How to sew French seams for perfectly finished seams

È importante rifinire i margini di cucitura per un effetto professionale. Impara come fare la cucitura inglese per una rifinitura perfetta in pochi minuti! #cucire #cucito

Nicely finished seams are a sign of professional quality sewing. Learn how to sew French seams for a perfectly clean finish in just a few minutes! #sewing #frenchseams

Welcome back for a new technical lesson in the Learn to Machine Sew series! One thing that makes the difference between projects that look homemade and those that look professionally-made is how well they are finished inside. There are quite a few ways to cleanly finish the seam allowances in your work, and today I’m going to focus on one technique that is really easy and looks great. And once you know how to sew French seams, you’ll be able to use them for great looking bags, clothing and more!

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Four techniques for finishing off the seam allowances on the inside of your work: pinking shears, overlock (serger), felled seams, and French seams. #sewing #seams

Here you can see four of the most frequently-used finishes for inside seams. Cutting the seam allowances with pinking shears is fast and easy and reduces the amount of fabric fraying, however doesn’t look particularly nice. Sewing over the edges with an overlock machine (serger) or, if you don’t have that type of sewing machine, a zig zag stitch, is definitely better.

But two of my favorite ways to finish off seams for a perfectly clean finish are felled seams and French seams. Both of these techniques enclose the raw fabric edges between layers of fabric so that not only will they not fray, but you can’t even see them!

Nicely finished seams are a sign of professional quality sewing. Learn how to sew French seams for a perfectly clean finish in just a few minutes! #sewing #frenchseams

Today I’ll show you how easy it is to sew a French seam, and you’ll be able to see for yourself how nice it looks!

Basically a French seam is a double seam that encloses the raw edges between them. The seam allowance sticks up, as you can see in the picture above, but once you get good a sewing these seams, you can make them relatively small so that they will be less noticeable.

Are you ready to find out how to sew a French seam so that you can take your sewing to the next level? Well, then, let’s get started!

Read moreHow to sew French seams for perfectly finished seams

Easy and unique summer recipe: Zucchini Mint Pesto

Prepara questa ricetta per un sugo estivo buonissimo in pochissimo tempo: Pesto di zucchine e menta con mandorle ed aglio! Perfetto per pasta o bruschette! #zucchine #ricettaestiva

Sick of the usual pasta? It’s super fast and easy to make a yummy new sauce: zucchini mint pesto with almonds and garlic! This recipe is delicious for the entire family! #zucchinirecipe #summerrecipe

Everyone knows and loves eating fragrant basil pesto in the summer (and you can find my foolproof recipe for it here), but today I want to show you a variation on this classic recipe that my entire family LOVES eating: zucchini mint pesto.

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Sick of the usual pasta? It’s super fast and easy to make a yummy new sauce: zucchini mint pesto with almonds and garlic! This recipe is delicious for the entire family!

We usually put it in pasta, but we also use it frequently on bruschette, crusty and crunchy grilled bread slices with flavorful toppings. My daughter loves it so much that she eats bowls of it plain with a spoon!

Do you have some garden-fresh zucchini that you want to try this recipe with? Well, let’s get started!

Read moreEasy and unique summer recipe: Zucchini Mint Pesto

How to sew bathing suit fabric – 10 best tips & tricks

Hai sempre desiderato fare un bikini fai da te, ma non sapevi come? Ecco 10 dritte e trucchi importanti che ti aiuteranno ad imparare come cucire i costumi da bagno su misura!

Always wanted to make your own swimsuits, but are afraid to try? Here are 10 important tips and tricks that will help you learn how to sew bathing suit fabric for amazing customized DIY swimwear!

There are a few things that tend to terrify sewists. When they start out, sewing stretchy fabrics seems outright impossible. (If this is your case, make sure you read my post on how to sew knits and other stretch fabrics perfectly.) For the more ecologically-minded who want to start sewing cloth diapers or cloth menstrual pads, sewing the waterproof PUL fabric is a nightmare. (I’ve put together my best tips for sewing PUL without problems in this post.)

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For the apparel sewist, there are a few scary types of clothing. Coats. Jeans. (I got over my fear of sewing jeans a couple of years ago when I tested the Birkin Flares pattern.) Bathing suits.

Always wanted to make your own swimsuits, but are afraid to try? Here are 10 important tips and tricks that will help you learn how to sew bathing suit fabric for amazing customized DIY swimwear!

Most apparel sewers are used to sewing stretchy fabric, but bathing suit fabric is a beast of its own. It’s REALLY stretchy and, as bathing suits fit skin-tight, the seams need to be able to stretch a LOT. The second scary thing about bathing suits has to do with the general fear women have of showing off their bodies for what they are.

I finally got over this fear this summer and learned how to sew bathing suit fabric, sewing myself and my kids swim caps, bikinis and one-piece bathing suits. And guess what? After learning a few tips and tricks, it isn’t anywhere near as scary as I thought it would be! I wish I had started sewing swimsuits sooner!

Have you been considering sewing bathing suits for you and your family? Are you a little terrified of trying? Check out my ten tips for how to sew bathing suit fabric, and you’ll be making your own DIY swimwear!

Read moreHow to sew bathing suit fabric – 10 best tips & tricks

Homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe (finocchietto digestif)

End your meal with delicious Italian finocchetto digestif! This homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe will make your stomach and your mouth happy! Great gift!

End your meal with delicious Italian finocchetto digestif! This homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe will make your stomach and your mouth happy! Great gift!

As my readers know, I was born and raised in the United States, but moved to Italy years ago and married into a Neapolitan family. Which means that I’ve learned a lot of my husband’s family’s culinary recipes and secrets, lucky me! It would be really hard to choose one favorite hand-me-down recipe, but the wild fennel liqueur recipe definitely ranks way up there!

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One of the culinary treats that is most famous from the area where we live is limoncello, a lemon liqueur, but what many people not from this area don’t realize is that there is a plethora of different types of liquers that you can find, and most families have their own traditional versions to make them at home. And my absolute favorite of these is finocchietto, wild fennel liqueur.

End your meal with delicious Italian finocchetto digestif! This homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe will make your stomach and your mouth happy! Great gift!

Wild fennel grows all over the place in certain areas near us, such as in the Cilento, where we go on vacation frequently. Here is a random finocchietto plant growing on the side of a country road in Pollica, in the heart of the Cilento. They have strong woody stalks with umbrella-shaped groups of yellow flowers, sort of similar to the Queen Anne’s Lace flower.

If you get them at the right time, they also have tender wispy greens that are absolutely delicious with fish and vegetables. The greens and the flowers have a wonderful anise-like taste that I love, but another great thing about them is their digestive properties. Whenever I have problems digesting something, I make myself an infusion of fennel seeds, and it always does the trick.

So a classic in Italian homes is to take the bottle of finocchietto liqueur out after a big meal and have a little glass of it to help digestion.

End your meal with delicious Italian finocchetto digestif! This homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe will make your stomach and your mouth happy! Great gift!

In June and July, these “umbrellas” look like little hard seeds, though I suppose they’re actually flower buds. Most people pick these seed umbrellas to make their finocchietto fennel liqueur.

End your meal with delicious Italian finocchetto digestif! This homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe will make your stomach and your mouth happy! Great gift!

But I prefer to pick the flowers themselves (which are also delicious for seasoning and garnishing food) in August/September to make my finocchietto. I’ve always gotten a lot of compliments on how it comes out, so perhaps there is indeed something special about the flavor of the flowers as opposed to the seeds.

This obviously comes out the best when using just-picked flowers or seeds, but if that’s not possible for you, you can always use store-bought dried fennel seeds. I usually pick a ton of flowers in the summer and make a bunch at a time because I like to bring it when we are guests for dinner or for a night away. A bottle of finocchietto is always well-received, so it’s a really great gift!

So what do you say? Do you want to know my beloved wild fennel liqueur recipe? Let’s get started!

Read moreHomemade wild fennel liqueur recipe (finocchietto digestif)

Tutorial: Handmade felt cactus party favor with cards & box

Celebrate your important milestones with these handmade felt cactus party favors with an incorporated box and free printable thank you cards! Adorable and easy to make with very basic skills!

Celebrate your important milestones with these handmade felt cactus party favors with an incorporated box and free printable thank you cards! Adorable and easy to make with very basic skills!

Whenever there is a special event in your life, it’s natural to want to celebrate it with the people who matter the most to you. And this is why we have party favors, to thank the people who celebrated with you and to give them something to remember the day by.

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As there are so many events to celebrate, the four other bloggers with whom I worked on the “Fioriscono le Idee” initiative (which you can read more about here, as well as download the free template for this project) and I decided to propose projects to make DIY cactus party favors, each from a different material in order to create a different effect. And I chose to create a handmade felt cactus party favor, felt being one of the most versatile and easy fabrics to work with.

Celebrate your important milestones with these handmade felt cactus party favors with an incorporated box and free printable thank you cards! Adorable and easy to make with very basic skills!

All of the projects are created from one common template for a pot-shaped base which opens up to hold sugar-coated almonds, which are used in Italian party favors. However you can just as well put any other candy, card or trinket inside, too!

Celebrate your important milestones with these handmade felt cactus party favors with an incorporated box and free printable thank you cards! Adorable and easy to make with very basic skills!

And there’s more! Each of our downloadable templates has thank you notes to use as a seat card and as a little tag to attach to the favor. Print them all out for a varied, yet coordinated, look that will add color to your celebration! My downloadable also includes an English version of my smaller tag!

Celebrate your important milestones with these handmade felt cactus party favors with an incorporated box and free printable thank you cards! Adorable and easy to make with very basic skills!

You can read all about the initiative in our joint blog post on the blog Kreattiva, where we talk about the reasons why we made these decisions and why each chosen material is interesting in a different way.

Celebrate your important milestones with these handmade felt cactus party favors with an incorporated box and free printable thank you cards! Adorable and easy to make with very basic skills!

So, do you have an important event to celebrate soon? Everyone loves cacti, and felt makes them soft instead of prickly, so everyone can enjoy them. Keep on reading to find out how to make a handmade felt cactus party favor for all your friends and family at your party!

Read moreTutorial: Handmade felt cactus party favor with cards & box

Five DIY cactus party favors: free templates and printables!

Five fantastic tutorials for DIY cactus party favors with five different materials! Free downloadable templates and printable thank you cards for celebrating all your important milestones with those you love!

Five fantastic tutorials for DIY cactus party favors with five different materials! Free downloadable templates and printable thank you cards for celebrating all your important milestones with those you love!

There are so many reasons to celebrate life’s milestones with the people that we love the most. And this is why party favors are so important, to help remember those important moments spent with important people.

Today I’m sharing a special project that I participated in with other four Italian creative bloggers as part of a larger initiative, “Fioriscono le idee,” ideas that bloom or flower. This is a time of year that there are a lot of events to celebrate, such as weddings, graduations, births, and so on, and so the groups participating in this project are sharing handmade party favor tutorials with a common theme.

My group loves succulents, which can also be considered a symbol of life, so we decided to share five variations of DIY cactus party favors, each of which is made with a different material.

Five fantastic tutorials for DIY cactus party favors with five different materials! Free downloadable templates and printable thank you cards for celebrating all your important milestones with those you love!

Each of us chose a different material to use with a common template in the shape of a pot, which is also a little container to put sugar covered almonds (traditionally a must in Italian celebrations) or other surprises inside. You can read more about why we chose cacti and how we chose our materials here on Kreattiva, where you can also find the rest of the creative projects taking part in this initiative.

In addition to that common template, each of us created another template for her own cactus-shaped project, and we each have a thank you note in two formats: small to attach to the favor itself, and larger to use as a place card at the table. Each of these cards has a different message and picture, so it would be super cute to download them all to use for your party!

Five fantastic tutorials for DIY cactus party favors with five different materials! Free downloadable templates and printable thank you cards for celebrating all your important milestones with those you love!

With my love for sewing and fabric, I chose to use felt, one of the easiest and most versatile fabrics to work with. I decided to play with the softness of the fabric and the prickliness of the cactus, and I created soft spines with pinking shears! (In case you are not a sewing pro, those are zig zag scissors for use with fabric!) The colorful flower on top also adds a lovely happy touch!

5 tutorial fantastici per fare una tua bomboniera cactus handmade con materiali diversi! Template e biglietti scaricabili per festeggiare tutti i tuoi eventi più importanti!

You can download the free PDF file with the template for the pot container, felt cactus and flower, and thank you notes in both English and Italian here on my Free Downloads page! Update: Read the full tutorial for my DIY felt cactus party favor here!

The other creative bloggers in my group are really talented and full of great ideas, so let me show you what they created… and what you can create too with their tutorials!

Read moreFive DIY cactus party favors: free templates and printables!