FanU Gets Festive

Did you see all the projects?

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Published in: on December 3, 2015 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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FanU Gets Festive – Gift Card Holder

Make a new template, a sample with Christmas fabrics and take photos.

One of the thing I love about the techniques I shared in Fanciful Utility is that they can be used for so many projects. This time of year, FanU is great for fun, festive projects. For the next few weeks, I am going to share some of the ways FanU gets Festive.

IMG_7794A basic, single pocket work pocket makes an excellent gift card holder. These are also a great way to gift a museum or site membership.

Make a simple pocket up with holiday fabrics or your giftee’s favorite colors to be reused throughout the year.

Here is a simple set of directions for making your own:

Gift Card Holder Template

Need a copy of Fanciful Utility ? for yourself or to give as a gift? Visit www.thesewingacademy.com to order today.

Don’t miss previous FanU Gets Festive projects:

Published in: on December 1, 2015 at 4:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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FanU Gets Festive – Bauble Ornaments

IMG_8377 One of the thing I love about the techniques I shared in Fanciful Utility is that they can be used for so many projects. This time of year, FanU is great for fun, festive projects. For the next few weeks, I am going to share some of the ways FanU gets Festive.

IMG_8378This pair of bauble ornaments can easily be made using the Fanciful Utility techniques for making needle-books, just in a single layer.

These will be beautiful done up in silks as well as modern fabrics such as satins and sparkly knits. Choose solid fabrics and embellish them with scraps of trims or sequins. Chose striped fabrics to create bands around the ornament.

Hang them with a ribbon or mock up a wire.2014 1

Need a copy of Fanciful Utility ? for yourself or to give as a gift? Visit www.thesewingacademy.com to order today.

Don’t miss previous FanU Gets Festive projects:

Bauble – (2) a small, usually spherical ornament made of coloured or decorated material which is hung from the branches of a Christmas tree Usual US name Christmas ornament. (Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition)

Published in: on November 26, 2015 at 4:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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FanU Gets Festive – A “Take-away” Style Box

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I call this box the “Take-away” Box because it sorta resembles the rice containers we get for take-out. This is actually the largest box of those I am sharing. As I was making my sample, I pictured it filled with a bag of small chocolates or hard candies. Okay, dark chocolate non-perils in my case. It could also hold an assortment of beads, a pair of warm gloves, or wool stockings.

wpid-2015-11-05-20.34.48-1.jpg.jpegI used a single cotton fabric for my box. It could easily be made with alternating fabrics. (I did notice the white ground does shadow through the pasteboard more than I would like. This would be an easy one to trim with decorative braid or embroidery. You could add a handle like a food take away box, to hang it from the tree. (be careful of how heavy it gets.)

I’d love to see this one made with quilted silk for the sides and outer flaps. How pretty that would be.

Take Away Box Template

Need a copy of Fanciful Utility ? for yourself or to give as a gift? Visit www.thesewingacademy.com to order today.

Don’t miss previous FanU Gets Festive projects:

Published in: on November 24, 2015 at 4:00 am  Comments (1)  
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FanU Gets Festive – Ornaments

IMG_8368One of the thing I love about the techniques I shared in Fanciful Utility is that they can be used for so many projects. This time of year, FanU is great for fun, festive projects. For the next few weeks, I am going to share some of the ways FanU gets Festive.

IMG_8372This pair of mitten and stocking ornaments can easily be made using the Fanciful Utility techniques for making needle-books, just in a single layer. Each one holds its own possibilities.

IMG_8373The mitten and stocking could be made in pairs with wool or even cuts of a sweater. Soft country flannels in small plaids or holiday prints would give a cozy look.

Leave them plain or trim them with a little embroidery or fuzzy wrists or cuffs.

The stocking could look oh-so cute with a couple patches.

Hmm… What a fun matching game these could make if done up in pairs of colorful patterned fabrics on one side.2014 2

Need a copy of Fanciful Utility ? for yourself or to give as a gift? Visit www.thesewingacademy.com to order today.

Don’t miss previous FanU Gets Festive projects:

Published in: on November 19, 2015 at 4:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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FanU Gets Festive – A Pyramid Box

wpid-2015-11-05-20.35.14-1.jpg.jpegOne of the things I love about the techniques I shared in Fanciful Utility is that they can be used for so many projects. This time of year, FanU is great for fun, festive projects. For the next few weeks, I am going to share some of the ways FanU gets Festive.

wpid-2015-11-05-20.35.01-1.jpg.jpegThis Pyramid Box is an extra special kind of box. It can be made to open on one side. Or, it can be made to fully open to lay flat revealing the gift inside.  I envision this box holding a single small, special item such as an ornament, a figurine, or an extra special piece of jewelry. This box could also be made to hang from the tree.

wpid-2015-11-05-20.35.40-1.jpg.jpegMy examples are made from a single, festive cotton fabric. You could make yours from one fabric, alternating fabrics, or with a different fabric on each side.

Make your box, or boxes, up using one fabric, alternating fabrics or a patchwork of fabrics. You can use Christmas fabrics for a festive holiday look, favorite prints to personalize the box, homespuns for a folk look, modern batikis for a flurry of color…. there are so many options.

Pyramid Box Template

Need a copy of Fanciful Utility ? for yourself or to give as a gift? Visit www.thesewingacademy.com to order today.

Published in: on November 17, 2015 at 3:00 am  Comments (1)  
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FanU Gets Festive – Button Keep Ornament

wpid-2013-11-07-16.30.03-1.jpgOne of the thing I love about the techniques I shared in Fanciful Utility is that they can be used for so many projects. This time of year, FanU is great for fun, festive projects. For the next few weeks, I am going to share some of the ways FanU gets Festive.

Here is a favorite from a couple years ago that I would be remise if I didn’t share it again. The Button Keep Ornament Ornament. This colorful decoration was originally known as a “Balloon Bag” in A Girls Own Book, in 1833. Then it was used to hold buttons, a ball of string or possibly a thimble

As an ornament, this pretty combination can many gifty surprises…. candy…. jewelry ….small toys ….keys ….. tiny figurines…..

Make your keep up as simply or as fancy as you like. (It does work best with light weight fabrics with a strong weave.)

Keep Ornament

Need a copy of Fanciful Utility ? for yourself or to give as a gift? Visit www.thesewingacademy.com to order today.

Published in: on November 12, 2015 at 4:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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FanU Gets Festive – A Gift Box

wpid-2015-11-05-20.34.15-1.jpg.jpegOne of the thing I love about the techniques I shared in Fanciful Utility is that they can be used for so many projects. This time of year, FanU is great for fun, festive projects. For the next few weeks, I am going to share some of the ways FanU gets Festive.

wpid-2015-11-05-20.33.08.jpg.jpegThis Gift Box is a variation on the popular French sewing case I make. It uses the basic box making techniques from Fanciful Utility. This size box is nice for holding  many special gifts – hair comb, a necklace, an ornament, 9 tasty truffles, a small portrait and many more.

wpid-2015-11-05-20.33.37-1.jpg.jpegMake your box, or boxes, up using one fabric, alternating fabrics or a patchwork of fabrics. You can use Christmas fabrics for a festive holiday look, favorite prints to personalize the box, homespuns for a folk look, modern batikis for a flurry of color…. there are so many options.

Gift Box Template

Need a copy of Fanciful Utility ? for yourself or to give as a gift? Visit www.thesewingacademy.com to order today.

Published in: on November 10, 2015 at 2:00 am  Comments (4)  
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Modern Utility – Fanciful Utility for the Modern World – Part 1

There are a few ways I find Fanciful Utility projects useful in the modern world that I would like to share with you.

Let me start by saying I had this whole plan to do  a bunch of videos talking about how useful FanU projects can be in the modern world. But, it seems my webcam hates me and loves audio feedback. When I do get it all figured out, I’ll do some videos. Until then, photos…

IMG_7789 With school starting back up, this is a good time to IMG_7792show you the roll of pockets I have for my desk. You will notice I used 19th century fabrics. Well, that is what I have a bunch of in my stash. Go figure. When making a FanU project for modern use, you can use just about any fabric, sky’s the limit. (Just keep in mind you want a durable weave.) I would love to make one up with some of the Doctor Who fabrics. I could see one made with spring or fall nature prints looking really cute. There are so many options.  This rolled pocket of pockets is a longer version of the basic rolled/folded work pocket, just without the needle pages.

When you become one of the building ‘go-to’ people for little ‘uh-oh’s, it is good to have a mini-stash. My pocket of pockets for my desk holds those little things you don’t want to dig around in a desk drawer for but often need. Right now, it has nail clippers and nail files (I cut a regular file in half rounding the corners so they would fit nice), a hair tie and pins (I’ll add a bunch of hair ties), and a small thing of lotion (in a Lush sample jar. Reuse.) I’ll be adding a small sewing roll too with basic thread, needles and safety pins as well as some emergency sanitary products.

This style pocket of pockets can also be very useful in the purse. Just think about those times when you’ve had to dig through your purse or bag for your chapstick. Or later, when you are switching bags and find a half dozen buried in the bottom. There are so many options…  when traveling either for you or for a child’s activity roll, the diaper bag or a child’s play bag, for a bridal party’s dressing rooms… the list is endless.

To be continued…. 

Published in: on September 8, 2015 at 6:00 am  Comments (1)  
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Fanciful Utility Anniversary – Pin Cushions

aWomen of the nineteenth century made pin cushions out of a seemingly endless assortment of items. We can find them made of scrap fabrics, ribbon, shells, dolls, baskets, metal rings, walnut shells, and so many other endless bits.

Children’s and girls’ books are specked with directions on how to pin cushions from found items. This seashell pin cushion is one example.

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We also find pin cushions in lady’s magazines. (be sure not to confuse toilet pin cushions with sewing pin cushions.) This emery cushion in a walnut shell is one example. Emery was used to remove the build up on needles.  w1IMG_7508 Every sewing case needs a pin cushion, at least one pin cushion, that suits the sewers needs. Finding the right pin cushion takes some self analysis and potentially some trial and error.

Depending on my project, I am ‘pluck and plopper’. I am also a pin sorter who is particular on which pins I want for what. When I am ‘plucking and plopping’, I need a pin cushion that is not going to move and lots of surface space I don’t need to look at. A heavy bottom helps as well since I am not always working on a flat surface or able to pay much attention to my pin cushion as my work needs my attention. A large, weighted cushion is very helpful in these situations. When I am working on something that I want particular pins for, be it fine, sharp pins or silk or color pins for marking, I like pin cushions with sorting areas or segments. This could be color sections of the fabric or sides of a cushion. The metal pin cushion to the right in the photo is good for this for me. In the modern world, it is my tomato stuck inside a small piece of pottery. When I am on the go, I want a little pin cushion I can deeply sink my pins into so they don’t go astray. The two ribbon pin cushions in the left of the photo are good for this.

*** For the upcoming Domestic Skill Conference at Genesee Country Village, I will be offering a pin cushion sampler class. ***

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Remember to check out the special Anniversary kits on Etsy

Published in: on August 15, 2015 at 9:00 am  Comments (1)  
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