Crafts, Home Decor

Shibori Indigo Dyed Napkins

Last week, I shared a zipper pouch that I made using the shibori indigo fabric I dyed. We also dyed a bunch of other things, including some cloth napkins and fabric yardage. Once the dye is mixed, you can use it for several yards of fabric, so we tried to get as much use out of it as possible.

Since we made the indigo dyeing a family project, I wanted to let the kids experiment with folding small pieces of fabric into different patterns. I found some packages of white cotton dinner napkins, perfect for dyeing. I ordered 2 packages, so we had 24 napkins to dye. They absorbed the dye well and were perfect for experimenting!

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

You can see we had a variety of patterns. I like how the napkins are all unique, but work together as a set. We gave some as gifts but kept most of them to replace the worn out cloth napkins I made several years ago.

Overall, the cloth napkins were perfect for indigo dyeing as a family. They are inexpensive, practical, and perfect for experimenting with shibori folding techniques.

We used and recommend this Indigo dye kit! I have a few more details about it in the Shibori Indigo Zipper Pouch post.

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Tutorials

How to Sew a Sling for a Broken Arm

Earlier this week, my 7-year-old daughter fell on the driveway while playing and broke her wrist. A couple of years ago, my other daughter broke her wrist falling off a swing. Thankfully, broken arms heal…so why not have some fun with the sling while it’s healing?

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

The hospital issued slings aren’t the best. After watching two little girls with broken arms using the slings, I have made a couple of improvements to the standard issue hospital sling. Both have complained about the scratchy strap cutting into their neck, so I padded the neck strap. On the current sling, the strap slide is too high and also cuts into the shoulder/neck area. I moved it down to fix that problem. Finally, the new sling is reversible—plain navy on one side and a fun pattern on the other!

I made a sling for an elementary-aged child, but you can easily adjust the size for a smaller or larger person. My kids asked if it would work for either arm, and the answer is yes!

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

(Some links may be affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my business in this way!)

How to Sew a Sling for a Broken Arm:

Materials:

2 fat quarters of quilting cotton
2 d-rings (1″)
1/4 yd. fabric for a strap (OR 1 yd. of 1″ webbing)
1/4 yd. fusible fleece (to pad the strap)
1 yd. of 1/2″ double fold bias binding (make your own with this tutorial!)

(If making a larger size, you will need more webbing and more bias binding. You might also consider making a wider strap and using stronger o-rings in place of d-rings.)

Cut the Following:

(4) 14″ x 6″ rectangles, 2 from each fat quarter
(1) 36″ x 4″ rectangle from 1/4 yd. fabric
(1) 36″ x 2″ rectangle from fusible fleece (you can piece this together from scraps)

(For a larger size, measure from the elbow to the fingertips, add 1″, and replace the 14″ measurement on the first cut. Change the depth of the sling by changing the 6″ measurement on the first cut. For example, a sling for myself would be 18″ x 8″. Remember that you might also need a longer strap and more bias binding.)

Sewing Instructions:

1. Place one matching set of the large rectangles right sides together. Use a bowl (or another rounded object) mark rounded edges on the top right & bottom left corners. Trim the corners. Repeat for the second set of large rectangles.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

2. With the rounded rectangles still right sides together, stitch along the left and bottom edges with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

3. Turn one piece right side out. Place the two sling pieces wrong sides together and set aside.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

4. To make the strap, fold the 36″ long fabric in half lengthwise and press. Fold each long, raw edge into the center seam, wrong sides together, and press again.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

5. Place the fusible fleece on the wrong side of the strap, centered between the fold lines. Fuse, refold, and press.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

6. Stitch along the long, folded edges of the strap with a 1/8″ seam allowance.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

7. Cut a 6″ length from the strap. On the right (open) end of the sling, baste one end of the strap, just at the edge of the curve on the front of the sling, as shown. Place the d-rings on the 6′ length of the strap. Baste the other end of the strap on the back of the sling. (Ignore the strap slide…I ended up switching hardware after finding that the strap slide was too slippery.)

8. Baste the remaining strap piece to the left side of the sling, centered over the seam.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

9. Next, open and place your bias binding right sides down on the raw edge of the sling. (It doesn’t really matter which side of the sling since it will be reversible.) Fold the end of the bias binding down about 1/2″ and begin sewing. Continue around the whole sling, stitching on the first fold line, and catching the strap ends in the stitching. Overlap the end by about 1/2″. Backstitch and trim excess binding.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

10. Clip the curves and press the binding toward the other side. Pin in place and stitch around the binding again, 1/8″ from the folded edge.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

11. Flip the straps to the right side and tack them onto the binding by stitching a couple of lines across them.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

12. Shorten the shoulder strap if needed and finish the end with a wide zig-zag stitch.

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Sling for Broken Arm | Radiant Home Studio

While this is not a sewing tutorial I had planned on writing, I hope a handmade sling makes healing from a broken arm a little bit more comfortable and fun!

Also sharing this tutorial at: Sew Can She, Craftastic Monday, Made By You Monday, Modest Monday

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Pattern Review, Sewing

Waxed Canvas Gentleman’s Travel Case

My oldest boy turned 12 this month! Twelve is a big year around here. The boys count down the years until they are invited to attend the church men’s retreat and be counted among the men. To celebrate, we bought him a few special manly gifts, but I also wanted to make him something. I waited until the last minute, but I was still able to make this in an afternoon.

Waxed Canvas Geltemen's Tavel Case | Betz White Present Perfect | Radiant Home Studio

(Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting my business in this way!)

All men need a bag for their toiletries, right? I looked at a few free box pouch patterns but didn’t really find what I was looking for. Then I remembered the Gentlemen’s Travel Case pattern in Betz White’s Present Perfect and went to work making it. It’s very roomy, probably bigger than a 12-year-old needs, but it will grow with him. I love the extra pocket details and zipper tabs. Both make it a very practical and useable bag.

I love sewing with waxed canvas, especially for men. It looks rugged and stays nice for many years. Since this will be stored in the bathroom and most likely get wet, the wax will protect the canvas and keep it clean. I had plenty of canvas in my fabric stash, along with some denim scraps and a masculine cotton print for the lining.

Waxed Canvas Geltemen's Tavel Case | Betz White Present Perfect | Radiant Home Studio

I made my husband a waxed canvas messenger bag about 3 years ago. He carries it to work daily. Though the inside is showing signs of wear, the waxed canvas still looks as good as new! I make my own waxed canvas using Otter Wax. Here’s a tutorial I posted, showing how you can make your own waxed canvas.

I waxed this bag after it was completed (and after the gift was opened….told you it was last minute!), but in hindsight, I would have added the wax as I sewed.

Waxed Canvas Geltemen's Tavel Case | Betz White Present Perfect | Radiant Home Studio

I followed the directions in the book but omitted one of the outside pockets. I also added a metal snap instead of the hook-and-loop tape suggested in the pattern. The exterior and lining are constructed completely and then the lining is dropped in and finished with hand sewing. I was a little bit worried about hand stitching all the way around the zipper, but it didn’t take long and it looks great. Overall, I’m really happy that I used this pattern. It makes a great gift for both the young and older men in your life.

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Sewing

Personalizing the North Pond Notebook Cover

One of the things I love about the North Pond Notebook Cover pattern is that it can be personalized for almost anyone! For Christmas, I made 2 North Pond Notebook Covers, each with slight modifications and personalized fabric choices. My 14 year old sister and my 4 year old nephew each received their own notebook cover. Few gifts are versatile enough to give to both a teen girl and a preschool boy, but both of them enjoyed their gifts.

For the 4 year old, I chose fabric with cars on it. He loves Hot Wheels and playing with cars. I looked at some other car fabrics that were brighter and more juvenile, but I chose this one because it will grow with him. My 11 year old would still be willing to carry this around without embarrassment.

I used denim for the accent pieces and canvas on the interior (just trying to use what was in my stash) but with heavier weight fabrics throughout, it was a bit bulky to sew. You can see around the edges where the thickness made it difficult to sew straight.

Personalizing the North Pond Notebook Cover sewing pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Since the metal snaps can be hard for little hands, I decided to use hook-and-loop tape for the closure.

Personalizing the North Pond Notebook Cover sewing pattern | Radiant Home Studio

Personalizing the North Pond Notebook Cover with velcro | Radiant Home Studio

I made a second notebook cover for my teen sister, who loves pink, feminine, sparkles, etc. That made it really easy to find fabric she would like. I chose a home decor fabric with fashion scenes from Paris for her cover.

North Pond Notebook Cover | Pink & Feminine | Radiant Home Studio

I left the binding piece off of this cover to showcase the scenes on the fabric. Adding it would have covered up most of the pink and pretty parts.

Personalizing handmade gifts for the recipient makes gift-giving fun! Though neither of these are fabrics I would have chosen for myself, they made the kids happy. I used scraps from my stash for the contrast and lining pieces, and I substituted hardware and closures to make use of what I had. The North Pond Notebook Cover is great for using small pieces of fabric and leftover hardware!

Have you made any modifications or personalized your North Pond Notebook Covers in some way? Share them on FB, Twitter, or IG and tag me! #northpondnotebookcover

Sewing

Double Zip Wallet From Handmade Style

I’m a huge fan of Anna Graham and her Noodlehead patterns and projects. Last year, she wrote a book called Handmade Style, which I bought and have used several times. I made a few Christmas presents for my family this year. One was the Double Zip Wallet from Handmade Style.

Double Zip Wallet From Handmade Style | Tokyo Train Ride Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

My 17 year old sister claimed it was her favorite gift this year and has been excited to show it to all of her friends. So, if you are looking for handmade gift ideas for teens, this one is a winner!

The wallet is an intermediate project. The instructions are detailed, with helpful illustrations. Though there are some tricky parts, you can get through them by doing the next step, one line at a time. Reading too far ahead can be confusing until you see what you have in your hand.

Double Zip Wallet From Handmade Style | Tokyo Train Ride Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

I definitely underestimated the time this would take. I planned to make it in a couple of hours, but it took closer to 4 hours. I’m sure the 2nd time around would be faster, but don’t underestimate it as a “quick and easy” project. I also had some measurement problems with the card slot piece. I’m sure I must have made a mistake somewhere, and ended up cutting out a second piece with different measurements. When I compared what I had with the finished photos, they didn’t match up. I ended up improvising to get it the “right” size. It still doesn’t look quite like the photos, so maybe I folded the card slots the wrong way?

Double Zip Wallet From Handmade Style | Tokyo Train Ride Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

I used Cotton & Steel Tokyo Train Ride Canvas for the main part of the wallet and accented it with brown canvas. The weight of the two canvases together felt a little bit thick for this project, especially in the zipper corners. Anna recommended canvas for the lining, but used quilting cotton for the exterior.

The Tokyo Train Ride fabric is very pretty for a wallet, but it’s also a one way design. I knew the fabric would be “upside-down” on the back of the wallet, but decided to use it anyway. If you care about that sort of thing, choose a fabric without a one way design.

Double Zip Wallet From Handmade Style | Tokyo Train Ride Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, it was a fun and successful gift! Now that I’ve put one together, I may try another one with some lighter weight fabric to see how it goes.

And I highly recommend the Handmade Style book for all of its other projects. I rarely buy craft books, but Anna’s patterns are really usable and well-organized–well worth the investment.

For more double zip Wallet inspiration, check out these three made by the staff at Fancy Tiger Crafts, and these two made by Anna!

What were your most successful handmade Christmas gifts this year?

Sharing this one over at Sew Can She!