Wednesday, December 23, 2015

DIY Kindle Cover Tutorial

Bitty Bee and Gamer are both pretty big readers, just like Hubs and I are.  So this year, for Christmas, I was able to get them each a Kindle.  I found them at Half Price Books for about $20 each.  I couldn't pass that up!  I've been spending some time loading them with books that I think they will enjoy and making sure they're ready to start reading right away.

But they needed something else.  Something to hold them and protect the screens.  I know my kids, they're kinda rough and tumble.  I'm sure the Kindles will be tossed in backpacks for road trips frequently.  But why go out and buy something when I can make it, right?

I spent some time searching Pinterest for tutorials and couldn't find one that I liked, so I decided to do my own thing.

Kindle/Nook/iPad/Tablet of Choice
Fabric (I used two Doctor Who fabrics, available on our website)
Stiff Felt
1/4" Elastic
Sewing Machine
Hot Glue Gun

First, you'll need to measure your device.  The Kindles that I have measure 4.5" x 6.5".
Add 1/4" to each of these measurements, for me, that resulted in 4 3/4" x 6 3/4".
Cut two pieces of cardboard out with that measurement.

You will also need to cut a piece of your stiff felt out the same size as your cardboard.

For the outer fabric, you will add 1/2" seam allowance to the height of the cardboard, in my case, giving me a height measurement of 7 3/4".  For the width, you will double the cardboard width, add 1/2" seam allowance to both sides, plus 1" for a spine.  For mine, it was (4 3/4 x 2) + 1 +1, giving me 11 1/2" across.

I also cut my lining piece to this same measurement.

If you are adding embroidery to the front, cut a piece of stabilizer larger than your cover fabric.  This will also serve as interfacing, giving the cover some added stiffness.  Do not trim or cut the stabilizer after you finish your embroidery, except to trim it down to the size of your cover fabric.  If you are not adding embroidery, then cut a piece of iron-on interfacing the size of your cover fabric and attach.

To keep the cover closed, I wanted something simple that won't get in the way.  An elastic band seemed to be the best option, no buttons or snaps to get in the way or cause annoyance, easy for them to slip the elastic over the cover when done reading.  Cut the elastic 1/4" longer than your cover height.  You'll want it to be snug when it's closed.  I cut my first one a little long, but it still works.

Pin the elastic about 1 1/4" from the edge of the short side that will end up being the back of the cover.  Pin the lining piece in place, right sides together.  Sew the three sides of the cover, leaving the short end that will be the front of the cover open.  It will look like a long pillowcase.

Clip the corners and turn the case right side out, then press.  Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of these steps.  If I make another one, I'll remember and add them later.

Slip one of the cardboard pieces into the cover, making sure it fits snugly and is all the way to the back seam.  Seam 1 in the picture is the seam along the edge of the cardboard, securing it in place.  I used my zipper foot for this seam.  Seam 2 is sewn 7/8" from Seam 1.  This creates a spine for the cover.

Now slip the second piece of cardboard in.  Tuck the open edge in around the cardboard, I found it best to fold the cover fabric in first, then fold the lining fabric in.  I used a hot glue gun to close this opening, that way there are no stitches showing.  You can also whipstitch it closed, but I'm not a huge handsewing fan.

Now set that part aside for a bit.  Take your felt and some more of your elastic.  I cut 4 pieces of elastic about 5" long each.  Place your tablet on the felt to find the best elastic placement for your device.  For the Kindle, I discovered that on the top corners, the elastic was best placed 1" over from the corner on both top and side.  For the bottom, however, I went in 1" on the bottom, but 2" up the side.  Tape the elastic in place and flip to the back side.  I used the hot glue gun to glue the elastic pieces in place along the back.

Left: Showing placement of the top elastics, 1" from corner on both top and side, also showing glued elastic at the top of the picture (from gluing the bottom pieces)
Right: Showing placement of bottom elastics, 1" over on the bottom and 2" up the side.

To attach the holder to the case, I once again used the hot glue gun.  I lined up the edge of the felt with the seam along the edge of the cardboard.  Make sure you glue all along the edges and the corners.  You can use a different glue, such as E6000, but you will need to make sure that you place something heavy on top of the glued area and allow it to dry completely, usually 24 hours.  I like how the hot glue dries so quickly and I can move on with my projects.

Congrats, you're done!  Slip your device of choice in the elastic and start reading!

I hope that Bitty Bee and Gamer like their Kindles and the new cases to go with them.  Now to get them wrapped and under the tree before they discover my present hiding spot!!!

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Bitty Bee's Simple Doll Shirt Tutorial

Bitty Bee loves her American Girl dolls, she has started making movies of their adventures, at least one will join us on family trips, and she's constantly wanting to add girls to her family of dolls.

One thing she thinks she needs more of is clothes for the dolls.  She loves changing their outfits and thinks that they shouldn't have to wear the same outfit twice in one year.  The horror!!!

Kirsten and Samantha are both wearing Bitty Bee's Simple Top
Tutorial for the simple wrap skirt here.

Bitty Bee is also learning how to sew, and I wanted to give her an easy project that she can do on her own with little help from me.  A long time ago, I downloaded a free simple doll shirt pattern and now it's nowhere to be found online, so I would like to share my version of this little doll top.

Fabric (Can use a fat quarter)
1/4" Elastic - 9"

I like making a template for smaller pattern pieces, since to me, it makes cutting easier.
You will need to cut two pieces 8 1/2" x 10 1/4".

Finish the edges of both sides and the top.  This is easiest done on a serger, but you can also use a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine.

Press the top edge down 1/2".

Unfold the pressed edge and measure down 4" from the top.
You will sew from that mark to the bottom.

Press the side seams open and stitch down the pressed seams.  I used a 3/8" seam allowance.

Re-fold the top along the pressed edge and sew your casing, using a 3/8" seam allowance.

Thread your 9" of 1/4" elastic through the casings, going straight from one side to the other.
Overlap the ends and sew together.  Work the elastic into the casings so that it's even on both sides.
None of the elastic will be showing.

For the hem, I finished the bottom edge and folded the finished edge under one time, then sewed in place with a 1/8" seam allowance.

Congrats, you're done!

This top looks adorable with leggings or tucked into a cute wrap skirt.
Nellie looks adorable, pairing it with black leggings and faux fur slouch boots.

Happy Sewing, Beauties!

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Thursday, November 19, 2015

One Thimble Issue 9 Review

It's here!  One Thimble Issue 9 has been released and it's packed full of sewing goodness!

One Thimble is an e-zine packed full of patterns (usually 6-10 per issue), tutorials, sewing articles, and tips on growing your sewing business.  Each issue costs $25 AUD (approx. $18 US), which is a great deal for all that's included!  Plus, you get exclusive coupon codes just for OT readers!

In this issue, you will receive the following 14 PDF patterns/tutorials:
  •  Cross Bow Dress (size 0-8)
  •  Pseudo Smocked Romper (size nb-3)
  •  Ringmaster Top (size 1-10)
  •  Ringmaster Pants (size 1-10)
  •  Timeless Treasure Skirt (size 1-10)
  •  The Carnival Jacket (size 3-12)
  •  Vincent the Victor Free Motion Applique
  •  Trapeze Eloise Free Motion Applique
  •  The Statement Clutch
  •  Good Fortune Headwrap
  •  Festive Felties *
  •  Cheeky Monkey Softie
  •  Vintage Circus Sit Upon
  •  Circus Toss Game

*Requires hand-sewing
In the e-zine you’ll find 27 articles & tutorials, including the following:
  •  How to insert an invisible zipper
  •  How to get perfect points when sewing Half Square Triangles
  •  How to make an I-spy bag
  •  How to make a velcro back bow tie and toy tutu
  •  How to make a Hoop Tent
  •  How to make an insulated lunch bag
  •  How to fussy cut
  •  How to get your Sewjo back
  •  How to photograph flatlays
  •  Trending fabrics and much more

I was so excited to join in on the release blog tour and chose three patterns from the e-zine to make and review.  Looking through the options, I fell in love with the Ringmaster Top and Pants right off the bat.

Bitty Bee is growing up, and with that, she's not as fond of ruffles as she once was.  I made a few small adjustments to make her smile.

On the Ringmaster Pants, instead of doing the ruffles, I found a really cute off-white trim.  I made them out of some denim from my stash, and though you can't see it in the pictures, the waistband is the same fabric as the Ringmaster Top.

The Ringmaster Top originally had a small ruffle as trim on the front, but I took the trim I used on the pants and doubled it up to pull the whole outfit together.

Bitty Bee loves this outfit and I especially love the Ringmaster Top.  The elastic on the sides do a nice job of pulling it in and giving it a nice shape.  I'll be adding a lot of this style to her wardrobe in the future!  And this is one that she will probably be able to make on her own.  She has been doing really well in her sewing classes and now has her very own sewing machine!

I also made The Statement Clutch from Two Pretty Poppets.  I had never made one of their patterns before, and I was pleased with how it came out.  I did make a few changes, since it's for Bitty Bee.

Right now, she's all about having purses and bags and backpacks, so I added a second D-ring to the other side of the clutch, so that I could add an adjustable strap, making it more like a mini-messenger bag.  I also used a magnetic snap closure on it and added an iron-on patch that I made out of an Urban Threads embroidery design.

The other modification I made was adding a divider inside of the clutch.  This was a simple mod, I used the main bag pattern piece to cut my divider and then basted it onto the back lining piece before sewing the two lining pieces together.  Then I just followed the remaining directions.

And now the fun part!  You can win your own copy of One Thimble Issue 9!

Also, be sure to visit all of the other stops on the One Thimble Issue 9 Tour 
for lots of great sewing inspiration!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Quilt Market Review Part 3

We didn't just look at fabric while at Quilt Market!  We saw so much while there, and will be making some fun new additions to the website!

We saw quite a few vendors with some really pretty trims!  We bought some at Quilt Market to put on the website now and will be ordering more in the future.

One of the ribbon companies we talked to was Renaissance Ribbon, and we already placed our order for the Tula Pink Chipper ribbons.  Those will be in around the same time as the fabric, which we're very excited about.  We will also be ordering more ribbons from them in the future.

Books and patterns!  Lots of great books and patterns!  Books for bags, books for quilts and books for clothing ensure that each and every one of our customers will find something they like.

I love that more designers are coming out with women's patterns, we saw some great ones at Quilt Market and you'll start seeing them on the website soon.  I'll also be making some samples for myself to feature on the blog.

So many great things are in our future, we have been so blessed that our little fabric shop is growing and expanding over the last 3 years.  We can't wait to see what our next year brings!

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Friday, October 30, 2015

Quilt Market Review Part 2

Part 2 of the Fall Quilt Market Review!  I have more fabrics that we saw in Houston, some of them have already been ordered, some will be up for pre-order in our group soon.

Do you have a preteen or teen girl in the house?  Does she know who the band Teen Hearts is?  The lead singer of Teen Hearts, Kelly Orr, has designed a fun, uplifting line of fabric for girls that Bitty Bee is already in love with!  

Such fun and bright prints, I can't wait to get this line in and start working with it!

Moda!!!  We ordered quite a few Moda lines, including the ones shown below.  One of them has a super fun mermaid panel to make a stuffed mermaid, pillow and quilt.  Also, some bright and colorful wovens!  The colors really pop on the wovens, designed by Luke Haynes.  If you don't know who Luke Haynes is, check him out on Instagram.  He's an extremely talented quilter.

Tamara Kate has a new line coming out called Nature Walk.  It's adorable in person, perfect for babies and younger children!  Preorder will be up soon for Nature Walk.

Finally, Ghastlies is back!!!  More fun prints of our favorite spooky family!  We really liked looking through the new designs for Ghastlies and will be posting the preorder soon.

I love the skulls!

Check back over the weekend for more of my Market Review, next time I'll be posting some of the notions, patterns and books that will be added to the website soon.

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quilt Market 2015 Review Part 1

Things are finally settling down now that Quilt Market is over.  Now the fun job of reviewing everything we saw starts!  I took over 600 pictures and that's not including what Queen Bee took with her phone!  We saw so many amazing new fabric lines coming out, new products that are available, and new patterns and books that we want to add to our website.  I'm breaking my Market Review into two posts, simply because there is so much to post about!

First, I know everyone is excited about the new Tula Pink line, Chipper!

Chipper is a great line to pair with her other lines.  We were sad that there were no big faces in this line, but there are some really cute foxes and chipmunks!

Tula Pink is also developing a line of hardware!  8" Shears, Surgical Blade Seam Ripper, and Thread Snips.  We have them up for pre-order currently.

Also, I ran into Tula Pink herself on the market floor and we just had to take a picture!
She loved my bag and wallet set, made by Tilly T Boutique, out of Elizabeth.

She also signed my Tula Pink coloring book for me!

Another big thing that we're excited about it Art Gallery is releasing a line of Denim!

Included in the line are a variety of printed denims that are soft to the touch and hold so many possibilities!  And a heavier denim, perfect for those rough and tumble boys in our lives!  And the rough and tumble girls, too.  They can be just as hard on their clothes!  We will have the pre-order up soon in our group, so make sure you join us!

Art Gallery has some beautiful lines coming out soon and we've had the pre-orders up in the group already.  You can see them all in our group albums.

Cotton + Steel knocked it out of the park with fun, playful lines this fall, with names like Cat Lady (which Bitty Bee is *very* excited about) and Macrame.  Pre-orders are going up soon!

Lewis & Irene is another company that we were in awe of.  They joined the fabric world last year and have been an instant hit in the sewing world.  Last year, their Spring Hare line completely sold out of the warehouse and was in high demand.  This year, they have more lines!  I had to break them into three collages to include all of it!

Mermaids, beach life, bunnies and hedgehogs!

Circus, bike rides, fairies, and a trip to China!

Two great Christmas lines, one of which has panels for Christmas stockings and an advent calendar!

We love getting to chat with Brian from Lewis & Irene and finding out the 
inspiration behind some of his fabric designs.  

Quilt Market 2015 was a lot of fun, we saw a lot of great things to bring to you, and this is just the tip of the ice burg!  Tomorrow I will be putting together another Market Review post to show off more of what we saw!

~*~Princess Bee~*~

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Quilt Market 2015 Recap

We're still having fun in Houston, just one day of Quilt Market left, but I want to share all we've seen so far!  We've been posting like crazy to our Instagram feed and in our Facebook Group.

I want to highlight a few things over here.  We're expanding what we're offing on the website to include patterns, books and notions.  We've already started adding notions, in the form of buttons and ribbons and laces.  We picked up some more laces and trims this weekend to add to the site and met with some suppliers that we're excited about ordering from.

Books and patterns will be showing up on the website soon, also!  We ordered a few books and picked some up while we were at Quilt Market.  I'll start adding them this week.  We found some great new clothing pattern designers that we're excited about adding to the website.

We also found some great starter quilt patterns for our customers who are wanting to get into quilting.  I'll actually be making up a sample of one of them to see how easy it is for someone who has never quilted!  Queen Bee will be able to put together kits for the quilts, coordinating accent fabrics with a main fabric of your choice.

Clover has released some new small project looms, and they look really fun!  We are talking about adding some Clover items to the website.  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Beehive Buzz - October 5, 2015

It's Monday!! First off - let's send prayers and uplifting thoughts to our Beauties in South Carolina. I know we have a lot of members there and the scenes of flooding that I'm seeing on the news are just horrible. Please keep the East Coast in your thoughts and prayers this week.

We'll we're getting closer to Quilt Market and I'm starting to see some of the new fabrics that will debut at market. I stumbled upon a new release coming from Camelot that will make a lot of Beauties happy. They are going to be doing Disney!! Yay!! Camelot is a quilt shop quality fabric company and I"m so excited that we'll be able to offer Disney now. As many of you know I don't like the quality of Springs so haven't offered it in the past (the few bolts we did order and have on our website was because grandkids wanted them and who could say no to grands!!). So now we'll be able to offer it in the group.

Also getting closer to our 3rd Annual Quilt Market Sale - we'll be updating the document in the files this week to the new date, October 18th and time (to be determined). This is a fun day and a crazy day around here - we'll also have remnant bundles and sales in the group. So invite your friends to join our group because sale codes will only be available in the group.

Did you see this month's Beauty Box!! If not go to our website and order yours today. Two of our Beauties - Tara and Alexis - used their creative powers to spark yours!! (You can see their creations here) We still have a few left of each color way. This is one that is "out of the box" and you don't want to miss out on this lovely fabric from Allison Glass.

Over in the Bee Quilted Sewing Lounge there is a pillowcase swap going on. Join in on the fun!! Also, that's the place to share, ask questions, and just hang out!!

Later today in the fb group I'll be updating the "Order Status" and tomorrow I'll have the "International Shipping" updated. I want to thank y'all for your patience in waiting for me to cut and ship. As most of you know I also run an embroidery business and this past month or so it's been very busy with school starting up and 3 different large events that I do work for. I'm on the last event so shipping should get back to normal. Please remember that the embroidery business partially funds the fabric shop (at this time) so I have to get those orders out to be able to pay for the fabric coming in. Thanks for your support!!

~*~Queen Bee~*~

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Beauty Box

This month, we have a fresh new Beauty Box featuring fabric from Allison Glass!
And this fabric is beautiful!!!  It's from her Handcrafted line and the colors are vibrant and eye-catching.

We asked two of our talented Beauties to "bee" inspired with this month's Beauty Box and these two ladies have knocked our socks off!

First up, we have Alexis Wright, owner of My Sweet Sunshine.

Alexis brought the fabric to life with this stunning dress.  We asked her to share a little about her experience.

My Daughter and I both loved the fabric design and colors. She really like bright colors along side graphic prints. I loved colors too  and even more importantly to me was the ease of sewing with it! I LOVE working with  Renaissance Ribbon. It is easy to work with. Super soft and beautiful prints and colors.

I'm in awe of Alexis's talent!

Next up, Tara Thomsen, owner of Tilly T Boutique, put together this sunning purse and wallet set.

We asked Tara to share her experience with us, too.

As far as thoughts on the fabrics they are so much better in person than in pictures even. The depth of color and slight variations from being hand dyed are hard to capture in the pictures. I love each of the fabrics individually, but I'll admit that they weren't anything I would have pulled to go together. Yet somehow once they were all together it worked. This group of fabric was a lot of fun to work with to break me out of a creativity rut.

I adore the set she put together with the Allison Glass fabric!

These Beauty Boxes are now available on our website, we only have 7 of each colorway available, so get your fast, before they sell out!

I can't wait to see what our other Beauties do with this beautiful fabric!

~*~Princess Bee~*~