Improv Sewing

We’ve joining Craft Book Month  at Craft Buds with a review of Improv Sewing: A Freeform Approach to Creative Techniques; 101 Fast, Fun, and Fearless Projects: Dresses, Tunics, Scarves, Skirts, Accessories, Pillows, Curtains, and More (amazon affiliate link) by Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut. I chose the book because I needed inspiration for some quick, fun projects that were also cute. This book is FILLED with projects that are just that. 101 fast projects that result in super cute sewn gifts or things to keep for yourself. There are at least two scarf projects I’ll be trying as well as several garments and gifts!


I went to the local fabric store to search for a book to review and this one caught my eye immediately.

cardboard gift tag (9 of 11)

The project I decided to do first was sew cork board coasters. Except I bought a roll of cork. And it stayed curled forever. Next time I’ll be buying the small cork tiles! Lesson learned!

cardboard gift tag (11 of 11)

On to project two! Cardboard gift tags. I love the idea of using things you have around the house rather than buying a $4 card.

cardboard gift tag (10 of 11)

So I promptly cut up a cereal box and some tweed fabric scraps.

cardboard gift tag (8 of 11)

So quick and way better than than a card. I didn’t try to make it perfect or amazing. I think that adds to the charm. The book suggests using a basting or longer stitch. I totally agree. I tried a smaller stitch but much prefer the longer stitches. Smaller stitches also tend to perforate the cardboard too much and if you want it to last all the way to the party it’s best to use a longer stitch.

I did use layers of stitches on the tweed leaves. I went around each leaf a couple times so the thread color would stand out more. It still struggled because it is such a dark, thick fabric. But I do love it.

cardboard gift tag (1 of 11)

I punched a hole in it and used a frayed selvage scrap to tie it on a gift basket. This is a “congrats on your new puppy” basket. Clearly.

cardboard gift tag (2 of 11)

There’s a duvet cover tutorial in the book that I’m going to use for one of my daughters. Highly recommend this book if you like appliqué, improv stitching or hand sewing. There is a project in there for you, I’m sure! Go check out all the other books being reviewed for Craft Book Month!