Ribbon of colorful wooden beads & empty spools. I just used what I had in my stash. I made sure the ribbon was longer than the amount of beads so there was room to move beads back and forth; use wider ribbon so beads don't slip around all the time.

18. Foam Stickers & Regular Stickers---foam stickers generally come off more surfaces, easier than regular stickers. Busy time and texture.

19. Baby Lotion & lip balm-- airplane air dries out your skin. Feel slightly rejuvenated every once in a while.

20. Feathers in a resealable bag.

21. Finger Puppets!

22. Lacing cards--foam, shoe lace, and 1/8" hole punch (works best if you hole punch the foam with card stock up against it).

23. Pipe Cleaners
24. Pom-Pom Creatures--pom-poms with googly eyes. These were surprisingly a big hit.
Well, there you have it. 1-24.

Read on for "...a few more things" we liked:
24+ Toddler Travel Activities by PostalThreads

1. Kidz Gear headphones--received a lot better reviews than other, "flashier" kid headphones. Found that Target carries these.
2. SmartWool socks---I actually wore compression socks for the long flights, but I love these ankle SmartWool socks so much, I wore them over the long, compression socks. Super comfy & breathable for travel.
3. You see these neck/head pillows EVERYWHERE! Airports charge $15-$20 for a plushy pillow. However, I found this inflatable (compact) version with a soft, comfy cover from Walmart for much less.

"Quiet Book" Progress

Nothing like the prospects of a loooonnnnng flight motivated me to actually finish some quiet book pages. Anyone that has ventured into this realm knows it is time-consuming, can be addicting, usually rewarding, you should not get into it unless you really want to, and it is at least a little ridiculous--you start thinking how eVeRyThInG can turn into a quiet book page, and then you start gathering seemingly needless scraps & notions for the "someday"quiet book pages!

Here's to "Quiet Book" Progress:
"Quiet Book" Progress
Quiet Book Progress!
Quiet Book Cover--I made this up based off of the size of the two sided muslin fabric pages. I backed the inside cover blue fabric with fusible interfacing to give the cover more stability, and stitched all over with contrasting thread, on the inside layer, for decorative sake. After I had sewn the inside cover and outer cover, right sides together and turn it, I added a "spine" to the inside cover where I wanted to "center" the pages, and added two fabric loops made with a bias tape maker. I used book rings and sewed 2 buttonholes in corresponding places to match the rings so the pages stay together, but are also interchangeable. I added another "spine" for the outside of the cover. I attached the book handles under the outside "spine". (I guess I didn't actually put the rings in until I finished the sewing).

Turkey with feathers & buttons--There is an opening for a pocket on the turkey body, behind the green and blue feathers, to store or "hide" removed feathers.

Alphabet--I found these iron-on letters, on clearance for a dollar at a craft store.

Barn & Rolling Hills--I used Jocelyn's free templates from Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows for these pages. She also has free templates for the barn animal finger puppets--super helpful!

Counting Page--the safari animal beads were "irresistible". This page "is what it is." I still want to add actual numbers to one side...  I used pipe cleaners and opted for counting left to right rather than top to bottom because I thought they would sag less. As cute as they are, all these beads, together, are noisier than I thought--take caution.

Zipper page--I probably should have chosen zippers that are easier going than these, but she'll grow into it!

Fruit Sack--matching. Also the brown felt "paper bag" is a pocket to store the fruit. I used velcro, but just know that velcro snags felt.

Cupcake, Flower Vase, and Box of Chocolates Valentine pages, as well as the weaving heart, were inspired by ImagineOurLife's Valentine Mini Quiet Book.

Articles of Faith page--I used the 1995 Primary theme poster: "We Believe the Articles of Faith" which you can find a pdf version from by clicking here. I cut it up and created pockets with clear plastic from my stash, probably from the packaging from a new set of sheets or something. I attached laminated words of each Article of Faith to a ribbon and matched it to the row. Another one for her to grow into!