Fabric Easter Egg Made with Fabric Scraps

fabric easter egg

You’ll love this tutorial if you’re looking for something different for this Easter.  It’s a kind of Fabric Easter Egg made with fabric scraps and it has a zipper, so you can put a surprise toy inside. This is a wonderful project for beginners but it would also be fun for more advanced sewists.  It allows you to use up some of your fabric scraps while affording an opportunity to practice skills like installing zippers, bias tape application, and pattern drafting in a low-stress and inexpensive project.  The end product will make a fantastic, and hopefully cherished, gift for your child or grandchild. Here’s the backstory for where this idea came from.  When my daughter was a little girl, she carried with her a small bathtub with a little baby inside.  I know it sounds strange, but we had purchased … Continue reading

All Natural DIY Dye for Fabric and Yarn: Safe & Healthy

natural diy dye

There are a lot of practical reasons to make your own natural DIY dye from natural ingredients. It’s cost effective, non-toxic, and eco-friendly. It’s derived from renewable resources and is biodegradable; it can be disposed of safely in your kitchen sink. These are all things to feel good about, but beyond the practical, there’s the meditative, gratifying art of natural dye making. The colors achieved using natural DIY dye are earthy and organic, and the results are variable and inconsistent in the best way possible. What artist wants to create the same masterpiece twice? The inspiration for your palette is everywhere: in your spice drawer, your backyard, and blooming in your flowerbed. It quite literally grows on trees. Here’s a little to get you started. For blue, use hyacinth, mulberries, or dogwood fruit. For brown, use coffee, cinnamon, walnut hulls, … Continue reading

Common Sewing Stitches You Need to Know

common sewing stitches

Generally speaking, sewing machines in the current market come with a great range of functionality.  However, one of the most important tasks, perhaps the backbone of every impeccable garment, is understanding the various stitching techniques every machine has to offer.  No matter the complexity or style of your sewing machine, even the simplest ones should accommodate these common sewing stitches. The fundamental art of stitching is primarily based on the stitch structure and the method used to interlace the threads.  Occasionally, you might get confused on what stitch to use where.   Not to worry; here is a comprehensive and easy-to-use guide featuring ten most common stitches to see you through your sewing projects. 1. Straight Stitch or Lockstitch To say that this is a common stitch is an understatement.  With its innumerable number of faces, this stitch is arguably the … Continue reading

Vintage Sewing Ideas: Free Patterns Roundup

Vintage Sewing Ideas

Do you love vintage designs as much as I do? I’ve always had a fascination with vintage clothing designs.  While styles have changed a lot over the years, there are some truly classic vintage designs that continue to look good, or even better, as time goes by. But what is “vintage” you might ask?  It seems like one of those terms that are probably not well defined and vary according to the eye of the beholder –so I thought I’d try to come up with a definition.  When I began my research, it turns out there actually is a semi-official definition of “vintage” clothing after all.  The below is from Wikipedia: Generally speaking, clothing which was produced before the 1920s is referred to as antique clothing and clothing from the 1920s to 20 years before the present day is considered vintage. … Continue reading

Special Gift for You: FREE Pattern Today Only (Normal Price $5.95)

This offer expired on 26 Feb 2017.  We do this from time to time so please sign up for the weekly email to make sure you know when the next free pattern will be given away. The last time we did this sort of surprise giveaway, it was super popular with our regular readers.  I hope it will be this time too.  To explain, we’ve been working very hard recently on a new set of videos for our Youtube channel.  The first of these should be out soon so I hope you’ll check it out.  In any case, I’ll admit that this has put me a little behind in my pattern drafting.  I like to try to have a fresh new project ready for our readers every Sunday.  I almost got there with an exciting new top for the Workout … Continue reading

Detachable collar: the easy way to bling your outfit. Part 1

detachable collar

A detachable collar is perhaps the easiest way to “bling” an outfit and make it more elegant without having to go and spend a whole bunch of money on jewelry.   A removable collar is also a great alternative to the current trend of chokers that are in every jewelry store these days –at least in my corner of the world. Here is a super easy way to make one that will take you only a short time, few supplies and little money to make. When making this collar, you should take into consideration the venerable Fibonacci sequence which is a pillar of design and even architecture.  This sequence of numbers is found all around nature and using it in your designs will make them really stand out.  We are more in tune with nature than you think and our brain recognizes … Continue reading

New Video Tutorial – Sewing the Small Backpack

There was quite a lot to show in this full video tutorial of Sewing the Small Backpack.  It took a while to edit it down, but this video will show you each and every aspect of sewing this project. Don’t be afraid to skip ahead or pause and come back to sections to see exactly how the Small Backpack is sewn. Here’s a recap of the whole sew-along. Small Backpack Pattern Download: Part 1: Small Backpack Pattern, for Small Budgets Part 2: Tutorial on sewing backpack straps, Small Backpack Part 3: How to sew the outside applied pocket & final assembly, Small Backpack

How to sew the outside applied pocket & final assembly, Small Backpack: Part 3

applied pocket

In this third and final part of the Small Backpack Pattern sew along, we’re going to be sewing the applied pocket and doing the final assembly of the bag.  Hopefully, everyone has been following along from Part 1, where we cut the small backpack pattern, attached the outside zipper, added the lateral small pockets and made the small inner pocket.  Then in Part 2, we sewed the outside zipper, sewed the backpack straps and attached the backpack strap hardware. Additional Materials for this Section: Bias tape 1 3/4″ x 28″ (shorter side) Bias tape 1 3/4″ x 29″ (longer side) Bias tape 1 3/4″ x 30″ (bottom) I would highly encourage you to try to make your own bias tape.  You can find a great tutorial on just how to do this here:  Making Continuous Bias Binding Tape. Video Tutorial … Continue reading

Bad Sewing Habits: It’s Time For a Change

bad sewing habits

Everyone has bad habits. Whether you aren’t the best housekeeper, you cut corners on your work projects or you eat unhealthy foods while you are supposed to be dieting, everyone has bad habits. If those bad habits are part of your sewing experience, however, it may be time to say goodbye to them. Hopefully, you also have some good sewing habits that are helpful to your efforts. Below is a list of some bad sewing habits that people who sew tend to develop. If you have one or more of these habits, it may be a good idea to work toward changing the habit into a good one instead. Thread Storage: Is Your Thread Out in Plain Sight? Many novice sewers tend to leave thread out on the table. Even if you opt for a basket or small box that … Continue reading

Tutorial on sewing backpack straps, Small Backpack: Part 2

sewing backpack straps

This is a tutorial on sewing backpack straps and it’s the second part of the Small Backpack Pattern sew along.  If you landed here directly without seeing the first part of this sew along tutorial, you may want to go back and start the project from the beginning with Part 1: Small Backpack Pattern, for Small Budgets. This is a technique of sewing backpack straps.  It’s especially useful when you do not have enough fabric to make the handles in the same fabric as the bag.  You can use these straps on totes, backpacks and cross body bags in leather, vinyl, Kraft-Tex, and fabric.   The first thing you may notice is that I’m not using D-rings as specified in the materials list for the tutorial.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get normal rectangular-style D-rings with the rounded sides and I could only … Continue reading

Small Backpack Pattern, for Small Budgets: Part 1

small backpack pattern

If you have been watching the size and style of bags lately, you’ve probably noticed all those impossibly cute little backpacks everyone is carrying.  Along those lines, I’ve made this small backpack pattern to be small (and cute) but still big enough to be practical. You can also use this small backpack as a cross-over or cross body bag as well.  I made that way because I like to have options and truth-be-told, I am a bit paranoid with a backpack.  I guess having grown up in Panama where, as the saying goes, “pickpockets can remove your socks without even taking off your shoes” I have had my share of missing money and wallets.  This is why I’ve added a pocket in the back with a zipper.  There’s an internal pocket, also with a zipper, and even the outside pocket … Continue reading