Almost Spring Time and Tons of Projects

Hello everyone! It has definitely been a bit since I last shared anything here. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had time to slow done to share any updates.

As you can see above I have been keeping up with cross stitching. Within the past week I released two new Spring stitching designs.

The first was part four in my Crop of Characters series.

I started growing strawberries a couple of years ago so I knew my Spring crop needed to be berries. I think it turned out so cute and the perfect way to wrap up the series.

Next I shared the first pattern in my new Carty Party series.

Each design will feature a cart full of goodies and a character, but instead of following the seasons, this series centers on holidays. The first design is for Easter (but isn’t too obvious, so does work for Spring as well).

You can find all of my designs in my etsy shopStitched With Whitney.

In addition to cross stitching I have done some big stitch hand quilting on a project I started last Summer. It was only supposed to be a one or two month project. But after only a day or two of hand quilting I set it aside to work on something else AND COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT IT! I ended up cleaning my sewing corner (while wondering why the pile was so large) and found my forgotten quilt. So during the Olympics I spent a few evenings watching ice skating and stitching.

I still have a lot of work left on it, but feels good to have made some progress. The entire quilt was a stash buster for our spare/school room bed. I’m looking forward to seeing it completed.

Speaking of our school room. Back in November we switched our kids room and school room which was a huge job. The kids got a bunk bed and because of the shape of their old room/door and window placements there wasn’t a good place it would fit where the ceiling was high enough. So we swapped the rooms. Along with the swap I promised Peyton her own sewing space in the school room. I had a little corner to work with, so I used my childhood nightstand. I cut a U shape out of the bottom and took out the drawer and drawer supports to make room for her chair and legs. I had a little wooden folding chair that perfectly fits into it. It worked out perfectly and now Peyton can work on projects in her own little sewing space. She’s using the same sewing machine my parents gave me for Christmas when I was a teen. It’s the machine I took to collage with me and sewed costumes for my friends on, started my etsy shop with, and used in the early days of Whitney Sews.

I wrote up a post on my Patreon last month about how I’m teaching Peyton to sew, books and patterns we are using, and what she has made so far. It’s fun watching Peyton think of ideas for sewing and cross stitching (she started designing cross stitch patterns too!). She has so many more creative ideas than I have ever had and I can’t wait to see where it takes her!

On top of ALL of that I have been working on costumes in every spare moment I can find. After taking almost two years off from working on my large competition cosplay, I’m finally back at it!

The cosplay I’m making is Francesca from Avalon Code (a game I have never played). I found the image a few years back on Pinterest and fell in love with the entire look. After a year or so of continually coming back to it I decided I needed to make it! I made the teal skirt and hand embroidered the bottom and created the blue purse two years ago. You can find progress pics on my Instagram profile. In the past month I have made the shirt mockup and final shirt, the body of the smallest bag from foam, the large bag’s buckle from foam, the shoe buckets from foam, the pocket for the large bag, and the back portion of the pink skirt. I had never intended on letting this costume sit for so long, but with no conventions came no motivation to work on it. But now that things are back on track I have motivation and lots of new ideas on how to complete some of the pieces I had previously been unsure about.

I also got back to work on Jeremiah’s Tenzin costume (and realized I was farther along than I remembered!) It down to mostly finishing work with is great. It has to be completed by April 9th to wear to the first convention of the year. It also happens to be the first convention where I will be hosting a sewing panel! It is called CreatorsCon and is a convention all about learning and creating cosplays and props.

I wanted to have a new cosplay to wear to the convention (but there’s no way my Francesca will be done in time) so I decided to put together a less involved costume. I decided on a female Robin Hood type look. This way I can wear it to the Medieval Faire and to CreatorsCon.

I thrifted a light green set of curtains and a dark brown curtain set to use as my materials along with a bit of leftover velvet, a scrap of leather, and a dowel rod from a broken clothes drying rack. I used the dowel rod to make my own wooden buttons and I am SO thrilled with how they turned out!

The kids are going with us to the con and Peyton requested a True costume from True and the Rainbow Kingdom. I made the bag and headband, but went easy on myself and bought all the clothes instead of making them myself.

There are still more things I’ve been working on, but that is all I can squeeze in here for now. I hope you are all doing well. Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Whitney

What I Gifted For Christmas

This year I gifted more handmade Christmas gifts than ever before! The best part is I made them mostly from stash fabrics. It felt so amazing to make lovely gifts I knew people would love from fabrics I’ve had for FAAAAAAR too long.

I was at JoAnn fabrics a few months ago during a pattern sale and found two patterns that inspired me. When I got home I dug through some fabrics in our storage building and pulled out a few that needed to be used! One fabric is the underside of a thrifted faux fur blanket (the fur side was used years ago for a costume). Another fabric was bought 12 years ago for a dress (that dress is never going to happen).

I set to work making everything. This is where it got REALLY hard! I could only work on my daughter’s gift when she was at dance class. I could only work on Jeremiah’s when he was at work, after we finished school for the day and had a little down time. The fact that I’m TERRIBLE at keeping secrets made it even harder.

But it was all worth it! Anyway, enough talk. You can see all the handmade Christmas gifts I made in the video linked below.

I would love to know if you gave handmade gifts this year. What was your favorite thing you made? I can’t decide between Peyton’s gift or my Dad’s.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Whitney

This entry was posted in Blog.

Sewing for St. Jude

#forStJude #StJudeAmbassador

If you live in the United States you’ve probably heard about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I have seen the commercials on TV for many years, but it wasn’t until recently that I began to learn more about St. Jude. I was watching a show recently (I believe it was Forged in Fire) when a contestant mentioned having been a St. Jude patient as a child. About that same time St. Jude and JoAnn Fabrics reached out to me and asked if I was interested in helping out with their annual fundraising event along with many other content creators.

They sent me two yards of the Fever Fighter fabric (designed by Ethan who is a former St. Jude patient). As I was deciding what to make from the fabric I began to read more about what St. Jude is working to do. They treat children with childhood cancer and other serious pediatric diseases…at NO cost to the families! The families are even given a place to stay and food to eat while their child is receiving treatment. I think that is amazing! But not only that, St. Jude has taken the childhood cancer survival rate from only 20% to over 80% in the 50+ years they have been operating. There are lots of other incredible states and facts, but those reasons alone inspired me to want to work with St. Jude to continue to insure that these kids are getting the treatment they need without families needing to worry about how they would pay for treatment.

In my video I share a little more about what St. Jude is doing while I make a drawstring bag using the fabric I was given.

If you also want to help support St. Jude there are a few ways you can do so. First is donating directly to St. Jude. You can do that HERE. I have set up a campaign to raise $500 for St. Jude and I would love to not only reach that goal, but surpass it with incredible generosity! You can also help by bidding on the bag I made in the video.

I have listed the bag on ebay for auction. All proceeds from the sale will go directly to St. Jude. You can bid on it HERE.

If you aren’t able to help financially, another great way to still be involved is by liking, commenting, and sharing this post and the youTube video so more people will see it and hear about what St. Jude is doing.

I will share the actual step by step tutorial for the bag I made in the video as soon as I can. Until then, Happy Sewing!

Whitney

This entry was posted in Blog.

SALE!

Crop of Characters

A few weeks ago I published the third cross stitch pattern in my Crop of Characters series – Frosty Farms. It’s one of my favorites and the design that gave me the idea for the entire series. To celebrate the new release I’m having a sale on all of my Crop of Character designs. Until the end of November they are 10% off in my etsy store.

So far in the series I’ve shared Sunshine Seeds for Summer.

Pumpkin Patch for the Fall.

And now Frosty Farms for Winter.

Any guesses what the character and crop will be for Spring? The first person who comments the correct character and crop will get a FREE copy of the pattern when it is released! (Comments must be left on this post on my website- WhitneySews.com )

I have been working on some other cross stitch designs as well that I can’t wait to share in the future!

Until next time, Happy Sewing

-Whitney

This entry was posted in Blog.

All the Cross Stitch

Anne and Gilbert Cross Stitch

It has definitely been a bit since I’ve posted here…but I have been keeping busy. I have been doing a lot of cross stitching (and homeschooling and reading and taking care of chickens, etc). I have designed and posted two new patterns in my etsy store.

Last month I shared the second pattern in my Crop of Characters series.

Fall Crop of Characters

The design features a cute pumpkin headed scarecrow growing his own pumpkin patch. I think he is absolutely adorable! You can find that pattern HERE.

The second pattern is one inspired by Anne of Green Gables. Someone from our church loaned us the VHS tapes (the 1985 one) when I was a young teen/pre-teen and I fell in love with Anne of Green Gables! I was listening to the audio book again recently and knew I had to make a cross stitch in honor of Anne.

Anne and Gilbert Cross Stitch

One of the most memorable moments was Gilbert pulling Anne’s braid and calling her carrots then the reference to it at the end of the movie when they are walking through the pasture. *swoon* I thought a sweet little stitching bringing those moments together would be adorable.

Anyway, I knew as soon as I designed the piece that it HAD to be finished on a slate! I searched and searched and searched for a realistic looking slate and finally found one (by accident) at Mardel when I was buying a writing curriculum for my daughter.

You can find the pattern HERE to stitch your own.

I think it would be fun to design several more pieces inspired by classic, beloved books and movies. I already have a couple in the works, but would love to know what books or movies you would like to see a cross stitch design for. BTW I FINALLY got the issue fixed that was preventing comments on my site. So please leave lots of lovely comments for me now 🙂

One last thing I wanted to share is a beautiful piece stitched by Jenny. She used my Sunshine seeds pattern, but adapted it to look like her own cat and I think it turned out adorable!

You can find the Sunshine Seeds pattern HERE.

I addition to all the cross stitching I have started on Halloween costumes for the girls! This year I’m challenging myself to only used repurposed materials. It cuts down on costs, better for the environment, and is a fun, creative challenge for me. I’ve already made most of Skyler’s costume already and have just gotten started on Peyton’s. I’ll try to share some pics when they are done.

I think that’s all I have for today. I hope you are having a wonderful week and happy sewing!

Whitney

Bunny Mermaid Finishing Tutorial

A few weeks ago I shared my newest cross stitch pattern – a Bunny Mermaid! In that post I shared some of the inspiration behind the design. Today I wanted to share how I did the finishing to take the project from a basic cross stitch to a fully finished, and ready to display, decor piece.

Fully finishing projects can be as low or high budget as you make it. For this one I decided to see how affordably I could do it. I knew I wanted the cross stitch displayed on a carrot. I could have splurged and bought a premade wooden carrot. I could have used a piece of scrap piece of wood, cut out a carrot shape, and painted it. Or I could use a piece of foam core (foam board) that I already had, cut out the carrot shape twice (for extra thickness), cover with fabric and use it. The last option is the one I chose – it’s was the lowest price and didn’t require digging out the power tools.

You can watch the entire process (other than cutting the foam) in my finishing video HERE!

I’m really happy with how well it turned out and will keep this style in mind for future finishings.

The full color cross stitch pattern is now available in my etsy shop!

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Will you give this finishing style a try for any of your projects?

If you stitch this or any of my other designs I would LOVE to see them! Please share pics using #StitchedWithWhitney

Until next time, Keep Stitching!

Whitney

This entry was posted in Blog.

Bunny Mermaid

Is there anything cuter than a bunny mermaid?!? Yes there is! It’s a bunny mermaid whose tail looks like a carrot! After designing my purrmaid cross stitch pattern I thought it would be fun to design some other mer-animals. The first one that came to mind was a bunny. I couldn’t seem to get the tail design right at first. It was lacking something, then I got the idea of taking inspiration from a carrot for the tail design and that was exactly what it needed!

I stitched the merrabbit up and absolutely love it! I finished it on a carrot shape made from fabric covered foam board (finishing video coming soon on my cross stitch channel).

I recently sat down in my garden to chat a little about this design. You can watch that video HERE!

The full color cross stitch pattern is now available in my etsy shop.

What other animals would you like to see transformed into mer-friends?!?

If you stitch this or any of my other designs I would LOVE to see them! Please share pics using #StitchedWithWhitney

Until next time, Keep Stitching!

Whitney

Quilted Drawstring Bag

Hello everyone! Today I’m showinig how I made an easy quilted drawstring bag. A little while back my mom gifted me with a nice stitching lamp to use while I’m cross stitching. I wanted to make a bag to store the lamp in to keep it safe and protected, so that is what I’m sharing today.

I took a few measurements and sketched out a quick design then went to my fabric stash to see what I had to use. I found some leftover pieces from a jelly roll I had been gifted (a jelly roll is precut fabrics that are 2.5 inches by the width of the fabric). I sewed the pieces together until they were a bit larger than I needed for the bag. Anytime I’m quilting something I start a little bigger and trim it down later after it has been quilted.

This project was really about using what I had on hand. Instead of a traditional quilt batting, I used fusible fleece. It’s what I had on hand and it worked just fine. I cut the fusible fleece and a lining fabric the same size as each outer piece, about 20 x 14 inches. I ironed the fusible fleece to the back side of the outer fabric then got ready for quilting. After quilting I used a couple of rulers to trim the pieces down to 17 x 12 inches.

You can find all my favorite sewing supplies HERE on Amazon!

Affiliate link helps support Whitney sews

My bag will finish 16.5 x 11.5 inches (not including the casings). If you want to make your bag in a different size you can do so by deciding the size you want/need (don’t forget to add some ease if you are making it to fit a certain item) then adding a half inch to the height and width for seam allowances. Then resize the casings to fit your bag.

Speaking of the casings, I cut 4 pieces 11.5 x 3 inches. The trick I’ve learned over the years is to cut my casing pieces the same width as the bag will finish. Then after the casing pieces are sewn together they will be a half inch smaller. This leaves a little gap on each side of the casings at the top of the bag. It’s just enough room to feed the drawstrings in and look really nice.

You can also see in the photo that I have bound seam allowances. When a project is quilted the outer and lining layers are treated as one unit, instead of having a separate lining that can be inserted to hide seam allowances. So the seam allowances need to be treated differently. I wanted to bind mine so they look nice and the bag will last longer. I cut two pieces from my lining fabric measuring 1.5 inches by the width of the fabric. I was a little unsure about using pieces cut on the straight of grain instead of on the bias, but it actually worked out perfectly!

You can watch the step by step tutorial HERE to make your own quilted drawstring bag!

If you make a bag using this tutorial (or any of my tutorials!) I would love to see pics! Please share them with me on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram!

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Whitney

Flosstube #5

Hello everyone! It’s time for another flosstube video! This week I have lots of things to share – my new cross stitch pattern, a freebie I stitched in about 45 minutes, the project bags I’ve been making, my new youTube channel, a giveaway and MORE!

You can see all these fun things in my video HERE!

https://youtu.be/bqL15LRT-ag

I hope you love seeing my stitching! I would love to see pics of what you are working on, so please tag me on Instagram. Until next time, Happy Stitching!

Whitney

Self Binding Vinyl Project Bag

Join me today as I show how to make a vinyl zipper bag. The large vinyl window on the front is perfect for seeing what project you have inside. The edges are all self binding, so no separate binding is needed. Grab your fabrics, a zipper, some interfacing, and the PDF and you are ready to make your own vinyl project bag!

In the past I shared a vinyl zipper bag tutorial

sewing how to

as well as a way to adapt that tutorial for a larger cross stitch project bag.

So, what sets this vinyl project bag apart? It’s the self binding edges. This means the back fabric wraps around to the front for a nice bound edge instead of needing to use a separate bias binding. I’ve also added a fusible fleece between the back layers. This offers extra structure and the opportunity to sew some quilting lines.

I say cross stitch bag because that’s what I use my bags for, but feel free to use the bags for any use you have.

Get the FREE project PDF HERE!

Click HERE to watch the step by step sewing tutorial!

I would love to see what you make using this tutorial! Please share pics with me on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram!

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

Whitney