December 2011

Sewing For Boys

When it comes to creative sewing for girls, the possibilities are really endless. Patterns, styles and even embellishments can go on and on, and there's plenty of room for creativity. When it comes to little boys, the scope of variety becomes a bit more limited. Beyond changing up fabrics, clothing for boys is pretty straightforward. That doesn't mean making a wardrobe for your little guy has to be totally boring.

Having boys doesn't mean you're doomed to sewing plain slacks and t-shirts. With the right patterns, you can make hip and trendy clothing for the little fellas, too. The problem is usually finding these elusive “cool” patterns. And then, if you find a pattern that excites you, often the instructions are complicated and the final turnout can be disappointing.

That's why my wife really likes Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage's book, Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe. The book covers simple, but trendy, patterns for boys from infancy through size 6/7. There are patterns for everything from basic rompers to edgier button downs that, with the right fabric choices, can keep them stylin' for years. Beyond the basic clothing, there are also patterns for hats, jackets, robes, blankets and more.

What are Your Crafting Goals This Year?

The start of a year is resolution time, but it can also be a great time to lay out some goals for other aspects of your life.  Many of us crafters have heaps of projects and ideas we want to work on, and there just isn’t enough time in the day to get to them all.  I still have a skirt cut out from last winter, ready to sew but unlikely to be finished in this decade.  So this year, how about we set some goals to accomplish with our crafting and see how far we can get?

The Art of Creative Lettering: 50 Amazing Fonts You Can Make for Scrapbooks, Cards, Invitations, and Signs

Have you ever been moved to buy a sign or craft because you were enticed by the gorgeous lettering? Beautiful lettering is an art form in itself, and without the know-how, many skip the fancy or fun fonts or turn to appliques to do the work for them. Not being able to vary your crafts' lettering can limit your creativity or keep a piece from turning out just as you envisioned it.

With The Art of Creative Lettering: 50 Amazing Fonts You Can Make for Scrapbooks, Cards, Invitations, and Signs by Becky Higgins, you can learn to make your own incredible letters without cheating or compromising your vision. Her fonts vary from quirky and mod to traditional and elegant, so you'll be able to find the right lettering for any and every project.

Have Little Ones? Try These Craft Books for Kids

Crafts and kids seem like they were made for each other.  Nothing is more fun than watching a child discover the joy of creating something with their own hands.  Creating is a great way to spend time with your child, and daily artistic exploration can help them develop motor skills and learn to use their own creative skills throughout life.  Without a guide, it is hard to think up fun crafts each day, but the following books are full of ideas and can help you get started crafting with your kids.

Encyclopedia of Scrapbooking

My wife got into scrapbooking about five years ago when a local store opened specializing in the artform. She went in and got so many supplies that I still think there's a few boxes in the basement that haven't been touched.

It became a hobby and pastime that she thoroughly enjoyed, and many of the memories of our family are stored in the pages of her many scrapbooks. When she makes a scrapbook, it looks more like a work of art, than the homemade designs of work-from-home mother. Much of what she learned came from the "Encyclopedia of Scrapbooking" by Creating Keepsakes. The company that created the book is a longstanding and trusted company in the scrapbooking world.

When she first started, lets just say it wasn't pretty. The book helped show her the proper tools and techniques to create beautiful scrapbooks. The book included scrapbooking fundamentals, techniques for embellishing and help with photography, journaling, computers and ways to increase your productivity.

Best Retro Craft Books

Retro crafts are just so cool.  Perhaps it is because we are tired of assembly line products, or because our foremothers just knew how to work it when it comes to doing more with less, but retro crafts have an appeal that is unmatched by today’s projects.  These books celebrate those crafts, from tacky macaroni creations to sewn retro skirts and a host of ideas in between.

The Joy of Origami

Origami, the ancient art of Japanese paper folding, offers hours of fun to those who enjoy the craft. There are so many types of sculptures that can be made, origami can truly be a craft that fits anyone at any skill level.

During the holidays, many families look for crafts to do together that can be used as gifts and decorations around their homes. If you're looking for something a little different from the usual Christmas craft, you might want to give origami a try. There are several books devoted to Christmas-related origami decorations, and even projects.

In Geneva Cobb Iijima's book, The First Christmas in Origami, she shows you how to make a complete nativity set out of the little paper sculptures. Along with pictures and instructions, she includes small background stories about the characters in the scene.