The launch of the FunStitch Studio imprint has created quite a stir around the C&T office. Stepping into the world of kids’ books has brought a new found sense of wackiness and whimsy into our office, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Some of us have kids, some of us are big kids, some of us have kids and are big kids, but all of us are getting pretty excited about FunStitch!
Behind the scenes, FunStitch fever has taken over. Our designers have copies of Teen Vogue at their desks (it’s “research”). Some editors have been using their kids and youth groups as guinea pigs, bringing copies of projects and reporting back on how the kiddos did. And me? I’ve been hand-stitching folders. Hundreds (and hundreds) of folders. Did you think those embroidery floss x’s on our FunStitch marketing folders were done by machine? Nope. I added the vibrant FunStitch colors to those folders one cross stitch at a time. (My coworkers helped. A little.)
Stitching those folders was actually my inspiration for this new blog series—the projects in the FunStitch books looked like too much fun not to try! I set a goal that I would craft my way though each and every FunStitch Studio release. I’ll try one (or two) of the projects, maybe make some tweaks here or there, and then blog about my results. Knowing me, I’ll have a few spectacular failures along the way, which of course, I will share. (I am willing to embarrass myself for the sake of entertaining others.) It should be crazy fun.
As most of you know by now (and if you don’t, please see the blog posts here and here), We Love to Sew by Annabel Wrigley is the first FunStitch Studio release, and what an adorable book it is! I wish something like this existed when I was a young crafter.
I’m only one book in and already I can tell that picking just one project per book is going to be the hardest part of this entire series. In this case, I limited myself to the “Use” section. The Happiness Storage Trays won out because my cubicle is a mess. Some sweet little trays might be just the thing for conquering the small army of Post-its invading my desk.
Reading the instructions, the materials list made me hesitate. The second item is “heavyweight cotton fabric.” Uh oh. I don’t have that. Sometimes for projects I go out and buy what I’m missing, but I prefer to work with what I have. I wasn’t going to let a little thing like fabric weight stop me—I would just have to be resourceful.
First, I decided to try C&T’s new fast2fuse Light. For the trays, you layer the inner fabric, batting, and outer fabric (the one that should be heavyweight) just so and then flip it inside out after sewing the edges. Because the fast2fuse was pretty thick and double sided, I decided to skip the batting part. My plan was to fuse one side to the fast2fuse, layer the second fabric, sew, flip, then fuse the remaining side which was now safely in the tray. (You experienced sewists probably see where this is going.)
I fused my fabric to my ironing board. My mom’s ironing board. And I mean fused fused.
After I pried it off and said a few not-very-nice things that I should not have said, I kept going and managed to finish the tray. It’s not perfect, but it worked out. It looks great holding my yarn and knitting needles.
I probably should have just purchased heavyweight fabric at this point, but that would be admitting defeat! Instead I decided to try an interfacing with just one fusible side. I fused a layer of ShapeFlex to the wrong side of my fabric and this time I used batting as instructed. The tray came out looking like the photo in the book. Hooray! It’s a little floppy, and if I were to make it again I would probably use two layers of ShapeFlex, one on top of the other. I mismatched my buttons to give it a little extra flair.
That was where I planned to stop, but then I found a fabric sample of Betty the Yeti flannel by Illustration Ink for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. Long ago (I won’t say how long), I had a college roommate who loved yetis. I kid you not. If yetis came up in conversation or in whatever video game we were playing, she would drop whatever she was doing and elaborate on the awesomeness that is the Yeti. I needed to make her a tray using that fabric.
Unfortunately there wasn’t enough fabric to follow the instructions as written. The solution? Make a smaller tray! I subtracted an inch all the way around, including from the inner square that determines the finished size. Voila! A mini Happiness Storage Tray. I can’t wait to send it to my friend as a surprise. We’ve fallen out of touch recently, but what a great way to reconnect—over Yetis! One of the Yetis is holding out a bouquet of roses. I think she’ll like that Yeti best.
We Love to Sew has been out about a month now. Has anyone out there tried the Happiness Storage Trays yet? Did you make them with your kids or (be honest) for yourself? If you haven’t, give them a try—they’re fast, fun, and amazingly practical. Meanwhile, this is the most fashionable container my Post-its have ever had!
The next FunStitch Studio release is Forest Fairy Crafts by Lenka Vodicka and Asia Currie. Off to Fairyland!
* Oh, and Mom, if you’re reading this, I owe you a new ironing board cover.