tutorial

DIY Boxy Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Zipper pouches are perfect for basically everything… and a boxy pouch that can stand up? Better than perfect. It’s easily a naptime sew (you know how I love those), so let’s get making!
Make your own boxy zipper pouch

Supplies:

  • outer fabric
  • lining fabric
  • zipper

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1. Cut two outer fabrics and two linings. I made mine 8in x 8in x 8in x 10in. to make a trapezoid – but you can adjust the size as needed.

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2. Sandwich your zipper (mine is 7in) between one of the outer and lining, right sides together, and sew using your zipper foot. The outer fabric should be on the top of the zipper.

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3. Flip the fabrics back, press carefully (without melting your zipper!) and topstitch.

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4. Now repeat with the other set of fabric.

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5. Open the zipper (don’t skip this step!)

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6. Lay the lining and outer fabrics right sides together. Carefully pin together. Sew along the edges, leaving an opening at the bottom of the lining.

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7. Flatten the bottom of the lining and the outer fabrics. Sew across the corners and cut off the leftover triangle.

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The bottom should look like this when you’re done.

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8. Turn the pouch right side out, using the hole in the bottom of the lining. Then sew the lining shut. I like to hand sew this with a blind stitch, because I think it looks cleaner, but you can also straight stitch along the entire bottom seam with your machine.

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Then rejoice in your beautiful standing zipper pouch!

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Fill it with make up or hand sewing projects or throw it in your purse to hold all that random junk that doesn’t have a place.

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Happy sewing, friends!

DIY Extra Large Beach Tote + the most stylish baby wipes I’ve ever seen

When you head to the beach (okay, when you head anywhere) with kids, you end up bringing a lot of stuff for all the inevitable messes and disasters. Diapers, wipes, sunscreen, snacks, extra clothes, sunglasses, water bottles, towels, toys… basically everything you own. I knew I wanted to make an extra large beach tote for these occasions – one that you can stuff to the brim with all the necessities – and bonus points if the necessities look super cute, like these ridiculously stylish baby wipes from Huggies. Because just like I can’t pass up fabulous fabric, I love when the things I have to carry with me look adorable.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Huggies. I received compensation for this post and these products. All opinions are my own.

DIY Extra Large Beach Tote

Making a tote bag is super easy – it’s similar to my simple tote bag tutorial, but I’ve added a lining and an extra long strap. And pockets. But you can make this in any size, for whatever toting needs you have… farmer’s market, weekend trips, anything!

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I have yet to meet a mama of little ones who doesn’t use baby wipes on a daily basis. I take these everywhere – I even find myself using them when I don’t have my kids with me. But the regular crinkly plastic that wipes come in is not my fave. So when I first picked up this new Clutch ‘n Clean from Huggies, I was super impressed with the durable non-crinkly material. Hello, who hasn’t cringed as they’ve pulled out the noisy wipes in church?? It’s reusable, so you can leave the not-so-stylish containers under your changing table and refill this one when it’s empty.

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There are several designs to choose from, and I actually stood in the aisle for a full five minutes trying to decide which one was cuter. But in the end, I’m always drawn to the stripes! I also really love that the colors are bright, so I can easily spot them in my bag for those wiping emergencies. We have a lot of them, friends. And then when you need to run to the restroom, they have a super convenient strap, so you don’t have to bring your entire tote with you.

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Now grab some sturdy fabric from your stash so you can make an extra large beach tote too. :)

Bag dimensions

1. Cut your outer and lining fabrics (two of each). My approximate dimensions are in the photo above. You can make it any size you want, really, just be sure to make the lining an eensy bit smaller than your outer fabric. I suggest using a more durable fabric.

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2. Cut out your straps – again, the length is up to you. I made mine extra long to accommodate my tall husband, in case he needs to carry the bag also. Cut a strip of fabric that is double the width you want. (Mine was about 70in. long and 6in. wide, before it was folded.) Then sew the long end, with the right sides together. Then turn it right side out, press, and pin it to the outer fabric as seen in the picture above. Repeat for the second strap and second outer fabric piece. (you can see detailed pictures on how to make a strap in this tutorial)

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3. Stitch down the sides of the straps (you are only sewing through one layer of outer fabric at this point). Stop sewing about an inch from the top. Repeat for the second strap.

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4. Pin the two outer layers together – right sides together. Sew all around the three edges (not the side where the straps stick out).

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5. If you want to make pockets, now is the time to do it. Whatever size you want your pockets to be, cut your fabric twice the size of the pocket. Then fold it in half (right sides together), and stitch around the edges, leaving a small opening to turn the pocket right side out.

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6. Turn the pocket right side out, press (folding under the little section that you didn’t sew), and stitch down the three sides onto the right side of the lining fabric. Repeat this for any more pockets you want.

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7. If you want to divide a pocket into two, simply stitch down the center, making sure to back stitch at the top and the bottom.

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8. Now place your lining pieces together and stitch the three sides, just as you did with the outer fabric.

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9. Press down the top of both the outer fabric and the lining. You can finish the edges with either a serger or pinking shears (I would actually recommend doing this earlier, but if you do it now, make sure not to cut through your straps!)

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10. Pin the lining inside the outer fabric and topstitch along the top. You want to stitch over the straps, otherwise you’ll have a gap between your straps and your outer fabric.

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Now pack your bags and head to the beach!

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I love having everything I need all in one spot.

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The one thing I can never have enough of is tote bags. Okay, and fabric…

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You can find Huggies Natural Care® Wipes in stylish packaging in grocery stores and mass retailers nationwide.

super easy DIY envelope pillow cover  if only they would nap

Straight Lines and Angles – Day 2: Lexi Made and a super easy envelope pillow tutorial

Day two of Straight Lines and Angles means more geometric sewing fun!

Today I’m excited to have Lexi of Lexi Made as part of this series. Lexi is a new blogging friend of mine who is super talented, in both her sewing and photography. I love these ankle zips she made for her daughter’s skinny jeans and hello, these four dresses for herself? So fantastic! Head over to her blog and see the adorable dress she made for her daughter!

Teaser

I recently came across some fabric that as soon as I saw it, I knew it needed to be in my hands. I know you’ve been there, right? :) I decided to make some really easy pillow covers with this super fab geometric print, but these covers have a cozy twist.

super easy DIY envelope pillow cover  if only they would nap

It’s backed with sweatshirt fleece!

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Supplies:

  • one square/rectangle of main fabric – the size will depend on the size of your pillow form
  • sweatshirt fleece fabric – you will need a little bit more than your other fabric, but again, the amount will depend on your pillow form
  • sewing machine/serger/sewing notions/etc.

DSC_03641. Cut your fabric square to fit your pillow form, remember to account for seam allowance. Then cut two pieces of sweatshirt fleece – they should be a little more than half the size of your main fabric. (I ended up cutting my fleece a little smaller than in the picture, as you can see in a later step)

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2. Press one of the long sides of the sweatshirt fleece over about 1/3in. and sew a straight stitch. Repeat this with the other piece of sweatshirt fleece. This step isn’t actually necessary with sweatshirt fleece, since it doesn’t fray, it just makes a more “finished” look for your pillow. I made this pillow using the same method and didn’t do this step. I’m pretty sure no one notices but me ;)

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4. Lay one of the fleece pieces on top of the main fabric – right sides together like this.

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5. Lay the other piece right side down, with the stitched seam on the opposite side.

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At this point, I decided that my sweatshirt fleece pieces were too long, and I wanted the seams closer together. I moved them like you see in the above picture and just cut off the extra fabric on the ends.

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6. Pin your fabric in place and sew all around. If you don’t use a serger, make sure you finish your edges if you use a woven fabric for your main fabric, because that will fray.

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Then turn it right side out and enjoy your new cozy pillow!

I can’t decide… living room?

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Or bedroom?

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Did you enter the giveaway yet??

giveaway

Alter a shirt pattern to a gathered tunic [a tutorial]

One of the great things about sewing your own clothes is that you can make them how YOU want them to be. Have a great shirt pattern? You can make a tunic from it really easily!

Alter a shirt pattern to a gathered tunic  If Only They Would Nap
When Melissa of Blank Slates Patterns offered to send me her Shoreline Boatneck Top and Dress  [affiliate link] pattern, I was super excited. I love her children’s patterns, but I have yet to sew one of her women’s patterns. This pattern has both shirt and dress options… but I’m a girl who likes to have it all ;) so I decided to make it into a tunic.

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You can do this with pretty much any shirt or dress pattern you own [or you can even alter a shirt you have in your closet!], and it doesn’t take much.

step 1
1. You’re going to cut the front and back bodice into two pieces. Firs, cut the top portion, both the front and the back bodice piece – but cut them about where you want the gathering to hit. Measure down from your armpit. The Shoreline Boatneck has a line on the pattern piece to lengthen/shorten, and I cut my bodice piece about an inch lower than that. The front and back bodice pieces should be the same length.

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2. Cut the bottom of the back bodice the same width as the pattern piece, but slightly longer. Measure down from where your gathering will hit down to where you want the tunic to end. [I ended up shortening mine after trying it on.]

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3. Now cut the bottom of the bodice front. You want it to be longer [the same length as you cut the back piece] and wider, to account for the gathers. I made mine about five inches wider, cut on the fold.

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4. Gather that front lower bodice piece you just cut. There are several different ways to gather. In this picture, I stitched a basting stitch and pulled on the bobbin thread to gather it. It’s more “proper” to use two lines of stitching.. but I tend to break the rules. ;)

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5. Gather your lower bodice piece to match the top of the front bodice. You want them to be the same width.

6. Sew the two front pieces together, then sew the two back pieces together.

7. Continue to follow the rest of the pattern instructions to complete your tunic!

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This mint green and cream striped Ponte de Roma fabric from Girl Charlee is amazing. I may or may not have snuggled with it after it arrived, it’s that soft. Don’t judge… you’ll do it too. It drapes really well and has a great weight. It has pretty quickly become one of my favorite knits to work with, I think.

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One of the things I love about Melissa’s patterns is her sleeves. They’re always perfect! I also added pockets to the tunic – because everything is better with pockets.

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Now excuse me while I go fill my entire wardrobe with Ponte de Roma tunics… :)

This post is sponsored by Girl Charlee, who provided the fabric for this tutorial. [Thanks, Girl Charlee!] All opinions are my own.

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Counting Stars and adding a tuxedo stripe to pants

The lovely Melissa and Stacey, fellow boy mamas from Melly Sews and Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy are in the middle of their Sew in Tune series. It’s super fun – sewing that’s inspired by music!

Confession: I don’t listen to a lot of pop music. I get a lot of my modern day musical education from The Voice. Or random songs I hear on Pandora. Which is actually where I found this one: Counting Stars, by One Republic.

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This song has a really catchy tune, and I find myself singing it throughout the day. Okay, and dancing in my kitchen with my boys. When I first heard this song, it made me think of my oldest, because he loves – I mean LOVES – anything that has to do with stars and planets.

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One of my favorite lines of the song says “I’ve been losing sleep, dreaming about the things that we could be.” And that’s one of the best things about my boy – he dreams big.

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The pants are self-drafted, with this super soft neon green corduroy [I believe it's Limeade 21 Wale from Robert Kaufman] and tuxedo stripes out of a fabric that looks just like a sky full of stars.

green pants

They have a slight flare to them and are flat front, with pockets in the back.

how to add a tuxedo stripe to pants

I added tuxedo stripes to the pants, which is really easy to do to any pants pattern.

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1. Sew each pant leg together at the outer seam. Cut a long rectangular strip of fabric the length of your seam. How wide you cut the strip depends on the size of your pants and how wide you want the stripe to be. Remember to leave room for your seam allowance.

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2. Fold over and press the long sides of the strip. I folded mine over about 3/8 in.

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3. Pin the fabric along the seam and sew in place with a straight stitch on either side. So easy!

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I used the Bond Top from Beatnik Kids for the shirt, modified without a collar and with an exposed zip. This is my third Bond Top now, and I really love this pattern.

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I upcycled a black tee and used a fabric that reminded me of planets.

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This was his “make my mouth the same shape as a planet” face. :)

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An outfit perfect for dreaming about all your future could hold… like jumping on the moon.

Make sure you check out all the other amazing looks in the Sew in Tune series at Melly Sews and Boy, oh Boy, oh Boy!

Sew-in-Tune 250

Luke Skywalker Costume Tutorial

This weekend I wore jeans and a sweater, which can only mean one thing… it’s fall! And that means that we need to start thinking of costumes! For the third year in a row, I’m participating in the Handmade Costume Series at The Train to Crazy.

handmade-costumes-third-annualThis year, I decided not to ask my almost six-year-old what he wanted to be for Halloween [gasp!], but instead make something that I knew he would like – as a surprise. Luckily for me, it was a win!

luke skywalker costume tutorial

Because how can Luke Skywalker not be a win?

Let’s make one for your little Star Wars lover, shall we?

Supplies:

  • Blank Slates Cool Cardigan Pattern – affiliate link [you can certainly make this without it - if you have another cardigan pattern or if you use one of your little one's cardigans to draft your own pattern, but you may have to alter yours slightly, since mine is based on this pattern]
  • Ivory, Tan, and Brown knit fabric
  • Scissors, thread, sewing machine/serger

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1. Trace and cut out two sleeves – extend the sleeve about 4.5in. and cut straight from the armpit, instead of tapering at the end. *I used the size six, so if you use a smaller size, you may want to alter these numbers*

2. Trace and cut out the back of the cardigan, extending the back about 8in.

3. Cut one front piece, extending about 8in.

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4. Cut the other front piece – extend the side seam (from the armpit) 8in. Then cut the bottom to the same width as the back piece. As you cut down the diagonal for the front piece, continue down toward the bottom [see step five before you cut all the way down!]

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5. Cut straight up from the bottom a few inches. Your diagonal cut will meet up with this straight side.

6. Sew the shoulder seams together with right sides together [RST]

7. Cut out the “button band” in the same ivory fabric. With RST, sew the “button band” beginning at the long diagonal of the front piece, going all the way around to the short diagonal of the other front piece.DSC_0794

8. Fold the raw edge under 1/4in. and fold the button band over. Pin all along the button band, then topstitch it down.

9. With RST, sew the side seam front piece with the short diagonal [sewing from the armpit down to the bottom]

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10. Pin the opposite side seam, tucking the “button band” in between the two pieces. Sew together. This will make that button band go diagonally across the body.

11. Sew on the sleeves.

12. Turn the shirt right side out and topstitch down the button band, attaching it to the smaller front piece behind it, where they overlap. Trim away the excess fabric underneath the button band.

13. Hem the sleeves and the bottom.

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14. Cut the waistband piece out of brown fabric. With RST, sew the short ends together. Turn the tube right side out. Fold the long raw edges under 1/2in. and press. This waistband piece is now the belt – pull it over the shirt and topstitch it near where the button band meets the side seam [you may want to try the shirt on your child to figure out exactly where you want it].

15. Sew pants – I sewed some quick knit pants, which you could easily do following my baby pants or rockstar pants tutorials. You could also use store-bought pants and add these “boots” to the bottom.

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16. Cut two “boots” – the fabric should be the width of your pant legs and go up 3/4 to the knee [mine were about 12.5in x 6.5in. when folded]. Sew up the long side. As with the belt, fold the top and bottom raw edges 1/2in. under and press. Pull them over the pant legs and topstitch down.

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And once your little Jedi tries it on, he’ll immediately transform into Luke Skywalker, sound effects and all.

Luke Skywalker Costume Tutorial 3And every Jedi needs a lightsaber…

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You can find the lightsaber tutorial here.

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Oh how we love dress up at our house!

Click on the photos below to check out my costume tutorials from the last two years…
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Make sure you pop over to The Train to Crazy to check out the other costume tutorials over the next few weeks. You’re sure to find lots of inspiration for your dress up box!

Convert your cloth diapers from velcro to snaps [a tutorial]

If you are a cloth diapering family like we are, you may be familiar with the problem with velcro [aplix] diapers. After awhile, the velcro breaks down and just stops working. Especially if your diapers are on their third or fourth kid! But instead of getting all new diapers, how about just converting your velcro to snaps?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I get a slight commission from any purchase.
convert your cloth diapers from velcro to snaps
It is seriously easy. Here’s what you need:

  • KAM Snaps
  • snap press or pliers [I use the pliers, just because that's what I bought... no other reason]
  • seam ripper
  • awl [pokey tool for piercing fabric that should come with your snap press/pliers]

I bought a set of KAM Snap Pliers Hand Press Setter Tool and KAM Snaps to get started. It had everything I needed, plus I have enough snaps to last awhile – or to snap all.the.things.DSC_0299

DSC_02951. Using your seam ripper, carefully remove the front velcro and the velcro tabs.DSC_03042. Use the awl to poke a hole of the tab, where you want your snaps to be.DSC_03063. Put the prong of the cap through the hole, then place either the stud on the other side. There will be one piece on either side of the fabric.DSC_03074. Firmly press the pieces of the snap together.DSC_03085. It will look like this! Then repeat so you have two snaps on each tab.DSC_03126. Repeat the process with the socket of the snap on the front of the diaper. You’ll have to put the awl inside the diaper to poke through the fabric. The cap of the snap will be on the inside too. But when you press it closed, your plies/snap press can be outside.DSC_03137. Repeat the process with as many snap settings as you need – you can put sets of two all the way across your diapers if you want!Convert Velcro Diapers to Snaps TutorialSo nice, right? And now maybe your two-year-old won’t take his diaper off at naptime and pee all over everything. That doesn’t happen at your house? Yeah, mine either…

If you cloth diaper, you may also like my tutorial on how to make your own prefolds.How to make your own Prefold Diapers

Easy Side Pocket Tutorial [from the K.I.D.S. series!]

This post was originally part of the K.I.D.S. series at Me Sew Crazy. I wanted to share the post and pocket tutorial here, in case you missed it the first time around!
side pocket tutorial

I have to admit – I have never once asked my boys’ opinions on the clothes I make for them. Until now. Asking my five-year-old, Sam, to design his own clothing (and teaching him the word design, which he loves now) absolutely made his day. He didn’t even hesitate when I asked him; he knew exactly what he wanted:
DSC_0542The top is the shirt, bottom is pants, in case his drawing wasn’t *ahem* perfectly clear. He even was so kind as to label it with sticky notes – stripes and cars. And as I looked at his drawing, he told me several times, “The stripes go up and down, Mommy. Not side to side.” Well okay then.

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I took a little liberty with his design, and went for a bit more subtle approach. The stripes on the tee are faint and the cars are on the side pockets.DSC_0506Apparently, I took a little too much liberty, because I have since been told that cars all over the pants would have been more acceptable…

DSC_0498The stripes were drawn with a fabric paint pen. They’re more noticeable in person than in photos. And they’re shimmery. Who says boys can’t wear glitter?

DSC_0517Both the pants and the T-shirt were upcycled from adult-sized shirt and pants and made from self-drafted patterns. Upcycling is seriously fun – and can make for such quick sewing. Reusing hems and waistbands for the win!DSC_0507What I really love about the pants are these pockets – they’re different from the usual cargo pants pockets you typically find, and they’re ridiculously easy to make in any size.

Here’s how you can make your own:

DSC_04751. Cut out the shape of your pocket – you want it to be just slightly larger than you want your pocket to be in the end. Use pinking shears to cut around all sides.

DSC_04782. Press the top edge down 1/2 inch and sew it in place using a straight stitch. This will become the casing for your elastic.

DSC_04833. Thread 1/4 inch elastic into the casing. Gather the fabric slightly as you can see in the above photo. You want the ends of the elastic to stick slightly out of your casing.DSC_04874. Press the curved edges of the pocket in about 1/2 inch.

DSC_04915. Pin onto the outer seam of the leg. Line it up with the curve of the inseam, as you can see in the photo above. The pocket should then hit right at mid-thigh.DSC_0564

6. Sew along the curved edges to attach your pocket, and you’re done!DSC_0508Sam had a lot of fun designing … and now I owe him a pair of pants covered completely in cars. ;)

Vintage Sheet Skirt Tutorial – with vintage doily pockets!

Today I’m so thrilled to be a part of Skirt Week at Crafterhours. There’s so much fun going on over there – lots of amazing tutorials and oh, the prizes!

Here’s the deal, friends. I’m in a super awkward wardrobe phase. If you’ve birthed a baby, you know this stage. The I-don’t-fit-into-maternity-clothes-but-my-regular-clothes-don’t-fit-and-my-body-shape-is-super-weird phase. [if you're one of those who can wear a bikini within two weeks, though, just pretend to know what I'm talking about, okay?]

So I needed a skirt that I could wear now but would accommodate my changing body shape. And what better to wear in the summer than a flowy vintage-y skirt? [bonus: it's ridiculously quick to make!]

vintage sheet skirt tutorial \\ if only they would napMaterials:

  • 1 1/2 inch non-roll elastic
  • vintage sheet
  • vintage doilies
  • stretchy t-shirt for lining [optional]

1. Wrap elastic around your waist and cut where it fits comfortably, leaving a little extra for seam allowance. Sew the ends together, so the elastic makes a circle.

DSC_09762. Measure how long you want your skirt to be. Add 1/2 inch for seam allowance at the top. [Use the hemmed bottom of the sheet if possible, then you don't have to add extra length for your hem] Fold the sheet and wrap it around your waist. You want it to go more than halfway around your body, so that you have room to gather the skirt a little. If you want your skirt to be very gathered, add more width. Cut straight up from the bottom hem.

3. Fold the sheet with the right sides together and sew the side together.

DSC_09794. Gather the top of the skirt. There’s more than one way to do this. I usually sew a basting stitch – lengthen your stitch length and sew a straight stitch along the top of your skirt. Don’t backstitch! Gently pull on one of the threads to gather the fabric. Gather it until it matches up with your circle of elastic. [If you want your skirt to be a little more full and gathered, add a second or even third row of basting stitches]

DSC_0965If your sheet is thin like mine, you might need a lining. I snagged this super stretchy T-shirt from my upcycling stash to make mine. If I held this XL shirt up to my waist, I knew it would fit nearly perfectly as a lining. It’s a little shorter than my skirt, but you can’t tell that when I’m wearing the skirt.DSC_09675. Cut off the sleeves and the neckline.DSC_09686. Serge or zig-zag stitch down the sides. [By using the t-shirt, you don't have to hem the bottom of this either! Win!]DSC_09817. Layer the lining and skirt around the elastic waistband. With the elastic inside the skirt, the right side of the skirt fabric should be facing the elastic. Pin together and adjust your gathers if necessary. Pin the edge of the elastic along the basting stitch, so that your seam covers it. Sew the elastic to the skirt using your serger or a zig-zag stitch. If you use a zig-zag stitch, use pinking shears to trim off the excess skirt material.DSC_0017Last step… adding vintage doilies as pockets! Obviously these are not super functional. But they’re a great touch and who doesn’t love pockets?!DSC_00228. Fold the doily in half and pin it in place where you want it [try the skirt on before you sew it on, just to make sure it's in the right spot!] Sew slowly around the edge of the doily.
DSC_0117The perfect summer skirt!DSC_0109Is it wrong to wear this every day? Or should I just make one out of every vintage sheet in my stash? Yes, yes I should..

Thanks for popping in, lovelies! And thanks to Adriana and Susan for having me as part of Skirt Week and making me take time to sew for myself. Yay!crafterhours skirt week 2013 horizontal

Don’t forget to check out all the amazingness over there and enter your skirt to win some of the fantastic prizes!

15 Upcycled Sewing Project Ideas

Hooray for Earth Day!

One of my absolute favorite things to do is to scour thrift stores [or our closets!] for fabrics to repurpose into something else. Call it upcycling, refashioning, or repurposing… there’s just so much possibility for new life from things that have been discarded and forgotten.

So to celebrate Earth Day, I’ve gathered 15 of my upcycled sewing projects. Some have tutorials, others will hopefully provide you with some refashioning inspiration.

15 Upcycled Sewing Projects // If Only They Would Nap

Ruched Maternity Teedscf2445

Baby PantsDSC_0882

Pillow Cover from Vintage Sheetdscf6368

Kid Cardigan from Adult Cardigandscf74111

Baby Shoesbaby-shoes-tutorial

Pillow Cover from a Sweaterpillow-cover-tutorial

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Kid PJ Pants from Adult PJs

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Maternity Pants from Regular Jeansdscf2372

Dresses from Vintage Sheetsdscf1795

Cuff Bracelets from felted woolcuff-bracelet-tutorial

Silly Mustachesmustaches-tutorial

Sweater to Ruffled Cardigandscf1224

Dress to Skirt Refashion

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Short to Long Sleeved Teedscf5515

Oh upcycling, how I heart you.

What materials do you have in your house right now that you can repurpose and sew into something new?