How to lengthen a sewing pattern using the Hi-Low T-Shirt to illustrate

lengthen t-shirt

It’s easy to lengthen a sewing pattern piece.  If you’ve never done it before, you should give it a try.  In this article, I will be talking exclusively about the Hi-Low T-Shirt free pattern that we published a couple weeks ago and how to make it longer.  However, you can use the same concepts to lengthen any sewing pattern –so it is a skill worth learning and practicing. There are three methods to modify a sewing pattern: the slash, the seam and the pivot methods.  All methods are good, but you need to learn when and how to use each. The subject is so vast I could write a whole book about it –and some people have.  In the tutorial below, I’m going to show you the slash method and I will be covering how to lengthen a pattern piece without … Continue reading

101 Creative Ideas to Recycle Denim Jeans

recycle denim

Denim is a fantastic fabric I was rummaging through my closet the other day and I noticed that I had built up a pretty good supply of old denim jeans that I was unlikely to ever wear (or be able to wear.. ) again.  Ditto for both my husband and my kids who have now outgrown numerous items made of denim from jeans to jackets.  I don’t know about you, but I suspect this may be the case with many readers. I then got to thinking about what a waste it would be to just throw these old garments away.  Unfortunately donating isn’t an easy option where I live as that would be a good alternative too.  So I began to think of ways I could repurpose or recycle all of this wonderful blue, black and white cotton denim. One … Continue reading

How to add extra pockets to any tote bag

add extra pockets

This week I want to show you how to add extra pockets to any tote bag.  I’ll demonstrate this with the extra pockets I added at the bottom of the small canvas tote bag that was recently published on our site.  Please also check out the full video tutorial showing all the steps in making this wonderful accessory. I love totes, especially small ones.  They are easy to make and to carry because they limit the number of things you can put inside.  That makes it easier on your back and perfect for walking around. With a small tote, all the essentials are right at your fingertips for you and everyone else as well, unfortunately!  But, where do you put your money?  This is one of those sewing hacks when you are not entirely satisfied with the number of pockets that your … Continue reading

Sewing the Small Canvas Tote Bag Video Tutorial Released

tote bag video tutorial

I just wanted to let everyone know that we have published a video tutorial on Sewing the Small Canvas Tote Bag on our YouTube channel. In this tote bag video tutorial, we take you through all the steps involved in sewing this fun project. We look at the materials required as well as each of the steps involved in assembling and sewing this cute little accessory. I didn’t do a lot of narration in this sewing tutorial, preferring just to show you the steps along with clear and concise labels of the process involved in the project.  Feel free to pause the video at any time if you need more time to complete the step. This is a fun and relatively easy sewing project for the advanced beginner to intermediate sewists.  Please enjoy and don’t forget to Like and Subscribe … Continue reading

$500 Giveaway Winner Announced!

winner announced

We’re delighted to announce the winner of the $500 Shopping Spree Giveaway today. If you recall, unlike the previous giveaways sponsored by, this one was open to readers pretty much worldwide or at least to every country where ships –which is a pretty extensive list. See the list of International Shipping destinations directly on The geographic diversity of the entrants was truly impressive.  When I was going through the data, I discovered that about half the entrants were from outside the US, which roughly correlates to our readership base. We had entrants from places I honestly didn’t know were considered countries (at least by our giveaway software) like the Åland Islands and covering almost every country through to Zimbabwe.  Unfortunately, the readers from Zimbabwe would not have been able to win due to’s shipping requirements, but … Continue reading

FINAL DAY – $500 Giveaway Ends Tomorrow: DON’T MISS OUT!

Just a quick reminder to everyone that the $500 Giveaway ends tomorrow at midnight, US East Coast time today, April 12.. There’s still time to get another couple entries in before the competition closes. Good luck to everyone! PS:  I’ve updated the fabric for the comment entry one final time.  I hope you like it.  Interested to hear your ideas of what you could make with it.

Small canvas tote bag: the perfect summer companion

small canvas tote bag

This is an easy tutorial and pattern for a small canvas tote bag.  You can also use upholstery fabric as well.  It’s a request from a few readers who make items to sell at markets, but I think anyone who loves to sew bags will love this one too. This small canvas tote bag is the perfect companion for the coming warmer weather and the right accessory to keep up with the current trend which is for small bags, crossbody wallets, and small backpacks.  I made this bag so it would be small to carry with the option of having it cross over the body.  There’s enough room for a pair of sunglasses, phone, keys, money, and a few business cards.  You can make it with very little fabric, so it becomes the perfect project to use your fabric scraps. This … Continue reading

As promised to our subscribers, FREE pattern for today only (RRP $6.95)

As a special thank you to our loyal readers and subscribers, we’re giving away one of our most popular dress patterns, the In A Twist Dress, usually sold for $6.95.  Yup, that’s right, the pattern will be FREE, but for this Saturday (April 8) only. This pattern has proven very popular as it comes with full PDF instructions which are detailed and well illustrated.  The design has been thoroughly tested with plenty of user examples for you to look at.  The pattern has numerous 5* reviews in both our Etsy and Craftsy stores.  And there’s also a video intro to the pattern which you can see below. You can read more about the pattern by clicking the image or link above or go straight to the download box at the bottom of this page to get it FREE for today … Continue reading

40+ Free Applique Patterns: Designs for All Occasions

free applique patterns

So what are appliqués anyway? Appliqués are shapes or letters with an adhesive on the backside so that they can be applied, using an iron, to everything from clothing, (think adorable initials on Children’s coats, for example) to pillows, to tablecloths. How to start? If you want to learn how to use these free applique patterns to make your own appliques, here’s a tutorial on the topic. Free Applique Patterns Roundup Hover over the picture to show the title, click to open, or right-click and open in a new tab to keep this page open too. And don’t forget to pin so everyone can enjoy!

15 Essential Tools for Your Beginner Sewing Kit

essential sewing tools

People who have never been interested in sewing before or who only practiced sewing as a hobby in their younger years may wonder what it takes to get started or get back into sewing.  Many of these prospective sewists often wonder what are the essential sewing tools that would make up the perfect beginner sewing kit?  And what’s the cost to stock up on these items to complete various projects? Below is a list of tools that can be considered “essential” for the beginner sewing kit.  They are the tools you want to learn the name of, have in your sewing box and learn to use if you want to try various sewing projects to see what you like doing. For your convenience only, each image links to the actual product on Amazon so you can check pricing compared to … Continue reading

How to make a bell sleeve top, a pattern transformation made easy

bell sleeve top

The focus of this tutorial is to teach you how to transform an existing pattern to adapt it to the bell sleeve top design.  It’s time to use the patterns you already have and learn how to alter them to come up with different outfits. This tutorial works best if you’re modifying the sleeves on the popular High-Low T-Shirt free pattern that we recently released.  However, if you’re more practiced in pattern alteration, you can do this with almost any top pattern.  You can download the pattern for the High-Low T-Shirt here if you’ve not done so already. I have chosen the bell sleeve style because it is very easy to make and it’s going to be trendy this spring. We’re going to look at two options of the bell sleeve design today.  The first is the classic, long bell … Continue reading