Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tutorial | Soft Baby Booklet | by StraightGrain

Today we have such an amazing, and creative tutorial to bring you from An of StraightGrain Blog.  She's taken the cheater print from Emily Isabella's Everyday Party collection, and cut it up into a booklet.  Doesn't it work out just perfectly?

I really love cheater quilt fabrics - they are so great to create a super fast faux patchwork quilt, for instance. But there is more you can make with them. How about a really sweet baby booklet?

This tutorial will show you how to make a basic booklet - the ideal last-minute baby shower gift. But if you have a bit more time on your hands, you can make the booklet more interesting by adding some of the 8 ideas explained in the second part. This booklet was made from Everyday Quilt, a cheater patchwork fabric from Emily Isabella's beautiful Everyday Party line.

1. Basic baby booklet
- a piece of cheater quilt fabric which contains at least 8 different tiles (8 tiles are needed for a 4 page booklet)
-batting: I used fleece, but you can use any type you like.
- thread, scissors, pins, a sewing machine.

1. For a booklet with four pages, cut out four pairs of tiles. Also cut two pieces of batting, each with the same dimensions as one pair of tiles.
Want more pages? Simply add more pairs.
2. Put one piece of batting in front of you, and put one pair of tiles on top of it with the right side up. On top of that, put another pair of tiles with the right side down.
Important: make sure that the top pair of tiles is not the pair which will be the cover or middle page of the booklet (in step 6, you will understand why)

3. Pin these three layers together, and stitch all the way around the edges. Repeat these steps for the other page(s). Reduce the seam allowance to about 1/8".
You can determine yourself which seam allowance you use; just make sure you use the same seam allowance for each page.

4. Carefully cut a vertical turning hole right in the middle of the top layer. Make sure you do not cut through the other layers.
The size of the turning hole depends on the size of your pages. In any case, do not make the turning hole bigger than strictly necessary to turn the piece right side out.

5. Turn the piece right side out, and press so the edges are neat and crisp. Repeat steps 1 to 5 for the other page(s).

6. Put the different pages on top of each other, putting the sides with the turning holes together. Make sure the turning holes are not gaping. Stitch the pages together as shown in the picture below.

That's all there's to it! Eight ideas for activities
The steps above teach you how the make a very quick, basic booklet. If you have more time on your hands, you can make the booklet more interesting for baby by adding some of the 8 activities below.

A. Crackle page
In step 2, add a piece of plastic on top of the layers.

B. Quilted surface:
Before step 2, quilt one of the pairs of tiles onto the batting. 

C. Squeaker:
After step 5, insert a squeaker into the turning hole, and move it to one of the sides so it does not get caught in the stitches you will be running in step 6.

D. Theething ring:
Put a ribbon through a teething ring, and before step 2, stitch it to the right side of one the two pairs of tiles. In step 4, you will have to cut your turning hole big enough to fit the ring (so make sure not to use a ring which is out of proportion).

E. Interesting texture:
After step 1, stitch a piece of fabric with an interesting texture (e.g. hairy fleece, faux-sheepskin, minky) on top of one of the layers. I used a button hole stitch all the way around the piece.

F. Lift-the-flap:
Before step 2, stitch a piece of fabric (I used lace) to the top edge of the right side of one the two pairs of tiles.

G. Tags
Before step 2, stitch a few double folded pieces of ribbon to the right side of one the two pairs of tiles.

H. Plushie 
A final idea is to include a little plushie in the booklet. First, make the plushie by cutting two pieces of fabric of the same size. On the piece which will make up the back of  the plushie, stitch some velcro or press a kam snap (on the right side). Also stitch one end of a piece of ribbon to the right side of one of them. Next, stitch the two pieces with right sides together, leaving a small turning hole. Turn right side out, fill with a bit of toy stuffing, and close the turning hole with a few hand stitches.
Next, before step 2, stitch the end of the ribbon to the right side of one the two pairs of tiles, and stitch another piece of velcro or a kam snap to the right side of one of the two tiles.

So here's my 6-month old daughter Ava, testing out her new booklets. Do you like the blanket she's lying on? It was made in Bear Family, another fabric from Emily Isabella's beautiful Everyday Party line. A booklet and an assorted blanket - how is that for a unique baby shower gift?

Would you like to experience yourself how easy it is to make this baby booklet? You can win the supplies over on my blog this week! Find out the details here.


Thank you An, for this sweet sweet tutorial!   Everyday Party is shipping to a store near you very soon!
In the meantime, make sure to pin this tutorial for future sewing!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tutorial | Everyday Apron | by Heidi Staples | Featuring Everyday Party

Today, we are ecstatic to welcome back Heidi of The Fabric Mutt.  She is sharing an adorable Everyday Party Apron tutorial with us, to celebrate the upcoming collection by Emily Isabella.  Everyday can be a celebration, and you'll need the right tools to prep the celebration cake of course.  An apron is just the key, and this one is adorable to boot.  Heidi will take the reins from here.

Everyday Party by Emily Isabella for Birch Fabrics is so completely charming. Strawberries, teapots, animals enjoying a friendly picnic -- it couldn't be more perfect for your next kitchen project!  To get you started, I have a simple, vintage inspired apron tutorial for you today.

Looking for a quick housewarming or bridal shower gift? Whip up one of these aprons along with a matching potholder. For bonus points, wrap them up in a baking twine bow along with a piece of vintage Pyrex. You'll be the hit of the party!

(1) 12 x 22" for bodice (white fabric)
(1) 23 x 32" for skirt (green fabric)
(3) 6" x width of fabric for neck strap and sash (blue fabric)
(3) buttons for sash decoration
coordinating thread

1. Fold the bodice fabric in half (side to side) with the wrong sides together. Follow the directions in the photo above to make a diagonal cut on the side edges opposite the fold.

2. Fold the diagonal sides of the bodice under 1/4" so that the wrong sides of the fabric are touching. Fold under 1/4" one more time and sew 1/8" from the fold.

3. Use one of the three blue strips of fabric. Fold in half lengthwise and press. Unfold and then fold each of the long sides in to meet at the center, pressing again. Refold on the original fold line with the two long sides tucked in the middle. Sew 1/8" from each side.

Cut a piece of the strap long enough to fit around your neck. It should fit comfortably over your head without being too long. Mine was about 27" in length. Definitely test yours out before making the final cut!

4. Fold the top edge of the bodice under 1/4" twice just as you did with the sides of the bodice in step 2. Stick the short ends of your neck strap under the fold and sew across the strap about 1/8" from the fold. You don't have to sew all the way across the top yet -- just over those strap ends.

5. Fold the straps up toward the top of the bodice and now sew 1/8" from the fold all the way across the top of the bodice, backstitching at both ends.

6. Adjust your machine to its longest straight stitch at the highest tension setting. Sew two lines across the top long side of the skirt fabric. The first line should be 1/4" from the top of the fabric, and the second line should be 1/4" below that. Leave some thread at either end of the seam for pulling. Tug on those end strings carefully to gather the skirt along the top edge, adjusting it until the gathers are evenly spaced out and the top of the skirt is as long as the bottom edge of the apron bodice.

7. Pin or clip the bottom of the bodice and the top of the skirt together. Readjust your sewing machine to normal stitch length and thread tension. Sew a line 3/4" from the edge of the bodice and skirt. Press the seam toward the bodice and clip the corner edges of the bottom of the apron bodice so they don't stick out past the sides of the apron. Fold the sides of the skirt under 1/4" twice just as you did in steps 2 and 4, and sew 1/8" from the fold. Repeat with the bottom of the skirt hem.

8. Sew the two remaining blue strips together at the short ends to make one long 6" wide strip. Fold the short ends of the long strip under 1/4" so the wrong sides of the fabric are touching, then fold and press as you did with the neck strap in step 3. This time instead of just sewing 1/8" from each of the long sides of the strap, sew one long rectangle inside the sash by sewing 1/8" from the short folded ends too.

9. Center the blue sash on the bodice of the apron just above the skirt. Pin it in place and sew a rectangle 1/8" inside the long rectangle where the sash covers the bodice. You'll be sewing right over the existing stitching on the long sides of the sash and then sewing 1/8" from the edges of the apron on the right and left sides. Take three coordinating buttons, centering one in the middle of the sash and placing the other two on either side of the middle one. Mine are about 1 1/8" apart, but adjust yours to fit the size of your buttons. Sew them in place by hand, and you're all finished!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at, visit me on Instagram @fabricmutt, or drop by my blog Fabric Mutt for a visit. Happy sewing!


Thank you Heidi for helping us celebrate the Everyday Party Collection with this adorable apron tutorial!  We'll be making one of these for our very own baking adventures!  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tutorial | Padded Laptop Sleeve | by The Crafty Kitty

Today we are majorly excited to share a tutorial with you that's easy, quick, and an everyday essential.   This padded laptop sleeve is made up in our Birch Flight Canvas and brought to you by Stephanie of the Crafty Kitty, let's welcome Stephanie back to the Birch blog! :)

I'm no stranger to the organic canvas range from Birch Fabrics. I previously made this play tent (pattern from growing up sew liberated) using Honeycomb Sun from the Grove Decor collection and you might also remember the upside downside kid's apron pattern, featuring the Charley Harper Organic Canvas!

  The Crafty Kitty | Padded Organic Canvas Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

I got a sparkly new laptop just before Christmas and I have been a little precious about it! This padded organic canvas laptop sleeve tutorial, uses the latest canvas collection, part of the flight range from Birch Fabrics, and provides stylish protection for your laptop. It is a cinch to put together, but you can fancy it up with little extras, like contrast stitching and buttons for a splash of colour (as shown) or a pocket or elasticated strap for keeping your cables tidy (not shown)!

The Crafty Kitty | Padded Organic Canvas Laptop Sleeve Tutorial
I'm sorry, is my binary code showing?

  • 1/2 yard of Canvas Flight River Rock
  • 1/2 yard of Organic Cotton/Organic Linen Poplin (or more of the Canvas Flight River Rock)
  • 2 buttons
  • Batting/Wadding (I used dream green recycled wadding)
  • Organic Cotton Sewing Thread
The Crafty Kitty | Padded Organic Canvas Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

Step 1.  Measure all the way around your laptop (or tablet/kindle etc.) both horizontally and vertically. Add 1" to both of these measurements and then divide by 2 to give you the dimensions you need to cut.

The Crafty Kitty | Padded Organic Canvas Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

Step 2.  Cut 2 rectangles from your canvas, 2 rectangles from your poplin (or 2 more from the canvas), and 2 from your batting/wadding. Cut 2, 3" squares from the poplin and 2, 2"x 4" rectangles from the poplin.

Step 3.  Cut the 3" rectangles in half diagonally so you have 4 triangles. Iron under 1/4" seam allowance along the hypotenuse.

  The Crafty Kitty | Padded Organic Canvas Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

Step 4.  Pin to the bottom corners of the Canvas rectangles. Top stitch close to the edge of the diagonal and then 1/2" away from the other 2 edges.

  The Crafty Kitty | Padded Organic Canvas Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

Step 5.  Place the two large rectangles of canvas right sides together, matching up the edges of the triangles and sew along the two sides and bottom edge with a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn right side out.

The Crafty Kitty | Padded Organic Canvas Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

Step 6.  Place the two large rectangles of poplin right sides together. Trim 1/4" off the top of each rectangle of wadding, line them up with the bottom of the poplin (one either side) and then sew along the two sides and bottom edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.

  The Crafty Kitty | Padded Organic Canvas Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

Step 7.  Place the poplin pouch (still inside out) inside of the canvas pouch (now with right sides out). Fold the seam allowance on the poplin pouch over the wadding and the seam allowance for the canvas pouch inwards, press and top stitch close to the edge.

  The Crafty Kitty | Padded Organic Canvas Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

Step 8.  Press in 1/4" seam allowance on all sides of the small rectangles of poplin. Pair them up with wrong sides facing and top stitch all the way around the edge.

  The Crafty Kitty | Padded Organic Canvas Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

Step 9.  Mark the button hole on one end of each of the straps and sew using button hole stitch. [If you don't want to tackle button holes, you can always substitute two pieces of thin ribbon for each strap, sew them into the top seam on the sleeve and tie it on to the buttons instead]

The Crafty Kitty | Padded Organic Canvas Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

Step 10.  Line the straps up on the back of the laptop sleeve, 3 inches from each side and 1 inch from the top edge. Pin in place and sew a square to secure to the sleeve.

  The Crafty Kitty | Padded Organic Canvas Laptop Sleeve Tutorial

Step 11.  Making sure you put the laptop in the sleeve, pull the straps over to the front of the sleeve and mark where to sew the buttons. Remove laptop and sew the buttons on, with either your sewing machine or by hand!

  The Crafty Kitty | Padded Organic Canvas Laptop Sleeve Tutorial


Thank you Stephanie for showing us how to make our very own padded laptop sleeve!  Shops please feel free to contact us to order Flight Canvas for your shop.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Frolic | An "Up" Inspired Photoshoot!

Hi Everyone!  Today is a good day.  I finally get to share these adorable photos taken by the ever-talented, Christina McKinney.  Christina sewed up these adorable little outfits for her very adorable little ones.  Here at the Birch office, we want to group hug these little cuties, fold 'em up and put them in our pocket because they're just too cute to handle!

Our new collection, Frolic, by Rebekah Ginda is featured in these adorable outfits, sewed up by Christina using a couple different Oliver + S sewing patterns.

Don't fly away little ones!

Isn't she just way too precious?

And baby Colin must be getting used to this photoshoot thing, because look at that face!  He's totally working it!  What a handsome boy.

Now there's a grin we just can't resist!

Awww!  Our hearts just melted!

And a little reward for being such great little models!

Frolic will soon be shipping to a shop near you.  Visit our website for contact information, should you have any questions.  Cheers!