Blog Posts Tagged ‘handmade’

Back to School in Simple Life Canvas by Monaluna

 

There’s just something about fall. Even long after I finished school (and before I had a kid of my own going off to class), as soon as the weather turned cool I would start to think about stocking up on writing supplies, sweaters, and the perfect backpack to carry everything in. This year, we decided to stitch up a little School Days set, including an awesome backpack, a lunch tote and a pencil case, using our organic Simple Life Canvas and Poplin.

 

For the pencil case, we used a free tutorial by Anna Graham that we found posted on her Noodlehead blog. It’s the perfect size and shape to hold your pencils and pens, and any other small trinkets you want to keep from getting lost in the bottom of the backpack.

 

Pencil Case in Simple Life Organic Canvas by Monaluna

 

Mindy stitched it up using Rosa Canvas and Herringbone Canvas on the outside, with a nice pop of On Point Poplin for the lining.

 

Pencil Case made with Simple Life Organic Fabric by Monaluna

 

The lunch box is the Chubby Lunch Tote free pattern from the SewCanShe blog. There’s so much great stuff on that blog, but this project popped out as the perfect petite but roomy carryall for lunches.

 

Lunch Tote in Simple Life Organic Poplin by Monaluna

 

We used Hydrangea from the Simple Life Poplin collection, with accents and lining in On Point. The zipper used on both projects is a really sturdy and nice organic cotton and metal one that we carry in the shop.

 

 

Finally, the backpack is the Range Backpack, also by Anna Graham from Noodlehead, and available for sale in her shop. I absolutely love all the details and functionality of this pack, and the finished product looks super professional.

 

Range Backpack in Simple Life Canvas by Monaluna

 

Instead of the usual flap, the top of the pack folds over and fastens with a d-ring closure. It has a nice zippered pocket on the front, and in interior pocket as well, plus adjustable straps and a loop for hanging. Pretty much the perfect backpack! Mindy stitched this one up in the Hydrangea Canvas with Herringbone accents, and On Point Poplin for the lining.

 

Range Backpack in Simple Life by Monaluna

 

Altogether they make the cutest little set of back-to-school (or off-to-work) gear! It almost makes me want to go register for some classes…

Threadfollower Kangaroo Kit

We recently got in 6 new Threadfollower kits, each featuring it’s own animal design. Today we are going to help you through this precious Kangaroo kit. It is simple, fun and can be completed in an afternoon.

The kit included: beige felt (2 small, 2 large squares), beige embroidery thread, embroidery needle, stuffing, directions, and pattern

You will need: scissors and pins

To start, the directions will help you prepare your thread. This is done very simply by splitting the thread into two 3-ply pieces. Next, pin the pattern to the appropriately sized felt pieces and cut along the edges.

After cutting all your pieces (2 big body, 2 little body, 2 big ears, 2 little ears, 1 tail, 1 pouch, & 1 base), thread your needle and begin by sewing the two large body pieces together, using a whip stitch.

Once you’ve made it almost to the end, place the tail in-between the two body pieces and continue sewing. Refer back to the pattern for placement guidance.

Once the tail is attached, finish stitching the body. After knotting the thread begin stuffing the kangaroo. I cut a smaller piece to push into the head and stuffed the remaining. Don’t forget to leave some out for the baby’s stuffing.

 

Once stuffed, attach the base using a whip stitch. Attach the pouch to the front of the belly, leaving the top open.  Make sure to allow room for the baby to fit in the pouch. I found it easiest to position the pouch by pinning down the sides.

 

Next, add the ears by pinching the pieces together and sewing one on either side. The little baby body is a quick sew. Whip stitch all the way around leaving a small hole to stuff. Once stuffed close off the opening and attach the little ears.

 

 

Lastly, sew the baby’s nose using the brown thread and the mother’s eyes using the black thread. TA-DAH! The sweetest little kangaroo pair. Perfect for any pocket, lunch box, backpack, or windowsill.

 

 

 

 

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August is coming to a close and, at least in our area, all the kids are back in school. Are summers shorter than they used to be, or does time just fly that much faster when you’re an adult? I still have stacks of summer sewing projects that I wanted to do, but it’s time to move on to fall. We’ve stitched up some darling drawstring backpacks, perfect for light loads for school, sleepover kits or a hands-free carryall for grown-ups.

Sew Can She  is always coming up with great patterns and tutorials, and we spotted this one, available for free for download. It’s also easy to modify to suit your needs. We decided to make ours a bit bigger and use grommets instead of fabric tabs for the securing of the straps. The pattern includes fabric straps, but you can just as easily use rope-like cording, like we did, ribbon, or any other strap-link material.

There is also an option to add a ruffle accent at the top to add a bit of flare. The ruffle is added by cutting the fabric at 6″ instead of 3″ at the top. Then sewing a stitch an inch away from the seam allowing the trim to attach to the main fabric.

Adding grommets are much easier than you may think. You can purchase a grommet kit at most craft stores or online. They come with easy to follow instructions and the only additional tool you will need is a hammer. We really enjoyed how the grommets and cord finished these backpacks. They are also super adjustable for all sizes and fits.

This backpacks were made using Cottage Garden Organic Poplin and Simple Life Organic Poplin, but you could easily use canvas for a studier finish. Overall, these backpacks only need about an yard and a quarter of fabric and take no time at all to sew up. Don’t forget to tag @monalunadesign and hashtag #monaluna on Instagram so we can see how you put yours together. Happy Sewing!

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The holidays are now in full swing, and this year, more than ever, I’m feeling excited to spend my holiday shopping dollars supporting green businesses. In the year since I opened our Monaluna studio and shop, I have loved finding independent makers who create beautiful, handmade products using sustainable materials and practices to fill out the “Green Goods” section of our shop. Some of them use our organic fabric and other organic materials in their products, some use reclaimed or recycled materials, and others are focused on helping impoverished communities through fair trade production. In all cases, these are products that have a lower negative impact on the environment, a positive impact on communities, and help to elevate the practice of creative making. Today, we celebrate small makers using organic fabric, and bring you part 1 of our Eco-Friendly Gift Guide, the Etsy-shop Guide! Check out these great etsy.com sellers, who make many or all of their products using organic fabric.

 

Organic Quilt Company

Handmade, organic items that are beautiful, functional and ethical.

Organic Baby Blanket from Organic Quilt Company

Organic Quilt Company

 

BabyDear

Hand sewn and crocheted baby blankets, baskets and hats. The doll Moses Baskets are adorable!

Crocheted Edge Blanket - Baby Dear Shop

Baby Dear Shop

 

Indigo Crane

High-quality, handmade knitting and project bags. Perfect gifts for crafters!

indigo-crane

Organic cotton knitting bags by Indigo Crane

 

Fern Organics

Organic cotton and hand knit clothing, hats and accessories.

Organic Knit Play Set from Four Ferns

Organic Knit Play Set from Fern Organics

 

Kimimila New York

Darling organic clothing for babies and kids.

Feeling Clucky Organic Playsuit by Kimimila

Feeling Clucky Organic Playsuit by Kimimila

 

Mary OBrien Baby

Organic fabric baby items in beautiful packaging that is 100% reusable and compostable.

Organic Cotton Bib Set by Mary O'Brien Baby

Organic Cotton Bib Set by Mary O’Brien Baby

 

Sew Bendy

Handmade project bags or purses, including lots of organic fabric options!

Organic fabric purse or project bag by Sew Bendy

Organic fabric purse or project bag by Sew Bendy

 

Thread and Ginger

Bags, purses and accessories including some organic fabric options.

Organic cotton hot pads by Thread and Ginger

Organic cotton hot pads by Thread and Ginger

 

Benoit Designs

Organic, eco-luxe and cotton creations.

Organic cotton quilt by Benoit Designs

Organic cotton quilt by Benoit Designs

 

Nikki Designs

Organic cotton and hemp table linens, window coverings and home furnishings.

Organic cotton place mats by Nikkidesigns

Organic cotton place mats by Nikkidesigns

 

Stay tuned for more eco-friendly gift ideas in the coming week!

 

 

Happy Thursday, everyone! Today, the talented Karen LePage of One Girl Circus will be guest-blogging and sharing a tutorial for how to convert our On the Go dress pattern to a super cute peplum top. Karen is a pattern maker, author (Sewing For Boys) and seamstress extraordinaire , and has worked on all of our Monaluna patterns. Take it away, Karen!

 

The On the Go Dress is equally as charming when made up as a peplum blouse, and the process to convert the pattern is remarkably easy. Follow our tutorial to alter your pattern and you’ll have a blouse you can wear with anything you like when the weather turns too cool for a summer dress.

 

Note: When you make clothes from Monaluna patterns, you should first trace the pieces required in your size onto some sort of pattern paper. You can use anything from dedicated tracing medium found at the fabric store, to a roll of drawing paper from your kids’ art supply stash. The only requirement is that the paper must be transparent enough to see the lines you want to trace.  Here’s a good tutorial on tracing patterns, if you need a little help.

 

 

Get Ready

 

 

Gather your traced copies of the three pieces that require adjustment: front skirt, back skirt, and button placket.  You will use all the remaining pattern pieces as is, omitting the pockets.

Alter the Pattern

 

 

To make the blouse pictured here, use a ruler to measure down 6″ from the waist edge of your chosen size every few inches. Using a curved ruler (or a steady hand), connect the dots to form the peplum hem. Repeat for the back skirt. Use these new pieces to cut the peplum portion of your new blouse.

how to alter the skirt pattern tutorial diagrams

Now you’ll need to shorten the placket to accommodate the new shorter length of the “skirt” portion of the pattern. For the 6″ peplum pictured, the placket measurements are as follows:

XS: 22 1/2″ || S: 22 3/4″  ||  M: 23 1/4″  ||  L: 24 1/4″  ||  XL: 24 3/4″

 

Sew it Up

 

 

Construct according to the On the Go Dress instruction sheet, skipping the pocket.  Pair with a cardigan or cropped jacket in cool weather.

 

Wear it!

 

 

Wear your new peplum blouse with everything from skinny jeans to trousers, from pencil mini to flowing maxi skirt to take you into cooler weather.