Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Technique Tuesday :: 6/10 Brother DreamWeaver Sewing Tutorials

 Click to download free PDF for the Primrose Satchel Messenger Bag Tutorial.


As you know, for the past several months I've been working on 10 tutorials for Brother Canada featuring the DreamWeaver sewing machine. My sewing projects and tutorials have been a little slow lately due to a big renovation in my studio. Now that it's nearing completion, I am back at it and loving every minute of it!! 

A lot of hours went into this tutorial, so I hope you find it useful/helpful! Please leave a comment to let me know if you made the bag. I would LOVE to see it. You can also catch me on instagram (@creatingathome) to show me your bag there. So, here's how the Primrose Satchel came about...

First I had agreed to write a tutorial for Brother featuring the MuVit Digital Dual Feed and, second my sister needed a new messenger bag because the one I made her a few years ago has completely worn out, which is always a good thing! I love it when the gifts I make are well used and well loved.

I designed this bag around what my sister was looking for. She asked for a dark color, not a print, a medium sized bag with a cross body strap, a closure (magnetic snap), and pockets. It is fully lined with inside pockets, plus a neat pocket on the back that would work well for an e-reader, iPad mini, or a water bottle. She didn't want it to be too flimsy, so I made a nicely structured bag by using upholstery decor fabric as well as medium weight interfacing. It's such a nice bag! I think I'll make one for myself next.

This tutorial is number 6 in a series of 10 that I am working on for Brother Canada. They have so generously
provided me with an amazing Brother DreamWeaver sewing/embroidery machine combo. You can find all the tutorials here:
  1. Perfect Half Square Triangles
  2. Pretty Perfect Pinwheels
  3. Quilting Chevrons
  4. Flawless Machine Binding
  5. Handmade Ruffle Curtains
  6. Primrose Satchel

Linked up here:
Sew Many Ways
Sew Can Do
Mad in Crafts
The Blackberry Vine
Funky Polkadot Giraffe
Cornerstone Confessions
Kathe with an E
Polkadot on Parade
The DIY Dreamer

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Knitwear and handmade interior design

Guest post by Aimee Claire.

Knitwear and handmade interior design
The economic climate has lately been so bad that it has created a new fad for those who are craft inclined. Many individuals have become interested in creating their own soft-furnishing accessories to save themselves some cash and to introduce some truly bespoke, one-of-a-kind items. It’s about individuality instead of keeping up with the neighbors, and it’s easy.

It doesn't have to be knitting. People who do what they’re good at, whether it’s quilting, sewing, sticking, or crocheting, will always produce beautiful things; the love, time and dedication taken always shines through. There are lots of simple, lovely ways to add to the home.

What to make?
Luckily a few designers have leapt on the home-creation bandwagon, and they've come up with some amazing ideas.

Knitted poufs for quick-knitting joy
For those who get bored easily, something that knits up quickly is best, and choosing a thick yarn, big needles, and a smallish project is the best way to go. Knitted poufs are all the rage now, and these are made using a super-super-super-chunky yarn, and a circular needle. They can be made any size; suitable for the kids or big ones for the adults, and the choice of colors is amazing.

Bedspreads can be made in all crafts
Those people with a lot of patience, but not as much confidence, could go for a knitted bedspread, to practice lots of different stitches. Make it in squares, for a fabric with a busy texture, or create sections of stitches. Quilted bedspreads can be made from either one piece of fabric, or for those who want to really work the economy, they can be patch-worked using strips of old clothing. Crocheting is also a great way to make a bedspread or a blanket – these items lend themselves to many crafts.

Curtain screen that doesn't look homemade
Similarly, for the slightly more advanced beginner, who wants to produce something a bit more professional looking, try knitting or crocheting a curtain screen for your home; square sections of a repeating pattern should work very well, and something about 4 ft. x 3 ft. should be able to carry any weight of yarn you want.

Cushions and beanbags for understated individuality
Cushions and beanbags are a great way to show off your individuality without going wild; try knitting the Stars and Stripes, or again, practice some Aran kitting, using cable needles. Cushions look lovely with cable knitting or they can be quilted instead, using scraps of fabric for a fun, crazy look; beanbags can hold very heavy yarn, and knit up very quickly.

Upholstery and furniture clothing for more advanced crafters
The most advanced interior knitters can make upholstery for chairs and stools; I’ve even seen a modular cornersofa with the corner dressed in a crocheted outfit! Clothing for lamps and tables can be designed in knitwear, actual lampshades, and even art for the walls! 

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Brother P-Touch Label Maker

Eden Luymes has graciously written this guest post reviewing the new Brother PTD200 Home and Office Labeler. Eden is 16 and attends the same high school as my daughter. Thanks, Eden! Sounds like you had a lot of fun with the label maker. :)

I am what some might call, a perfectionist. Everything must have a place, be organized and done so perfectly. For this reason, the Brother P-Touch Label Maker and I quickly became the best of friends. This portable, handy and remarkably easy to use machine is great for organizing, as well as personalizing your life.
The Brother P-Touch Label Maker caters to even the ‘technology un-inclined,’ with a very informative manual, complete with a list of all the possible animations one can add to their labels to personalize them. I found the manual very handy in figuring out how to use the label maker, and soon became well acquainted with the controls and options available for various labels. The fun and creative styles and sizing of font, as well as the cute and large variety of pictures and symbols available make it easy to have fun while organizing, as well as personalize everything from binders to bike helmets. Brother also sells different colours of tape, and it’s very easy to remove and replace the cartridges. I particularly liked the pink label paper.

Brother PTD200 Home and Office Labeler

With this label maker, one has lots of freedom to tailor and change each label, and give specific orders to make each label unique, such as label size, font (it even includes upside-down and vertical options), etc. There are many options to explore, and I found myself enjoying learning how to use the various capabilities of the machine. The labels themselves are of high quality, and stick very securely to many surfaces from paper to plastic and even leather. I did however find that often if one is not specific with the sizing used in his or her labels, the label maker automatically creates a larger, more ‘roomy’ label, and I often found myself cutting it down to size and wasting some of the label paper. But, once I learned how to specify the label sizes, these problems dispersed. Another handy thing about this label maker is that when the labels are dispensed at the top of the machine, there is a tab one can press that easily cuts the label paper, so one doesn't need to have a pair of scissors handy at all times.

With this label maker, I found myself labeling everything from my clarinet case to my Bible to my thermos, and each time I was very satisfied with the result. Easy to use and with very few drawbacks, this label maker is very handy and fun as well. It is safe to say that it’s on next years Christmas wish list for me!