Little One-Yard Wonders Giveaway!

I was excited to get a copy of the new Little One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins from Storey.  It's the book I wish I would have had a few years ago, when my kids were tiny and didn't care that I was sewing everything for them.  Now, they have a mind of their own and aren't as excited by handmade clothing. The book is not just clothes, though, it's filled with tons of toys, accessories, and cool ideas.  Plus, it includes full-sized patterns.

While this book is written for adult sewers, there are several projects that can be adapted for young sewers.  It can also be a great way to start sewing with your child.  Picking out fabric, cutting straight lines, and helping with the sewing process is a great way to introduce kids to sewing.

 I have a copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky reader.  Just leave a comment at the end of the post and I'll chose a random winner on Friday.  **More details about the giveaway at the end.**
Phoebe looked through the book and got excited about the Seat-Back Caddy which was perfect for our long car ride to the New Jersey Shore.  She wanted to make it herself.  So in true Sewing School fashion, we made it our own with a few little changes.  Frankie and I made one together, since he's only 6 and just beginning to really understand how to follow a pattern.

For this project, there wasn't a pattern, so I traced out the dimensions onto the fabric and the kids cut out the pieces.  While you can use just a yard of fabric to make the project, Frankie chose a sports-themed sheet and Phoebe went for two different fabrics.
 Phoebe had fun sewing the pockets onto the main fabric, even with a broken arm!  Frankie helped me by pressing down the foot pedal while I worked the machine.
Phoebe's finished top.  Since I was sewing with kids, I chose not to bind the top of the pockets with bias tape.  I used fold-over elastic to make the stretching pocket, which was OK, but probably not as good as the original version with elastic and bias tape.  We also used hook and loop tape to attach the caddy to the seat instead of the buckle.
The Seat-Back Caddy in action!  It was great for over 2,000 of car travel this summer.

Now, you need to make something from Little One-Yard Wonders!

It's a Giveaway!
Leave a comment below and I'll randomly select one winner on Monday, August 4.
I'll announce the winner on Tuesday, August 5.
Giveaway for U.S. readers only, sorry.

Summer Vacation

We are on the road from Memphis to the New Jersey shore.  Have an awesome week and I'll catch up with you in August for some new projects and even a super cool giveaway!  

Happy summer!

Vintage Craft Book: Play Book

 Steven Caney's Play Book (1975) is amazing!  Really, it is.  I had it out this week and Phoebe and I immediately became excited by the possibilities.
 I want to make this ASAP.
Phoebe tried her hand a the Kind Animal Trap, but quickly realized we didn't have a key material for the project:  a mouse trap.
 We agreed that the Three Stick Stool should be tried out at the cabin.
The Pinball Machine, however, seemed doable.
Using an empty cereal box, Phoebe quickly set to work making her pinball course.  Instead of bobbypins, she used paperclips, a nice substitute.
 She backed her holes with cardboard so that she wouldn't lose the penny game piece.
Almost to the finish line!

I'm sure we'll try out more fun things from Play Book soon.  I did a quick Google search to find out more about Caney, but came up empty except that he runs a design firm near Boston.  He has several more great looking books.  I have my eye on the Invention Book.

What's Up

Here are some things that are taking up my summer days...

Excited to see a Mollie Makes U.S. edition!  I have been a fan of the U.K. based magazine for years.  It's packed with super cute projects, ideas, and crafters that you want to become friends with.  The only downside of the American version is that it doesn't include a free project with each issue.

I am attempting to make more fitted dresses.  I have always shied away from sleeves and waists.  This is my first attempt using the Built By Wendy Dresses book.  The pattern was actually harder than I anticipated.  While I love the Built By Wendy books, I think this one may be a little more advanced.  I'm pretty happy with the fit, but need to make more to get it right.  Instead of making a traditional muslin, I used an old sheet that belonged to my sweet grandmother.

I have been a fan of Abby Glassenberg for years and her While She Naps Podcast seals the deal.  Each episode she talks to some of my favorite crafters about how they got started, the bushiness side of crafting, as well as their favorite tools and inspiration.  If you are at all interested in such things, you should have a listen. 

 Mmmm...blueberries!  It's berry season in the South and we have had fun picking our own.  I made the yummiest blueberry lime jam that I can't get enough of.  The kids and I have been making "jam shakes" with a big scoop of jam, greek yogurt, almond milk, and a frozen banana. 

What have you been up to this summer?

Vintage Craft Book: The Golden Book of Crafts and Hobbies

Lately I've been looking through my rather large collection of vintage craft books, mostly kid-craft. Here are some of my favorites!
The Golden Book of Crafts and Hobbies lives at the cabin because it's filled with camping and scouting activities.  The kids love to look at it and imagine making super cool projects.  The problem is that they aren't always very accessible.  I mean, do the kids really think they will make their own toboggans and knife sheaths?  Or better asked, will I let them make them?!

One project, however, did seem doable.  This lean-to, which is actually a type of bird feeder, intrigued Frankie.  He needed a little help to get started, but once the framework was built, he was on his own.

At some point, he ran out of long sticks, so a sheet was employed to finish off the lean-to.  He had a lovely afternoon hanging out in his lean-to and observing nature.

So, while The Golden Book of Crafts and Hobbies is not the most useful vintage craft book in my stash, it is definitely inspirational and fun!

Please Touch Me Garden Arrangements

This morning, my six-year old and I made this arrangement from our garden.  It's filled with bright flowers and good smelling herbs.  We had fun walking around the yard smelling and looking at and talking about what's growing.  He carefully cut from the plants.  The lemon verbena, lavendar, and parsley flowers make the display so much more fun.  I taught with a teacher who talked about making "Please Touch Me Arrangements" for her class.  These never get old no matter what your age.

Vintage Craft Book: Making Things

Lately I've been looking through my rather large collection of vintage craft books, mostly kid-craft.  Here are some of my favorites!
This one by Ann Wiseman might be my all-time favorite.  I love the illustrations, randomness of projects, and her attitude.  She really gets kids and how they craft.

She also has this book called Cuts of Cloth that I must get my hands on ASAP!

I believe Ann and I are kindrid spirit in our education philosophy.  Sadly, I discovered that Ms. Wiseman passed away in 2013, but she leaves behind a wonderful legacy, including her own channel on YouTube.

 I am now on the hunt for more of her books!

The Short Storey

We love our publisher, Storey, and were thrilled to be included in the July newsletter The Short Storey.  It's all about DIY family fun and is filled with little "postcards" from Storey authors, ebook sales, and even a super cute project.  We talk about sewing in the summer with your kids.  Go check it out now!

Hand socks

This is what happens when you put a bunch of cast-off little kid socks on the sewing cart. 
I asked the little designer how she made her Hand Socks.  "It's easy," she said.  "First, cut off the toe part.  Then, cut a half moon where you want your thumb to go."  Be sure to cut through both sides of the sock to make the thumb hole.
Perfect for...well, just about anything!

Reinvented World

This little reinvented world was created at camp.  I had a stash of mini clothespins and socks that I had no clue what to do with, so I put them out for the kids to use.  A little sock doll and clothesline came out of experimentation.  I love it when materials inspire creativity.
Tiny clothes hanging from a clothesline bamboo skewers clothesline.  The skewers were part of the materials out to make pick-up sticks.

The little maker peeking into the tiny world!