Category Archives: Dottie’s Kraft Korner

Dottie’s Kraft Korner: Summer Crafting Tutorial Round Up.

(Image via: Purl)

During these lazy hazy days of summer, you still want to get your craft on of course, but you want to do it quickly so you spend more time lounging in the hammock, bike-riding, grilling, spitting watermelon seeds, going to the beach, running through a sprinkler and just plain old enjoying this sunny funny giggly time of year.

So, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite summer crafty projects that are light, fun, and add to the overall summer fun for you and your little ones. (Hey, that rhymes!)

Summer always reminds me of hours spent making daisy or dandelion chains. Sadly, my little works of art were wilted mush by the next morning.  If only I had this ingenius Hana Ami flower loom and sweet tutorial from the lovely folks at Purl as a kid…  Talk about taking friendship bracelets to the next level! What a perfect little prezzy to tuck into the next care package going out to your kid’s camp.

Let your kiddo be king of queen for a day with this charming crown tutorial from the long thread that could be used to make special birthday crowns as well.  Just think of all of the great pretend play that can happen with such a simple bit of sewing.

Do you have thirty minutes? Well, then you have enough time to make this dress from crafty wunderkind blogger Grosgrain. Imagine it sleeveless for the summer. Heck, I’m sure that would knock off at least 10 minutes. Sweet!

It is never too early to teach your wee one the power of a balanced check book.  So, why not start them off playing “store” in style by making kiddo checks, courtesy of that clever clogs blogger Cathe Holden of Just Something I Made. Perfect summer rainy day game that will keep them busy for at least an hour while you finish the last chapter of your beach paperback.

I must admit that there are a slew of great dress tutorials out there. But what about the boys, eh? Well, they deserve their own cup of crafty awesomeness! Like this great tutorial on how to turn a t-shirt into a pair of toddler pants that was featured and done by those clever ladies over at  Rookie Mom.

Oh, summer crafting. I can’t wait for that three day weekend in July and the Peach to settle down for a long baby nap. Aaahhh, let the sewing begin!

What do you plan on making?

Dottie’s Kraft Korner: Online Fabric Store Round Up

As a little mental health break in the middle of a super stressy day at work, I like to take an online stroll through the aisles of my favorite fabric stores with visions of sweet and easy sundresses for my little Peach.

Earlier this week I made my usual first stop is my tried and true favorite, ReproDepot only to see this sign:


Well, after weeping into my keyboard for a few minutes, I remembered that there are other wonderful online fabric stores out there. Don’t get me wrong–I love me a stroll through Joann’s and Beverly’s but sometimes I want to spread my wings and look at those harder to find fabrics by amazing designers that you can usually find in smaller independent boutique stores like the wonderous Purl in Soho or Bolt in Portland.  Here are my top online fabric stores:

Alewives Fabrics is a wonderful gem of a store that I would be my first stop on my road trip through Maine (next stop: to get a lobster roll on the way.)

Make sure to check out the Alewives favorites.  I particularly love their fat quarter selections–great combos that would be so utterly divine as a little dress or pair of pants.

This is one bar I never mind bellying up to! The Fabric Bar!

Beautifully curated fabric and some amazingly clever DIY kits such as this You Sew Sassy Tessa Dress in Olivia. Damn, that’s genius.  And she has some brilliant and very hard to find designer fabrics as well as a swell selection of fabulous twills that would just pop even a store-bought outfit up to eleven. And pssst… there’s even a sales section that is chockablock with good sales right now. Sweet!

Sew Mama Sew is one of my favorites, just for the name alone.

But the site also offers some brilliant patterns and much needed tutorials such as this one focusing on what all those different feet for your sewing machine are for.

And blessings of blessings–they even have an online forum of like minded sewing ladies getting help on some of the most popular patterns around.

When I’m craving Japanese (fabric that is) I head over straight to Superbuzzy.

Oh, this site kills me.

It has seven different matryoshka doll patterned fabrics. Seven! Unbelievable. You come for the fabric but stay for all the other goodies like the Zakka & gifts section. like the ecrulat sewing kit. Bookmark this page for stocking stuffers–you’ll thank me later.

(BTW: According to Wikipedia, Zakka is a fashion and design phenomenon that has spread from Japan throughout Asia. The term refers to everything and anything that improves your home, life and appearance. It is often based on household items from the West that are regarded as kitsch in their countries of origin, but it can also be Japanese goods, mainly from the fifties, sixties, and seventies.)

My last recommendation should come as no surprise to anyone–Etsy. Etsy has too many amazing fabric sellers, but right now I’m crushing on a Fabric Outlet, who I believe has the last half yard of Anna Maria Horner oilcloth.  Oh the baby goodies I could make with that!  And this seller also has a quite snazzy selection of fat quarter bundles for you to run your e-hands all over.

And what are yours? Let’s share!

OH! Pssst…. We are going to extend our wonderful Mini-Me Paper Doll giveaway a bit longer–you have until tonight at midnight to enter. And remember you can enter again if you tweet it or mention it on Facebook. Saweet!

Dottie’s Kraft Korner: Leila & Ben Kid’s Patterns

You know I love a good sewing pattern. But I particularly love an easy kid’sn clothing pattern. Because as much as I liked to do beautiful hand-wrought stitchery–I really only have a couple hours to make crafting magic for my little Peach.

Enter Leila and Ben with this to say about their wonderfully designed, button cute patterns:

“All of our patterns are made with the beginner in mind and feature step-by-step instructions and clear photographs to make your projects a success!”

I’m picking up what your putting down, Leila and Ben!  Because as much as I like the “process” of sewing clothes for my kids, I also don’t like hitting my head against my sewing machine in despair after spending my precious time ruining a nice piece of fabric that was suppose to be a dress. I’ll save the vintage Vogue patterns for later. Right now, I need something easy that fills my crafty void.

And I could fill it nicely with this sweet dress pattern for girls and babies.

Here is the description:

“This dress is the perfect dress for summer and can also be layered over long sleeves and pants for cooler weather. Featuring a simple design and little puffed sleeves, this pattern can be completed in about 2 to 3 hours. Because of the flexible design, these dresses will fit for a long time, and can be worn as a tunic when the length gets too short. This pattern is easy enough for even beginner sewers and features step-by-step photos to guide you through.”

Two to three hours from fabric to dress? Color me SOLD! And I’m a big fan of dresses that turn into tunics. And step by step photos. Utter genius. That would have stopped me from drowning my sorrows in mojitos during the horrible chevron dress fiasco of 2006.

But they have other dandy patterns, like this sweet cap.

This skirt they swear takes less than an hour and less than a half yard of fabric. Yes!

I’d like this sassy jacket in my size, please. That ribbon placket is perfection.

They even offer crochet patterns for all sorts of goodies like a  cape or  snuggly cap with ear flaps. Or a summery tank!

But I’ve saved the best for last. And I dedicate this to my work-out buddy who told me the sweetest story about her son, who was surprised by school photo day and drew a tie on a piece of paper and wore that paper tie for his photo. I give you the tie for your little guy pattern!

I hope this inspires you crafty types out there to dust off some fabric and take a walk on the crafty side this three day weekend.  I plan on spending some QT time with my darling serger. Wish me luck. And hopefully next week I can do a little show and tell… Crossing fingers…


PS: All images are from Leila & Ben!