Category Archives: sewing

Snappy Pouch | Sewing Tutorial

snappy pouch

It’s a wallet…it’s a purse…it’s a super customizable tutorial that you can make in a snap, with a snap…it’s the snappy pouch sewing tutorial!!!

pouch1

pouch2

Sorry not sorry for that cheesy opener, but I am so excited to share this tutorial today!  This pouch is a breeze to make, uses not that much fabric, and is the perfect size to carry around your essentials (wallet, keys, etc.) or to stash inside a purse.  It only uses scraps of fabric, and you don’t have to mess with putting in a fiddly zipper.  Read below for the instructions, and if anything doesn’t make sense, please let me know in the comments!

Materials

pouch supplies

  1. Main fabric for outside of purse: two rectangles 7.5″ x 11″
  2. Lining fabric: two rectangles 7.5″ x 11″
  3. Fusible interfacing (medium weight is perfect, but any kind will do): two rectangles 7.5″ x 11″ + a little scrap piece for snap
  4. Contrast for snap closure: one square 6″ x 6″
  5. Magnetic snap (I got mine on etsy, but you can find them at any sewing store)

pouch tutorial 1

Instructions:

pouch tutorial 2

(1.) Iron the interfacing pieces to the wrong side of the lining pieces.  This will stabilize your pouch and make it less flimsy. (Random, but don’t you love this lining fabric?  It’s a really subtle feather pattern, but from a distance it just looks white!)

pouch tutorial 3

(2.) Place the right sides of the lining fabric together (interfacing facing out) and sew around three sides, leaving a 4″ hole as shown.  This is so you can turn everything right side out after we sew the whole thing together.

pouch tutorial 4

(3.) Now sew the exterior fabric together on three sides just like the lining fabric (except no hole on the bottom this time).

pouch tutorial 5

(4.) On the bottom right corner, attach the thinner protruding side of your snap.  The prongs fold down over the fabric like a brad fastener, and the instructions should be on your package.  I like to add some interfacing on the back side of where I’m sticking the snap to help keep the fabric from ever fraying…if you still aren’t sure what you’re doing with the snap, this tutorial is very helpful.  It’s so much easier than adding a zipper to a pouch and looks just as neat!

Now, look at the last picture in the row of three above.  Fold your fabric in half vertically (so the snap and right side are facing in) and sew across the bottom and up the long side.  Turn it right side out and press, and it should look like it does below.

pouch tutorial 6

(5.) Line up the top of the snap fabric with the top of one side of the exterior fabric.  Sew (make sure you only sew through one layer!) across with a 1/4″ seam allowance to attach the snap flap to the pouch.  Looking good. (:

(6.) Now look to see where the other side of the snap should go on the front of the outside, mark it with a pencil, and attach the thicker part of the snap.

pouch tutorial 7

(7.) Now it’s time to sew the lining and exterior together!  Keep the exterior fabric right side out, and the lining fabric inside out.  Place the exterior fabric inside the lining, with the snap flap un-snapped and hanging down in between the lining and the exterior.  Line up the edges of all those layers nicely and pin all the way around.  I hope the picture helps a bit, but it should be more self explanatory when you try it.

pouch tutorial 8

(8.) Sew alllll the way around the top edge where we pinned.

pouch tutorial 9

(9.) Almost there!  This is the fun part.  Start pulling the exterior fabric out from the hole in the bottom of the lining.

pouch tutorial 10a

Keep pulling…..

pouch tutorial 10b

….while simultaneously pulling the lining right side out.

pouch tutorial 10c

Done!  Iron over all the fabric (it probably got a bit crinkly from turning it right side out).

(10.) Stitch closed the hole in the lining fabric, and stuff the lining fabric down into the pouch where it’s supposed to go.  Press it one more time to make it look more professional, and you’re done!

pouch tutorial 11

This is a great beginner project (we made them at my sewing camp this summer), so it’s easy to change the measurements to make the size pouch you want, or you could try adding a wrist strap.  The pouches make great gifts (especially if you tuck something inside!), or you could enjoy your beautiful handmade pouch yourself.

pouch 3

pouch 3

Have a great Monday!

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How to Sew Headbands | Sewing Tutorial

headband tutorialheadband tutorial finished 1

these little fabric headbands are some of the most versatile hair accessories ever.  And they are also extremely comfy too. The part behind your ear is tapered fabric, which means no headband headache, but there is elastic on the back to keep it from sliding around on your head. Personally these are the perfect headbands for me (shh…and it’s not like I’m biased or anything because I make them).

Luckily, they are very simple to sew, and you can customize the fabric to match any outfit! This project takes about 20 minutes to make. easy peasy!

Supplies:

  • A piece of scrap fabric about 5 inches by 15 inches.  Or if you are buying fabric, 1/8 yard*
  •  Matching thread
  • 1/4 inch wide (skinny) elastic. you’ll only need 9 inches at the most, depending on the size you make.

*See more about buying fabric at the bottom of post

Cutting out your pieces:

headband tutorial - 1aheadband tutorial - 1b

Toddler size (extra small):  Cut fabric in a rectangle 3 3/4 inches x 12 inches.  Cut a 7 inch long length of elastic (without stretching.
Younger kid…about ages 5 to 10…the sizes a very forgiving because of the elastic (small): fabric 4″ x 13″. elastic 7″
Preteen (medium): fabric 4 1/4″ x 13 3/4″. elastic 8″
Teenager or adult (large): fabric 4 1/2″ x 14 1/2″. elastic 8 1/2″

Sewing Instructions:

  1. Fold fabric rectangle in half long-ways, making sure that the wrong side is facing out.  If you’re nervous about it wriggling around as you sew, you can pin it. headband tutorial - 2
  2. Sew down the edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance.headband tutorial - 3
  3. Turn the long skinny tube right side out.  The iron it flat with the seam running down the middle of one side. Hopefully with the picture that makes sense…headband tutorial - 4
  4. Then you are going to iron down 1/4 inch on both of the short raw edges towards the side with the visible seam.  Hem both of those short edges.  Your headband so far should be a long skinny rectangle that looks like this:front back
  5. Put the headband on the ironing board back side facing up.  Stick your elastic on top of it, overlapping over the edge by a half inch or so.  Then you are going to fold the corners (of the shorter edge of the rectangle) over on top of the elastic so it’s sandwiched in between the fabric of the headband.  You should have a nice triangular end.  Then iron it down really well.  That probably sounded way more complicated than it is. (:  elasticthen sew a vertical line down on top of where the elastic is tucked under the fabric (refer to the last picture). Back-stitch and go back and forth a couple times to make sure the seam is super strong. You wouldn’t want your elastic to rip out (major boo).  That seam is probably the most fiddly part of the entire project, because the layers and elastic makes it really bulky. but now you’re almost done!
  6. Sew the folded-over-corner-seam on the other side with the other loose end of the elastic.  So you’re forming a loop…or a headband! (I bet you never saw that one coming (;)headband tutorial 7
  7. Cut all the random loose threads off and you are done! headband tutorial little 1

I’ve really been making these headbands for a really long time, as evidenced by Rose and Grace circa 2011.  they’re so quick to make that they’re kind of a go-to project for me I guess!

little 2

If you want to make a bunch of headbands at once for gifts or craft fairs or something, then I can fit three headbands across one standard 44″ wide piece of fabric.  So 1/8 yard of fabric will make 3 headbands, 1/4 yard can fit 6, and 1/2 yard can fit 12. Since you hardly use much fabric, I enjoy splurging on some of the cute designer stuff. (:

headband tutorial finished 2

please please let me know if you have any questions!

have a good rest of the week!

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3 Tips for Refashioning

tips for refashioning

I love going to the thrift store.  Some of my favorite clothes are from that place, and you know you’re going to get something unique. The fact that you can buy a whole outfit for less than $10 is almost a bonus.  But if you’ve ever been thrifting, then you know that sometimes there’s not anything that’s reasonably or even moderately cute. That’s where refashioning comes in…looking past the 90s or size XXL and seeing how you can salvage something and make it work!  Here are three strategies for imagining ways to refashion tired pieces of clothing:

1. Paint on it!

shorts

I turned regular jean shorts that weren’t the most fashionable (instead of back pockets they have these weird side cargo type pockets) into really fun patriotic high-waisted shorts.  I painted them using regular acrylic paint mixed with a fabric paint medium (similar here) and a foam paintbrush. The stripes were blocked off using masking tape. I made a stencil out of freezer paper for the star side, and brushed on top it two or three times, letting it dry between layers. Then once it’s dry, you iron the paint to set it. If you want more details on making a stencil, this tutorial on Made is gold. The paint is really sturdy and has lasted through three Fourth of July’s so far! (and lot’s of wear in between).  The stencil/acrylic paint technique on t shirts works too.

2. Re-imagine it into a different piece of clothing

tips for refashioning

As you can probably tell, this dress was made from a thrifted men’s button-down shirt. Very few guys in this world could have pulled off a pink stripey shirt, but be on the lookout for odd pieces like that.  The buttons made it a very cute sundress for my little sister! I cut off the sleeves and used the fabric to make a ruffle, and then chopped off the top and re-cut it to sew it way smaller.  Then I gathered the bottom half back to the top to make a skirt, and added some teal ribbon for fun.  It took some creativity to make it work, but ultimately I’ve found that pretty close is good enough. You can just wing it and make adjustments as you go…don’t stress about cutting it perfectly. All people are going to comment on is “what a brilliant idea it was to make a dress out of shirt”, not “oh look at that weird gather on the side there”.  (:

You can use any nice patterned piece of clothing for fabric if you know how to sew, which opens up so many options at the store. There are so many tutorials that you could find through a pinterest search that can help give you ideas of where to start.

3. Recycle it into a non-clothing item

DSC_0118purse straps

Last fall I started getting into sewing purses. Belts made great straps!  They were ready made with buckles to adjust the length, and only cost $1-$2.  Try thinking of more than just clothing items that you could use your thrift store or hand-me-downs for. Denim from an old pair of jeans makes sturdy change purses.  Knit t shirts can be cut up into strips and made into t shirt yarn.  You have many options, even if you can’t figure out how to wear it!

Hopefully those three tips will help you think outside the box in how to use thrifted pieces that aren’t working that well in their present state.  It’s really fun, so I hope you try it.  And the beauty of refashioning is, if a project doesn’t end up working out, it still only costed you a few dollars. Win-win! (:

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