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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Spring Forward to Fall

I am so new to Etsy, I was bewildered this morning when I woke up to a message about being listed on something called a treasury. So, I did a quick Google search and discovered my fortune. A fellow Etsy seller and artist Shendoe liked my Birds and Butterflies Dress so much she chose to feature it on a treasury page. Spring forward to Fall is a small collections of items she has handpicked because she finds them exceptional in some way. I am very flattered that someone feels my dress is special enough to include in her collection, which is a lovely compilation of only 16 handmade treasures. If you have ever spent time on Etsy you know how many beautiful pieces of art flood its pages every day. Hopefully others will love my dress as much as she does! It may end up on the front page, who knows! The treasury will only be around for a few days, so check it out while you still can.

As I posted this I received another message about the same dress being featured on another treasury, one that warms my heart, Song Birds. I love birds as well, which was why I was drawn to the fabric I chose for the Birds and Butterflies Dress and several other fabrics I offer in my shop. So, stop by the Song Birds treasury and Isadora, they sell some adorable clothes.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Children’s Cloth Book Tutorial

I like making all sorts of stuff with my fabric scraps. This morning I decided to put together a little tutorial on making a cloth sensory book for babies and toddlers. I’m sure this tutorial isn’t perfect and things could be done in better ways, but this is what I tossed together. There is always room for improvement. I hope you enjoy it!

What you will need
Your sewing machine
Scrap fabrics different patterns and textures
Scrap ribbons
Non toxic, baby friendly embellishments
Use a zigzag or multiple stitches to secure embellishments and ribbons, they will be tugged on!
Avoid choking hazards and long pieces of ribbon.
Consider the patterns and textures of your fabric scrap as they can add to the sensory appeal of the book.
You want to avoid toxic materials. I recommend stitching ribbon edges that may fray and avoiding fray check and other chemicals.
Have fun and be creative!

First I cut 8 pieces of fabric about 5.5” x 6” for the inner pages, 2 pieces of fabric 6" x 6.5" for the first and last pages and one piece 12”x 6” for the cover. I also gathered pieces of scrap ribbon and other non toxic and baby safe embellishments I had on hand. Add as many pages and embellishments as you like but be cautious of bulk.

Next, I attached all of the ribbons and embellishments to the appropriate pages. Be certain to place things away from the edges. You will lose up to ½” seam allowance. If you are attaching ruffles and ties to the front cover, as I did, direct them inward and sew them at the edges of the pages.

Then, I attached the first and last pages to the cover. Right sides go together and you will stitch around thefour outer edges, leaving the middle unstitched. Make sure you don’t stitch any of your ribbons and embellishments into the seam, you may want to pin them out of the way.

Clip the corners, not the inner stitch, and flip the cover right sides out.

Now you will stitch all of your pages together along three edges, leaving the inner edges unstitched. Be cautious of page placement and direction; left to right and top to bottom. Also, be sure you don’t accidently stitch your embellishments into your seams, you may want to pin them out of the way.

Again, clip the corners and turn your pages right sides out. Iron and top stitches all of your pages and your cover.

Stack your pages in the correct order and directions, with the raw edges lined to your left. You will stitch them all together down the raw edge. Clip the two corners of this stitch.

Slide the pages into the cover of the book. I slid them under the first page and tucked in the raw edge. You can also tuck them into the last page, just be sure they are lined up at the center of the cover. Run a zigzag stitch down the center of the book.

You’re done!