2016 Resolution: More Sewing!

This post was written in collaboration with ABC Sewing Machine.

Long time readers know that in a perfect world, I’d sew more! Before moving in with MC in 2008, I actually used to sew quite a bit. For about 3 years, I was on a sewing kick. I mostly did patchwork and quilting and even invested in an awesome machine and a fabulous sewing table. Since I’ve moved in here, though, I’ve never quite found the right set up for the machine, and as a result, my sewing has dwindled down to nothing in spite of taking a few classes now and again.

Recently, we’ve been doing some reorganization, and now I have high hopes for more sewing in 2016! The first order of business is organizing my sewing area. I’d like to focus on clothing this time, so the mirror is a must! But, let’s admit, I’ll be a bit rusty. So, with that in mind, I started scouring the internet for awesome (but simple) sewing tutorials. Here’s a little roundup of some projects I’d like to tackle in 2016 – perhaps you’d like to join me? All images are copyright the respective designer and are used with permission.

Easy Sew and No Sew Projects for Beginners, tutorial roundup on Underground Crafter #sewingClassic Straight Skirt (photo 2), sewing tutorial and customizable pattern by Maz Kwok’s Designs: I’ve always wanted to sew my own clothes, and this seems like an easy and attractive way to start.

One Hour Tote (in Two Sizes), sewing tutorial by Elm Street Life: You can never have too many project bags, and the decorative bows makes these very unique.

Faux Chenille Blanket (photo 3), sewing project by Tiger in a Tornado: Tiger in a Tornado adds custom embroidery to her version of Aesthetic Nest’s tutorial for an heirloom cut chenille baby blanket. This looks like a great way to use up my flannel fabric stash and refresh my machine embroidery skills!

One Hour Triangle Quilt, sewing tutorial by See Kate Sew: I never was quite brave enough to make my own triangle patchwork quilt, so I love this tutorial for using custom fabric to make a faux triangle quilt.

Custom Soccer Bag (photo 1), sewing project by My Hobby is Crochet: I’m a bit of a bag junkie, so I was very inspired by this project inspired by a Craftsy class.

Make Your Own Lace Maternity Gown, sewing tutorial by Melody’s Makings: While I probably won’t need a maternity gown next year, this project looks like a great gift.

How to Make Ruffle Yarn (photo 6), tutorial by Melody’s Makings: I’ve made yarn from fabric before, but this tutorial adds a decorative twist!

Now, there’s always the chance that I won’t actually end up sewing as much in 2016 as I’d like to. I’d still like to use up some fabric and diversify my crafting, so here are some no-sew projects I’ve found.

No Sew T-Shirt Bag (photo 4), tutorial by Home made hats by Cheryl: I’ve already mentioned my love of bags, but I may have forgotten to mention our enormous pile of old t-shirts. This seems like the perfect project to combine both!

How to Make the Easiest Cowl Ever (photo 5), tutorial by Fiber Flux: This is another great project combining one of my favorite projects (cowls) with repurposing old t-shirts.

DIY Family of Handprints, tutorial by Deborah Ziegler for Hancock Fabrics: This is a great way to customize gifts for family members, and there’s no sewing involved!

I hope you enjoyed this roundup! You can find tutorials for maintaining your sewing machine on ABC Sewing Machine.

#Crochet #TipsTuesday: 3 Tips for Customizing Adorable Crochet Baby Gifts

3 Tips for Customizing Adorable Baby Gifts on #Crochet #TipsTuesday with Underground CrafterI love crocheting blankets, so I keep a stash of handmade baby blankets in my closet for last minute gifts. Once in a while, though, a dear friend or family member will be welcoming a newborn, and I decide to make up something special.

Here are 3 tips for crocheting customized gifts to thrill your favorite parents-to-be.

This post contains affiliate links.

Carefully choose colors

An easy way to customize a crocheted baby gift is by choosing yarn colors  to match – or contrast – with nursery colors. Look through the online baby registry for decorating clues, or follow the parents on social media (especially Facebook or Instagram) to find pictures of a painted room. (And, of course, if your gift isn’t a surprise, you can just ask!)

If you don’t have nursery decor information, think about the parents and their personalities. If they’re more traditional, classic “baby yarn” colors (whites, yellows, pastel pinks, and baby blues) may be best. Many modern parents prefer less traditional color combinations. Some contemporary gender-neutral color combinations, like teal with white, navy, or brown, or pale green with chocolate brown, gold, or white, would be great for such a family.


Add letters or names

If the parents have already named the baby, you may want to add a crocheted, embroidered, or “monogram” name to your project.

Moogly Crochet Alphabet, a free crochet pattern available here.
Use Moogly’s Crochet Alphabet (available for free here) to make applique letters to attach to your finished project.

Another option is to use graph paper to chart out the letters of a baby’s name. You can use this chart to make a corner-to-corner graphan (Repeat Crafter Me has a great tutorial for doing this in her Corner-to-Corner Baby Sheep Graphghan) or a granny square blanket. Choose a one-color granny square pattern, like the Basic Block from my free Mod 9-Patch Blanket pattern, and “spell” out the name with squares in a contrasting color yarn.

Use solid color squares, like the ones in the upper left corner, to spell out the baby's name.
Use solid color squares, like the ones in the upper left corner, to spell out the baby’s name.

Customize It All on Zazzle

Make a layette set

A layette set including a blanket as well as a jacket, cap or bonnet, booties, diaper cover, or a hooded towel makes a truly special gift. I love to include a set of baby washcloths in organic cotton yarn, like Galler Yarns Inca Eco or Lion Brand Nature’s Choice Organic Cotton, because they are so gentle on baby’s skin.

Get these free crochet patterns here:

Choose your favorite baby patterns to mix and match into your own special layette set set. If you keep the color scheme consistent, it will look coordinated, even if you choose patterns from different sources.

What are your favorite tips for crocheting baby gifts?

#FlashbackFriday Knitting Link Blast: Hats for Kids

On Fridays, I share a link blast on G+, Twitter and Facebook to get you excited about crafting all weekend! In keeping with the #FlashbackFriday meme, I’m sharing patterns were first released at least 12 months ago.

Instead of sharing crochet patterns, this week I’m doing a special link blast of knitting patterns! I’ll be back to the regular schedule of crochet patterns next week, but I wanted to share a little knitting love. These patterns are for hats for kids of all sizes – from newborn up through teens.

Hats for Kids roundup of 12 free knitting patterns curated by Underground Crafter

This post contains affiliate links.

Cupcake Hat, free knitting pattern in newborn, infant, toddler sizes by Marie Segares/Underground CrafterCupcake Hat (photo 5), free knitting pattern by @ucrafter (that’s me!): This bobbled hat is available in 3 sizes from newborn to toddler.

Swirl Sack Hat (photo 3), free knitting pattern by @MelodysMakings: This textured hat with a tied top is available in 5 sizes from newborn to 1-3 years old. There’s also a coordinating crochet pattern in the same sizes available on the same webpage.

Baby in Bloom Hat, free knitting pattern by @fiberflux: This stretchy hat is available in 3 sizes from preemie to child and includes instructions for knitting flat or in the round along with 2 blooms (flower) options.

ILK300x250bAugustBannersStripey Knit Slouchy Beanie (photo 2), free knitting pattern by @mooglyblog: This striped slouch is available in 4 sizes from toddler to adult.

Adorable Mini Elf Hat, free knitting pattern by @danyelpink: This cute, pointy hat pattern is available in newborn size.

Magic Hat, free knitting pattern by Oma Rapeti Handmade: This textured hat is available in 6 sizes from preemie to adult.

CraftsyTrixie Pixie Hat, free knitting pattern by Julia Gabrielsen: This hat is available in 4 sizes from newborn to child and is knit from the top down.

Luuk, free knitting pattern by Annis Jones: This scrunchy hat is available in 10 sizes from preemie to large adult.

Checkerboard Beanie (photo 6), free knitting pattern by @danyelpink: This hat featuring the classic knitting stitch pattern is available in both child and adult sizes.

knit-alongDouble Chevron Beanie, free knitting pattern by @danyelpink via @RedHeartYarns: This adorable colorwork hat is available in toddler and child size.

Diamond Bear Beanie (photo 1), free knitting pattern by @MelodysMakings via @mooglyblog: This cute bear hat includes a cabled center. The hat is available in 5 sizes from newborn to 1-3 years old. There’s also a coordinating crochet pattern in the same sizes available on the same webpage.

Rock Candy Hat (photo 4), free knitting pattern by @fiberflux: This striped hat with a pom pom and earflaps is available in 5 sizes from preemie to child.

If you enjoyed this roundup, visit my new free knitting pattern for adults, Juxtapose: A Cabled Beanie.

Juxtapose: A Cabled Beanie, free #knitting pattern by Marie Segares @ucrafter