Ever wanted to create a waterproof, wipe-able bag that’s super easy to clean? While Spoonflower doesn’t yet offer lamination, there are super simple hacks you can use to create the same effect. This week guest author Emma Jeffery from the blog Hello Beautiful shares a tutorial for sewing up a waterproof washbag.
They may be small, but a fat quarter is perhaps the mightiest cut of fabric. We’ve rounded up 5 all-star fat quarter projects from the Spoonflower Marketplace. From dolls to pencil cases to tea towels, the real question is what can’t you make with a fat quarter of fabric? Time to stock up on these adorable, fast projects!
Bonus: Recipe Tea Towels!
Get ready for beach season with this fun sewing project created by Ceri Staziker! She shares how to stitch a sweet cover-up for your kids along with a downloadable PDF to create your own custom sewing pattern!
This is an easy, step-by-step sewing tutorial to create a Minky beach cover-up for a child aged approximately 4-8 years. The tutorial uses my cut-and-sew patterns which can be found here. Alternatively, you can download my free PDF pattern to create a version from your own fabric designs.
Are you excited about Spoonflower’s recent addition of Fleece, but not sure what to make? Fleece is remarkably easy to work with, prints vivid color and high detail, and doesn't fray! Spoonflower’s Senior Graphic Designer, Robin, is here to show us how to make a custom zippered laptop case using a combination of Fleece and Eco Canvas.
Who says unicorns aren’t real? Our new lightweight, low-loft Fleece makes this nostalgic hobby-horse style toy come to life with little more than one yard of fabric, a wooden dowel, and some imagination. Spoonflower friend and DIY craft expert Lia Griffith stops by to share a video tutorial that carefully lays out all the steps for how to master this project, with the help of her cut-and-sew Unicorn Hobby Horse template available in our Marketplace.
Photographs courtesy of Lia Griffith and team!
If you've been keeping up with April's Japanese Garden Design Challenge with Sprout Patterns (currently open for voting!), then you've already seen the buzz around the launch of the new Asaka Kimono pattern from Finnish indie pattern maker, Named Clothing. Sprout Patterns Director Caroline stops by the blog today to share her fascinating conversation with the duo, getting to know the inspiration behind Named, and what it's like to work at your dream job with your sister!
Caroline: We are excited to introduce Named Clothing, a Finnish pattern label founded by sisters Saara and Laura Huhta.
Stunning nightdress is inspired by artist’s use of sleeping pills
Past works include a wedding dress made from thousands of old postage stamps
A stunning, floor-length nightdress made out of 2,000 Walgreens prescription labels for sleeping pills is the latest creation of a Minnesota artist, whose previous works include a life-size wedding dress made from thousands of cancelled postage stamps.
Dreaming of Sleep is the title of the new work by Erica Spitzer Rasmussen, an artist from St. Paul, Minnesota, who specializes in making handmade paper garments. It uses materials including cotton, tissue paper and scanned prescriptions custom-printed on Spoonflower’s Woven peel-and-stick wallpaper.
The inspiration for it came to Rasmussen in, fittingly, a dream but derives before that from her own reliance on sleeping pills.
“I’m an insomniac,” she says. “About three years ago, after a particularly restless night, I finally fell asleep in the early morning hours. When I reached a few fleeting moments of sleep, I dreamt about sleeping peacefully. Shortly thereafter the alarm clock woke me and I wrote ‘dreaming of sleep’ on a pad of paper next to the bed.”
“Sadly, a satisfying night’s sleep for me generally requires medication. Dreaming of Sleep is a self-portrait that illustrates my dependence on those staples of the pharmaceutical industry.”
It took Rasmussen, 47, four months and four eight-foot rolls of custom wallpaper to make the four-foot tall nightgown. It involved her cutting and stitching some 2,000 replicas of sleeping pill prescription labels. “I then integrated a secret note to myself into the hem and completed the work,” she says.
Having only recently finished it, she does not plan to exhibit it until her next solo show, which will be in Oregon next year.
Rasmussen calls the nightdress a “sculptural object,” designed for exhibiting rather than wearing. “Although I made it my size, the structure has no give,” she says. “I can’t wear it without damaging it.”
The nightgown has been through various iterations. “I tried numerous material experiments, all of which failed until Spoonflower introduced their custom designed, on-demand, peel-and-stick wallpaper.
“I simply scanned a page full of sleeping pill labels (which I’d been saving for years), uploaded them to the Spoonflower website, and ordered the first of many rolls of wallpaper printed with them. In a week’s time, life-size medication labels appeared at my doorstep.”
“This product provided me with a paper-based substrate that mimicked the physical qualities of paper labels better than fabric reproductions. I found that if I stuck the wallpaper to another paper, I could cut the rolls of wallpaper down into individual plates and sew them to the surface of the paper and cloth gown.”
Rasmussen describes herself as “an artist who creates mixed media and handmade paper garments.” She exhibits in galleries and museums internationally.
She has created other unusual garments in the past. The most similar to her latest work was a life-sized wedding dress called Mail Order Bride that she made in 2007 out of thousands of canceled postage stamps, collected from around the world over eight years. It was designed as a comment on the mail-order bride business and its growth in the Internet age.
Rasmussen is also a full professor of studio arts at Metropolitan State University in St Paul, Minnesota, where she teaches textile design and shares her enthusiasm for harnessing the latest high-tech innovations, such as Spoonflower’s peel-and-stick wallpaper. “Such technology, coupled with quality products, opens up a whole new world of creative possibilities.”
As well as using handmade paper and now custom wallpaper in her art, Rasmussen is always on the lookout for other unusual new materials. “When I see tomato paste, dog hair, sausage casings, spent tea bags or dried fish skins, I envision a work that may be transitory in nature but rich in surfaces. I derive great joy from transforming everyday materials into something personal, meaningful and beautiful.”
Dreaming of Sleep: Details
Mixed media with handmade paper (cotton, Thai unryu, tissue paper, scanned prescriptions printed on Spoonflower peel and stick wallpaper, and secret note to self) 28”w x 49”h x 11”d 2015.
“It was intentionally executed in a simplistic shape and lack-luster palette to refer to the sterile, clinical fashion associated with the medical community,” says Rasmussen.
Erica Spitzer Rasmussen – Artist’s Statement
“When I was a little girl, a family member told me that eating tomatoes would make me “big, strong and hairy chested.” I avoided eating tomatoes for twenty years.
“As a general rule, my sculptural work is inspired by childhood myths or adult anxieties regarding my body. Like my childhood association between the consumption of tomatoes and the growth of chest hair, I sometimes find body-stories or body-experiences to be simultaneously comical and horrifying. It is often these extremes in emotional reactions that drive me to produce the work, in an attempt to better comprehend each situation.”
“I use clothing as subject matter because it provides me a ground on which to investigate identity and corporeality. My garments are metaphors. They can encompass narrative qualities, illustrate and dissolve bodily fears, or act as talismanic devices.”
Warm sunshine, and spring buds popping up here in North Carolina makes us want to sew up some fresh projects worthy of the spring's first soiree. These garden party-themed fabrics are my favorite picks for this season's sun dresses and picnic blankets. See even more spring-flavored fabrics in the Spoonflower marketplace of indie designers!
Bonnie greens by Wolfie_and_the_sneak
Party 1 by Kristinnohe
Succulent Succulents by Emilyannstudio
Tennis Racquets Black by Freshlypieced
Garden Bears by Bethan_Janine
Daffodils in Pink by Aprilmariemai
MQG // Modern Quilt Garden by Sammyk
Hedgehog Garden Party by dianef
Happy spring sewing!
Time for a Spoonflower status update: Berlin edition! If you've been curious about how things are going at the new Berlin office and want to stay in the know, read on as Spoonflower crew member Allie shares an update on the new space. Meet some new German team members, and behold the early stages of what will soon be a bustling factory cranking out custom-printed fabric, wallpaper and gift wrap for our European friends.
This spring, we are thrilled to announce that Spoonflower will be hosting a RARE Bear sew-in at the Greenhouse to support RARE Science! RARE Science is a national non-profit that helps find cures for kids with rare diseases. The RARE Bear program is a grassroots community-driven outreach initiative for kids with rare disease. Community volunteers create one-of-a-kind teddy bears for one-of-a-kind “rare kids." We couldn't be more excited to be joining the RARE Bear army!