HANDMADE :: Kitchen Linens with Charles Dickens Quotes

I was raised in a home where Charles Dickens was quoted often — not the beautiful literary passages, but the little phrases uttered by quirky characters. These lines have been woven into our family throughout the years and pop up at the most hilarious times. So when I wanted to embroider some tea towels for my mom recently, I knew I had to start with a quote from Mr. Smallweed in Bleak House.

Smallweed Quote from Bleak House -Shake me up, Judy- Embroidered onto Striped Linen Kitchen Towels via Oaxacaborn
Charles Dickens Quotes Embroidered onto Striped Linen Kitchen Towels via Oaxacaborn
Joe Gargery Quote from Great Expectations -What Larks- Embroidered onto Striped Linen Kitchen Towels via Oaxacaborn
Quotes from Books Embroidered onto Striped Linen Kitchen Towels via Oaxacaborn

I’d love to make more of these. There’s no end to phrases from great books I could envision stitched out like this. And couldn’t we all use a little beauty infused into everyday chores?

What sort of words would you like to see on a linen towel?


HANDMADE :: DIY Large Felt Numbers Tutorial

TUTORIAL - DIY Large Felt Numbers on the Oaxacaborn blog

TUTORIAL - Make your Own DIY Large Felt Numbers on the Oaxacaborn blog

This is a nice, simple project. Depending how long your little person naps (and how many numbers you choose to make) it just might qualify as a single-afternoon-project.

Since all the examples of felt letters and numbers I found elsewhere were tiny, I made my own template, especially designed for the 8.5×11” sheets of felt that are so cheap at the craft store. Not only are these large items easier to sew than microscopic ones, the resulting numbers are easy to hold, can double as decor, and won’t get lost in the toy box. And, you can print out the template on standard printer paper, without worrying about scale.

Aveline is just learning her numbers (two! free! five! nine!), so I wanted to lessen any confusion about backwards numbers. This was easily accomplished by using a different color for the back of each number. I used charcoal grey felt for the front and off-white for the back, because I really really love when toys match my living room. ;)

The seams are a simple blanket stitch, sewn with various colors of six-strand embroidery floss. I didn’t divide the strands, just used it straight out of the package.

It helps if you have extra-sharp scissors (the secret to cutting felt neatly and crisply.) Because felt dulls scissors quickly, I use these 3/$1.99 Ikea scissors and just replace them whenever I need to.

Make your Own DIY Large Felt Numbers - Tutorial on the Oaxacaborn blog

The project is extremely self explanatory, so I feel a little (a lot!) silly writing a step-by-step tutorial. :-P But here it is:


2 pieces of standard 8.5×11″ felt per number
Embroidery needle
Embroidery floss/thread
Polyfill for stuffing
PDF template (numbers 0-9)

1. Print out the template (numbers 0-9), and cut out the numbers you wish to make. Lest you inaccurately think I’m overly ambitious, I only made 1, 2 and 3.
2. Lay two layers of felt on top of each other, top color first and back color second, then pin the cut-out pattern to the felt.
3. Using extra-sharp scissors, carefully cut out the felt numbers. Take the paper pattern off, then without moving the felt, pin the two pieces together again.
4. Sew the two pieces together with a blanket stitch. When you have about two inches to go, stuff the number with polyfill, then complete the seam.

Voilá! If any of you are crazy enough to make 0-9, you have to send me pictures ;) And if you’re interested in seeing a similar template for large A-Z felt letters, let me know in the comments!


HANDMADE :: Ch-ch-changes.

Owl Hats as seen on Oaxacaborn dot comI’ve decided to change things up a bit when it comes to the products in my shop. The (exciting!) vision I have for the new look was reaffirmed by this discussion last Friday. So, I’ll be slowly listing the rest of what’s now the old style at discounted prices until they’re gone. (I’m not phasing out the owls…no way! But you will see a shift toward lighter, more monochromatic color choices.)

(WHOA. The “older style” hat in the photo above? It sold while I was typing this. I’m constantly humbled by the overwhelming support you all show my little endeavors!)


HANDMADE :: I think yes. Especially with feathers.

Handmade fabric doll with felt feather headband, as made by Oaxacaborn dot com

This took some fiddling to get all stitched up, but I think I’ve got the basic method down. A few more tweaks to the next fabric doll, perhaps, like a narrower body and arms. I do love the felt feathers and the hand-embroidered face; I don’t think I’ll change that for the next one. A lot more fun than folding laundry, although I admit I was twitching a bit knowing that there were undone chores while I was sewing away. :)

Handmade, Little Style

LITTLE STYLE :: Watching Ants…and Making Harem/Genie Pants

The other night, Aveline’s energy was just too much for the four walls of the house to contain. So we went for a walk at sunset.

She watched ants. Toddler watching ants on sidewalk

She poked them. Handmade toddler harem genie pants

And then she danced home at her papa’s side.

(P.S. Her harem/genie/HAMMERTIME! pants that I was tweeting about last week are a modification of this pattern from Pretty Bobbins. I added several inches to the legs to make them full-length pants, and extended the pattern all around to increase the size.)