So Sew Easy http://so-sew-easy.com Sewing, free patterns, sewing clothes and accessories Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:35:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Readers Questions – 5 http://so-sew-easy.com/readers-questions-5/ http://so-sew-easy.com/readers-questions-5/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=12399   Another round of Readers Questions.  New and not so new sewists with sewing dilemmas for you to give advice, guidance and solutions. Please leave your answer in the comments below.  And if YOU have a sewing question you would like answered, drop me a line using the Ask A Question link in the menu bar above. Readers Questions runs about once a month on the site, so if you have a pressing question that simply can’t wait – try posting on the Facebook page and see if anyone is online to help. Questions for this month   Desperate Mom asks: Can anyone tell me where to find extra large bra cup patterns with small band sizes? Please I am desperate! My 13 year old daughter was blessed with enough breast tissue for 4 people and hates it. I can’t … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Readers-Questions-Your-Answers

 

Another round of Readers Questions.  New and not so new sewists with sewing dilemmas for you to give advice, guidance and solutions.

Please leave your answer in the comments below.  And if YOU have a sewing question you would like answered, drop me a line using the Ask A Question link in the menu bar above.

Readers Questions runs about once a month on the site, so if you have a pressing question that simply can’t wait – try posting on the Facebook page and see if anyone is online to help.

Questions for this month

 

Desperate Mom asks:

Can anyone tell me where to find extra large bra cup patterns with small band sizes? Please I am desperate! My 13 year old daughter was blessed with enough breast tissue for 4 people and hates it. I can’t blame her since I have dragged her around to every department store, lingerie store, and specialty boutique in our area to try them on. She and I are both so frustrated that a size 30 J or something close is like finding a needle in a haystack. Even the lady at the specialty bra boutique measured her incorrectly and then kept bringing us bras that my daughter’s cups continued to “runneth over” to the point where she was in tears once again. She just wants a cute tween bra like all the other girls in gym class and I do NOT think that is asking too much. Please help.

Jackie asks:

This week on a TV series there was an attachment or foot demonstrated on a Baby Lock or Brother machine that  sewed in perfect circles.  Does anyone know – what was the name of that foot and where can it be purchased?
Thank you.

Rachael asks:

Do I really need a serger?  I see so many sewing bloggers and sewing patterns where a serger is used so I’m wondering if I should get one.  Can you tell me, what do you use yours for?  What is a serger good for doing, and where is it not really needed.  I mostly sew clothes and bags, the sort of projects you find on this site.

And if you do recommend one – what are the features I should look out for on my first serger?  Thanks.

Joan asks:

I’ve got a question about rotary cutters.  How do I decide what size to buy?  I can see they come in very small, at about 18mm to quite large at 45mm.  I’m assuming this is how wide the cutting disc is.  Why are there different sizes and how do I decide what size is right for me?  I’m not a quilter, I want to sew clothes for my grand-daughters, but find using scissors a bit difficult these days.

Rosayln asks:

I’ve just recently found out about reusable peripads (maxi pads) and can’t find a pattern for them.  I ran across a how to video from preciousstars.net but she does not have a pattern and I am to clumsy and impatient to try to figure it out on my own!

Do any of the readers have any links to suitable patterns or tutorials, or have any tips or advice for sewing this sort of product?

Val asks:

I recently made an Elsa dress (Frozen character) which my grand daughter was ecstatic about. However one sewing section I am still not happy about is the point at the bottom of the bodice.  It sticks out.

The bodice comes down to a point in the center and joins into the gathered skirt which is shaped to match, but the point sticks out.  I unpicked it and made it lie flat by changing the point to a softer curve, but I’d love to know how to fix this for the future.

Val

 

Thank you everyone for sharing your advice.  Till next month….

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Fancy reusable market tote bag http://so-sew-easy.com/fancy-reusable-market-tote-bag/ http://so-sew-easy.com/fancy-reusable-market-tote-bag/#comments Sun, 19 Oct 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=12811 My guest post over at Little House Living this month is for this reusable market tote bag. It has a vinyl bottom to make sure the bag lasts and lasts and doesn’t get worn or poked through in the bottom like my usual reusable bags from the supermarket. My favorite thing about this bag – the lovely handles. Nice and soft to carry a heavy bag full of groceries but strong and attractive at the same time. Drop on over to Little House Living to take a look and make your own. There’s a video too.

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My guest post over at Little House Living this month is for this reusable market tote bag. It has a vinyl bottom to make sure the bag lasts and lasts and doesn’t get worn or poked through in the bottom like my usual reusable bags from the supermarket.

My favorite thing about this bag – the lovely handles. Nice and soft to carry a heavy bag full of groceries but strong and attractive at the same time.

Drop on over to Little House Living to take a look and make your own. There’s a video too.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Fab Felt Holiday Crafts class review and discount http://so-sew-easy.com/fab-felt-christmas/ http://so-sew-easy.com/fab-felt-christmas/#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 11:00:27 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11448 Oh no, it’s that time of year again.  Have you seen places are already counting down to Christmas, the shelves are starting to fill with all of our festive favorites and if you are organised, you might already have started some of the shopping.  But as a crafter or sewist, do you feel even more pressure to come up with ideas for gifts and seasonal decorations too? If you get organised soon enough, time need not be the major pressure, but I find that coming up with ideas can be.  Especially for the smaller, quicker projects.  So to get me in the holiday spirit and give me some much needed Christmas inspiration when its still sunny outside, I signed up for the Fab Felt Holiday Crafts class.  It’s so much fun!  An oldie but goodie. As usual, I asked Craftsy … Continue reading

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Great ideas for fab felt holiday crafts - and big discount off the class

Oh no, it’s that time of year again.  Have you seen places are already counting down to Christmas, the shelves are starting to fill with all of our festive favorites and if you are organised, you might already have started some of the shopping.  But as a crafter or sewist, do you feel even more pressure to come up with ideas for gifts and seasonal decorations too?

If you get organised soon enough, time need not be the major pressure, but I find that coming up with ideas can be.  Especially for the smaller, quicker projects.  So to get me in the holiday spirit and give me some much needed Christmas inspiration when its still sunny outside, I signed up for the Fab Felt Holiday Crafts class.  It’s so much fun!  An oldie but goodie.

Review of the Fab Felt Holiday Crafts class and a great discount.

As usual, I asked Craftsy to give the So Sew Easy readers a nice discount on this class in return for my review, so you can enjoy this one for 33% off – just $9.99.

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Get your 33% off the Fab Felt Holidays class

Discount exclusive to So Sew Easy readers.  If you like the sound of this class and want to find out more, please use this link to claim your 33% off the class price - just $9.99.

Here’s my over view of the class.

Fab Felt Holiday Crafts with Betz White

Here are the projects covered in the class:

  • Felt tree ornaments – 4 different types of origami inspired ornaments
  • Penguin wine sleeve
  • Poinsettia brooch or gift topper
  • Felt gingerbread houses
  • Mini Christmas trees
  • Multi-colored festive garland
  • Felted wool slippers

A word about materials.  Betz teaches us how we can make our own high quality felt from thrifted sweaters and she uses this felt in some of her projects, namely the wool slippers and the mini Christmas trees.  I’ve been here in Cayman over 7 years now and can’t think I have ever seen anyone once wear a sweater, so my visit to the thrift store turned up not a single one.  But the rest of the projects are made in regular felt you would find at the fabric or craft store.

Lesson 2 – fab felt ornaments

Review of the Fab Felt Holiday Crafts class and a great discount.A variety of cute felt ornaments made using origami techniques.  There are a variety of finishing techniques including gluing, hand stitching and machine stitching.  Betz shows us how they can be combined to make one much larger snowflake ornament too.  These would all be great scrap busting projects for small felt leftovers and also a great rainy afternoon craft for the kids to make too.  I can imagine these all strung together in a garland too – very cute.

Lesson 3 – character wine sleeve

Review of the Fab Felt Holiday Crafts class and a great discount.

I am loving this penguin idea for a wine sleeve.  My suggestion would be to add a bottom to the sleeve, because I’m worried the bottle might fall out the bottom but its a really nice way to add a bottle to a gift basket or to give to your host for dinner, or to add some festive cheer to your drinks at home.

Review of the Fab Felt Holiday Crafts class and a great discount.

The course materials also include the pattern and instructions on how to make this Santa bottle cover too.

Lesson 4 – Poinsettia Brooch

Review of the Fab Felt Holiday Crafts class and a great discount.

This might be one of my favorites in the class.  This poinsettia could be used in lots of ways; table decorations, tree decorations, a big brooch on a thick winter coat, embellishment for a bag, gift topper etc.  You can make it just in felt or create some of the petals double sided by bonding the felt to a festive fabric.  Very nice idea.

Lesson 5 – Felted Wool Slippers

Review of the Fab Felt Holiday Crafts class and a great discount.

Created using old sweaters turned into felt, if you live somewhere cold, or where wearing silly Christmas sweaters is a tradition in your family, then you’ll probably love these wool slippers to make.  There’s a pattern included for the plain ones, as well as this cute reindeer slipper idea for kids (or big kids).

Lesson 6 – fab felt gingerbread house

Review of the Fab Felt Holiday Crafts class and a great discount.

This house is absolutely adorable!  So much beautiful detail really set this far, far above other examples I’ve seen. Again, the full pattern is included and Betz shows us step by step how to make it.  It is a bit more involved and would take more time than some of the other quick projects, but this is something you could get out year after year.  Why not make a whole matching village, each slightly different?

Review of the Fab Felt Holiday Crafts class and a great discount.

Lesson 7 – Felty Fir Trees

Review of the Fab Felt Holiday Crafts class and a great discount.

My absolute favorites from the class.  A basic cone shape is constructed (there are 2 sizes) and then felted sweater ribbing is snipped and wound around before decorating with felt balls or jingle bells.  I love this look SO much.  Shame I can’t get any sweaters, but it might also be worth giving this a try with regular craft felt.  A light spray of glitter over the top makes it sparkle for your mantle display.

Lesson 8 – Scrappy Garland

Review of the Fab Felt Holiday Crafts class and a great discount.

So now you’ve made all the other projects, what do you do with all the small pieces of felt left over?  Time to make a scrappy garland!  Made with little bells, purchased felt balls, simple small squares and easy felt pom poms, it’s another fab felt holiday decoration for your home or your tree.  I was sorely tempted to make this one, but then I looked at the price of felt balls – wow, they’re pretty expensive, especially in the larger sizes.  But if you want something special, something handmade and that can stay in the family for years, then its worth it. Who do I know who can smuggle me a suitcase of felt balls to the Cayman Islands?

I think I’ll make the felt ornaments from the earlier lesson and string those together for a garland with my scrappy pieces.

In summary

This class is lots of fun and can give you lots of creative ideas for the holiday season.  Plenty of the projects are suitable for doing with the children, and all of them will create finished projects that can be cherished for years to come and used over and over again.  Except maybe the felted slippers, I don’t expect they’ll last for years!

The projects use a combination of sewing and gluing and none of them are difficult.  The felt gingerbread house will probably be the one that takes the most time to make because of cutting the shapes but the tip she gives for using freezer paper even makes that quick and easy too.

With the exclusive discount making this class just $9.99 – its a bargain!

Opt In Image
Get your 33% off the Fab Felt Holidays class

Discount exclusive to So Sew Easy readers.  If you like the sound of this class and want to find out more, please use this link to claim your 33% off the class price - just $9.99.

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Written by Deby Coles

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Make Pom Pom Pillows http://so-sew-easy.com/make-pom-pom-pillows/ http://so-sew-easy.com/make-pom-pom-pillows/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:00:49 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11829 I dare you to say it out loud and only say it once. “Pom Pom Pillows, Pom Pom Pillows” Darn, I enjoyed wandering around the house chanting Pom Pom Pillows nearly as much as I enjoyed making them. These were a breeze to make and yet they look pretty nice I think.  I always love the look of damask style prints, and wanted some smaller accent throw pillows (cushions for the UK readers) to go in the bedroom.  Black and red are my husbands favorite colors together, and I think this combination looks classy but a little sexy at the same time  A small black and white accent pillow goes with anything and can tone down some other wild colors. Materials: Luxury look fabrics, cotton damask prints, satins, velvet, silk ! Pom Pom trim  Snap tape A little light interfacing … Continue reading

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Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.

I dare you to say it out loud and only say it once. “Pom Pom Pillows, Pom Pom Pillows” Darn, I enjoyed wandering around the house chanting Pom Pom Pillows nearly as much as I enjoyed making them.

These were a breeze to make and yet they look pretty nice I think.  I always love the look of damask style prints, and wanted some smaller accent throw pillows (cushions for the UK readers) to go in the bedroom.  Black and red are my husbands favorite colors together, and I think this combination looks classy but a little sexy at the same time ;-)  A small black and white accent pillow goes with anything and can tone down some other wild colors.

Materials:

  • Luxury look fabrics, cotton damask prints, satins, velvet, silk !
  • Pom Pom trim 
  • Snap tape
  • A little light interfacing for the snap tape opening
  • Zipper foot

I got my trim and tape from Pacific Trimming.  [Special offer - 10% off for So Sew Easy readers at Pacific Trimming - use code SoSewEasy.]

How to make Pom Pom Pillows

[Please excuse the dodgy photos in this post.  Trying to take photos of simple black and white seemed more than my camera could cope with!]

Pin the pom pom trim to the right side of your pillow cover front, matching the edge of the trim with the raw edge of the fabric.  The pom poms face in towards the center.  You’ll need to curve the trim a little to wrap it around the corners, but better to curve it round than to fold it I found, or you’ll end up with your pom poms a bit bunched up.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs.  Love the idea of using a velvet too.

Simply overlap a little at the start and finish, trimming off any extra pom pom to make them even.

Baste the trim in place within the seam allowance.  I found this was a better approach rather than have the trim move about between the layers later on.  You can baste with your regular presser foot.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs.  Love the idea of using a velvet too.

Set the front aside for now and let’s work on the back.  I made mine with a snap tape closure across the back so I could get my insert out for washing the cover.  It’s very easy to do and creates an easy to use cover without fiddling with zips.  I have an earlier tutorial on how to add in snap tape to a pillow back – find it here.

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

Once the back is completed, you can simply trim the back a little if needed to match the front and them place them right sides together, matching up corners and raw edges.  Pin in place.  Because the pillow back already has an opening with the snap tape, we don’t need to leave any kind of gap for turning and can sew around all 4 sides.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs.  Love the idea of using a velvet too.

However, because of the little pom poms, to get up close, you’ll need to use a zipper foot.  Sew slowly so that you can feel the edge of the tape as you go with your finger.  This tape has pretty little scallops along the edge and I wanted to show those so I tried to sew just inside that edge.  Because the edge of the trim is even with the edge of the fabric, I could just line up my presser foot, set the needle and sew knowing it would be even all the way around.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs.  Love the idea of using a velvet too.

Rather than pivot and make a square at the corners, I did curve the seam to match the curve in the trim.  Once it was sewn on all sides, I used my overcasting stitch to neaten the seams and prevent fraying.  It’s my favorite way to neaten seams that aren’t really going to show – read more about overcasting here.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs.  Love the idea of using a velvet too.

Open up the snap tape across the back, turn the cover the right way and add your insert.

And that basically is all there is to it!  One very nice looking Pom Pom Pillow with just a few straight lines of sewing.  It really is all in the nice fabric you choose and the pretty trim.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs.  Love the idea of using a velvet too.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.

I made a second one with another black and white damask style print and added in a ruched band of the first fabric just to co-ordinate the two together.  Again, a few lines of straight stitching, a little gathering and it was only minutes to make this one too.

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.

So if you are looking to sew up some throw pillows, try adding some pom pom trim for a very quick and easy way to make them look a little more fancy with not much effort.  Want to add a little extra interest with some texture to your pillows like the ruched panel?  Check out my review of the Sewing Texture Class for some fabric inspiration!

 

Pin Me

Make luxury bedroom pillows with pom pom trim and snap tape backs. Love the idea of using a velvet too.

Looking for damask print fabrics?  Here is a selection, including the larger print one I used above.  All fabrics available at time of writing, sorry if you see something you love and it goes out of stock.  You can click the picture – they are links –>

Image Map

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Lots of new content coming up http://so-sew-easy.com/lots-new-content-coming/ http://so-sew-easy.com/lots-new-content-coming/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 11:00:13 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=12413 I was recently reviewing all of the comments and requests on the readers survey from earlier this year to see how much I was getting done.  The simple answer is – not enough!  Naturally we’ve all got different interests and in sewing there is a HUGE range of things you can be interested in, an infinite number of projects to sew, a never-ending array of sewing tips and techniques to try. Try as I might, although I am bursting with ideas, I simply can’t get content out on the site quick enough despite working as fast as I can – I’m only human.  Every week, almost every day, someone will write and ask, can you do me a pattern or tutorial for a ……..  I’d love to be able to say YES to everyone, but there is only so much … Continue reading

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PicMonkey Collage

I was recently reviewing all of the comments and requests on the readers survey from earlier this year to see how much I was getting done.  The simple answer is – not enough!  Naturally we’ve all got different interests and in sewing there is a HUGE range of things you can be interested in, an infinite number of projects to sew, a never-ending array of sewing tips and techniques to try.

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Try as I might, although I am bursting with ideas, I simply can’t get content out on the site quick enough despite working as fast as I can – I’m only human.  Every week, almost every day, someone will write and ask, can you do me a pattern or tutorial for a ……..  I’d love to be able to say YES to everyone, but there is only so much time a person has in a day.  Then it dawned on me – there is a limited amount of time ONE person has in a day – so if you need more time, you need more people!

So who do I know that sews, that can help me out?  Well hello – only about a gazillion people I’ve ‘met’ online from other sewing blogs.  Yes, there are apparently other sewing blogs out there – of course you shouldn’t look at those, everything you need is here ;-)

meme

A fresh perspective for the future

So I asked if anyone would be interested in helping me out with some sewing projects, and I’m delighted to tell you that some of my favorite sewing bloggers answered my call for help.  Starting soon, you’ll see even more great content on the site.

We’ll be getting on average, one article per week from someone else other than me for a change.  Someone with perhaps a different set of skills, different sewing interests and experiences, and new tips and tricks to share with you, and access to much better fabric shops than I’ve got!

Contributors

Here is a sneak peek of the ladies who’ll be keeping us all entertained with their ideas.  Some might be familiar to you, perhaps some not.  Every time you get an article from one of the site contributors, they’ll have a brief bio about themselves at the bottom and a link through to their contributor page where you can learn more.

I’m very excited to be able to bring some new content and some new fresh sewing ideas to the site, and hope you enjoy learning more about the hand-picked team and they share their sewing tips and a little bit about themselves.

Of course you don’t get rid of me that easily – I’ll still be sharing all the stuff I make each week, and now these ladies will be raising the bar and I’ll have to try to keep up !

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Handy sizing reference sheet http://so-sew-easy.com/handy-sizing-reference-sheet/ http://so-sew-easy.com/handy-sizing-reference-sheet/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11757 I was just working on something this week to pin up next to my sewing machine as a handy reference sheet, when I actually came across something that was already made and I didn’t need to work on it at all. I almost feel like it’s cheating. Like buying something at the store instead of sewing it! But let’s face it, they have a design team, I have a very old version of Photoshop that I don’t know how to use very well.  I think they win. This handy reference includes: Precuts – sizes and descriptions Fabric terminology Standard US mattress sizes Standard quilt sizes (I should have paid heed to this when I made my first ever quilt) Recommended batting sizes So if you are thinking of making a quilt or bed spread of some sort, crib sheets, a … Continue reading

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Handy guide to sizes for popular pre-cut fabrics, plus standard mattress and quilt sizes.

I was just working on something this week to pin up next to my sewing machine as a handy reference sheet, when I actually came across something that was already made and I didn’t need to work on it at all.

I almost feel like it’s cheating. Like buying something at the store instead of sewing it!

But let’s face it, they have a design team, I have a very old version of Photoshop that I don’t know how to use very well.  I think they win.

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This handy reference includes:

  • Precuts – sizes and descriptions
  • Fabric terminology
  • Standard US mattress sizes
  • Standard quilt sizes (I should have paid heed to this when I made my first ever quilt)
  • Recommended batting sizes

So if you are thinking of making a quilt or bed spread of some sort, crib sheets, a mattress cover – these will all come in useful.

Want to know what a jelly roll and a charm pack is, and how many pieces or yards of fabric each might typically contain?  This handy reference sheet is for you!

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Download from here

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How to install bag feet – 2 styles http://so-sew-easy.com/how-to-install-bag-feet/ http://so-sew-easy.com/how-to-install-bag-feet/#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=12065 I’m always looking for ways to make my homemade bags looks more professional and although it does increase the cost, adding hardware such as clasps, feet, grommets, sliders, straps, rivets, studs and handles really does make them look great. Today I’m looking at a couple of examples of bag feet and how we can easily install them. Both of these examples came from Pacific Trimming. There is one you are probably more familiar with, the flattened cone shaped ones with the long prongs, and another that you don’t see as often but are actually very versatile, these dome shaped ones with a screw fitting. Let’s have a look at how we can use them. How to install Bag Feet – Do you have a ‘firm bottom’ ? Firstly, in order to install the bag feet, you need a bag with … Continue reading

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How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use themI’m always looking for ways to make my homemade bags looks more professional and although it does increase the cost, adding hardware such as clasps, feet, grommets, sliders, straps, rivets, studs and handles really does make them look great.

Today I’m looking at a couple of examples of bag feet and how we can easily install them.

How to install bag feet, with prongs and with screw fittings.  Other ideas for how to use them.Both of these examples came from Pacific Trimming. There is one you are probably more familiar with, the flattened cone shaped ones with the long prongs, and another that you don’t see as often but are actually very versatile, these dome shaped ones with a screw fitting.

Let’s have a look at how we can use them.

How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use them

How to install Bag Feet – Do you have a ‘firm bottom’ ?

Firstly, in order to install the bag feet, you need a bag with something in the bottom other than just fabric. This usually makes a flat and reasonably stiff bottom to the bag, makes it more hard-wearing and gives the feet something to go through, other than just the fabric.

What you use depends either on what is called for in the pattern, or just what you can get locally.

Options:

  • something stiff, light and fairly thick like a foam core board
  • something a little more flexible and thinner, like a Plastic Canvas
  • a regular piece of thick and stiff cardboard, corrugated or even a couple of pieces of cereal box glued together if your bag is already quite sturdy

Adding the firm base to your bag

Whatever type of base you are using installation is usually the same.  Measure how big you need the base, both measuring the width and the length.  The base material usually sits at the bottom of the bag between the outer fabric and the lining so it doesn’t need any finishing, although you could add a layer of fleece for a bit of a plush feel.

How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use them

I’m installing a foam core base to my bag so I’ve measured both of the seam lines and cut my base to size.  (Better to cut it a little big than too small, you can trim it later.) Push it down into the bottom of the bag, and where you have the boxed corners, pull the seam allowance up and fit the base tightly between the corners.  Trim it a little if you need, to get a good fit.

How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use them

If you want to add a little padding, you can place or glue a piece of fleece on top.  No need to do anything else, the bag feet will hold it in place.

The traditional bag feet with prongs

These have long prongs and so can be used with any of the options for the base of the bag.  As with most of the hardware, they come in a variety of colors to suit the style of the project and the fabric being used.  These are usually very inexpensive and easy to find.  Installation is easy too.

How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use them

Measure and mark on the bottom of your bag where you want the feet to be.  Now firmly hold the base in place against the fabric and use a tool to punch through both the fabric and the base at the same time.  I’ve got one of these pointy sharp X-acto knives, so if you use the same, be very careful not to get blood on your bag!

How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use them

Push both prongs all the way through the fabric and the inner base, and then open up the prongs in opposite directions to hold the foot in place.

How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use them

It’s best to punch through and fit one foot at a time in case things shift around with your punching.  So fit one, check things haven’t shifted, punch again and fit the next. A quick and easy way to add a really nice touch to your bag.

How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use them

The screw in studs

You’ll also see these screw in studs sold as bag feet, and yes these can look really nice.  They are usually of much better quality than the ones with prongs, have a great shine and are more hard wearing.  However, they don’t have the same long prongs, just a small screw and therefore cannot be used with a very thick base.

How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use them

Installation is pretty much the same.  Mark your holes, punch the first one.  It won’t need to be as wide as for the prongs, but will need to be more round, so pop the point of you scissors through and give them a turn to make a hole in your thin base if you need to. (Obviously not your ‘good’ scissors!)

How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use them

From the inside, poke the screw though the hole and match it up with the foot on the outside.

How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use them

Turn the screw to tighten and your swanky foot is completed.  Repeat for the others.

How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use them

Alternate uses

These screw in studs can be used in other ways on your way, not just as feet.  If you look closely at the Zipper Top Tote bag, it uses ready made handles, but see how those handles have studs on them – looks nice right.  We can use the screw in studs on our own handles too.

How to install bag feet, different types and where else to use them

Here’s an example of a regular fabric handle which has been given a bit of pizzazz with a stud pushed through and secured on the back.  Looks good with vinyl and leather handles too.  These studs look great as a design feature on your bags and don’t just have to be hidden on the bottom as bag feet.

 

Sew your own bags and add hardware for a really smart look

Here are a few examples of bags you can sew that look great with purchased hardware.

PicMonkey CollageExpanding Nautical Tote Bag
Zipper Top Tote Bag
Turning Japanese Bag
Carry All Bag

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Written by Deby Coles

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Scrappy reversible Halloween table mats http://so-sew-easy.com/scrappy-halloween-table-mats/ http://so-sew-easy.com/scrappy-halloween-table-mats/#comments Sat, 11 Oct 2014 11:00:16 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11030   Halloween is a great time of year to have friends over.  Costumes optional, although with some of our friends, it’s sometimes hard to tell! Whether you are having a full-on party, just a few friends over for nibbles or a family dinner, it’s fun to put together a Halloween table setting.  I’ve been making a few things to share with you. Bargello Style Halloween Table Runner My Bargello-style Halloween table runner tutorial is being featured over at GYCT today as part of their 31 Days of Halloween series.  There is my usual video and a tutorial on how to make this reversible table runner. I’m using the same Jelly Roll today to make matching table mats, although in a different design. Scrappy reversible Halloween Table Mats These mats are quick and easy to make and a fun way to … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Great way to use jelly rolls or scraps for a scrappy look. Love the silhouette applique on the back.

 

Halloween is a great time of year to have friends over.  Costumes optional, although with some of our friends, it’s sometimes hard to tell!

Halloween compilation

Whether you are having a full-on party, just a few friends over for nibbles or a family dinner, it’s fun to put together a Halloween table setting.  I’ve been making a few things to share with you.

Bargello Style Halloween Table Runner

Bargello style quilted Halloween Table Runner. Great idea to try out bargello patterns.31daycontributorMy Bargello-style Halloween table runner tutorial is being featured over at GYCT today as part of their 31 Days of Halloween series.  There is my usual video and a tutorial on how to make this reversible table runner.

I’m using the same Jelly Roll today to make matching table mats, although in a different design.

Scrappy reversible Halloween Table Mats

These mats are quick and easy to make and a fun way to use the rest of your Halloween Jelly Roll.  Make them any size you like, place mat size, coasters or even another table runner or something long and thin for your Halloween mantle display or entry table.  The basic process is the same.

 

Gather together your materials.  You will need:

  • Moda Eerie Jelly Roll or 2.5 inch strips of Halloween fabrics
  • Orange, purple or other Halloween color for the reverse and binding
  • Black or dark purple for the silhouette
  • Fusible fleece or batting
  • Heat N Bond or other fusible web
  • Large spooky silhouettes
  • Optional - quilt basting spray

Download your spooky silhouette shapes here

Opt In Image
Download the Spooky silhouette shapes

You can download these these spooky silhouette shapes to use as appliques for the back of your place mats or table runner.  Set includes 5 images, witch, pumpkin, cat, haunted house and bat.  Each prints on a single sheet of paper.

You can also go directly to the download by clicking HERE if the button doesn't work for you.

Cut your fusible fleece or batting to the size you want your finished project, or just a little larger, say 1/2 inch extra on each side.  Decide on the strips you want to use and the order you want to use them.  Cut them just a little longer than the width of your placemat.

Great way to use jelly rolls or scraps for a scrappy look.  Love the silhouette applique on the back.

Lay down your first strip on the edge of the fabric, face up.  If using fusible fleece, keep the fusible side to the reverse.  Lay your second strip of fabric face down on top, overlapping the first piece, but offset and slightly skewed for a more interesting and scrappy look.  Sew through all layers following the edge of the top strip.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Open up the fabric and quilt several lines of stitching through your first fabric, following and parallel to the seam line you just sewed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Add another strip on top, off-setting like before and stitch it in place.  Quilt the second piece of fabric following the seam line you just sewed.  Repeat this all the way across the piece until you’ve covered the whole piece of fleece or batting.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Great way to use jelly rolls or scraps for a scrappy look.  Love the silhouette applique on the back.

Trim all sides to square up and neaten.

Cut your fabric for the back so that it is one inch bigger all around than the scrappy piece.

Great way to use jelly rolls or scraps for a scrappy look.  Love the silhouette applique on the back.

Trace your applique silhouette onto the Heat N Bond fusible web and roughly cut around it.  Follow the manufacturers instructions to fuse it to a dark fabric such as black or a dark purple.  Then cut around your shape and fuse it to the backing fabric.

Placemats 4

Use a blanket stitch, satin stitch or your favorite decorative stitch to secure the applique.  You can learn LOTS more about creating with fusible applique in the Fun with Fusible Applique course (see my Oliver the Owl Pillow).

Placemats 5

Now fuse the scrappy part centrally on the backing with wrong sides facing.  If using batting instead of fusible fleece, you can spray baste in place.  Turn in 1/2 inch and press on all sides.

Placemats 6

Hand or machine stitch the binding into place.  Give everything a final press and admire your scrappy table mats with silhouette Halloween applique.  They go just perfectly with the matching table runner and what’s more, I’ve still got more than half of the Jelly Roll left!

Great way to use jelly rolls or scraps for a scrappy look.  Love the silhouette applique on the back.

Great way to use jelly rolls or scraps for a scrappy look. Love the silhouette applique on the back.

What are you making for Halloween?  Share your links in the comments below.  All welcome!

Download your spooky silhouette shapes here

Shapes

Opt In Image
Download the Spooky silhouette shapes

You can download these these spooky silhouette shapes to use as appliques for the back of your place mats or table runner.  Set includes 5 images, witch, pumpkin, cat, haunted house and bat.  Each prints on a single sheet of paper.

You can also go directly to the download by clicking HERE if the button doesn't work for you.

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Written by Deby Coles

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Baby changing mat pattern – two options http://so-sew-easy.com/baby-changing-mat-pattern/ http://so-sew-easy.com/baby-changing-mat-pattern/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 11:00:10 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11120   Babies will soon be popping out everywhere so my sewing for all the new babies continues.  There’s one thing I know, when they aren’t sleeping / feeding / screaming, babies are pooping.  One of my expecting friends showed me the changing mat she used first time round and just told me – it’s just so big.  I don’t need all these pockets and things, all these bells and whistles.  Just make it simple and small enough to carry about, but big enough at the same time. And it needs a wipe clean inner surface. So I made one, and although it’s great and is already on its way to a new home, I wanted to make one that closed up even smaller so I made a second version too.  Here is the pattern and brief instructions for both. Making … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Baby changing mat. Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

 

Babies will soon be popping out everywhere so my sewing for all the new babies continues.  There’s one thing I know, when they aren’t sleeping / feeding / screaming, babies are pooping.  One of my expecting friends showed me the changing mat she used first time round and just told me – it’s just so big.  I don’t need all these pockets and things, all these bells and whistles.  Just make it simple and small enough to carry about, but big enough at the same time. And it needs a wipe clean inner surface.

So I made one, and although it’s great and is already on its way to a new home, I wanted to make one that closed up even smaller so I made a second version too.  Here is the pattern and brief instructions for both.

Making up the baby changing mat pattern

You will need:

  • 1 yard of fabric total – all the same or mix and match prints
  • Piece of vinyl – 12 x 24 inches (optional)
  • Low loft batting or fusible fleece – 12 x 24 inches
  • Ready made bias tape or make your own from 1 fat quarter
  • The pattern – download below
  • Closures – sew on velcro or button and elastic loop
Opt In Image
Download the Baby Changing Mat Pattern

Download your Baby Changing Mat pattern pieces and instructions here.  The pattern can be downloaded from my design account at Craftsy.  

If you have any trouble downloading, opening or printing the pattern, please see this post - How to download PDF sewing patterns.

Option 1 – satchel style with handle

 

Baby changing mat.  Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

This bag is a little more open and loose in style than the second.  It has a carrying handle and the pockets are placed at the bottom of the bag for easier access when you have a wriggling baby on there.  But because of the lower pocket placement it doesn’t wrap up as tightly as option 2 below.  Pick which one you like best – both are made from the same pattern, and instructions for both are included in the download.

Download the pattern and check out the fabric sizes needed.  Assemble the pattern piece for the top shaping. If you are making your own bias binding tape – start with this.  You will need approx 4 yards if you use it efficiently.  A little more is better. You can find tutorials on how to estimate, make and use bias tape on the tutorials page.

Easy to follow steps for making continuous bias binding tape from a square of fabric. No more fiddly sewing strips together. Continuous bias binding calculator. Work out how much you will get from a square, or what size square you will need. How to turn sharp corners with bias binding

Start by assembling the pockets.  Fold the fabric in half press. On the smaller pieces, trim the folded edge with your bias tape.

Match the raw edges of the smaller piece with the larger piece, at the sides and bottom.  The pocket front is slightly wider so at the center bottom, create and pin a small pleat.  Keep your pins away from the edge so you can sew past them, and then add your binding along the bottom and the two long sides.  Repeat for the other pocket and set them aside for now.

Baby changing mat. Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

Make your handle.  Fold the fabric in half length-ways and press, then fold each side into the center and press, and fold again through the middle to get 4 layers.  Once pressed, open out at the ends and fold the center fold back the other way so the raw edges are on the outside.  Stitch with a 1/4 inch seam at each end, then turn right sides out again and turn out the corners neatly.  Stitch all around the outside of the strap close to the edge.

Baby changing mat.  Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

Use your pattern piece to place the strap on your outer fabric.  Leave a 1 inch gap from each side seam, and place the strap butting up to the bottom of the pattern piece.  Pin in place and then stitch a 2.5 inch long rectangular box over your previous lines of stitching to hold it in place. (If you are using a fusible fleece, apply this to the outer fabric before sewing on the handle.)

Baby changing mat.  Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

Press the fabrics for the main body of the mat.  All the fabrics are cut unshaped to start with and layered before cutting.  Place the outside fabric face down.  You can either use a fusible fleece on this fabric for a little padding, or a layer of low loft batting. Then add your inner fabric face up.  If you are using a vinyl for a wipe clean finish, add this as the top layer.  Match up all the edges and either pin in place (within the seam allowances so you don’t pierce the vinyl), or use your Wonder Clips.

Baby changing mat. Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

Use your pattern piece to shape the sandwich at one end.  Place the pockets now so they’ll be sewn in with the binding.  For option 1 – the pockets were placed at 2 inches up from the bottom edge.  Place them so the pocket front (the short side) is face down on the mat when folded.

Baby changing mat. Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

Apply your bias tape all around the edge of the mat, catching and enclosing all raw edges and securing the pockets in place.

Baby changing mat. Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

Once everything is sewn, its time to add your wipes and diapers and fold up the mat.  Once you are happy with how you have it folded and made sure the handle is at the top, mark the placement of your velcro.  Match up the pattern in the fabric if you can for a cool look. Stitch it in place making sure the soft fuzzy part is by baby’s head and the rough scratchy side is on the outside.  Completed!

Baby changing mat. Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

Option 2 – the clutch style

Option 2 is almost the same, uses the same pattern etc, but has some small variations.  See which one you prefer.

Baby changing mat. Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

  • Make the pockets the same.
  • Don’t add the handle to the outside
  • Pin the pockets at 3 inches down from the top corners

Baby changing mat. Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

When adding in the bias tape around the outside, make sure to slip a short piece of elastic or a hair elastic at the center top underneath the binding.  Or, you can still close this one with Velcro – it’s up to you.

Baby changing mat. Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

Add your wipes and diapers to the pockets and fold up the bag.  With the pockets in the upper position, it folds up much tighter and creates more of a clutch.  If using Velcro, mark where to sew on both pieces.  If using the elastic and button, mark where your button will go.

Baby changing mat. Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

Sew on your velcro, or your button, close up your clutch and go.  Oh, and don’t forget the baby.

Baby changing mat. Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

I’m already working on a third one of these and am thinking of adding some kind of wrist strap or hanging strap.  What do you think?  And which option do you prefer – 1 or 2?

 

Opt In Image
Download the Baby Changing Mat Pattern

Download your Baby Changing Mat pattern pieces and instructions here.  The pattern can be downloaded from my design account at Craftsy.  

If you have any trouble downloading, opening or printing the pattern, please see this post - How to download PDF sewing patterns.

PIN ME FOR LATER  –>

Baby changing mat. Several different styles and options in the same pattern.

 

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Written by Deby Coles

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Half circle wrap skirt pattern – the sewing http://so-sew-easy.com/half-circle-wrap-skirt-pattern/ http://so-sew-easy.com/half-circle-wrap-skirt-pattern/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://so-sew-easy.com/?p=11928   If you’ve found this article, then hopefully you’ve already drafted your custom-fit wrap skirt pattern. If not, don’t worry, you aren’t far behind. You can go back to the pattern drafting post here or simply download these instructions which include the drafting and sewing all in one document for you to keep. Here’s the wrap skirt pattern we are going to sew. It has a front and back and a third panel which wraps over the front. Fitting is easy because it ties at the waist so even if you add or loose a few pounds, this skirt will still fit just fine.  You might just want to move the button. Features: Custom fit wrap skirt pattern Can be made in any size and length Nice and soft and flouncy Quick to sew How to cut out your fabric. … Continue reading

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Written by Deby Coles

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Cute half-circle wrap skirt pattern. Looks easy to sew and fun to wear.

 

If you’ve found this article, then hopefully you’ve already drafted your custom-fit wrap skirt pattern. If not, don’t worry, you aren’t far behind. You can go back to the pattern drafting post here or simply download these instructions which include the drafting and sewing all in one document for you to keep.

Opt In Image
Download the half-circle wrap skirt instructions

Download your Half-circle Wrap Skirt instructions here.  The instructions for pattern drafting and sewing can be downloaded from my design account at Craftsy.  

If you have any trouble downloading, opening or printing the pattern, please see this post - How to download PDF sewing patterns.

Here’s the wrap skirt pattern we are going to sew. It has a front and back and a third panel which wraps over the front. Fitting is easy because it ties at the waist so even if you add or loose a few pounds, this skirt will still fit just fine.  You might just want to move the button.

Cute half-circle wrap skirt pattern. Looks easy to sew and fun to wear.

Features:

  • Custom fit wrap skirt pattern
  • Can be made in any size and length
  • Nice and soft and flouncy
  • Quick to sew

Cute half-circle wrap skirt pattern. Looks easy to sew and fun to wear.

How to cut out your fabric.

Pattern pieces usually come with a grain line, but a circle skirt, or any part of a circle is different because one edge might be on grain but every other part of the skirt is then off grain – because it’s a circle.  So in theory, it doesn’t really matter where or how on the fabric you place your pattern piece.  But let’s keep it simple and put one side of the piece along the grain, or parallel to the fabric selvage.  Because the piece is a quarter of a circle, the other straight edge will then go directly across the fabric, perpendicular to the grain, and the rest of the skirt will be off grain, along varying degrees of bias.

Directional print

Give a little thought to fabric design when you consider buying fabric for this skirt.

If your fabric has a one-way-up design then it’s only going to be correct at one point and at other points it will be off, eventually 90 degrees off.  So designs with small prints that can do in any direction look best, or solids of course, or swirly patterns.  However, you can try stripes.  Stripes take on a strange curve when used on a circle skirt panel and it can look very groovy.

How much fabric do I need?

Circle skirts, whether half, 3/4 or full circles all take up quite a bit of fabric because of the size of the piece and the way they have to be laid out.  Best to make up your pattern piece and measure it, then draw yourself a quick sketch of how it would be placed and work out how much fabric you’ll need.  Assuming a fabric might be 54 inches wide, any skirt much longer than 16 inches probably won’t fit two full pieces across the fabric.

Fabric layout

You’ll probably need a fabric layout similar to this one, so you’ll probably need about 2.5 times the larger number from your custom-fit pattern.  As a rough guide.  If you use a rolled hem instead of facings, you’ll probably have enough left over to use in another small project.

Let’s sew the wrap skirt pattern

1 – cut out your main fabric pieces – a front and back and the 3/4 width wrap section. (Remember that when you made your pattern, you marked off a quarter of your piece,  Fold this in to cut the wrap section.) Be careful in handling all these pieces because we don’t want to stretch out the bias angles too much and get things distorted.

2 – time to think about the bottom hemline.  It’s really hard to turn up a hemline on a circular skirt the ‘regular way’ because the outer edge is longer than the inner edge you are turning into so the fabric won’t lie flat.  So there are typically two ways.

  • sew with a teeny tiny rolled hem using a special rolled hem foot plus lots of tiny pressing and burned fingers.  See a rolled hem tutorial here if that appeals to you!
  • use a hem facing and enjoy a very neat wide hem. It’s still quite a bit of work, but less fiddly.  I’m using this method on my skirt because I like to see a wide hem on non-stretch skirts and I think it will hold those lovely curves better.

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

If you want to make the wide hem, follow this tutorial on adding a wide hem to a circle skirt using a hem facing, and cut your 3 facing pieces from your fabric.

3 – with right sides together, sew the two full pieces along the side seam using the seam allowance you set when you calculated your pattern.  Then decide which way you want your skirt to wrap and sew on the 3/4 piece along the side seam.

Circle wrap skirt

4 – press and neaten your seams as you go.  I’m using an overcasting stitch on mine, you use whatever is your favorite seam finish.

Cute half-circle wrap skirt pattern.  Looks easy to sew and fun to wear.

5 – if sewing a rolled hem, stitch this now.  If using a hem facing for a wider hemline finish, stitch your facing pieces together, add them to the skirt and follow the instructions on how to create a wide hem on a circle skirt.

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

6 – on each of the vertical seams, turn in 1/4 inch and press. Turn in another 1/4 inch and press again to hide the raw edge.  Stitch to hold the seam in place matching the bottom corner carefully at the hem.

Cute half-circle wrap skirt pattern.  Looks easy to sew and fun to wear.

7 – time for the waistband.  Cut yourself a piece of fabric 3 inches wide by three times  (or more) the length of your waist measurement.  So if your waist is 30 inches, cut a piece 3 by 90 inches.  You may need to sew two pieces of fabric together to get the length you need.  Always better to be too long and able to shorten it later, but not so easy to add more if its too short.

8 – wrap the long length around your waist, cross it over and tie it on the side.  This is how the waist band will sit once finished so now we need to match up the skirt to it correctly.  Get your skirt and wrap it around as if you were wearing it, and pin the skirt to the tie at each of the loose ends.  Untie and remove the skirt.

Cute half-circle wrap skirt pattern. Looks easy to sew and fun to wear.

9 –  straighten everything out and with the right side of the tie facing the WRONG side or inside of the skirt, pin the tie to the waist of the skirt all the way between the two pins.  You may need to just adjust your original pins a little to get the skirt and the tie fabric to both lie flat – that’s OK.  Pop on your skirt and tie it, just to check you’ve got it about right.

Cute half-circle wrap skirt pattern. Looks easy to sew and fun to wear.

10 – with a 1/2 inch seam, stitch the tie to the waist of the skirt all the way from one edge to the next.  Press the seam allowances up towards the top of the skirt.  Then press in 1/2 an inch along both of the long edges of the tie.

Cute half-circle wrap skirt pattern. Looks easy to sew and fun to wear.

11 – turn the waist ties towards the right side of the skirt, turning under the raw edge, and pin so that the edge just covers the line of stitching from earlier.  From the front, stitch close to the edge all across the front of the skirt.

Cute half-circle wrap skirt pattern. Looks easy to sew and fun to wear.

12 – pin the tie in half from one end to the other, folding in 1/2 inch at each of the short ends.  Top stitch across the short end and then along the double edge to close it until you meet the skirt panel.  Repeat from the other end.

Cute half-circle wrap skirt pattern. Looks easy to sew and fun to wear.

13 – try on your skirt and check the fit.  If you like, you can just wear it like this, but it’s usual to add a button on the inside just in case of tie failure!  See where the side seam of the skirt meets the wrap front.  Sew a buttonhole on the end of the inner piece. (See here for how to sew a buttonhole with your machine.)

Cute half-circle wrap skirt pattern. Looks easy to sew and fun to wear.

14 – sew a button facing IN at the right place to get a comfy fit at your waist. (See here for how to sew a button on with your machine.)

Give your skirt a final press, wrap and wear.  The half-circle shape gives it a nice light and flouncy style, but there’s still enough wrap that you can feel comfortable you won’t be giving anyone any unintentional flashes.  Unless you want to of course :-)

Cute half-circle wrap skirt pattern. Looks easy to sew and fun to wear.

 

Opt In Image
Download the half-circle wrap skirt instructions

Download your Half-circle Wrap Skirt instructions here.  The instructions for pattern drafting and sewing can be downloaded from my design account at Craftsy.  

If you have any trouble downloading, opening or printing the pattern, please see this post - How to download PDF sewing patterns.

Pin Me

Cute half-circle wrap skirt pattern. Looks easy to sew and fun to wear.

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Written by Deby Coles

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