Category Archives: Embroidery

Introducing….the Crafty Little Club (+giveaway)!

I’ve hinted at it and now it’s time for the big reveal….. For the better part of this year I’ve been working on a passion project – the Crafty Little Club!

Science-themed craft subscription box

In the beginning…

I’d been wanting to start a crafty business for a long time but just couldn’t seem to come up with an idea that felt right. I worried that a business selling finished products would start to make my sewing hobby and joy feel like a chore, and I was also pretty sure that I wouldn’t have time to make much.

After I had my son early last year, I also fell into a bit of a creative slump. Those early months were a blur of wakings, feedings, and poops, then just as we started to feel like we were emerging from the fog we went and moved to a new state (Hi Oregon!)! We rented a house when we first got here but it just had a skinny little landing area at the top of the stairs as my crafting space. There was no door so I had to put things away when I wasn’t working on them. I may sound like a total slob, but having to put away my projects is such a damper on my progress, especially these days when I’m often just stealing 20 minutes here and there.

So there I was, over a year after my son was born, finally feeling like myself again, and missing my hobby. On a whim, I decided to go to the Sew Expo outside Seattle and boy was I glad that I did. I left feeling energized, inspired, and jazzed to make time for myself and my creative hobbies again. On the drive home at the end of the weekend, I floated an idea past my husband – what if instead of putting my time into making finished products to sell, I instead channeled my creative into making patterns?

As we talked, an idea started to form.

I had just signed myself up for a monthly embroidery club and I was loving it! I’d recently re-discovered embroidery and was finding myself surprised to enjoy my stitching time away from my machine. Not to mention the fun of getting a surprise craft in the mail every month. As we brainstormed, I thought about what interests me and I couldn’t help falling back to my nerdy roots – SCIENCE!

Science-themed craft subscription boxes

And so, the Crafty Little Club was born.

The Crafty Little Club is a science-themed crafting subscription box that will keep your hands busy and your heart happy, at any skill level. For just $25 per box (shipping included in the US), science and craft enthusiasts who join the club will receive a new box with a different theme every other month. Each box contains everything you need to create two embroidery or hand crafts including high quality materials and detailed instructions. The contents of each box are a surprise until they are mailed out, but receiving a crafty secret in the mail is half the fun! Subscribers receive 6 kits per year, but you can quit the club at any time.

The first kits mailed out on the first of this month and I thought it’d be fun to share a little reveal video to show folks what the first theme was and what they can expect with the kits:

It’s been such a wonderful experience to work on this project and see it through from idea to launch! In addition to the creative design aspects, which I knew I’d like, I was surprised to find how much I enjoyed some of the other things I needed to figure out: building a website, sourcing materials, budgeting….

It goes on and on. And to be honest, it will keep evolving and I will keep needing to figure things out. One of my favorite pieces of advice that I really took to heart, was from Chris Guillabeau’s book, Side Hustle (not an affiliate link): don’t wait until it’s perfect, just start doing it and figure it out as you go. I have a tendency to try to plan every tiny detail out entirely, complete with backup plans, before I make a first move. But that’s a good way to make yourself feel overwhelmed and never actually start anything. The best way to get going is just to get going!

(Now if I can only figure out the best way to convey that the boxes AREN’T FOR KIDS!! Adults craft too, people!)

The Giveaway…

Well, if you’ve made it this far then you deserve to hear about that giveaway I promised 🙂 I’m giving away a free box (November’s “Virology” box) to someone in the US or Canada (sorry rest of the world….shipping….). Pop on over to Instagram and check out my giveaway post. Follow me @craftylittlesecret and tag two friends in the comments, and that’s it! Giveaway closes this Wednesday, November 21 at 16:00 PST. I’ll choose one winner at random and contact them by DM.

If you want to check out what other’s are doing, don’t forget to follow #craftylittleclub. I’m so excited for this experiment :).

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Hand-Sewn Felt Embroidered Baby Onesies: Tutorial

Since all my friends simultaneously decided to hop on the baby train about a year ago, I’ve been making adorable (if I do say so myself!) hand-sewn onesies for the little booger machines. I’ve given a sneak peak before in my previous post showing what I made my nephew for Christmas and now it’s time for a tutorial!

This week I made a couple onesies for some cute little baby girls and took pictures along the way. Check out this cute skull with a bow onesie!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s what you’ll need for this project;

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Materials List:
– onesie
– felt
– embroidery floss
– scissors
– fabric glue

Seems like for a new born baby you’d buy the newborn size (0-3 mos.) onesie, right? Not always. Some of my friends have birthed behemoths….er….I mean, healthy-weight…..babies that actually never fit the 0-3 mos. clothing size. You might want to consider purchasing a 3-6 mos. onesie, the baby can always grow into it!

When getting started I take the time to first sketch my pattern out on a piece of paper. This gives the nice advantage of reproducibility if I save the paper template for future projects.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUse this template to trace out your pattern onto a square of felt and cut the pattern.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlthough I reinforce the felt with embroidery, I always like to first adhere the felt to the onesie with fabric glue. This helps to hold the applique in place while I’m sewing and adds a little extra strength to the final product.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI use bottled glue instead of spray glue because I find that when working with small pieces of fabric like this, the spray glue can get a little messy. I try to keep the glue away from the edges where I’ll be sewing because putting the needle and thread through the glue repeatedly really gums it up and leads to tangling while trying to embroider.

Center your felt cutout on the onesie. I usually try to position it so that it will center on the child’s chest, but it can be pretty cute to sew something to the bum of the onesie.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor both a decorative detail and additional strength, I embroider around the edge of the felt with a complimentary color of embroidery floss.

Standard embroidery floss is actually composed of 6 thin threads. I find it is too difficult to work with the floss at full thickness so I separate out 3 strands to embroider with. Just hold on to the 3 you want to use, gently pull on the 3 you’re setting aside and it should separate pretty easily (the longer your thread, the more likely it is to tangle).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI used blanket stitch to embroider around the edges of the felt applique. Blanket stitch is a really easy way to add a cute embellishment that I’ve shown before in my double-sided napkin post.

To do blanket stitch, first come up through the fabric from the bottom, then put the needle back down through the fabric about 1 cm over and 1 cm down (or whatever spacing you’d like), and pull the floss through. Leave a little slack in the floss, don’t pull it all the way through.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen bringing the needle back up, bring it up on the edge of the felt across from where you brought the needle down. Make sure to bring the needle up inside the loop of floss left on the top. Pull taught.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s a nice YouTube video describing the process if you found that a bit confusing.

Embroider around all edges of the felt to give it a cute hand-made look.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wanted to add just a touch more sweetness to this little skull so I also cut out a bow in pale pink felt. Just cut two pieces, one larger oval and one thin rectangle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo form the bow, pinch the oval in half along the long edge, then fold the edges back onto themselves.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI added a little stitch at this point to hold it together while I used the thin rectangle segment to wrap around the center of the bow and stitched it all together.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHand-stitch the bow to the skull and you’ve got one adorable onesie!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve probably made about 20 of these over the past year or so. Once you get the hang of it, it usually only takes about 1.5-2 hours to pull a onesie together!

Here are a few other ones that I’ve made over the past year…

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SAMSUNGI’ve linked this onto parties over at Thirty Handmade Days, So You Think You’re Crafty and Nap Time Crafters. Head on over and see what other crafters have linked to the parties!

 

 

Baby Name Art: Felt Embroidery DIY

A friend of mine just had a gorgeous baby girl: Stella Joy! My go-to baby gift is normally a set of felt applique onesies (tutorial, one day!), but I really dropped the ball with baby Stella and before I knew it….she was here!

I decided to branch out a bit and, inspired by some things I found on Pinterest here, here and here, I made Stella some baby name art. I’m so happy with how it turned out and I hope her parents love it too!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis project wasn’t too difficult, but all the stitching around the name took a lot longer than I expected!

To make this, all you’ll need is;

– an embroidery hoop (mine was 16″)
– one sheet each of green, white, pink, and blue felt
– white and pink seed beads
– one skein each of white, black, blue and pink embroidery floss
– two skeins of green embroidery floss
– lightweight cotton/muslin (18-20″ square)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI first cut a large circle from the blue felt, about 1″ diameter smaller than the embroidery hoop and, with muslin secured in the hoop, sewed the blue felt to the white cotton backing using the blanket stitch with blue embroidery floss. I then sewed the green felt on just as I had the blue.

To make the name, I cut paper stencils and held them in place with straight pins while I gently traced around them with a felt pen. (I’m not sure why the color is off in these couple photos, the green is really more of a soft mint rather than the harsh lime it appears here).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce I had the name traced onto the fabric I sewed around it using a simple backstitch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe grassy embroidery effect around the name was created by sewing small straight stitches in a random pattern about a centimeter around each letter. I diluted the stitches toward the edge of the letters to try to give the impression of grass.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInspired by something I’d seen on Pinterest I used concentric circles cut out of felt to make some sheep and flowers, adding a seed bead to the center of each for a nice girly touch.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe little sheep legs were made using backstitch and the heads were a simple satin stitch. The expanse of blue sky seemed a little vacant when I was done and I was worried clouds would compete with the sheep, so I added a little heart embroidered on using blanket stitch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWith the front finished, I wanted to make sure the back looked just as polished, so I tried to finish it as nicely as I could (without wasting too much time on it). Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of the process because I was going to just link to another tutorial on a blog I frequent. When I went back to look at it though, I realized that I didn’t actually follow it at all and made up my own method instead after I’d already finished without taking any pictures….whoops!

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I cut the excess backing fabric away leaving about a 2″ border. The I ran my needle through it very loosely gathering it toward the center of the backing. I cut a circle from felt about and inch smaller in diameter than the embroidery hoop and attached it to the gathered backing using blanket stitch.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd that’s about it! Hope Stella likes it! 🙂

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