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 so 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

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

How to transform a sweater into a cardigan: free video tutorial

transform sweater into cardigan

This is a tutorial on how to refashion and transform a sweater into a cardigan.  Just in case you got a sweater stashed away in the closet that’s been unused for many years or even decades.  Or maybe someone close to you gave you one Christmas but you are not the sweater type and prefer cardigans –this simple procedure to transform a sweater into a cardigan will help you along. We have been talking a lot about ways to save money and reuse or refashion clothing in many of our recent posts, so it’s about time we start getting to work and using the things we have around the house instead of buying more fabric or, even worse, more clothes. I will be using this sweater I was given for Christmas this year.  While I love it, I also live in the … Continue reading

Faux fur scarf to complement your winter outfit

fur scarf

I have been traveling recently, so this is a short and sweet tutorial on how to make a cool and practical faux fur scarf to fight off the winter cold.  This scarf will not only keep you warm this winter, but it will also be a stylish and trendy addition to your wardrobe all the way through to spring. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have noticed the statement of the season is a furry “something” hanging from your body or handbag.  I am a practical person, but I do like trends.  They can be fun to follow and if you can make them yourself, you’ll save a bundle and only pay a fraction of the price of buying something trendy in a store. Fur is everywhere this season.  It shows a very feminine touch without being … Continue reading

Double welt pocket with flap by the butterfly method

double welt pocket with flap

The double welt pocket with flap using the butterfly method is a really easy and contemporary technique to make a pocket and attach a flap at the same time.  I have already showed you the five lines technique that is used mostly on thin fabrics.  This new technique using the butterfly method works well on both thin or thick fabrics.  It can even be used on leather and suede as well as with thick wools and cashmeres coats. I was told by a reader in a comment that the correct name for this pocket is double piped besom pocket or pound pocket.  Prior to 1962, all the tailoring books called this type of pocket by that name.  However, no contemporary tailoring book I was able to search in used the term double pipe besom pocket or pound pocket.  I think the language has … Continue reading

Three ways to make an easy tassel

easy tassle

Here are three ways to make an easy tassel.  Tassels have been made and used for centuries from the times of ancient Rome until today as ornaments, embellishments, and decorations.  They were often viewed as symbols of power and prestige.  Today, they mainly just make things like our handbags and curtain holdbacks look better.  I learned a lot about the history of tassels which I’ll write about in the future, but today I wanted to show you these simple techniques to make an easy tassel. Using the leftovers from our recent projects, there should be very little shopping to do.  I had a few beads left from the fabric cover beaded necklace.  The hessian threads are from the fringed table runner from a couple weeks ago. The first tassel illustrates the most common way to make tassels.  These sort of tassels are commonly used … Continue reading

Small fur tote, a sweet gift for the holidays.

small fur tote

This is a quick tutorial on how to make a small fur tote.  Christmas is approaching fast and my gift list is looking rather daunting, so I need projects that I can accomplish in a couple of hours rather than a couple of days.  I notice little fur things everywhere –as decorations on the Christmas tree, as trimming on clothes and shoes, scarves, vests.  The possibilities are many and I think a small fur tote would be a great gift and an easy project.  So I came up with this design and pattern that I would like to share with you. If you enjoyed our last project with faux fur making a winter hat, then you’ll enjoy this small fur tote project as well.  This tote is really easy and fast to make.  It is both a perfect accessory and also … Continue reading

Winter hat with faux fur trimming tutorial

knitted hat

A winter hat with faux fur trim will be the perfect accessory for those cold winter days ahead.  The amount of fur you will need is very little, which makes this the perfect project if you have never worked with fur before.  This is a super cool and adorable winter hat.  I promise you that it will make a very nice present for Christmas or a great accessory addition to your wardrobe. I am using ribbing fabric for the cap and the brim, but this is the perfect opportunity to upcycle an old sweater that you do not like and transform it into a winter hat.  No fur for the band? No problem, use fleece instead. Key Features: Elegant fur trim framing the face Perfect hat for a day on the snow, sky lodge hangout or a windy day Casual yet elegant … Continue reading

How to make a double welt pocket using the 5 lines method

double welt pocket

I am going to show you how to make a double welt pocket using the traditional, but simplified, tailoring method called “five lines”.  There are a few ways to make a double welt pockets, this is just one of them.  Before we get started, let’s make sure to define our terms.  So what is a “welt” anyway?  According to the dictionary, a welt is: Our double welt pocket has “welts” on both sides of the opening.  You’ll be very familiar with this style of pocket since it is commonly used on men’s and women’s tailored jackets, light weight hoodies, light coats, slacks back pockets or the inside of pockets in the lining of jackets.  Unfortunately, this technique isn’t suitable for very heavy fabrics or situations where you have to match a design such as stripes. There are a few ways to make … Continue reading