Tuesday, August 14, 2018

hello :)

Well, hello lovelies! Anybody still there?

I can't believe it's been so long since I last popped into this place :( How are you all doing?

If you follow me on Instagram you probably noticed last few months have been pretty busy and full of change for our family. The biggest thing, of course, has been our intercontinental move from the US to the Netherlands, eeek! And oh-my-goodness! What a change this has been. It's been wonderful in so many ways, while super challenging in some others. That's how things usually are though, aren't they? At least that's what I'm telling myself :)

We traveled a lot, visited many family members we haven't seen in years which was absolutely  wonderful, and now we're slowly adjusting to our new lives. The thing I probably love the most about Netherlands is the bike culture. We bike everywhere! Everywhere! To the grocery store, movies, doctor's office, ... even to Ikea! We actually don't even own a car at the moment because there's just no need for one. How crazy is that!

My new wheels and a tote bag I made using fabulous watermelon print purchased from Miss Matatabi on Etsy. Such a perfect summer tote.

I have, of course, been working on setting up my sewing space. It's tiny but will definitely do for now. I've been sewing up a storm so no complaints here :)

One of my favorite things to make these days are fun little scrappy coasters. They are perfect projects for trying new ideas as well as using up some favorite scraps. Plus, they are super handy to have around the house, too. I can totally see my coaster collection growing in the next few months.

You can see more of the projects I worked on over the past few months on my IG account, of course. Here's the link if you're interested: https://www.instagram.com/sotakhandmade/

Talk to you soon. Svetlana

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Around Town Little Pouches

The weather has been absolutely crazy. We had one good, warm day and now it's back to winter jackets, grrrr. Seriously! It seems like there's no end to this horrid winter.  And, to top things off I came down with the most nasty cold combined with a cough that sends everyone running as soon as they hear it :( I can't even remember last time I was this sick, yuck!

As you can imagine, my productivity was close to zero these last few days, unless watching Narcos on Netflix counts as something productive? Yeah, probably not :)

I did, however, manage a tiny bit of sewing as my order of Around Town fabric by super talented Sarah Golden arrived and I just couldn't let it sit and taunt me, could I?

So, I whipped up these two cute little pouches and I absolutely love how they turned out. I used my Essential Pouch pattern - this is the smallest size and I used just a single piece of fabric instead of adding contrasting bottom. Super quick, easy, and oh - so - adorable !!

And now I want to make a tiny pouch in each and every print from this collection I purchased :)

What have you been up to? Any fun sewing projects? Or any fun new fabric collection you're excited about? Do tell.

Wishing you all a happy and creative Sunday. Svetlana

Monday, April 9, 2018

Stella Tote Bag (new pdf pattern)

Hello friends, I have a new pdf pattern to share with you today :)

This is Stella. 

She's a perfectly sized everyday tote bag featuring a wonderfully roomy front patchwork pocket, inner zipper pocket, as well as main zipper closure to ensure all your treasures stay safe and secure.

 I used leather straps to make my handles because I'm obsessed with this leather, linen, and patchwork combo, but the pattern includes instructions on how to make your own fabric handles if you wish.

I graded this bag as Intermediate Level as I think some experience making bags, piecing patchwork, as well as working with zippers would definitely be helpful when making your own Stella.

MATERIALS NEEDED TO MAKE THIS BAG: (fabric requirements are based on 42'' wide fabric)
fabric A (Essex linen for main exterior panels + pocket squares): 3/4 yard
fabric B (twill, denim, or quilting cotton for bottom exterior panel): ¼ yard
                                                                                        (1/2 yard if making your own fabric handles)
eighteen (18) - 2 ½'' print squares for front pocket
fabric C (quilting cotton for lining): 3/4 yard
medium weight fusible interfacing: 1 ½ yard
10 ½'' x 14 ½'' piece of fusible fleece
one (1) - metal snap closure size 20
14'' long metal or nylon zipper for main closure
7'' long metal or nylon zipper for lining pocket
*leather handles: two (2) – 3/4'' x 24''
(optional) 6mm or 8mm rivets: four (4)

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

As always, I'm offering this pattern at a discounted price of $6.00 for the next 48 hours. After that (on 4/11) the price will go up to its regular $8.00.

You can purchase Stella Tote pdf instant download pattern by clicking on the button below or by visiting my etsy shop here.

Happy sewing, friends. Svetlana

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

hand piecing a quilt ???

Last few weeks I've been looking for a handwork project I could do while watching a show with my kids, or waiting in a carpool lane. Knitting is my usual go to project when sewing machine is not an option, but this time I was ready for some change.

I thought about cross stitch for like a second but I knew right away it wouldn't do as I lack patience and get too frustrated with all the mistakes I tend to make when working on a cross stitch project. I then pulled out my epp (english paper piecing) supplies and even made a few hexies. I used to do a lot of epp on the go, this time though I didn't feel the love :(  I mean, I liked the block I made, I just didn't see myself making enough of them to turn them into something useful.

And then, about a week ago, I kind of gave up on my search, cast on a new pair of socks and settled in to watch some new classes on Creativebug. I came across Tara Faughnan's Double Wedding Ring Quilt class and even though I had no plan to be making a DWR quilt at that moment, I thought it would be fun to watch it as I really, really like Tara's work and her teaching style. And, to my utter surprise, Tara was teaching how to hand piece this giant of a quilt!!! To say I was stunned would totally be an understatment because I just couldn't understand why someone would choose to hand piece a quilt when even the cheapest sewing machine could do the job way quicker and more efficiently.

The more I watched though, the more intrigued I got and by the time I finished watching the class I was ready to give hand piecing a go. I tried piecing a few curves, squares, as well as HSTs but in the end I decided a log cabin block might be the easiest one for a hand piecing beginner like me. Plus, log cabin block is my all time most favorite block ever!

Oh-my-goodness!!! You guys, I'm totally hooked. 

I'm going to be using mostly solids for my blocks as I'm hoping to end up with something similar to this vintage quilt I found on Pinterest.

So tell me. Do you have any on the go projects you like to work on? Any favorites? I'd love to know.

Thanks for stopping by friends, and for reading. Your support and encouragement means more than you can imagine :)


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

drawstring backpack (a free tutorial)

Hello friends, welcome!

I'm excited to share a free tutorial for a simple, fully lined, easy to make Drawstring Backpack with you today. This is a perfect day trip or outing backpack that comes together in no time at all. All you need is a few basic sewing supplies, two half yard cuts of your favorite fabric, cotton or parachute cord, and you're set to go :)

Ready? Let's start!

FINISHED SIZE: 13'' wide x 15 1/2'' tall

exterior fabric - 1/2 yard quilting cotton
lining fabric - 1/2 yard quilting cotton
1/4'' or 1/2'' wide ribbon - 4'' long piece
macrame or parachute cord - two (2) 65'' long pieces

sewing clips and/or pins
bodkin or large safety pin

SA stands for seam allowance

1. Cutting
From exterior fabric cut: two (2) - 14'' wide x 15 3/4'' tall panels for main exterior
                                         two (2) - 14'' wide x 2 1/4'' tall strips for cord casing

From lining fabric cut: two (2) - 14'' wide x 15 3/4'' tall panels for lining

Cut ribbon into two (2) - 2'' long pieces

 2. Fold and press cord casing's short end 1/4'' towards wrong side, fold 1/4'' over and press again. Topstitch along the pressed edge using 1/8'' SA. Fold and stitch second short end following the same directions. Fold casing in half lengthwise, press. Prepare second casing the same way.

3. Place one exterior panel on a flat work surface. Fold both ribbons in half, baste them along side edges 1/2'' from bottom edge. Center folded casing along main panel's top edge (casing's raw edges and panel's top edge are lined up). Pin or clip in place, baste using 1/8'' SA. Add second casing to second exterior panel.

4. Place exterior panels right sides together, pin or clip to prevent layers from shifting. Use 3/8'' SA to stitch along the two side edges as well as bottom edge backstitching at the beginning and end. (Make sure your ribbon is tucked safely between the panel and is not going to get caught in the stitches as you sew along the bottom edge). Use scissors to clip the two bottom corners to reduce on bulk, press the seams open. Turn the assembled exterior right side out.

5. Place lining panels right sides together, clip or pin and stitch along the side and bottom edges using 3/8'' SA, this time leaving a 4'' opening in the bottom seam. Use scissors to clip the corners, press the seams open.

6. Insert exterior into lining right sides together. Line up side seams as well as top raw edges making sure casing is neatly tucked inside, pin or clip along the top edge to hold both panels together. Stitch along the top edge using 1/4'' SA. Press the seam open and turn the backpack right side out through the hole in the lining. Stitch the hole in the lining closed and gently push the lining into exterior pushing the corners out to make them neat and pointy.

7. Press exterior and lining away from casing. Pin through both exterior and lining layers and topstitch through both layers about 1/8'' below casing.

8. Attach one end of your cord to either a large safety pin or a bodkin and thread it through both casings starting on the right side and coming out on the same side. Thread one end of the cord through ribbon loop, knot the two ends together.

9. Pull the second cord through both front and back casings this time starting and ending on the left side. Thread cord through ribbon loop and make a strong knot.

All finished. Congratulations! 

Fill up your backpack with some goodies and you're ready for your outing :)

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

I hope you liked the tutorial and will be making these fun drawstring bag for your family and friends. And when you do, please post the photos to Instagram (use hashtag #sotakhandmade) so we all can see your lovely creations.

Happy sewing. Svetlana

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

two by four baby quilt

You guys, I actually finished a quilt !!!

This sounds so totally strange to me as I used to make quilt after quilt for years and lately the only way for me to get a quilt done is by literally forcing myself to do it :(  So, so very frustrating !!!

The crazy thing is I loved the pattern I was using (free tutorial by Film in the Fridge here), and I loved the fabric (my Stash bundle) and yet I found myself procrastinating and putting off piecing the quilt for way too long.

Once I basted the quilt though, I finally found my groove and absolutely loved hand quilting this little cutie. 

I tried really, really hard to not use my go to striped binding for this quilt, but after pulling out half of my stash to find just the right print and completely failing I concluded a wide stripe was the way to go. And now I'm glad I went with it because I think it frames the quilt beautifully.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥


finished size: 42'' x 58''
batting: Pellon Nature's Touch Wool Batting
Thanks for reading friends. Happy day to you all :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

lola pouch (pattern update + discount)

Over the years Lola pouch has been one of my most favorite pouches to make. I love the simple structure and assembly of this pouch and I absolutely adore the super unique zipper installation as well as its binding. Best of all there's no need to use zipper foot (it's quite a chore to change feet on my sewing machine) or do any hand stitching, and the pouch is fully lined.

I designed this pouch way back in 2014 so I thought a bit of a pattern update was in order. Which, of course, meant sewing up a few new samples :). What do you think? I think both of these turned out quite lovely.

I used Katarina Rocella's print for the main body of the large pouch and AGF denim in wicked and diagonal stripe for the bottom and the binding. The pouch measures 8 ¼ '' wide on top x 6 ½'' tall x 4'' deep and is a perfect size for a project bag.

I used all Dear Stella fabrics + striped binding for the small pouch which is just perfect for one's pens, notions, or even make up. Its finished size is 7'' wide on bottom x 4'' tall x 2'' deep.

In case you'd like to whip up a pouch (or two), now is a perfect time to purchase the pattern. I'm offering the pattern at a discounted price of $6.00 for the next 48 hours, after that the price will go back up to its usual $8.00. No coupon code needed, click here to buy the pattern.

Happy sewing, friends. Svetlana

Sunday, March 4, 2018

beeswax food wrap

A while back I talked about my effort to reduce the amount of paper and plastic our family uses in the kitchen. I'm happy to say we've all been pretty good about using fabric napkins and un-paper towels which is just wonderful. 

So I decided to take things a bit farther and give beeswax food wraps a try. I scoured the internet for tips and tutorials on what to do and not do, purchased all my supplies, and got to work.

I was super excited about this project and imagined myself making tons and tons of wraps. And then I started making some (I used the oven method), and quickly realized this just wasn't for me :( as I found the whole process too messy and a bit stressful. I did, however, finish a few wraps but I don't think I did it right and pieces of wax were sort of peeling off when I folded the wrap, ooops.

Now, this was definitely not my shiniest moment and, to my family's delight, I ended up throwing the finished wraps in the trash. I am, however, super happy I gave it a try. Because how would I know I didn't like making beeswax food wraps if I didn't try it first, right?

So here's to trying new things, and to failing as well. Because it's all part of the process :)

Wishing you all a happy and creative rest of the weekend. Svetlana

Thursday, March 1, 2018

zoe handbag parade

Hello lovelies, welcome !!!

Things have been a bit crazy busy around here and I have only now realized I never showed you the gorgeous Zoe handbags my lovely testers made. 

Let's jump right in, shall we?

 (click on the maker's name below the photo to be taken to their IG feed)

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Beautiful bags, aren't they? It's such a delight to see each maker's taste and style reflected in the fabrics they chose. 

You did a fabulous job, ladies. Thank you for your help :)

Wishing you all a happy and creative day. 


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

qayg drawstring bag

Yesterday afternoon, completely out of the blue, I decided to dump the contents of my two full to the brim scrap bins and start making quilt as you go blocks. I love this technique as I greatly enjoy turning scraps into lovely new projects, and I also find all that repetitive stitching super relaxing.

This was my first block and I was super pumped and started thinking that maybe I should make enough blocks to make a quilt. Yes, definitely an overly ambitious thinking, especially since my quilting mojo is nowhere to be found these days :(

So, not surprisingly, after making just four blocks I was pretty much done and accepted the fact that the qayg scrappy quilt was not in my future at the moment.

I trimmed two of the blocks to measure 10'' wide x 11'' tall and turned them into a simple, but totally adorable drawstring bag. (click here for a free tutorial if you'd like to make a drawstring bag as well)

I love how it turned out and will definitely find good use for this cutie.

Have you tried qayg before? Do you enjoy this technique? I'd love to know.

Thanks for reading friends. Hope you have a fun and creative day.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

zoe handbag (new pdf pattern)

Hello friends, welcome!

I'm so happy to be able to show you my newest pattern Zoe Handbag today.

I've had this kind of not too large, not too small handbag on my mind for months and it feels wonderful to be able to finally share it with you all.

This bag finishes at 12'' wide on bottom x 11'' tall x 4'' deep and is a perfect, perfect everyday bag with its roomy interior and four large exterior slip pockets. I've assigned one pocket for my keys, one for my phone, and one for the many packs of tissues I tend to carry around and I absolutely love to be able to actually find what I'm looking for without having to turn my bag upside down :)

I also added an interior zipper pocket and a fabulously easy to install main zipper closure as I'm a great believer in keeping one's purse contents safe and secure. 

As you can see from the photos above, I used leather straps for one of my bags, but I provide instructions on how to make lovely double sided fabric straps as well. And, of course all the rivets are totally optional.

What do you say? Would you like to make a Zoe handbag of your own? If so now is the perfect time to grab the pattern as for the next 48 hours I'm offering it at a discounted price of $6.00 (after that it will go up to its regular price of $8.00).

You can purchase Zoe Handbag instant download pdf pattern by clicking on the tab below or by visiting my Etsy shop.

Thank you for your support and happy sewing :)  I'll be back later this week to share fabulous bags my lovely testers made .


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