Questions Answered


Boy has my inbox been full lately! I am loving all the fantastic messages/comments you've been sending/leaving for me, and I really enjoy answering your questions. I've noticed, however, that several of the same questions are being asked over and over, so I thought I'd post answers to my most frequently asked questions for anyone who may be interested:

1. Where do you get your labels/tags?

I get my labels from and I am super pleased with them. The customer service is fantastic and the labels arrive lickety split!

2. What pattern did you use?

All the items that you see pictured in my shop, on my blog, or my flickr photostream are made with my own patterns unless I specify otherwise, in which case I always let you know where it came from and link to the pattern designer. I'm actually pretty terrible at following other people's directions, which is how I got started making my own patterns in the first place. This also explains why you may find an annoying level of detail in my tutorials. I'm very much a visual learner and sort of assume that everyone else is, too, so I try show every step with photos.

3. Where can I buy your patterns?

My patterns aren't currently for sale due to my lack of ability/appropriate software for getting them off of my sketchbook and into a computer. I am pretty technologically impaired, so please bear with me as I stumble through this process! I do plan to offer more free tutorials, as time allows. In my wildest dreams you will one day be able to find a book of my patterns at your local bookshop.

4. Where did you get that fabric?

Most of my fabric is purchased online at etsy and occasionally on Ebay for some of the rarer or out-of-print stuff. I don't typically give specifics on sellers because everyone's stock varies so much and I don't want to give you out-of-date information, but I'm happy to tell you the name and designer of a print if you ask. Then you can just search for that print via the etsy search engine under "supplies" and voilĂ !

5. Did you ever get around to finishing [fill in the blank] project?

Probably not. But I can tell you that [fill in the blank] is sitting on my cutting table, watching me with pound puppy eyes, and will be finished eventually. I usually tackle UFOs whenever I have spare time (rarely) or an impulsive moment (occasionally), and I'll be sure to show you how they turned out when I get the chance. My UFOs thank you for the reminders, though!

A little help from my friends


ETA: Thank you for letting me know that the problem is solved. For anyone who is interested, I burned my feed with FeedBurner and updated the link in the "Post Feed Redirect URL" box in my Blogger settings, which I believe did the trick. I think I may have to have a little giveaway anyway since I didn't get the chance to hand out any prizes, details to come!

Thank you for all the wonderful comments about my fabric Easter egg tutorial! I can't wait to see some photos of your eggs!

Now I'd like to ask for a little favor...It seems that my blog refuses to update in Google Reader; it appears to be stuck on an entry I made nearly a year ago. If someone can help me fix this problem, I'd love to offer a freebie bit of coveted fabric or pear pincushion. It's probably something incredibly simple to fix, and I got so far as to find out there are some parsing errors, but the idea of scanning the html to figure out what's wrong is daunting, not to mention way over my head. So please feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment and hopefully I can get this sorted out with your help!

Thanks in advance!

Easter is in the air


Fabric Easter egg tutorial by Retro Mama

I had one of those moments in Target the other day while walking (well running, actually, as I had a screaming toddler in my cart) by an endcap, and instinctively, reflexively even, bent down and grabbed this fantastic cake platter as we sped past. The first thing that popped into my head to describe it was "Barnyard Chic" -- check out the chicken wire detail on the foot! Completely fantastic --

Retro Mama: fabric Easter egg tutorial

Driving home, this strange urge to make Easter eggs came over me. Strange in that I don't usually get this kind of inspiration until either, a) after the holiday has passed, or b) it's so close to the holiday that there isn't enough time to complete the project. In any case, not only did I finish the eggs in time, but I've come up with a little tutorial (my first!) far enough in advance for anyone else who wants to make fabric Easter eggs, too. These are just a bit bigger than real eggs and a terrific way to use up those fabric scraps! Please be sure to tell me if you have any trouble printing the pattern (it should be 2-1/8"W by 4-1/4"h) or if any of the instructions are confusing so I can fix them!

Fabric Easter Egg Tutorial


10"w x 5"h Quilting cotton, linen or other non-stretchy woven fabric in one or more prints
Fiberfill, Nature-fill or other similar polyester or natural stuffing
Disappearing Ink Pen
Hand sewing needle
Pattern (I recommend printing it on card stock for easy tracing)

Seam allowances are 1/4"

1. Cut out the pieces. Place pattern piece perpendicular to the fabric selvedge, trace the pattern with disappearing ink (see photo below) and cut four pieces from desired fabric prints. You may cut multiple pieces simultaneously from the same print by folding the fabric over one or more times, cutting up to 4 pieces at once. (Tip: If you're using a scrap and don't know which way the selvedge is, test which direction the fabric is stretchiest. The fabric is stretchier going perpendicular to the selvedge, and less stretchy going parallel with the selvedge; you want the stretch going from top to bottom of the egg, not side to side, so your egg doesn't get too "fat" when you stuff it. Hopefully that makes sense.)

Retro Mama: fabric Easter egg tutorial

2. Place pieces together for sewing. Always keeping track of which end is "up", place 2 fabric pieces, right sides together, pinning if desired. Do the same with the remaining two pieces. Transfer the two dots from the pattern to the fabric pieces on top. If using two different fabrics, make sure both pairs have one of each print and that the same print is on the top of both sets.

Retro Mama: fabric Easter egg tutorial

3. Sew a seam along the right side of one set of egg pieces, from top dot to bottom dot, backstitching at the top and bottom. Do the same with the second set of pieces.

Retro Mama: fabric Easter egg tutorial

4. Put the two halves together. Turn one set of egg pieces right side out, and place inside the other set of egg pieces, so that right sides are together on the inside.

Retro Mama: fabric Easter egg tutorial

Match the seams at the top and bottom and pin. (Note the purple ink marks on the lower righthand side in the photo below that indicate where I will leave a hole for stuffing)

Retro Mama: fabric Easter egg tutorial

5. Sew the two halves together. Sew around the outside edge of the egg, leaving a 1" hole on one side for turning and stuffing, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam.

6. Trim the seam allowances, taking care not to snip into the stitches and leaving the seam allowances wide around the open hole.

7. Turn the egg right side out through the hole and it will look something like this

Retro Mama: fabric Easter egg tutorial

8. Stuff the egg firmly with poly-fill or other stuffing, and close the hole with small slip stitches/ladder stitches.

Retro Mama: fabric Easter egg tutorial

9. Voila! You have a completed egg.

Retro Mama: fabric Easter egg tutorial

10. Now make bunches and bunches of these and post your photos in my new flickr group dedicated to projects made with my patterns!

Fabric Easter egg tutorial by Retro Mama

I hope you have as much fun making these as I did!

Have a fun and happy (and warm, if you're lucky) weekend!

edited 2/2/11 to add updated link to pattern