Choly Knight

Sew Desu Ne?


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Plush Sewing Basics: Choosing Fabric

Hi everyone! I’ve got a bit of a new feature for you all today! I’ve gotten a lot of amazing people participating in my Monthly Crafting Challenge and sending me emails to say that they’ve learned to sew through my patterns. I’m so humbled and flattered to have so many amazing fans out there! But I was also a little nervous because my patterns assume you have basic sewing knowledge – so I thought I should elaborate more on some fundamental sewing information to make sure all you newbies out there were covered. There are other tutorials out there that have this kind of information, but some of you were interested in exactly how I do things. So here we go!

I’ve always wanted to try doing infographics, and I think there could stand to be more sewing infographics out there so I thought I’d give it a try! This is my first ever, so please be kind, haha! This one is how to choose the plush fabric that’s right for you. Just for you newbies out there that are cutting your teeth on my patterns ❤ Hopefully in this infographic format the info will be easier to digest, share, and save.

Choosing Plush Fabric Infographic

So what fabrics do I use?
I personally prefer knits like minky and fleece for my plushies, and I design most of my patterns to accommodate the stretch that they give. I like that fleece and minky are thicker and more huggable. I like cotton, flannel, and felt for accents and other detail work. The bright colors and patterns from cotton and flannel make them great for details, and their thin nature makes them easy to sew tiny pieces. With this guide hopefully you’ll see why I suggest fleece and minky in the fabric requirements for my patterns!
It’s of course not the end-all-be-all on plush fabric information, but I wanted to give you all something to work off of. Plus there’ll be more infographics in the future to elaborate on these topics! As for where I get these fabrics, I’ve written up a new FAQ that covers all of my major suppliers 😀


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Freebie Friday! Collapsible Fabric Boxes

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Time for more patchwork! I’m slowly chipping away at my stash of quilting cottons, and today I’m killing two birds with one stone. I made some extra storage boxes for my scraps with my scraps. I’m hoping I won’t need to use them all the time, so I made them collapsible so I can tuck them away when my stores of fabric aren’t quite so huge. The sides are held in place with bits of Velcro, so they come apart and fold up easily. The sides are made stable with Peltex, which is about the most rigid interfacing you can find. I needed two boxes, so I made mine in a brick layout design and a diamond layout design. I’ll show you how to do both here, so just be sure to pay attention to whichever one you want to do.

You could make yours with whole cloth of course, but either way I think they’ll come in handy if you need a temporary storage solution or even if you just like the patchwork design used here. They’re cube shaped, which makes them ideal for a lot of the cube-centered modular furniture you see out there, like stuff from Ikea.

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Freebie Friday! The Hardcore Hook Case

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I should have made this project ages ago! Do you ever make yourself something like that? Something that you didn’t even realize how much you needed until it was finally done? Well, this case for my crochet hooks is about more useful than any other project I’ve made so far – and yet it took me so long to finally get around to it. While I have all of my knitting needles and crochet hooks neatly categorized in a binder by size, I didn’t really have anything to hold them while I was currently working on a project. Since my boyfriend also crochets, it was resulting in a lot of lost hooks and yarn needles while we worked on amigurumi and the like since we had nowhere good to put the tools while we took a break from our projects.

So I finally decided to make a nice case for the tools we’re currently using. This includes one side with hook pockets, ranging from large for pencils and really thick hooks, down to the tiniest slots for really skinny hooks. The other side includes pockets for stashing my paper patterns, and a zippered pocket for tiny tools like yarn needles and stitch markers. The whole thing is done up in some leftover green and black faux suede with some gunmetal snaps so the whole thing looks anything but granny square :B Now I know my boyfriend will be proud to carry it around when he takes his projects on the road – and no more lost tools!

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Tutorial: Fabric Painting with Stencils

Today I’ve got a tutorial that is meant to help out with tomorrow’s project! Consider it a little bit of a sneak peek to what it is ^-~

Most of the projects I create involve a lot of appliqué, a kind of embellishment that involves sewing small shapes of fabric to other, larger pieces of fabric. It’s probably my favorite kind of embellishment which is why I use it so much and it offers a lot of variations and options. However, it doesn’t always work with everything, and next favorite way of embellishing has to be with fabric paint. This method is a like a faux kind of screen printing, where you use freezer paper as a fabric stencil.

Whenever you see one of my patterns calling for an appliqué, a lot of the time you can swap it out for a freezer paper fabric paint stencil instead.

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The Situation with Scraps

Hello, my name is Choly. I have a scrap problem.

I know I’m not the only one with this issue, right? What started as a benign little bag of fabric bits has now turned into a massive horde of bulging boxes. I know my scrap stash isn’t nearly as bad as some people have it, but it’s gotten to the point where it has impacted my life, haha! So I know I have to do something about it. It used to be that I could pick up a few yards of any interesting fabric I saw and stash it away to make a jacket or dress or a few accessories later. But not anymore. I stay my hand at the fabric store because I know I have *finally* used up all the space I have. I’m sure of it because I’ve recently done some spring cleaning and I literally don’t have any room left for fabric unless I start storing it with my dishes.

So! It’s time for change. When I had the idea to start this blog, I got giddy at the idea of sharing free projects with my readers for lots of fluffy new quilts, stuffed animals, and maybe a simple garment here and there. But alas, I can’t even think about buying new fabric until I start making some room. So now I must execute Mission: Dispatch the Stash. Every project I post will be to get rid of some scrap that has clogged up my sewing space for far too long!

First stop is suiting fabrics! So you can probably expect a lot of bags or similar projects from me. I’m actually a bit of a bagophile (especially messenger bags & other utilitarian types), so be prepared for bags regardless 😀

Do you all have any favorite stash-busting projects or secrets? Any projects you’d love to see? Or maybe you need help getting rid of some fabric you just can’t find any use for?! (p.s. I have so been there) Let me know and I’ll keep them in mind as I tinker away at my pile o’ textile 😀