Craft fairs are popular everywhere often to raise money but for charitable causes as well. Ideas for sewing imaginative crafty gifts abound. Many sewn projects are great for a tight budget and are given to just fabric scraps and bits of trim.
Quaint tea cozies, poufy fabric pumpkins, pretty vintage pincushions and dolls, whimsical fabric flower corsages, as well as useful kitchen items such as table runners, and so much more, show the personal expression and skill of the crafter. All seem to take inspiration from the past, recalling a rich artistic crafting heritage.
Tea cozy – Stitched from a folded fabric placemat may be just the right size for a small teapot or use just 1/2 yard of prequilted fabric to sew a simple cozy that can be any shape. A familiar one is a softly rounded shape edged in eyelet or sew one cut in a barn or house shape. Machine applique doors and windows to one side for added definition.
Fabric pumpkins are easy to sew from any fabric rectangle. Just stitch right-sides together the shorter ends to form a tube. To make the bottom, gather one opening by hand and wind edges tightly closed with thread or embroidery floss, turn right-size out, stuff, gather edges of top and wind with thread to close as well. With embroidery floss or jute, wind around the now stuffed shape to make pumpkin sections. Glue a felt leaf shape and stem to the top. Add a pretty coordinating bow
Vintage pin cushions – Pin cushions date from the Middle Ages. The familiar tomato shape was first seen in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Needles and pins were expensive and needed to be stored carefully. Pincushions were often elaborately embroidered, some beaded or covered in cotton-thread crochet and displayed on mantels to safeguard prosperity and ward off wicked spirits. They remain a necessary sewing notion. Cut a rectangular piece of fabric on the bias (velvet or corduroy scraps make a charming pincushion), fold it in half to make a square right sides together and sew a narrow seam along the side. Gather one end with a running stitch and close tightly. Turn right side out, firmly stuff, sew a running stitch to gather the top and close tightly. Make tomato sections with embroidery or Pearle cotton thread. Glue a star shaped piece of green felt to adorn the top.
Fabric dolls with pretty Calico dresses are simple to sew. Tea-dyed muslin gives the mellow appearance and rustic cottage look of handcrafted folk toys. Simple doll patterns are readily available online. An easy-to-sew dress can be made out of a long rectangle of fabric, gathered at the top to fit the doll body. Stitch on eyelet at the top over the gathers. Use ribbon at the top ends to tie the gathered dress around the doll. A doll face can be embroidered or drawn on.
Fabric flower corsages can be made from single strips of fabric creatively folded or gathered. To make a pretty folded edge flower, cut a 4 by 30 inch length of fabric (silk dupioni is lovely), fold lengthwise and press. Roll the rectangle into a flower shape and with a few hand stitches, stitch to hold. Add two or more satin or velvet leaves. Glue a pin back to the flower and add a few beads as well to the center for flower stamen.
Quick table runner. Cut two rectangles of fabric, either the length of the table plus 10 inches or if making several to go across the width of table, the table cross-width plus 10 inches for each. Sew right sides together, leaving an opening for turning. Turn, press, stitch opening closed. If desired to form a point at ends, fold short edges of the ends to meet in a point. Top stitch all around to keep both layers securely together.
Crafting for an upcoming fair can be somewhat time consuming if many multiple items are to be made, however the effort and the unique items that result are satisfying in the effort.
Tomato Pincushion - Instructions from Marth Stewart
Kitchen Sewing Projects on Pinterest.com
Sew happy, sew inspired.