What’s adorable, uses only a quarter yard of fabric, and sews up in under an hour? These knit baby leggings! We can’t get over them. These things are as easy to make as they are cute (and they’re really cute). Join Spoonflower friend and contributor Anda Corrie as she walks you through these DIY knit leggings, available in sizes 6 months – 5T, and bookmark this page–you’ll definitely want to make more than one pair. More of an audio/visual learner? Skip down to the bottom of the post and check out the step-by-step video with Spoonflower team member Meredith. Let’s get started!
Hello again friends. It's Dana from MADE and I'm back to share a sewing tutorial and free pattern with you!
When I discovered that Spoonflower carried knit fabrics last
month I was overjoyed! Truly! I'm a fabric nerd. And as most of you
know, finding cute knit fabric prints in the store is pretty
impossible. But at Spoonflower the prints are endless! Holy fun.
I narrowed down my favorites to only 3 prints (Love Fiesta, freeform arrows in lipstick, and umbra_star_brown). And because the knit fabrics
are pricey I've created a project that only uses one fat quarter of
Today we're making:
First, start by downloading my free pattern:
Download Baby Tank by MADE
• Print the 4-page pattern to standard 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. There is a 1 square-inch measuring box on each page to make sure your pattern has printed to proper size. I recommend selecting the print option "actual size" (or something similar) for best results.
• Cut out all 4 pattern pieces (2 Back pieces, 2 Front pieces). Tape the 2 Front pieces together along the dotted lines. Do not overlap them, but butt them up right next to each other at the dotted lines and tape. Do the same for the Back pieces—match them up at the long dotted lines and tape.
• The pattern size is 6-12 months. If you have an older (or younger) child you can adjust the pattern by extending or reducing in a similar pattern shape. Use one of your child's current shirts to gauge how wide and how long the tank should be.
Confession Time: Spoonflower's Fabric of the Week contests are one of my favorite workday distractions. It's lovely to spend a few minutes immersed in beautiful designs, and my favorite part is this:
When I see all the fabrics I've voted for in one place, I always think, "Wow, those would look so great together in a project!" So I decided to design that project – a tote bag that showcases five fabrics, and only requires one test swatch of each one. (In fact, with careful cutting I was able to get two totes out of my five swatches!) You can whip one of these up in just a couple hours.
These fabrics are from the recent Pomegranate Fabric Contest. I used Pomegranate Party by Cherished Dreams, A Jewel of a Fruit, by Floral Fascination, Pomegranates by Zeinab, Pom Pom by Spellstone, and Pomegranates by Fattcheese.
Materials (per tote):
- 5 Spoonflower Kona® Cotton test swatches in your choice of fabrics.
- Cutting mat, 18" clear ruler, and rotary cutter
- 1 yard background fabric (Linen-cotton canvas works great here, as does quilting cotton.)
- ½ yard lining fabric (Kona® Cotton is a nice choice.)
- Thread to coordinate with both these fabrics
- Sewing machine
Downloadable patchwork pattern
Making the Patchwork Tote Front:
Download and print the PDF patchwork pattern, and decide which of your Spoonflower swatches you'll be using as Fabric A, B, C, D, and E. Then, use a ruler and rotary cutter to cut one piece from each fabric, using the dimensions labeled on the pattern.
Cut a long strip from your background fabric, measuring 1" tall by the width of the fabric (selvage to selvage). Now, cut this strip into four lengths as labeled in the pattern: 4", 4 ½" 5" and 10 ½".
When you sew the patchwork, always place the right sides of the fabric pieces together.
All seam allowances in this project are ¼", unless otherwise specified. Feel free to pin the fabric pieces together before you sew them, or not – however you're most comfortable sewing!
Step 1: Sew the 4" background fabric strip to the bottom edge of Fabric A. Press the seam allowance toward Fabric A. Then, sew the top edge of Fabric B to the other side of that background strip. Press that seam allowance toward Fabric B. (This is the finished unit you see on the right side of the photo above.)
Now, sew the 5" background strip to the right edge of Fabric C. Press the seam allowance toward Fabric C.
Step 2: Sew the two units together as shown here. Then, take a moment and trim any edges that are a little on the wonky side so they're straight. Just line the fabric edges up with the guide lines on the cutting mat, and use your ruler and rotary cutter to make straight cuts.
And with that, the top half of our patchwork is done!
Step 3: Sew the 4 ½" background strip to the right edge of Fabric D. Press the seam allowance toward Fabric D. Then, sew the left edge of Fabric E to the other side of the background strip. Press that seam allowance toward Fabric E. This is the bottom half of our patchwork. If you need to, go ahead and trim its edges so they're straight.
We'll connect these two finished units with the 10 ½" strip we cut earlier.
Step 4: Now, take the patchwork unit we just completed in Step 3. Sew the top edge of this unit to the 10 ½" background strip. Press the seam allowance toward the print fabrics. Then, sew the bottom edge of the patchwork unit from Step 2 to the other side of that background strip. Press the seam allowance toward the print fabrics again.
Step 5: Now,we'll just tidy up our finished patchwork. Use your ruler, rotary cutter and the guide lines on your cutting mat to trim all four edges so they're straight and at 90 degree angles.
Looks good! Let's add some background to the edges.
Step 6: Now, cut another long strip from your background fabric, measuring 3 ½" tall by the width of the fabric (selvage to selvage). Cut one 10" length from this strip. This goes at the bottom edge of your patchwork block.
Next, cut two 13" lengths from the long strip. Take these, and trim them so they're 3" tall by 13" long. These are the sides of your patchwork.
Finally, cut one 2" by 10" strip. (Depending on the width of your fabric, you may be able to get this out of the remaining long strip, or you may need to cut it from the rest of your background fabric.) This 2" tall strip goes at the top edge of your tote.
Step 7: Let's sew these strips to our patchwork block to finish the front of the tote. Sew the 2" by 10" strip to the top edge of the patchwork. Sew the 3 ½" by 10" strip to the bottom edge of the patchwork. Press the seam allowances toward the patchwork.
Step 8: Now, sew the 3" by 13" strips to the right and left edges of the patchwork. Press those seam allowances toward the patchwork as well. Your finished piece may have some wonky edges again now. Don't worry about it – just trim them!
At this stage, I like to use the edge of my patchwork as a reference line for trimming. Here, I've lined up my ruler with the patchwork, and then lined the bottom of the ruler up with a guide line on my cutting mat. With that alignment, I can then move my ruler to the edge of the background fabric and trim it so it's parallel with the edge of the patchwork. (See how I've lined the raw edge of the background fabric up with another guide line on my mat? That's handy for making that trim accurately.)
Step 9: Now that your patchwork block is all straight and square, measure it, and write down those dimensions. (You'll need them again later to make a lining.)
Your patchwork will measure somewhere in the neighborhood of 14" by 13". If it's a little larger or smaller, don't worry about it! As long as the background strips on the right and left edges are the same width, all is well. Just use whatever the measurement is to cut an identical piece from your background fabric. This will be the back of your tote.
Cut two more long strips from your remaining background fabric, each measuring 4" tall by 26" long. (That's just the length I like. If you prefer your tote straps longer or shorter, by all means, cut them to the length you like!).
Fold each strip in half lengthwise with the right side facing out, pressing the fold with a hot iron. Open this fold back up and then carefully fold the two raw edges in so they meet at this fold line, as shown above. Press these two new folds as well. Then, refold each strap in half again so the raw edges are to the inside, and press the strap flat.
Assembling the Tote:
This video walks you through the assembly process from this point. We'll add the straps to our tote, make a lining with some pockets in it, and put the whole thing together. I made two pockets for my tote: the larger one used a 12" tall by 8" piece wide of fabric, and the smaller one used a 12" tall by 5 ½" wide piece. You can actually make your pockets any size you like – or even leave them out!
This tote is a little on the diminutive side – just large enough to carry your wallet, phone, sketchbook, a paperback, and a small water bottle on your day's adventures. If you'd like it to be bigger, you can always cut the background strips in Step 6 a couple inches wider and longer.
Can you imagine having a little collection of these bags, each one with a different fabric theme?
About Our Guest Blogger
Diane Gilleland blogs, podcasts, publishes, teaches, and makes videos about all things crafty over at CraftyPod.com. When she's not doing those things, she's doing whatever her cat tells her to do. And what's wrong with that?
I love English paper piecing and fabrics with great big prints, but these two things don’t always play so nicely together. So I decided to experiment with super-sizing some traditional paper pieced hexagons. I love the way they showcase these three beautiful designs from Spoonflower designer Holli Zollinger: Coral Lined Mosaic, Fish Scales Slate Full, and Diamond Circles Aqua, and the chevron lines of quilting make a nice frame.
This week guest author Emma Jeffery from the blog Hello Beautiful shows us how she turned her grandmother’s handwritten recipes into tea towels for her own kitchen. Read the how-to below, or, jump to our up-to-date video tutorial from Spoonflower member Theresa at the bottom of the post. She’ll take you through each step from Emma’s tea towel concept, so you’ll learn how to edit your scanned recipe in Photoshop, all the way through to how to sew up the tea towel with a finished double-hem.
Emma: For a woman who keeps a newspaper from the day she was born, my mum has surprisingly few keepsakes or handwritten memorabilia from her own mother who passed away in 1999. When I asked her to trawl through her old papers and files, she managed to find three handwritten recipes from my grandmother. They appear to be the only remaining examples of her handwriting left in the world, and they are therefore as precious as they are priceless.
This week guest author Emma Jeffery from the blog Hello Beautiful rescues a worn ottoman with an artful fabric.
I recently pounced (literally!) on this old ottoman when a friend of mine told me she needed it out of her house. Yes, it was ripped in places, some of the covered buttons were now rather naked and the dark brown covering wasn’t really to my liking, but it was structurally sound, clean and it fitted in the trunk of my car. I just knew it was begging to be brought back to life and recovered in some gorgeous new Spoonflower cotton-linen canvas.
Though each individual piece of furniture will be slightly different to recover, I thought I’d share some of my methods and findings in case you are also tempted to give something like this a whirl.
Before I could even start thinking about browsing through the mouth watering array of new fabric possibilities in the Spoonflower marketplace, I had to set about taking the old ottoman apart, removing the foam from the wooden base and legs, ripping off the old fabric and sanding down the wood. All the fun messy stuff. I must admit to never having recovered a piece of furniture like this before, so if you are an expert and spot some fatal flaws or errors in my methods, please feel free to leave a comment and advise.
I began by ripping away the covering on the underside of the base and once able to get to the screws, I used an electric screwdriver (thanks, husband!) to take the legs off and separate the base from the foam.
As with any project like this, there are going to be a lot of staples to extract before you can remove the old fabric completely. I’d estimate that there were about 5 million staples in this ottoman (or thereabouts….) and I summoned my inner dentist and removed them with the help of a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. I also discovered a little magnetic dish that was the perfect way to keep the staples away from being stepped on by little feet.
With the wooden base dismantled from the legs, I then sanded down the wood. I didn’t remove the old varnish completely, I just ‘roughed up’ the surface so that it would hold a new paint.
Aside from choosing the fabric, the second best thing about this project was choosing the paint! I consulted with the friendly experts in my local hardware store, who were more than happy to advise me on which kind of paint to use. I ended up using a semi-gloss, which is a paint and primer in one, in bright turquoise. I recommend talking to your local hardware store experts if you have questions about your own projects.
After painting all the woodwork with two coats of paint (and allowing the first coat to dry before painting the next) I was able to move onto the fabric part of the project. I recommend using Spoonflowers heavy- weight linen-cotton canvas. This gorgeous print is called Art Deco Rio De Janeiro by Zesti, the second runner up from the Art Deco Fabric of the Week contest
I wanted some tufting on my ottoman and whilst there were originally 3 buttons on the old ottoman, I decided to add a few more to make a total of 11. The fabric I used lent itself to having buttons placed in the center of the triangles on the design, so I started out by taking measurements from the the fabric. I recorded how far apart the centers of the triangles were, up and down and side to side. My foam was glued to a wooden base so — turning the base to face me and starting by finding the center point and working outwards — I measured and marked the position for 11 buttons.
I then used my hand drill to drill holes into the wooden base on each marked point.
I wanted to check I had measured the position of each hole correctly (math is not one of my greatest skills….) so I poked cocktail sticks into each hole I had drilled, and lay the fabric over the base. By doing so, I was able to make sure that the cocktail sticks poked the fabric in just the right place for me to center my buttons. Which they did. Success first time!
Assured that my holes were drilled in the correct places, I covered 11 buttons with the fabric I was using and, having hunted down an 8” doll making needle, I stitched the buttons through the foam. I secured each covered button with a large plastic button from my supplies at the wooden base to make sure the thread couldn’t get pulled back through the foam. No one likes loose, dangly buttons, right?
With all 11 buttons tightly secure and holding the fabric to the foam (I also checked that I pulled them into the foam evenly) I finished by pulling the fabric taut over the foam and stapling the sides to the wooden base underneath.
All I had left to do was screw the foam back onto the base and put the legs on, and I was finished. Although I worked on this over a couple of weekends, the total work time was around 8 hours.
I am thrilled to have rescued an old piece of furniture that was no longer loved or wanted and turned it into something beautiful. I haven’t let my children sit on it yet. But I will, once I’ve stopped gazing at it.
About Our Guest Blogger
I'm an obsessive sewer, often leaping into projects with more enthusiasm than talent, more bravado than skill and more good luck than anything else. This technique has worked well for me so far and more often than not, I make things I love, even if they're not absolutely perfect. And though I'm no expert, I have a passion for fabric, color and design. I know what I like and what I like makes me smile.