August TSNEM – Sewing With Knits

August TSNEM - Sewing With Knits
I’ve been really proud that I’ve managed to try something every month so far, though this one was a close call. I got the email from Stephanie at Swoodson Says asking for my link this month and I realized I hadn’t tried anything. I recently was given a really big piece of knit fabric and since I have never sewn with any knit fabric before, this was the perfect chance.

Stephanie has plenty of experience sewing with knits and she gave me a few tips and pointed me in the direction of this skirt tutorial from Delia Creates to try out.

August TSNEM - Sewing With Knits
August TSNEM - Sewing With Knits
My machine has a really nice overlock feature and this fancy foot to use. It worked really well but it was a lot slower than regular sewing. I assume that a real serger would be much quicker.

I wasn’t struck with an instant love for sewing with knits the way I did with sashiko and paper piecing. I ran into so many problems, many were caused by me not reading the instructions all the way through and getting ahead of myself, and some were just because knit is a lot different to work with than cotton.

August TSNEM - Sewing With Knits
The biggest issue I ran into was attaching the waistband to the skirt. As I was sewing, the gathering kept shifting and I ended up with a big bunch at the end. I did my best to just make do, but there are some awkward places. This one is for Evie and isn’t entirely done, it still needs a hem. I have all the pieces cut out for Mira to have a matching one, but I need a little bit of a breather before I attempt it again. I am excited though about the world of cute knit fabrics that have been opened to me…

Check out my past TSNEM posts –
FebruarySashiko Embroidery
AprilFoundation Paper Piecing
JuneLog Cabin Pillows
JulyKnowing When To Give Up

See what other bloggers tried this month:

Free Embroidery Pattern – Create

Free Embroidery Pattern - Create from Hugs are Fun

I saw mention online of World Embroidery Day and decided it would be a good occasion to make an embroidery pattern! I’ve made plenty of cross stitch patterns, but not many embroidery ones.

Free Embroidery Pattern - Create from Hugs are Fun

I kind of regret my color/fabric choices, there isn’t great contrast. I even doubted myself early on and debated restarting it in a darker color but I was lazy and convinced myself it was fine. Apparently I should have listened to my gut instinct. I was using Sulky Solvy Water Soluble Stabilizer* so I couldn’t actually see it until I washed away the stabilizer.

Download the PDF here – create

There are more free patterns to download here, and patterns to purchase here at my Etsy.

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That’s So Kawaii 2 Swap

That's So Kawaii 2 Swap from Hugs are Fun

I realized I never shared yet another swap I did, the It’s So Kawaii 2 swap on Instagram. The goal was to send cuteness and I had a lot of fun with it. My partner liked MINI Coopers, llamas, and fun colors.

That's So Kawaii 2 Swap from Hugs are Fun

I drew a little cartoon-y MINI and embroidered it onto a coffee cozy. I also made a llama mug rug and a little zipper pouch. I’ve had these lace zippers for months and have been really nervous to use them, but I finally bit the bullet and did it. It wasn’t the most amazing job, but it worked!

That's So Kawaii 2 Swap from Hugs are Fun

I have been wanting to do more paper piecing ever since I tried it out for my April TSNEM project. I bought this llama pattern, but felt that for it to be truly kawaii, it also needed a face.

I’m signed up for one more swap and it isn’t due until October, I kind of don’t know what to do with myself without the assignment of a swap. Maybe I’ll get a headstart on this year’s Christmas gifts!

A Rainbow Quilt!

A Rainbow Quilt! from Hugs are Fun

I got really amazing feedback on my post about giving up on a project. It felt like a weight was lifted and I was finally able to start something new. I talked to Evie about what kind of quilt she would want me to make and originally she said pink, but then changed her mind to wanting a rainbow quilt.

A Rainbow Quilt! from Hugs are Fun

I know I want to make quilts for both girls so I decided to cut two blocks of all the fabrics and then make them each rainbow quilts using different designs. Since I almost exclusively buy 1/8 yard cuts of fabric which is 4.5″, I decided to do 4″ blocks.

A Rainbow Quilt! from Hugs are Fun

To cut down on the amount of blocks I need and to make piecing easier, I decided to add gray sashing in between each square, but it made the math extremely difficult. To figure it out I made an Illustrator document the size I wanted the final blanket to be and then made squares that were 3.5″ (the size the blocks will be when sewn) and I just digitally laid the whole thing out at full size.

I’m really, really excited about how the project is coming together but I also wasn’t really prepared for the amount of work involved in making a quilt. The cutting process seemed to take forever but now that the prep work is done, it’s going a lot faster assembling it. It is feeling extremely satisfying and I’m excited to finally finish a quilt.

Crafting Con Swap!

Crafting Con Swap! from Hugs are Fun

One of the reasons I do so many swaps is to motivate and challenge me to try new things. A lot of the cross stitch patterns in my shop came about because of swaps and lately I have been using it to push myself more with sewing.

Alice in Wonderland Cross Stitches from Hugs are Fun

CraftingCon is a sewing based competition with different nerdy themes. There was a swap on the Facebook group and I couldn’t resist signing up. My partner loves Alice in Wonderland and I was right in the middle of my Tsum Tsum cross stitch madness and decided to make an Alice pattern. I wasn’t sure what to make, but when Faith from Sarana Ave posted a tutorial on making a little notebook cover I decided to try that out. Faith actually lives nearby and our kids played and she helped me with the pockets and with putting in the snaps.

Inside Notebook Holder from Hugs are Fun
I included a Moleskein notebook and a Pilot FriXion pen*. FriXion pens are erasable, but they’re thermo-sensitive ink so it’s perfect for sewing. You can mark on fabric and then the heat of the iron removes the marks, it’s magic!

White Rabbit Needlebook from Hugs are Fun
I also included yet another hexagon needlebook, I just can’t stop. A few years ago I got an adorable Japanese cross stitch book from Mitsuwa, a Japanese marketplace nearby. There are a few different Alice in Wonderland patterns that are tiny and perfect for a needlebook! I stitched up the White Rabbit, I love little projects like this because they go so fast.

Crafting Con Swap! from Hugs are Fun

My partner was Courtney from the Wholesome Mama and she absolutely knocked it out of the park with her package, I love it all. I had no idea what to expect because I gave such an incredibly long list of nerdy things that I like. She picked out this super adorable Marvel superhero pattern and made a clutch, needlebook, and sandwich wraps. The fabric is amazing, I love little angry Hulk.

I have vowed to take a break from swaps for awhile and focus on projects for myself and the girls, (I’m currently making them quilts after I abandoned Evie’s previous blanket I was working on) but getting packages like this reminds me while I love swaps so much!

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Best Birthday Ever Swap, Part 2

Best Birthday Ever Swap Package from Hugs are Fun
For the Best Birthday Ever Swap, each person has 3 partners. We didn’t start until April but split the year into different quarters. My first partner had a birthday in June and then my next quarter was the beginning of July. So I had a busy couple weeks, but now I’m done until the final birthday in October.

When I got the partner information and saw Tsum Tsum listed, I immediately started designing cross stitch patterns. In case you’ve managed to completely avoid this phenomenon, Tsum Tsum is a game but also a series of plush toys of Disney characters. They are absolutely adorable and extremely hard to resist. (If you want to make your own, Mollie at Wild Olive has some incredibly adorable Star Wars ones!)

Mickey Tsum Tsum Cross Stitch from Hugs are Fun
Minnie Tsum Tsum Cross Stitch from Hugs are Fun
My partner said her favorite colors were pink and green so I started cross stitching the Tsum Tsums on different shades of pink using DMC Water Soluble Cross Stitch Canvas*. I didn’t really have a plan, I just kept making them.

Tsum Tsum Cross Stitch Tote from Hugs are Fun

Tsum Tsum Cross Stitch Tote from Hugs are Fun
I ended up making a tote bag roughly based on this tutorial from The Inspired Wren. I had wanted to include pockets but I was feeling like I was in over my head in the sewing department and I ended up keeping it simple. But it does have a super cute pink lining, so I managed that.

Dale Tsum Tsum Cross Stitch from Hugs are Fun

Pooh Tsum Tsum Cross Stitch from Hugs are Fun
I originally planned on using all 6 for the tote bag but I couldn’t figure out a good configuration so I turned two into a zipper pouch.

Deathly Hallows Stamp from Hugs are Fun

For the craft supply part of the swap package, I made a Deathly Hallows stamp. I bought the Silhouette Stamping Starter Kit* months ago and finally used it. Jessee from Art School Dropout was kind enough to send me the cutting file she already had from making a Deathly Hallows bag for the Nerds Craft It Better swap.

Deathly Hallows Stamp from Hugs are Fun

There are a couple parts where the lines aren’t the sharpest, but it turned out well. I want to play around more with making stamps, it’s pretty cool that the Silhouette can make them. Though realistically I would probably turn to Jen from 52Lasers first for all my stamp related needs.

I did another swap with yet another Tsum Tsum cross stitch that I will be showing off soon. I had all these swaps get sent off at the same time and I need to show everything off!

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