Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

Sewing a square pillow

Here is how to sew a square pillow:

Square Pillow1

Cut out your fabric.  I used a quilting ruler and some leftover fabric.  I cut two squares the largest size that I could.

Square Pillow2

Square Pillow3

Put the pieces right sides (outsides) together and sew around three sides, leaving one side not sewn.  You can sew 1/2 inch or 5/8 inch from the edge.

Turn the pillow right side out and press flat.

To be more advanced, before turning right side out, cut the points off the corners, and fold over the open edges so you can iron them flat.  Then, then turn right side out.

Square Pillow4

Stuff the pillow!  (Edges are not folded in and pressed in the above picture.)

Square Pillow5

Here, you can see that the edges have been folded inwards and pressed.

Square Pillow6

Pin the open sides together and sew as close to the edge as you can.

Square Pillow7


Square Pillow8

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Is your nursery pressed for space?  I made made large wet bags for cloth diapers and ones without PUL lining for baby clothes.  Both types can hang from the side of a changing table.  This way, you don’t need two separate hampers/trash bins.

Here’s how I made hanging hampers for baby clothes.  I recommend making two, so that you have one to use when the other is in the wash.  I tried to stay frugal by using fabric I had on hand.

Dirty Clothes Bag01

1.  Cut out two large rectangles for your hanging bag.  You’ll also need three long, narrow rectangles for your straps.

2.  Fold the straps right sides together and sew along one short end and along the long edge of each one.  This will leave one end open.  Turn right side out.

3.  With the large rectangles, put them right sides together and sew along one short end and both long sides.  Fold over the non-sewn edge and press, then turn right sides out and press the entire piece flat.

4.  Sew down the folded over edge of the opening.

Dirty Clothes Bag02


Dirty Clothes Bag03

For each strap, tuck in the open edges and top stitch around all four sides.  I sewed 1/4 inch from the edge.

Dirty Clothes Bag04

Place the straps against the outside of the bag, maybe an inch from the top edge.  Put one in the center and the other two a couple inches from the outer edges of the bag.

Dirty Clothes Bag05


Dirty Clothes Bag06

Sew the straps in place.  I sew a rectangle to get it tacked down very well.

Dirty Clothes Bag07


Dirty Clothes Bag08This picture shows how it will look later on.  I pinned it to the changing table to make sure it would fit well.


Dirty Clothes Bag09

Now, attach snaps to each strap, as well as one to the top of the bag (to keep it closed).  I highly recommend purchasing a snap kit.

Dirty Clothes Bag10


Dirty Clothes Bag11

Here is the finished bag!  The clothes bag and the wet bag can be kept next to each other on the changing table, which maximizes space!

Dirty Clothes Bag12


Dirty Clothes Bag13

Here are some pictures from the other bag I made.

Dirty Clothes Bag14


Dirty Clothes Bag15


Dirty Clothes Bag16

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These are instructions for double-sided curtains.  In Part 2, we prepared the edges of the curtain fabric, and we sewed the top and bottom of the curtains before turning them right side out.

I based my pattern on the one here.

Mark a line 1-1/2 inches from the top of the curtain and another line 3 inches from the top of the curtain.  Make sure you use disappearing or washable fabric markers.

Pin the curtain ties halfway between the 3 inch line and the bottom of the curtains.  Pin them on the same side of the curtain.  Have the unfinished edges on the inside of the layered curtain fabric.  I put them on the right side of my curtains, with the shorter tie on top.

On the outside (right side of fabric), start at the top and top stitch along the side (close to the edge) until you reach the 1-1/2 line.  Sew across the curtain on the 1-1/2 line.  When you get to the other side of the curtain, sew along the edge toward the top of the curtain.  To review:  You’ll be sewing down for 1-1/2 inches, across the fabric on the 1-1/2 inch line, and back up to the top of the curtain.

Next, start at the bottom of the curtain.  Sew along the edge from the bottom of the curtain until you get to the line that is 3 inches from the top of the curtain.  When you get to the 3 inch line, sew along that line (across the curtain).  When you get to the other side, go back along the edge toward the bottom of the curtain.  To review:  You’ll sew from the bottom of the curtain, along the edge to the 3 inch line, along the 3 inch line, and back along the bottom of the curtain.

If you did this correctly, the side edges will be sewed together, except for a channel between the 1-1/2 and 3 inch lines.  This channel will be for your curtain rod.  That’s right!  You’re done!  Make sure you wash off the fabric marker!

The above picture shows how you need to sew very close to the edges (on the sides of the curtain).

The shorter tie goes in front and the longer tie wraps around the back.

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These are instructions for making double-sided curtains.  In Part 1, we made the curtain ties and sewed a contrasting border to the bottom of the curtains.

I based my pattern on the one here.

Mark 1/2 inch along both sides of the main fabric.  I used a fabric marker that erases with water.

Fold over along the line and press.

See the turquoise line (above)?  Mark 4 inches from the top of the main fabric pieces (on both folded over edges).  Sew that edge down from the top of the fabric to that mark.  You’ll only be sewing those 4 inches down right now.

This will keep the curtain rod from catching on a raw edge, because this is where you’ll later be sewing the curtain rod channel.

Can you see the stitch line (above)?  Notice that the stitches are very close to the raw edge.

Layer your curtain pieces with right sides together (You’ll do that later.).  Sew the TOP and BOTTOM.  Do not sew the sides together.  Turn right side out and press.

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I wanted to have some curtains for the window on the door of my classroom.  They needed to be double-sided, and they also needed a tie to keep them open for the majority of the time.

I based my pattern on the one here.

The window was 29 inches across the top and 37 inches down the side.  I purchased 2 yards of the main (apple) fabric and 1/2 yard of the contrast (red) fabric.

Contrast fabric – Cut two 7″ wide strips (bottom border) and one 4″ wide strip (curtain ties).

Ties (contrast fabric) – Cut the 4 in. strip into 4×14 in. and 4×21 in.

Fold tie pieces lengthwise, right sides together.  Sew one end and along the length.  Turn right side out and press flat.

Top stitch 1/4 in. from the edge on the closed end and along the length.  A contrasting color of thread looks nice.

Main (apple) fabric – Cut into two pieces.  I trimmed off selvages, so my pieces were about 44×35.

Bottom Border – On each of the main (apple) fabrics, sew a contrast (7 in wide) strip of fabric along the bottom edge of the main fabric (44 in. edge).  Make sure right sides are together.  You can sew 1/4 in. or 5/8 in. from the edge.

Press the seam flat.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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Festive Table Cloth

We recently bought some patriotic fabric for a new table cloth.  For our table, we purchased two yards.  I used my iron to fold over the edges about 5/8 inch and then to tuck that edge under, making roughly a 1/4 inch hem.  I then sewed it all the way around with my sewing machine.

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Meet my heating pad.  I stick it in the microwave and it’s fantastic.  When I first got it, I sewed vertical lines on it to create pockets for the filler, because otherwise all of the rice (or whatever is inside) would drop to whichever end was hit the most by gravity.  Sewing the lines kept everything spaced out.

Anyways, the old cover (not pictured in the photo below) was falling apart, so I needed to make a new cover.

Below is the old cover turned inside out.  I put it on top of some fabric to cut out a new cover.

Below:  I cut out two layers of the blue material for the new cover.  The left side of the blue fabric is folded, so I didn’t cut that end.

Below:  Meet the old cover.  Pretty bad, right?

I folded over the open end of the new cover and ironed it down.

Then, I folded that edge under to make a hem.  I did this before sewing the sides, because it was easier to work with this way.

Below:  I sewed the hem.

Below is the new cover with the fold on the right side and the hem on the left.  The fabric is placed right sides together (inside out)


Below:  I serged the two long sides of the cover.

Below:  After serging, I went over the seam with my sewing machine to reinforce it.

Below:  Turn the cover right side out and you’re good to go!  I will note that I felt my new cover was too long, so I cut some length off the folded edge and serged that together.


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Fabric Stash

You know it’s time to dig in to your fabric stash when it’s busting out of your storage cabinet!

All of the fabric in the smaller bins (mostly top shelf) are scraps or leftovers from sewing and quilting projects.  The fabric in the bottom consists of unused lengths of fabric, scraps, and quilt tops that need to be layered with batting and quilted.

I’ve started cutting squares to make some baby quilts.  I have so much denim, I’ll probably do a quilt from that as well.

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Green Embellished Shirt

For this embellished shirt, I gathered strips of fabric from another t-shirt of the same color (thrift store find), made flowers from the gathered strips, attached them to a very comfy, high-necked shirt that I have, and then sewed fabric-covered buttons on top of each flower.

The gathered strips of fabric


Pull the gathers tight and form a flower.


Pin the ends right sides together and then sew.



Press flat.


Attach to the t-shirt.


Cut out a piece of fabric larger than the button.


Gather the circumference of the fabric, put the button inside, and pull the thread tight to close.




Sew the buttons on top of the flowers.

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This is Part 6 of sewing a diaper bag.  Click here for the instructions.

So far, we’ve made the interior and exterior pieces of the bag and sewn them together with the straps.  We’ve also added interior pockets.

After you sew the exterior and interior pieces together and turn things right-side out, you need to sew along the top edge of the bag.

*Note: the instructions call for a flap and a magnetic closure.  I chose not to add these to my bag.  I can always add something later. 




The above photo shows the lines sewn around the top of the bag.




The completed bag!


This shows the interior, including the pockets.  It’s very roomy.




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Sewing a Diaper Bag, Part 5

This is Part 5 of sewing a diaper bag.  Click here for the instructions.

So far, we’ve sewn the interior and exterior body pieces of the diaper bag, the straps, and we’ve sewn in subdivided pockets to the interior.

The above photo shows the exterior (left) and interior (turned inside out) of the bag.

You’ll need to layer the interior and exterior bags, right sides together.  You also need to pin the straps in between the interior and exterior fabrics.  Make sure your straps are facing the correct way, so that the interior (blue) side of each strap faces the interior fabric and the exterior (brown) side of each strap faces the exterior fabric.

The above photo shows what you’ll see in the process of pinning the interior and exterior parts of the bag together.

Here is the bag pinned and ready to be sewn (or serged).

Serge away!

Once sewed, you turn the bag so the exterior fabric is on the outside.


Come back in a few days for Part 6 of 6!!

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Red Ruffle Shirt, Part 1

Tea Rose Home has a great ruffle shirt tutorial.  Click here for the instructions.

I love all of the ruffle shirts that have been at stores lately.  I also love my plain, crew t-shirts.  I don’t have to iron them, and the neckline is great.  They were too plain to wear to work, so I decided to add some embellishments.

I took my plain t-shirt (right) to a resale shop and matched the color to another t-shirt.  Men’s t-shirts are best, as they are often cheaper and larger (more fabric).  Word of advice:  try to get ones without printing, as you can’t use those pieces of fabric.

Also, some resale shops have 50% off clothing days.  I hit one of those, so it was a jackpot of savings for me.

The resale shirt.

Cut strips of fabric.

Cut the ends off and cut them to the length specified in the instructions (I think I made these 14 inches long, which is slightly longer than what the instructions call for).  One of the strips will be twice as long.

Sew with a gathering stitch and make your ruffles.

The ruffles.

This is my comfy shirt.

Start adding ruffles at the neckline in front.

Continue adding ruffles underneath.

I noticed that my ruffles were veering to the left, so I started measuring the distance between the edge of each ruffle and the edge of the shirt.

Pinning a ruffle in place.

Sewing on a ruffle.

This is the inside of the shirt.  It shows what your sewing lines will look like.

All of the ruffles are on, but the shirt is not done!

Come back in a few days for Part 2!

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