decor

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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! :)

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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.

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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

Easy Vintage-style Christmas Light Garland Tutorial

Christmas is only a couple days away, but if you’re feeling like your house isn’t Christmassy enough, or you need an easy gift idea, this idea will really help you out! This adorable vintage-style Christmas light garland is simple to make, but adds a great pop to your decor. I love those big vintage bulbs, and with this garland, you can bring them into your house and put them just about anywhere – no electricity required!
Make a vintage Christmas light garland with this easy tutorial

Supplies:

  • fabric that doesn’t fray (fleece or felt are great choices)
  • rope, ribbon, or twine
  • embroidery thread
  • hand sewing needle
  • scissors
  • polyfill
  • a chopstick (or something similar to stuff the bulbs)
  • sewing machine (though you can get away with just hand sewing if you prefer!)

1.Cut out your Christmas light shapes. You will need two for every bulb. The number you need will depend how long you want your garland to be. I only made six, because I knew I wanted to hang it on the piano.

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2. Place two bulbs together, wrong sides together. Stitch around the bulbs with a blanket stitch.

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3. After you’ve gotten all around the bulb (except for the top part), stuff a small amount of polyfill into your bulb. You don’t want to use too much! Use the chopstick to get the stuffing all the way to the bottom of the bulb.

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4. Now sew the bulb onto your rope, twine, or ribbon. I used a thick jute rope, but make sure you use something that your sewing machine can handle! You can also hand sew the bulbs on, making this a completely hand sewn project – perfect for car trips or sewing by the Christmas tree!

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Now repeat these steps until all your bulbs are on your garland!christmas light garland

The thick jute I used gives this garland a little bit of a rustic feel, but you can change that up by choosing a different material. A shimmery ribbon would have a completely different look!

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This is such a simple decoration, but it brings such a festive look to your holiday decor. It’s easy enough that you could get your kiddos involved in making it too!

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Happy holiday sewing!

Need some other last minute gift ideas?

make-your-own-boxy-zipper-pouch

boxy zipper pouch

15 minute infinity scarf

infinity scarf

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lego minifig carrier

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leather notebook cover

This post was originally posted at Skip to My Lou on 11/29/15.

Handmade Holidays Garland Tutorial and BIG GIVEAWAY!

Today I’m over at Skip to My Lou as part of the Bake Craft Sew & Decorate series. I am sharing a Vintage Christmas Light Garland Tutorial

vintage christmas light garland tutorial

These are quick to whip up for holiday decorating and gift giving. In fact, you won’t want to miss all the handmade gift ideas! I have joined over 100 bloggers to share some amazing homemade gift ideas, plus I get to be part of an amazing sewing giveaway too! Keep reading to enter!

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This machine is sew AMAZING! She is a gem and her name is Rachel.

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One lucky winner will receive this beautiful Baby Lock Sewing Machine ($799 Value) and $100 Worth of Fabric from Riley Blake Designs.
Ready to take your sewing to the next level? The Baby Lock Rachel is the star of any sewing class, and she’s here to help you. This computerized sewing machine is equipped with 50 stitches and push-button features to make every project easier. The value is $799. Click here for more details.
Riley Blake Designs amazing fabrics include cottons, flannels, sparkle cottons, organic cotton, knits, and laminates in a range of designer and basic prints. I love their fabric and fantastic customer service!

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Sewing an attitude change

With all the beautiful home magazines and blogs out there, it’s so easy to fall into the comparison game. My house isn’t big enough, it’s not the right color, my couch isn’t the right color, blah blah blah. I do it. You probably do too.
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It’s even harder when you aren’t living in your dream home. We’ve been in our house years longer than we expected to be, and some days it’s really hard to focus on what I love about it, instead of what I wish were different.

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But a house is just a house. All of my babies were brought home to this house. I’ve watched them take their first steps, speak their first words, and grow and change everyday. This house full of memories and stories, and sometimes those are physically reflected in the floors or the walls! As the Nester says, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

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When I feel myself getting into a funk about my house, sometimes a simple change is all I need to get a new perspective. New pillows are my go-to attitude changer.

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I’ve been hoarding this Anna Maria Horner print for awhile, and these pillows make me happy every time I look at them. I tucked away the summer pillows, and these feel so perfect for fall.

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I used this method for making the pillows and backed them with a dark blue sweatshirt fleece (cozy + kid friendly). In just 15 minutes, I felt a little lift in my spirits.

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I know that pillows won’t change the world, but I do think they can change your attitude!

Happy sewing, friends!

Sewing in a small, shared space [Sewing room tour!]

We live in a pretty small house. Not tiny house movement small, but still small, especially when it’s shared by six people. As our family has grown, my sewing room has moved around – the basement, the office… currently, I’m sewing in part of our bedroom. Sewing in a small space can be a challenge, but it’s still possible to have an inspiring place to create. Sit back and take a little tour of my sewing room!

Sewing in a small, shared space

When you sew in a shared space, you probably don’t have a lot of room to spread out. You need to be efficient with your storage and your usable space. It also means keeping your space a lot cleaner than you would if you could just close the door at the end of the night. But when you sew right next to your bed, you’ve got to keep things at least a little bit organized!

*This post contains affiliate links*

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I have enough room for two tables. I have a low table where I keep my serger, coverstitch, and sewing machine. I also have a counter-height cutting table.

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Since I’m not a quilter, I find that I usually have plenty of space on the table, even with all three machines. I can easily shift one over a bit if I need to. I can also quickly switch from serger to coverstitch when sewing with knits, which I find super convenient.

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I keep my thread spools close by, but I will fully admit they are NOT rainbow-tized. Seriously, I do not have time for that, friends! I’m just happy they make it back on their little rack. ;)

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Small spaces don’t have to lack personality. Since this one little corner of the house is just mine, I wanted to feel good every time I’m here. These sweet hoops are from my friend Alyson, and the print is from Mandy England (whose shop appears to be closed now).

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On the table, I keep things I don’t like to get up to find when I’m sewing: seam ripper, bobbins, scissors, tweezers, button-hole foot, tube turner, etc.

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I recently found these divided containers in the Target Dollar Spot, and they’re perfect for organizing my needles. I keep them in the basket, too.

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I picked up a handmade, magnetic pin holder at a local quilt museum, and it’s become one of my absolute favorite tools. I keep my zipper foot on here too, so that I can grab it easily.

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Behind the table is my big fabric shelf. I keep my knits in the baskets. This is new since reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and so far I really like this system! I can’t see all the fabric at once – I have to pull the baskets off the shelf to see everything inside – but it has definitely kept me from throwing everything on the floor in search of the perfect fabric. ;) I keep vintage sheets and bottom weights on the bottom shelf, and the bin underneath has clothing to upcycle. (I also have a bin with some jeans and sweatshirts in the closet… since I’m telling all!)

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When it comes to why I organize the way I do in this space, many decisions are kid-driven. For example, when you have a two-year-old who loves to turn on and off the printer all the time, moving it to the top shelf just makes sense. I try to keep most of my sharp things up high, as well as markers and paint. Because toddlers.

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I also have a small cabinet where I keep the rest of my woven fabrics. I recently went through all my fabric and took out a lot of things that I just didn’t love anymore. It gave me a lot more space for the fabric that I do love, and I can find what I need much more easily now. I also keep some more not-kid-friendly craft or office supplies in this cabinet. Like fabric markers. Because seriously… toddlers.

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On top I have a basket of knit scraps. I got rid of a ridiculous amount of scraps, because they just kept piling up. These are all good sized scraps, and most of them could make a toddler tee or baby pants.

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On the wall across from the bed, we have these built-ins. I keep most of my other supplies here. Bias tape, piping, hardware, extra scissors, cone thread spools, elastic, zippers, snaps, etc.

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I’ve been storing things in these Clementine boxes for years, and I have found a way to incorporate them in every sewing space I’ve had. The contents of the boxes change occasionally, but I’m not sure I’ll ever give them up.

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Across from my sewing machines, I have my cutting table. This is a recent purchase, and I l.o.v.e. it. My three-year-old pretty much built it on his own (seriously), so it’s incredibly easy to put together. It’s sturdy and has all these great cubbies. I’m not kidding when I tell you that I really do love this table!!

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Usually this table is pretty well covered with a project of some sort. Or something I’m hiding from the kids. Just out of the picture are the tools I use: rotary cutters, Gingher shears, rulers, pens, tape, etc.

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Because of the limited space in our house, we don’t have an office. So the computer sits on the end of the cutting table. It actually works really well, because if I need to look at pattern instructions or if I just want to watch something on Netflix, I can pull it right up. But it’s also easy enough to move, should I need the extra space. You can find a tutorial for the wall art here.

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Behind the table is where I keep my patterns and blogging/pattern shop papers. I also keep a lot of homeschool papers and books in this corner, because… I have no where else to put them. :)

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My sweet sister-in-law gave me these hoops that were used as decorations at her wedding. I love them just as they are, so they were an easy addition to my space! The fabulous prints are from Mercy Ink (top right) and Pen and Paint.

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Having my sewing space in the bedroom can sometimes be a challenge – if I relaxing in our room, I do have moments where I get distracted by all the projects I could be working on. It also makes late night sewing tricky, if my husband wants to go to sleep. No, it’s not perfect, and while I certainly would love to have my own sewing room again, I’m so happy with the space I’ve created!

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It’s easy to assume that everyone else has a gorgeous sewing studio, or to see beautiful sewing rooms on Pinterest and get frustrated with your limited space. But wherever you sew – on your kitchen table, in a corner of the basement, or anywhere in between – that space becomes yours once you sit down at that machine.

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In this season of my life, in my house that often feels too small, I’m choosing to be grateful for the space that I do have. For a husband who doesn’t mind that I set up shop in our bedroom. For kids who are thankful and excited for handmade clothes. For a fabric stash that certainly isn’t wanting.

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What do you love about your sewing space? Share a picture of it on my Facebook page! I would love to see it :)

Happy sewing, friends!

Sewing or Craft Room Wall Art

Whether you have your own studio or a corner of your bedroom for your crafting, decor is an easy way to personalize your creative space. This wall art is perfect for seamstresses, and you can change up the words to fit the kind of sewing or crafting that you love to do.

Craft Room Wall Art

Materials:

  • burlap
  • wooden frame/staples or glue
  • jute twine
  • hot glue gun
  • embroidery floss/needle
  • paint
    *This post contains affiliate links*

DSC_51191. Stretch your burlap over a wooden frame and staple or glue it to the back. You can also purchase pre-stretched burlap frames like this one. I’ve also seen them in local craft stores.

DSC_51212. Using chalk, sketch out the shape of a thread spool.

DSC_51283. Paint the top and the bottom of the spool. Since this is wall art and won’t be washed, fabric paint isn’t necessary.

DSC_51364. Cut pieces of jute twine the width of the spool. Use your glue gun to adhere them to the burlap. I recommend doing this one or two pieces at a time, starting with a small portion of each strip, so the glue doesn’t harden before you put the twine down.

DSC_51525. Sketch out with chalk the words you want on your art. Mine reads “cut/pin/sew/wear” but yours can say anything! Stitch over the words with embroidery floss – I doubled mine up to make the letters stand out more. To create a slightly different look, use fabric paint or vinyl transfers in place of the embroidery floss.

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Use a damp cloth to wipe away the chalk, and you’re ready to hang your art.DSC_5181

Then add it to your little corner of crafting paradise! I just love how this turned out, and it really makes me smile every time I see it.
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Wall art is such a fun and easy way to add flair and style to your crafting or sewing space!

Make Your Own Craft Room Wall Art