It’s helpful for knitters and crocheters to understand basic sewing techniques. Perhaps you’ve crocheted a bunch of granny squares, and you want to stitch them together to create a blanket. Maybe you’ve knitted a beautiful tote bag, but it isn’t as practical as you’d like because you don’t know how to sew a lining for it. There’ll likely be times you need to know how to ease a knitted sleeve into your latest sweater or stitch the side seams in a baby hat you’re crocheting — and sewing skills are helpful to have when these tasks arise.
Free Video Sewing Classes for Everyone
This month, Creative Live is offering some of their sewing classes for free. You’d ordinarily have to pay a bundle for all these classes — so if you’d be interested in learning some new sewing techniques you’ll want to head over there and sign up ASAP.
- How to Sew Your First Skirt and Understand Patterns — This is usually a $49 class, but you’ll be able to watch it for free on September 15-16, 2016 if you RSVP ahead of time.
- Sew Along: Learn How to Sew the Sylvie Dress — Learn how to sew a dress with this video sewing class. This is usually a $79 class, but you can watch it for free on Sept 15-16, 2016 if you RSVP ahead of time.
- Sewing Clothes Into Quilts — Do you have worn-out or outdated clothes you don’t need any more? Learn how to sew them into quilts. This is usually a $39 class, but you can watch it for free on September 14 – 15, 2016 if you RSVP ahead of time.
- Click here to see more free video classes that are available to watch now or airing soon.
Crochetterie: A Beginner-Friendly Craft Book That Teaches You Both Crochet and Sewing Techniques
When it comes to combining sewing and crochet projects, Molla Mills is an expert. Molla stitches up designer-quality crochet bags with leather details, fabric linings and other distinctive details. If you’d like to learn her secrets for how to do this, you’ll want to check out her brand new book called Crochetterie: Cool Contemporary Crochet for the Creatively Minded:
- Read an in-depth book review posted at Crochet-Books.com.
- Shop for a discounted copy of this book at Amazon.
Free Sewing Tutorials for Knitters and Crocheters
If you want to finish your knitting or crochet projects flawlessly, here are some free sewing instructions you can use for that purpose.
- Free Lining Tutorial — Learn how to sew a lining for a crocheted or knitted pouch or bag.
- Free Whip Stitch Sewing Tutorial — Whip stitch is one of my favorite methods for joining granny squares and sewing seams on crocheted pieces. Here’s a step-by-step whip stitch tutorial with photos.
- Side Seams Sewing Tutorial — This tutorial shows you how to sew the side seams on a pair of simple crocheted fingerless gloves. You can use the same basic method on other projects like hats and sweaters too.
- How to Make a Rag Ball — Learn how to sew fabric strips together to create rag balls you can use instead of yarn for fabric crochet and fabric knitting.
I have a new favorite website. I love this site for bunches of reasons:
- They make a huge variety of interesting video-based creative classes available on topics that interest me — crafts, photography, business and much more.
- They let you view bunches of different video classes for free with no strings attached. If you enjoy the class enough to want to watch it again, you have the opportunity to pay for access to the class — but they don’t pressure you to do so. I think this business model is win-win for everyone.
- The videos don’t have annoying ads on them the way Youtube videos often do.
- Their instructors have a talent for making complex topics interesting and easier to understand.
- This site has many famous class instructors on board. To give some examples, if you need a beginner’s class for knitting or crochet, you could take a class from Vickie Howell through this website. Anne Geddes has photography classes available through this website.
- The videos I’ve seen so far have all been high-quality and worth watching.
- I like hearing from the people at this site. They send interesting emails that I often open and read. Their blog is filled with helpful posts, and I’ve learned quite a bit from reading their posts and watching their classes.
- They offer frequent sales and discounts on their paid classes. Their class prices vary greatly, but tend to be reasonable to start with — so their sale prices typically represent an outstanding value.
Want to check out this site? Here are some links you might find helpful:
Do you ever get inspired just from looking at pretty materials? I often do. Case in point: I find these rag balls utterly charming. They make me want to pull out my hooks and needles and dive into creating some new projects.
I think these red, white and blue printed rag balls would be smashing if combined in the same project. This would be an ideal color combination for those of you who are fans of Americana designs or country-style decorating.
These colorful rag balls would also make up into charming projects for Fourth of July. I’m imagining sturdy placemats for the picnic table…coasters that look fab, plus protect the table from drippy, icy drinks…potholders to save your hands from those burning-hot-fresh-from-the-barbecue dishes you’ll want to be grilling up this summer…plus fashionable things too — bags, totes, jewelry and more.
Have you ever made a rag ball? Do you want to give it a try? If so, click here for free instructions. They aren’t hard to make at all, just time-consuming. However, it’s well worth the effort if you’re looking to try something a little different than yarn. Or also, if you have a bunch of no-longer-needed linens or textiles accumulating at your place, and you think you’d like to up-cycle them.
There are bunches of different things that you could use your rag balls for:
- Glam it up with a colorful DIY necklace. (It’s easy!)
- Try crocheting a rag rug. (A little more challenging, plus time-consuming — but fabulous.)
- Make yourself a stunning rag bag tote. (You’ll never get tired of hearing “Where did you get that gorgeous bag?”)
If you would like to try making any of those types of projects, be sure to grab the free patterns from the pages linked here.
This year, Mother’s Day will fall on Sunday, May 8, 2016 — exactly one month from today. That gives you plenty of time to delight a special Mom (or perhaps a grandmother, mother-in-law, or stepmom) by making a handmade gift to give her this Mother’s Day.
If this is an idea that sounds interesting to you, we invite you to browse through our Mother’s Day gift ideas to find ideas for the perfect gift. Here we’ve presented a roundup of a few fantastic ideas for Mother’s Day craft projects; we hope you’ll be inspired by these suggestions.
Jewelry makes a great gift for mom, and this pattern allows for a lot of personalization that would make each piece unique and perfect for your mom (or for whoever you want to make it for.)
Shawls make delightful gifts for moms and grandmas. Shawls can be warm, substantial and comforting, or light, lacy and frivolous. They can be casual or dressy, chic or unassuming, fancy or simple.
- Get free knit and crochet shawl patterns
- Check out a book filled with crocheted shawl and wrap patterns, plus interesting crochet techniques
What mom doesn’t love lace? No matter what Mom’s style, whether trendy or classic, a crochet lace scarf would work well into her wardrobe.
Cozy Blankets for Mom
If you’re a fast and dedicated crafter, you have plenty of time left to make a customized blanket just for mom. You could use granny squares or other crocheted squares if that type of blanket would appeal to her.
There are so many things that moms might love, that it's hard to fit them all in one blog post. I invite you to browse our website to find even more knitting and crochet patterns, some that mom might love, some to make for Dad for Father’s Day, and hopefully even some to use for making something nice for yourself too.
Exquisite finishing touches can make a big difference in distinguishing handcrafted items from their machine-made counterparts.
Fringe is a particularly luxurious finishing touch. It utilizes a great deal of material, and it takes time to maintain it well, so it isn’t for everyone — but if you are able to deal with those challenges, the results can be stunning.
There are a variety of ways to make fringe. If you’d like to finish off a knitting project, crochet project or other craft project using fringe, check out these free fringe patterns, instructions and tutorials, posted at freecrafts.info. You’ll find bunches of different ideas to inspire you, including knit and crochet fringe plus fringes made in other craft techniques — suede fringe, beaded fringe and more.
Dress Up These Knitting or Crochet Projects With Fringe:
- Scarves: Instead of weaving in your loose ends, incorporate them into knotted tassels or fringe. It’s a time-saver, plus it’s an eye-catching finishing touch.
- Throws, Blankets and Afghans: It’s even more of a time-saver when you finish off multicolored blankets and throws using fringe instead of weaving the ends in.
- Ponchos, Wraps and Shawls: Many knitted and crocheted ponchos just beg to be finished with fringe. Some casual wraps and shawls do, too. The fringe could also go dressy if done carefully; in moderation, beaded fringe is an option for elegant evening shawls. You just have to keep it simple on the beading, since beads are heavy and you don’t want your wrap weighing you down when you’re out on the town.
- Purses and Bags: Finishing the lower edge of a bag or purse with fringe gives it a whole different look than you’d have without it. This is an especially interesting option for seamed bags, but there are other options as well. You can easily create an area for anchoring fringe to an un-seamed bag by adding a line of surface crochet slip stitch in the spot you want your fringe to be; then you work the fringe into the ridge created by the slip stitches.
Fringe isn’t for everyone; if you’re seeking a unique way to finish off a knitted or crocheted item, you might wish to find just the right border, edging or trim that will complement it and make it look extra special.
For Blankets and Afghans: Borders and edgings are popular finishing touches for blankets and afghans. For projects like these, you usually want to choose an edging or border that includes instructions for turning a corner. Here are a few suggestions for those:
For Towels, Sheets and Pillowcases: It’s lovely to finish off the lower edges of a towel with a pretty trim or edging. For sheets, I usually only trim one edge. For pillowcases, I usually trim only the outer opening. For these sorts of edgings, I prefer to choose an edging design that does not include a corner. Here are a few suggestions:
- Scalloped crochet edge
- Easy double crochet arches edging
- Edging for linens, towels, sheets, round tablecloth, etc
These aren’t the only projects that can benefit from edgings. If a project has an edge, you could probably add an edging to it. You could add pretty lace edgings to the lower edges of pants that need lengthening. You could dress up the edges of ankle socks with pretty lace trim. You could even add trim to certain simple open tote bags (ones that don’t close with zippers, so there are upper edges to work with.) I’m sure you know of many other examples where trim would enhance the project significantly.
The pictures above show you just a few of the free trim and edging patterns available online. To see many more possibilities, be sure to visit our page of free knit and crochet edging patterns.
You can use fall colors to knit or crochet yourself a splendid shawl using any of these free shawl and wrap patterns. There are some lovely free shawl instructions available for you to use. Check ’em out!
Other Fall Knitting and Crochet Projects:
At the moment, it seems to me like Halloween is far in the distant future. In my neighborhood, the weather is now a little cooler than it was last month — but that doesn’t mean it’s chilly here, by any means. The slight temperature drop around here just means that it’s now tolerably hot outside, instead of being unbearably hot.
Weather aside, a look at the calendar reminds me that fall is fast approaching, and that Halloween is less than 2 short months away. Halloween falls on Friday, October 31, 2014 this year. For crafters and do-it-yourselfers who celebrate Halloween, the time has come to plan for Halloween projects, Halloween parties, and handmade Halloween costumes.
With that in mind, I’ve begun collecting patterns for, and links to, knitted and crocheted Halloween projects and ideas.
27 Skull Patterns to Knit and Crochet — So far, this page of skull and skeleton patterns is one of the most comprehensive pattern hubs on our website. I’ve posted links to every free knitted or crocheted skull pattern I could find on the Internet, and I also posted some links to some pay-for patterns as well. I hope you’ll find this list helpful if you want to make a Halloween project featuring a skull or skeleton motif.
Knit and Crochet Halloween Patterns — This is an assortment of Halloween patterns which includes trick-or-treat bags, candy baskets, skull designs and more.
This list is in its infancy, and I plan to update it with bunches more patterns as I discover them. If you’re a crochet or knitting pattern designer who has recently posted a new Halloween pattern, I invite you to let me know about it by email. I’d love to share bunches more quality patterns with my readers here.