Category Archives: Inspiration

Sewing bread baskets

December 3, 2009, Posted in Home Dec, Inspiration, Seasonal, Sewing by  Lena Kantis

I hope you are having as fun as I have when sewing Christmas gifts. I am sewing some new gifts every week to be able to have something for each member of my big family. This week I’m actually sewing myself some gifts, bread baskets. When doing this I have to use my old mathematics knowledge. To sew the bread baskets, I need need to know the circumference around the circle for the bottom of the basket. The math I use to get this is multiplying the diameter of the bottom with 3.14 (pi) The best type of fabric to use for the bread baskets is a very heavy cotton fabric.

If you would like to sew the bread baskets, here is how to do it:

For the big size I did use about 0.4 meter (approximately half a yard). Cut out two circles for the bottom parts. I did cut the circle with a diameter of 27cm (11”). Calculate the circumference. For my basket it was 79cm (31“) and the height was 27cm (11”). On one circle and on one of the long pieces, add an iron-on-stabiliser to give it more stability. I included 1,5 cm (5/8”) seam allowance in these measurements.

Sew the short sides, right side to right side, of the long strip together to create a tube. If you want you can also add a little decoration on the side, approximately 10 cm (4“) from the bottom. I folded a ribbon that was 5 cm (2”) long double, and put it in the seam with the folded edge sticking out a bit from the right side of the tub. It makes it look more professional, don’t you think?

Sew the circle (bottom piece) right side to right side of the tub, with the circle on the top when you are sewing, as it is easier to control the turning of the fabric all around. Iron the seam allowance toward the top of the basket. Sew a straight stitch using the D-foot around the bottom to keep the seam allowance in this position.

Sew the other two pieces in the same way.

When this is sewn, you have to iron the top of the basket, with a fold of 1,5 cm (5/8”), on both the baskets. Pin them together with a couple of pins, and sew all the way around it with the D-foot and use the stitch length of 3mm.

Make them look different:

  • Select a printed fabric for one of the layers of the basket.
  • Decorate with any embroidery on the edge of the baskets. For Christmas I have seen a lot of texts on pillows and home decorations. Why not add “Merry Christmas” on the edge that will be folded towards the outside? See my sample with the Swedish text “God Jul” which is “Merry Christmas” in Swedish.
  • Use the calculation and you will be able to sew any size of the basket.

I created big bread baskets because I have quite a big family. At least during Christmas, we will be around twenty people in our house. Out of these twenty, twelve will be staying for a week or more in our house. You can just imagine how that is, if you have seen “My Big fat Greek weeding!

Happy Christmas sewing from Lena

PS: If you have any questions regarding the topic of the week, please just send me an email: (English only).

Embellish or embroider some of your Christmas gifts!

November 25, 2009, Posted in Embroidery, Inspiration by  Lena Kantis

Have you ever tried the HUSQVARNA VIKING® Embellishing machine ER10™? If you have, I am sure you have had a lot of fun. I will share how to create some small gifts or decorations with the embellishing machine. The small decorations can be used almost anywhere, to create a brooch or as a decoration to your christmas gift. Only your imagination can stop you here! See the pictures for some inspiration.


This is how you can do it my way:

Start by drawing a pattern on a water soluble stabiliser. I prefer the Inspira™ Aquamagic Dissolvable, as it is easy to draw on when using a pictogram pen and it is smooth to work on using the Embellishment machine I use different textures to add on the stabiliser like, wool, yarn, ribbons and threads.

Pull and shape the wool to fit on the shape you have drawn, and put it on top of the stabiliser. Start to use the embellishment machine and move the stabiliser, around under all the needles, and on the shape you are creating. Add more textures, like ribbons or threads; it will be nicely blended into the wool as a nice effect. Cut the outside edges of the stabiliser, and finally put the decoration in water. Sew the pin on the backside, by hand, if you want to use it as a brooch.


Here you can find five different video clips on how to use the Embellishment machine ER10™.If you haven’t tried an Embellishing machine yet, one word would be enough for it: Creativity!

If you have an embroidery machine here are even more of my ideas to be creative:

There are several embroidery collections, which are exquisite and quick to embroider. My favorite one’s for making brooches are: HUSQVARNA VIKING® Design Collection#84 Elegant Embellishments, HUSQVARNA VIKING® Design Collection#162 Blooming Flowers, and HUSQVARNA VIKING® Design Collection#184 Purse Pizzazz, which also (beside the brooch design) contains embroidery, designs to make beautiful purses in the hoop. Nice to match with any outfit you are sewing and you only need a fabric piece big enough for the embroidery hoop.

I will continue sewing my Christmas gifts. I have already started with sewing a “bread basket”. I will present it to you next week.

PS: If you have any questions regarding the topic of the week, please just send me an email: (English only).

Creating Christmas Cards!

November 20, 2009, Posted in Embroidery, Inspiration, Seasonal by  Lena Kantis

I look forward to the month of December, because I love to plan for the Christmas presents (shopping), and what to give to each person. Hopefully we will be getting some snow soon, which will make the days a little lighter, as we now have less day light hours.

I do also love receiving beautiful Christmas cards from my friends, decorated with embroideries and lovely Christmas poems. This year I will make some of my own cards to send to my family and friends and I will share my ideas with you here. To sew your own Christmas cards can be fun, creative and easy. And it is a great way of using small scraps of fabric, felt, paper, buttons and ribbons.

My first Christmas Card

On the first card I embroidered a design on the inside. Since the design I used containe 3 angels, I cut out one of them by using the edit tab in HUSQVARNA VIKING® 4D™ Embroidery Extra. The embroidery design comes from the HUSQVARNA VIKING® Design Collection # 70, “Happy Season”. As I have a handwriting that is difficult to read, I did also add text using the same software module. You can cut the design using a pinking sheer scissor or a rotary cutter with wavy blade. Sew it on the card with a straight stitch or a zig zag. I used a metallic thread that I liked.

On the front page of this card I did use Tear-Away Stabiliser underneath the paper when sewing the text: Merry Christmas. I used the possibility to program one single stitch with a tie-off in the beginning and at the end of the single stitch. That way I did secure the ribbon on the front.

My second Christmas Card

How to create the Christmas Card with the Christmas Tree appliqué:

Cut a Tear-away stabiliser as a template for the Christmas tree.
Then cut out the Christmas tree in a green silk fabric.
Use a narrow satin stitch 2mm, to sew the appliqué on the linen fabric, that is slightly bigger.
Sew the linen fabric on to the card, using a zigzag ¼” from the edge.
Pull the threads from the edges, to create the fringe look.
Sew on felt to write “Merry Christmas” and sew it on the card with a straight stitch.

Here are even some more Christmas Cards that you can try!

And don’t forget to check out the HUSQVARNA VIKING® Holiday website where you can find even more inspiration for some Christmas cards and a couple of free designs to download and a lot of other Christmas gift ideas.

I am sure you will come up with your own way of sewing Christmas Cards. Until next week, have some happy sewing!.

PS: If you have any questions regarding the topic of the week, please just send me an email: (English only).

Coming Up… time to personalize for the Holidays!

November 12, 2009, Posted in Embroidery, Home Dec, Inspiration, Seasonal by  Lena Kantis

What a fantastic weekend I have had, parties two day’s in a row. My husband had his 50th birthday. Friday night we had a surprise party for him. All his colleagues, almost 30 people were waiting in our house when he showed up from a trip. 

What would have made it easier with all the glasses with drinks would be to create wineglass charms, as there were many who lost track of where they put their drinks. It would have been beautiful and at the same time we would have saved lot of dishes.

There are lot of holidays ahead, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. Therefore I will make these wineglass charms starting now using HUSQVARNA VIKING® 4D Express Monogram Wizard. It will be easy to fit at least six of them in one hooping. I will decorate them with the initials of my relatives that will spend Christmas and New Year together with us in our house. To differentiate them more I will add different pearls and beads.

Of course there are much more possibilities with the HUSQVARNA VIKING® 4D ExpressMonogram and Vision. I have included a few more samples I have made below.

Tip; One thing I did learn at a fair in  London, England, was to cut a yard of a light metal thread, and make it into a small ball, by rolling it like you would make a snowball. It is also a beautiful decoration for the wineglass charms instead of using the beads!

Next week, we will start to make Christmas gifts and cards.

Until then, Happy Sewing!

PS: If you have any questions regarding the topic of the week, please just send me an email: (English only).

Create the Folklore look!

November 5, 2009, Posted in Embroidery, Inspiration, Sewing by  Lena Kantis

I was very happy the other day as I was organizing my sewing room in the basement of our house. I found a half-made sewing project in a paper bag that I did not have had time to finish last year. It is a skirt in medium weight wool, with two different matching fabrics. It is a lovely blue-green color (in Sweden we call this color Petrol), and the quality of the fabric is very easy and smooth to sew on.

Here is how I am planning to decorate this skirt:

I have the seams on the outside of the front and back pieces and I will make fringe of the seam allowance. It is very easy to sew the seams together with a straight stitch, wrong side to wrong side. To make the seam safer I also added a narrow three step zig-zag seam just outside the straight stitch. Finally, I pulled out the threads in the seam allowance, all the way down to the zig-zag seam.


The embroidery is chose to use on the skirt is the HUSQVARNA VIKING®  Design Collection #210, “Handlook Needlework”. I have wanted to embroider these designs for a long time, but have not had a project to sew on. Here is a picture of the first embroidery on the skirt. For this skirt I used stronger stabilisers; one layer of “Cut-Away” plus one layer of “Tear-Away”. To embroider this design you should use the “30 weight cotton thread”, but I couldn’t find a nice color to match the blue-green color of the fabric so instead I used 2 threads of the “Sulky Rayon 40” in the same needle.

My colleague Ingela has sewn a magnificent skirt too. Look at this picture how nice it is!

I’m glad I found this half-made project to sew on – maybe you also have something half-made which you should go back to and finish up today! Take a look in your wardrobe!

PS: If you have any questions regarding the topic of the week, please just send me an email: (English only).


    Lena Kantis
    I have my office in Sweden, but I do also travel worldwide to teach and to share the Joy of Sewing. The Sew Fun! blog, is sharing all the latest HUSQVARNA VIKING® news, regarding all our sewing products. Lot of inspiration, videos, and pictures for you to get inspired by! Happy Sewing!

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