DIY

Leather Bottom Tote Bag Tutorial

I recently realized I was in need of another tote. I mean, can a girl ever really have too many tote bags?? I needed something that would fit my computer easily, plus a few other essentials for heading out to a coffee shop or on a road trip. But I wanted something sturdy enough (and cute enough!) that I could even carry it with me on everyday outings. I found a scrap of leather large enough that I could make a leather bottom tote bag, and I love how it turned out!

I designed this tote with a few specific features in mind, but you can easily customize it to your needs. Here’s what I wanted: sturdy fabric, wide straps, lined inside with one small and one large inner pocket, leather tabs on the straps, and long enough that it would fit my computer comfortably.
The bag came together quickly and easily (I cut the fabric out one afternoon and sporadically sewed it over the next two afternoons, because #momlife). I can already see this becoming one of my favorite tote bags!

Here’s what you need:

  • denim or other sturdy fabric (I recommend that your denim not be very heavy)
  • lining fabric (I used quilting cotton)
  • leather scraps (you could also use fake leather or suede)
  • sewing machine (serger optional), scissors, etc.
  • I highly recommend a leather needle

Cut your fabric pieces:

pockets: 17in x 18in (1), 13in x 5.5in (1)
inner lining: 19in x 14in (2)
outer fabric: 19in x 14in (2)
leather for bottom: 6in x 14in (2)
leather for tabs: 2in x 3.5in (4)
straps: 26in x 7.5in

1. Sew the pockets: you can choose the size that fits your needs (I made my smaller pocket so that it would easily fit my phone and maybe a few other small items). Fold them in half, right sides together. Sew the two sides and the bottom, leaving an opening at the bottom to turn them.

2. Turn the pockets right side out. Press the seams and press the opening closed. Pin the pockets in your desired location on the lining – the folded edge should be on the top. Topstitch the three edges, attaching the pocket to the lining. (Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of your sewing!) Repeat with the second pocket on the second lining piece.

3. Cut the straps – If you want narrower straps, cut them smaller than 7.5in wide. Fold the straps in half, right sides together (you should have a long narrow strip). Sew the raw edges of only the long side together.

4. Turn the strap right side out. The seam should be in the center of the back of the strap – press this seam open so that it lays flat. Press the whole strap down and topstitch the long ends together. This is an optional step, but will help keep your straps from twisting, especially if they are wider straps like mine.

5. Take the two lining pieces and sew them right sides together. Sew three sides together, leaving the top open.

6. Pin and clip the straps and leather tabs in place on the outer lining (note that ONE strap goes on ONE side of the bag – be sure your strap doesn’t get twisted as you lay it in place). Pin the strap in place. DO NOT pin the leather (this will leave permanent holes in your leather). Clip them to the strap. I like these clips (affiliate link), but if you don’t have them, you could use binder clips. My strap ended about halfway down the leather tab.

I recommend pressing the top edge of the denim down 1/2in at this point. You will open it back up later, but this helps you with you strap placement. **You should test out the length of your strap at this point to see if it’s in the most comfortable spot.**

7. Carefully topstitch the leather tabs on top of the strap. I recommend using a leather needle and lengthening your stitch a little. Go slowly so that your leather tabs don’t shift out of place. Repeat for all four tabs.

**If you prefer not to have leather tabs, you could attach your straps like I did in this tote tutorial.

8. Clip the larger leather pieces to the bottom of the tote (the bottom of my tote fabric lined up with the bottom of the leather).  Carefully topstitch the leather to the denim. Repeat for the second piece.

9. Place both denim pieces right sides together (make sure you unfold the top before you sew!) – make sure the straps are carefully tucked inside, out of the way of where you will be sewing. Sew the two sides and the bottom together – leave the top open. I used my serger, but my serger does not like leather, so I went back over all that with a tight zig zag stitch.

10. Fold down and press the top of both the lining and the denim 1/2in.

11. Turn the denim layer right side out. Use a chopstick or something similar to poke the corners out as much as you can.

12. Keep the lining fabric inside out. Put the lining inside the denim. Pin together.

13. Topstitch all around the top of the bag. You can also sew the straps down as you topstitch. I didn’t do this at first, but I went back and added it, because I found that when I put my computer inside the bag, the top edge flopped down. I didn’t like how that looked, so this was a good fix.

Now you have a brand new, sturdy tote to take around with you!

I really love how this turned out, and it is the perfect size for exactly what I needed!

 

Isn’t this the perfect tote bag for taking to the coffee shop on a Saturday morning to read?? Hmm, I think I need to make that happen soon…

I really love the combo of leather/denim/graphic print lining! There are so many fabric combination possibilities, too! What fabrics would you use to make this tote??

Happy sewing, friends!

Advertisements

FREE Women’s Beanie Hat Pattern

Hey friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted! Life has gotten busy, with homeschooling, the craziness of having five kids (and a climbing toddler – oy!), and all the things of life. I meant to share this women’s beanie pattern months ago, but blogging and sewing took a back seat to life. So I’m back with this free knit hat pattern to help you forget my long absence. ;) This one is great for upcycling an old or thrifted sweater (like the one in the photo!) or using any knit or french terry fabric.

All you need is a scrap of knit or french terry fabric that has good stretch and a sewing machine/serger. A sweater headed for the donation bin is a great way to make this hat look hand knit, even when it isn’t.

Let’s get started!

1. Print out the Free Pattern. Cut on the fold. If you are using a sweater, line the pattern up to the bottom edge of the sweater. Instead of cutting on the fold, cut two (one from the front of the sweater, one from the back).

2. Unfold the fabric and re-fold as shown below.  Sew along the long, curved edge (the new fold should be on the left). Use a serger or a zig zag stitch.

3. Fold in half, so your seam is inside.

4. Your enclosed seam will be inside now (you can see it in this photo below on the left). Your hat will be laying flat so that each triangle lines up. Sew the longest outer edge together as seen below. You’ll have four layers to sew together (unless you are upcycling a sweater).  If you’re sewing with a zig zag stitch, make sure that you sew backwards a bit at the ends of your stitches, to secure them in place.

5. Now you will turn the hat and sew the next set of raw edges together.

6. Continue turning the hat and sewing the raw edges together as shown below.

7. Do this until all raw edges have been sewn together. It should look kind of like a star inside your hat (as seen below).

8. Sew across the top and trim to avoid having a point at the top of your hat. Tie or otherwise secure and serger threads and trim them.

Tah-dah! You have a cozy new hat! It goes great with this free cardigan pattern too. ;)

This is a great pattern for using up knit scraps! You could also match with your itty bitty and make a matching newborn baby hat!

Make sure you download your FREE pattern!

 Download your FREE Women’s Beanie Pattern

Happy sewing!

 

Create Your Own Craft Room Art

When you have your own craft or sewing room, or even your own craft corner, it’s great to be able to decorate it in a way that inspires you to spend time there creating! I recently got the chance to play around with the Posh Coloring Studio and used it to make my own art for my sewing room. It was as easy as taking and printing a photo – but with a little twist!

The Posh Coloring Studio is a super easy tool that takes any photo and turns them into coloring pages. Those pages can then be turned into anything – cards, wrapping paper, wall decor, or even a full coloring book! I really had a lot of fun making unique art for my sewing room. Here’s my original photo:

I didn’t edit the photo at all, and maybe should have just lightened up the background a bit. But it really wasn’t necessary, so if you don’t know how to do that, don’t worry!

The Posh Coloring Studio is SO easy to use. I even tried it out with some photos on my phone! Simply upload your image, edit the page, and then download it. Once you’ve downloaded it, you can use the image in any editing software you have to manipulate it any way you want to make gift tags of a certain shape, art, or whatever you want. Or just print it out to use as is! Here’s my image turned into a coloring page:

 

I added some text to my page to turn it into art for my sewing room and printed it out:

Then the really fun part… the coloring!

I think it would be awesome to print this out on watercolor paper and paint the picture for a really unique piece.

I also printed out a photo of my kids and their cousins, to see how pictures of people would look. These are SO cool, and I’m scheming up a lot of ways to use them. Wouldn’t it be great to make coloring books of family members to have at family reunions so that family members can color together while talking about who everyone is?? I just love that idea. Now I need to plan a family reunion I guess. Ha! My son snagged this and colored it while waiting for Christmas dinner. ;)

I debated coloring the background of this picture, and I might go back and do it, since it didn’t end up as bright as I would have hoped. What color do you think I should make the background??

Head over to Posh Coloring Studio to create your own sewing room art, or come up with your own fun idea!

Embroidery hoop snowman

This super cute and ridiculously easy Embroidery Hoop Snowman will make a great addition to your home this Christmas/winter season! Need a last minute gift? You can whip this up in just a few minutes! I always get a little bummed when we put away the holiday decor, but winter lasts basically forever in Wisconsin, so this one I may leave up until spring. ;)

embroidery-hoop-snowman-tutorial

This is our first Christmas in our new house, so I wanted to add something fresh to my Christmas decor. You can embellish your snowman a lot or keep yours on the simple side like mine. I was planning to add more detail, but as I was making it, simple felt like the way to go.

Supplies:

  • 3 embroidery hoops of varying sizes
  • white fabric
  • black or dark grey felt
  • fabric scrap for scarf
  • two small branches
  • hot glue gun

1. Stretch your white fabric over your three hoops. Trim the excess fabric. Use your hot glue gun to glue the three hoops together in size order.

dsc_8489-copy

2. Wrap and tie the fabric scarf between the top two hoops.

dsc_8493-copy

3. Cut out a hat, buttons, and whatever other embellishments you want on your snowman. Glue them down.

dsc_8496-copy

4. Glue the branches onto the back of the middle hoop for the arms.

dsc_8499-copy

Now you just need to find the perfect place for your snowman. Hang him on your wall or prop him on your front porch to greet all your holiday guests!

dsc_8501-copy

I’m excited to have this cute little snowman in our Christmas/winter decor!


This post was originally posted on I Heart Naptime as part of the Crazy Christmas Event in 2016.

FREE Raglan Cardigan Pattern and Cozy Layers for Fall!

 

It’s finally starting to feel like fall in Wisconsin, which means it’s time to bust out my favorite kind of clothes: cozy layers! Seriously, I love wrapping up in cozy cardigans, flannel scarves, and knit hats. Plus can we talk about my love for slippers? It is deep. And of course, it’s just going to get colder, so I’ve been digging out the wool socks and blankets. If you’re going to stay warm this fall and winter, the best way to do it is with lots of layers. I’ve got a free pattern for a cute and cozy raglan cardigan, plus some tips on staying warm as the weather gets colder.
I’ve professed my love of cardigans over and over here on my blog, and I’ve made this particular one a number of times. After so many tweaks, this pattern is exactly what I want, and I’ve made it in so many different fabrics, I can basically wear one everyday if I want!

We live in an old farmhouse that’s a little drafty in some rooms, so layers are important inside the house too. I like to wear things that can double as cozy at home clothes or cute outfits for when I’m actually going to see someone other than my kids. ;) Anything that I can wear at home with sweatpants but then change my look completely when I throw on some jeans and cute boots is a win.

When I pull out our bins of winter clothes every year, I love that I get to wear my Cuddlduds again. If you live where it gets cold, you probably have a pair or two (or three) of Cuddlduds. I’ve worn them for as long as I can remember, and they are a must-have to surviving the Frozen Tundra winter! This shirt? Cuddlduds! It’s been awhile since I’ve purchased any new ones (because they last forever!), so I got so excited when I saw all the new styles.

This shirt is the perfect layering tee. It’s a modal fabric – sooo soft, thin and warm, but not so warm that you’re not going to want to wear your cute cardi. ;)

Did I mention that I made this cardigan in lots of different fabrics? Yes? Well, I did. And I’m not even a little sorry.

This shirt is my go-to for layering under cardigans. And this french terry from Raspberry Creek Fabrics is divine.

But let’s not forget… Saturday lounging! Pair this shirt with these amazing knit leggings, and a great cup of coffee – obviously, and this is where you’ll find me all winter.

I’m not even kidding you when I say that I want to LIVE in these leggings! They are quite possibly the softest things I’ve ever worn, and they look a little like joggers which is super cute. Sleep in them… wear them under your jeans when it’s really cold (hello, fifty below Wisconsin winter, I’m looking at you!)… or wear them under a tunic or sweater as leggings.

Another cardigan sweater? Yes, please. :) I made this one in fleece. It wasn’t the best choice for this pattern, because it didn’t have quite enough stretch (I recommend using a drapey sweater knit or french terry), but it sure does feel warm and cozy. Paired with these fleece leggings, I’m pretty sure I won’t feel the farmhouse drafts at.all.

Do you think my kids will be on board with cozying up in our Cuddlduds and reading all winter? I really might have to make this a thing.

I found some adorable Cuddlduds for my one year old a couple months ago at a local store, and I’ve been dying for cold weather just to see him wear them. I love that there are so many cute options for everyone in the family!

This fabric also happens to be almost exactly the same as the fabric I used to make one of my cardigans – and that wasn’t even intentional. It really is the epitome of cozy!

If you’re not going to DIY your own cardigans like me, Cuddlduds has some ADORABLE hoodies and cardi’s, so check them out if you’re not ready to make your own. Plus I saw a free shipping promo when you snag yours from Bon-Ton.. if everything could come straight to my door and I didn’t have to shop in a store, I’d be a happy girl. ;)

But if your fabric stash is begging for a little cozy sewing, let’s make a cardigan!

Download your FREE Raglan Cardigan Pattern

1. Sew the back piece to the back side of the sleeve, right sides together.

2. Sew the front piece to the front side of the sleeve, right sides together.

3. Repeat steps one and two with the other sleeve piece.

4. Fold the sleeve right sides together and sew down the sleeve, continuing all the way down the side of the cardigan, sewing the back and front piece together.

5. Option one: with a band –  cut a strip of fabric 41in. x 7in. (or narrower if you prefer). Fold in half, wrong sides together, and sew along the top of the cardigan. (see the purple cardigan for how this looks)

Option two: no band – use a double needle or coverstitch to hem the top of the cardigan (see the grey cardigan for how this looks)

7. Use a double needle or coverstitch to hem down the front of the cardigan with a 1/4 to 1/2in hem, starting at the top.

8. Hem the bottom of the cardigan in the same way.

9. Hem the sleeves with a half inch hem.

Make sure you download your FREE Raglan Cardigan Pattern!

How do you layer for cold weather? Don’t forget to snag your Cuddlduds before it gets cold and grab the free shipping promo from Bon-Ton. Then come back for more layering fun to come later this week.. a free pattern for this adorable hat will hit the blog later this week!

FREE Summer Breezy Shorts Pattern for Boys!

For many of you, summer is starting to wind down. Here in Wisconsin, though, this is the time of year that keeps us going all winter long. So we are living it up outside as much as we can! My boys have been pretty rough on their wardrobes this summer – and have grown a LOT. So they were in need of some new play and sleep shorts. This FREE pattern, The Summer Breeze Shorts, is perfect for both! It’s a really quick sew (those are kind of my jam, in case you’re new here), and it’s also great for upcycling old pants!
My boys love to wear comfortable pants that they can move around in when they’re playing outside. They want to be able to jump, play basketball, and climb trees. But they’re also at the age where they don’t want little kid pajamas anymore (I can’t talk about it… I’m in denial that they’re that old). They love pants and shorts that double as lounge wear or pajamas, and these shorts fit the bill. Depending on the fabric you use, they can easily be sleep shorts, play shorts, athletic shorts… whatever your kiddos need!

These shorts are drafted for boys, but you may find them appropriate for your girls as well. For the pants above, the black pair is upcycled from a pair of my husband’s old athletic pants (I reused the waistband and pockets) and the grey pair is made from sweatshirt fleece. They are made to be a little more relaxed fit, longer shorts.

Materials:

  • knit, athletic fabric, sweatshirt fleece, french terry
  • 1inch non-roll elastic
  • sewing machine, thread, etc.

You can download your FREE copy of the Summer Breeze Shorts in my Facebook Group. The instructions will remain here on my blog. The layout of the pattern pieces is shown below:

Let’s Sew!

1. Cut out two front and two back pieces of your fabric. Put one front and one back piece right sides together. Sew down the long side and sew up the inseam (as shown by the pink lines). Repeat with the second leg.

2. Put one leg inside the other, right sides together. Sew along the crotch seam (shown in the picture not sewn).

3. Measure your child’s waist to determine elastic length. I used 1in. elastic, but if yours is slightly bigger, you will be just fine. Sew the ends together so it forms a circle.

4. I use a coverstitch for my waistbands, so I simply fold the waistband down over the elastic circle and sew the raw edge down. Do not sew over the elastic. You could also serge the edge of your fabric and sew it down with a stretch stitch for a similar effect. See the next photo for what to do if you don’t have a coverstitch.

If you don’t have a coverstitch, you could use a double needle or simply fold the raw edge under, pin in place, and sew the fabric in place. Do not sew over the elastic.

*You could also create a casing in the fabric and insert your elastic, but I much prefer to sew waistbands like this.

5. Hem your cuffs with about an inch hem (I recommend trying them on your child first).
So easy and Summer Breezy!!

Like I said, these are perfect for jumping. Ready, set…

…GO!

Don’t forget to head over to my Facebook Group to download the free pattern! This pattern would pair perfectly with the free Surfer Tank pattern, so grab that one if you don’t have it yet. 

This post was part of the Summer Fun series hosted by Emily of Life Sew Savory. I love this series, and it was so fun to be a part of it again! You can see the fun pool noodle boats I made for this series two years ago here!

Be sure to check out all the other summer fun posts over at Life Sew Savory!

Handmade Fish Toss Game by Patchwork Posse

Kids Hat Pattern/Tutorial Round Up – Made by Sara

Cute Dolls – Sprouting Jube Jube

Ruffle Knit Play Dress – Bonnie and Blithe

Cactus Cross Stitch by Story Piece

Free Boys Shorts Pattern by If Only They Would Nap

Travel Tic Tac Toe – Straight Stitch Designs

Dollhouse Rag Rug – Once Upon a Sewing Machine

 

10 Skirt Refashion Tutorials for Skirting the Issue

July is such a great month for wearing skirts! They’re perfect for summer, easy to throw on after a day at the beach, and they can take you from the pool to date night with a quick accessory change. The lovely ladies at Simple Simon and Co. have an amazing series that they put together every July called Skirting the Issue. You can read all about it over on their site, but they spend the month gathering tutorials for skirts, pillowcases, and quilts. Then everyone who participates sews something to donate to kids in foster care! I love this idea so, SO much. This year I’ve collected 10 tutorials for refashioning skirts out of other materials, everything from shirts to dresses to pants! Most of these are super easy to sew and would be great for re-using materials that have gone unloved or even some of those XXL garments you find on the super clearance racks!

1.Dress to Skirt

This is one of my favorite upcycles that I did a long time ago! I took a thrifted dress that never fit on top and turned it into a skirt in just a few minutes.

2. T-Shirt to Skirt

This awesome tutorial from my girl Melissa at Sew Like My Mom is quick and can be for girls or women. The best part is that it’s so comfy because it doesn’t have an elastic waistband!

3. Jeans to Mini Skirt

Emily from Life Sew Savory turned a pair of jeans into this adorable mini skirt! It looks super easy, and I could imagine wearing this one at an outdoor summer concert!

4. Shirt to Baby Circle Skirt

How adorable is this little circle skirt?? My friend Dana at Sew Thrifty made this one from a t-shirt:  simple and comfy for little ones! You can use this same idea to make a circle skirt for yourself too.

5. Prom Dress to Skirt

I adore this super fun refashion from Fleece Fun! What a great way to use an old prom dress or even a bridesmaid dress that you normally wouldn’t get to wear again.

6. Shirt to Skirt

Here’s a different way to take a T-shirt and make it into a skirt from Make It and Love It. Re-using the existing hem makes it so fast!

7. Flannel Shirt to Skirt

How fun is this cozy upcycle from Randomly Happy Blog? Take a flannel shirt and turn it into a fall or winter skirt! Perfect for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere right now.

8. Sweats to Skirt

Here’s another comfy skirt from It’s Always Autumn. Take a pair of sweatpants and transform them into a skirt! She also has a tutorial for a kid’s version on her blog.

9. Sweater to Skirt

Since we’re talking cozy skirts, this refashion from Pearls and Scissors takes a sweater and turns it into a warm winter skirt. I’m imagining this with tights and tall boots – so cute, right?!

10. Vintage Sheet to Skirt

Here’s another one of mine that I loved – a favorite vintage sheet turned skirt! I added some doilies as pockets for a functional accent. :)

I love taking a garment that’s lost its luster and using it to create something brand new. It’s a great way to breathe new life into something that would otherwise be bound for a landfill! Search through thrift shops and clearance racks (or the back of your closets!) to find your fabric. With so many skirt tutorials to choose from, you should be set! Now get sewing – for yourself and also for Skirting the Issue! Make sure you pop over to Simple Simon and Co to get all the details on what to do with your skirt and to check out all the awesome ideas and inspiration. Love these ladies and their generous hearts!!

Happy sewing, friends!

Party in the Back Dress FREE pattern

It’s finally summer, so that means it’s time to wear dresses! I’m joining up again with Melissa at Melly Sews for her 30 Days of Sundresses series! You can check out my last year’s post with free pattern here and the previous year’s tutorial here. This year I decided to stick with my knit dress theme (because knits are my jam) and make a cute little sleeveless dress with a slightly gathered yoke and a super fun cut out back. So I had to name it the Party in the Back dress! :) Keep reading for the full tutorial and to download your own FREE pattern!This dress is really simple to sew and SO comfy to wear. The slightly gathered yoke gives it a little bit of interest while still letting the fabric be the focus.

Unless, of course, you’re looking at the back, and then this fun cut out is the focus!

And hopefully the fun cut out in the back is enough to distract you from the weird short hairs that are growing… I blame the baby. ;)

I have a one-size pattern (size medium) free for download. If this size doesn’t work for you, you can use this tutorial to use a pattern you have on-hand to make your own cut-out back dress.

Download Your Party In The Back Dress FREE Pattern

Quick note on fabric: you want a stable knit with good stretch. Really drapey knits will not work well for this dress.

1.Print out and tape/glue together the pattern pieces. The pattern is tiled four across.

2. Gather the front and back pieces. They are very slightly gathered until they match the front and back yoke pieces. Sew the back yoke to the back gathered piece, right sides together, and repeat with the front.

3. Cut out a strip 14.5in x 1.25in for the binding for the back cut out. Sew the binding onto the cut out, the right side of the binding to the wrong side of the cut out opening. 

4. Fold over the seam, folding the raw edge under.

5. Sew the binding down. You can do this with a double needle or a coverstitch. I used a coverstitch with a single needle.

6. Overlap the ends of the cut out about an inch to form the circle. Pin or clip together.

7. Sew the shoulders together, right sides together.

8. Sew the sides together, right sides together.

9. Cut a 24.5in x 1.25in strip for the neckline binding. Sew the short ends together, right sides together.

10. Sew to the neckline as you did with the cut-out binding. *only here, use a 1/2in seam allowance. Make sure you secure the ends of the cut-out binding in your seam.

11. You can hem the armscye with a double needle or coverstitch as I did. Or you can cut a 16.5in x 1.25in binding and sew it like the previous bindings.

12. Hem the dress to your desired length. I took a couple inches off the pattern, because I am short (5’3″) and I wanted the dress to be a fun above the knee summer length.

13. Press the bindings and hems really well.

Download Your Party In The Back Dress FREE Pattern

 This dress is super comfy and is going to be a staple in my wardrobe this summer!

To check out more sundresses, make sure you pop over to Melly Sews to see what everyone else has been sewing.

Happy sewing, friends!

 

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

15 Sewing Projects to Help You Get Organized!

Happy New Year! I love when things start fresh… new years, new seasons, new school years, new notebooks. As we’re starting 2017, I’m doing a huge purge of my house. We moved into our new (old) home last February, and in that time I’m realizing all the stuff that we don’t need – or want – encroaching on our space. I’m also looking for pretty and functional ways to organize the things we do have. So today I’m sharing 15 sewing projects that will help you get organized!15-sewing-projects-to-help-you-get-organized

Floor cushion with hidden storage

This floor cushion was an easy way for us to store stuffed animals and other soft items when we needed to corral them. We’ve simplified the stuffed animals collection, so I think we’ll repurpose this one for blanket storage this year.

floor-cushion

Nesting Baskets

I was eyeing up some fabric baskets at the store the other day, when I realized I’d rather have handmade ones! These from Jess at The Sewing Rabbit have a free pattern, so I’m going to use some of these to corral toys and baby blankets.

img_7044

Puzzle envelopes

I love these puzzle envelopes from my friend Jodi at Sew Fearless, and I think they’d work great for organizing some of our homeschool supplies.

img_2194-768x576

Essential oil travel case

I need to make a few more of these essential oil travel cases, because one just isn’t enough for the oils I want to carry with me out of the house!

dsc_6624-copy

Zipper pouch

This is my current favorite type of zipper pouch to make and use. I’m finding them so handy that I need at least two more.

dsc_8112-copy

Rolled camp kitchen

I’m not a big fan of junk drawers, but I need a place to put miscellany – items that don’t seem to have a home, but should. I think this rolled camp kitchen from Sabra at Sew a Straight Line would be great for hanging in the closet and collecting those items.

rolledcampkitchensewastraightlineblo6

Trading Card carrier

I made this carrier for my boys’ football cards last year, but I think I need to make a similar one to hold playing cards and other little card games. It would make it super easy to grab when I know we’re going to need a distraction at an appointment or when we’re headed away for the weekend.

trading-card-carrier

Fabric Tray

I hate how dresser and table tops are stuff collectors! I want to make a couple of these fabric trays from Anna at Noodlehead for our night stands and other places that seem to collect all.the.things.

filled

Clothespin Bag

This clothespin bag from Melissa at Melly Sews is the perfect solution for housing plastic grocery bags in our basement by the laundry!

clothespinbag-1

Simple tote bag

A lot of our reusable grocery bags have gotten dingy and just need to be tossed. I’m going to sew up a few more of these tote bags to replace them!

dscf7302

Gym bag

New year must mean new health resolutions, right?? Everyone and their mom is heading to the gym. This baby weight isn’t just going to melt away. ;) I love this gym bag from my friend Melissa at Sew Like My Mom!

picture-362

Bedside pocket organizer

My boys love to take books to bed, and I think this bedside pocket organizer from Sew Can She will help keep them from becoming a giant pile next to their beds!

1453611208716

Wet Bag

I need to make a larger version of this wet bag. I still use this one in my diaper bag (SO handy to have, along with this changing mat!), but my large wet bag has seen better days and needs replacing.

dsc_0788

Vinyl Lego Organizer

Any other moms have a love-hate relationship with Legos?? Okay really, we love Legos in our house. They provide my boys with hours of creative play. But organizing them… YIKES. I love this vinyl lego organizer from Emily at Nap-time Creations, and I think it could be a great solution!

vinyl-lego-organizer2

Crochet hook case

Okay, so I don’t actually crochet (ha!), but my mom recently taught my oldest how to knit, and my knitting needles aren’t very accessible. I want to make a case like this one from my friend Delia at Delia Creates to put all the needles, so he can get to the ones he needs on his own, without me digging through a bin in the basement!

faux-crochet-hook-case-59-of-640407

Here’s to getting organized in 2017! Happy sewing!

Buffalo Plaid Sweater Pillow Tutorial

I’m going to make a confession: my house isn’t decorated for Christmas yet. Usually I’m way ahead of the game, but with a little baby, it just hasn’t happened yet. And I love decorating for Christmas! I may have to leave things up a couple extra weeks to make up for it. ;) This year I made a fun and  holiday pillow – it’s one of the few things I have out right now. This buffalo plaid sweater pillow is cozy, easy to make, and would be a great gift or addition to you own holiday decor. Christmas decorations are so fun to make, like this vintage-style Christmas light garland, and this one has a touch of whimsy that is sure to add to your festivities!

diy-buffalo-plaid-sweater-pillow

Supplies:

  • old sweater
  • polyfill or pillow form
  • pom pom trim
  • buffalo plaid fabric scraps
  • scissors
  • sewing machine
  • thread

1. Grab an old sweater in the color of your choice. I’m a huge fan of upycling, and sweater pillows are one of my go-to decor options.

dsc_8384-copy

2. Cut the sweater to your desired size – cut apart the seams so you have two separate pieces.

dsc_8387-copy

3. Cut out your letters from your buffalo plaid fabric. The fabric I had on hand was a french terry (which is stretchy), but you can easily do this with a woven non-stretchy fabric. Pin the letters in place onto the front piece.

dsc_8389-copy

4. Zig-zag stitch around the letters to appliqué them onto the front of the pillow.

dsc_8390-copy

5. Sandwich your pom pom trim in between the front and the back, with the right sides together. The pom moms should be pointed toward the middle of the pillow. You can pin or clip the two pillow pieces together, but I found it easier to just tuck the trim in as I was sewing.

dsc_8410-copy

6. If you are using a pillow form, you will want to sew only three sides of your pillow and then insert your pillow form. If you are using polyfill like I used, then you’ll want to leave a small opening at the bottom of your pillow, with your pom pom trim unattached as shown.

dsc_8412-copy

7. Turn the pillow right side out, stuff the pillow, and then close up your opening (or your entire side of the pillow if you are using a pillow form). Use a small zig-zag stitch to close up your opening, as this will hold your trim in place a little better than a straight stitch.

dsc_8423-copy

The trim and the buffalo plaid are so fun, they are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face this holiday season!

dsc_8450-copy

I’m loving the red and teal combo – it’s a little out of the box for typical Christmas decor, but breaking from tradition is good sometimes! :)

dsc_8482-copy

If the pom pom trim is a little too crazy for you, try some piping instead! The process is the same and still gives a fun touch to your sweater pillow.

buffalo-plaid-sweater-pillow

Buffalo plaid is everywhere right now, and I can’t get enough of it! This cozy sweater pillow is the perfect way to add some to your holiday decor!

Have you started decorating for Christmas? What are your favorite DIY decorations?

This post originally appeared on Skip to My Lou on 11-17