Monday, December 19, 2016

Five Hand Embroidery Winter Patterns

Crafted Spaces is excited to introduce its' first winter hand embroidery collection. This embroidery collection features five beautiful holiday and winter motifs that can be used on many different projects. We are featuring these designs as 4" embroidery hoop ornaments, but you can scale the patterns to suite other projects. These charming little ornaments can be hung on your Christmas tree or given as sweet stocking stuffers for the holidays.

The designs range slightly in the amount of time it requires to create them, but they all have just a few simple embroidery stitches. Our online store offers a PDF download that you can purchase and receive directly in your email. We also have available, limited quantities of our full embroidery kits.

The embroidery kits include:
  • printed copy of the pattern
  • pre-printed 100% cotton pattern
  • instructions
  • ribbon
  • embroidery floss
  • embroidery needle
  • stitch guide
  • tracing paper
Transferring Your Pattern
There are several methods for transferring your embroidery pattern onto your fabric or other materials. The type of material you use will determine the best transfer method. The ornaments seen in this post, were made with eco felt. Felt is a bit heavy and the method I chose was to create an iron on transfer. To create the transfer I used tracing paper (transparent paper or onion skin) and an iron on transfer pen. I placed the paper over the "reverse" image of the pattern and traced over the design using the pen. I then placed the design down on my felt and used a dry, hot iron on the back of the paper. Any wax free tracing paper should be good for this process. I was able to find tracing paper at Wal-Mart and the dollar store.

Tip! Lift occasionally on one end to see if the design transfers successfully. Do not remove or shift the paper until the design has been transferred. With any method you use, it is recommended that you first test with a swatch of your fabric.

Embroidery Floss
Six-strand cotton embroidery floss was used in the projects shown. I chose white floss on a red background for a traditional holiday feel. I also think it will also look lovely on a natural linen fabric. I used DMC brand cotton embroidery floss in Blanc. Divide your embroidery floss by pulling apart three stands together. For the projects shown, three strands were used for all of the stitches except the French Knots. The French Knots were made using six strands (three strands doubled over). You can vary the thickness of your stitches by changing the number of strands you choose to work your stitches. I suggest playing around with the number of strands you use and see what you like best.

Finishing Your Embroidery Work
To finish the back of the embroidery ornaments, I tied off and trimmed the threads. I then trimmed away the excess fabric, close to the edge of the hoop. Using a small amount of fabric glue; I then attached a piece of felt cut to the size of the inner hoop. You could also use another type of glue, just ensure that it will not show through the layers of your fabric. The method I choice for finishing these embroidery ornaments can also work for other projects. I then tied a length of ribbon to hang.

Crafted Spaces Holiday Embroidery Collection is available here!
Check out our Pinterest board for great links to other embroidery resources.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pattern Review and Project Update

We recently shared our Fabric Haul: September 2016 video, and one of the lovely fabrics we shared was this beautiful cotton floral print from Len's Mills in Barrie, Ontario. I am not quite sure what I was thinking, but I only purchased one metre of the fabric along with a half-metre of a coordinating solid. I did try to get more of the fabric, but it was sold out. There was just enough fabric to make a basic shell top. The sewing pattern I selected is New Look #6483. This is a simple top with side (straight) darts, opens at the back of the neck and has bottom side slits. There is a sleeveless and short sleeve variation. The pattern is available as a printed enveloped pattern or as a downloadable.

Changes I Made
The top required just over a metre of fabric, so I had to adjust the length. I shortened the bottom of the top by three inches, making the adjustment just at the start of the side slit markings. I did not use the facing pattern pieces. I decided to make bias binding from the coordinating sold colour fabric, and used the bias to face the neckline and armholes. I also opted to not include the slits at the side seams, given that the top was shorter than the original pattern. I also used a half-inch seam allowance on the side seams, which has given me a tiny bit more ease across my bustline.

What I Will Change
The darts needed to be adjusted for a better fit on my body. Dart placement may not be an issue for someone else, but I suggest measuring the shoulder to bust and making any changes prior to cutting your fabric.

Overall, I really like this pattern and the fit is very comfortable. This pattern is included in our Garment Construction I pattern list. I look forward to trying the pattern with our students. It is a basic top, but the pattern provides an opportunity to learn about side (straight) dart placement, facing and the option to add sleeves. If you are new to sewing and will like to try making a basic top, this pattern is worth trying. The only down side is that only smaller sizes are available, ranging from bust size 30 1/2 to 38 inches. However, you could find a similar pattern with a broader size range. You can sew as instructed or use as a block and experiment with various modifications to make it your own.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fabric Haul: September 2016

There are many options for purchasing fabric online and at your local shops. However, if you are new to buying fabric the process can be intimidating. If you are purchasing fabric online, I suggest learning about the different types of fabric and to order a fabric swatch when possible.

The sewing pattern you are using will generally provide some fabric recommendations. Using the recommended fabrics will mean that your finished project will potentially fit and drape the way the pattern designer intended. However, I recommend trying other fabric options as a way of learning how different materials work. In some cases you may love the results and in other instances you may simple gain a better understand of why some fabrics work best for a given project.

We hope that our Fabric Haul video is the first of many such videos, where we will share with you the fabrics we are using at the studio. We also hope to provide you with great tips on how to purchase and use different types of fabrics.

Let us know what you think of our Fabric Haul: September 2016 video and perhaps share with us your favourite fabric designers and suppliers.


Simcoe Sew and Quilt - Located in Barrie, Ontario, this quilt shop has a beautiful selection of fabrics, mostly quilting cottons. They also sell sewing machines and other sewing supplies.

Len's Mills Stores - Several locations with a huge selection of fabric; including, home decor, dress making materials, quilting cottons and tons more.

Fabricland - Many locations across Canada. There is a huge selection of fabrics at different price points. Good chance you will find something on sale. They also have sewing patterns and lots of notions.

Jo-Ann Stores - Stores are located in the United States. They also sell online, but at the time of this post, they announced that they would no longer be shipping to Canada as of September 30, 2016.

Affordable Fabrics - Was unable to find a website. They are located in Toronto in the Queen and Spadina area. There is so much to choose from in this tightly packed store, so give yourself some time to visit this shop.

Tonic Living - Located in Toronto and also available online. Beautiful selection of fabrics with a focus on home decor. Great quality fabrics!

Value Village - This thrift store has many locations, and generally has a selection of craft and sewing items. It can be hit or miss given it is a thrift store. I recommend carefully examining the fabric pieces. Can be a great opportunity to find vintage fabrics and patterns.

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