Knit a square… and make a cold child warm

Knit a square… and make a cold child warm

Please join KasCare’s knit-a-square project, where you can crochet or knit 8″/20 cm squares that are then put together to make blankets, hats, and other garments.  Started by two families in October 2008, one in Australia, the McDonalds and one in South Africa, the Lowries, this organization now has 5,000 committed members in over 40 countries with the goal of collecting 175,000 squares in 2011 and double that number in 2012!NOw, a registered charity under the name of KasCare
In early 2011 contributions are at 170,000 squares, representing over 7,000 blankets and more than 11,000 garments!

They need your help more than ever! The goal for 2011 is 175,000 (5,000 blankets), 5,000 hats and 2,000 knitted garments.


They are also accepting donations.

Like on facebook:

Join where you can find fabulous ideas, free crochet and knitting patterns

Are you a teacher interested in getting your class involved? Check out the  teacher resource page

Visit for additional information.

Contribute to this knitting project for the AIDS orphans of southern Africa and help the children keep warm and comfort.

How To: Button Maker

Buttons can be used for so many things.
To advertise something, as a focal piece of a broach, the possibilities are limitless.

As you open this Button Maker box you will find:
Instructions page

Various supplies that are needed to make your button.
This will enable you to create 72 buttons.

Button maker machine.

Two trays marked 1 and 2.

Nine pages filled with round circle shapes printed graphics.

I choose to use a Washi Japanese paper to create my button.

You can audition on the paper what part you would like to use.
As well as how many buttons you can get out of it.

The box comes with a circle template but that was no where to be found at this point so I made my own template.
I cut out one of the graphics circles.

Center the template.
Make sure your design is slightly smaller.
The edges of your artwork will form around the button.

Trace and cut your paper, your artwork.

To start creating the button, we will use tray 1.

In tray 1, put metal button cover with rounded sides facing up.

On top of that, put your artwork.

On top of that, put plastic cover.

Insert tray 1 into the button machine when the bar with handle on top is raised.

Slide tray 1 in.

Twist handle clockwise.
Stop when you hear a pop sound.

Twist handle counter-clockwise.
This will cause the bar to raise up.
Button parts stay inside the Button Maker machine.
Take out tray 1.

Take tray 2.

Take metal button backing with hole in center and place inside tray 2 with edges facing up.

Insert tray 2 into the Button Machine when the bar with handle on top is raised.

Slide tray 2 in.

Twist handle clockwise.
Stop when you hear a pop sound.

Twist handle counter-clockwise.
This will cause the bar to raise up.
Button is now in tray 2.
Take out tray 2.

Front of button is now finished.

Turn your button to the back side.

Snap plastic backing, pin into hole in button.

Snap pin into plastic backing.

Make sure you insert the part that doesn’t open!

Your button is now complete.
You can use fabric, magazine clipping or draw your own artwork.

Happy New Year!

To view another technique of how to create your own button: How To: Make a Button Using Your Fabric
To view another technique of how to create your own button: How To: Make a Button Using Your Fabric, Self Cover Buttons

Let’s create something!

How To: Christmas Stocking

Came across “Put a Serger in My Stocking Contest” on
As I would love to put my hands on a serger I decided to give it a go.

Unfortunately, this was not the winning stocking 🙁

Start of with a drawing of a stocking.
I digitized it on PE-Design Next and added a few Christmas teamed designs.

Hoop your stabilizer and fabric.
Optional, spray starch to keep your fabric nice and crisp.
I use, Mary Ellen’s Best Press, The Clear Starch Alternative.

As this embroidery is done on the bigger hoop and it has a number of designs, start of by selecting the basting option.
This will help the fabric from pulling at one spot or misaligned embroidery.
It’s best to select a similar thread color to your fabric color.

This is the base stocking with all the embroidery designs added.
The software helps with sizing down and moving the designs around until you are happy with the result.

Start Embroidering.

All the designs were Embroidered.

Time to cut all the tread connectors.

Print your stocking base.

Cut your stocking base and use it as a template to cut the other pieces of fabric needed.

Cut out your Embroidered front stocking.

Use a double layer of low loft batting.
Trace and cut.

Cut a matching color fabric for the inside of your stocking.

Select a coordinating, in this stocking a Christmas related fabric was chosen, trace and cut.
Remember, this one needs to be a mirror image, so cut fabric with toe facing the other direction.

Base stitch around to keep your 3 layers from shifting.
Repeat for front.

To attach the front and back of stocking, use bias tape.
Fold under at edge so there are no raw edges.

Start by adding the bias tape to the top of your front and back of the stocking.

Put your back of the stocking under the front and pint the bias tape around.
For the stocking, a one step attaching bias tape was used.
See how to attach bias tape in two steps on the apron project.

This is how it will look.
When you make your own bias tape or use a thinner bias tape it will be easier to go around curves.

Use a ribbon, in this case a Ric-Rac Ribbon in coordinating color to create a loop to hang your stocking.

Add ribbon to the back of your stocking. Saw on the same sewing line you attached bias tape.

Your bag is now complete.

Happy Holidays!
Let’s create something!

How to: Diaper Bag Kit – Part 2

 You can find: How to: Diaper Bag Kit – Part 1

Turns out the top side of the bag doesn’t match the lining side nor the sides of the bag.
Measure and mark where you need to stitch.
(Ignore instruction to stitch by seam allowance.)

Open part of the seam of the lining.
I didn’t want to take all  the stitches out as the corners were perfect.

Add a piece of fabric in coordinating color making the top side of bag the correct size.
Make sure the seams are on the inside (hidden inside the bag).
Try and get it as even as you can on both sides.

Make sure size of top of bag and lining are the same.

Another view.

How it looks on the right side of the fabric.

Pin top of bag to lining.

Open the zipper so it’s out of the way.

Stitch over zipper in a straight line on the edge.

View from the other side.

Moving on to the straps.
Measure and mark 4 inches from the size of the bag on both sides.

Attach straps on your marking. Use 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Make sure straps are not twisted.

View from the other side.
You may want to reinforce your stitches.
Stay inside your seam allowance.

How it should look so far.

Make sure the sides of your bag are the correct size.
In this case 4.5 inches.

Insert your lining into your bag.

I find it helpful to pin first with a few pins, just to make sure everything is where it’s supposed to be.

Turn bag and lining inside out.

Pin and stitch all around the top of the bag, using 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Take extra care of your corners.

Turn bag to the right side.
Use the opening at the bottom of lining and zipper.

Measure 1/4 inch for top stitch.

How it should look.

Time to close the opening at the bottom of lining which we used for turning the bag.

With raw edges of fabric turned inside, top stitch the 6 inches.
Use 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Your bag is now complete.
Final touches, cut any loose thread.

You can find: How to: Diaper Bag Kit – Part 1

Let’s create something!

“How Much Fabric?” Reference Cards ***GIVEAWAY***!

Are you one of “those people” that see a fabric and think, this would be fabulous as a shirt / pants / bag etc. and only later on when you are ready to work on the project start looking for that perfect pattern?
Do you then find yourself wondering well how much fabric should I buy? You don’t want to not have enough and then try and get more of the same fabric. And you don’t want to buy too much especially when it’s a very expensive fabric.
What do you do? You use these wonderful “How Much Fabric?” Reference Cards and no more rough guessing and oops I should have later on.


Want a chance to win a “How Much Fabric?” Reference Card Set?
Like Arts And Crafts Plaza on facebook
Like Gwyn Hug on facebook
Put a comment on this post and be entered to win a “How Much Fabric?” Reference Card Set from the complete collection of your choice.
Open to everyone, Gwyn Hug will ship internationally
Winner will be randomly selected January 16th 2012!
Winner will be contacted though facebook.
Winner announced January 17th 2012.


The Original “How Much Fabric?” Reference Card Sets –

There are currently several types of cards available with more to come.
Currently Available:
Set 1: Women’s Clothes (6-22/Eur 32-48)
Set 2: Plus Sizes (18-32/Eur 44-58)
Set 3: Men’s Clothes (34-50/Eur 44-60)
Set 4: Babies and Toddlers (Newborn – 6)
Set 5: Children’s (7-16)

What you can expect to get in the mail is a plastic card, size: 3⅜” x 2⅛” same size as your credit card.
Each set comes with several cards on a ring. Each card has a specific type of clothing.
The front of the card has the minimum, average and maximum fabric requirements by clothes size and fabric width as well as the “Safety Margin” table that helps you round up.
The back of the card has designs of clothing that will help you determine the type of outfit

Gwendolyn Campbell  is the creative genius behind these cards. Gwen is an avid sewer. You can check out her blog at After the dress
Gwen and her friend Christine looked at over 2,000 patterns in order to create a single set of cards.
With the help of Beth, a graphic designer, they created the cards.
Another friend, Susan is responsible for the site.
What a creative and resourceful bunch, you go girls!

On the FAQ page you can find all the answers you need.
Some of the questions that you can find answers to are:
How do you use the “How Much Fabric?” tables?
Can I buy just one card, instead of the whole set?
Do I need a Paypal account to buy the cards?
I see you have some pages in other languages. Why not my native language?

Should you have any questions, or  ideas, have other sets of cards you would love.
Do you speak a language that hasn’t been translated yet?
You can even find a short Klingon translation.
Contact Gwen on the contact page or email directly
Gwyn Hug
P.O. Box 90576
Lakeland, Florida 33804-0576

 A look behind the curtain, how did it all start? What is involved in creating these cards?

You know those times when you unexpectedly run across a beautiful, must-have fabric, but don’t have the right sewing pattern immediately available and so you aren’t sure how much to buy? And you want to make sure that you buy enough, but you don’t want to buy too much either… Well, that used to drive me crazy!

A couple of years ago, I finally decided to come up with a solution for this problem. My day-job involves analyzing a lot of data and so I realized that  I didn’t have to guess how much fabric the “typical” skirt pattern (for example) calls for – I could actually get the data and calculate it!

I started with my own substantial stash of patterns – typing those tables on the back of each pattern envelope into a spread sheet-so that I could calculate the averages. Before I knew it, I was searching the internet and downloading the pattern envelope images from hundreds, and then thousands, of patterns…

And the result of all that data entry and analysis – The Original “How Much Fabric?” Reference Cards! These are small, sturdy plastic reference cards that slip easily into your purse. There are sets that cover clothes for women, men, babies, toddlers and children. Each set has cards for different types of garments – tops, pants, jackets, dresses etc. Each card has a table that presents the minimum, average and maximum fabric requirements broken down by fabric width and garment size. Each card also has sketches to help you visualize what type of garment could be made with the minimum, average and maximum amounts of fabric.

They are the perfect “notion” for fabric shopping! You’ll be able to shop with confidence, knowing that you are buying enough fabric, but not buying too much and wasting your money.

What can you tell me about your hobbies and favorite thing you do?

My day-job is in research – so I design experiments, analyze data and write reports. My hobby is sewing – it’s such a nice contrast to my day-job. I get to work with my hands and I’m surrounded by beautiful colors and textures and patterns. My sewing projects only take a few hours or days – not years, like my research projects. I have a concrete product when I’m done – something I can hold in my hands, show to someone else, and put into practical use right away.

I love sewing for family and friends – letting people pick a fabric that speaks to them and turning it into something that becomes a part of their lives. I originally came up with  “Gwyn Hug” as my sewing label. It has 2 meanings that make it the perfect finishing touch on the clothes that I make for the people I love. First, it brings to mind the thought that when they put on my garment, it’s like I am wrapping them up in a hug. Second, in Welsh (my ancestry), it roughly translates to “a blessed cloak.” (And by “roughly” I mean you have to refer to like the 19th possible translation/definition for each word…) Okay, it’s a stretch, but isn’t it a wonderful image?

What crafting skill do you wish you had?

So, this may seem a bit extreme – but a few years ago I bought a used floor loom and I am in the process of teaching myself how to weave! Did you know that women have been weaving in some form or another for about 10,000 years! Not only that, but the first computers were modeled after early looms! How cool is that? I love the feeling of connection to women through all of history when I weave. And I love the way weaving combines creativity and art and math (weave patterns can be defined by sequences of binary vectors). My ultimate goal is to sew garments with fabric that I have woven.

How has opening your shop affected your life?

I guess the best thing about opening up my shop is the wonderful people that I have “met” – from all around the world! One of my customers is a fashion designer from South Africa, about to launch a line of clothing. I’ve learned about a 400 year old fabric market in the Netherlands. I met an Australian “minist” – someone who owns an original Mini auto mobile – she even sent me a picture in which she is posing by her Mini panel van. I could go on and on – I’ve just met so many really wonderful people!

What was your experience of having your first sale ever?

I announced the opening of my store in a post on my blog, and my first sale came within 30 minutes of my post going up. I was so jazzed! I thought it signaled the opening of flood gates! Of course, my second sale didn’t come until several days later… 😉

Give me some insight on you personally, do you give back to your community in some way?

I have been doing volunteer tutoring of some form or another for the last 11 years. I started as a Laubach adult literacy tutor and had three wonderful students across a 6 – year span. Then I stumbled into the opportunity to (volunteer) teach sewing to some young immigrants who didn’t speak English. That was quite a challenge for all of us! (I didn’t speak any Spanish at the time.) I’m sure those first few lessons would have looked comical to an outsider – there were many times when we were all at a loss and just stared at each other helplessly… But we all persevered, they learned the basics of sewing, I learned some broken Spanish and we all became good friends.

That experience got me connected into our local immigrant community and for the last 3 years I have been (volunteer) teaching “ESL” (English as a Second Language) at a local church. Through all of this, I have met some truly amazing and inspiring people and made life – long friends. I hope that I have helped others to have a better life in some way – but I know for sure that my life has been enriched!

Where else can we find out more about you and your creations?

I have a personal (mostly sewing-related) blog
Facebook page for Gwyn Hug


Want a chance to win a “How Much Fabric?” Reference Card Set?
Like Arts And Crafts Plaza on facebook
Like Gwyn Hug on facebook
Put a comment on this post and be entered to win a “How Much Fabric?” Reference Card Set from the complete collection of your choice.
Open to everyone, Gwyn Hug will ship internationally
Winner will be randomly selected January 16th 2012!
Winner will be contacted though facebook.
Winner announced January 17th 2012.


Happy sewing everyone!

Let’s create something!