Welcome to my Crafty Blog!

an overjoyed sam at the statue of a giant thimble and buttons in toronto

I'm Samantha (Sam), a mechanical engineer, seamstress, crafter, & entrepreneur. Enjoy perusing photos of my sewing and craft-related adventures. I hope my blog brings inspiration and happiness to your day!

Tutorials & Free Projects

Tiny Thread Spool Pushpins Tutorial X-Stitch Throw Pillow Tutorial
Starburst Wrapper Bracelet Tutorial Vintage Hassock Reupholstery DIY
Safety Eye Installation Tutorial for Plush a guide to sewing in your dorm room
Sewing Basket Essentials for Beginners a gift guide for the seamstress who has everything

popular posts

Handmade Wool Alpaca Plush Tiny Handmade Plush Cactus
Annual Ladies' Board Rummage Sale orange sewing machine from germany
Marietta Big Chicken custom plush tiny narwhal graduation gift

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sponsored: my favorite tools

blue birdie shirt on the brooklyn bridge

handmade shirt: blue birdy fabric on the brooklyn bridge

I made this little tee last summer, and it’s one of the simplest shirts I’ve ever made. No sleeves to set, just two pattern pieces to stitch together and then hem. Despite this shirt’s simplicity – or possibly because of it – it is my #1 most worn me-made garment, hands down.

handmade shirt: blue birdy fabric on the brooklyn bridge

The ultimate test of wearability for me-mades is simple: does it make it into my suitcase? This shirt passed with flying colors, and has traveled as far as Thailand! But these pictures are from another one of its journeys, when I met my favorite Marie in New York for a weekend of fabric shopping, dessert eating, and general exploring.

What’s extra special is that I bought the fabric on another Marie adventure, at the Türkenmarkt in Berlin. The fabric was cheap, and it’s not great quality, but somehow it became an extremely comfortable shirt with the perfect amount of drape and stretch. After a year of nonstop wear, it’s starting to thin out, especially where the shirt ends up rubbing on my belt buckle, but I think I have enough fabric left for a clone.

handmade shirt: blue birdy fabric on the brooklyn bridge

Trips with Marie always include blog photos for us both, like these where we crossed the Brooklyn bridge and I said things like, “am I walking too fast? is it blurry? how’s this?” and she patiently snapped shot after shot.

NYC garment district - fabric bolts

Of course, I can’t neglect to mention the fabric. Mood was the queen of eye candy, as always (and winner of both our wallets…), but there were plenty of stores, like the one above, that provided loads of inspiration. Finding fabric is a joy in itself, but the best part of this trip was discussing future projects with a fellow crafter. One of us would spot a fabric similar to one already in the stash, and we’d talk through a planned shirt, skirt, or bag… so many ideas, so little time!

For Marie’s much more timely documentation of our New York trip, check out her blog posts: Day 1, Day 2.

DIY Bridesmaid T-Shirts: Sparkle Hens

diy bachelorette t-shirts: hen party

My best friend and roommate-for-life just got married, so, as I’ve been saying, “my life is changed forever!”. I mean, her life changed more, but her wedding is still a pretty big marker on the map of Sam’s Life Events. My roommate-for-life has another roommate-for-life now!

It’s exciting and wonderful. We kicked off the celebration with a bachelorette party for lovely Hannah, the bride-to-be, a few weeks before the wedding, and I decided to make matching shirts for the crew.

My first big decision was shirt color. The wedding colors were dusty blue and cranberry, and since we were visiting a winery as part of the festivities, Cranberry was the obvious choice.

diy bachelorette t-shirts: hen party

For the design, I went simple. I’ve always considered the term “hen party” to be silly and quaint, and I figured Hannah would agree. So the backs of the shirts got “hannah’s hens” in script – all except Hannah’s, whose shirt was emblazoned with her title of “bride-to-be”. The front of each shirt got two small hens, one at the heart and one at the hem.

diy bachelorette t-shirts: hen party

I used my Silhouette cutting machine to cut the heat transfer material. I have the original Silhouette, but the Silhouette Portrait is today’s comparable model. The post for the shirts I made for Katie’s bachelorette has my tips and tricks for working with Silhouette heat transfer, but here’s the big one: don’t forget to make your lettering a mirror image before you start cutting! The heat transfer is cut adhesive-side up.

I used Cricut’s iron-on material for this project because I liked their glitter better – this glitter is silver but has flecks of lots of different colors (Amazon link). I used the same settings I would use with Silhouette heat transfer material and it worked just fine.

silhouette nesting of hen party t-shirts

I was so proud of the nesting on this!

It was a fun surprise for Hannah and my “fellow hens”. One of the girls said, “these are the classiest bachelorette shirts ever!” and – while there’s not much competition, because there’s some really trashy stuff out there these days – I was pretty pleased.

diy hen party shirt - hen detail

diy bachelorette t-shirts: hen party

The bachelorette party was fun and low-key, and the wedding was absolutely perfect. Congratulations again, roommate-for-life – you’re the best!

Tiny Lemon Art

framed tissue tiny art - lemons

I framed a tissue, so now it’s art.

My boyfriend bought me this pack of tiny lemon-printed tissues in Japan, and there are few things I love more than tiny lemons. I wish it were a fabric print… the life of a tissue is far too fleeting for this cuteness! So I matted one and framed it for some tiny art.

framed tissue tiny art - lemons

Continue reading “Tiny Lemon Art” →

My House: Favorite Corners

favorite corners in my house

Meet House. That’s my house’s name. I bought it a year ago, and after a lot of major updates and maintenance work, it’s finally feeling like the wonderful haven that it is.

As a brief introduction, I wanted to share a few of my favorite corners. Decorating the house as a whole is a slow, methodical process – House will never be “done” – but it’s fun to have a few corners that feel just right.

My kitchen is bright, with lots of yellow gadgets and supplies – and, of course, lemon-shaped things.

favorite corners in my house

My dining room hutch houses my around-the-world beer glass collection, and the top holds an assortment of treasures: Hornsea cream and sugar vessels from a UK boot sale; my vintage Nähkaste (sewing box) from Hamburg; and the incredible Disneyland It’s a Small World trashcan salt/pepper shaker.

favorite corners in my house

My bedroom has an awkward vent that ends halfway up the wall, but I added a wooden board to transform it into a deliberate shelf for displaying happy things (and catching my never-ending pile of hairties).

favorite corners in my house

Of course, my (new!!) sewing machine lives in one of the happiest corners, replete with a window and old-lady lace curtains.

So far home ownership is all about the little things, like the gray sewing room walls I’ve always wanted or the late-night picture hanging without worrying about waking the neighbors.

Do you have any favorite corners in your home? Happy collections or cozy reading nooks?