4th of July off the shoulder ROMPER!

 

Okay, who else is dying in this heat? Because I know I sure am!

With that being said, it’s OFFICIALLY summer. So what’s easier to just throw on and go other than a romper? They are my go-to & we are so ready to share this one with you, just in time for the 4th of July!

_MG_8433.jpg

What you will need:

This ITY print

 Cynthia Rowley Pattern 8124

Elastic

You can even jazz it up with this necklace!

romper.jpg

For measurements, reference the back of the pattern:

romper 3

We also highly recommend these fabrics for this cozy romper:

In order: Shibori Bamboo Knit in RedShibori Bamboo Knit in Indigo, Robin Crepe, Pebble Crepe, Andrea Eyelet Liberty of London Anderson

209732096821678228901915220366_1_

Here you will find a video that walks you through the whole process of creating this garment (hope the music puts you in the summer mood!) If you are a beginner, don’t worry, we have provided a simple walk through! If you are more advanced, we have accommodated you through the use of using your serger!

We want to see your final product!!! Tag us on Instagram or Facebook and hashtag #MLEVINECREATION for a chance to win some goodies!!

Fourth of July Home Dec/ Beach Pillow

Hi Everyone!!

I am so excited to share with you our first tutorial VIDEO for you guys to follow along with. Soon, you will be able to purchase everything needed for these videos in a simple kit, but until then, ill be linking up everything that we used.

We started with this AMAZING pillow, I personally can’t wait to throw it on my towel at the beach and snuggle up and tan with it! But you can definitely use it as a home dec/lounge chair pillow as well!

pillow.jpgHere is what you will need to complete this project:

Pillow form We are using a 20″x 20″

Silver City Stripe Fabric We used 1yrd of this

Pompoms We used 6.5 yards

We also highly recommend these fabrics for this pillow:

Serape Stripe & Sunbrella Astoria Stripe

In this video we will walk you through all the steps to creating this gem! We hope you enjoy the beach vibes music and cannot wait to see what you create!!!

We want to see your final product!!! Tag us on Instagram or Facebook and hashtag #MLEVINECREATION for a chance to win some goodies!!

Cutting Your Own Bias Tape Made Simple – Plus an Easy Baby Blanket Tutorial!

We want to share a simple baby blanket tutorial with you. It features a phenomenal trick for cutting your own bias tape! This method works great with a rotary cutter, and with a little “origami-know how”, it allows you to simply make bias-cut blanket edging from your own choice of decorative fabrics!

First we’ll start with the bias tape. Begin with a large square piece of fabric. Most quilting fabrics are 45″ wide , so to get a square piece you’ll want the length to be 45″ also, or 1-1/4 yard. Either way, just make sure that the length and width of the fabric you are using are equal lengths. Cut edges should be squared (90°) with the selvedges.
Step one: Find the center of the square. You can do this by folding the fabric in half twice (see grey lines) and marking their intersection with a pin. Step two: Fold corners inward, to meet the centerpoint.
Next, rotate your fabric 45 degrees so that it is a square in front of you, rather than a diamond, and use a rotary cutter and straight edge to slice strips. These strips are now naturally cut on the bias!
We used 1-1/2″ wide strips, with 1/4″ seams, and it yielded a 1/2″ wide border.

To prepare your new bias tape for application, press it in half lengthwise, like this, and it’s ready to go. A yard and a quarter of 45″ wide material will yield more than enough bias tape for a 45″ x 45″ blanket. You may have to do some math for other sizes and uses, as we haven’t created a formula yet! 😀
Now for the blanket itself. You will need two large, square pieces of fabric, plus any batting or lining you choose to put in between. For this tutorial we chose the new Karavan Collection, from Free Spirit by Valori Wells, plus two accent materials, the green one being for the bias trim. But we also have an expansive collection of other quilting cottons here.

Sandwich the batting between the two blanket fabrics, right sides facing out, and pin. Use a circular object (like a saucer or a glass), and mark rounded corners; then trim. This cuts out the work of beveling or folding bias tape at corners, so you can just curve right around those edges with your curve-friendly bias tape!
Now, quilt the fabric as you like, stitching through all three layers. You can quilt along the printed pattern on the cloth, or rectangular shapes, triangles, zig-zags, swirls, flowers, spirals, or vertical lines. You can hand quilt, or use sashiko thread and use big stitches. Just remember that this quilting is only being used to keep those three layers together and in tact, plus it can be decorative and attractive.  Make sure your layers haven’t shifted; if there are some threads or a little unevenness, now is the time to trim the edges.

The last step is to attach your bias tape. Now there are so many tutorials on the web (YouTube, for one, is a great resource), I am going to link you to this one here (just ignore the part about beveling the corners, because we rounded the edges a few steps back) and I’ll wait for you here and then carry on with the rest of my tutorial when you get back… some hand stitching will be required but if you minded that, you wouldn’t be a quilter now, would you?!? ~Wink Wink~

Once you’ve put on your bias tape, you’ve got an attractive and tidy little blanket to bundle up some joy in! This is an easy and personalized project.  For a baby shower, tie this up with a nice piece of satin or grosgrain ribbon and you can forget about those gift registries!

Look Who Visited Michael Levine’s – Marcy Tilton!

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of meeting long-time designer and sewing world celebrity Marcy Tilton. Although I didn’t realize at the moment ‘who’ she was, when Marcy handed me her business card the name rang very familiar… I later realized Marcy’s name was famous to me from her work with Vogue Patterns. Aside from designing patterns, Marcy blogs and hosts a variety of workshops, classes, and tours – among them an exciting trip to Paris’ left bank in May 2012, suitably called ‘Paris Tilton!’


What I love about Marcy’s patterns is that they are all any-age appropriate, and if you’ve got an eye for classic styling and cuts, you will appreciate them. We’ve just recently added a nice selection to www.LowPriceFabric.com.  My ‘Top 3’ favorite Marcy Tilton patterns are these:

This asymmetric top/jacket (appropriate for all ages, and would be cute lengthened as a trapeze coat-dress!):

These cropped trousers (suitable for any woven fabric and so easy to pair up – you could dress these up or down, night or day! Plus there are three style variations):

And this asymmetric urban jacket (with so many different fabric options, it’s easy to get excited about it!):

It’s always refreshing to meet creative people who have found success doing what they love and who are just as interested in others’ work as their own. Marcy was very kind and intrigued by our operations and endeavors here. I highly recommend reading Marcy’s dissertation on fabric shopping, full of practical tips, found here. I hope you will pay a visit to our section dedicated to Marcy’s patterns; I’m sure you’ll find one that strikes your fancy. And who knows, maybe one of you will end up meeting Marcy in Paris!

Michael Levine’s Sweetens the Deal: Low Price Valentine’s Crafting Supplies and Valentine’s Day Projects!

Valentine’s Day and the month of February is always the time of year that we reflect on love and the special people we’ve been blessed with in life. Although many people would argue that Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday, that could be said for any holiday. The true values of a celebrated day are becoming more and more clouded by the commercial world. Crafting, however, and making gifts from your heart are a sure way to hold onto what’s real and meaningful on Valentine’s Day, and what is priceless and cannot be bought: LOVE.

I’d like to share a couple of projects I’ve come across or made myself, that are prime examples of a perfect Valentine. You don’t even have to make anything functional; throwing together some nice materials in an artistic way with a lovely sentiment attached is really all you need to show somebody your admiration.

The first idea comes from Designed by Jane, and was featured on my previous blog entry about felt:
I just think this is so adorable and every little stitch and detail shows dedication and time. You could very easily embroider a sweet message onto the back – and voilà! Love delivered! You can shop our collection of eco-friendly felt, perfect for a variety of holiday crafts, here.

My next suggestion is something for the kids. My mother always supervised the making of home-made valentines for us to distribute to our classmates. Heart shaped doilies, Valentine’s fabric, some lace trim, red and pink construction paper, pinking shears, a bottle of Fabri-tac, and perhaps a little glitter is all kids really need to get crafty and show some love to their classmates. When I think of store-bought Valentines, I think of that song “Can’t Buy Me Love.” There’s just so much more dedication and affection that come with home-made Valentines. Plus, kids will love crafting their own Valentines, it will keep them out of your hair for an hour or two, and every one is happy! These are just a few of the many Valentine’s items we at Michael Levine’s have just added to our online store, www.LowPriceFabric.com!

      
Another idea comes from my previous blog about Personalized Pillow Cases. It would be very easy to adapt this project and incorporate some of our Valentine’s Day Fabrics and possibly use some of our eyelet trims instead of piping. You could even tie it up for presentation with one of our decorative ribbons and top it off with an adorable Cupid Brooch:

      
One more thing for the kids – or anybody for that matter – is a simple ribbon bracelet accented with a ‘diamond’ heart charm. You could add a clasp and it’s done!
This last project – I cannot take credit for, but – is certainly worth highlighting, is this lovely Heart-Shaped Mailbox for Valentine’s Day deliveries. This is a great idea for kids or teachers who want a fancy little place to receive their Valentines.
Again, this project would be a nice use for many of our Valentine fabrics (some are priced as low as $4.00 a yard!), and you could always trade out the scalloped edge for some lace or eyelet trim!
      
So whatever your Valentine’s Day plans are, and whoever receives your affection on this special day of love, hopefully you’ll find a place in your heart for some good, old-fashioned meaningful home-made gifts! And if not, if Valentine’s Day just isn’t your thing, you can always show some love for Arizona, whose Centennial Celebration of Statehood is this February 14!



80/20 split

So 80% of the time I’m an employyee here at Michael Levine, but 20% of the time I am a shopper, crafter, and have even tried my hand at knitting. Before coming to work here I never would have called myself crafty, but being around all these amazing products day after day I found myself wanting to try my hand at a few things. The first thing I remember making were some really cute place mats out of oil cloth. No sewing required so it was a perfect first project for me. All I needed was pinking shears and the fabric. They turned out so cute and added a punch of color to my table. Once I had a baby around I found my focus shifted to baby items. Baby bibs, baby burp cloths, and baby blankets took me through the next few years. All my friends were so impressed when a one-of-a-kind baby bib or birp cloth was pulled out of my diaper bag. And a few years ago we brought yarn into the store. I love the look of the yarn and just had to give it a go. I will have to pull out the ones I did and post the pics. While I loved the results, I have to admit with 3 little kids and my low level of patience I didn’t make that many items. I do have a few great winter scarves and love wearing them.  We have recently got in these collars, some are plane, while some have more embellishing. I was going through my many fashion magazines and saw all these t-shirts with embellished neckline. My radar went up and I thought I can do this. For a few dollars and a nice Michael Star T-shirt I had mysel a really cute, not so everyday T-shirt. Here are a few pics of my personal projects that I really thought were simple and that I really use and wear…

Here is one of my latest projects. I have been into making jewlery. I made this great vintage feeling necklace awhile ago, and still love wearing it. It was so simple. We have chain here and of course a hugh selection of buttons. These are rhinestone balls that hang just perfect.

One day when I was working in the button department I met this shopper who had this amazing necklace on, one that would be perfect fot the “Black & Bling” party I was invited to. When I asked her about it & took a closer look I realized it was all buttons. She had just bought it a one of the big department stores. Again I thought I can make this for 1/2 the price. While we didn’t carry the exact button her necklace contained I found something similar that I liked. I love this necklace. While I use it as a special occasion piece I get compliments everytime I wear it.

I hope you feel inspired to try something new. While we may not still carry the exact products show in these pictures, we have so many newer, great options. Remember, even if your a novice like me, have fun and give it a go!

Baked Potato Bag for Microwave, Step-by-Step Instructions

This quick and easy baked potato bag for the microwave has been popping up all over the internet and receiving rave reviews for moist and fluffy baked potatoes in minutes!



Here’s our spin on this popular craft; we made ours out of some neat culinary-themed cotton prints and natural cotton batting from http://www.LowPriceFabric.com. This project comes just in time for fall and the holidays, and is an easy-to-make, great gift!  And, you can even use it for cooking corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, or warming bread or tortillas!

Before you begin, make sure the finished bag size (10″ x 10″) will fit in your microwave with at least an inch of free space around it. If your microwave has a turn table, make sure that the finished sized will freely rotate. If the bag will not fit with enough free space, adjust the pattern accordingly.

  • There have been some reports of microwave fires when people fail to follow instructions, fail to supervise the cooking, or use materials other than 100% cotton.  Since some people have had issues with the corner of the bag, our advice is to trim off the bulky corners when you sew it (step #6). 
  • Don’t use the bag over and over to cook many potatoes, because the bag may overheat and start a fire! Heat it once, then let cool completely before using it again.
  • Do not use in conventional or toaster ovens – microwave oven only!
  • Be sure to use only 100% Cotton batting & materials, with no metallic threads.

1. What you will need:

100% Natural Cotton Batting: 1 piece 11″ x 22″

100% Cotton outer fabric:  1 piece 11″ x 22″

100% Cotton inner fabric: 1 piece 11″ x 22″

(If you are using the same fabric for both the inside and outside, 1/3 of a yard of 45″ wide 100% cotton will be sufficient.)

*You do not need to prewash the materials; they will be laundered all together once sewing is complete.*

2. Stack the layers of fabrics in the following order, aligning all edges:

  • Inner fabric first, right side facing up (bottom of stack)
  • Outer fabric next, right side facing down (middle of stack)
  • Cotton Batting last (top of stack)

3. Stitch the short (11″) edges with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Iron seams open/flat and turn so right sides of fabric are facing out. Press sewn edges and topstitch 1/2″ from edge.

4. Quilt or tack the three layers, leaving no more than 5″ open or unstitched. (At this stage, you should have the two fabrics facing right sides out with the batting in between.)

5. Surge or zig-zag stitch the raw edges that are the long (22″) sides.

6. Fold the shorter edges into the center, overlapping 1″ and forming a 10″ square. Pin and sew the pre-surged, 22″ edges 1/2″ from edge. Trim any extra bulk from the corners to decrease any chance of fire or scorching.

7. Flip the bag right side out, pressing seams smooth.

8. Machine wash cold and tumble dry warm. Do not use any fabric softeners or laundry treatments other than regular detergent.

9. Bake your first potato! Microwaves will vary, but here is an approximate time calculator:
2 Large Russet Potatoes: 8 minutes
2 Large Red Potatoes: 8 minutes
3 Medium Bread Rolls: 20 seconds
2 Medium Sweet Potatoes: 10 minutes
2 Large Corn Cobs: 6 minutes
Tortillas: times vary

Please use care, common sense, and proper supervision. This is a free tutorial; make these bags and use at your own risk.  Using these instructions indicates you have read and understand the written precautions and agree to use prudent and reasonable care when using this potato bag. Thank you, and enjoy!