FREE Pattern: Wine Cozy

As promised, here is the first of the free patterns I am offering to help spruce up your home for the holidays. Just imagine you have guests over, and everyone has a wine glass, but keeping track of those glasses and running around with coasters for every flat surface is a problem.  The wine cozy is an attractive and fun way solution to both situations.  You’ll want to make it in a variety of colors and fabric patterns – to help guests identify their own drink.  The best part?  You probably have enough different fabrics in your stash to make dozens of these!

Materials – note: these instructions are to make ONE cozy

  • 5″ strip of cotton print or solid fabric – or 1 fat quarter
  • 4″ square of thin cotton batting

Suggested Tools

  • (beyond standard sewing supplies)
  • Circle Cutter (I used the OLFA cutter)
  • Self Healing Mat

Project Level: Beginner

Cut fabric as follows:

  • Cotton Print: cut 4 circles with a 4″ diameter
  • Cotton Batting: cut 1 circles with a 3½” diameter

Construction –

  1. Sandwich the batting circle between two of the fabric circles with right sides facing out on fabric circles (so bottom fabric is right side down, then batting, then top fabric with right side up).
  2. Take remaining two circles and fold in half, ironing the fold sharply.
  3. Lay folded circles on top of the sandwich, with the folded edges touching so the two half circles (folded circles) make a whole circle on top of the fabric sandwich. This area with the fold is where the foot of the wine glass will insert. 
  4. Pin all layers together, making sure you catch each of the folded pieces separately.
  5. Stitch around the sandwich, catching all layers of the fabric (bottom piece, batting, top piece and each of the folded pieces) into a ¼” seam.
  6. Clip the selvage, allowing you to more easily turn the circle out.
  7. Using the opening at center of the circle (folds) turning it right side out. Iron cozy flat.
  8. To use, insert the base of your wine goblet. Create a variety of cozys out of different fabrics – now everyone will know which glass is theirs.

Here is a downloadable PDF version of this pattern: Wine Cozy Pattern
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

Home Made Holidays

Hello everyone!  It’s that time of year,the weather is changing (okay in some parts of the country not very much), decorations are going up outside, and family is planning get-togethers.  Yes, its time to decorate for Christmas, Chanuka, Kwanzaa or just to put some new colors into your home to give it that warm and cozy feeling.  But this year is a difficult one for many of us, and even crafters have been hit hard by the recession.  So what can you do to spice up your decorations and not spend tons of money doing it?

Take a look at what you already have – your ornaments, candles, pillows and fabrics.   Typically when we buy things for Christmas or any other holiday we buy with a theme in mind even if we don’t realize it.  Do you have a lot of snowman themed ornaments?  Are your decorations traditional colors, or have you allowed yourself to go a little ‘wild’ with color?  Once you know what you are starting with, it’s easier to decide where you are going.  So pull together the decorations that go with your theme or color (or perhaps you can pair both – if you have lots of snowmen ornaments, colors like blue and silver work well with that theme).  Next, consider grouping things a little differently this year to change the ‘feel’ of the decorations.  Now, what would make the decorations ‘pop’?  A new tablerunner, or perhaps something for the mantle?  Or just some throw pillows?  After you’ve made those decisions – hit the fabric store, but if you’re trying to stick with a color scheme I suggest taking a small ornament with you to help you match the perfect shade.  Over the next two weeks, I will be posting some free patterns and some ideas that I am using this year, and I think you’ll agree that most of them are versatile enough to be easily adapted to whatever color scheme or theme you have chosen.   Some could even be made up in fall colors that could easily transition between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Another way to have a ‘home made holiday’ is to consider giving gifts that are home made.  Even if you don’t believe your skill level is very high, your loved ones will often be thrilled that you took the time and effort to make something rather than buy it.  (Granted, I don’t think many kids would be happy with a quilted version of a video game, but you never know!)  Consider the recipient, what are their favorite hobbies?  Can you create something to enhance that?  Such as bookmarks for your favorite reader, or even a small bookbag for that serious bookworm – a padded case for a music lover’s CDs, or a small purse for an MP3 player and it’s accessories.  For a cook, consider making a bread basket liner with warming bag.  There are all sorts of ideas out there, just hit the internet and do some snooping.

If you can’t give something you’ve made – consider the gift of ‘time’.  How often have we all thought “if only I had time for…” – well, time isn’t something we find lying around anymore.  We have to make time to do special things with our loved ones.  Do you have a budding young crafter on your gift list?  Consider giving some supplies and a ‘coupon’ promising that sometime in the next year (depending on your schedule) you will give together with that person 3 times just to craft.  And that little gift of a couple of hours of your time during the year will give you a gift as well – some great memories!

Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing

FREE Pattern – College Laundry Bag

College Laundry Bag One of the least favorite tasks for any student is doing laundry. This applies to college students and to high school students who are just learning the responsibility in preparation for college. So I thought it was high time to create something that might make laundry time a bit more enjoyable.

This bag is designed to be made using college print fabrics – but it could easily be made with any other fun print the student will enjoy.

I have created a downloadable pattern page for this project, so I’m not going to re-write the entire project here.  If you are considering making your own laundry bag, I suggest that you download the pattern, and have it printed out as you follow along with a few more detailed explainations below.  Laundry Bag Pattern

One of the most notable design elements is the line of black prairie points that runs down the side of the bag.  If you don’t know how to create prairie points, I have explained it in the pattern, but a more detailed explaination can be found at  I used a 6 1/2″ square ruler to make sure I had the points spaced perfectly.

The bag is constructed as a tube, with only a small strip of the coordinate fabric used to accent one side.  Again, you can change this if you want, but one reason to not make the tube using seams on either side of the bag is to reduce stresses on the seams when the bag is overfull (and we all know that’s going to happen at least once).  So if you make changes, I suggest that you still use one large piece of fabric, and one smaller piece for the accent.

Another important step is finishing the bottom of the bag – instructions are included for sewing into the corners of the bottom, this will allow the bag to stand up more easily than if you just used a single seam across the bottom.  It will also reinforce the corners and provide a bit more strength to the finished piece.

A few suggestions to personalize the bag:

  • Use blanket tabs (also known as tags) instead of prairie points.  These can be made from a coordinate fabric, or just use ribbon.  I would still use buttons to finish the tabs off.
  • Add a pocket inside for quarters.  Or, make a small matching drawstring bag that could fit over the mouth of a coffee mug to collect quarters in through the week.
  • Print washing hints and instructions (don’t wash new jeans with white t-shirts) onto a colorfast sheet, then topstitch into the inside of the bag.  This can be done on fusible webbing, and use a decorative blade to trim before topstitching into the bag.

I’m sure you can come up with lots of new ideas… feel free to share a few!
Sheila Reinke, Heart of Sewing