Rope baskets are a thing now, and I thought I would see what all the fuss was about. They are easy, relatively inexpensive to make, and are quite meditative as you sew. They hog thread--about a spool per basket. I never got the hang of turning a corner to make a crisp base, but I also only made two baskets. They turned out larger than I intended, but my children thought my mistake meant all the more candy that the Easter bunny could leave them! Here are a few pictures of the basket in-progress and finished. The red marks near the handles were later erased with a hot iron (I use the FriXion erasable gel pens).
It shouldn't be a surprise that someone who doesn't like plastic, doesn't go for plastic Easter grass. Green fabric is fluffy, the right color, cotton, and reusable year after year. When you no longer fill baskets, you can sew something with it. Win win in my book.
I hope you had a lovely Easter, if you celebrate, and are enjoying that spring is finally here!
This time of year, I like to make a little something for my children's Easter baskets. If the project goes smoothly, I try to make some for my niece and nephew as well. This picture on Pinterest got me thinking. While buying the pattern would have been the easier option, I had some extra time this week and decided to draft a pattern myself and just go for it, pilfering the scrap bin along the way.
Such a sweet face!
The round body is what really struck me as interesting. I ditched the arms and legs from the original, and also rounded the ears a bit. I liked it so much I made four!
Ready for Easter with time to spare to get these cuties into the mail. If you're looking for more bunny sewing tutorials, here are a few you might like:
Bunny Drawstring Bag (top right)
Bunny Tote (top left)
Bunny Softie (bottom left)
This is a Bunny I made two years ago for all the kids in the family, a free tutorial on the blog While She Naps. The velour, which I found in the remnant bin at Joann, makes it so cuddly soft. (bottom right)
Let me know if you decide to sew some bunnies this spring. I would love to see them!
Earlier this summer, I wanted to make a birthday gift for my 6 year old niece. She is very much still into playing dolls, so I wanted something she could play with, but that was a little different. With pillows on the brain after writing up a new sewing class for making button-closure pillows, I had the idea of making a pillow that functions as a dollhouse. Here are some details of my dollhouse pillow.
I used raw edge applique to sew all the details, though if doing it again, I would definitely choose a zigzag satin stich instead. I'm very happy with how the free-form "thread sketching" turned out with the window panes.
Note: this was sewn start-to-finish on my "old" sewing machine while my workhorse was being tuned up at the spa. You don't need a fancy machine to sew fancy things!
The curtains sway in the breeze, and the pillows are lightly stuffed.
My favorite has to be the kitchen and the fussy-cut accessories. Though the buttons for stove knobs are a close second.
That button makes the perfect door knob. The house opens with ribbon ties on the side.
The whole "house" can be removed from the pillow form to be washed, if the need should arise. My husband wisely pointed out to my niece and her brother that though it is a pillow, it shouldn't be used in a pillow fight. Those buttons could do serious damage!
I hope she likes her squishy new dollhouse!
I grew up in Maryland, just north of Baltimore. I've lived in Rhode Island for 9 years now, with stops in Philadelphia (undergrad), the Boston suburbs (first job out of college), Newport (first duty station as a Navy spouse), and Virginia (grad school and Navy livin'). But Maryland will always feel like home.
One thing I miss is steamed crabs. I never dare to eat a crabcake outside of the state of Maryland. Even ones I've tried in Virginia, along the Chesapeake Bay using blue crab don't hold a candle to a Maryland crab cake. As a fun little birthday gift for my Marylander nephew, I decided to make him a cuddly stuffed crab. I used the free tutorial from Abby Glassenberg's blog While She Naps, Casey the Crab. It's a fairly simple and straightforward pattern, a good introduction to making soft toys.
Of course I had to make one for my niece's birthday as well. And maybe my Rhode Island children with Maryland lineage will get their own too. I give them away before I get the chance to take a decent photo, so this will have to do for now.
I don't know too many steamed crabs that wear a smile like that...
We've had a great summer around here. Lots of fun, lots of sewing, beautiful weather but no time for blogging. Now that everyone is back in school, I hope to share ideas, projects and products more regularly through this space.
To get started, I thought I would share how we handle waste-free lunches in our house. Below is a pretty typical school lunch.
Soup in a thermos, water in a Kleen Kanteen, a cloth napkin, a stainless steel spoon from our regular tableware set, a whole apple, a waterproof snack bag with baby carrots, and one more with Trader Joe's cheddar rockets. Sometimes there will be a snack bag with a sandwich, or a rubbermaid container of chicken salad (I wouldn't send glass containers to school, and I haven't gotten any stainless containers that the kids are able to open themselves yet). Notice that I didn't say "plastic-free" lunch. We're nowhere near that yet! But we aren't throwing anything away, when most kids will toss 500+ plastic baggies per school year. I feel comfortable with where we are, but always keep an eye out for more ways to improve.
I hope your new academic year is off to a great start!
With Father's Day this Sunday, I wanted to gift some wine, but not in a brown paper bag. Here is a navy blue lobster tote, that will do the job nicely.
We are planning to cook lobsters for dinner that day, so I think the bag will be a hit! There are a few listed in my Etsy shop that are a bit smaller than the one shown here. Happy Father's Day!
Thank you for visiting as I venture into cyberspace! You can probably tell that I'm not very tech savvy (am I the last person on Earth to start a blog?), so please bear with any glitches along the way as I get my sea legs.
In this space I hope to share tips, pics and quips as they pertain to my adventures in sewing (yes, sewing can be adventurous--you should hear the swearing that ensues when something goes so wrong that it means an hour-long date with my seam ripper). Also, I'm not going to lie in my first real post, the blog will hopefully help me to grow my business, Dancing Threads RI.
What you will not see are photos of my family. As important as they are to me, this is my endeavor and any and all mistakes will be my own. We have felt strongly that our children will not appear online until it is one day their decision. Paranoid? Maybe. I'm fine with that label when it comes to this topic. I don't want a 16 year old finding out one day that we chronicled his potty training experience for all the world to see. I would not feel comfortable today had my parents done that to me! Do I ever think that more than 5 people will read this blog? Of course not! But you never know.
Things I do hope to share here: new product releases, previews of things in the design pipeline, things I sew personally for family and my home, tutorials for simple sewing projects, organization ideas and a whole lot more.
The picture of the antique Singer occupies a place of honor in my studio. It was my grandmother's treadle machine (meaning no electricity, the needle is powered by a foot pedal). I adore this machine! It currently is non-functional because of a needed belt replacement, but one day I hope to have it working again. Once upon a time I sewed with my grandmother on this machine, so it would be fantastic to make her run again. How I started on this machine and ended up running a home-based business is a story for another day.
As co-owner of Stitchery in Portsmouth, RI, I teach sewing classes to children and adults. Welcome to my blog Dancing Threads RI.