14 Gold Medal Sewing Patterns

gold-medal-sewing-patternsThe XXII Winter Games, in Sochi, begin on February 7th and go until February 23. With just over two weeks of winter sports and athletic showmanism, it’s hard not to get excited. Though I’m mainly looking forward to the hockey games, especially since so many of my beloved Chicago Blackhawks are representing their various countries, there is also a slew of solo events to get your pulse racing, like skiing, ice skating, or snowboarding.

In honor of the 2014 Winter Olympics, AllFreeSewing is here to inspire you with a fabulous collection of gold metal projects! Whether you want to show off your patriotism as you root for America, or you want to work on getting yourself in tip-top shape at the gym, we have something for you to create.

 

Show Your Pride

Cheer on Team America with these festive and patriotic sewing projects! These clothing and home decor items are sure to inspire a sense of camaraderie. If you’re visiting us from another country and would be rooting instead for another team, you can easily change the fabric to reflect your country’s colors!

America the Beautiful SkirtSeeing Stars Pillow Tutorial 
All Americana Stars Pillow Tutorial
Patriotic Pillowcase Dresses
Red, White, and Blue Dress
Learn to Sew Star Pillow
America the Beautiful Skirt
Easy Applique Star Tee

 

Train for It!

Have the competitive events inspired you to become more active and fit in your life? Whether you’re a gym newbie (no shame! We all have to start somewhere) or you’ve decided to finally return to the gym after a short break, these projects are meant to help and inspire you in your journey to the gold!

Superhero Gym Bag
Exercise Pedometer Armband
Comfy and Secure Jogging Armband
Don’t Sweat It Headband 
Superhero Gym Bag

Arm Band Pouch
 
DIY Yoga Mat

 

 

Let the Games Begin!

With all the prepping and training you’ll be doing to gear up for the winter games, why not be inspired to host your own mini games? Invite some friends and family over and hold your own contests and events to replicate those in Sochi; you can all go to an ice-skating rink and see who can circle the rink the fastest, or sled-race down an especially big and snowy hill! Or you could gather in a large backyard and come up with relay races and agility tests! At the very end, you can give out DIY medals and awards to the winners.

Olympic Torch + Medal

 

How cute is this Plush Torch and Medal? This great sewing pattern set was created by Cheryl from Sew Can Do!

 

 

 

What event(s) are you most anticipating?

 

The Most Important Sewing Tool

The Most Important Sewing ToolsEveryone has their own go-to tool for sewing, that tool that they can’t sit down without. No one wants to get all ready to go into the sewing zone and then realize that they don’t have their trusty seam ripper or their handy scissors. For some people, that ultimate go-to item might be something else, something that isn’t even sewing related. Maybe it’s your favorite beverage, some good music to listen to, or a good show to watch.

We asked our Facebook fans, “What tool do you ALWAYS make sure you have before beginning a sewing project?”

 

 

Common Threads

Scissors:  40
Seam Ripper: 31
Scissors AND Seam Ripper: 9
Sewing Machine/Needles/Thread: 11
Pins: 5
Bobbins: 4
Glasses: 4
Caffeine: 4
Music: 4
Rotary Cutter: 3

Sewing Tools

Celia W. – measuring tape – measure twice cut once
Jenn R. – Enough fabric LOL
Mara P. – tailors chalk (and scissors, they’re necessary too)
Brenda H. – All of them. It’s the one area that is completely organized in my house.
Bernadine N. – new rotary blade and a diet coke
Holli R. – Other than a seam ripper…music to listen to is a must!
Chris H. –  Coffee, and my sewing box
Lauri C. – seam ripper, iron, ironing board, good scissors
Ursula Z. – seam ripper, needles, thread, scissors
Anne R. – Small scissors, classical music and big glass of water.
Kathy P. – My bright lamp. Need to see what I’m doing. Second is my cup of coffee.
Nell K. – a razor blade (Single edge)
Nareida B. – Scissors and measuring tape
Susan D. – Seam ripper and drink and TV!!
Joyce W. My rotary cutter and mat, my sewing machine, my rulers, my embroidery scissors and my seam ripper. I actually have all of my things available to access when I start a project but when I am sewing I always have my embroidery scissors there to cut threads, etc.
Connie B. – Long Tweezers
Andrea T. – pins, scissors & seam ripper
Diana L. – Scissors and a radio
Julie K. – Transparent rulers
Shannon T. – Rotary cutter and cutting board with paper and pencil close by for making my own pattern
Barbara H. – Pins, scissors, pattern. Seems they all hold the same value.
Sharon P. – Scissors, ott light , seam ripper and Pepsi!!!
Cynthia M. – Thimble!
Andrea F. – My snips and pin magnet
Paula S. – glue Stick and colored chalk (and a seam ripper)
Charlotte C. seam ripper and glasses
Bj H. tape measure

 And All the Rest

Wendy M. My glasses!!! and sad to say that a magnifying lamp is becoming quite useful 🙂
Jayne C. a glass of tea and the remote to tv! lol
Camille B. – Chocolate. No kidding. And throw in some coffee for good measure.
Claire S. – Sanity
Mary F. – Good light and good cutting supplies….
Jackie L. – Time:)
Shirley M. – My coffee cup and glasses!
Kathy W. – an idea
Judy V. – a glass of wine
Phyllis D. – My tablet hooked up to my tv to see my tutorials on YouTube or pinterest
Kimberly K. – My ice tea!!! 🙂
Cindy W. – Is wine a tool?!

Those are all some great must-haves! I have to agree with all of those: music and something to drink are both something I need around me as I craft… and I’ll make an executive decision here and say that, yes, wine IS a tool. 😉

 

What else do you need before you start sewing?

Spring Forward 2014: 12 Spring Fashion Patterns featuring Peplum

Spring Forward with AllFreeSewingPeplum is a popular trend that resurfaced a few years ago. Even though it isn’t exactly “new,” it still manages to top the trend reports season after season. The best thing about peplum is that it’s very versatile; you can have peplum tops and tanks, peplum skirts, and even peplum dresses. If you’re so inclined, you can even find peplum-style jackets and coats! The reason for its popularity is that it’s a style that can look good on anyone! The peplum flare can be more or less structured, so depending on how much extra flare you want to add to your silhouette, you can find something that fits. Because of its versatility and flattering fit, we at AllFreeSewing dub Peplum as the top trend of 2014.

Peplum can be tough to pull off, true, but only if you don’t know how to make it work for you. If you want to give yourself an exaggerated silhouette and hips, a more structured and more flared cut is your best bet. If you don’t want that extra fabric jutting out, you can still rock the trend. There’s a gathered peplum cut that doesn’t flare as much and simply flows around your midsection. If you’re hesitant to try the trend, go for that style. Once you’re a little more comfortable, you can venture out into the more extravagant pieces.

There’s no better time than right now to jump on board the peplum trend. Whether you already have a few pieces or you’ve been waiting for the right time to try it out, there are plenty of ways to sew your own version. We’ve pulled some of our favorite patterns and tutorials for you to try, so check them out!

 

Peplum Tops

Peplum Top RefashionDIY Peplum ShirtRavishing Peplum RefashionAny Season Peplum BlouseEasy Peplum TankPeplum Top Tutorial

We’re also so thrilled that we’ve stumbled across some amazing peplum top tutorials online:

 

 

Peplum Dresses and Skirts

Origami Peplum RefashionRuffled Peplum SkirtSnap Peplum SkirtSide Peplum Skirt

 

Plus! Peplum Belt Tutorial!

DIY Peplum Belt

This great DIY Peplum Belt is from the lovely Natalia Oh!

 

 

 What do you think of the peplum trend?

 

How to Organize Your Life: Easy Sewing Projects

Cleaning and Organizing Your LifeHappy New Year! The start of a New Year is always a huge relief, isn’t it? Even though it’s just another day, it signifies the start of something new and acts like a reset on your life and on your habits. People make New Year’s resolutions to follow all year round. Have you thought of your own New Year’s resolution?

For many people, getting organized is always near the top of the list. To have your personal space in some sort of order, with things put away and easily located, is a top priority for most people. Luckily for you, we at AllFreeSewing have some fun and easy sewing projects that are geared towards helping you clean and sort your life. Plan ahead and get a head start on all those goals you’re setting for yourself. Maybe you want to keep your house or apartment cleaner; we have some great towel and even Swiffer ideas for you! Do you want to be able to organize your jewelry so you can find what you’re looking for much easier? We have some fantastic DIY jewelry organizers for you to try! And if you’re just looking for a way to make some inexpensive boxes to keep things together and a bit more out of sight, we can help with that, too.

 

Towels and Swiffers:
Before you can actually organize anything, you should probably clean it thoroughly. These easy DIY projects will help you make towels and rags out of things you already own!

Bins and Baskets:
Your stuff is organized; now what? It’s time to put it all in its place!


Accessory/Jewelry Organizers:
What do you do with all your jewelry or smaller items that you want to keep together? Make one of these hanging organizers and never lose track of something again!Hanging Jewelry Holder

 

Miscellaneous Organizers:
If you want to carry over your organizational strengths and know-how to other places of your life (school, your car, by your bed, etc.), were got just the patterns for you!

Sofa Caddy

 

 

Festive Forest Fat Quarter BundleWant to make these gorgeous, sewn projects? You can with the help of this Festive Forest Five Quarter Bundle from Five Monkey Fabrics! Until January 6th you can enter once a day, every day to win these gorgeous prints. Enter here!

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

 

What Would Lady Mary Do? Sewing Patterns for Downton Abbey Ladies

At AllFreeSewing, we know you’re just as fond of Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey as we are. From the start of Season 1 to the much anticipated US release of Season 4, we’ve followed the triumphs and tragedies of the Crawleys and all those associated with the great estate.

After an evening on the edge of our seats watching some favorite episodes, the editors couldn’t get the characters of Downton Abbey out of their heads the next day at work. Every sewing project we stumbled across reminded us of one of our favorite (or not so favorite) players in the heart-wrenching drama. What would Lady Edith choose to sew given the chance today? Would Mrs. Patmore like these apron patterns or scoff them? The possibilities are infinite and indeterminable, but we gave these puzzling questions our best shot and chose patterns we thought some of our favorite characters would sew and sport today.

Lady Mary’s Picks

Brooklyn DIY Tulle SkirtAlways on the cutting edge of fashion, Lady Mary would most likely opt for the trendiest pieces when it came time to settle on a sewing pattern today. The amount of time to create these pieces would be of little consequence for the future duchess, since she’d hardly stoop to picking up a needle.

 

Unexpectedly Stylish Designs for Lady Edith

Simple Dress with TankOn the back burner of the Crawley girls, Lady Edith’s style is often overlooked. If you take a closer look, however, you’ll notice a dynamic character reflected in both her wardrobe and actions. Because of her insatiable desire for recognition, the character of Edith begs for our attention. Whether this is through hooking a man (or not), or getting noticed through the written word, the editors at AllFreeSewing feel that sister #2 would gravitate towards these patterns.

Lady Sybil’s Sewing Patterns

DIY Little Black DressSomething that differentiates Lady Sybil from her two stately sisters is her progressive independence. Given the choice of patterns today, Sybil would likely go for eco-friendly, artistic, and functional pieces.

Anna’s Sewing Projects of Choice

Downton DIY HeadbandAs Mary’s lady’s maid, Anna is notably below Mary in social standing. While her selection of sewing patterns would probably be less extravagant than any of the Crawley sisters, Anna is still towards the top of the totem pole as far as servants are concerned. Her close position with a central member of the family would entitle her to some extra coinage, and therefore some goodies that someone like Daisy couldn’t afford. Here are the sewing projects we think Anna would use her sewing skills on.

 

Mrs. Patmore’s Ingredients for Style

Sew Retro Lace ShirtAs the head cook, Mrs. Patmore is of a position and age of superiority for a servant. Earning a livable salary, she’s been around the block enough to know when and what to spend her hard earned cash on. As such, we believe Mrs. Patmore would go for these types of projects; cheap fixes but completely functional.

O’Brien’s Mischievous Homemade Goods

Necklace TherapyIf O’Brien were to choose her types of patterns, she’d probably go for those that involved pockets and compartments to match her menacingly mysterious air. It’s always handy to have a place to hide a secret. See if you agree with these diabolical designs for the most two-sided lady’s maid.

Daisy’s DIYs

A Handibag from a Pillowcase The runt of the long list of players at Downton Abbey, Daisy basically has next to nothing to spend on fabric. While she might be skilled when it comes to sewing, she’d be the most money conscious of the bunch selected here. As such completely refashioned and upcycled projects like the ones below would be near and dear to the scullery maid.

What do you think? Did we hit it on the head or get it completely wrong? Let us know if you agree or disagree by telling us,

What do you think the characters of Downton Abbey would sew today?

 

 

 

Christmas Tree Skirts: A Secret History

Easy Ruched Christmas Tree Skirt

DIY Christmas tree skirts are hugely popular during the holidays. They’re functional, decorative, and add a little extra something to the living room decorations. Christmas home dec projects are among my favorite homemade gifts to make for newlyweds, rather than just purchasing them a new blender from their registry. It’s a great unexpected gift idea that people love; building up a collection of Christmas decorations can be expensive, and it’s nice to have ornaments and decor that is tied to a memory.

I love to learn about the history behind traditions, so as I was updating AllFreeSewing with new Christmas projects this week, I found myself adding a bunch of new Christmas Tree Skirt patterns and got to thinking: where on earth did the tradition of tree skirts come from?

The Early Days

German Merry Christmas

I did a little research and as it turns out, tree skirts actually have a pretty storied history! Though their exact origins are still unknown, historians believe that Christmas tree skirts were likely invented in Germany (also the birthplace of general tree decorating).

In those days, trees were decorated with actual candles. In order to prevent a little Christmas bonfire from breaking out in the living room, families would put a mat under the base of the tree. The mat served to collect wax and fallen needles as well. These mats weren’t at all decorative; in fact, they were rarely more than just a piece of fabric placed beneath the tree, to be washed and recycled at the end of the holiday.

Tree Skirts Get A Makeover

Christmas Miracle Tree Skirt

The earliest recorded use of a Christmas tree stand as we use them today was in 1879, and the tree mat evolved into the tree skirt, which did double-duty collecting wax and leaves while obscuring the unsightly tree stand. It was during this time that Christmas tree skirts began to become more ornate and decorative. Families began to embroider or quilt their tree skirts to match their home decor.

At this point, tree skirts also served as the location of additional tree decorations like a nativity scene or Christmas village. As Christmas tradition evolved and gifts were placed under the tree instead of being hung upon it, the tree skirt became an important place for gifts to be arranged. Usually gifts were hung on the tree in early December and then added around the skirt on Christmas Eve.

Ho Ho Ho Tree Skirt

Modern Christmas Tree Skirts

Today, skirts are mostly used as decorative ways to hide the tree stand. Most nativity scened and Christmas villages have moved elsewhere in the house, and gifts are piled up under the tree from day one. However, over a century of sewing tree skirts has given the internet a plethora of great homemade Christmas tree skirt ideas and tutorials. So with your new knowledge of its long past, sew a beautiful new skirt to add to your own family’s Christmas tradition with one of these ten festive free DIY Christmas tree skirt patterns!

  1. Ho Ho Ho Tree Skirt
  2. Easy Ruched Christmas Tree Skirt
  3. Christmas Miracle Tree Skirt
  4. Christmas Tree Skirt with a Scalloped Edge
  5. Simply Quilted Patchwork Tree Skirt
  6. Whitney’s Drop Cloth Tree Skirt
  7. Christmas Tree Skirt
  8. ‘Tis the Season Christmas Tree Skirt
  9. Two Tiered Luxe Christmas Tree Skirt
  10. Super Easy Mini Christmas Tree Skirt

Handmade Leather Bags & Accessories Book GiveawayPLUS! Want some extra presents under your tree this year? You can win a copy of Handmade Leather Bags & Accessories from AllFreeSewing and Design Originals and make tons of cute bags and more! Enter to win once a day, every day until November 25th right here!

Do you have any Christmas traditions with interesting histories?

Link Love: Creative Cowls

There’s something so magical about fall. The crisp air, crunchy leaves, pretty colors – I just can’t get enough. My favorite aspect of the season is definitely pulling out all of my favorite autumn accessories. In the past, I always stocked up on traditional scarvess – long pieces of fabric or cute yarn creations that I could quickly wrap around my neck before heading out the door. Last year, however, I purchased my first cowl. Since then, I’ve collected cowls of all shapes and sizes. I love throwing them on with my winter coat – they keep my neck warm and I can tuck my nose in when it’s extra chilly.

Readers also love cowls, and we’ve seen their popularity grow as years go by. In general, it seems that warm and cozy cowls are always the most sought-after on the site. Knit and crochet cowls like the Slouchy Cowl and the Crochet Convertible Cowl are always popular in our e-mail newsletters (are you a subscriber?). These scarves have one thing in common – they are both made using a single yarn color. Neither pattern is complicated, making them both a great option for beginning yarn crafters. If you are hungry for more cowl patterns, the Vanilla Meringue Cowl is a great choice. While this is a great craft to make for yourself, it’s also a fantastic gift idea for the holiday season.

Winter is around the corner – don’t wait until the first snowfall to get working on a cool cowl. Save your creation for yourself or give it as a gift – you don’t need a ton of supplies or a lifetime of expertise. Now is the time to say goodbye to boring generic scarves and hello to handmade cowls.

  1. Colour My World Cowl from Hopeful Honey
  2. Upcycled Sweater Cowl from Stuff Steph Does
  3. Lemon Balm Button Cowl from Fiber Flux
  4. Katy Cowl from Flax and Twine
  5. Crochet Infinity Scarf from Dabbles and Babbles
  6. Long Double Crochet Cowl from All About Ami
  7. Yellow Stiletto Cowl from Steph Chows
  8. Easy Knit Circle Scarf from With Lovely
  9. Long Chunky Crocheted Infinity Cowl from 7Alive all Livin’ in a Double Wide

FaveCrafts Giveaway: Embellishments for Adventurous Sewing

Embellishments-for-Adventurous-Sewing-Book-GiveawayLooking for some new sewing challenges? Are you bored with the same old same old? Well, if you’ve conquered the ABC’s of sewing and are looking for a new challenge, it’s time you start playing around with embellishments! Spur your sewing machine to its full potential with Embellishments for Adventurous Sewing. Filled with great tutorials and projects to help you practice decorative stitching, applique, fabric manipulation, and trim applications, this book is a must-have for sewing enthusiasts.

Author Carol Zentgraf guides you through a variety of techniques with step-by-step instructions and lovely full-color photographs. There are also 15 projects to help you practice these skills, so you have lots of choices to help you practice free-motion stitching, bobbin work, decorative machine stitches, and a variety of other sewing techniques.

I loved the chapter on decorative stitching. Even though it’s one of the easiest techniques to master, you won’t believe all the fun designs you can make by changing the setting on your sewing machine. And one of my favorite projects in the book, The Raw Edge Applique Pillow, is great for practicing your applique skills, as well as free-motion stitching, which may seem intimidating, but is actually quite easy and fun!

For those who like to upcycle and recycle, Embellishments for Adventurous Sewing is a great book to add to your collection for great project ideas and inspiration.

Wanna win Embellishments for Adventurous Sewing?

Head on over to the giveaway page and register to win today.  You have until August 27th to enter, and you can enter to win once a day…so the more you return, the greater your chances of winning this awesome giveaway.  You can also gain additional entries by blogging about this giveaway or talking about it on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.  Get all the details at the Embellishments for Adventurous Sewing giveaway page.  Good luck!

Download New AllFreeSewing eBook and Save Stress on Homemade Gifts

How to Sew a Gift for Any Occasion: 12 Easy Do-It-Yourself Gift Ideas Free eBookWe know it’s early, and we’re trying to say this as gently as possible: it’s time to start thinking about gifts. Even if you’re through with birthdays, baby showers, or graduations for a few months, you know the year’s biggest holidays are just around the corner. Before you click to another post out of panic, stick with us. AllFreeSewing has compiled a group of projects to help reduce any present-induced stress this holiday season with our collection of easy homemade gifts. That’s right, breathe a sigh of relief, because fresh off the shelves of AllFreeSewing is How to Sew a Gift for Any Occasion: 12 Easy Do-It-Yourself Gift Ideas. It’s free for you to download at your convenience and is, faithful to our name, totally free.

The noble designers who made How to Sew a Gift for Any Occasion: 12 Easy Do-It-Yourself Gift Ideas possible knew what they were doing. Easy and fast to make, these dozen designs are perfect gifts for situations when you’ve lost motivation, inspiration, or time. From the beautiful photographs to the accessible instructions, this roundup of homemade gift tutorials will give you everything you need to create lasting, functional, and gorgeous gifts. Make something for everyone from your tech-savvy niece to your baking-addict great aunt. These lovely gift ideas certainly range in style, but all maintain a level of high quality.

  Linen NapkinsHomemade Gifts for the Kitchen

Quilted dish cloths, linen napkins, and aprons. These everyday kitchen accessories are always on demand. Because everyone always needs an extra napkin to sweep or freshen up their kitchen, they make perfect presents. Learn how to sew a napkin, dish mat, apron and more from these 12 Easy Do-It-Yourself Gift Ideas. You’ll be so grateful to the creative minds behind these simple sewing projects for both dreaming up the gift idea and tutorial.

 

 

 

 

15 Minute Wrist RestCreative Homemade Gifts

One of our favorite parts of the How to Sew a Gift for Any Occasion: 12 Easy Do-It-Yourself Gift Ideas free eBook is the unexpected gifts. You have to see them to believe them. Projects like the 15 Minute Wrist Rest tackle utility and fun in one homemade gift. Most likely you (like us) never thought about defeating that arthritic pain that accompanies keyboard usage with a simple sewing project, and that’s exactly why this gift succeeds in creativity. Find this tutorial and more in the pages of AllFreeSewing’s latest creation.

 

No-Sew Glasses Case

No-Sew Do-It-Yourself Gift Ideas

Yes, we did account for the fact that on a last-minute basis, there’s not always time to sew. Either your machine gives out or you literally have no time to run your fabric through it. The no-sew do-it-yourself gift ideas in this eBook maintain a polished look that will make even you question whether or not you did indeed make them without sewing. Best of all, these patterns allow you to opt for the sewing machine if you have more time and don’t want to use adhesive. They’re easy for a reason!

 

 

How to Sew a Gift for Any Occasion: 12 Easy Do-It-Yourself Gift Ideas Free eBookBetter to be safe than sorry and download How to Sew a Gift for Any Occasion: 12 Easy Do-It-Yourself Gift Ideas to have on hand. The editors at AllFreeSewing have copies saved to our desktops at home and at work in the likely circumstance that we forget to pick up a bottle of wine for that next dinner. Make gift-giving fun again with these dozen delightful tutorials!

 

 

Be honest, have you started your holiday sewing?

 

AllFreeChristmasCrafts Giveaway: Zen-sational Stitches for Quilting

Zen-sational Stitches for Quilting

I’ve always wanted to learn how to sew. It’s one of many crafts on my to-do list. But the tiny little perfect stitches always intimidated me when I would see a really well-done quilt or stocking craft. Well, the great thing about handmade crafts is just that—they’re handmade! Because they aren’t produced in a factory by a machine, they’re supposed to have little imperfections. That’s why Zentangle is a perfect technique for quilting! We are giving away one copy of Zen-sational Stitches for Quilting! Enter to win here.

Have you ever heard of “tangling” before? Zentangle is a process that was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, and it is a unique art form that anyone can sit down and create. It was designed for people of all ages and all artistic skill levels as a means of relaxing through sketching these repetitive patterns—hence, the name Zentangle.

Suzanne McNeill, author of Zen-sational Stitches for Quilting, takes the concept of Zentangle in another direction as she focuses on the art of quilting. The book first shows all of the beautiful finished patterns, and next details each of the stitches. McNeill has collected Zentangle patterns for a variety of uses, such as tote bags, pillows, tea towels, and more. She even includes tips for beginning quilters in the heart of the book. These patterns make gorgeous, unique quilt crafts. Let them inspire your holiday crafting and give the finished quilts as gifts this Christmas. You are sure to find an abundance of inspiration in this wonderful book.

 

AllFreeChristmasCrafts.com is giving away one copy of Zen-sational Stitches for Quilting to one lucky winner. You could win!

Learn more and enter to win here.

Contest ends July 30, 2013. You can enter once daily, return often to improve your chances of winning!