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Turning Japanese Bag – some variations

How to make changes to a simple bag pattern to make it something a bit more special.

Have you tried the Turning Japanese Bag pattern yet. You should give it a try – it’s really easy! Part of the ‘My First Bag series’ it’s a single pattern piece, no fancy zippers or closures, the handles are ready made and it’s perfect to showcase a really nice fabric or a large scale print. However, just because its simple, there’s no need to stop there. A simple pattern is often an ideal base to start from if you want to add a few additions of your own. In this example: I add a hard bottom and some shiny bag feet It has a couple of small d-rings on the side where you can add a removable shoulder chain I split the pattern to use two different fabrics instead of just one. You can split it in any direction, sew a … Continue reading

How to sew a hem facing on a circle skirt

How to sew a wide hem on a circle skirt using a hem facing

I’ve got a project I’m working on that has been giving me a headache.  I’ve been itching to make a half-circle skirt but the hemline is just not turning out as I would like.  It really is impossible to sew a ‘regular’ hem when the bottom of the skirt is so curved.  Usually on a skirt I would turn in half an inch and press, and then turn up another inch, inch and a half or even two inches on the bottom of a regular skirt, and sew. But that’s not going to work on a circular hemline simply because the length of the hem around the outside is longer than the length of the fabric you are turning into, so it’s never going to lie flat. Now you can sew a teeny tiny hem, by pressing up tiny 1/8th … Continue reading

Crossover baby bib pattern

How to sew this cute baby bib pattern. I love the video, makes it look so easy.

The Baby Showers are fast approaching and I’m sewing madly to get the bundles together. Today, I’m making bibs. Not the most glamorous of items, but an everyday essential and no one wants a grotty one when you can have a really nice home made one instead. I’ve tried several styles, and depending on time might share some of the others later, but here is the crossover style that I’ve been making in batches today. It has a cross over front with the option to have two different fabrics, plus, its fully reversible so you can have another two different fabrics on the back if you want to. The perfect way to use up 4 smaller leftover pieces of fabric from other projects. With the 4 layers of fabric, this is going to be long-lasting, hard-wearing in the wash time after … Continue reading

Readers Questions – 4

Readers-Questions-Your-Answers

It’s that time again where you get a chance to both share what you know, and also learn more at the same time.  Readers Questions is your opportunity to share your sewing dilemma with the So Sew Easy readers and get their combined years of experience working on your problem. Please offer up answers to these questions.  It’s OK to share links in the comments to relevant pages and tutorials, whether on your own site or someone else’s. You can submit a question, answer one or more questions by leaving a comment below, or just learn more by reading through the answers.  Thanks everyone for taking part. Susan Asks: Are there any good tutorials or instruction you would recommend on making a t-shirt quilt?  It seems like a good way to re-purpose t-shirts that are no longer worn, but they … Continue reading

Awesome free pencil case patterns to sew

Great variety of all sorts of zipper pouches and pencil cases including some really interesting ideas

Enjoy these awesome free pencil case patterns!  Everyone is settling into the new routine.  Kids are back to school, Mom has more spare time for her own interests and crafters everywhere are starting to think about the upcoming holidays.  So time to get organised. Here are a few of my favorite pencil case patterns.  Good for the kids pens, pencils and crayons at home or at school, good to keep all your pens where they should be instead of strewn around, and perhaps a nice stocking stuffer to sew too.  They don’t need to just be for your pencils – these are one trendy, fancy bunch of pencil cases you can use to keep lots of things organised – enjoy! Free pencil case patterns and tutorials Click on each of the pictures to go to the original free pattern or … Continue reading

‘Give me a shrug’ Top pattern – POTM

Interesting top to sew with a built in collar that looks like you're wearing a shrug over the top.

Did you notice the black top I was wearing when I modeled the Flirty Skirty pattern a while back?  It had my pattern testing team calling out for me to make a pattern just like it.  Their wish is my command! So here is the Pattern of the Month for September – the Give Me A Shrug Top. Features: Made with knit fabric Wrap around collar that pleats under the arms and forms a back yoke 3 sleeve lengths 7 sizes from 31-46 inch bust Lined over the bust Wear the collar turned up or laid flat Flattering square cut neckline Includes a short video just to help with the pleating, the rest is easy Pattern rating – Intermediate My own versions I made several versions during my development of this pattern using various different fabrics and sizing.  I think … Continue reading

Sewing with Vinyl Coated Mesh – free pattern and giveaway

Tips and a free pattern for sewng with vinyl coated mesh fabric. Cool ideas!

Hello my name is Michelle Dorsey.  I am a pattern designer and digitizer doing business under the name, SewMichelle.  First of all, I would like to thank Deby for letting me appear as a guest on her blog. I enjoy designing patterns that are easy and quick to make.  After all, isn’t instant gratification what most of us are after?  I try and design unique patterns that make you think outside the box, yet are functional for everyday use.  I also like to incorporate different materials to spice things up a bit too. One of my favorite materials to work with is vinyl coated mesh, aka pet screen.  Some quilt shops carry this mesh in bright, fun colors.  If your quilt shop hasn’t started stocking it yet, don’t worry, you can purchase it by the roll at your local hardware store, on Amazon or … Continue reading

Sewing Texture – class review

Sewing Texture class review and projects. Great for beginners and lots of creative ideas for all sorts of projects.

I was looking through my class list (which is pretty large now) on Craftsy and I noticed nestling down at the bottom the Sewing Texture Class. This was the first ever class I bought from Craftsy in the early days when I wasn’t sure what direction my sewing would take and I loved the look of the project examples.  But I had never even watched it – shame on me!  So in a quiet afternoon when my husband was asleep on the sofa, I got out my headphones and enjoyed a little ‘me time’. Sewing Texture Class Review There are a total of 10 lessons, and they take the format of a lesson showing the technique followed by a lesson featuring a project using the technique we just learned. This class is good for – beginners. While I think that … Continue reading

Easy to make knit dress from Gosia

Easy to make knit dress tutorial

Gosia was our blogging winner in the Make It Yours Contest, and is here today with a guest post to introduce herself to you, and show off her unique style. * * * * * * * Hello fellow sewing enthusiasts! I’m Gosia of As I Sew  and Ambrodust Clothing, here to guide you through the creation of a super cute and easy to make knit dress. We’re going to start with a basic design, and later I’ll have some tips on what other styles of dresses you can use it for. This is a great project for a beginner who is familiar with sewing knits and understands a bit about altering a pattern. Here we go! This is the dress we’ll be working on: What you need: Knit fabric (I used about 2 yards of light jersey) Tank top … Continue reading

Autumn or Fall mug rug pattern

Fall mug rug pattern. I love these easy applique ideas for seasonal home decor.

With all the talk recently of Back to School sewing projects and Fall or Autumn on the way, I’ve actually been just that little bit homesick for the UK.  It’s been years since I visited and even longer since I moved away in search of everyday sunshine, but I still remember the seasons.  There was always a very distinct Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.  Here in Cayman where the sun shines every day, we have 4 seasons as well. Hot, Hotter, Scorching, Still Hot.  I do miss the time of year when the leaves turn golden, russet and burgundy – and then the trains stop running because too many leaves fell on the line. So here is my little reminder of home and the trip we would take every Autumn to the local Westonbirt Arboretum to see the trees in … Continue reading

How to sew snap tape to close a pillow back

How to sew snap tape to make a pillow back so you can remove the cover for washing.

I’ve been making a few throw pillows (cushions if you are British) just recently and been looking for ways to close the back so they are still easily accessible for removing the insert and washing the cover, but I don’t have any long zips right now (and I admit I’ve not yet ever sewn a zipper into a pillow cover) so I was looking for alternatives. A few ideas: Just step up and learn how to do it with a zipper (added to a future to-do list) Sew on buttons and buttonholes (I’ve got these skills mastered now I think) Use Velco, hook and loop tape (sticks to everything in the wash) Make an ‘envelope’ back that just opens and overlaps (Like my woven fabric pillow and the Oliver the Owl nursery pillow) Just stuff and then sew the pillow … Continue reading