Wednesday, September 30, 2015

wood base pincushion {a tutorial}

Recently I came across the most wonderful online shop called  Beyond Measure. The shop is described as "a place selling beautiful things for folk who make" and, to my delight, it really is true. It's full of unique, beautifully made items and sewing supplies I have not come across before. Not surprisingly, I fell completely in love with their wood base pincushions.

And then, as luck would have it, I was at the store and came across some adorable wooden dip bowls. Which got my wheels turning, of course. I bought a few of the bowls, scrapped the rest of my shopping plans, and rushed home like a maniac to try to make my own wood base pincushions :). I know I'm not the only one who does these things, right?

I won't lie. It took a while for me to finally figure out how to have as few puckers in the fabric as possible but once I was finished I could not help staring at my most adorable stack of pincushions and grinning. 

And then I thought some of you might like to make a pincushion, or two, as well. So, I sent an email to Grace (owner of Beyond Measure) and she very kindly gave me permission to share this tutorial with you (since my pincushions are 100% inspired by Grace's I wanted to make sure she was on board with me sharing my tutorial).

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Please note, this tutorial shows how I made my pincushions. I'm in no way shape or form implying it's how Beyond Measure pincushions are made (because I have absolutely no idea how they make theirs) .

To make one pincushion, you will need:

one wooden base (mine is a 2 1/4" diameter dip bowl bought at World Market)
4.5" diameter fabric circle (you will need a bigger circle if your bowl is bigger than mine)
polyester fiberfill
sewing supplies
strong thread (I used 2 strands of embroidery thread)
glue (your choice, just make sure it's strong enough to hold fabric and wood base together)

 1. Use running stitch and about 3/8" seam allowance and stitch all the way around the perimeter of the fabric circle. Make sure to leave a 3" tail when you begin your stitches. Leave a 3" tail when you finish stitching as well.

2. Start gathering the fabric by pulling both tread ends at the same time. Go slow, make sure the fabric is spread out evenly. You're forming a little pouch of sorts.

3. Stuff the little "fabric pouch" with polyester fiberfill. Don't overfill it, try to see how much fiberfill can fit into your wooden base and go from there. Use your fingers to push and form the fiberfill inside the little pouch, try to make it as round as possible and do your best to eliminate puckers. Also, place it in your base from time to time to see if you need to pull on the tread more to make it smaller, or loosen the thread to make it bigger. The fiberfill pouch should fit snugly into the base. Once you have the size and shape you're going for, tie the thread ends together. Make a strong double or triple knot.

4. Apply glue to the inside of wood base about 1/4" from the top. Go all the way around, don't overdo it on glue, but do make sure there's enough of it.

5. Press squishy pincushion top gently but firmly into the base. Hold your hand over it for a little bit to make sure glue holds the top and let the glue dry.

6. Once the glue is dry (shouldn't take too long, mine was fine after about 20 min), add some pins to your pincushion and admire.

Hope you have tons of fun using your new super cute wood base pincushion. And, as always, if you make a project using any of my tutorials please add it to my Flickr group or use #sotakhandmade if posting on Instagram. I love seeing all your amazing creations.


Monday, September 28, 2015

homestead blog hop {plus a giveaway}

Hello everyone,

welcome to my stop celebrating release of Homestead fabric by Emily Isabella for Birch Fabrics.  

This adorable collection is available both as organic poplin and organic knit. It was my first time working with Birch organic poplin so I was not sure what to expect. I had no idea I was in for such a treat. This fabric is soft, drapes beautifully, and is a dream to sew with. Plus, it's organic!!! Which I really, really love.

I chose Daisy Bed Sun and Daisy Bed Storm for my projects. I combined these beautifully soft flowers on yellow background with solid gray fabric for the front of my pillow, and saved the navy print for the back.

I quilted both front and back of the pillow cover in a grid  pattern, my lines are about 1/2" apart as I love the texture this kind of quilting adds to finished projects.

And, since I still had some fabric left once my pillow was made, I went ahead and made a Lola pouch (pattern here) and the most adorable wooden base pincushion (inspired by this beauty).  I so love how these turned out.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Birch Fabrics is giving away 1 yard of each fabric (either poplin or knit) to one lucky winner. Please use a widget below to enter.

Also, I hope you visit these talented peeps to see their gorgeous Homestead makes.

Friday, September 25, 2015

welded quilt

Hello friends,

 I have a new quilt to show you today. Art Gallery Fabrics and Fat Quarter Shop teamed up once again and released this fun, beginner friendly pattern called Welded.

 I really enjoyed making this quilt. It's been a while since I made a regular sized quilt using a pattern so this was a lovely change of pace for me. No need to take a gazillion notes as I sewed, no need to do my own math, just pure joy of sewing with no interruptions :). And, there's even a free video tutorial on how to make this quilt. Doesn't get better than that, does it?

I wanted this to be a "boy friendly" quilt so I decided to only use gray, blue, and white fabrics. All the fabrics are from Imprint and Wonderland collections by Katarina Rocella for AGF. I've become quite a fan of Katarina and I just love how perfectly her collections play together.

Finished size of this quilt is 61" x 79".

And, just so you know, Fat Quarter Shop is selling kits to make your own Welded, click here if interested.

Hope you'll pop on over to these lovely folks to see their versions of Welded.

John of Quilt Dad
Kitty of Night Quilter
Michele-Renee of Quilt Matters
Svetlana of Sotak Handmade
Caroline of Sew Caroline
Riane of Vessel Quilts
Megan of Quilt Story
Kaye of Miss Print
Natalia of Piece N Quilt

Wishing you all a super lovely weekend. Svetlana

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

sewing box

Last few weeks I've been kind of obsessed with finding a wooden accordion style vintage sewing box. So, when I spotted one at our local antique store I was more than ecstatic. It's made in Norway sometime around 1950s and is in pretty good condition (just a little bit of damage to one drawer). 

I love how big it is, it will fit tons of  my epp and hand sewing supplies. Plus, I really love having a sewing box that belonged to someone else many, many years ago.

Now just to find a Singer Featherweight in good working condition and I'll be all set :).

Talk to you soon. Svetlana

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Making new pillowcases for our king sized pillows has been on my mental to do list for ages. So, when I came across this wonderfully detailed tutorial for envelope style pillow cases in different sizes the other day, I decided it was finally time I gave it a try.

I first made a set of pillowcases carefully following the directions (pillow on the bottom is one of them). Yes, I actually read all the steps a few times to make sure there will be as little seam ripping as possible :).

Once I made the first set, I decided to add more fabrics to my pillowcases as well as add a thin contrasting strip to the cuff. I did my own math for this second design, but pretty much followed the original directions. I love that there are absolutely no raw edges in these pillowcases - french seams definitely make for such professional looking results.

And then, just because pillowcases seem to be quite addictive, I made this Pokemon one for my daughter. This time, however, I used magic pillowcase tutorial. What a fun way to make a pillowcase. And, once again, no raw edges here either, ♥ ♥ ♥.

I highly recommend you give both of these tutorials a try if you ever want to make your own pillowcases. You won't be disappointed, I promise :).


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

sweet tweets coaster

Have you seen Erin's new book Sweet Tweets: Simple Stitches, Whimsical Birds ? It's full of incredibly adorable, quick to make patchwork projects.

I chose to make Rainy Day Bird Coaster and I could not be happier with how it turned out. I'm so in love with this combination of some of my very favorite Cotton and Steel fabrics, Essex linen, little patchwork pieces, and chunky hand stitches. Plus, look at that little birdie holding an umbrella. Beyond adorable!

At first I was not so sure about raw edge applique Erin teaches so well in her book. I'm not very good with free motion quilting so I worried I'd completely mess up my coaster. You know what though? The wonkiness of the the stitches actually adds to the charm of these projects. In my humble opinion :).

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Would you like to win your very own electronic copy of this beautiful book full of charming projects? If so, leave a comment below and I'll choose a winner on Thursday (Sep. 17th).

This giveaway is open worldwide.

The winner is Christine S. Congratulations!!!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Hope you'll enjoy the rest of the blog hop. Svetlana
Tuesday, September 8 - Erin (Introduction post) Why Not Sew?
Wednesday, September 9 - Heidi Fabric Mutt
Thursday, September 10 - Debbie A Quilter's Table
Friday, September 11 - No Post
Saturday, September 12 - Jacque Brown Dog Prims 
Monday, September 14 - Amy nanaCompany 
Tuesday, September 15 - Svetlana s.o.t.a.k handmade 
Wednesday, September 16 - Renee Sewn With Grace

Thursday, September 17 - Martingale Stitch This! The Martingale Blog

Friday, September 18 - Heather Vintage Grey Handmade
Saturday, September 19 - Clara and Jennie Clover & Violet
Monday, September 21 - Amanda Jean Crazy Mom Quilts
Tuesday, September 22 - Cindy Live a Colorful Life
Wednesday, September 23 - Carla Grace and Favour
Thursday, September 24 - Mary Molly Flanders
Friday, September 25 - No Post
Saturday, September 26 - Erin, Big Giveaway Post!!! Why Not Sew?

Monday, September 14, 2015

thank you ♥

Hello friends,

thank you so very much for the incredible response to my call for pattern testers. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

I responded to everyone's comments and emails and added you to my list of potential testers. There were, however, about eighteen comments I could not respond to as they were from non-reply readers (meaning there was no email address attached to their comments). I would definitely not want anyone to feel left out, so if you wanted to be one of the testers and didn't get a confirmation email from me, please send me a note at and I'll add you to the list.


Friday, September 11, 2015

interested in testing my patterns?

Now that the kids are back at school and I have a lot more time for sewing, I was super happy to get back to designing and pattern writing. Oh, what a joy!

I'm almost finished with my newest pattern for a pouch (a little sneak peek above) and I have quite a few designs for both bags and pouches I'm hoping to publish in the next few months. I'd better get cracking :).

With pattern writing, of course, comes the need to have those patterns tested. I was wondering, would any of you, my lovely friends, like to test my future patterns for me? I'm putting together a new, updated database of testers. Here's what it would involve.

I'm looking for willing people who:
- have some experience sewing bags or pouches
- can make a project on deadline (usually 2-3 weeks) and send me at least one clear, well lit picture
- can proof read the instructions and give me feedback on how to make them more user friendly
Each pattern tester will receive a final PDF copy of the pattern, one free pattern of choice from my already published patterns, and will have a photo of their project (with links back to their blog, website, or Flickr stream) published on my blog.
If you're up for it please send me an email at or simply leave a comment below (just make sure I have a way of contacting you).
One more thing before I go, if you tested for me before and would like to be put on my new list, please send me an email as well.
Thank you everyone. Wishing you all a super lovely weekend.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

scissors cozy {tutorial}

A pouch made specially for my large fabric scissors has been on my mind ever since I came across this fantastic scissor cozy years ago. I looked and looked for a pattern or tutorial for this kind of scissor cozy with no success, so this weekend I finally decided to draw up my own template and give it a try.

You know what? It worked ! The scissors cozy turned out just the way I imagined and I finally have a pouch that fits my large scissors perfectly. I actually managed to stuff two of my fabric scissors inside the pouch :).

I posted a picture of my finished scissors cozy on Instagram and lots of people loved it, so I wrote up this tutorial in case you'd like to make a scissors cozy of your own. Enjoy!.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Finished size: 10” wide x 5” tall

- use 1/4" seam allowance unless otherwise noted
- light to mid- weight quilting fabric is recommended for both exterior and lining
- make sure your printer is set to “actual size” when printing your template (page scaling is set to “none”). Do not select “shrink to fit” as that would result in your template being printed incorrectly.

You will need:
template (click here) 
fabric A (exterior): 1 FQ
fabric B (lining): 1 FQ
cotton batting: 15" square
medium weight fusible interfacing (I used SF 101): 15" square
2” long ribbon for tab
9” zipper

basting spray or pins
zipper foot for your sewing machine
1. Cutting
fabric A cut: two main panels using provided template (make sure to cut two mirror images)
one 1.5” x 2” rectangle for zipper tab
fabric B cut: two lining panels using provided template (again, make sure they are mirror images of each other)
interfacing: two main panels using provided template

2. Prepping
a) Adhere interfacing to wrong sides of both lining panels. Set aside.

b) Use your preferred method to baste both exterior panels to batting. Quilt the panels. Cut the panels out.

c) Fold ribbon in half, place it 1” from top edge on right side of exterior panel (refer to picture below). Stitch in place.

3. Zipper
a) Press zipper tab in half, wrong sides together (bring 1.5” sides together), open the tab
and press raw ends towards the center. Fold in half again, raw edges are hidden inside, press (your piece will now measure 0.5” x 1.5”).

b) Trim zipper tape on closed end of zipper to measure 0.5”. Place zipper tape inside the tab (zipper tape edge is touching middle fold of tab). Pin the tab to zipper and sew in place using 1/8” seam allowance, making sure to avoid metal zipper end.

c) Bend zipper tape on open side of zipper at 45 degree angle towards wrong side of zipper tape. Baste within seam allowance either by hand or by machine to secure in place. Trim off extra zipper tape and zipper tab.

4. Assembly
a) Attach zipper foot to your sewing machine.

b) Lay one lining panel right side up on a flat surface. Center zipper along lining's top raw edge making sure zipper head is close to longer side of lining panel. Place one exterior panel (the one with ribbon attached) right side down on top. Align top and side edges, pin along the top edge (zipper is sandwiched between lining and exterior panels). Stitch along the top edge, taking the pins out as you go, using the edge of your zipper foot as a guide.

c) Flip the lining over zipper, exterior and lining panels are wrong sides together. Press the panels away from zipper.

d) Repeat Steps 4b-c to attach second zipper tape to second lining and exterior panels.

e) Put regular sewing foot back on your sewing machine. Open the zipper halfway. Separate the exterior from lining panels, align lining panels right sides together and exterior panels right sides together. Pin and sew around all the edges, making sure to leave a 4" opening in the bottom edge of the lining. 

f) Notch exterior rounded edges, trim lining edges to 1/8". Press the seams open.

g) Turn the pouch right side out through the opening in the lining. Push zipper corners out, stitch the opening in the lining closed and gently push the lining inside the exterior.

h) Give your pouch one last good press and you're finished. 

All done! Pretty easy, isn't it? Hope you have tons of fun making and using your own scissors cozies.

 And, as always, if you make a project using any of my tutorials please add it to my Flickr group or use #sotakhandmade if posting on Instagram. I love seeing all your amazing creations.

Have a super lovely day, friends. Svetlana

Saturday, September 5, 2015

pencil pouches {and a sale on my patterns}

I love making pouches. They are my most favorite thing to sew as they usually don't take too long to make, use up little fabric, and pretty much anyone can use a pouch or two so they make great gifts as well.

So yesterday, as I was finally getting over a nasty cold (while it's 90 degrees outside), I decided to make myself a new pencil pouch. The pattern for this pouch can be found in Anna's gorgeous book Handmade Style.

I chose this beautifully soft corduroy fabric for the exterior of the pouch, a magenta zipper which was the only zipper I had in the correct size, and pretty flowers for the lining. I really like using muted colors for the outside of my projects and use brighter fabrics for the lining to add that unexpected little pop of color and surprise :).

Oh, and I love, love, love adding leather accents to my pouches.

I pretty much followed the instructions for this pouch the way they were written in the book. I did, however, use fusible fleece instead of interfacing as I wanted my pouch to be squishy. I also attached binding first to the front by machine and finished it by hand on the back of the pouch to ensure nicely finished and even binding on both sides.

All in all, this was a super fun, super quick pouch to make (it only took 45 minutes from start to finish) and I would very highly recommend you get yourself a Handmade Style book, if you don't already have it. You won't be disappointed, I promise.

And, since we're talking pouches, I also wanted to show you a pencil pouch I made for my middle daughter a while back but totally forgot to blog about it :(. 

I used Karen Lewis' stunning hand printed fabric for the exterior and combined it with yarn dyed Essex linen which even my super picky girl likes. Yes, she's definitely a tricky one when it comes to finding fabric and pattern she approves of.

I followed my own Lola pattern for this pouch, only I made it slightly taller as I know my daughter usually puts way too many supplies in her pouches. And, we both like how widely this pouch can be opened, which helps tremendously when she needs to find just the right shade of marker or pencil. 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now, in case you'd like to make a Lola pouch (or any other of my pouches and bags) of your own, I have a 25% discount coupon code for you. Simply type LABOR25 during checkout in my Etsy shop and a 25% discount will be applied to ALL my pdf patterns (discount code is valid through Monday, Sep. 7th).

Wishing you all a super lovely Labor Day weekend. Svetlana

Friday, September 4, 2015

good neighbors pincushion {plus a giveaway}

Hello, happy Friday to you all!

Welcome to Pincushion Party celebrating release of AmandaJean's beautiful fabric collection Good Neighbors (available for sale on Sep. 8th) for Connecting Threads.

I've been a fan of Amanda's (crazy mom quilts) gorgeous work for years now. I love how she uses even the smallest scraps and turns them into amazing works of art. Plus, she has an impeccable eye for combining colors which definitely shines through in her new beautiful fabric line.

I love how many small prints are included in the collection as they are perfect for tiny piecing (my HSTs finished at 1.25"). Plus, they come in many colors to choose from.

I went back and forth a lot when deciding on what colors I wanted to use for my pincushion. In the end I chose this limited palette of gray, white, and red which I absolutely adore.

I stuffed this block-y, chunky pincushion with crushed walnut shells and I think that's what I'll be using in my pincushions from now on. I love the texture and heaviness crushed walnut shells add to pincushions and supposedly they even sharpen the pins???

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

So, what do you say? Would you like to win a charm pack of Good Neighbors? If so, leave a comment saying what you'd make with this colorful charm pack and I'll choose a random winner on Sunday (Sep. 6th) night.

Please note, this giveaway is for US and Canada addresses only.

Thank you so much for participating, everyone. Mr. Random and I have chosen  Sandra W to be our winner.

Congratulations, Sandra!!! Hope you'll enjoy sewing with this lovely collection.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

And remember, Pincushion Party will continue through the whole month of September. Here's the line up so you can follow along.

9/1/2015 Amanda Jean – Crazy Mom Quilts
9/2/2015 Anna – Noodlehead 
9/3/2015 Mary – Mary on Lake Pulaski
9/4/2015 Svetlana – Sotak Handmade (you are here)
9/5/2015 Debbie – Esch House Quilts
9/6/2015 Holly – Bijou Lovely
9/7/2015 Carla – Grace and Favour
9/8/2015 Faith – Fresh Lemons Quilts
9/9/2015 Vanessa –  V and Co.
9/10/2015 Anna –  Thimbleanna
9/11/2015 Krista –  Poppy Print Creates
9/12/2015 Erin –  Why Not Sew
9/13/2015 Lee –  May Chappell
9/14/2015 Alex –  Tea Ginny Designs
9/15/2015 Cheryl –  Nap Time Quilter
9/16/2015 Penny –  Sew Take a Hike
9/17/2015 Amy –  During Quilt Time
9/18/2015 Debbie –  A Quilter’s Table
9/19/2015 Anne –  Spring Leaf Studios
9/20/2015 Melissa Corry –  Happy Quilting
9/21/2015 Amber –  One Shabby Chick
9/22/2015 Nettie –  A Quilt is Nice
9/23/2015 Adrianne – Little Bluebell
9/24/2015 Cindy –  Live a Colorful Life
9/25/2015 Amy –  Diary of a Quilter
9/26/2015 Chase –  Quarter Inch Mark
9/27/2015 Rene –  Rene Creates
9/28/2015 Erin –  House on Hill Road
9/29/2015 Nicole –  Modern Handcraft
9/30/2015 Teri –  Connecting Threads

 Thanks for reading, friends. Svetlana

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...