mommyhood tutorials


Keaton Hat Pattern || Very Shannon

Merry Christmas my friends! I hope you are all having a wonderful and special holiday season. 

I'm not officially back at work till January 6th but couldn't resist popping in with those infamous year in review roundups. It was fun to sit back and look at the blog over the last year. I put together a wee roundup of all the patterns I released this year - both free & paid! For both sewing & knitting! I couldn't have done it without all of your loyal support so thank you so much!


Keaton Hat Pattern || Very Shannon
The Keaton Hat shown in child size. This pattern is available in sizes baby through to adult large.
Swift Hat Pattern || Very Shannon
The Swift Hat is great introductory knit into lace patterns! Fun and easy to memorize! Swift is part of the book JOURNEY but is also available as an individual pattern now as well.
Hannah Hat Pattern || Very Shannon
The Hannah Hat is made from super chunky yarn and is quick and fast to knit up! 

Dreiecke Hat Pattern || Very Shannon
Dreiecke was inspired by my love of HST's while quilting. This pattern is full of texture and is a fun knit!
Yarnster Hat Pattern || Very Shannon
The Yarnster Hat was named after my friend Arika. It's free, quick and an easy knit!


Barbara Cowl - Free Pattern || Very Shannon
The Barbara Cowl was designed for Sweet Georgia Yarns and named after my mom. It's so full of squish and comfort and knits up like a dream! It's also a freebie!
Lansbury Cowl Pattern || Very Shannon
Inspired by Angela Lansbury and Murder, She Wrote the Lansbury Cowl is full of fun twists and turns and is that perfect year round cowl.
Onward Shawl Pattern || Very Shannon
Onward is one of my fave pieces of the year. A shawl full of textural & directional stitches it's surprisingly easy to memorize and makes a great 1st shawl pattern. It's also from the book JOURNEY and is available now as an individual PDF pattern as well.
Camille Cowl Pattern || Very Shannon
Camille is cozy and unique cowl featuring a twist - it's own hood!
Emelia Scarf Tutorial || Very Shannon
The Emelia Scarf tutorial makes a great gift, first time sewing project and you get to draw your very own textiles if you'd like!
Jeni's Reversible Apron Tutorial || Very Shannon
Jeni's Reversible Apron tutorial is made only from fat quarters! It makes a cute stash project and is an easy sew!
Cate's Cowl Tutorial || Very Shannon
Cate's Cowl tutorial was one of my faves this year! Sewn using your fave knit fabric this cowl is not your typical infinity cowl - it features ruching on each end that's adjustable using ribbon ties! Love it!

Sally Dress Pattern || Very Shannon
I can't forget the Sally Dress! This vintage modern dress pattern that features a fully lined bodice, no closures, large pockets and sleeve options was a dream come true to release!
Antrorse Pullover Pattern || Very Shannon
Antrorse is my baby. My first knit garment design and also from the book JOURNEY. This pullover is such a pleasure to knit and also works up quickly. With a slimming silhouette and fun neck/pattern detail this is sure to be a staple in your wardrobe. It's now available as as an individual PDF pattern as well.
Sloane Jacket Tutorial || Very Shannon
Inspired by Ferris Beuller's Day Off the Sloane Jacket tutorial is also available.  Wish I could have worn this as a kid.


Embrace Baby Quilt Tutorial || Very Shannon
Last but not least the Embrace Baby Quilt tutorial! I adore this baby quilt that is made from those larger leftover pieces of your stash. It's a great first time quilt to have some fun with your quilting and practice some easy piecing.
Such a fun year! And to say thank you to all of you for all of your support and to ring in the new year please enjoy a special SALE!!!! 

Use code "newyear" to save 15% off my entire pattern collection!!!! Woot Woot!!!! You can find all my patterns here in my shop - Very Shannon. Coupon code valid through till January 2nd, midnight, PST.

*Coupon code is valid in my etsy shop, ravelry shop and my website

Happy new year's and here's to another year filled with creativity and making! See you in the new year!!!! May it be even more fun thank 2013! xoxo


Free Embrace Baby Quilt Pattern on

it's time for another beginners quilting pattern!!! the embrace baby quilt pattern is here!!!! 

i whipped up this bad boy in a few hours for the lovely tanis of tanis fiber arts for her new baby boy a few months ago. it literally has taken me from then to get pics and to hand sew my binding oh's that for a "better late than never" gift right? i loved making this quilt and it was a lot of fun to whip together. the whole idea is to "embrace" your stash. embrace those leftover chunks that don't really fit for anything else. turn them into a new quilt or play mat for that special wee one in your life!

Free Embrace Baby Quilt Pattern on

the embrace quilt is fast, fun and easy to make. it's a great introduction into quilting and and also whole cloth quilting.  i also got to go all willy nilly on my quilting which was extra fun!!! if you're looking for another great beginner's quilt pattern you can find my free Bella Collage Quilt Pattern here.

those lines aren't straight and they aren't supposed to be and i. loved. every. minute. of. it. 

Free Embrace Baby Quilt Pattern on

so don't worry about being a perfectionist this time round. casual disarray can be fun! let go of the straight lines and get a bit wonky. let your creative side take over. you could easily quilt this in any pattern you'd like. free motion, straight lines, curved whatever floats your boat with the fabric you're using. i really liked the idea of playing with the lines and the idea of mountains and bears. so some of my lines are straight (like the horizon) and the others are curved and rounded (like the forest hills/mountain slopes). i dig it and hope tanis does too.

keep reading for some more pics of this cozy quilt and the FREE pattern!

Free Embrace Baby Quilt Pattern on
Free Embrace Baby Quilt Pattern on
Free Embrace Baby Quilt Pattern on
Free Embrace Baby Quilt Pattern on
embrace your fabric leftovers...embrace the freedom to go wild with your quilting, and embrace that cute little baby when you're all done!

*Copyright 2013. All rights reserved For personal use only. 

 You will need various pieces of fabric to make your desired quilt size. I used the following:
- 1 piece of fabric 38"W x 42.25"H (this is your quilt top), this will be known as "A"
- 2 strips of fabric 38"W x 17"H (this is for your quilt backing), this will be known as "B"
- 1 strip of fabric 38"W x 9.5"H (this is for your quilt backing), this will be known as "C"

Fabrics Used: I've used Bear Hike Orange and Las Flores Mahogany from Camp Modern by Jay-Cyn for Birch Organic Fabrics, and an orange solid from my stash.

You will also need batting cut to about 3-4" bigger than your overall quilt size once sewn. My batting was 41"W x 45"H. I like to use cotton batting.

- quilting needle for your sewing machine
- basting pins (if desired)
- co-ordinating double fold bias tape to fit finished size of your quilt
- scissors
- coordinating thread
- hand quilting needle (if desired)



With right sides facing each other, sew one of your "B" pieces to the long side of your "C" piece. Press your seams toward the darker color. Repeat this step for your other "B" piece this time stitching it to the other long side of your "C" piece. This forms your quilt backing. *See diagram below.
Next your are going to do a wee bit of topstitching because you all know how much I love to  Topstitch along the the two center seams of your quilt backing close to the seam line. Press. *See diagram above.


We're now going to make your quilt sandwich so we can have some fun with quilting! Yay! You can find a great tutorial on one way to make a quilt sandwich here. Make your quilt sandwich as desired. This is a personal preference. I like to baste my quilt layers together using quilting pins. Feel free to make your quilt sandwich however you find is the most successful for you. There are many methods for doing this.


Now it's time for the fun part - quilting your quilt! I recommend using a quilting needle for your machine. It works better. I also have a walking foot on my Pfaff Ambition 1.0 and loooove it! This really helps make machine quilting a breeze.

When quilting I always start at the center and quilt my way outwards but you can feel free to use whatever method works best for you. I simply did random lines alternating between some sort of straight to some more curved like a gentle slop per se. No precision here this time! Whatever you do - have fun with it!


It's time to finish that quilt up and get our binding sewn on. You can choose to either make your own bias tape or you can use pre-made bias. I used pre-made. Here is a link to a "How to Sew Binding Roundup" I did all on how to sew binding. Lots of great tips and links here. Remember to trim your excess batting off and make sure your quilt edges are nice and even before sewing on your binding. My fave method is to machine sew down the first side of my bias and then hand sew the rest. It's very relaxing to curl up with your fave show on the couch with some tea, your lovely quilt and your sewing needle. It's soothing and very methodical.


This part is almost my favorite step of quilting. I love, love, love putting them in the wash.  Once they come out of the dryer it's like magic! The change is so fun and it's just the best feeling when it comes out all crinkly and soft with your stitches looking all purdy! If you're new to quilting you'll know what I mean once you do it. It's fun!

Free Embrace Baby Quilt Pattern on

Guess what? You're done! You did it!!! Whether it's your first quilt or you're a seasoned pro I hope you had fun embracing some of your stash! This quilt is economically friendly as well! I even used up leftover batting too! Wouldn't this look great along with our free Simpatico Pillow Tutorial? Adorable!

Free Embrace Baby Quilt Pattern on

Now I get to send this quilt off with love to a cute little boy to chew on, roll on, play on, burp up on and just generally cuddle with. Does my heart good :)

For more of our Beginner Quilting Patterns see our Free Bella Collage Quilt Pattern.

What fabrics would you use to make your Embrace Quilt from? Do you have a favorite way to quilt up your larger stash pieces? Don't forget to add your pics to our flickr group if you sew up an Embrace Baby Quilt! I'd love to see them!

p.s. a big thanks to my baby sister and nephew for letting me take over her gorgeous nursery to do my photo shoot.


cate's cowl tutorial on #sewing #knits

who's in the mood for a free tutorial? me! me! me! you're gonna love this one!

it was my bday in june and i splurged on some new workout outfits for myself and while shopping i came across a fabulous cowl that you could wear ruched or unruched - so fun!!! the cowl had channels running down either end of it allowing you to wear it in various styles. i was IN LOVE!

cate's cowl tutorial on #sewing #knits

since then i haven't been able to stop thinking about it and with a hefty price tag i decided to just whip one up for myself. once done i realized that i had to share because i have been wearing this cowl non-stop. and i mean non stop. it's so comfy and soft and versatile and....well i could just go on and on but i'll save your from listening so you have more time to sew one up for yourself.
 cate's cowl tutorial on #sewing #knits

the cowl is named after my lovely and sweet friend cate who is ever so stylish and always has the best outfits/shoes on. i only wish i was her size so i could steal them 

she was shopping with me that day and i had to get her to model it for you as well! i hope you all enjoy it as much as i do! this cowl really is the perfect accessory. xmas is just around the corner too and it sews up fast! so if  you've been scared of sewing with knits before now is the time to conquer it! this is a great project for practicing sewing with knits!

  cate's cowl tutorial on #sewing #knits
 cate's cowl tutorial on #sewing #knits

cate's cowl tutorial on #sewing #knits

you ready to sew with me? yahoo! let's get those knits ready!

cate's cowl tutorial on #sewing #knits
cate's cowl tutorial on #sewing #knits

Sew with a straight stitch suitable for knits with your machine. I like to go up about 2 numbers in length for my machine. You could also use a zig zag stitch or choose to do a zig zag stitch and a straight stitch together to reinforce it. You could also use an overlock stitch on your machine if you have one. And if you have a serger just use that :) I also recommend if you are sewing with a regular machine to use a needle for knits. Trust me on that one. It helps tons. You can use any of these methods in the tutorial below.


- 2 yds stretch fabric (I used a black tribal print that was a cotton jersey blend (it's sold out sorry) from
- coordinating thread
- stretch needle for your machine (optional)
- long pieces of ribbon or elastic (optional)
- rotary cutter with mat or scissors




Cut 2 strips of fabric 2"W x (height of your yardage) along the entire side edge of your fabric (I used my selvages for my ties). When cutting your fabric you should have your selvages running along the left and right side of your fabric. These pieces of fabric will be your ties for your cowl. *See diagram above.

Next fold your fabric in half width wise, right sides facing each other (bring your left side to meet your right side edge). Sew along this side edge with a 1/2" seam allowance. *See diagram above.

Next we are going to sew your unsewn ends together to form a cowl. These will now become the sides of your cowl. So lay your cowl out in front of you, with your center seam (the seam you just sewed) in the middle running left to right with right sides facing you. Your unsewn edges will now be on the left and right. *See diagram above.

Bring your unsewn ends together matching up the center seams on both of them together. Place a pin here. These will be RS facing each other. Now continue pinning your unsewn ends together. This will begin to form a circle. Don't worry about the rest of your cowl, just keep it out of the way for now. This process will help to keep the cowl 3 dimensional and not flat. Now stitch along where you pinned with a 1/2" seam allowance starting from where your center seams matched up, all along these unsewn edges until you can't sew anymore. This will form a circle when you are done. You will have an opening a few inches wide here that we will close up in a few steps. *See diagram above.

Now this sounds harder than it is. It's actually quite an easy step but I know a lot of people get stumped at this step. So for those of you who are visual here's a great video by the crafty gemini that you can watch to see how to sew this portion of the cowl. If you go to about 4minutes in you will see the process that I have just explained.


Now keep your cowl right side out. Sew along the left side of your side seam (the one you just sewed) with a 1" seam allowance taking care not to sew the other part of your cowl. This will create half of the channel needed for your ties. Repeat for the other side of the original seam. Then top stitch on top of the seam line of your side seam while also carefully folding under a 1/2" seam allowance for your opening that you had left open shut when you get to it. This will create 2 channels. *See diagram above.

Now find the center of the other side of your cowl. Sew a line down the center. Next sew two lines spaced 1" apart on either side of the line you just stitched. You will now have 4 channels in total - 2 running down each side of your cowl. 2 on your left side and 2 on your right side.

Using your seam ripper or scissors gently and carefully cut open the ends of each of your channels ONLY.

Attach a long safety pin to one end of your fabric ties (ribbon or elastic). Starting with one end of the channel feed it up and through to the other end, then feed back in starting at the top of the channel beside the one you just came out of. Feed it down that channel and out the other end.

I kept my 2 strips really long until after feeding them through my channels. Once feeding them through you only need the strips to be as long as your cowl is fully opened (not ruched). Trim them and stitch the ends of the strips together. Repeat this for your other set of channels. Trim your seam allowances nicely and pull the ties so the sewing seam is hidden inside the channel. Now ruche to your hearts content! *See diagram above.


The options are so fun here! Wear your infinity cowl long and single looped with no ruching, or pull the ruching for a different look entirely! Or switch it up and double wrap your cowl with the ruching or no ruching as well! Cate's Cowl is soft, cozy and like your best friend - there for you every day!!! So whatcha waiting for? Go make one....heck make 3! You'll wear them...I promise!

cate's cowl tutorial on #sewing #knits
cate's cowl tutorial on #sewing #knits

my knit fabric was purchased from girl charlee. if you're looking for awesome knit fabrics head on over and use code "LUVMOMMY" to get 10% OFF your order! coupon is valid until end of oct!

happy sewing! i hope you enjoy the tutorial! make sure to upload pics of your projects in our flickr group so i can see your lovely cowls! xoxox


Emelia Neck Scarf Tutorial

I'm so excited about today's tutorial! I've been dying to show it to you!

I'm also thrilled to be a part of the Color Your Summer Series again this year! I adore this series & Kirsten & Delia! I always get so inspired by Color Your Summer and if you're a reader of my blog you know I love color. I was super happy to get YELLOW as my color this year. I decided to go for something bright & bold and put that lovely yellow front and center.

Emelia Neck Scarf Tutorial

Recently I spotted looks from the Miu Miu Fall/Winter 2013 Fashion Show and fell head over heels for the neck scarfs the gals were all wearing (you can see pics of the show here and here). In shades of yellow and black with large bright polka dots on them - I was smitten!  So since my color is yellow I had some fun and drew my own design on some solid yellow fabric and made my own version of a fabric neck scarf. Since I think it's pretty darn awesome and a fun trend I don't mind seeing come back I thought it would be a fun tutorial to do for Color Your Summer!

 I rocked a mean neck scarf in my day ladies, and like hats - I love me a good scarf! Knit or doesn't matter...I'll wear it!

Emelia Neck Scarf Tutorial
Emelia Neck Scarf Tutorial


Emelia Neck Scarf Tutorial


- 1/2 Yard Fabric (I used quilting cotton) cut on the bias
- Matching thread
- Pins
- Scissors
- *Optional: Sharpie Fabric Marker

 *FUN OPTION: I chose to draw my pattern design onto my solid yellow fabric using Fabric Sharpies. It's a fun and creative way to add a bit of personality to your accessory! Find them at your local craftstores (I got mine from Walmart.).

Cut 2 pieces of fabric on the bias 40"W x 4"H. Cutting it on the bias will give your neck scarf a nice stretch to it. Here's a great link on how to cut fabric on the bias from the lovely dana of the blog made.
Fold your 40"L piece of fabric in half height wise (so your height is now 2") and then match your short ends up with each other. Cut your ends on a 45 degree angle. Repeat for your other fabric piece making sure all your ends are cut the same. See diagram above.

Place both of your neck scarf pieces right sides facing each other and pin along your unsewn edges and sew along the entire scarf (including your ends) with a 1/4" seam allowance taking care to leave a 1 1/2" opening in the center long edge of your scarf to turn your scarf right side out. See diagram below.
Trim your seam allowances taking care to clip the corners of your ends & point close to your seam (be careful not to cut into your sewing). Turn the neck scarf right side out and push out your corners so they are nice and crisp. Press neatly turning under your opening.  Pin your opening closed. Hand stitch the opening closed with an invisible stitch.

That's it! You did it! Easy, quick & makes a great gift too!

With your nice long edge standing crisply around the back of your neck, tie a small knot in front (not too tight) and center on your neck.  You're good to go! For added fun you could put the knot off to the side as well!  Wear this in the summer with a cute strapless top/dress or a white tee/tank, and pair in the winter with your fave new coat! Feminine, fun and so romantic!

Emelia Neck Scarf Tutorial
Emelia Neck Scarf Tutorial

Thanks for reading! I hope you'll join in with Color Your Summer and embrace your inner yellow! Go wild with it or just add a dash - no matter what just make sure to enjoy it and spoil yourself with a new accessory for the summer & winter!

A big thank you again to Delia for having me over on her lovely blog. Since I first started reading Delia eons ago I've been smitten. She's sweet, talented and such an inspiring mom. Thanks for having me luv & for being such a wonderful friend..xoxox!


head on over to delia creates to ready more color your summer fun!

what do you think? do you have a thing for all things scarves? would you rock a neck scarf? what a fun gift this would make too! what fabric would you use to make yours? let's chat ladies! coffee's on!


Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on

i love project bags. i love them almost as much as i love the stuff  i'm knitting and sewing in them.  i have tried making a few different versions of project bags now for my many wip's but i keep coming back over and over to this one style of bag.  it's my fave!  so after lots of requests since i sold some of these last summer at a fiber festival i finally got around to doing the tutorial for this reversible sock knitting project bag! yep - that's right, it's reversible!! weee!!!! more chances to use fun fabric! love it! and there is no hand sewing! love that even more!!!  it's easy, fast, fun and a great gift project to make.  you could easily whip a few of these up in one evening.

Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on
Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on

isn't it cute! i kinda want to hug them they are so cute. i think i have about 4 of them now in different fabrics.  you can surprisingly fit quite a lot into this small size too.  i have my sweater project in one at the moment and it's still fitting.  but if you would like a larger size (equally as cute, i have made those too) or even a jumbo (heck you could go smaller too), i give you instructions on how to do that below as well.

these little bags stand up great too. the square bottom is awesome for that. just remember if you are using a lightweight fabric to use interfacing on it to keep the stability of the bag or you'll get one that is a bit more floppy. now go recycle those ugly plastic bags, save your cloth tote for something else and give your knitting project a sassy new bag in your newest fabric crush of the moment! i promise it will bring a smile to your face and your knitty pals will all want one too <3

Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on
Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on
Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on

are you ready to get sewing?  this is a great beginner project but it's also a good base for an advanced sewer to go wild with piecing and sizing to create a custom bag suited to their tastes. 

Copyright 2013  All rights reserved.  This tutorial is for personal use only unless prior permission has been given.  If you are interested in handmaking & selling this item on a small scale basis please email me at for inquiries.


Bottom is approximately 5.5"W and height is approximately 7.5"H.

Want a different size?  You can easily adjust the sizes of this bag.  Simply choose a different overall square size for the bag (for ex. 16" x 16") and then to calculate the size of the small square corners you cut out you need to find 1/4 of the width of the fabric to be able to create a square bottom for your bag.

You can also customize the size of the upper & lower pieces as well if you are piecing your fabrics. Just remember that no matter what you piece together your overall height (after piecing/sewing your fabrics together) is 12" and your width is 12".  You could easily do a patchwork one, add more strips, or do vertical strips instead. It's totally up to you! Just have fun with it!

To make a knitting bag all in one print you will need:
- 4 pieces of fabric 12"W x 12"H (2 for your outer and 2 for your lining).
If you would like to make your bag with 2 fabric selections for your outer and lining like the one shown in this tutorial you will need the following:
- 4 pieces @ 12"W x 7.25"H (this will be the lower section of your bag)
- 4 pieces @ 12"W x 5.25"H (this will be the upper section of your bag)

You will also need:
- 2 pieces @ 12"W x 12"H of light-medium weight fusible interfacing. I used PELLON  931TD fusible midweight white interfacing. If you are using a mid-heavy weight fabric you may make it without it.
- ruler
- scissors and/or rotary cutter and mat
- coordinating thread
- removable fabric marker
- 1 yard ribbon, fabric or cording cut to desired length



Seam allowance is 1/4" unless otherwise noted.

 *Note: I am going to show you instructions on how to assemble a sock knitting bag that is pieced using 2 different fabric selections. If you would like to just use one fabric choice for your outer and lining please skip ahead to after the first paragraph.

Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on
Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on

Place 1 of your outer lower pieces right side facing 1 of your outer upper pieces and pin along your long edge.  Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press towards the darker of your colors.  Topstitch along the RS of your fabric along your seam. This makes a nice neat finish.  Repeat this step for the other 2 pieces of your outer bag and then repeat for all the pieces of your lining as well.  You should now have 4 - 12" x 12" squares ready to be sewn.

Iron on your interfacing to the 2 pieces of your lining bag.

Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on

Next you will mark and cut out a 3" square from the bottom 2 corners of all 4 pieces of your fabric.  Make sure these are nice and accurate.  Feel free to cut out a 3" paper square if you'd like a template.


Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on

With your 2 outer pieces right sides facing sew along your bottom seam (this is the fabric between your 2 square cut outs).  Note: If you have pieced your fabrics together take care here to match up your seams for a nice finish.  I like to pin from there first and then up and down. I find I would rather trim a bit from the top or bottom than have a messy seam lineup. 

Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on

Next sew along the 2 side seams.  Repeat this step for the other 2 pieces that will be your lining bag.

Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on

Press all your seams open. Now we are going to make those fun corners that allow the bag to stand nicely.  You will still have the 3" squares you cut out unsewn.  With your outer bag in your hand hold the corner bottom in your hand and pull apart the square so that the inner top corner of that little square is now lined up with same corner of the other piece of fabric. See photo above. This should create 1 seam you can sew along with a 1/4" seam allowance. Sew along that seam.  Press.  Repeat this step for the other corner of your outer bag and for both corners of your lining bag.  Your bag should now look like the image below.

Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on


Turn your outer bag inside out.  Keep your lining bag right side facing out.  Now place your lining bag inside your outer bag so the right sides are facing each other.  See image below.

Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on

We are now going to create the channel for the drawstring and also close up the bag.  Mark 1" down from the top edge of your bag.   Sew a line 1" down from this edge around the whole upper circumference of the bags leaving a 2.5-3" opening to pull your bag through. This will also be the opening for your drawstring to pull through.

Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on

Pull your bags right side out and nicely tuck the lining bag inside the outer bag.  See image above.  Press all along the upper edge of your bag so it's nice and flat.  Pin your opening closed.  Sew along the top edge circumference all around the bag this time with a 3/4" seam allowance.  This will finish your drawstring channel and close up the bottom of your opening. You now have a nifty pretty opening to pull your cord through without any hand sewing! Yay!!!!  I love this kind of top finish. It's easy, fast and looks great.


Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on

Attach a safety pin to the end of your drawstring. I like to use a soft off white tie cording (not sure if this is the correct terminology for this) most commonly used on pajama pants. If you do use this kind of tie you need to finish your ends. I simply fold over a 1/2" of the end and then fold again. I then sew down along the folded edge.

Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on

Now that you have your tie ready feed the safety pin end through the channel to the other side.  Open the bag up fully and make sure you have at least a 5-6" minimum on each end to be able to tighten the bag and tie a nice big bow :)  And that's it! You're done! Now go get your sock knitting on m'dears! Enjoy!

Copyright 2013  All rights reserved.  This tutorial is for personal use only unless prior permission has been given.  If you are interested in handmaking & selling this item on a small scale basis please email me at for inquiries. 

Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag Tutorial on

As always please share your finished project pics! We LOVE to see your handiwork! Add your pics to the comments below and/or add them to our flickr group!  Thanks for sewing with me!


- "scattered sand in warm grey" by lotta jansdotter
- a random turqouise solid i can't remember where i got from :P
- "gallop horse fabric" by katherine codega

Do you like knitting socks?  Are you always on the lookout for a new project bag? I can never have enough! So far this is my favorite one! It's almost as addicting as knitting the project in it!


Jeni Reversible Apron Tutorial from

It's Fat Quarter Gang time for Art Gallery Fabrics! I've got my newest project out today - The Jeni Reversible Apron Tutorial! As soon as I saw Jeni's fabulous line of fabrics - "Color Me Retro", I knew I had to figure out a way to make a fun new apron using fat quarters! I always have a hard time getting an apron to fit me right when they are store bought so I was very excited to make an apron just for me - the Jeni Reversible Apron Tutorial! Yay! It's always a good thing to spoil yourself a wee bit. I hope you will all join in and make one and spoil yourselves a bit too :) It's fun - I promise!

Jeni Reversible Apron Tutorial from

I love that this apron is completely comprised of fat quarters.  You can easily add more prints or take some away but you can do it all with fat quarters :) There's a bit of measuring & cutting involved but nothing too tricky. Overall it's a quick sew with some topstitching (my fave) and an interesting construction technique with the vintage inspired pocket strips on the apron skirt. Plus it's got long ties to make the perfect big bow! Who doesn't feel feminine with a pretty bow on their apron?  So next time you see the latest Art Gallery Fabric fat quarter bundles pop up online whip up a fun new apron!

Jeni Reversible Apron Tutorial from
Jeni Reversible Apron Tutorial from

Head on over to the Art Gallery Fabrics blog to get the full pdf tutorial!  Yeppers - that's right! You get a nice printable pdf for this one!
And in the meantime don't forget to enter here to win a fat quarter bundle of Color Me Retro!!!

||  THE PRIZE  ||
 - One lucky winner will win a fat quarter bundle of Color Me Retro from Art Gallery Fabrics!

||  HOW TO ENTER  ||
- Leave a comment to let us know when you have done ANY (or all) of the following:

-Follow Art Gallery Fabrics on your fav social media platform (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter)
and Subscribe to the Art Gallery blog to stay up to date on all thing AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang..ohhh..and lets not forget Flickr!

||  THE RULES  ||
- You must leave a valid email address in your comment to win.
- Giveaway open until March 29th, 2013, midnight, PST.

Have fun and happy sewing!  A big thank you to AGF for their awesome fabrics! I love this apron and cannot wait to see all the fabric combos & fun details you all come up with!

Jeni Reversible Apron Tutorial from
Jeni Reversible Apron Tutorial from


after recently taking part in film petit for one of my fave flicks of all time - ferris beuller's day off, i knew after having so much fun making my daughter's "sloane jacket" that i had to do a pattern for all of you!  this jacket is such a blast to make! it was probably the most fun sewing i've had in a long time!  the fringe, oh the fringe!  i heart it and my daughter hearts it too!  i hope you enjoy embracing your inner sloane and whipping one up for your little girl or heck - even for yourself! you could easily use the tutorial portion and draft up your own pattern pieces based on an existing jacket of yours.

i made this jacket to fit my daughter so it's roughly a 4/5T size.  she's a small little thing though just to give you a heads up for sizing.  i've written a tutorial for you all below and there is also pattern pieces you can download for the size 4/5T.  to see more pics of my sloane jacket and to read my film petit post click hereThis is a quick and easy sew with no seams at all whatsoever to finish! yes! using a soft fleece makes this kid friendly and also super simple to sew! a winning combo in my book especially since my daughter is super sensitive to what she wears.

*Copyright 2013 All rights reserved.  This tutorial is for PERSONAL USE ONLY.  Please do not sell items made with this tutorial unless permission has been given.  Thank you.Please email for more information.


- Approx. 1 yard soft fleece fabric
- Co-ordinating thread
- Washable fabric marker


- Click below for the pattern pieces for the Sloane Jacket.

 *Please set your printer to "no scaling" or "actual size" before printing your pattern pieces.

You will also need to cut out the following sized rectangles:
- (2) @ 8"W x 6"H (Sleeve Fringe)
- (2) @ 4.5"W x 8"H (Front Fringe)
- (1) @ 10"W x 8.75"H (Back Fringe)



*All seam allowances are 1/2" unless otherwise noted.


Print out your pattern pieces being careful that the sizing is accurate.  Be careful to also make sure that you have noted the RS and WS of your fleece. Mine is white and it can sometimes be a tad tricky to tell the difference if you're sewing coffee deprived or in dim lighting :)  Cut out your pattern pieces.  You should have the following:

(2) fronts, (1) back and (2) sleeves

You should also have (5) rectangles to make your fringe from (sizes are noted above in the materials section).  Do not cut your fringe until instructed too later in the pattern.  Make sure to transfer the lines on your front and back jacket pieces for where to sew your fringe (make sure whatever fabric marker you are using is ok for the kind of fleece you are using).

With your back piece and your left front piece RS facing sew along your shoulder seam with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Repeat for the back piece this time with your right front piece.  Trim your seam allowance.

Now fold your neckline (this should be your entire neckline meaning your 2 fronts and the back) down 1/4" and topstitch it for a nice finish from the RS.  *See illustration to the left.


Gather the sleeve cap in between the pattern markings by using the longest stitch length (or gathering setting on your machine) with no backstitching and a 1/4" seam allowance.  Leave a long tail after sewing and pull gently to gather your sleeve cap.  Repeat for your other sleeve.  *See illustration below.

With RS facing each other lay your sleeve on your jacket sleeve opening and pin in carefully adjusting your gathering to make sure it fits your sleeve opening.  *Option: You can also choose to baste (sew in with a 1/4" seam allowance & no backstitching) in the portion of your sleeve cap that is gathered to eliminate any shifting or moving of your gathering while you sew in your sleeve.  Sew your entire sleeve cap into the opening with a 1/2" seam allowance. Trim your seam allowance.

We are now going to sew your sleeve arm and the side seams of your jacket on the side you just attached your sleeve cap to.  First though you need to place (1) of your rectangles along your sleeve arm centered between the cuff & underarm, RS facing RS of front sleeve (you want to see the RS of the fringe when you look at the jacket from front on when you are done making the garment). Pin along sleeve seam (sandwiching the sleeve fringe piece inside) and side seam.  Next starting at the bottom corner of the side seam of your jacket with RS facing each other and using a 1/4" seam allowance stitch your side jacket seams with RS facing each other continuing up and along your sleeve enclosing your sleeve (also sewing your sleeve fringe piece to your sleeve) and sew along the length of your sleeve. *See illustration above.  Fold the bottom sleeve hem 1/4" and topstitch to finish sleeve.  Repeat the above steps for your other sleeve and for the other side seam of your jacket.


Hem the bottom of your jacket at a cropped length that is good for your child. I folded mine up 1/4" and topstitched along the hem.  Next fold your front sides under 1/4" enclosing your neckline and bottom hem underneath and topstitch this down as well close to edge. Trim all your seam allowances neatly.


Fold your back fringe piece in half.  Mark 4.25" down from top folded edge. Draw a line from this mark to the top opposite corner. Cut along this mark.

With your jacket RS facing up pin the back fringe pattern piece RS facing up on your back jacket piece along the pattern lines designating where to place fringe. Stitch along top edge of rectangle from one end to the other.  Lay jacket flat and cut your fringe evenly approx. 1/2" spacing for each cut.

Next take one of your front fringe rectangles and pin down on your left front side along the pattern markings.  Sew along the top edge of the rectangle.  Lay jacket flat and cut your fringe evenly approx. 1/2" spacing for each cut.  Repeat for the right side of your jacket front.  Your fringe length should just hit the bottom of your jacket.

Now using the same 1/2" spacing cut the fringe for your sleeves.  I did mine on an angle for fun going from short near the armpit down to a longer length before the sleeve cuff. 

That's it! You're done! So easy and fast right? Don't you love not having any seams to finish?  I hope you have fun with it!  If you have a child that is younger or older than a 4/5T size find a jacket of yours that's a similar shape and use it as a guide to make your pattern pieces. There are a lot of tutorials online showing you how to draft a pattern using an existing garment.

Try your new coat on your wee one and go rock out to "deunkeshein"! Tell Ferris and Cameron I say hi! Happy sewing!!!

p.s. if you make a sloane jacket please email me pics or add them to our flickr group! i love seeing your finished projects and so do my readers!

Patricia Infinity Cowl Tutorial & an Art Gallery Fabrics Giveaway!

It's Fat Quarter Gang time over on Art Gallery Fabrics today and I'm going to show you all how to make the Patricia Infinity Cowl using only 6 fat quarters! Woot woot!  It's a great beginner project to practice piecing and working in 3 dimensional forms.  I love making things that have multiple looks and living on the West Coast of BC in Canada means I wear a lot of cowls and layers.  The Patricia Cowl doesn't disappoint. With the option to have 3 prints/solids per side you can have a total of 6 different fabrics to show off! Hello! Fun!!!!!!!! It's warm, huge, and perfect with your fave jacket but could also easily be worn with a tee in the warmer months for some added flair!

Wear it single looped or double it up (my fave) the Patricia Infinity Cowl is sure to be your new fave accessory this winter.You can easily change up your fabrics by turning the cowl inside out and bam! - you have a whole new look!

When choosing my fabrics for my latest Fat Quarter Gang project I could not resist the lure of Pat Bravo's Rock N' Romance line.  I'm a gemini and love the play on soft and hard for this line. It appeals to both parts of my personality.  And since I'm always changing my mind about what color or vibe I want to wear this suits me perfectly.  I also think this cowl would be equally as fabulous in some bright solids.  That's next up on my list.  Art Gallery Fabrics (along with gorgeous prints) makes some awesome color palettes of solids and who can resist that darn pima cotton! The drape and softness is so amazing!

So go pick your fave new fabric crushes and let's get sewing your newest fave accessory!  Head on over to Art Gallery Fabrics for the whole tutorial in an easy downloadable PDF :) Perfect for that real last minute gift (this takes literally about 30-45mins from start to finish) or for some selfish sewing after the holidays. Go on....spoil deserve it!

Want to win some Rock 'N Romance of your own?


||  THE PRIZE  ||
- one lucky winner will receive a fat quarter bundle of Rock 'N Romance by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics.

||  HOW TO ENTER  ||
- leave a comment to let us know when you have done ANY (or all) of the following:
-follow Art Gallery Fabrics on your fav social media platform (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter)
and Subscribe to the Art Gallery blog to stay up to date on all thing AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang..ohhh..and lets not forget Flickr!

||  THE RULES  ||
- you must leave a valid email address in your comment to win.
- Giveaway open until January 4th, 2013, midnight, PST.

Have fun and happy sewing my friends!  A big thank you to AGF for their awesome fabrics! I can't wait to see the cowl fabric combinations you all come up with! And HAPPY NEW YEAR'S!  See you all in 2013! Woot woot!

p.s. big hugs & thanks to one of my besties jane richmond for being my lovely and gorgeous model.

A Very Bari Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial!!

christmas is right around the corner and for years and years i have yet to make or buy a christmas tree skirt.  this year it was time to change that.  first off, my tree skirt isn't round.  i'm digging it like that.  after putting together this christmas tree roundup i fell head over heels in love with the idea of a rectangular tree skirt.  something i could play with some quilting on and finally get to use the essex linen that i've been hoarding like a mad woman since the summertime.

when the fabulous bari j came out with her new line of fabrics - splendor 1920 i was sold.  fabric that was modern, yet classic with geometrics and girly, feminine florals and teapots - it was a line after my own heart. the gemini in me just swooned.  at xmas time i obsess with coffee, tea, treats, curling up under quilts by the fire and doing needlepoint or knitting....splendor 1920 reminds me of xmas.  it creates that vibe for me.  it's something that rings through in my home and even my wee ones right away loved the fabrics and have taken to curling up under the tree on it and pointing at tea pots. they know momma loves her tea and coffee and of course...her downton abbey.

the very bari christmas tree skirt tutorial is a great project for a beginner looking to to advance in their piecing and quilting skills and is also a great canvas for more advanced quilters to have fun with.  all the shapes (besides the circular opening) are either square or rectangular for simple and quick sewing and the quilting lines are all straight and mostly follow along your seam lines so it's easy quilting too!  just the way i like it right before the holiday gift making rush.  the tree skirt is a great size at 43.25"W x 38.25"H and my fave part is that even when the pressies will be under the tree parts of my skirt will still show.  it's soft, cozy and even the back looks great!  i fought the lighting in my condo the last few days with our dark, dreary coastal weather and don't have a shot of the back but it's all solid essex and the quilting patterns add some pizazz.  i gotta give a shout out to my mom who suggested the lovely diagonal line pattern for my 4 corner pieces.  they are my fave and i owe her one for that one :)

i adore the warmth that splendor 1920 lends to my tree that is mostly silver and blues with hits of turqoise.  i don't go for gold much for my tree and love that the soft creams in some of bari's print warm up my tree but don't conflict with the cool tones of the greys and blues.  it's a happy harmony for me and just what my tree needed to finish it off.  you might even see an ornament to go with it soon....

the very, bari christmas tree skirt tutorial features:

: : 6 page full color pdf pattern complete with clear & easy to understand step by step instructions with bright photos and digitally drafted diagrams

: : instructions for a finished quilt including the quilting pattern.

: : fabric requirements, notions needed

: : a fun quilting/sewing experience :)

the very bari christmas tree skirt tutorial is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD here:

the fabrics used in the very bari christmas tree skirt tutorial are:

Splendor 1920 from Bari J. for Art Gallery Fabrics
- Tea Delights Honey  - Nouveau Geo Coral  - Knotted Trellis Gold 
- Abbey Roses Blush  - Grandeur Bloom

Robert Kaufman Yarn-Dyed Essex Linen Denim

thanks for the fabric inspiration bari and for letting me use your name :)  you're awesome!

what do you think? do you make your own christmas tree skirt? is yours rectangular too?  let's chat sewing!  i've got tea on with a cup for you too :)

happy sewing and make sure to upload your pics to our flickr group or leave a comment below. i love to see what you're making and to hear from you!  i hope you enjoy making the tree skirt as much as i did!

Bella Collage Quilt Tutorial!!

i'm so excited to tell you all that we finally had some gorgeous weather here and i got the "bella collage quilt" photographed!! yay!!!! i heart this quilt.  it was such a fun one to whip up.  it's all about the fabrics on this one. i'm a huge fan of lotta jansdotter's work and fell head over heels for her new line bella.  i wanted something that was a great beginner quilt for all you fellow newbies but also something that let you have some wild fun with quilting if you were more experienced.  you know me...i'm all about a bit of wild fun :P

one of my main goals for designing the bella collage quilt was to enable the sewer to use 6 yards of fabric fully with minimal cutting.  i'm always looking for a way to use full yardage (i gotta thing for it) and i'll admit it...i suck at cutting.  so if i can't get a pre-cut bundle i tend to lean towards yardage and fun quilting to add some flair.  the finished size of this quilt is perfect for one adult. i'm all for that. i believe in selfish sewing these days and heck if my toes are warm and i'm all cozy and snuggled i'm happy.  when the hubs is out and i need a warm me up i go straight to bella now.  she keeps me nice and toasty.

i had the most fun with the layout of the quilting pattern for bella.  from far away she looks unquilted but if you look close - bam....tetris baby!  i wanted to highlight the outline of the blocks in the quilt front but also play up the 2 pieces on the back by splitting the pattern in half so to speak.  it enables a new quilter to jump in and make something that looks complicated but is fairly straightforward.  all straight lines (no curves). if you can sew straight lines you can make the bella collage quilt.

being a blogger i make collages a lot...and i mean a lot.  so the idea came to me when i was trying to figure out how to preserve as much of my yardage as possible to just make a collage.  i lurve it and it is going to be well loved by this momma in our little apartment.  i've been snuggling up with it non stop since i finished hand sewing the binding on and it really brightens up my sofa (which is definitely not as nice, or clean, as my friends whose is pictured above).

the bella collage quilt tutorial features:

: : 4 page full color pdf pattern complete with clear & easy to understand step by step instructions with bright photos and digitally drafted diagrams

: : instructions for a finished quilt including the tetris style quilting pattern.

: : fabric requirements, notions needed

: : a fun quilting/sewing experience :)

the bella collage quilt tutorial is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD here:

we had a blast photographing the bella collage quilt.  this is one of my fave places in victoria.  a beautiful lookout bluff that has 3 bright colored anorak chairs perched atop it.  when you sit there you feel as if you're floating in the air above the ocean.  it's one of my fave places to go and just breathe.  it reminds me how amazing this place is and how to not sweat the small stuff.  i can tell you that i needed it that day.  it ain't easy photographing quilts peeps. i freely admit i stressed with this one.  i wanted some shots that i could look back at and enjoy that weren't just for tutorial purposes.  something to document that moment and our little family.  i'm thankful the hubs & even the kidlets helped me out!  i adore the pics and i get relaxed and calm just looking at them.  i think one of these bad boys is going in a frame cause i need all the help i can get these days to just remember "to breathe".

so come, grab your fave quilt and a thermos of coffee and join me on the bluff...let's chat...and dream away an hour or two atop the ocean......
i hope you all enjoy this quick and easy quilt as much as i did. sometimes it feels good to whip something up that makes you feel fabulous that you adore that doesn't take months and months to make.  it was refreshing to just let my mind go and have some fun and just make what i felt like making and not worrying about how tricky or "new" it was.  i just enjoyed the whole process and i hope you will too.  so if you've been scared to try quilting now's the time to jump in.  i promise i'll hold your hand if you need it and i'll be here cheering you on!  you can do it...i know you can!

happy sewing from my home to yours!  xoxoxo  oh, and if you make one please upload some pics to our flickr group so we can all see your lovely quilts!  i can't wait!

what do you think? do you think you'll make one? what fabric line are you crushing on that you would use? i can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Indie Project Bag Pattern & an Art Gallery Fabrics Giveaway!

Yay! It's fat quarter gang day today!  It's my turn up for a project this week for Art Gallery Fabrics! I'm sharing my newest tutorial the INDIE Project Bag Pattern

Anyone who knows me knows that I always have tons of projects on the go.  I never go anywhere without at least one knitting/sewing project.  Along with my projects I always have my trusty journals to write and sketch more ideas in.  I even keep a journal beside the bed for ideas like the INDIE Bag when they pop into my head in the middle of the night.

The INDIE  Project Bag came to me late one night when I was laying in bed having trouble sleeping. Sometimes when I can't sleep I think about sewing or knitting and the methodology soothes me.  I was thinking of all the projects I have on the go and trying to schedule in my mind when I was going to get them all done.  I realized that in order to make it easier for me to transport a lot of my projects at one time to my weekly knit nights or meetings for upcoming projects I would need a bigger project bag.  Not just any project bag though. A simple tote just wasn't cutting it for me anymore. I wanted one with some attitude.  A bit of modern, a hint of retro and of course, some quilting goodness.

I knew I was going to be using Pat's new line Indie and I had been daydreaming that day about how much I loved the line.  All of a sudden visions of the dashes and angles from two of my fave prints in Indie popped into my head and the design of the INDIE project bag was born.  It's fun to make, a great project to practice your quilting/topstitching skills and just think of all the fabric and color combos you could use!!


Want to here/see more about the INDIE project bag and make one with me? 

Pop on over to Art Gallery Fabrics for more yummy pics and a fancy PDF download with pattern pieces! 

But don't forget!  One of you is going to be a lucky winner of a fat quarter bundle of Indie by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics!! Seriously one of my fave collections of the year. Yay!!!!  Here's the deets:

 THE PRIZE  - one lucky winner will win a fat quarter bundle of Indie by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics.

HOW TO ENTER  - leave a comment to let us know when you have done any (or all) of the following:

-follow us and Art Gallery Fabrics on your fav social media platform

(Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter) and Subscribe to the Art Gallery blog to stay up to date on all thing AGF & the Fat Quarter Gang..ohhh..and lets not forget Flickr!

THE RULES  - you must leave a valid email address in your comment or you will be disqualified.

- giveaway is open until September 28th, 2012.

Good luck, have fun and happy sewing!

Simpatico Pillow Tutorial & Baby Pressies

my baby sister is about to have her first baby any day now and for her baby shower pressie i decided to make the baby a duvet cover along with a matching pillow using one of my fave lines of the year "simpatico".  i also made her a boobie pillow.  yes, i call it a boobie pillow...that's what it is so lovingly referred to in our home...lmao.  anyone else call it that?? if not - you should :p  I'm determined to start a new trend.

on point and straws in colorway minty from simpatico by cloud 9 fabrics
i was over the moon when i spotted that the new line "simpatico" from cloud 9 fabrics was being released a few months ago and my sister and i had been anxiously awaiting it's arrival ever since so i could make the baby's bedding.  we knew the colors and print would be perfect for her nursery.  after making the pressies for her i'm now dying to do my own bedding with simpatico.  such a fabulous line of fabrics and oh so soft. cloud 9 fabrics are all organic and i swear this baby is going to be sleeping and eating in style :)  i'm a tad bit envious of it  we used the  prints "straw" and "on point" bedding in colorway minty for the bedding.

pearl bracelet in turquoise from outfoxed by lizzy house
for the duvet cover i simply did a zip closure on one end so she could pull it on and off for easy washing.  i made the booby pillow out of one of my fave prints - pearl bracelet in turquoise from the line "outfoxed" by lizzy house.  i can never have enough pearl bracelet in my house.  love it!  i used the pattern from lotta jansdotter's book "simple sewing for babies" to make the actual booby pillow.  this book is one of my all time faves and i use it constantly for baby gifts. i highly recommend it.

since my sister leans toward very simple and minimal designs for her fabrics the duvet cover was "on point " for the front and "straws" for the backing.  when she said i could surprise her with the pillow i have to admit it was hard for me.  i wanted to go nuts with this fabric and have some fun with it but i had to reign myself in and try to stay true to my taste but also hers as well.  i think i pulled off a happy balance.  it has a pop of fun on the front but it's still clean and simple.  i love it and thought you might all love it too.

i know a lot of you are just learning how to piece things and to customize things for your home and your clothing.  this is a fun little tutorial showing you how to piece your pillow front together based on the size of your pillow.  easy for customization and fun on style.  it's a quick sew and finishes really nicely with a few little touches.


Copyright 2012  All rights reserved.  For personal use only unless prior permission has been given.


- (1) piece of fabric (I used quilting cotton but you could use any type of light-med-home dec weight you would like) for the back of pillowcase the size of your pillow form + 1/2" for your seam allowance for your height and width.  My pillow form was 16" x 16" so I cut my back 16 1/2" x 16 1/2".
- (2) pieces of fabric for the outer columns of your front pillow case.  My pillow form was 16" x 16" so I cut my pieces to  6 1/4"W x 16 1/2"H to accommodate for seam allowances.
- (1) piece of fabric for the center column of your front pillow case cut to 5"W x 16 1/2"H
When you front piece is assembled your center strip will measure 4 1/2"W and your two outer strips will measure 6"W.
 - Scissors or rotary cutter/mat
- Co-ordinating thread
- Hand sewing needle
- Pillow form
- *Optional: light to medium weight interfacing if desired.

*How to calculate your measurements for a different sized pillow form:

The formula for calculating your measurements for a different sized pillow case would be to start by  taking your pillow form size which would be "A" and add you seam allowances to it which would be "B" and "C".  So:

A + B + C = D  so for my pillow my calculation was 16" + 1/4" + 1/4" = 16 1/2"  So my D (my overall width) is 16 1/2".

Next decide how wide you would like your finished columns to be keeping in my mind that they  have to equal your calculation for D when sewn.  My columns were to be 2 @ 6"W and 1 @ 4 1/2"W.

Now you have add your seam allowances again for the assembly of your front.  Your wider columns will be called "E", and your seam allowance "F".  To calculate how wide to cut your wider columns.  We would use the following calculation:

E + F= G so mine was 6" + 1/4"= 6 1/4"  This is how wide our outer columns will be.

To calculate our middle column you would simply take your desired finished width and add your seam allowance.  So "H" is your column and "I" & "J" are your seam allowances.

H + I + J = K so mine was 4 1/2" + 1/4" + 1/4" = 5".  I would cut my center column to be 5" wide.

Now let's check our math....

6 1/4" x 6 1/4" + 5" = 17 1/2"

which means once we sew those strips together with 1/4" seam allowances your total width would equal 16 1/2"! Yay! We did it!  You can  now apply this to any pillow form and also play around with it and have some fun.  You could easily add another column or change your widths around.



Cut and prep your fabric pieces.  If you would like a sturdier feel to your pillow & you are using quilting cotton feel free to use a light-medium weight interfacing on your fabrics for the pillow.  If you are using a medium/home dec weight you should be fine.  I used a quilting cotton and did not interface it as it was for bedding and I wanted a very soft drape for mine instead of your normal throw pillow.

Place your center strip right sides facing each other onto one of your side strips with the long edges matched up.  Stitch along your long edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.  *See diagram above.  If you aren't using a serger finish your seam off by either zig zag stitching your seam or trimming with pinking shears.  Press your seam allowance towards the darker color.  Now place the other long edge of your center strip right sides facing each other onto your other side strip lining up your long edges. Stitch along your long edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Finish this seam off as well.  Press your seam allowance towards the darker color.

With your pillow front right side facing up edgestitch down the outer long edge of your center strip as close to your seam as possible.  Press for a nice clean finish. *See diagram above.

Now place your front and back pillow pieces together, right sides facing each other.  *See diagram above. Pin around your entire pillow making sure to also mark where to leave yourself a 6"+ opening to put your pillow form in.  Sew along all 4 sides (but not closing your marked opening) with a 1/4" seam allowance.  *See diagram below. Finish off your seam allowances and trim your corners. 

Turn your pillowcase right side out.  Put your pillow form inside your pillow case and hand stitch your opening closed with an invisible stitch.  You're done! Great job!!!

There are lots of options for closures here as well.  You could easily add in a zipper closure if you wanted as well.  I originally intended to have a zipper closure but didn't have the right size left in my stash :(  Luckily my sister's pillow form is easily washable and she can throw the whole pillow in the wash.

HAPPY SEWING! Be sure to add your Simpatico Pillows to our Flickr Group here! I'd love to see what you make!!!  Feel free to email me at if you have any questions.

what's your favorite baby pressie to make?  have any of you made any projects with simpatico?  Aare you a lizzy house addict as well? let's chat ladies! it's monday and i've got sewing on the

The Greyling Tablet Case Tutorial

it was my lovely pal mandy's (of sugar & candy handbags) birthday a few weeks ago and i knew i wanted to spoil her.  i posted the business card holder i made her but i also made her another pressie - a handmade tablet case for her new tablet.  woot woot!  mandy is a whiz when it comes to making her gorgeous handbags for her business so i knew i wanted this tablet case to have a purse like feel to it. a mandy vibe so to speak.  i even named it after her.  her maiden name is greyling - thus the "greyling tablet case tutorial" was born.

mandy has a great eye and a flare for prints and i knew she had been eying my pat bravo stash of summerlove for art gallery fabrics. i used "naivety berry" for the upper curved portion (the faux flap) and "beyond bliss ginger" for the main body print. the tablet case has a tab closure that buttons on the front with a curved faux flap.  it's interfaced and padded so it will keep those trusty tablets safe and cozy :)

this tutorial is a great one for practicing your buttonholes, curves and edgestitching skills.  you guys know how addicted i am to topstitching right?  well i just can't get enough.  it's like drawing to me and i love the intricacy of it.  it adds that special touch to just about any and everything if you ask me :)  and a turquoise button never hurt anyone right??

you ready to make one for your tablet or ipad?  let's get sewing!!!


*Copyright 2012 All rights reserved.  This tutorial is for PERSONAL USE ONLY.  Please do not sell items made with this tutorial unless permission has been given.  Thank you.


**Important: Please note the dimensions used for this tablet match a Samsung Galaxy Tablet that is sized 10"H x 7"Wx .3799"D.  In order to calculate the dimensions for other tablets please measure the size of your tablet as accurately as possible or refer to your product's website for specific dimensions.  I added 3" to the tablet height (that actually is your cases width) and 2" to the width (that becomes your cases height) to accommodate for the depth of the tablet and also for the batting/interfacing that you will be using.  The tablet slides into the case sideways so your width actually becomes your cases height and the tablet height becomes the cases width when cutting your fabrics. This is not a perfect science.  I strongly suggest adding the seam allowances that will work best for the fabric and tablet that you are using.

* Outer Fabric Bottom Portion - (2) pieces @ 13"W x 9"H
* Outer Fabric Upper Portion - (2) pieces @ 13"W x 4 1/4"H (to cut pattern piece out of)
* Lining Fabric - (2) pieces @ 13"W x 9"H
* Interfacing (medium to heavy weight) - (2) pieces @ 13"W x 9"H
* Batting - (2) pieces @ 13"W x 9"H for lining and
   (2) pieces 6.5"H x 2.25"W for tab.           
* Loop (lining fabric) - (1) pieces @  4.75"W x 2"H
* Tab (outer fabric) - (2) pieces @  6.5"H x 2.25"W
* Coordinating thread
* Scissors or rotary cutter/mat
* (1) Button


- Pattern piece for the curved faux flap (upper portion) of case.

*Please set your printer to "no scaling" or "actual size" before printing your pattern piece.


*All seam allowances are 1/2" unless otherwise noted.


Print out your Faux Flap Pattern Piece.  With your lining fabric cut out out your pattern piece and press.  Take your (2) Outer Fabric Upper Portions and press well a 1/4" seam around bottom curved edge.  This can be a tad tricky but just take your time, go slow and press well.  I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I pinned mine down as I ironed. See images below.  Note: There are other ways to attach the faux flap but for time, style and materials on hand this was the way I chose to assemble my case.


With (1) of your Outer Fabric Bottom Pieces right side facing up pin an Outer Fabric Upper Piece right side facing up matching both long straight upper edges together.  I removed my pins that were on the wrong side of the fabric as I pinned to the Bottom Piece. Edgestitch along the curved edge as close to the outer edge of your curved piece as possible.  Press flat.  See images below. Repeat with the other Outer Fabric Upper & Bottom Pieces.  Take both of your Outer Pieces and iron your interfacing onto the backs of both pieces. You now have two tablet case outer pieces.


Match your two pieces of batting for your tab with your two tab pieces.  We're now going to sew together your tab and make a bit of a sandwich so to speak.  Lay your pieces together in this order:  batting, fabric right side up, fabric right side down, batting.  Basically your fabrics will be right sides facing each other and the batting pieces will go above and below them.  See images below.

Sew 3 sides (both long and one short) using a 1/4" seam allowance leaving one short end unsewn.  Clip your corners taking care not to cut through your sewing.  Turn right side out and press.  Edgestitch along perimeter of the tab except for your unsewn short end.  Press again.  See image below.  Nice work! 

Now we are going to make your loop.  Take your loop piece and press in half matching both long sides together.  See image below.

You are going to sew using a 1/4" seam allowance starting at one short end all along one long edge ending on the other short end but leaving an opening big enough to pull your loop through along the long edge.  See image below.  Mine was about an inch wide.  Trim your corners being careful not to clip your stitching.

Turn your loop right side out.  Press flat and edgestitch around the entire perimeter of your loop taking care to close the opening you used to pull your loop through.  Remember, go slow and steady and you'll do great!!!  Grab one of your Outer Case Pieces and turn right side up and find the center of your case. Mark this with your fabric marker.  Measure about 1 - 1 1/2" up from the bottom of your faux flap and mark again with your fabric marker.  Now find the center of your loop and mark it as well.  Place and pin your loop down matching the center of your loop with the center of your case where you marked your 1 1/2" measurement.

Starting on the left side of your loop sew a box about 1" wide.  Now stitch an "x" through it.  Repeat for the right side.  This will keep your loop attached and look purdy.  See diagram above.  Now take both your Outer Case Pieces and place them right sides facing each other.  Pin along 3 edges leaving your long top edge unpinned.  Sew along your 2 short sides and the one long bottom edge with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Clip your corners. Turn right side out and press. *Note: this would also be a great time to add a label to your case if you are using one.

Next find the center point of your case on the side without the loop attached.  Mark with your fabric marker.  Now find and mark the center of your tab.  Match these up and place a pin at least 1" down from the top edge with your nice side of your tab facing down and pointing towards the bottom of your case.  This will keep your tab from moving and shifting around while you assemble your case.  See diagram above.


Place both of your Lining Pieces right sides facing each other.  Then place your batting on both sides of your fabric pieces sort of sandwiching them together just like you did when you made your tab.  So you will have: batting, lining right side facing down, lining right side facing up, batting.  See images below.  Pin along 3 edges leaving your top edge unpinned.

Sew along your 2 short sides and the one long bottom edge with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Clip your corners and trim your batting accordingly.


Ready to put your case together? Yay!  Grab your Outer Case and turn it right side out.  Now with your Inner Case still inside out simply put the Outer Case inside of the Inner Case.  Trust me, it sounds trickier than it is.  Just put one inside the other. It really is that easy.  When looking at it you will see the wrong side of the Inner Case and the wrong side of the Outer Case.  See image below.

Pin around the entire top perimeter of the case.  Sew along the top edge with a 1/2" seam allowance making sure to leave at least a 3-4" opening to pull your case through.  Turn your case right side out being careful not to poke yourself with your pin that is holding your tab in place.  You will now have what you see in the image below.  Press your case.  Now push your lining pieces inside the outer pieces.  Before we finish please try the tablet out to see if it fits.  If you need to make adjustments to it now is the time. 

If your sizing is all good press down your case again especially around your top edges.  Topstitch your entire perimeter down taking care to close up the opening you used to pull your case through.  Press again.  Looking good!!!! 


We now get to put those buttonhole making skills to work :)  Don't be scared - you can do it.  Place your tablet inside your case if possible and grab your tab and pull it under your loop.  Mark with your fabric marker where you would like to have that perfect button on your tab.  Now following your machines instructions make your buttonhole where you marked.  Remember to always, always do a test for your buttonhole.  Trust me on that one.  I used to be scared of buttonholes but now find them a joy to make (if you need more help making a buttonhole please see this post).

Once you are done your buttonhole pull your tab through your loop again with your tablet in your case.  Mark with your fabric marker exactly where your button should be stitched on to match up perfectly with your new buttonhole.  Hand sew your button on being careful to only go through your outer fabric - not your lining as well. 

You're done!!!! Looks awesome!!!! Your tablet is going to be riding in style!!! So fun!  This case would be great to showcase some of your fave prints or go with bold solids instead!  Even a faux leather would look awesome!  Experiment...try out different combos and have some fun!

thanks for sewing with me!  be sure to add your greyling tablet case to our flickr group! i love seeing your projects when they are done! if you have any questions about this tutorial please feel free to email me at

love the fabrics i used?  you can find all things pat bravo & art gallery fabrics here:


30 days of sundresses over on melly sews

you guys looking for a some new dresses to whip up this summer? pop over to melly sews to check out her 30 days of sundresses series!  lots of awesome tutes by some pretty talented ladies over there.  i was thrilled to get to end the series sharing my "delaney dress" that i made last fall here.   thanks for having me melissa!

have fun and happy sewing :)  see you all on tuesday!

the wellen tank tutorial & a giveaway!

so excited for today everyone!!!!  it's my first tutorial for art gallery fabrics for the "fat quarter gang"! i decided to go with pat bravo's gorgeous line "summerlove" for my new "wellen tank tutorial".  you can find the whole tutorial for the wellen tank here on the art gallery fabrics blog.

a few months ago i got inspired while sitting on one of our gorgeous west coast beaches to create a tank for the kidlets that looked like waves.  that little idea stewed and stewed while i sketched and drew until i finally realized how to put it all together.  this tutorial is the result.  wellen is german for waves and i sure hope you will all love this special little tank as much as i do.  i think it's one of my fave projects so far.

it's a great little project to jump into trying out sewing curves too! i'm hopelessly addicted now!  the tank itself is a simple a-line shape with a wide neck that's easy in construction so you can show off all your sewing and fabric handiwork.....and there's topstitching..weeee...i love topstitching :)

so come pop over to the art gallery fabrics blog and read the whole post :)  you know you  i also know you'll want to win some of this ahhhhmazing fabric too.  art gallery fabrics are made from 100% pima cotton and let me tell you...they are so soft!  the drape is so nice to work with and you really can feel the difference from other quilting cottons.  needless to say i'm a big

would you like a chance to win the same yummy fat quarter bundle i got?  simply click on the link below and fill out the form to enter for your chance to win a fat quarter bundle of summerlove by pat bravo!  that's it! easy peasy! 

but get's better! you can enter over on art gallery fabric too!  here's how:

art gallery's rules:
- follow them on pinterest
- like them on facebook
- subscribe to the AGF blog and leave a comment there letting them know you did.

giveaway will be open until sunday, july 1st, midnight PST.  all entries welcome.

are you a big art gallery fabrics fan? what is your favorite line from AGF?  have you been following along with our fat quarter gang?  so fun!  happy sewing everyone!

the dottie skirt tutorial - color your summer 2012!

when kirstin of "kojo designs" asked me to join in on her and delia of "delia creates" summer series called color your summer i was thrilled! last years was ahhhhmazing and i'm super excited to get to be a part of this years series.  i was even more excited to choose the color "rainbow"!  you all know i'm not afraid of color when it comes to my kiddos clothes and i'm working really hard on adding pops of color to even my own wardrobe so i jumped at the chance to use rainbow as my inspiration starting point.

i knew right off the bat i wanted something that had lots of yummy colors that to me represented the feeling of summer.  yummy sherberts, sunny weather, ice cream cones and balloons in a blue sky.  i immediately went right to my stash pile and grabbed one of my fave prints - sweet nothings collection (dots cream) by zoe pearn for riley blake designs.  it screams color and rainbow to me without being too cutesy and overly colorful.  i think it's playful and the colors are right up my alley.  i love the mix of turquoise, orange and chartreuse  - so fun!

when deciding what to make i realized i've made skirts for my girls before but have never done a skirt tutorial on the blog before so i figured it was about time to whip one up!  i decided i wanted something that had a fun twist to it!  a high waisted skirt that had a fun belt attachment that was easy to construct and fun to wear with a bit of a vintage flair to it!  the belt is made on it's own and simply stitched onto the back center of the skirt only.  the belt is decorative and the elastic waist of the skirt is what holds the skirt up!  i love the scalloped end of the belt and how it plays up the dots of the fabric.  i can see many more of these in our future in all sorts of color combos!

you ready to make one too?  pop on over to kojo designs for "color your summer 2012" for the full tutorial! i hope you have lots of fun with it! happy sewing ladies!!

the emerson tunic dress tutorial!

Main fabric: Dandi Flight from Commute by Birch Fabrics
Accent Fabric: Dottie Cream Coral from Mod Basics by Birch Fabrics
This is a special little project.  One that is very near and dear to my heart.  You see one of the first things I ever sewed was this little dress for my daughter back in 2009 (she was so tiny!).  It was so exciting to see it on other blogs and linked up and I'll never forget that feeling - it was truly when I got hooked on sewing. It literally was something I did from scratch and drew out before making it. I was inspired by dana's men's dress shirt dress but I wanted to reverse it and put the buttons on the back instead.  So when I got a chance to review some of Birch Fabrics wonderful 100% organic line I took one look at the "Dandi Flight from Commute line "  and knew I could finally do a tutorial for that little reverse men's shirt dress - The Emerson Tunic Dress.  

There's something so structural and modern about the sleeve shaping with the bodice and a-line skirt that i just adore. It's one of my favorite silhouettes and I have to admit I'm a bit crazy for it.  The faux button placket down the back and box pleat in the front make me swoon. There are no buttonholes in this tute ladies! Yeehaw!  All you have to do is sew on the button :)  Add a little applique, topstitching and an elastic gathered neckline and I'm sold. 

Emerson is perfect for showing off two co-ordinating prints and adding a fun flair to any outfit. Lengthen the skirt for a longer dress or keep it as is in the pattern and wear it as a tunic.  Easily adjusted to fit the size of your child and also a quick shape to fit a wide range of sizes.

So grab that new print you've been coveting, get the sewing machine out and whip up the Emerson Tunic Dress.....your kidlets will thank you :)  Just look at that smile...

Oh, and where did the name Emerson come from?  It was another one of my top baby name picks for Mackenzie.  There was a park near where we lived that I used to sit at when I was pregnant with her that was called Emerson Park and the name has always stuck with me.  The hubs used to push me on the swing nine months preggo there while i basked in the sun.  The Emerson Tunic Dress is the perfect dress to be feminine and whimsical but still wearable and ready to be lived in.

Ready to get sewing? Yay!!!! Let's have some fun!

 *Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved This tutorial is for personal use only unless prior permission has been given.*

- 1 yard quilting cotton. I used "Dandi Flight" - 100% organic cotton from Birch Fabrics from the Commute line.
- 1 fat quarter of quilting cotton for covered buttons, neckline trim detail and appliqued bird. I used "Dottie Cream Coral" 100% organic cotton from Birch Fabrics from the Mod Basics line.
- 5 covered buttons pieces & kit to make them (or as many as you would like ) or regular buttons
- hand sewing needle
- co-ordinating thread
- scissors or rotary cutter/mat
- fabric marker
- super small elastic (1/4" or less)

Pattern Pieces:
*click on the links below to print your pattern pieces. Be sure to select "no scaling" or "to size" in your printing options before printing.

Please note: these pieces were designed to fit my small 5 year old.  She is small for her age and sometimes closer to a 4T than a 5T so please check the pattern pieces against the size of your child before sewing.
- Emerson Bodice Front Upper 
- Emerson Front Lower Pieces
- Emerson Back Pieces
- Bird Template
(Once your pieces are printed tape them up matching them by numerical order. For example: 1 is the top left corner, 2 is the top right, 3 is the bottom left corner and 4 is the bottom right corner. Match the edges of the drawings (not the paper) up against each other to complete the shape. Please let me know if you have any issues as I made these pieces a few months ago and haven't tested them again yet. )

You will also cut out the following during your dress making:
- 2"H x (length of neckline + 1") for detail inside of dress on the neckline out of your fat quarter fabric (more instructions in Step Six).
- Same as above only out of your main dress fabric for neckline casing.
- (height of dress without neckline finished) x 3"W for the back button strip detail out of your main dress fabric (more instructions in Step Three).



*Note: If the size of your child is not a 4/5T you can still use the pattern pieces provided. They are based on a simple A-Line silhouette that has the front split up and widened to accommodate for the box pleat.  This can also be made longer for a longer dress for this age size or the sleeves/upper bodice could be made less wide for a dress for a younger child. This pattern fits my size 2T daughter but the sleeves wing out just a bit too big for her so it wouldn't take much to adjust the fit.

Print out your pattern pieces if using or draft your pattern to fit the size of your child.  Cut your pattern pieces out of your fabric.  You should have a Front Bodice Upper, Front Lower, Back, Bird (if using) and later a rectangle for your neckline casing and one for your neckline detail and a rectangle for your back button strip detail.


Grab your front lower piece and fold in half marking the center with a fabric marker. Now pin/fold your box pleat to be 2 1/4" wide (after sewing).  I folded mine in about approximately 1" on either side. Normally they would meet in the middle but mine do not...not sure what happened *See image below.  Grab your Bodice Front Upper piece and match up with the Front Lower Piece and see if they are the same size.  They should match if your box pleat is the right size.

So now that your pleat is folded and pinned baste with a 1/4" seam allowance *only along the top of your pleat and press.  Now stitch down on either side of your box pleat right along the edge about 2" down from the top of your fabric.  It will help to keep your box pleat looking nice and purdy even after your wee ones played all day in her pretty frock. Press. (See pic above to see the inside of my dress. Note I've already completed the dress in this shot so you're bodice won't be attached yet.)

Grab your Bodice Front Upper piece and Front Lower and match up the bottom edge of the Front Upper to the top edge of your Front Lower right sides facing each other.  Sew together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Press.  Finish off your seams by zig zag stitching, pinking or using a serger. Topstitch along this seam with your right side (see image below).

Now we are going to finish your armholes and sides.  Fold and press 1/4" all along the side of your Front. Fold 1/4" again and press pinning as you go.  Sew this down along your inner fold edge.  This will give you a nice finish along your sleeves.  Press.  Repeat for the other side of your dress.  Make one of your covered buttons and attach it to the center of top of your box pleat. (See button pic above noting again that my dress is finished in this shot)

Now do the same finish for your Back Piece minus the button step (folding and sewing) side edges.


Measure the length of your dress so far.  Place this measurement in your button strip calculations.  You should have your dress length measurement as your height and your strip should be 3" W. Cut this out of your main dress fabric. Take your 3" contrast strip for the button band and fold and press under 1/4" on each side.  Pin this strip down the center of the back of your dress and top stitch down along the edges of the button band.  Press.  I love this detail! So cute!   Now pick out your buttons or make your fabric covered buttons and mark where you would like them placed taking care to place buttons 1 1/2" from top neckline and 2" from bottom of dress.


If you would like to add the appliqued bird to the front of your dress now is the time. There is lots of ways to do this so you can choose which one you prefer. I simply cut the bird out pinned it to the dress and hand stitched it onto the dress with embroidery floss. 


Place your Front and Back pieces right sides facing each other. Pin down along your side.  Sew this with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press your seam allowance open so that the seam lays flat.  Repeat for the other side of the dress.

Pin your shoulders together with your right sides facing each other.  Sew these with a 1/2" seam allowance. Finish your seams with a zig zag stitch, pinking or a serger.  Press.


There are a lot of different ways to finish this neckline that may be easier and faster but I wanted to stay true to my original design so I tried to replicate it as closely as possible.  Bear with's easier to figure out as you're making it than just reading the instructions.  It's actually quite simple.  You're basically attaching a casing to your raw neckline to feed your elastic through. Now you'll be left with a seam there that could irritate some wee ones...mine especially.  So I whipped up a pretty little detail to stitch over top that itchy seam so that it looks nice but is also not annoying to the child wearing it.

First we are going to make a casing for our elastic. Measure around the length of your neckline. Take this measurement and add 1/2" to it.  You should cut your strip 2"H x "the measurement you just calculated" long. Match both of your short ends up and sew these together right sides facing each other with a 1/2" seam allowance.  Now fold the casing in half wrong sides facing each other (right sides facing out) and press.  Pin this piece along the neckline of your dress taking care to leave an opening to feed your elastic in.  Stitch your casing to the dress with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Press.
Cut your elastic.  This is the part that I really recommend doing on your child...not the cutting that is but the measuring.  Every child is different and some like things like elastic around their neck looser or tighter than others. My girls in particular are really fussy about details like this.  I like to feed the elastic in the casing (I pin a safety pin to one end and feed it through) and then try it on pinning the elastic at a good length.  I then stitch the elastic together really well and trim my ends. 
Now we're going to make a trim of sorts with our contrasting fabric from our fat quarter.  Take the measurement of your neckline again from before and add 1" to it.  You should cut your strip 2"H x "the measurement you calculated" long.  Take your strip and fold your ends under meeting at the center of your fabric. Press. See Step 1 above.

Grab your dress and pin this strip wrong sides facing each other down along and over top just slightly the bottom edge of your elastic casing seam taking care that your elastic is not in where you just pinned. You will have to stretch out the dress to it's original measurement as you pin and as you sew.  Make sure your elastic is above where you are about to sew.  Fold your ends in and under (overlapping each other slightly) to allow them to be caught when you attach the trim detail. See Steps 2 and 3 in the image above.  Stitch the strip down right along the edge of the strip all around the neckline.  Repeat this for the other edge of the strip. See image below.  The polka dot is the trim we just stitched on.


Time to hem that dress.  Fold your bottom edge under 1/4", press, then fold under 1/2" again and press and pin as you go.  Topstitch along the hem twice. I like the detail of doing 2 lines of topstitching. You could also easily use a double needle on your machine to do this.

Attach your label and you're done!  So cute!!! Pair it with some leggings or jeans and let's go play!
A big thank you to Birch Fabrics for their wonderful line of modern/retro inspired fabrics that are a pure joy to sew and design with. Thanks Cynthia!

Would you like to make one? Which fabric would you use?  What's your favorite Birch Fabrics print? Make sure to add your finished pics to our flickr group - I love seeing your finished projects!  Happy sewing everyone!

ruffled needlecase tutorial for ruffles 2012

Note: This post went up over on the lovely blog "see kate sew" earlier this month for "ruffles 2012" - (awesome stuff in this theme month so make sure you pop over and say hello) and I thought it would be fun to repost over here on the mommyhood for those who missed it.  I've been using mine non-stop and LOVE it.  Happy sewing!

I love little handmade treasures that are fun to make, interesting in construction, easy to personalize and add a big pop of pizazz to your sewing notion repertoire!  Anytime I can pretty up my notions and supplies I'm in!  Add a ruffle to it and I'm sold.  I've got a thing for needlecases and I thought I would show you all how to ruffle up the style of needlecase that I use.  I've noticed lately that the booklet style has become very popular but there is something about the size, shape and construction of this one that I just adore.  It's one of my fave go to gifts for special little pressies and also a good project for beginners to work on there topstitching and hand sewing. Want to know how to make one too?  

- Scrap of outer fabric big enough to fit dimensions below (fat quarter is more than enough) I used a vintage sheet but any quilting cotton would work.
- Scrap of coordinating fabric for ruffle to fit dimensions below.
- Scrap of felt for lining to fit dimensions below.
- 1 sew on snap (size of your choice).
- Fabric Marker

Cutting Directions:
Keep in mind if  you are using a  print it will be shown vertically on your finished product so cut your rectangle with the longest length going from the top to bottom of your fabric (height wise) not from left to right (width wise). See pic below.  

- Cut (1) rectangle out of your outer fabric at 4 3/4"H x 3"W *see notes in next line.
- Cut (1) rectangle out of your outer fabric at 3 1/4"H x 3"W (if using a print make sure this matches up with the rectangle above if you'd like the print to flow). *I chose to cut one large rectangle at 8"H x 3"W and then cut the small rectangle off of the bottom of it so the print matched up great. 
- Cut (1) rectangle of felt at 7 1/4"H x 3"W
- Cut (1) rectangle of fabric for ruffle at 10"H x2"W


Note: All seam allowances are 1/4" unless otherwise stated.

1. Prep and cut fabrics as per the cutting directions listed above and gather supplies.

2. Let's get that ruffle ready!  Take your coordinating piece of fabric that you are using for your ruffle and fold it so your right sides are facing each other as shown above.  Pin and sew along the long open edge (you are only sewing this one side).  Turn fabric right side out by pulling through either one of your open short ends. I use a loop turner to do this but a knitting needle/crochet hook work great too. Press your tube with your seam on the center bottom so when it is ruffled you will not see the seam. You ready to ruffle?

3. Let's get ruffling! Set your machine to a basting stitch on a long stitch length.  Remember that you don't need to lock any of your seam ends so no back stitching.  Also it's helpful to leave long tails on either end of your tube. On some machines the stitch length can be set so it will just ruffle your fabric right up for you.  But if yours doesn't follow these steps: take the tube you just made and with the right side up you are going to sew one straight line down the center of the tube starting at your short end and working down to the other short end (see image above).  Remember do not back stitch and leave a long tail. 

You are now going to use that long tail to make your pretty ruffle.  Using your bobbin tail end only (this will be the thread tail on the wrong side of your fabric) pull this thread gently while sliding your fabric along your thread as it ruffles.  Do this until you get your desired amount of ruffling and the length you need for our needlecase.  In this case I did very tight ruffles and I also have a thing for making my ruffles longer than needed so I have room to play around with how tight I want them. I left my ruffle long until I pinned it on so I had room to move the ruffles and make any adjustments before I cut off the remaining ruffle length. 

4. The next step is to pin the ruffle right side facing up on your larger fabric rectangle (right side facing up) from one short end to the other short end as shown in pic (2) above with your ruffles spread evenly.  I use a lot of pins when stitching down ruffles as they move and they can be tricky sometimes to keep straight when you have as many ruffles as I do on my needlecase.

5. Get ready to sew!  Go slow here and remember to set your machine settings back to your normal settings and normal stitch length. I forgot until half way through my seam - I knew I should remind you guys as well.  You can now back stitch and lock your ends as well.  Trim that ruffle up so it's even with your rectangle as well.  See image above. You can now choose to take your basting stitch out but I always manage to rip out the wrong one so I got a tad lazy and left mine in.  My ruffle is so tight that you can't tell unless you really inspect it ;)

6. Good job!  We're half way there!  Now grab the small fabric rectangle and your large fabric one and place them right sides facing each other and pin across the bottom short end so your ruffle is still in the center.  See where my sewing line (and my bigger stitches..oops) is in the pic above? *Hint: make sure if you are using a print and cut it to match that you have placed your fabrics so that these ends match up good because these are the ends we are sewing back together. Sew theses 2 rectangles together using a 1/4" seam allowance.

7. You should have one fabric rectangle now as shown in the image above.  Press your fabric so your seam allowance lays flat.  

8. Get your fabric marker out.  We're going to mark the placement of the snaps on your felt and outer lining piece.  With your felt lining and outer lining wrong sides facing each other measure in 1" from the bottom outer edge (the edge of the rectangle that you just stitched onto your outer rectangle in step  above) of the right side facing of your outer fabric lining (see the image after step #12 for a finished shot). Mark the center point here. *Hint: this is the part of your outer that has no ruffle on it.  Now measure in 1" from the top of your felt lining (right side facing) and mark the center here for the other part of your snap (see image 2 after step #14 for another finished shot).  Trust me, this sounds & looks above way more complicated than it is.  It's one of those things you just have to put into action. Once you have the fabric/felt together you can imagine how it will be folded and where your snaps go following the diagram above. *Note: the dashed lines represent the outer lining.

9. Using the two parts of your snap attach the female one to your outer lining and the male one to your felt lining by hand stitching or using a snap tool.  Double check that your snaps line up.

10. Now that your snaps are sewn in place we can sew the case together.  Place your outer fabric and your felt pieces right sides facing each other.  Pin & sew around the entire perimeter with a 1/4" seam allowance taking care to leave a 2" opening on one of your long sides to turn the case right side out through.

11. Trim your corners so your needlecase will lay nice and flat with a nice corner when turned right side out. Now turn the needlecase right side out.  Press your needlecase.  Pin your opening shut and topstitch close to your edge around the entire needlecase.  *Important: when you get to your ruffle lift the edges up and topstitch as far as in as you can without sewing on the ruffle itself and then backstitch and end your sewing there.  Start back up again doing the same thing on the other side of your ruffle.  It looks prettier that way and then you don't lose any of the ruffliness of your ruffle (see image above).


12. Measure down 1.5" from the top of your needlecase (the part with the ruffle) and mark this with your fabric marker.  Stitch a line across the case here to form your top flap.

13.  Measure 2.75" from the bottom of your case (the part without the ruffle) and mark this with your fabric marker as well.  Stitch a line across the case to form your bottom flap.

14. You will now have two lines stitched across your needlecase which will help in the folding of your flaps to form your needlecase.  Test your pretty new needlecase out!  Isn't it cute?  So adorable right?

Now grab all those pesky needles and load your needlecase up.  I like to keep all my needles, a few pins and some safety pins in my case.  You never know when you are going to need any of these and since I keep my needlecase in my zippered pouch with my knitting notions I use it for both sewing and knitting.

The fun thing about this needlecase is that you could totally play with the fabric combinations! Go ahead and quilt it, embroider it, use floss and handstitch the topstitching, add more ruffles just have fun and go nuts with it!  Personalize's yours after all :)  I couldn't resist the combination of that pretty pink with bright sunny yellow vintage sheets to brighten up my rainy spring days.  Makes me smile just looking at it.


Want to show off your needlecase too?  Make sure you add your ruffled needlecase to Kate's Ruffles 2012 flickr group and our luvinthemommyhood flickr group.  I can't wait to see all the fabrics and the ruffles ladies!  You can find all the rest of Ruffles 2012 on See Kate Sew here!
What fabrics would you use for yours?  Do you have as soft spot for little treasures and vintage sheets too?  Happy sewing & ruffling!  And don't worry...there's another tutorial coming your way this week :) Yay! The hubs has a day off today for the first day after tax season so I'm taking the day off. See you on Wed!

Rerversible Sewing Machine Cover Tutorial with Martha Stewart Crafts!

Oh my gosh you guys, I have been so excited to share this project with all of you!  I cannot believe how lucky I am to have gotten a chance to be a part of the Martha Stewart Mother's Day campaign sponsored by Plaid Crafts!!! I mean wowsa!  This was a dream come true!  It was like Christmas when the super generous box of goodies from Martha Stewart and Plaid Crafts showed up on my doorstop. I'm not kidding around when I tell you I almost fainted right over.  Still makes me giddy to just look at it all and it most certainly gets my creative wheels spinning.  So. Much. Good. Stuff.

I decided after regaining my composure a few weeks...ahem...I mean days later to make for my mother's day tutorial a Reversible Sewing Machine Cover.  My mom recently renovated her basement and finally has her very own craft room.  I figured a little love and color would be the perfect thing to spring up that lovely little space of hers. What crafty momma wouldn't want to prettify their sewing machine with some Martha love right?  My very own Poppy the Pfaff is loving this one :)

I've been wanting to whip up a sewing machine cover since I got my new machine last year and I knew I wanted something a tad different.  I wanted some vintage and some modern and I wanted a bit of patchwork goodness.  When I found out the Martha Stewart Crafts Paints could be used on fabric I pretty much did cartwheels across my living room. Sold. Right there. The colors are gorgeous and the stencils are super stylish.  I knew they would look fabulous on fabric and would be the perfect fit for a sewing machine cover. It's like a rockin' dress for my sewing machine...and it's even reversible! So if I get sick of one side I can just flip that bad boy over and voila - a brand new look!

But let's not forget about those cute tabs! I also wanted to test out my newly found buttonhole making skills.  Practice, practice, practice right?  I think the button tab details on the front and the back of this fun sewing machine cover add a little detail and pizazz to the normal ribbon tie variety you usually see.  Plus I just love me a button.  Always adds a little pop of happiness to a project.

Do you want to learn how to paint your own fabric and make one with me? YAY! CLICK HERE to read more about how I painted my fabrics with the Martha Stewart Crafts Paints and also for the TUTORIAL to make your very own Reversible Sewing Machine Cover!


*Updated: please note that due to the full sweetheart dress pattern being released i have decided to take down the free tutorial. I have given this a lot of thought and feel that the new pattern reflects all the hard work that has been put into it and the instructions are more clear and easy to follow.  I don't want there to be any confusion between the two sets of written instructions.  This momma is also trying really hard to earn a living with her passion in life to create.  I value each and every one of yours support and thank you so much for allowing me to do what fills me with joy.

a retro & modern dress featuring an adorable heart cutout on the back that your child is sure to adore! with a flattering silhouette that showcases your fave fabric crush and special feminine details The sweetheart dress is sure to be a showstopper!  the pdf sewing pattern is sized for 2T - 6T and i can't wait to see the wonderful and lovely dresses you are all going to make!

the sweetheart dress pattern features:

: : digitally drafted & professionally graded pattern pieces for the bodice & heart cutout

: : 18 page full color pdf pattern complete with clear & easy to understand step by step instructions with bright photos and digitally drafted diagrams

: : pattern pieces for sizes 2T, 3T, 4T, 5T & 6T

: : instructions for a professionally finished garment featuring a tutorial for a feminine, hand sewn button loop and also a fully lined bodice (with no hand sewing! woot woot!).

: : size charts, fabric requirements, notions, and sewing tips/glossary to ensure a great fit

: : a fun sewing experience :)

the sweetheart dress pattern is available for purchase at the following:

I have a few sketchbooks...ok...more than a few sketchbooks filled with ideas for goodies to make for the girls and myself and this little dress is one that has been nagging at me to get made. So with Easter upon us last week I decided to whip them up for the girls to wear to Easter dinner.   There is something so completely adorable about a high neck fitted bodice and gathered skirt that makes it one of my go to silhouettes for dresses for the girls.  I love that it feels retro but still modern and clean.  Don't be fooled by the front though, the party is all in the back on this dress folks.  The feminine heart cut out just makes me swoon.  With a hand sewn button loop and girly button it makes me smile and makes them smile too.  They love them and I love that they love them.

Small Dress: Outer fabric is 100% Organic Dottie Cream Coral by Birch Fabrics from their Mod Basics Line provided by Fabricworm and is lined with Amy Butler Lotus Wallflower in Cherry from stash fabric.  Large Dress: Outer fabric is Amy Butler "Passion Lily Cerise Pink" from the Soul Blossoms Passion line provided by Stitch Simple and lined with stash Nicey Jane fabric.

You never know when sewing for kids if they are truly going to enjoy wearing a handmade garment.  My oldest loves dresses but wears mostly leggings and tee's.  So for her to really wear and enjoy this dress did my heart good.  Now Harper, well she just goes gaga for any pretty dresses and will proudly prance around in her new frock for all to see. She is also a very willing model when I'm drafting and measuring to sew something for her.  She gets all excited and stands on a wee stool next to my sewing chair so she can watch me work.  I think I may get a sewer out of this one :)

I couldn't resist using some of my fave Birch Fabrics for Harper's Dress (from my awesome sponsor Fabricworm).  I love their 100% organic fabrics. They are super soft, have a gorgeous drape and are great for the environment.  Plus all the prints are retro and modern which I adore.  The print I used is called "Dottie Cream Coral" from their Mod Basics Line. I lined it with stash fabric that I cannot for the life of me remember the name of.  If anyone recognizes it please let me know.

Mackenzie's dress was made from Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms Passion Line and it's Called Passion Lily in Cerise Pink and it's from my lovely sponsor Stitch Simple (whose fabric comes to me prewashed and pressed)!  I love the colors in this fabric and lined it again with some stash fabric that I had been holding onto but cannot remember the name of either.  I think I've got a bad case of the mommy brain this morning.  With 2 kids sick with the croup and 1 hubby sick now too I'm pooped!

 a full 18 page full color PDF sewing pattern for sizes 2T-6T!!!

Would you like to make your wee one too?  Want to know how? You can purchase the Sweetheart Dress Sewing Pattern here:

I bet yours looks fabulous!  Does my heart good.  Have fun making yours and make sure to share your pics in our flickr group here or in the comments below. I love seeing your fab projects!  Happy sewing ladies!

P.S. How can you tell our family loves color??? lol!

What do you guys think? You likey? I likey :) What do you do to get the perfect fit for a child's bodice? Any magic techniques you have for sewing a lined bodice? I know we would all love reading each others tips below. What fabrics would you use for your Sweetheart Dress? I've got coffee with your name on it - come chat with me!