Have an enjoyable time with friends and family this week! I'm signing off until next week so I can do the same.
A brand new digital sewing pattern is now available just in time to make some gifts for the Matchbox car-lovers in your life this holiday season. This PDF instant download pattern gives you detailed photos and step-by-step instructions for making a play mat that can go along to places like the doctor's office, an airplane, or big sister's soccer game.
Playing with cars on the roadway is a great way to play quietly, encouraging the imagination.
Five pockets will easily hold 5 cars (Matchbox, Hotwheels, etc.), more if they are smaller or vehicles like motorcycles.
When play time is over, fold the mat in half and roll up to play another day.
This sewing pattern is available as an instant download in my Etsy shop for just $6. It can be completed in about an hour, and is suitable for beginners and advanced sewists alike. Buying the pattern includes a license to sell the item in limited home production, giving credit to Dancing Threads RI as pattern designer.
Make several as gifts this holiday season! If you make one and post to Instagram, please tag @dancingthreadsri!
This is the year I finally buckle down and follow through with my intentions to make things for me. I'll still sew for the business of course, my family and home, but I've been saying I'll make myself some clothes and only manage one or two pieces a year. I also tend to rush through them, as if I don't deserve the attention to detail that I give to everyone else.
I've set myself a goal that over the next 12 months, I will make one new item for myself each month. That means by Thanksgiving 2016 I should have 12 new items. At least. The list includes more than clothing, but clothing is the priority.
I've already started with November! Some of you may have seen sneak peeks on Instagram (if you're not yet following @dancingthreadsri and you're reading this blog, you totally should!).
Not only am I sewing pretty new things for me, I'm stretching my skills with each project. First up: an A-line skirt. Not so tricky, I've made them before. BUT, this one calls for an invisible zipper which is completely new to me. Guess what? It wasn't that tricky after all. Here are some pics.
Can you tell I have a long way to go in order to get comfortable in front of the camera?
Using a linen blend fabric, I wanted to make sure I finished all the interior seams. I plan to wear this a lot!
The fabric I chose was a bit thin, so it needed a lining. Not wanting a fully separate lining since the pattern didn't call for one, I basted some muslin to the main pieces of the skirt. Basically, I cut the pattern out twice, once in the linen, once in muslin, then stitched the main fabric to the matching muslin piece with a few seams with very long stitch lengths (#4.5 on my machine) that held everything together. Then I treated the joined pieces as one. When the construction was finished, I pulled out the basting stitches. It seems to have worked quite well!
My not completely-invisible zipper. Not bad for my first attempt.
A few darts complete the A-line silhouette.
When you're honest about your measurements and follow a pattern using the written seam allowances, it's amazing that clothing can turn out fitting like a glove.
One week from today, I'll be holding a trunk show at the fabulous RaNEW Salon and Spa on Thames Street in Newport. This is your only opportunity to shop (and place orders!) with me in person this holiday shopping season. You won't want to miss out!
Follow DancingThreadsRI on Instagram to see sneak peeks at what I'm stitching up for next week. Also, it's the best way to learn of shop updates since Facebook hates me. They only show 10% of my posts. 10%!!! You'll see just how busy I've been if you follow me on Instagram. Plus I share pretty pictures of my island. You'll want to visit, I promise!
See you 11-1 next Friday Nov. 20 at RaNEW!
Usually, I have trouble explaining my work without some raised eyebrows. What's my title?
My favorite blog series ever started this past Sunday: Handmade Holidays at SewMamaSew. This is a treasure trove of sewing ideas, whether you plan to make a few or all of your gifts this year. This list comes in handy any time you want to make a gift throughout the year.
Every day in the month of November there is a category of curated ideas from around the interwebs--Gifts for Crafters, Gifts for Teachers... There will be half a dozen links for various sewing tutorials, plus printables (think, gift tags, thank you notes, etc.) and a recipe or two. I look forward to logging onto the site every day, and have been doing so for at least 4 years.
Even better than daily inspiration? This is the NINTH year in a row they have held this series, and all previous years are archived for inspiration overload. Just search "handmade holidays" in the upper right corner of the site. Did I mention the prizes? You have to check it out.
What are you waiting for? It's already day 3!
November 3 How adorable is the stuffed snail in today's roundup?
As co-owner of Stitchery in Portsmouth, RI, I teach sewing classes to children and adults. Welcome to my blog Dancing Threads RI.