Get Your Craft On

Two new retro inspired sewing patterns!

You kept begging so I had no choice but to obey! The two newest WhatTheCraft sewing patterns are my retro swing dress:

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And my high-waisted zipper back pencil skirt:

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Both patterns are available XS-XL and use stretch knit fabrics! And don’t forget: the more patterns you buy, the more you save!

Also, for a limited time, my Fingerless Gloves pattern is just 99 cents! That’s practically free!

gloves

How To Make a Rosie Wrap Head Band – DIY Fashion Tutorial

Rosie wrap, tie up rockabilly headband, dolly bow… whatever you want to call it, this is a super duper easy and quick sewing project. This would be a perfect tutorial to start with if you’re new to sewing.howtorosie1

I made mine in a pretty pink floral print, inspired by the trends featured in the spring crafting inspiration site from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores. To celebrate National Sewing and Craft month, Jo-Ann is offering a $5 off coupon on any $25 purchase! Click here for the coupon.

I’ll also show you how to make different widths for a slightly different look. Here’s a wider version, which I think looks a little more like the shape of Rosie the Riveter’s actual wrap:

howtorosiewrap2Heh. Okay, let’s get started. Continue reading…

How To Sew a Circle Skirt – DIY Fashion Tutorial

The moment you’ve all been waiting for: a circle skirt tutorial that has the math already done for you! Download my FREE circle skirt template, and you’re ready to go!

For detailed instructions, watch my video tutorial here:

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I tried to address all the questions you guys have asked about circle skirts over the years: how to hem a circle skirt, how to avoid hemming (heh), how to determine how much fabric you need, what to do if your fabric isn’t wide enough to cut the skirt in one piece, and so on.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

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This tutorial was filmed using a Creative Labs Vado HD Digital Video Camera, a Canon Rebel (for still shots), and edited in Sony Vegas Movie Studio.

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ARCHIVED TUTORIAL BELOW – The following is my original circle skirt tutorial, which includes the steps that show you how to do the math.

Continue reading…

7 Newbie Seller Mistakes

Starting a handmade business is daunting, exhausting, and confusing. You’re bound to make mistakes (and that’s okay!). But here are 7 common pitfalls you can try to avoid.

1. You listen to the people that say your prices are too high.

There will always be someone that wants it for cheaper… if you price based on how much money someone wants to spend, you might as well give it away for free.

Just as many people made comments about my “high prices” or asked for discounts when my dresses were priced at $25 (good god, what was I thinking?) as they do now that my dresses are priced at $125 and higher. I ignore them because generally, bargain shoppers aren’t my market.

polka dot swing dress by SmarmyClothes

2. You believe that raising your prices would scare away your buyers.

As I mentioned above- when I started out, I really was selling things for $15-25 a piece. I’ve steadily increased prices over the years, as I’ve grown more comfortable with valuing my time and my work. Raising prices has never EVER killed my sales.

I had a friend that was selling handmade corsets for $100. She should have been charging at least double that, considering the amount of work and attention to detail she put in. She was constantly swamped with orders, and one of the ways she was finally convinced to raise prices was that it might slow the orders down a bit. She raised her prices by $25 as an experiment. Her orders actually increased over the next few months, which was a bit of a mixed blessing. But at the very least, she was making a little more money to justify the long hours.

scared comic book girl earrings by SugarPlumRobots

Continue reading…

How To Make a Fabric Gift Bow – DIY Fashion Tutorial

What better way to get #fabulouslyfestive than to festoon yourself (and others) with bows?
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This bow would make a great topper for a gift since it’s the classic gift bow design… but the bonus is that since it’s made from fabric, it can double as a hair bow, brooch, or bracelet!
 
Of course you can use the same procedure for making a bow out of ribbon, fancy paper, or go the upcycled route and use some old magazine or newspaper pages!
gift_bow_tutorial_fabric_02Step 1
Here’s what you need:
  • fabric (or paper or ribbon) cut into 3/4″ strips
    • three strips measuring 8.5″ long
    • three strips measuring 7.5″ long
    • two strips measuring 6.5″ long
    • one strip measuring 2″ long
  • 2″ square piece of felt
  • high temp glue gun
  • scissors
  • (optional) brooch clip, head band, hair clip, or bobby pin
When it comes to choosing fabric, you can use woven or knits. Woven fabrics will tend to fray, so keep that in mind. Lighter weight fabrics may need a layer of fusible interfacing so they don’t wind up too floppy- this may also help prevent fraying.
I’m using a scrap of holographic foil printed spandex for mine.
 
If you have a rotary cutter, it will make cutting the strips much easier than scissors. Continue reading…

How to Make Paper Feathers – Home Decor Tutorial

I went on a little bit of a decorating frenzy for Halloween, and now I can’t stop!

I couldn’t get the idea of making some feather decorations for Thanksgiving out of my head, and I realized a gaggle of paper feathers would be the perfect #turkeytablescapes project!

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These are super easy, and they look so pretty in a group.

I put a cluster in a floral arrangement, but there really are unlimited ways to use your feathers. Use them as gift tags or place holders at the dinner table. Hot glue a bunch around a wreath. Glue them around a mason jar and add a tealight inside. Thread them on some yarn and hang from a chandlier or make a garland! Continue reading…

Indie Designer Spotlight: On Cupcake Moon

The handmade gods must be happy with me lately, because I won TWO handmade giveaways in the past month!

A few weeks ago, I won this super cute skull n cupcakes apron from Deb of On Cupcake Moon.

Doesn’t that just make you want to go bake some tasty cupcakes? I hope so, because I really want a cupcake right now. If you could get on that baking, that’d be great. Let me know when they’re ready.

P.S. I like sprinkles.

Getting awesomeness like this in the mail reminded me that it’s been a while since I did an Indie Designer Spotlight. It’s the perfect opportunity to spread a little handmade love!

Deb also makes the cutest damn holiday cards on the planet:

I love the idea of sending out Krampus cards!

But I’m also quite smitten with this cute little Yeti!

She’s also got cake toppers, cupcake wrappers, banners, and more, so you can have the coolest creepy cute decorations on the block!

Check out On Cupcake Moon:
www.OnCupcakeMoon.com
Etsy
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Happy Halloween!

Here’s my jackolantern for this year! I initially had a much more elaborate design planned with a bat and a spider “hidden” in the vines along with the skull, but it just wasn’t happening.

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CREEPing vines jackolantern

 

Gotta carve the back, too!

Gotta carve the back, too!

 

Unlit

Unlit

Continue reading…

How to Make a Halloween Tree – Home Decor Tutorial

Tree decorating doesn’t just have to be for Christmas! Here’s how you can make a creepy Halloween tree of your own.

halloween_tree_tutorial_how_toCostumed cat ornaments by KilkennycatArt.
Pumpkin teapot by baumanstoneware.

Step 1
Gather your supplies!

You’ll need:

  • A bucket or vase
  • Twigs and sticks
  • Floral foam (for straight sided vessels) or styrofoam packing peanuts (for a bucket like mine, where the hole on top is smaller than the width of the bucket)
  • Craft foam sheet (you can skip this if you have  a straight sided vessel)
  • Optional: spraypaint

When choosing sticks, think about where you’re going to put your tree and how much room you have. If you have a large area, you could do one big branch. I went with 6 smaller branches. I gauged the right size by putting a few in my bucket. Continue reading…

How To Make Halloween Hoop Art – Hand Embroidery and Applique Tutorial

I have a hard time sitting still, so even during my “relaxation” time in front of the TV in the evenings, I like to have something to do. Sewing is kind of hard to do if your machine isn’t already in front of the TV, so one of my favorite Idiot Box crafts is hand embroidery.

Here are a couple of Halloween themed pieces I’ve been working on::

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I think I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been obsessed with vintage Halloween decorations lately, so that’s where the inspiration for these came from. Continue reading…