4.02.2015

Stash-Busting Blog Hop :: Retro Mama Scrap Happy Sewing

Happy Spring!

 The Scrap-Busting Blog Hop with Retro Mama
I've definitely caught the Spring cleaning bug; I keep finding myself tidying up my sewing room, finishing WIPs, and making projects with leftover fabric scraps and stashed fabrics.

 Retro Mama :: Scrap-Busting Blog Hop

 Retro Mama | fat quarters
I have a giant tub of quilting cotton scraps in my sewing room (not pictured, lest there be photographic evidence of my fabric-hoarding mess; Spring cleaning hasn't yet reached that corner of my room!), and inside it holds about 9 years' worth of remnants, including those from my very first project—aprons I made for friends and family.

 Retro Mama | vintage sewing tray with scrappy sewing supplies

Well, about this time last Spring I took a look inside (and by “look” I mean that I pulled out handful after handful of fabric until I found myself buried up to my neck in scraps) and thought, "I could make a TON of great stuff from these little bits of fabric!". So...I combined favorite scraps and new fabrics, designed a whole bunch of patterns, and put them all into one book!

 Retro Mama Scrap Happy Sewing
Retro Mama Scrap Happy Sewing is now available (both in my shop and at Amazon), and I’d like to invite you along for a Stash-Busting Blog Hop! A bunch of my most admired Internet Crafty Folk will be sewing their favorite patterns from Scrap Happy Sewing, as well as sharing their own scrappy projects, tutorials, and giveaways. I hope they will inspire you to dig into your stash and get stitching, too! If you'd like to follow along, be sure to check out these fabulous bloggers all month:

April 3 SCC

April 8 S.O.T.A.K. Handmade

April 9 Fabricworm

April 10 Clover & Violet

April 13 Robot Mom Sews

April 14 Vivid Felicity

April 15 Cut to Pieces

April 16 Straight Grain

April 17 Sew Take A Hike

April 20 Vintage Grey

April 21 Miss Print

April 22 Pink Penguin

April 23 Sew Creative Blog

April 24 Follow the White Bunny

April 27 A Bright Corner

April 28 Sew Justine Sew

April 29 LRstitched

 Retro Mama | vintage lunch tray with scrappy sewing supplies

Thanks a million to everyone who has already bought a copy of the book; if you have a few moments I would be so grateful if you might consider leaving your review at Amazon. You are also very welcome to leave links to your Scrap Happy Sewing projects below--I am just tickled at the gorgeous projects that have already been shared on Instagram, every single one makes my day!

Thanks again, my friends, and Happy Stitching!

3.11.2015

Scrap Happy Sewing :: now shipping!

 Retro Mama Scrap Happy Sewing

I'm so nervous but so happy to share with you, sweet crafty friends, that my book, Retro Mama Scrap Happy Sewing, published with David and Charles (F+W Media), is shipping this week from Amazon in the US! It was originally scheduled to be released in April, but has arrived early and will begin landing on doorsteps over the next few days today! The shipping dates to countries outside of the US appear to be as scheduled in April but I will let you know if that changes!

This hardly seems real, and I have each and every one of you to thank for reading, supporting, and stitching with me and my little blog--you have all helped to make this dream come true!

Here are some of the projects from Scrap Happy Sewing:

 pajama bears from Retro Mama Scrap Happy Sewing
pajama bear softies

 pincushions from Retro Mama Scrap Happy Sewing
scrappy pincushions

 tote bag from Retro Mama Scrap Happy Sewing
on-the-go tote bag

 sewing kits from Retro Mama Scrap Happy Sewing
and these cute little sewing kits!

Each project has step-by-step instructions with photos and tips, just like my individual sewing patterns, so that whether you are new to sewing, new to a particular type of project, or someone who needs visual instructions (like me!), you will have lots of help along the way. The templates are full sized, too!

 Retro Mama Scrap Happy Sewing

I can't wait to see your #scraphappysewing projects!

Happy Stitching!

3.06.2015

Softie Love

 6 Weeks of Love for Softies

Yay, I'm so excited! Sew Mama Sew is spending six whole weeks on a softie spree! Kristin and Beth have gathered up the biggest names in softie making (and me!) to write up free patterns, how-to's, and tons of other info about making softies. You'll definitely want to check out the softie contest, too, there are some seriously amazing prizes. The grand prize includes a Pfaff sewing/embroidery machine worth $3,999 (check out the full list of prizes and contest rules here). Please also consider participating in the Soft Toy Drive!

 Spectacular Softies Contest

My article is: 10 Tips for Stuffing + Finishing Softies, which includes hints tools to achieve an extra-professional finish on your stuffed toys and fabric dolls. I'm also answering questions in the comments if there's anything else you need help with. If you've ever wondered why your softie turned out too floppy or wrinkly, or how on earth to *really* hide the closing seams, then this is the post you've been looking for! And just for fun, I've demonstrated the techniques these cute little pajama bear softies (the pattern can be found in my book), who are decked out in super cute Pam Kitty Garden print jammies:

 Pajama Bear Softies from Scrap Happy Sewing book

It was a happy accident that they ended up looking at each other. Here is a WIP pic (I always get a kick out of this part):

 Pajama Bears WIP
The crazy-talented list of contributors:

Abby Glassenbery of Abby Glassenberg Designs
Jodie Carleton of Ric Rac
Kerry Goulder of Kid Giddy
Mariska Vos-Bolman of DIY Fluffies
Pauline McArthur of Funky Friends Factory
Wendi Gratz of Shiny Happy World
Mimi Kirchner
Erin Weiss of Boolah Baguette
Carley Biblin of Making It Up As I Sew Along
Annette Huval of Oliver Rabbit
Helen of Bustle & Sew
Hillary Lang of Wee Wonderfuls
Christina of Bamboletta
LiEr of Ikat Bag
Sarah of Dolls & Daydreams
Betz White

So if you're considering learning how to make softies, or if you've already made a few and want to pick up some tricks of the trade, head over to Sew Mama Sew and you'll be sure to learn something new!

Happy Softie Stitching!

2.20.2015

Patchwork Hot Water Bottle Cozy :: Step by step tutorial and pattern

It's still the middle of winter here in the Hoosier state, and my homemade hot water bottle cozy has gone missing *cue dramatic music*. I don’t know if it's a sign of my age, but in the wintertime I get so sore from the freezing (below freezing!) temperatures that I pretty much can't sleep without it, especially after having to shovel snow three times in the past two days... So, I need to make a new one!

My first hot water bottle cozy was made with a single print, but this time I decided to do a patchwork version with tons of bright colors to make the frosty days more cheery. And...I thought I'd share the pattern with any other chilly folks who might like to stitch along!

 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial

I didn't prewash my fabric so the finished cover is on the large side to account for shrinking (and lovely batting scrunching) in the wash. The cozy perfectly fits my Fashy hot water bottle--if you have a different brand you might need to alter the template a little bit. Just make sure that the edge of your template is about 1-1/4" wider than the long side and 7/8" above and below the top and bottom of the bottle (when the templates are assembled and the bottle is centered on it). If you want a water bottle like mine you can find it here.

Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial

Materials
Lots of quilting cotton scraps (1-1/2" and 2" wide of various lengths)
1/2 yard solid quilting cotton for lining
cotton batting (wadding)
2" x 46" bias cut strip pressed into double fold tape for outside of cozy (1 yard of fabric will allow you to do this with a single strip; see Step 10 for pressing instructions)
Two 2" x 10" strips pressed into double fold bias tape for envelope opening
Thread for piecing and quilting
Hand Quilting Thread for hand finishing the binding
Template (click for PDF)

1. Assemble your patchwork for the front and back of the cozy into three pieces that measure as follows (after quilting and squaring up):

15-1/2"H x 11-1/2"W for the front (One 2" row, thirteen 1-1/2" rows, one 2" row)
11-1/2"H x 11-1/2"W for the back/top (One 2" row, eight 1-1/2" rows, one 2" row)
7-1/2"H x 11-1/2"W for the back/bottom (One 2" row, four 1-1/2" rows, one 2" row)

I used 1-1/2" strips of random lengths for my patchwork, all sewn with a 1/4" seam allowance and seams pressed open. I used a single fabric for the top of the front patchwork and the top of the back/top patchwork because of the narrow shape of the template.

Laying out the strips (top and bottom strips are 2"W)
 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial

rearranged a little, and rows trimmed to about 12"W
 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial
2. Cut a piece of batting slightly larger than each of the patchwork pieces, then cut lining pieces from solid cotton slightly larger than the batting.

3. Make three quilt sandwiches with the patchwork, batting, and lining pieces. Pin the pieces together, then quilt. I used the seams as a guide and quilted a generous 1/8" above and below each seam with cream colored thread. Square up each quilted rectangle.

 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial
 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial
4. Fold the back/top patchwork in half lengthwise. Place the back/top template on the quilted fabric, connected arrows pointing toward the fold, then trace the curved and short straight edges with an erasable fabric pen. I centered my template so the patchwork rows would be evenly spaced on the top and bottom. Cut along the marked lines. Repeat for the back/bottom patchwork and template.

 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial
 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial
5. Assemble the top and bottom template pieces to make the template for the front of the cozy. Overlap the two pieces and place along the line so the little arrows are pointing toward each other, then tape the pieces together. Trace and cut out a front piece using the new template with the remaining patchwork fabric.

 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial/
Whoops! Just noticed that my tape dispenser is empty. Must've used the last bit to assemble my template!

6. Zig-zag stitch around the raw edges of each piece of patchwork. This will keep the edges neat and flat for binding, and also helps prevent the quilting threads from coming loose.

7. Bind the straight edges of the cozy top and bottom pieces with the double fold bias tape. It took me awhile to decide which fabric to use for binding, but I finally decided to go with Essex linen as a contrast to the bright colors.

 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial 8. Assemble the cozy: place the cozy front face down. Line up the cozy top and bottom over the front, wrong sides together. Overlap the pieces so the top piece is on the top. Use binding clips around the outside edges to secure the pieces.

 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial

9. Baste the pieces together around the outside edge with a straight stitch 1/4" from the edge.

10. *Bind the outside of the cozy with the long piece of bias tape. I pressed the binding for the outside of the cover with the long edges a scant 1/4" apart so there would be a little extra space for the thick layers to fit inside.

 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Tutorial

 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial

*If you want to connect the pieces before sewing for a perfect fit without overlapping ends, see my circular binding tutorial for instructions on how to do this, just note that the binding has a single fold in that tutorial, so attaching the double fold tape is a little different.

*I made my original cozy with a machine-finished binding and I found that after washing the little loose edges decided to flip up. This is purely an aesthetic issue, but I decided that I prefer a hand finished binding so this time they should stay put!

 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial

 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial

 Retro Mama | Quilted Hot Water Bottle Cozy Tutorial
Let me know if you have any questions! If you'd like a fabric name for anything in particular just call it out and I'll do my best to help ID it! Many of the fabrics are out of print but there are some newbies in there too.

Happy Stitching (and stay warm!),

2.04.2015

Retro Mama :: Hans and Greta Winners!

It's a bit late in the day, but I have for you the winners of the Hans and Greta doll giveaway! I enjoyed reading all of your stories about how and when you started sewing, and so many of you crochet, too! Crochet runs in my family, although I'm a very casual dabbler I really enjoy it. Thank you for sharing your sweet memories with me, it's wonderful getting to know all of you!

So, with the assistance of Random.org....here are the winners!

 photo tn_DollWinners_zps3e6671f9.jpg
Hans goes to Jane, who wrote:

I love them both! I have a grandson turning one on Feb 4 and a granddaughter turning one on Feb 25 so either doll is perfect! I've been sewing since I was 12 so that would be a looong time :) 

Happy Birthday to your grandkiddos, Jane!

and Greta will go to Liezel:

They are so cute!!! Both of them! My daughter would give one of them a great new home, I'm sure! I have not been sewing for a long time. I am still learning, but I love it. Unfortunately I don't have much time, but I hope that will only get better in the future! I like your blog!


Congratulations to both of you, I will contact you shortly for your mailing addresses!

2.02.2015

Wool Blend Felt Resource

My last day of selling felt has come and gone, but you can still find all your favorite felt colors! I've made this handy chart so you can locate the colors you need.

And speaking of colors you need, you can find a gorgeous selection of felt at BenzieDesign on Etsy. BenzieDesign is a new sponsor of Retro Mama and I do hope you will check out Renae’s shop, because there you will find choose your own bundles

 BenzieDesign Felt
felt by the yard

 BenzieDesign Felt by the yard

and beautiful felt crafts like this Valentine Sweetheart Garland Kit

 BenzieDesign Valentine Sweetheart Garland Kit
[photos used with permission from BenzieDesign, aren't they gorgeous?!]

Renae has a truly lovely shop, I'm swooning over every little thing! Please remember, though, that our felt color names are different--do double and triple check your color selections to make sure that you are ordering what you intend.

Let me know if you have any questions and I'll do my very best to help you out!

Happy Stitching!

1.29.2015

Retro Mama :: Hans and Greta Doll Giveaway

I'm already in the mood for Spring cleaning, and I’ve got some cute squishy friends who are eager to come out and play, so, I think I’ll have a giveaway!

 Retro Mama | Hans and Greta Doll Giveaway Hans and Greta have been patiently waiting for their new homes for a long time! I made them a while back as samples for a sewing class I was teaching--here's a WIP photo

A photo posted by Kim Kruzich (@retro_mama) on

Okay, a LONG time ago! (You'll notice that I didn't stuff Greta's limbs until after putting her together. I think I prefer it that way, how do you like to do it?)

This week's giveaway will have two winners, one will win Hans and the other will get Greta! Hans is wearing a very Spring-y mushroom shirt and corduroy shorts with pockets for collecting skipping stones and marbles. Hans was one of my favorite patterns to design, I found it a bit trickier to make a little boy doll than a girl, but it was definitely worth hemming and hawing over every detail to get him just right. That vintage apple measuring tape is just the cutest, right?

 Hans doll by Retro Mama

 Hans doll by Retro Mama

While Greta has a sweet blue dress with a matchy mushroom felt appliqué.

 photo tn_Greta_zps4e50ec4d.jpg
Several of you had asked whether I would have a doll pattern in my book and the answer is YES! You can get a glimpse of her here on the cover (by the way, Scrap Happy Sewing is available for preorder, yippee!), and I'll give you a closer look at her soon.

 Hans and Greta dolls by Retro Mama
For your chance to win a doll, leave a comment below telling me how long you have been sewing, when you plan to start, or what is the super crafty hobby that you love instead! The giveaway is open to all, no matter where you live, and the winners will be announced Wednesday, February 4.

If you have a strong preference for either Hans or Greta let me know in your comment and I will enter you into the drawing for only that doll. Please make sure that your name is attached to an e-mail address so I have a way to contact you if you've won!

Good luck!

1.23.2015

Final Felt Clearance :: This is it!

Hello my crafty friends! My felt inventory has taken quite a large hit (thank you!!) so it is now time to let you know that there is just over one week left in my felt closeout. January 31 will be the last day to purchase felt before it's all gone. To save an additional 20% off already discounted prices, use the code FINAL20 at checkout (this makes felt over 50% off the retail price!).

 Retro Mama | Felt Closeout

You are also welcome to purchase patterns with the discount code. If you need 3 or more yards of any color please ask in advance so I can let you know if I have enough. If a color you want is listed as out of stock but you just HAVE to have some, let me know at checkout and I'll see if I can dig up a scrap in my remnants pile as your freebie felt sample. Every order will ship with a bit of extra felt as a thank you gift!

My heartfelt thanks to all of my customers, it has been my pleasure to be a part of all the amazing felty projects that you've shared with me. Although I will no longer be selling felt, I am continuing to design new patterns, and you can find 18 of them in my book coming out in April!

Happy Stitching (and shopping!),

1.21.2015

Happy Mail :: Felt Giveaway Winner!

I just have to say,

 photo tn_FeltWinner_zpsd61b0fdb.jpg
Marlene is the winner of the spring-y felt bundle, selected by Random.org, number 82, Congratulations!! Her plans for it are:

"I would do hair bows for my nieces ... and your cute patterns, of course! Actually, I just started cutting Ruthie Bear and Owl plush over the weekend. Now to just stitch them up!"

Yay for having a work table full of projects! Thanks to all who entered! Marlene I believe I have your address so I will send the bundle along to you shortly.

Happy Stitching everybody!