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The Holiday Kitchen Gift Set Tutorial

Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner! I know, I know, I’m not sure that I’m ready to hear that either, but I love making handmade gifts, and every year I think if I just get started sooner, I won’t be sewing until 1 a.m. on December 25th! Maybe I’ll actually start early this year? At least I can help you start early! This tutorial is one that I shared at Skip to My Lou last year for the Holiday Bake, Craft and Sew-along, but I just finished putting the whole thing together for you in PDF form to make it easy to download, print and sew!

To download the tutorial, just click here: Holiday Kitchen Gift Set. Be sure to save the file to your computer before you print the pattern.

In case you prefer to read the tutorial here on my blog, here it is for you:

Are you looking for the perfect thank-you gift for all of those holiday party hostesses? The Kitchen Gift Set might be just what you need! The set includes fold-over, oven-mitt potholders (my favorite kind) and matching dishtowels.

You’ll be able to get two matching potholders and two coordinating dish towels from one yard each of two coordinating cotton prints. You’ll also need 1/4 yard of Insul-Bright or another insulating fleece for the potholders and 1 yard of absorbent cotton fabric for the backing of the dishtowels (diaper fabric, waffle weave, pique, huck toweling, etc.)Let’s start with the potholders!  You’ll need the pattern pieces found here: Potholder Pattern Pieces. (Be sure to print that “actual size” and check the measurement of the 2 1/2″ square.) Cut out all of your pieces.  For each potholder, you’ll cut 2 pocket pieces of Fabric A, 2 pocket pieces of Fabric B, 2 base pieces of Fabric B, 1 base piece of Insul-Bright, 2 trim pieces – 7″ x 2″, and 2 ruffle pieces – 12″ x 2 1/2″.
PotHolders#2Fold each of your ruffle pieces over with the wrong sides together and match up the long edges. Press well.
PotHolders#3Sew two rows of basting stitches (the longest stitching your machine allows) along the long raw edges — one at 1/8” and one at 1/4”—leaving the threads on each end 2 to 3 inches long.
PotHolders#4Pull the bobbin threads from each end to gather each ruffle until it is the same length as the trim piece.
PotHolders#5Set one ruffle aside. Pin the gathered edge of the remaining ruffle to the right side of one trim piece along one of the long edges. Check to make sure that your gathers are evenly divided. (You can baste here if you’d like.)
PotHolders#6Place one of the Fabric A pocket pieces on top so that the right sides of the trim piece and the pocket piece are together and the ruffle is sandwiched between.  Line up the edges as shown and pin in place.
PotHolders#7Sew the pinned edge.
PotHolders#8Flip the pieces to the right side and press the ruffle towards the curved edge of the pocket piece while pressing the seam allowance in the opposite direction.  Topstitch 1/4″ from the top edge of the ruffle.
PotHolders#9If you find that you have small spots on each side where the ruffle sticks out.  Just flip the pocket piece over and trim those off.
PotHolders#10Pin the long edge of one Fabric B pocket piece to the remaining raw edge of the trim piece with the right sides together.  Sew the pinned edge.
PotHolders#11Flip the pieces apart and press the seam allowance toward the ruffle.
PotHolders#12Fold the pocket over so that the wrong sides are together and the curved edges are all lined up.  Press well.  Follow the same steps to assemble the remaining pocket.
PotHolders#13
PotHolders#14Set your pocket pieces aside for now.  Take one of your base pieces and draw a quilting grid on the right side of it.  I used one of my Frixion pens to do this, but you can use a washable or disappearing marker, as well.  I placed my lines 1 3/4″ apart, starting from the center in each direction.
PotHolders#15Pin this piece on top of the Insul-Bright piece.
PotHolders#16Stitch down each line, starting with the center line and working out.  (If your machine has a walking foot, use it for this step and the remaining steps to help keep your fabrics from slipping while you’re sewing.)
PotHolders#17Place your finished pocket pieces on top of the remaining base piece, lining up the curved edges as shown.
PotHolders#18Flip the quilted base piece/Insul-bright over on top of these so that the right sides are together and the pocket pieces are sandwiched between.  Pin in place.
PotHolders#19Stitch all the way around, leaving an opening for turning in one short end. Clip or trim the curves before turning right side out.
PotHolders#20Turn through the opening and push the corners out neatly.  Tuck the raw edges of the opening in and press well.  Pin the opening closed.
PotHolders#21Topstitch all the way around at 1/4″.  (In addition to using your walking foot for this step, a denim needle will help to prevent skipped stitches when going over the thick areas.)  Your first potholder is done!  Now you just need to make it a mate.
PotHolders#22Let’s move on to the dish towels!Start by cutting out your pieces. You’ll need a layer or two of absorbent fabric. (I’m using two layers of diaper cloth from Joanns. Be sure to wash and dry all of your fabrics before getting started!) For each dishtowel, you’ll cut these pieces: 1 or 2 layers of absorbent fabric – 23 1/4″ x 14″ (if you cut two layers, you’ll treat them as one from here on), 1 Fabric A main piece – 21″ x 14″, 1 Fabric A ruffle piece – 22″ x 2 1/2″, 1 Fabric B large trim piece – 3″ x 14″ and 1 Fabric B small trim piece – 1 1/2″ X 14″.
DishTowels#2Follow the same steps that you used for the potholders above to create your ruffle.
DishTowels#3Pin the gathered edge along one long edge of the smaller trim piece on the right side.
DishTowels#4Place the larger trim piece on top so that the right sides are together and the ruffle is sandwiched between. Line up one of the long raw edges of the larger trim piece with the pinned edges of the ruffle and smaller trim piece and pin in place. Sew along the pinned edge.
DishTowels#5Flip the pieces over to the right sides. Press the ruffle towards the larger trim piece with the seam allowance in the opposite direction, but do not topstitch yet.
DishTowels#6Line up the remaining long raw edge of the smaller trim piece along one short edge of the main towel piece with the right sides together. Pin and sew.
DishTowels#7Flip the pieces apart and turn to the wrong side. Press this seam allowance over the seam allowance from the ruffle.
DishTowels#8Flip back over to the right side and topstitch 1/4″ from top of the ruffle.
DishTowels#9Place the finished top face down on your absorbent layers so that the right sides are facing.  Pin.DishTowels#10Stitch all the way around, leaving a 4″ opening in one side for turning. Clip the corners.
DishTowels#11Turn the towel through the opening. Push the corners out neatly and tuck the raw edges of the opening inside. Press well and topstitch all the way around at 1/4″.  Your dish towel is done!  Make a second one if you’d like, and your Kitchen Gift Set will be ready to gift to your favorite hostess!
DishTowels#12

Go Fish Extra:
Add a Zippered Pocket to the Front of Your Go Figure Tech Bag

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m working on adding a section to my website of “extras” that you can add to your Go Fish Series patterns. These will all be free downloads, and I think that sewing them will help you build skills that you can take to your other sewing, too!

My first Go Fish Extra is this quick tutorial for adding a zippered pocket to the front of your Go Figure Tech Bag. The GFTB is a zippered tote that you customize to fit your electronic device …. tablet, e-reader or laptop. There’s this perfect point on the outside for a giant zippered pocket. This is actually one of those things that I wanted to include in the original pattern, but since these are designed as tri-fold sewing cards in paper format, sometimes I just run out of room!I put this tutorial together in PDF format for you, and you can download it right here.

PR&P Week One: Go, Go Gadget Fashion!

I am so excited to be competing in Season 10 of Project Run & Play! To read more about PR&P and find out how you can join in the sew-along, just click here. To see all of this week’s designer looks and vote for your favorite, click right here! Read on for tons of pictures and more details about my first week look.

As a child of the 1980s, I was really excited about the Project Run & Play theme for Week 1 – 80s Cartoon-Inspired Looks! I was 10 in 1980, and I graduated high school in 1988, so I have fond memories of so many 80s cartoons! The big problem came when I had to pick just one! What a hard choice! I knew that I wanted to make this an everyday outfit, and I didn’t want the outfit to look costume-y or really feature any specific characters. With those things in mind, I narrowed it down to a few choices. From there, since I was sewing for my seven-year-old, I enlisted his help to make the final decision. Jamie’s choice? Inspector Gadget!My Go, Go Gadget Fashion ensemble is an everyday outfit inspired by Gadget’s own classic inspector’s wardrobe, but with hidden accents that represent his robotic gadgets! I thoroughly enjoyed designing and sewing this outfit, and Jamie loves it! (His favorite part is the jacket. He didn’t want to take it off, and it was in the 80s here in Florida on the day of our photo shoot!)

The set is made up of three pieces – jacket, top and pants. I designed the jacket with a trench coat style fit, but with a shorter length to make it more practical for my little guy.The jacket outer is sewn with a soft gray cotton twill, and it’s fully lined with a cotton and linen blend robot print. The cuffs fold down for extra growing room.The front plackets feature a gentle curve at the top, and they’re finished with rows of twin topstitching in matching thread. Actually, there is a lot of topstitching in this jacket — in the pants, too! I love the detail that it adds. I’ve said before that I think topstitching is like ruffles for boys.The two front pockets are big enough to hold Inspector Jamie’s notepad, pencil, magnifying glass and anything else that he might need for his investigative work! They also button up to keep everything safe inside.The 1 1/8″ buttons have a really cool mottled gray coloring, and they’re eco-friendly because they’re made of recycled cotton.The Henley-style top is constructed of light blue cotton pique fabric. Inspector Gadget’s shirt is white, but Inspector Jamie is tough on white clothes, and he lives in a house with well water that doesn’t get along well with white for very long. I love the look of the light blue mixed with the gray of the jacket and the dark blue of the pants.The traditional Henley collar is sewn with 1X1 cotton/spandex ribbing, and the placket inset features more cotton/linen robot fabric. Isn’t that little yellow robot peeking out just adorable?I finished the placket with white metal snaps. (See the little scratch on Jamie’s cheek in the picture below. It’s the result of momma leaving a pin in the shirt when he first tried it on! Have you ever done that? I felt so bad, but he seemed rather excited when I told him that we would just say that it was a scar from his past detective work.)I cut the back of this top longer than the front, and I added in side vents.The fine-wale cotton corduroy pants wrap up this outfit in comfortable, modern style. A zippered fly hides more tiny robots on the fly shield and the inside of the waistband. The waistband also features functional belt loops. Two huge front pockets provide more storage room, and double knees give longer-lasting wear. The coordinating topstitching on the pockets and the knee panels gives more great detail.Jamie is tall and thin and generally wears slim sizes in ready-to-wear pants, so elastic in the backwaist gives him a comfortable fit. The back yoke and pockets finish the pants off nicely.I think this outfit accomplished all of my goals: Inspector Gadget-inspired, comfortable everyday wear, and loved by the receiver! I happen to think he’s quite handsome in it, too!Jamie planned out the props for this photo shoot himself, and he had a lot of fun with it!All patterns are self-drafted.
Jacket fabrics: Gray Cotton Twill by Fabric Finders from Southern Seams, Robot Cotton Linen by Kokka from Sew Me a Song, Recycled Cotton Buttons by Green Earth from Joann Fabric.
Shirt fabrics: Light Blue Cotton Pique upcycled from a thrifted Old Navy polo, Ribbing from Joann Fabric, Robot Cotton Linen by Kokka from my stash.
Pant fabrics: Royal Blue Fine Wale Corduroy from Hobby Lobby.

Thank you so much for dropping in to visit and reading about my Go, Go Gadget Fashion Look! Don’t forget to go vote: Project Run & Play – Week 1!

RBD Flannel Showcase Blog Tour: Reversible Button Bibs

I’m up on the Riley Blake Designs Flannel Showcase Blog Tour! Over the next few months, sewing bloggers will be featuring some of their favorite ways to use flannel fabric in handmades, all using Riley Blake’s great selection of cotton flannel fabrics. RB’s flannel fabric is a favorite here in our house because it has that wonderful soft brushed feel, and it stays that way wash after wash.Because it’s 100% cotton and thicker than quilting cotton fabrics, flannel is not only soft, but it’s absorbent, too. That makes it a great choice for those sweet and darling but very drool-ly and spit-uppy babies! Anyone who has spent time with a newborn knows that a collection of absorbent drool bibs makes life much cleaner and drier. Thankfully, bibs are quick and simple to sew, so you can have a stack done in no time, and making them reversible for two looks in one is just as easy. I thought I’d take advantage of the blog tour and show you how!We’re going to start with my free Bibs in All Sizes pattern. To download the pattern, just click here, scroll down to the red link at the bottom of the post and click again. Be sure to save the file to your computer before printing the pattern. In order to make these reversible, I replaced the waterproof backing with another layer of flannel. If you wanted to make these waterproof, though, you could hide a waterproof fabric inside. Follow the instructions for cutting out and assembling your bib, either sewing it with your machine or serging it. (I’m using the infant size here, but toddler, big kid and adult sizes are all included in the free pattern.)From here, we’ll be adding buttons for fastening rather than the snaps called for in the pattern. For these bibs, I used Riley Blake’s Matte Finish Buttons in Gray and Red.

Measure in from the end of the snap strap ½” on the Infant Size (1″- Toddler, 1 ½”- Big Kid Bib) and mark the center point. This will be the beginning of your button hole. Draw a vertical straight line 1/4″ longer than the width of your button to mark your button hole. Stitch your button hole. (Refer to your machine’s manual for using your automatic button hole attachment.)We’re going to sew two buttons back to back so that each side has it’s own button. When you do this, you have to add some space between the buttons to keep them from being too tight. (If you just sewed them back to back without some wiggle room, you wouldn’t be able to pull the buttons through the button hole.) If you have a chopstick (or what I often refer to as a corner-poker-outer) handy, that will work beautifully! Place the chopstick on the front side of the bib, centered on the little hump where you’ll be sewing your buttons.Place the first button on top of the chopstick, just below your topstitching or serger threads. Grab your hand needle and thread, and thread the needle, pulling the thread ends through so that you’ll be stitching with two thread lengths at once. Tie a generously-sized knot in the end of your thread. Pull the thread through from the back into one hole in the button, out the opposite hole and back through to the back of the bib. Be sure that your knot is snug against the back of the bib. Slide your second button onto the needle and pull it all the way down against the back of the bib, lining it up behind your first button. Poke the needle through the opposite hole in the back button and through the matching hole on the front button.Continue stitching through the two buttons with the chopstick between until your button is well secured. (An important safety note: These buttons must be attached securely and firmly. Be sure to check them regularly. Never ever leave a baby or child alone or sleeping while wearing a bib.)Pull out the chopstick and slide the needle under the threads in the back. Tie a knot around these threads and knot again several times. Trim away the extra thread.Button your bib on the front side ….…or flip it over and button it on the other side!

Mark your calendars and follow along for the next 7 weeks as we re-discover our love of flannel and get inspired by fun new flannel project ideas!

9/9 Quiltscapes

9/12 Fishsticks Designs

9/19 The Stitching Scientist

9/23 Sassy Quilter

9/26 Simple Simon & Co.

9/30 Fabric Mutt

10/3 Just Let Me Quilt

10/7 Jedi Craft Girl

10/10 Rose and Odin

10/14 Sew We Quilt

10/17 Haberdashery Fun

10/21 Leigh Laurel Studios

10/24 The Cottage Mama

10/28 Flannel Queen

10/31 Lucy Blaire

11/4 Riley Blake Designs Final Post + Giveaway

Sewing for Our Disney World Trip ~ Day 2

I’m a little behind in sharing our Day 2 Disney outfits because I misplaced my second camera card! The funny thing is that I know where I put it, but it’s not there. Hmmm … We’ll just have to make do with the pictures that I do have.

I ran across the Seven Dwarfs fabric at Joann Fabrics while we were visiting with out-of-town family last month and thought it was so cute! I couldn’t resist grabbing a few yards to bring home for the boys! I was really hoping to find Snow White fabric to coordinate with it for Katie’s outfit, but a thorough online search turned up nothing at all. That ended up being just fine, though, because I love how Plan B turned out — meet the Playhouse Dress a la Snow White!Katie is so slim, I opted to make the Playhouse Dress a size smaller than her ready-to-wear size with added length. For the Snow White sleeves, I pieced 2″ strips of red and light blue Kona cottons, then I cut and sewed them according to the pattern instructions. To add a little more drama to the skirt, I made it a double-layer with the top skirt slightly shorter. The dobby fabric that I used was really thin, so doubling it up kept it from being see-through, too.For Charlie and Jamie, I experimented a little with a tunic idea that I’ve been mulling over for a while. We got so many compliments on these shirts at Disney. I’m sure that I’ll be re-visiting this one with some minor modifications!On Jamie’s shirt, I used the pocket from my Everyday Camp Shirt and tiny buttons on the placket. My next versions of these will definitely have narrower collars. These worked just fine, though, since everything Disney is a bit over-the-top! (Both boys are also wearing mama-made shorts — Inside or Out Pocket Pants on Charlie and Sand & Sidewalk Boardshorts on Jamie. They’re wearing Undercover Bottoms Boxer Briefs, too, but you obviously can’t see those!)The pocket on Charlie’s shirt is similar to the faux flap pockets that I used on Jamie’s shirt for Disney Day One, and I finished his placket with metal snaps. Both shirts have a side slit and a slightly longer back than front. (You can see that best in the picture at the very top of this post.)I thoroughly enjoyed sewing these outfits, and the kids loved wearing them. It was so nice to have unique Disney-themed clothing for them to wear on our trip. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you sew for vacations? special trips? special occasions? I tend to only do so if I know that what I’m sewing will be used later … my practical mindedness is usually the deciding factor. (The Mickey shirts that I sewed for the boys have already been worn again this week. As for these Seven Dwarfs tunics, I’m thinking of whipping up some Pajama Party PJ pants to match and turning them in fall jammies.)


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