Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Plaid is a fabric that is usually checkered or tartan and usually made from wool. You usually see this in Scottish kilts,men’s shirts and many other textiles.

Here at CIJ we want to see all your plaids. It can be clothes,furniture and so much more.

msmadmax from madmaxshop says seersucker checkered patterned jacket with padded shoulders.
A wonderful vintage holiday gift item for that special someone on your list. Thin, soft, seersucker-like mini checkered plaid shirt in white, pink, blue, light green and black.


90’s Vintage Plaid Shirt

Sue from SuesAkornShop said this plaid half apron is ideal for a man and yet a woman would look great in it as well. It’s great for anyone who works in the kitchen or it can be worn when eating to catch any lap spills.


Red Plaid Half Apron

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls states Ralph Lauren is a master of mixing plaids, solids and patterns! This decorator pillow pattern is called Garrison Plaid, and is extremely versatile with an assortment of jewel toned colors!


Ralph Lauren decorator throw pillow

Lanashane Robert from ICreationsBoutique says this green and blue plaid fabric makes this clutch unique. The stripe and checks on the pattern allows the clutch to be used with either side facing out and thereby creating a different look to compliment the outfit with the featured colors.


Striped Clutch Checked Print

Draco N. Knut from DragoninKnots said this 12″ plaid fabric tree is a touch retro, but charmingly timeless. It’s made with vintage green and red cotton plaid. Great for offices, apartments, or other small spaces where you want to add a bit of instant Christmas cheer!


Plaid Christmas Tree 12 inches

Roses Workshop from RosesWorkshop states there are a wonderful range of plaid patterns available in the renowned Harris Tweed hand-woven fabric. I discovered this gorgeous blue and purple last year and have used it several times. Here it is as a comfy cushion (accent pillow) to brighten your room.


Harris Tweed Cushion cover in a blue and purple check

Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital discusses that this Printable PDF set of papers has several pink and green plaid designs. I think the colors make it especially good for card making and scrapbooking for little girls. I really want to make more plaid papers, this time in jpg format. We will see if I find the time!


Pink Plaid Digital Paper – Printable PDF – Pink, Green, Yellow – Plaid, Stripes, Dots – Scrapbooking

willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage says this fun vintage tape tin features a bright red and green plaid design.


Red and Green Litho Tin Container

Hit The Books – A Back to School Preview

Contributor post by Catherine of DesignsByCnC

It seems just like yesterday that we were eagerly anticipating the last day of school and the beginning of summer vacation.  A time when our daily schedules would slow down and we could enjoy long leisurely family meals out on the patio.  Time spent together on bike rides and walks through the hiking trails.

After the festivities of our 4th of July celebration, I always get a bit melancholy realizing the summer is half way over and it’s time to start thinking about getting ready for the school year to start again.  Just this morning I began our ritual of printing out the upcoming school calendar and making plans to go shopping for clothes and school supplies.

But going back to school doesn’t have to be a difficult task for you or your children. I asked the members of the Etsy Christmas In July team to share their tips for getting the kids ready to go back to school that will make the transition a better experience for everyone.

Heather Barber from MooseintheMint had this tip to share:

Chunky key rings/key chains make it easier to keep track of locker keys and are much harder to lose – one of my teens lost 3 locker keys in 2 weeks when we was 14! He then didn’t get his deposit back at the end of the year.

They also work for garage keys, oil tanks and sheds!

Dotty Wooden Keyring

Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital shared her idea for staying organized:

How easy it is to lose track of everything – when is that homework due, when is soccer practice, when is back to school night for the parents, when is Christmas vacation etc. Calendars and planners are great for school kids! 2016 calendars and planners are on sale in my shop, so it’s easy to afford this year’s and one for 2017.

Half Size 2017 Planner Calendar

Draco N. Knut from DragoninKnots  has this suggestion for college students:

Buying textbooks from the university bookstore is a freshman mistake. Start your textbook shopping early, so you can buy online and save money. Compare prices using to find the best website to order books.

And here’s a book weight to hold those textbooks open while you are doing your homework:

Pale Green Book Weight

willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage suggested this idea for getting college students active in campus life:

If you have a student leaving for college, send them tickets to a concert, play or other event on campus. This gets them out of the dorm and encourages them to meet other students with similar interests.

Vintage Cliff Notes – The Great Gatsby

Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese remarked:

Planners seem to be all the rage at the moment, helping keep track of everyone’s busy lives! These planner clips are great for marking your place in your planner and have a lovely rustic feel about them.


Rustic Planner Clips

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit suggested:

Learning to write and developing good handwriting is so essential to the development of young minds. To establish a good foundation, we recommend a quality pen. Success starts with always having a pen at hand and the best way to keep it is personalization!

Our deluxe rosewood ballpoint pens are lightweight, narrow in diameter, and include a rubber grip to provide the perfect instrument for learning penmanship and practicing it at any age. Personalization is included and you can choose any design or font in our portfolio.


Personalized Deluxe Rosewood Ballpoint Pen

I Enjoy Sewing

Contributor post by Catherine from DesignsbyCnC

Sewing dates all the way back to the prehistoric era.  During the last ice age, almost 25000 years ago, man used a needle and thread to make clothing from fur, hide and bark.

Sewing was done by hand for thousands of years.  The first practical sewing machine was designed and patented in 1930 by Barthelemy Thimonnier, a French tailor.  This totally revolutionized the sewing industry.   Over the years, there have been many new additions and patents that continue to change the stitching industry.

Sewing began as a way to create clothing and progressed into other industries such as upholstery and book binding.

I asked the members of the Etsy Christmas In July Team to share a handmade sewn creation from their shop and the following questions:  What are the sewing-related trends you see in your corner of the world?  Where do you see growth in the sewing industry, and where do you see decline?


Lisa Neal Behrens from sparkklejar says:

The hand-made sewing related trends I see in my corner of the world, Portland Oregon, seem to be things that help the environment. Items sewn from recycled materials, or items sewn to be re-usable things that help reduce the carbon footprint, like lunch bags and totes for groceries. This is also where I see the most growth.

I see a decline in the handmade sewing of clothing, with exception to formal and bridal wear. It has become much more economical and less time-consuming to buy a t-shirt rather than make it.  But with that said, kids and adults are doing some amazing things with a sewing machine. Sewing is not just for fabric but for other mediums like, plastic, paper, etc.

Sewing things other than clothing, is my own personal new trend.


Owl Microwave Heating Pad Set


Alexandra Richards from EyeLoveKnots replied:

I can’t exactly call myself a sewer because most of my sewing is done in the form of weaving my ends in on my crocheted pieces, but I do enjoy working plastic canvas needlepoint projects, which I think is a basic form of sewing. It was my first love, and I am amazed at what can be created with a little imagination, yarn, needle and plastic mesh.
Though it is an older form of crafting, I feel like there are still several crafters in love with this form, and looking for simple and fun designs like those that I create. I have seen a big interest in my new, modern designs to match the trends – like the sweet penguin earrings featured here.

I was looking to enroll in a fashion design program at a local tech school, but have since decided to hold off. I think there will always be a need for those handy with needle and thread, but with the online market really guiding sales and trends, I think it isn’t as simple as it used to be for sewers, especially when you can always purchase it cheaper from somewhere else. I think nowadays, it’s much more about how unique the piece is and customization, and not the fact that it’s handmade.


Plastic Canvas Penguin Earrings


Draco N. Knut from DragoninKnots responded:

I’ve seen an increase in creative pastimes over the last decade. Millennials, especially those in their 30’s or late 20’s, are the Pinterest generation. So many of them are revitalizing and reinventing traditional skills, like sewing and baking. Most of them are not at a professional skill level and realize that creating a sewn (or knitted or crocheted) object is more expensive than buying a mass-produced one, so it may not have a huge effect on the clothing industry. However, these skills are not going to be dying out anytime soon.

Damask Book Weight


Susan-Sharon Passmore from MsPDesignsUSA added this comment:

Everywhere I look, I’m seeing hand-sewn handbags and totes. Someone with basic sewing skills can make a one-of-a-kind bag, using fabric and a pattern of their choice. I’m also seeing lots of embellishment on the bags; buttons, rhinestones, metal studs, beads, ribbons, and appliques.

Here’s an example of a fun way to embellish a bag, using one of the applique patterns from our shop:

Giraffe Elf PDF Applique Quilt Pattern