Crafts

Recommendations from the Handmade with Love Super Bundle

This bundle is no longer available, but you can check Ultimate Bundles to see the bundle sales schedule! You can also purchase the products I’ve mentioned below. I’ve linked to the individual shops.

The Handmade with Love Super Bundle from Ultimate Bundles is live and available through 12/4/17! The bundle includes 200+ patterns, projects, and step-by-step tutorials created by modern designers who know you love to keep your hands busy creating special gifts for the people you love.

Whether you quilt, sew, weave, crochet, embroider or you just love handcrafting in general, you can master new techniques, polish skills you already have, and take advantage of a digital library bursting with projects and inspiration to keep you happily occupied this winter.

There are so many projects, you might find the bundle overwhelming! Don’t be intimidated by the number of projects and patterns included though. The team at Ultimate Bundles hopes to provide a large library of projects so that there is something for everyone. Even if you buy the bundle for 3-4 items, you are getting a great deal and the rest is just icing on the cake!

Honestly, not everything in the bundle excited me, but there were more than enough patterns and courses to make it worth it. (Though, I should tell you, bundle contributors get a free bundle and all links are affiliate links. I have put a great deal of time and planning into telling you about this bundle because I think it’s worth your time and money too!)

Let me show you a few of my favorite things from the Handmade with Love Bundle!

Handmade with Love Bundle Recommendations | Radiant Home Studio

Shibori & Natural Dyeing E-Course – from We Make Collective

These tutorials guide you through the entire dyeing process, from mixing indigo and natural dyes to making projects with your dyed fabrics. There are 10 DIY dyeing projects with gorgeous photos for inspiration. I really wish I had been able to access the resource before my indigo dyeing project this summer!

This website and their courses are new to me, but I have been impressed with the high-quality photos are directions and easy to navigate website. I’ll definitely be trying some more natural fabric dyeing soon, using some of the things I’ve learned from this course. This course alone is $26, so if this course interests you, it’s only a couple of extra dollars for the entire library of patterns!

10 Simple Sewing Projects for the Home – from Hey There Home

This is a really pretty ebook from another new-to-me blogger. The book has a collection of home sewing projects that are very quick & easy—pillows, curtains, napkins, storage baskets, and more.

There are beautiful, modern pictures showing styled spaces with handmade details. I think this is an excellent resource for new homeowners or busy moms to inspire you to create a home filled with stylish handmade items.

Insect Embroidery Pattern Set – from I Heart Stitch Art

Embroidery stitching is such a nice way to slow down and enjoy the creative process! I have taught most of my kids to embroider starting around age 6. It really helps to teach them patience and attention to detail, while also giving them some creative freedom. My boys were really loving the bee and dragonfly patterns in this set. They’ve been begging me to trace a pattern for them!

I used the butterfly pattern to embellish a tote bag this week. I was impressed by the extra details in this pattern that I don’t always see in other embroidery patterns. If you are new to embroidery you’ll pick up some great tips from this pattern.

Handmade with Love Bundle Recommendations | Radiant Home Studio

The Embroidery Project – from Wild Olive

I have used and recommended Wild Olive patterns a few times. This ebook contains lots of small projects that are easy for kids and beginners. There are lots of sweet ideas for gifts that would be quick to make before the holidays. I used a small bird pattern to add a cute detail to a plain baby onesie and it only took about 30 minutes total.

Welcome to Weaving – from Hello Hydrangea

My preteen daughter was particularly excited about this class! I need to buy a few supplies before we can get started, but I might make it a Christmas gift for her and “borrow” the loom. (Don’t tell!!) Like embroidery, weaving seems like a good way to slow down and enjoy the creative process.

We haven’t finished this class yet, but the format is really easy to follow. It’s an ebook with links to each video when you need them. The videos are very professional with detailed instructions. This is a beginner class, so it’s perfect if you want to experiment (or let your kids experiment) with a new craft.

Retro Rucksack & Penfield Pocket Tote

Of course, I must mention my own patterns! I’ve included 2 of my best bag sewing patterns. The Retro Rucksack is a unique bag and is very popular in my shop and the Penfield Pocket Tote is fairly new. Both bags are very versatile, so if you love to sew I’m sure you can find a way to use them! Normally, both patterns would cost $19, so if you’ve been thinking of buying them, grab them now with all of these bonuses!

I’ve bought 2 other ebook bundles from Ultimate Bundles in the past and I can’t tell you how much better their bundles are than anything else I’ve seen. Their website is easy to navigate, ebooks are easy to download, and customer service is quick to respond if you should have any technical difficulties.

The sale ends Dec. 4th and won’t be available after that! I’m always a last minute buyer because I over-analyze all of my purchases…hah! Don’t do that! You’ll miss all the extra bonuses! Do yourself a favor and grab it now while you’re thinking about it. 🙂

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

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

I didn’t get a chance to make blankets before our baby was born, so I bought a few swaddle blankets from Margaux & MayThey 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!

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Pattern Review

Black Matcha Top

I’m back to sewing after a few months of low energy at the end of my pregnancy. It’s been almost 4 weeks since our new little one arrived, and I’m short on clothes that fit! I bought the Matcha Top pattern (from Sew Liberated) a few weeks ago, knowing it would be great to hide the postpartum mom tummy.

Black Matcha Top | Sew Liberated | Radiant Home Studio

I’m happy to report that it’s perfect for new moms. The flowing silhouette around the hips is flattering and the pretty details around the shoulder and neckline draw the eye up, so it takes the focus off of your mid-section. The loose fit also makes it easy for nursing moms to wear.

Black Matcha Top | Sew Liberated | Radiant Home Studio

I used 2 yards of rayon that I bought at Jo-Ann fabrics a few months ago. The weight and drape of the fabric work well with this pattern. I have a couple yards of another rayon print that I bought at the same time. I plan to make another Matcha Top with it.

Black Matcha Top | Sew Liberated | Radiant Home Studio

I made a size 10, based on my bust measurement and my hips. If you are making this after having a baby, ignore your waist measurement. It won’t make a difference with this loose silhouette and you don’t need to size up. Meg recommends using a smaller sized collar if you want more gathers at the shoulders. I cut a size 6 collar.

Black Matcha Top | Sew Liberated | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, this pattern was pretty quick to cut and sew. It took me a few days of stealing time between naps and nursing to finish it, but I think it was only a 2-hour project. The instructions are thorough with tips for really nice seam finishes throughout. I used my serger to finish the inside of the v-neck and the shoulder seams and I used french seams down the sides. I opted for the hand-finished collar, so everything looks very clean.

I’m looking forward to making some more. You can see more Matcha Top inspiration on Instagram with #matchatoppattern … I love all of Meg’s blue cotton and gauze versions!

What are your favorite postpartum patterns?

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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.

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

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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Sewing

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch

Today I’m joining some friends in a shibori indigo blog tour! Last weekend, we spent some time experimenting with indigo dye as a fun family project. The dye makes a gorgeous blue color, and it’s made from natural, plant-based materials. I used some of the fabric I dyed to make a shibori indigo zipper pouch to share today. Plus, I have a couple more projects to share later!

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

(Some links are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

I’ve been hoping to try indigo dyeing for several years, but never managed to gather all of the supplies. I thought it would be fun to involve the kids in my indigo dying experiment. Normally, my chemistry major husband isn’t interested in crafting, but he jumped right in to help measure water and mix the dye. Since I’m too pregnant to be carrying five-gallon buckets of water around, I was thankful for his enthusiastic participation.

We did a little bit of research before our project on the history of indigo dyeing and looked for some information on shibori dyeing techniques. This CreativeLive class on shibori dyeing was the most helpful thing we found. It wasn’t very long, but it covered all of the details we needed to know in a clear and interesting way. I definitely recommend it! We also looked up some other shibori designs and folding techniques on Pinterest.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

The only thing the shibori class didn’t cover was mixing the dye. There are more “authentic” ways of making indigo dye, but we just ordered this quick and easy kit from Amazon. You just measure four gallons of water, dump three packets of powder in, and mix it up. My older kids could have read the directions and made it themselves. It was inexpensive and worked perfectly, so I’ll definitely be ordering it again.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

The only thing I would do differently…I dipped each piece twice, but after everything dried and lightened up, I wished I had dipped a couple more times. My knit fabric took the dye really well and ended up with some deep navy blue streaks, but none of the other pieces got that dark.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

We dyed two packages of cotton napkins (also from Amazon). They were great for experimenting with different folding techniques and patterns. The kids each folded three or four and eagerly waited to see how their designs would turn out. I also folded up a piece of muslin, a scrap of white bamboo knit, and some canvas tote bags. I used the muslin for the zipper pouch.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

Zipper pouches are fast and easy. I didn’t follow a pattern for this…just cut out some rectangles, added little leather accents, and sewed it up. You can use this zipper pouch tutorial for basic construction techniques. I think these would make really cute gifts or nice craft fair products.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

If you’d like to see what some of my friends made their indigo fabric, follow along here to read their posts:

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Monday 7/24

Sarah at Sewing with Sarah – Shibori Top

Stephanie at Swoodson Says – Shibori Kit Review

Tuesday 7/25

Katie at Creative Counselor – Shibori Shift Dress

Sara at Radiant Home Studio – Shibori Zipper Pouch

Wednesday 7/26

Vicky at Vicky Myers Creations – Shibori Scarf

Stephanie at Swoodson Says – Shibori Blanket

Thursday 7/27

Maryanna at Marvelous Auntie M – Shibori Bag

Ula at Lulu & Celester – Shibori Clutch

Friday 7/28

Laurel at My Heart Will Sew On – Shibori Maxi Skirt

Agy at Agy Textile Artist – Shibori with Mango Leaves

Stephanie at Swoodson Says – Shibori Curtains

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