Fabric Design, Sewing, Spoonflower

Botanical Baby Blanket with Spoonflower Swaddle Gauze

With a new baby in the house, I’m back to trying all of the new baby patterns and fabrics. I can’t believe how many new things there are in 5 years! It was the same with maternity patterns…the sewing industry just keeps expanding and new independent designers and shops are popping up every day.

Those of you that have been following for a while know that I enjoy designing fabric for some of my sewing projects. Spoonflower allows designers to upload custom fabric designs and then prints the design on fabric. There are over a dozen different types of fabric now, plus wallpaper and gift wrap.

Recently, Spoonflower added Organic Sweet Pea Gauze to their fabric offerings. This is the same type of gauze (or muslin) your boutique baby blankets are made from. I ordered some printed with my Botanical Leaf Shadows design.

Botanical Baby Blanket with Spoonflower Swaddle Gauze | Radiant Home Studio

I didn’t get a chance to make blankets before our baby was born, so I bought a few swaddle blankets from Margaux & May (affiliate link). They are high-quality, beautiful blankets. I really did not expect the Spoonflower gauze to live up to that quality.

When I first opened my fabric, I was disappointed. My boutique blankets are double gauze (meaning there are two thin layers tacked together) and the Sweet Pea Gauze seemed flat and stiff. I knew I needed to wash it before I made a final judgment though. Washing made all the difference! The gauze wrinkled up and I could see the soft layers of the double gauze. It’s very similar, if not identical, to the boutique blankets.

Botanical Baby Blanket with Spoonflower Swaddle Gauze | Radiant Home Studio

Spoonflower does recommend keeping a white background for the softest results. My light pink background is slightly stiffer than the white blankets I have, but it’s still very soft and useable.

I used 1 1/2 yds. of fabric for one blanket. Since Spoonflower only sells in 1 yd. increments, it’s best to buy 3 yds. at a time. To cut the fabric, just fold a corner over to the opposite selvage to mark out your square. The fabric has a small grid running through it, with lines about 3/4″ apart. I used these lines as a cutting guide to make sure my fabric was square and on grain. This works well even after you wash the fabric and have a bunch of wrinkles to work around.

I used the grid squares to measure my hem around the edges as well. Just make a 3/4″ double fold toward the wrong side on each edge and stitch around. It took less than 15 minutes! If you are looking for an easy custom baby gift, this is a great option.

Botanical Baby Blanket with Spoonflower Swaddle Gauze | Radiant Home Studio

My only complaint is the cost. It ends up being about $30 to make one blanket. My boutique blankets were about $30 for 2 blankets. Since the quality is similar, I would only use the Spoonflower fabric again for custom/personalized projects. With so many beautiful designs in the shop, ready-made and for less money, I can’t justify making many swaddle blankets as gifts. But as I said above, for something personalized, this is a lovely fabric and I’d use it again.

P.S. Spoonflower is running a 2-for-1 fat quarter sale until Nov. 9th! All of my fat quarter tea towel designs have been recently updated and make beautiful handmade gifts!

Fabric Design, Spoonflower, Surface Design

2015 Tea Towel Calendar {Joy comes in the morning}

I’ve had a couple of people ask if I was making a new tea towel calendar design this year. With all of my sewing I almost forgot about it, but I managed to finish my design just in time! (The watermark won’t be on the design.)

Joy Comes in the Morning | 2015 Tea Towel Calendar

Since most people hang the tea towel calendar on the wall (I think…at least I do!) I wanted to write something that would be encouraging and inspiring. It says, “Joy comes in the morning“, which is from Ps. 30:5. “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” The joy of knowing Jesus chases away the sorrow of this life. It’s a daily reminder to persevere through suffering and find our joy in Jesus.

There are many fun and beautiful entries, and voting is open until next Thursday morning. Tea towels seem to be popular Christmas gifts, and Spoonflower announced a 2-for-1 deal coming up soon! Or you can buy 4 on a yard. They end up being somewhere around $7 each. I still need to proof my design, but I’m hoping to have it available in time for the sale.

Finally, I have a tutorial showing you how to hem your tea towels so you can give them as gifts!

Update: My tea towel is now for sale and I have updated my Wildflower tea towel calendar with dates for 2015.

Sewing, Spoonflower, Tutorials

Embroider Over A Fabric Design

So, I’ve had this fabric swatch from one of my Spoonflower designs sitting on my sewing table for weeks. As soon as I received it, I knew I wanted to embroider it. The black lines were begging for some color!

Below, I’ll show you how to embroider over a fabric design with a simple backstitch. You could embellish any number of fabric designs by stitching along the printed design in this way. Choose parts of a print to highlight or stitch over the whole design like I did. Or you could design something specifically for embroidery and use Spoonflower to print it. (Though I’d recommend using a lighter gray color if you want to do that.)

Embroidered Spoonflower Fabric Design | Radiant Home Studio

Once I started, I couldn’t stop…

I started out with this hand-drawn floral in black and white. This is an 8″ x 8″ test swatch on Kona Cotton fabric. (Another example of a fabric design that could be embellished with embroidery is this pretty floral design by Alexia Abegg for Cotton & Steel.)

I did not have a small enough embroidery hoop for this piece of fabric, so I just stitched along without it. The hoop makes it a little easier, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have one on hand.

Black and White Floral Fabric for Embroidery | Radiant Home Studio

Then I just started tracing over the lines with a basic backstitch.

Embroider Over a Fabric Design | Radiant Home Studio

A little further along in the process…

You can see the path of the needle here. This is how you form a backstitch. Each time you go down next to the end of the last stitch and come up two stitch lengths ahead.

Embroidery Design On Spoonflower Printed Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

Using a backstitch, you can cover all of the black lines without gaps showing through between the stitches. If you want the back to look as nice as the front, check out Mollie’s series of post on keeping your embroidery neat and tidy.

Embroider Over a Fabric Design | Radiant Home Studio

So now I just need to decide how to finish it. It could make a really pretty pocket for a tote bag or I could frame it and use as part of a gallery wall I’m planning.

Embroidered Spoonflower Fabric Design | Radiant Home Studio

Would anyone be interested in a downloadable embroidery pattern using these folk flower designs? I’ve been considering adding embroidery patterns to my shop for several months, but just haven’t managed to fit it in. If there is interest though, I’ll bump it up on the priority list…

Patterns, Spoonflower, Uncategorized

A Couple Quick Things…

I am busy packing boxes and prepping for move and I just packed up most of my sewing stuff. I have one last project to finish before we leave in a few days. We’re only moving across town, but it’s amazing how many things still need to be done for a local move.

Just a couple quick things…

Banana Bread Tea Towel | Spoonflower | Radiant Home Studio

I received my banana bread tea towels from Spoonflower this week! I’ve been busy hemming the edges for a friend and making a few more for myself. They make great hostess gifts! You can find them in my Spoonflower shop.

Don’t forget to check out Pattern Parcel #3, which includes my water bottle tote, along with 5 other fun patterns for summer. This bundle has been popular, and many of the bloggers are so excited about the patterns that they have made multiple items from the patterns.

Pattern Parcel 3 | Week 1 Highlights | Radiant Home Studio

Chambray Prefontaines at Dandelion Drift  || Emerald Bombshell Swimsuit at Diary of a Chainstitcher || Staple Dress at Sew Busy Lizzy 

 Jorna with Cap Sleeves at Sew a Straight Line || Blingin’ Prefontaines at Stitched || Striped Jorna Dress at Very Purple Person    

These are just a few of the highlights from the week. There have been several pairs of amazing Prefontaine shorts and Bombshell swimsuits. I can’t believe how flattering the swimsuit is on everyone that has made one, and it’s definitely on my list of things to make now. The dresses all look super comfortable and practical for busy moms. Check out  my previous post for a complete list of the sewists and their project days.

As much as I’d love to be sewing, I’m headed to pack some more boxes…

Sewing, Spoonflower

Spoonflower Pillowcase Dresses Event

Last weekend we attended a charity sewing event hosted by Spoonflower. They organized and provided materials to make pillowcase dresses for an orphanage in the Philippines. I’ve been hoping to visit the Spoonflower offices since I discovered their fabric printing services last year, but this was the first opportunity I have had to go.

This sweet girl of mine is a gift giver! She loves making things for other people, and has an unending supply of cards and gifts for everyone she knows. The dress-making event happened to be on her birthday weekend. I knew she would enjoy making dresses for other little girls, so this turned out to be the perfect mother-daughter birthday outing.

Spoonflower Pillowcase Dresses | Radiant Home Studio

These are two of the dresses we finished. She did 90% of the sewing on her dress, with only a little help on the seam binding around the armholes. We had time to make one more after those two, and also brought home a couple of extra kits to finish sewing before the Spoonflower team collects them next month. (You can make some too! See the link at the end of the post…)

Spoonflower Greenhouse Pillowcase Dresses | Radiant Home Studio

The Greenhouse (their event room) was full. There were about 20 sewing machines, 4 ironing stations, a large cutting table, and dozens of busy women. The ladies in charge were helpful and encouraging as they answered endless questions and coached many of the ladies through their first ever sewing project.

Spoonflower Pillowcase Dresses | Radiant Home Studio

Miss Carmen, one of the event organizers, was especially encouraging and we really enjoyed meeting her!

When we finished our sewing, we took a short tour around the building with Becca. She happily answered all of questions, told us about the growth of the company, and walked us through the cutting and shipping area. We learned about some of the challenges of printing on different types of fabric and even got a peek at the new printer they are beta testing.

Spoonflower Fabric Printing  | Radiant Home Studio

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Spoonflower, a tour of the facilities, and meeting some of the staff. We hope to attend a few more of their events over the next few months.

You can find out about their other events and see more photos of finished dresses on the meetup page.

Spoonflower Pillowcase Dresses Kits | Radiant Home Studio

Spoonflower is still collecting dresses for their shipment. They have posted a tutorial and mailing address if you would like to contribute!

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