Easy Handmade Gift – Headband Tutorial

ch37 Headbands

Sometimes the funnest gifts to get are the little ones, those little stocking stuffers or the extra little something tied on top of the bigger gift. Headbands make a fast gift to make, and fun one to get. Pair a few headbands together with a cute set of earrings, and bam! A present to make any gal smile all year long. All you need to make your own is some strips of trim, ribbon, jewelry chain, lace, fabric strips…pretty much you name it can make a great headband. I make the headbands in my shop on the large side, specifically for a woman’s head. I really dislike headbands that give me a headache, so that’s another reason I make them on the larger side. You’ll have to decide how big you want yours. I cut my strips 18 inches long. For thin trims, I like to double the strands on … Continue reading

Easy sleeve variations for the tunic top for girls

Create easy sleeve variations

The Christmas season is just a prime time for needing to freshen the clothing situation for the family. There’s extra events to attend, Christmas pictures to take, cards to send out, and little people’s growth spurts to contend with. I chose to tackle this problem by delving into my overflowing fabric stash for some quick dresses for the girlies. I used the tunic top for girls tutorial I posted HERE, and simply added to the length. You can use that tutorial, or a pattern you already have, and simply switch up the look of it by changing the sleeves. I left one dress sleeveless and added a gathered sleeve to the other. Here’s how I used a regular sleeve pattern to make a gathered sleeve. I laid the pattern on the fold, at a diagonal. I left about an inch and a half gap at the top, and finished off … Continue reading

Easy Sweatshirt Refashion

Sweatshirt Refashion

So, let’s discuss…how was your Thanksgiving? Did the turkey brown properly and the pie set up like it should? Mine was a thankful one indeed, I completely escaped having to pretend like I know how to cook large fowls by acting as guest elsewhere. Friends are wonderful blessings indeed! Now, in light of the fact that we are all having to face the post holiday week ahead, I have just the thing to cheer you on your way. Cute clothes for way cheap is always a cheerful subject. Take these $5 sweatshirts I got this last week available at your friendly neighborhood super store for instance. Bland, boring, and obviously at a $5 fashion level…use a bit of persuasive power via the sewing machine, and voila! Five dollars has just landed you a cute new sweatshirt! Hmm why yes,  I could have actually ironed the thing at some point, but … Continue reading

Simple A line Skirt Sewing Tutorial

Basic Knit Skirt Tutorial

Do you know how to read a measuring tape? Do you know how to draw a straight line? Can you apply mild pressure with you foot? You can make this skirt! If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times…”I wish I could make stuff for myself to wear, you are so lucky.” Wishing never got anybody anything as far as I can tell, but trying certainly has! You can make yourself a really, really easy A-line skirt with some very basic sewing skills…as in, if you can make the machine go, you have plenty of skills to make yourself a skirt. You can make them long, you can make them short, you can make them flowy, you can make them straight…it does not matter. Grab some knit fabric and give one a try! I used some fabulous gold knit, which has a lovely little sparkle that doesn’t … Continue reading

20 Minute Window Treatment (minus the rod)

20 minute curtains without the rod chapter37

I’m really not into complicated projects. For one thing, nap times seem to be growing shorter by the day (why oh why do kids have to outgrow naps?! Sniff.). For another, I have too many ideas rattling around in my brain to stay focused for very long. So that brings me to the simplest curtain ever created….no curtain rod needed. I did have a floor length, rather elegant lace curtain in this bathroom….and then the toilette decided to have a bad attitude all over the floor one day. After I got through with the damage control, I decided elegance is highly over rated and created this cute little valence with ties instead….which conveniently comes no where near the floor. Go ahead toilette, do your worst, I’m prepared. (Really though, couldn’t you just play nice? It is the season of goodwill and joy all that stuff you know.) Here’s how you … Continue reading

Color Block Infinity Scarf Tutorial

how to make an infinity scarf chapter37

If I’m in an all fired rush to get dressed and out the door…it’s going to be a black and white outfit sort of day (just how many times a week that happens shall not be mentioned…). Painting a house? Black and white. Day dreaming about sewing color-block infinity scarves? You guessed it, just a touch of black with that white if you please. Does that qualify me for the most boring person on the planet? It’s quite possible. I prefer to think of it as having a well adjusted appreciation of color contradictions. You can always count on black and white to create striking affect. The black and white check flannel I used to sew this scarf was my downfall…I wasn’t planing on anything of the sort until I saw it. Sigh, oh fabric stores why must you tempt me so? Making one is very, very simple. You need two strips, … Continue reading

Dot to Dot Sewing – Tunic Top for Girls

Tunic Top for Girls

My children grow so randomly, I’m not sure if that’s normal? My four year old has been the same size for the last two years, and then all the sudden whamo! She’s suddenly a good three inches taller and nothing fits! Um kid? Can we do this growth thing gradually and consistently next time? It would make mommy’s life so much easier trying to clothe you, seriously. For the time being, little Miss thinks new handmade clothes are super special…so I’m running with it until she gets too trendy for my sewing abilities. She helped pick out the fabrics out of my stash, and supervised the process closely. This tunic top builds off the pattern I showed you how to make for the basic girls shift dress HERE. You’ll need to reference that to make this pattern. The pattern is all the same, except we are going to add actual … Continue reading

Dot to Dot Sewing – Basic Woman’s Top Tutorial

Basic Women's Top Tutorial

I can always count on the change of seasons to spin me off into a sewing mood. It’s time for the wardrobe to change, and that means this girl needs some new stuff.   OK, not really, but it’s a good excuse anyway. I despise clothes shopping with a passion. I’m tall and not exactly anywhere near the realm of petite, which spells royal pain when it comes to finding anything half way attractive to wear. Oh yes, and I’m cheap. This is why sewing is my saving grace. I mentioned before, that making your own patterns is easy if you think of it as a giant dot to dot picture. Measure out the dots, then connect them. If it works for a little girl’s dress (HERE), it will work for you! This is how you can make a basic shirt out of knit fabric. Woven fabric is just as easy, … Continue reading

How to sew simple lined curtains

How to sew lined curtains

I quite like a thing which can do two jobs at once. Lined curtains are handy like that. They add the finishing touch of a curtain, and when closed, they can keep out the sun just like a window blind. The little girls’ room window needed curtains for cuteness and for privacy. I made this set for about $8, much much cheaper than buying a set. (They are totally cuter than store bought ones too!) To make your own, you need to measure how long you want them (add 2 inches), and how wide (add one inch). You need a fabric for the outside ( the side that shows) and a fabric for the lining. Cut your fabric into rectangles, put the wrong sides together. Sew all the way around the edges…BUT you need to leave 3 inches on both sides un-sewn. The will be your curtain rod holes. I … Continue reading

Dot to Dot Sewing – Little Girl’s Basic Shift Dress (Part 2)

how to sew a shift dress

Welcome back to part 2 of sewing a little girl’s basic shift dress! (see part 1 HERE) I don’t actually think it’s possible for the big girl to make a semi-normal looking face whilst I try vainly for a decent picture. Ah well, at least she’s a willing and happy participant…unlike another little girl I could mention. Anyway, our last post was all about how to make the pattern for this dress, and today we’re going to put it all together. I wanted a full length dress for the miss, so I laid the pattern on the fold, and continued the lines to the desired length. I cut out both the front and the back, but I kept the scraps from cutting out the necks. This is my shortcut method for making a facing. You could certainly just put this together as normal, skipping the facings, and hem all the … Continue reading