pencil pouch in navy blue waxed canvas with jeans gold topstitching and leather trim

Handcrafted Christmas gifts 2018

I’ve been in the process of shifting my business Oxford Dogma from hand sewn products to artwork, including custom pet portraits. One of my goals with this change is to put sewing back on my hobbies list to do for enjoyment instead of for income. This got me totally enthusiastic to sew Christmas gifts again! Something I haven’t done in a few years (I think 2015 was the last time). Things got rolling when I chose Noodlehead’s Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial as my starting point. Normally I deliberate for days on end when it comes to choosing a sewing project, but…

handy coloring organizer paper pockets

Handy Coloring Organizer

Recently I became obsessed with the idea of designing and sewing a portable art case for kids, to hold paper, coloring books, pencils, markers, and crayons. After some sketching, I turned the idea into a pattern and made a muslin version of it. And that’s the moment it was clear that my rudimentary sewing skills were holding me back. The design worked pretty well, but finishing the curved outer edges with bias binding was…not pretty. I set the muslin art case aside and turned my attention instead to a simpler project that essentially filled the same purpose. When I bought Sewing to Sell by…

set of monogram and graphic tea towels

Customized Graphic Tea Towels

This week I wanted to make some gifts for friends who both happen to be getting into cooking more, so some custom-designed kitchen towels sounded like a fun idea. I brainstormed a variety of approaches, but one of my requirements was that the fabric be absorbent. Non-absorbent kitchen towels are super annoying. At the fabric store, I didn’t see any bolts specifically marked as tea towel fabric, but there was something called “diaper cloth”. I figured that had to be absorbent! It’s a soft, lightweight cotton with a slight diamond texture on one side and fairly flat texture on the other side. Each friend received…