Colette Patterns Zinnia Skirt Sew Along

Ever year about this time I get just a tad bit worried that I’m not going to physically survive the winter. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fall and the Holidays and that first month and a half of winter when you look forward to putting on your coziest socks and flannel pj’s and hunkering down in the evenings, but after a while, I start to get a little worried that winter might never end (and I’ve seen enough Game of Thrones to know that this fear is legit). That’s why I always like to have a couple months worth of projects lined up for the cold months to keep me busy, and I think I’ve struck gold with the amazing Zinnia Skirt by Colette Patterns! I’m making this my first sewing project, because I fully intend to wear it constantly. The ladies at Colette Patterns were lovely enough to included two versions of the skirt, and I’ll be making both, as well as having a little sew along on here at Hem Makers. So if you’re interested in following along, you can either order or print the pattern at home, gather your materials and supplies needed, and follow along next month!

Zinnia Skirt #1

Zinnia Skirt version 1 (the buttons! I can’t take it….too stinking cute.)

Zinnia Skirt #2

Zinnia Skirt version 2 (the pleats might be a bit of a challenge, but how flattering is this shape, I ask you??)


And be sure to check out the Colette Patterns blog for so many more amazing patterns!


Quilt Hoop Spider Web DIY

It’s widely known that Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday. I imagine it’s probably a fave for any crafter, as it has so many handmade opportunities: decorations, costumes, themed food…Struggling to come up with the prefect Halloween decor theme for our front porch, AKA prime candy dispensing hotspot, I decided to take my cues from nature. More specifically, I took my cues from all of the creepy nature that is determined to cling to our house exterior no matter how many times we try to relocate it: gigantic spiders and their enormous webs.
We have them in such abundance this time of year, I thought why not stop fighting it and just work with it. This, of course, led to my first ever Halloween DIY…

Quilt Hoop Spider Webs

What you will need for one web:

One quilt hoop. Mine were about 6″ in diameter.
White or cream colored yarn
Tape or hot glue

Spider Web DIY Step 1

Begin by cutting 6 or more strips of yarn long enough to stretch across the inside hoop piece. Stretch and tape, or glue, them one at a time so they have a common center, but aren’t too perfectly spaced. You’ll want them to be a little uneven for a more natural web affect. Lastly, try looping the final string under and over where the previous strings meet and kind of guide where you’d like the center to be before you tape down that last end.

Spider Web DIY Step 2

Now unravel about 2 feet of yarn, and tape ONE end so that it matches the rest of the web. Hold the end of that yarn out, and clamp your outside quilt hoop piece down tightly to help hold the taped pieces in place.

Spider Web Step 3

Start your weaving by making your initial wrap over and under the center point with this long strand (this just keeps it taut). Now all you do is wrap each strand once before continuing on to the next. This is what creates the spiral pattern, so be sure you are moving out from the center as you move around.

Spider Web DIY Step 4

Once you’ve gotten to the outside edge with your spiraling, just release the outside hoop and tuck the end in with the others, tape, clip off the excess, and replace the outside hoop. I’m probably going to use this same idea for some much larger webs on my porch, but for now I’m loving these as easy spooky Halloween décor on the inside!

Spider Web DIY Finished

County Fair Ribbon Cupcake Toppers

Finally a new DIY project to really get back into the swing of things! Last week I told you about the cupcake booth design I’m working on for our town’s Fall Festival this month. Well as you all know, cupcakes just look naked without toppers, right? I wanted to come up with a topper idea that was easy to replicate, cost effective, and also something that would utilize all the scrap fabric piling up from all the other booth props. With the theme of the booth being Heirloom County Fair, I came up with these little darlings…

County Fair Ribbon Cupcake Toppers
What you will need for 6 toppers:

Scrap Fabric (6 pieces roughly 3″ by 3″ square, depending on the size buttons you use).

One 6 piece Cover Button Kit, size 3/4″ or larger, which you can get at just about any craft or sewing shop.

Ribbon, cut 12 pieces to 3″ in length, to be trimmed after.


Hot glue gun

Toppers Step 1

Take your scrap fabric and place centered inside the female part of the button maker (the white piece), patterned side down. Place the smooth button half down on the fabric like so:

Topper Step 2

Now fold the excess fabric into the dip in the button (you can feel free to trim if there’s too much fabric), and place your cut ribbon on top so they stick out at angles. Now cover with the back of the button, and place the remaining part of the button kit (the blue piece) on top and press down until they all click!

Topper Step 3

All you need to do next is add a little dab of hot glue to the ring on the back of the finished button and place your toothpick in just enough to hold it in place, and then trim your ribbons at an angle so they look like little prize ribbons.

Finished Toppers

All done! Now for a delicious cupcake recipe so we can put these little guys to work…maybe next week?

New Years Resolutions 2013

So my New Years Eve was very uneventful. A cold that had completely taken over both my face and will to sit upright had me in bed by 9:30. It was because of my bedridden state that I completely forgot about New Year’s Resolutions. Now, I’ve never thought of these resolutions as some sort of rule book, but just a little reminder…something to try and then not be too hard on yourself if you fail or forget. I was so inspired by this Design Sponge collection of beautifully crafted and thoughtful resolutions and thought I ought to create my own…only a few days late.

New Years Resolutions

Fabric Bowl

It seems like I have the inability to pass through the Holidays without some form of sickness. One year it was the flu on Christmas Day, before that it was a kidney stone on New Years. Add some sinus problems and the occasional pneumonia in there and you just start to expect it. Luckily this year it was only a head cold, so I still had the ability to eat leftover cookies and drink hot rum cider. However, being sequestered to the couch is not something I do well, and so I needed a project I could work on between sneezes and episodes of the Twilight Zone Marathon. These little fabric bowls are super easy and will utilize lots and lots of random scrap fabrics, yarn, and even some left over ribbons from Christmas presents if you want to get super creative; not to mention they are perfect for those days that you want to be productive but you just can’t get off of the couch.

Fabric Bowl Step 1

Gather your scissors, fabric, yarn, and a needle with a large and eye and gauge (a curved upholstery needle works best). Now cut or rip the fabric you want to use into long strips about 3/4″ to 1″ wide. You won’t know how many strips you want until the bowl gets bigger so keep the fabric handy.

Fabric Bowl Step 2

Cut the yarn to about 4 feet (this length might not last the whole bowl, but will get you quite a ways), thread the needle with it, and begin with a knot at one end of a fabric strip. This will be the starting point and the very center of your bowl, you will spiral out from here.

Fabric Bowl Step 3

Now start wrapping the fabric with the yarn as you go around, making sure to always grab two layers of fabric with each pass through with the needle. What I love about this project is that it’s messy and imperfect and each bowl looks completely different…so don’t worry too much about being precise.

* Twist the fabric a bit as you go and it will be easier to work with*

Fabric Bowl Step 4

Try and keep the bowl flat for a while, it will start to curve upward naturally as it gets bigger, but it needs a good base.

*Whenever you need to add a new fabric strip just overlap an inch of the remaining strip with an inch of the new one and twist. Once you’ve passed around it with your yarn a few times with will be completely incorporated.*

Fabric Bowl Step 5

Try adding different colors with each fabric strip.  I finished mine out at the top by wrapping the top two layers completely with the yarn and then passing it back underneath with the needle to lock it in place. Now you’re done! I wouldn’t wish this Cold on anyone, but if you should find yourself laid up on the couch surrounded by Kleenex this just might brighten your day:)

Pinwheel Present Toppers

This weekend I am going to commit to wrapping all my gifts, trimming my tree, finish christmas shopping, and then, once that’s all done, probably drink this.

Before all of that happens, however, I’m going to nail down my wrapping strategy, which leads me into this week’s Craft Session: Pinwheel Present Toppers. Pinwheels

We’ve all made ’em at some point I’m sure, but I think the addition of ribbons, bows, and contrasting colors makes paper pinwheels perfect toppings for gifts. I used this paper from Oh Happy Day. This helped me decide on what colors I wanted to use for all of my holiday projects, navy, light blue, orange, cream, oatmeal, and teal.

Paper Pinwheel Tutorial:

Step One

You will be able to get two pinwheels (at 4″ in diameter) from one 8.5″ /11″ sheet of paper. Begin by making small folds, about a 1/4″,  across the length of the paper.

Step Two

Use a ruler to measure the center point, which should be 4-1/4″. Cut in half.

Step Three

Now cut into fourths, roughly 2-1/8″ at center.

Step Four

Press each into an accordian and trim one side into a point.

Step Five

Now connect two together with a dab of glue on the flaps, and one in the center to hold its shape.

step Six

Now just add some ribbon to the back or bows to the front and they become something super festive!

For The Makers

So last year for Christmas my boyfriend got me the best gift, a For The Makers subscriptions for 6 months worth of projects. Full disclosure, he did this because I told him to….BUT he also did it because he knew it was a gift that was going to last a long time, keep me preoccupied through the slushy winter, and satisfy my need for both pretty packages in the mail and constant crafting.

It’s getting down to the wire for shipping, so this is honestly the best last-minute gift you can give your special crafter. Here’s how it works: each month that you purchase you get a box filled with supplies for 4-6 projects delivered to your door. The projects range from jewelry to tea towels and the boxes always have a theme.

Check out December’s box:

Fringe Trees

As promised, here’s the first Holiday Craft to kick off the season! I know I should have waited till December 1st at least, but I’ve already watched Elf and broken out A Very She & Him Christmas Album, so the season has begun. This project is super-duper easy and involves no sewing: Fringe Trees.

Begin by making the tree cone using your scrap cardboard (cereal boxes work best) and tape it in place with your fancy washi tape. Set that aside and start cutting long strips of fabric for your fringe. I went through my scrap pile and found this great red and green plaid. Cut the strips about 1/2″ to 3/4″ wide. The length will depend on the tree height, but at least a couple of feet should do it. Next cut into the strips making a fringed edge. I made my cuts about every 1/4″ and a little more than half of the way through.

Now its time to break out the trusty hot glue gun. Start anywhere on the base with the fringe side pointing down and start wrapping your tree, glueing in place every couple of inches. Stretch a little as you wrap and the fringe will look shaggier. Wrap in a spiral all the way to the tip and make sure to overlap each layer so the cardboard doesn’t show.

This is so quick and easy I went crazy and made a bunch! My goal is to fill my mantle with different colored and sized trees and perhaps a few Anthropologie owl ornaments for good measure.

Dandelion Puff

Make This: Dandelion Puff

So, yeah, I’m not one of those crafters that thinks they have just discovered the yarn puff. I’m aware, and I also know Pinterest addicts everywhere are bombarded with this poofy little craft. But you know what? I still like it! I also have one of those day jobs that doesn’t required scissors or glue, pretty sparkly ribbons, or twine…in fact it’s kinda frowned upon. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is sometimes I want an easy craft I can do real quick to distract myself from the fact that I don’t get paid to use burlap or polka dot washi tape. So take a lunch break and make something pretty to sit next to your computer that rekindles the hope that in your next life you’ll be a professional crafter.

~Supplies: Scissors, fork (perhaps you brought a lunch?), a foot or so of pretty yarn (maybe just remember to bring from home next time)~

~Wrap around fork, then middle, then knot~

~Cut wrapped ends~

~Dandelion Puff. A pretty little distraction~