What Will You Make This Holiday Season?

Craftsy LogoIt's that time already...time to get busy on those handmade gifts you didn't get around to last year, but swore to yourself you would do "next year" for sure. If you're looking for project ideas, patterns, project kits, or classes to learn something new or take your skills to the next level, Craftsy is the place to go.
It's not just for sewists, Craftsy has something for everybody, from baking to woodworking. Whatever your craft (or desired craft) you'll find it there.

Not sure what to get the other crafter in your life? How about a Craftsy Gift Card so that they can choose their own class? And remember, once you purchase a class you can view it as many times as you want, whenever you want.

P.S. You'll find some FREE classes there as well...go check them out now and see for yourself what a great resource Craftsy is.

Scrappy Little Bandanas

After making dozens of guitar straps I found myself with a good sized pile of rather large, odd sized fabric scraps. Some pieces were 8" X 22", and some were about 3" X 44". In other words, they were too large to throw away, but not quite big enough to make much of anything with. Then one sunny Sunday morning inspiration hit...perhaps I could make some bandanas. I call them my "Crazy Patch Bandanas".

I spent about an hour "auditioning" my little fabric scraps. I started laying out my panels and strips to sew together. In some cases I didn't have enough panels to make the bandana at least 20" square, but I think those that are smaller are suitable for little girls.

I used my serger to sew the panels and strips together. If you don't have a serger, then I would suggest using a flat fell seam so that you don't have any raw edges exposed, or and over-edge stitch to minimize that raw edge look. Once I had my panels together I cut the bottom edge to create a square. Since I'm not a quilter, and don't have that special eye and skill set that they have, cutting the square after sewing the panels together was much easier for me than trying to cut each piece to the exact same length.

I serged and then hemmed the edges of the first bandana I made -- that added a thickness to the edges that I didn't really like, so after that I finished the edges with my serger. If you don't have a serger, the rolled hem foot for your sewing machine will create a nice finished edge. 

I think they turned out really cute! The fun part of these is that depending on which corners you choose to meet to form the triangle, and which side you choose of that folded bandana, you get a completely different look. 

Easy DIY Gift Idea -- Fleece Slouch Hat

While getting ready for a couple of craft shows, I got it in my head that I needed another hat option besides The Mimi Hat. I at first thought I would make a simple beret, but after searching through my massive pattern collection, and several on line tutorials, I still hadn't found just what I was looking for. Then I remembered some little crocheted hats that my mother used to whip up for me in the 60's and 70's. I loved those hats...I could tuck all my hair underneath and go.
So I turned my thoughts to those old slouch hats, and reminded myself "don't make this harder than it has to be!" Well...I love the way they turned out. I even added some embroidery to a few of them -- because this hat is not lined, you can add your embroidery design either before or after constructing the hat.
I made my hats in fleece, but there are other fabric options that would work just as well. Sweatshirt fleece, sweater knit, stretchy velour, double knit, or just about any fabric that has a little bit of stretch to it so that the band has a little give. I would just make sure to cut the band on the direction of the fabric that has some stretch. If you're using a fabric that doesn't have any stretch, then try cutting the band on the bias. 
I made 2 versions...one is pleated, and the other is gathered. Neither is easier or quicker than the other -- either can be made in about an hour. I've created a tutorial with instructions for cutting the circle and the band, and I've included sizing for kids as well as adults. The tutorial includes full instructions, and pictures, with some tips for beginners. The tutorial is available now in my Craftsy Pattern Store, and in my Etsy store.

Easy DIY Gift Idea -- Fleece Ear Warmers

These Fleece Ear Warmers are so quick, and easy to make that you'll be tempted to make one for everyone on your Christmas list. I've just posted the pattern in my Craftsy store, and in my Etsy store.

There are 2 options for constructing these depending on whether you're using fleece, or some other fabric with a little bit of stretch (such as velour, sweatshirt fleece, sweater knit, or double knit) that might ravel  or curl.

To make them truly "one size fits all", I used an elastic pony tail band to secure the 2 narrow ends.

I'm also in the process of creating a pattern for a Slouch Beret -- another quick, and easy project. This one can be pleated, or gathered...you choose your style, or make both!
So...the next time you're at the fabric store, check the remnant bin for some fleece, and get busy on those gifts!