The Secret to Sewing a Gape-Free Neckline

I have said before that I don’t use very many Indie patterns, but there are exceptions to that and I have a great one to share with you today! It’s interesting to watch the pattern industry change. The higher prices of the pattern sales at JoAnn has spurred a ton of discussion lately in the sewing community. I’m not necessarily surprised at the price change, and I also think maybe buying fewer patterns at a time could be a good exercise in restraint and planning for many of us.

I have long refused to plan my life around the JoAnn sales, so I often order patterns directly from the company during the online sales, when the Big 4 puts them on sale for $3.99. Now that JoAnn is raising the prices and lessening the frequency of pattern sales, I may be more willing to purchase more good Indie patterns. I’ve become somewhat of a pattern minimalist anyway, so paying more for well-done patterns doesn’t bother me.

That said, it’s risky trying new Indie patterns! I have not had good experiences with a few of the most popular Indie designs out there, so I’m gun shy about the whole thing. BUT, my girls are dancing in the Nutcracker and the Grinch in November and I really wanted to make a new dress for these events out of a nice rayon crepe my mom recently gave me. I didn’t have a pattern in my stash that sung to me, so when I saw this pattern on Instagram, my heart was set on it pretty much immediately (I bought it that very day, very impulsive for me).

This dress is called the Pleiades 2 and it’s by Blandine of French Poetry Patterns. For some reason my Mac does not want to open the French website, so I can’t link it, but my phone opens it no problem, so I purchased it that way. She does have the instructions and everything in English, so I didn’t have any issues with that.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

The Pleiades II Dress sewing pattern by French Poetry patterns. This pattern is perfect! I love the lantern sleeves and I learned a new technique for a gape free neckline! || PIn, Cut Sew Studio #frenchpoetrypatterns #howtosewadress #dress #sewing #diyfashion

I did make a muslin before cutting into my fabric, but the dress fit perfectly, I didn’t have to make any fit alterations. She calls this sleeve a “lantern sleeve” and I think it’s such a beautiful touch! The other option is a tied sleeve, which is also great, I look forward to trying those next time. The neckline is slightly low for say, a church dress, but for the Nutcracker, it’s fine. I do think she has since raised the neckline on the pattern slightly after listening to feedback, so make a note of that it you purchase this pattern.

Not only did my dress turn out perfectly, I learned a new technique for gape-free necklines! If you’re like me you always worry about gaping necklines when your neckline is cut on the bias. Of course we always stay stitch, but oftentimes this isn’t enough. This pattern calls for a strip on interfacing along the neckline instead. I tried this technique and it really did increase the stability a ton more than stay stitching! I know this because I lined my bodice and while I used the interfacing on the outside piece, I only stay stitched the lining. The lining was still stretched quite a bit more than the interfaced piece and I had to ease it onto the front piece!

The Pleiades II Dress sewing pattern by French Poetry patterns. This pattern is perfect! I love the lantern sleeves and I learned a new technique for a gape free neckline! || PIn, Cut Sew Studio #frenchpoetrypatterns #howtosewadress #dress #sewing #diyfashion

I will use the interfacing technique to prevent my bias necklines from gaping from now on. Did you already know about this technique??

The Pleiades II Dress sewing pattern by French Poetry patterns. This pattern is perfect! I love the lantern sleeves and I learned a new technique for a gape free neckline! || PIn, Cut Sew Studio #frenchpoetrypatterns #howtosewadress #dress #sewing #diyfashion

Another thing I loved about sewing this pattern is that the skirt has shaping. I think the reason many empire waist dresses look maternity is because the skirt seams are all straight, without any contouring. These skirt pieces, however, are all individually curved in certain ways to give a nice shape to the lower half of the body. There is a front and back seam as well, which aides in this shaping.

I will definitely be making this dress again. I’m very excited to wear it to the Nutcracker with black tights and boots, but I think it will be great in all seasons. I have my eye on a few other patterns from this company too, since I had such a great experience!

Are there any Indie pattern companies you really love that I may not have heard of? Please do tell!

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The Pleiades II Dress sewing pattern by French Poetry patterns. This pattern is perfect! I love the lantern sleeves and I learned a new technique for a gape free neckline! I’ve finally learned to sew necklines so that they don’t gape! || PIn, Cut Sew Studio #frenchpoetrypatterns #howtosewadress #dress #sewing #diyfashion
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ALL the costumes I've ever made!!

I just tracked down as many of the photos from past Halloweens as I possibly could (thank you Facebook for keeping my photos, when I don’t!) I thought it would be super fun to round them all up here in one place, with pattern numbers and everything, in case you get inspired by one of them!

I’m going to start from last year and work backwards. You’ll notice my photography skills have grown right alongside my kiddos, haha.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

I have detailed each of these first three costumes over the last month, so these aren’t new to you, but last year, Natalie was a Starbucks barista, Layla was Hermione Grainger and Kelby was Dire from Fortnite. Click those links for the details!

DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

In 2017, our first Fall here in Utah, Natalie was a girlie Storm Trooper. This was a total DIY, we made a cute skater skirt out of white satin and I used felt for the various pieces, gluing them onto a black shirt. I made the mask out of felt also.

DIY girl storm trooper costume. DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

Layla (and every other girl her age) was super into unicorns that year and Simplicity 8483 came out just at the right time. This was a super fun project to make! The rainbow fur trim really makes it fun, along with the sparkly purple hood lining.

DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

Kelby was Doctor Strange that year and I LOVED this costume. It was fun to make; I used McCall’s 7676 and it was great. If I remember correctly, I sewed him the smallest size and just altered it down as I needed to.

Doctor Strange Costume sewing pattern. DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

Moving backyards to 2016, we were living in Hawaii and I had a Pokemon character, a peacock in a tutu and an angel. I made a simple costume for myself that year also — I was an ice cream cone! I glued some felt sprinkles to a t-shirt and made a brown cone-shaped hat, sewing lines in a cross-cross pattern. Cute and easy.

I can’t find a better picture of Natalie’s peacock costume, which is a bummer because I created a mass of beatufiul felt tail feathers on the back of the tutu! They were allowed to wear costumes to ballet that day, so we created a dance-worthy costume for that reason.

For Kelby’s I used a pattern I’d used for his dinosaur costume a previous year, Simplicity 1765.

DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

The year before that, still in Hawaii, Kelby was Thor and that costume turned out super cool! I used Simplicity 1038. He loved this costume and wore it constantly after Hallowee until it got too small and I subtly phased it out of the house, ha!

DIY Thor Costume. DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

I was a minion that year! I used McCall’s 7214 and it was pretty simple to sew up. One of the many perks of living in Hawaii is that you don’t have to worry about warmth on Halloween! I plan to revive this costume this year, but I’ll have to figure out a way to layer up for trick-or-treating with the kids.

Minion Costume DIY. DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

I can’t find any other good pictures of my girls from that year! Bummer! Natalie was a 50’s girl, I made her a poodle skirt using McCall’s 6101. Layla was Artemis, Greek goddess of the hunt. I draped her costume using a white sheet and made her cape with my trusty Simplicity 1557. I know that’s a Merida pattern, but I’ve used the cape portion to make sooo many capes, for dress-up, for gifts, a Jedi cape, a Kylo Ren cloak, etc …

DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

Before that, my son was the Flash, which was a total DIY, I made a red shirt and pants using a pajama pattern (I think?) and made the accessories from felt.

My girls chose to match that year! We used McCall’s 6816 and this pattern was soooo much fun to make. Although, fleece isn’t that cheap in Hawaii and I remember being frustrated at my lack of fabric shopping options. It was still super fun, though.

DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

The year before that, we were living in Virginia and Natalie was still in her very long-lived princess phase. So she was a princess, made with a pattern that I cannot remember and that’s probably out of print anyway. Layla was Merida that year and her costume was really fun to sew. I remember that one being very popular with friends who came over for dress-up for more than a few years after the fact. The pattern was McCall’s 6817. Kelby was Mario! So cute, he was seriously adorable. I used this pattern for the hat and the rest was store-bought. The trick-or-treating on the Army post we lived on then was probably the most fun we’ve experienced.

DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes
DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes
DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

This is a clown costume I wore that year, although I’d made it a few years prior. Again, I don’t know which pattern this was, but I’m sure it’s out of print by now anyway. I do still have the costume, though.

DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

Moving on, our last year in Colorado was one of my favorite sets of costumes. I made myself a Supermom costume! I DIYed it out of felt. Super funny and easy.

Natalie was Belle that year, which I made with this pattern (I remember it running large, that’s why I added a pleat in the front and added the rose.) Layla was an Egyptian princess, made with this pattern.

Kelby was a dinosaur and he LOVED this costume. (Here’s the pattern, it’s one of my favorites ever). He pretty much wore nothing else at home for the following year, haha.

DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

Moving right along! I had a Buzz Lightyear the following year, which is one of the costumes I’m most proud of, even though there was no sewing! I used a reference photo and cut and glued the felt pieces to a pair of white sweats and it was epic. Especially the foam board jet pack wings.

I also had a water fairy, from the Tinkerbell movies, which were just starting to come out back then. I used this pattern for her. And Layla was an angel, using this pattern, which has been out forever; I’m pretty sure it’s the exact same pattern my mom used to make my sister and I angel costumes when we were little!

DIY Buzz LIghtyear costumeDIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes
DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes
DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

Before that, my photo documentation was sketchy! I do have some stragglers, though.

There’s the year I made my girls cupcake costumes copied straight out of a Pottery Barn Kids catalog. I literally had people offering to buy these from me.

DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes
DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

And one year I made Casey an Obi-Wan costume and baby Kelby a Yoda costume. If you’re wondering why Casey doesn’t appear in any of these pics, it’s because he usually goes as something like a lemon, wearing a yellow shirt. But he did look awesome as Obi-Wan!

Father and Son Star Wars Costumes. DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

And, here’s baby Natalie as a clown. I still have this costume in my keepsake box, it’s such a precious memory.

DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

And finally, one of my favorite photos of Layla ever, here is baby Layla’s cow costume I made her by cutting up a white sweatshirt, adding felt spots and crafting a hat with the scraps.

DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes

WHEW!!! Oh my goodness. Do you find it hard to go back through old photos of your babies??? I have to be in the right frame of mind, or else I’ll just cry, LOL!! Time sure does go by fast.

That was fun for me and I hope it was fun for you!

I’ll be sharing this year’s costumes in a couple of weeks, I’m so close to being done!

Cheers :)

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DIY handmade costume sewing ideas, with patterns and how-tos. Come see (almost) all the costumes I’ve ever made for my kids, from the very beginning! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #costumes #Halloween #cosplay #sewingcostumes #easysewing #costumestomake #diycostumes
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Gifts to Sew for the Home

Whenever people get mad that Hobby Lobby starts puts up their Christmas stuff in August, I say, “Well, crafters gotta craft”. Meaning, people who make Christmas gifts start early! I definitely don’t start my Christmas sewing in August, but I do generally start thinking about it several months before Christmas.

A few months ago I started a new Pinterest board called “Sewing for Home” in order to make some initial Christmas sewing plans. I may not get to all of these; I’ll have to whittle it down, but I do want to share with you the items I’m considering sewing as Christmas gifts this year!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

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Gifts to sew for the home! It’s so rewarding to sew useful items for the homes of others and see your creations being used in their homes many years later. Come see the easy sewing projects I’m thinking about sewing as gifts this Christmas! || Pin Cut Sew Studio #giftstosew #easysewing #sewingforthehome

Gifts to Sew for the Home

I love this large hot pad idea by Auntie Em’s crafts. I think the microwaveable bowl cozy phenomenon has opened our eyes to the need for more shapes and sizes of hot pads! So often when I place a casserole dish on the table, I need two hot pads or just use my quilted table runner. So I think a large size hot pad is in order!

Speaking of pot holders in varying sizes, I posted this potholder mitt tutorial for easy, giftable pot holders last week. I like this design for two reasons: First, it doesn’t have any fussy binding or hand sewing, so it’s perfect to sew up a large batch to give as gifts. And second, I love pot holders with pockets for both the hand and the thumb! It puts my mind at ease when my kids are baking too.

I absolutely adore these seersucker tea towels by Francois et Moi!! I have always loved the texture of seersucker and I think this unique approach to tea towels sets them apart from the crowd and makes them perfect for gifting.

Here’s a great tutorial for a different kind of laundry bag on a blog called Gluesticks (cute!). This one is perfect for little people. I can picture my kids loving this when they were little! Maybe they would have enjoyed picking up their clothes if their laundry bags were cute like these, ha!

These DIY jar openers on the Happiest Camper are a really great idea. With a few fabric scraps and rubber shelf liner, you can make a ton of these for gifts very inexpensively. I like how she imbeds a magnet inside each one so it can be easily stored on the fridge for easy access!

Ok, these trivets out of fabric twine are pretty awesome. I’ve linked to Easy Peasy Creative’s fabric twine tutorial before, so to see an idea that uses that scrap busting project is seriously even better. Time to start saving those scraps!

Those are the things I’m thinking of making as gifts this year! Sewing things others can use in their homes is always a good idea. It makes me smile to see the things I’ve made over the years still being used or displayed in the homes of my family members!

To go with some of these gifts, I plan to pair them with Everything Bagel Seasoning blend, some Honey Sriracha seasoning, some balsamic glaze (so good on eggs benny!), and/or some Mike’s Hot Honey. Those last two will change your pizza habits forever, ha! My sister gave me the two seasoning blends as a gift last year and they’ve totally changed my meals (and my popcorn) for the better!

Do you plan to sew any gifts this year? I’d love to hear about your plans in the comments!

Cheers :)

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DIY Pot Holder Tutorial

I’m reviving a tutorial from my old blog for these handy, easy to sew DIY pot holder mitts. I sewed a bunch of these up for Christmas that year, so I tried to create a design that was easy to mass produce — no fussy bindings or anything like that! I think it would be fun to whip up another batch this many years later, to gift to my current local friends, which is why I went looking for my old tutorial!

I made this tutorial very beginner friendly so that anyone can follow along. If you don’t need that much hand holding, just use the measurements and sew some up without reading the instructions, I won’t be offended, ha!

And, so I don’t get caught plagiarizing myself (it’s a thing!), this tutorial was previously published here.

So here you go, revised and updated, how to make easy DIY pot holder mitts.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

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Learn to sew easy DIY pot holder mitts! No fussy binding or hand sewing, this is the perfect gift and a great sewing tutorial for beginners. || PIn Cut Sew Studio   #sewing #diy #howtosew #easysewing #tutorial

Supplies:

  • Two 11x7 pieces for your main fabric (a quarter yard will work, a fat quarter will not)

  • Two 10x7 pieces for your pockets

  • An 11x7 piece of Insul-Brite. This is a heat resistant fabric batting made for projects like this and and it’s fairly inexpensive for a large piece, big enough for probably 20 of these pot holders.

  • An 11x7 piece of cotton batting. I have plenty of scraps and if you don't, it’s inexpensive to buy the craft size.

  • A walking foot if possible. This will help keep your layers from shifting as you sew. My machine has a built in walking foot, but if yours doesn’t, I highly recommend purchasing, as you’ll find it handy for so many projects.

  • A strong needle, a 90 probably. I used an 80, but my machine is semi-industrial.

Let's get started! You should have cut your fabric to look like this:

Learn to sew easy DIY pot holder mitts! No fussy binding or hand sewing, this is the perfect gift and a great sewing tutorial for beginners. || PIn Cut Sew Studio   #sewing #diy #howtosew #easysewing #tutorial

Go ahead and press your pocket pieces in half hamburger-style:

Learn to sew easy DIY pot holder mitts! No fussy binding or hand sewing, this is the perfect gift and a great sewing tutorial for beginners. || PIn Cut Sew Studio   #sewing #diy #howtosew #easysewing #tutorial

Now for sandwiching your fabrics together. Put your piece of Insul-brite on top of your piece of cotton batting. Then put one of your main fabric pieces right side up on top of those.

Learn to sew easy DIY pot holder mitts! No fussy binding or hand sewing, this is the perfect gift and a great sewing tutorial for beginners. || PIn Cut Sew Studio   #sewing #diy #howtosew #easysewing #tutorial

If you're not using a walking foot or if you're a beginner, I'd suggest basting those layers together and also basting your pockets on after that. I skipped any basting and mine stayed together fine. Next on your sandwich goes your pockets, with the folds toward the center:

Learn to sew easy DIY pot holder mitts! No fussy binding or hand sewing, this is the perfect gift and a great sewing tutorial for beginners. || PIn Cut Sew Studio   #sewing #diy #howtosew #easysewing #tutorial

Lastly, place your remaining main fabric piece right side down on top of all that:

Learn to sew easy DIY pot holder mitts! No fussy binding or hand sewing, this is the perfect gift and a great sewing tutorial for beginners. || PIn Cut Sew Studio   #sewing #diy #howtosew #easysewing #tutorial

Pin your layers together around the edges, planning for an opening for turning. I put mine on a long side--you can see I placed two pins together up there to remind me to stop. I left about three inches. Maybe a bit more.

Learn to sew easy DIY pot holder mitts! No fussy binding or hand sewing, this is the perfect gift and a great sewing tutorial for beginners. || PIn Cut Sew Studio   #sewing #diy #howtosew #easysewing #tutorial

Go ahead and sew that sandwich together in a half inch seam. Then, trim your seams and corners, but not where your opening is; leaving that part untrimmed will ensure you catch those edges in when you top stitch.

Learn to sew easy DIY pot holder mitts! No fussy binding or hand sewing, this is the perfect gift and a great sewing tutorial for beginners. || PIn Cut Sew Studio   #sewing #diy #howtosew #easysewing #tutorial

Turn right side out between your main fabric and your main fabric with pockets piece. Those layers can be confusing if you didn't baste, but you'll figure it out :)

Learn to sew easy DIY pot holder mitts! No fussy binding or hand sewing, this is the perfect gift and a great sewing tutorial for beginners. || PIn Cut Sew Studio   #sewing #diy #howtosew #easysewing #tutorial

Poke those corners out good with a chopstick (or whatever) and press it good, pressing your opening closed. I then place a pin in my opening, ready for top stitching. I don't bother hand sewing that opening, because it will be closed up with the top stitching.

Learn to sew easy DIY pot holder mitts! No fussy binding or hand sewing, this is the perfect gift and a great sewing tutorial for beginners. || PIn Cut Sew Studio   #sewing #diy #howtosew #easysewing #tutorial

Top stitch about all the way around at 1/8” from the edge and you're done!!

Learn to sew easy DIY pot holder mitts! No fussy binding or hand sewing, this is the perfect gift and a great sewing tutorial for beginners. || PIn Cut Sew Studio   #sewing #diy #howtosew #easysewing #tutorial
Learn to sew easy DIY pot holder mitts! No fussy binding or hand sewing, this is the perfect gift and a great sewing tutorial for beginners. || PIn Cut Sew Studio   #sewing #diy #howtosew #easysewing #tutorial

These pot holders are great scrap busters and they’re great for kids to use since they protect their fingers from getting burned. I know I always prefer mitts to flat hot pads for that reason!

If you make some, I’d love to see them! Find me on Instagram and show me :)

Cheers!

Learn to sew easy DIY pot holder mitts! No fussy binding or hand sewing, this is the perfect gift and a great sewing tutorial for beginners. || PIn Cut Sew Studio   #sewing #diy #howtosew #easysewing #tutorial
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Five Sewing Gadgets to Put on your Christmas List

I keep an Amazon wish list called “Nikki’s Christmas Wishes” and it’s sole purpose is to make Christmas shopping easier for my husband, ha! It’s not that he doesn’t love to give me gifts, he just doesn’t have any ideas when it’s actually time to go Christmas shopping! So I help him out with a list. My husband and I only do stockings for each other, no big ticket items on Christmas, so that our money can go to other gifts, so I try to keep to smaller things on my wish list.

Over the years, I’ve collected some pretty useful sewing gadgets, so I want to share with you five things to put on your own wish list this Christmas! Some of these I’ve received as gifts in the past and a few are items on my list currently. Let me know what you would add!

Sewing gadgets to add to your wish list! Five great gifts for people who sew || PIn Cut Sew Studio  #sewinggifts #sewingtools

FastTurn

My mom gifted me a FastTurn turning tool in my first year or two of marriage and it’s still going strong these many years later. This is is SO handy. It will turn your fabric tubes of all sizes right side out, no fiddly safety pins required. Major time saver! It’s made super well, obviously, since mine is still in use after 17 plus years of use, and not one piece has broken. This is a must have gadget for any sewer!

Five must-have sewing gadgets to add to your Christmas wish list! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #sewingtools #howtosew #sewingroom #giftsforsewers

Seam Roller

This Clover Roll & Press is on my Christmas list this year. This inexpensive little gadget will save me from having to go to the ironing board after every little seam, but should do a little better of a job than finger pressing. Also, for fabrics that don’t take to ironing very well, this should help press those seams open without damaging my fabric.

Expanding Button Gauge

This gadget was in my stocking after I put it on my wish list a few years ago and I’ve used the heck out of it! It’s an expandable ruler that helps you measure spacing accurately. See this post for how I use it to make perfectly spaced buttons and button holes.

Tailor’s Ham

This is on my list this year too. I had a tailor’s ham at one point, but it’s one of the random things that inexplicably got lost in a move. It’s too useful to go without though, so I’d like a replacement. A tailor’s ham is a pressing tool that can help you iron shaped pieces like sleeve heads. BUT, it’s also handy for pinning pockets onto shirts. Since the shirt will often have a bust dart, pinning a pocket onto in the flat doesn’t make sense. Placing the shirt onto your tailor’s ham gives it the curve that it would have when being worn, so it makes pocket placement easier.

Spring Loaded Hole Punches

I’ve had these punches since my scrapbooking days, so probably for 15 or more years. I don’t think mine were marketed as sewing tools where I bought them, but they are actually spring loaded eyelet setters. They do set eyelets, however, I use them in my sewing room very often for much more than that! These come with three sizes in one package and they’re great for punching holes for animal eyes, snaps or grommets. I use them to punch extra holes in leather belts or purse straps too. You simply place the cutting end on the spot you want a hole, pull up on the other end and let go. Super easy! I keep a tiny self healing mat around just for use with these handy little gadgets.

That’s all for now, although I did sneak a dress form onto my list just in case my husband feels like going big, haha! I’ve never had a dress form before, but I often think to myself how it would make so many things easier!

Please tell us which sewing gadgets you couldn’t live without! I’m always looking for more handy tools for the sewing room :)

Cheers!

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The Ten Best Sewing Books for Kids and Teens

Up until about 18 months ago, I taught sewing to kids and teens in my home sewing studio. I started when we lived in Hawaii and then continued when we moved here to Utah, but when my husband deployed, I knew it was time to wrap it up and focus on homeschooling and other priorities! I still miss teaching at times, but blogging is just as much fun and I’m really enjoying this current phase of my sewing life too.

I had over 80 kids, tweens and teens come through my studio in those few years of teaching and I have a stack of sewing books that were well loved by my students. I would set them out when we had extra time and they loved looking through them and finding our next projects. The market for kids sewing isn’t huge, but the books that have been published are truly beautiful and well-done resources for teaching kids to sew and for kids and teens to be able to make things on their own with minimal help.

So I want to pass these titles along to you! All of the following books have been put to the test by myself, my students and my own kids , and we recommend them all with confidence!

I've taught sewing to over 80 kids and I have a list of the ten BEST books out there for kids and teens who love to sew or want to learn. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #sewingforkids #kidssewing #teensewing #sewingbooks

I've taught sewing to over 80 kids and I have a list of the ten BEST books out there for kids and teens who love to sew or want to learn. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #sewingforkids #kidssewing #teensewing #sewingbooks

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

The Ten Best Sewing Books for Kids and Teens

Sewing for Children

This is the first book I used to start teaching my own children to sew and it’s still the one I recommend for the youngest kids. Many of the projects are sewn by hand, so it’s great for the little ones who aren’t quite old enough to use the machine. My kids made the sweetest things from this beautiful book! Even if I give away the stack at some point, this is one I’ll keep.

Sewing School

This book is another top favorite! With a good mix of hand sewing and machine sewing projects, it’s written so that kids can follow instructions and make these projects all by themselves. I recommend this one for up to age 10 or so, as some of the projects will seem rather juvenile to tweens and teens.

Sewing School Quilts

The sequel to Sewing School, this book includes projects equally easy for kids to accomplish on their own, but they’re all about quilting. Kids can build skills and even start a quilting club with their friends using the instructions and ideas inside. There are of course instructions for large quilts, but there are so many smaller projects included and they’re really creative ideas that I hadn’t seen in other books, so this is a good one with unique ideas.

We Love to Sew

This is the first in my favorite series of sewing books for kids! Maybe it’s because it’s written by another kids’ sewing teacher, the projects in this books really speak to kids and make them want to get sewing. The pictures and instructions are modern and fun too, so that’s a plus.

We Love to Sew — Bedrooms

The second in the We Love to Sew series, this book includes 23 ideas to sew “cool stuff for your space”. Memo boards, patchwork throws, wall decor and even a bed canopy are the kinds of projects you’ll find in this one. This series is great for teens too, these are all projects that will appeal to the older set as well as the younger sewists.

We Love to Sew — Gifts

Yep, another great book in the series! This one includes gifts of all kinds, for your parents, your friends and even your pets. More great original ideas for kids and tweens/teens. Younger kids might need more help with the projects from this series until they have some experience under their belts, but the instructions are written so that it’ll be easy for you to help them, even if you’re a beginner sewer yourself. We Love to Craft Christmas is the fourth book in the series, and while it’s not comprised only of sewing projects, it deserves a mention.

Girl’s Guide to DIY Fashion

This book includes some really cute ideas for girls who want to sew fashion items. It shows them how to embellish their garments, create some accessories and some simple clothing projects like pajama pants and a basic dress. I recommend for ages 8-11.

Project Teen

I LOVE this book! It’s definitely one of my top favorites and I recommend it even you’re not a teen! It has some really cool and creative projects in it, including how to applique words onto a pillow or bag, how to make a zipper pouch out of a paper map and how to turn your keepsake t-shirts into pillows for your bed. If you sew for teens or college students, this book has such unique ideas.

#OOTD

This is a really cool book for ages 12-16. Angela Lan learned to DIY her own wardrobe and shows others how she did it. Because she’s a teen herself (or was when she wrote the book), the styles are cute and trendy. My teen daughter loves the clothes inside this book and while the finishes aren’t necessarily professional, the instructions do make garment sewing more accessible for teenaged beginners.

Fun Dolls

This is just one of the many books in the series, Let’s Make Cute Stuff and I’ll be totally honest, I bought it long before I ever had kids, ha! Everything inside is just so adorably cute and the way the instructions are laid out is very visually fun and easy for kids. The pages of directions are laid out in step-by-step pictures with minimal words. I put no age range on this one, obviously, I recommend it for everyone who likes cute stuff.

If you know of any other great sewing books for kids and teens, feel free to let me know! And if you need help teaching your kiddos to sew, I have written a post with all my best tips right here.











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Five Things to Sew This Weekend: Vol. 7

Welcome to Five Things to Sew This Weekend, Volume 7! Weekends are busy for us these days, mostly driving my daughters to and from ballet and Nutcracker rehearsals, but I try really hard to make sure I make time for sewing! I get an hour here and there throughout the week too, but something about weekends and sewing just seems to go together.

I’ve found five things you can sew up this weekend if you need some sewing therapy after a busy week! If none of these suit your fancy, you can find past volumes of Five Things right here. Let’s get started :)

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

The five best sewing tutorials you can sew up in a weekend! || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewingpatterns #freesewing #sewingtutorials #easysewing

One:

I really love this sweet pumpkin spice applique dish towel by Flamingo Toes. For most seasons, I don’t bother getting seasonal decorations out, but I do love adding some Fall touches to the house in when the cooler weather hits!

Two:

I posted an easy tutorial for a circle scarf earlier this week. As we get into cooler weather, I find myself wearing an infinity scarf every time I leave the house! It’s so often cold in the morning and warm by afternoon, so this is a great transitional piece. You only need two yards of fabric and a couple of simple seams.

Great for weekend sewing! Make a DIY circle scarf with this free and easy tutorial || Pin Cut Sew #circlescarf #infinityscarf #diyscarf #tutorial

Three:

My daughter Layla is into making tiny things and she has her eye on this pattern on Etsy for a mini bunny with clothes. Soooo cute, it even has a bed AND bedding. It’s adorable. We plan to buy the pattern and get out some scraps to get started. How cute a gift would this make for the little ones in your life??

Four:

I noticed Sew News had a leggings sewalong recently, but I didn’t get in on it! I do need some more leggings for winter, though, so I might go ahead and keep my eyes open for fabrics that would work for them. Right now I have a couple good black pairs and a dark gray sweater knit pair. I’ll definitely stick to dark colors, but I think a dark shade of gray and a dark burgundy would be good.

Five:

Lastly, I have a couple fabrics I’ve been wanting to use for new pillow cases for our bedroom. I really like this tutorial on Tidbits because I don’t really like having the flapping fabric on my pillow cases. I love the lace peeking out instead of the traditional pillow case band and I love the reversible idea! Pillow cases are a go-to gift idea for kids, since you can find so many great novelty prints, and they’re a great first sewing project too if you have any brand new sewing students. My husband uses the Star Wars pillows cases I made him on his pillow, but I think I need to make myself some pretty ones too ;)

That’s five! What are your sewing plans this weekend??



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Sewing Athleisure: Simplicity 8790

At the end of this post, I’m going to ask you for help with something! Please read, I need your tips!

But first,

I get a catalog from Athleta in the mail every month or so and I always LOVE the clothes in there. I’ve gotten a few pieces on clearance in the past, but on the whole, it’s out of my budget to order from them. But I love getting the catalog still, because I often find something I’d like to copy!

One of those items is an athleisure style dress, that can be worn with or without leggings, goes with casual sneakers or even snow boots when the weather warrants them, and is just a casual piece for the colder weather. When I scored the perfect clearance fabric at Joann a few months ago, I knew I’d be making a similar dress to those in my Athleta catalog.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

I sewed an athleisure sweatshirt hoodie dress with Simpiicity 8790! Click over for the details. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #simplicitypattern #athleisuresewing

I didn’t need to spend much time searching for a pattern because I had Simplicity 8790 in my stash already. It had only been waiting for the right fabric. I made view C because I wanted the hood without the cowl and I like the raglan style sleeves, not the dropped shoulders.

Simplicity Pattern 8790 || PIn Cut Sew Studio #simplicitypattern #athleisuresewing

I did make a couple of changes. The pocket design on this pattern is pretty cool; it’s a kangaroo pocket, but it looks like two side pockets. The pattern included a facing for the pocket, but I thought that was silly. I cut a strip and bound the pocket like you would most other patterns for knits. I bound the hood in the same way, as I feel it’s more of a professional looking finish than the simple hem the pattern called for.

I sewed an athleisure sweatshirt hoodie dress with Simpiicity 8790! Click over for the details. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #simplicitypattern #athleisuresewing

The other change I made was to add cuffs and a hem band, rather than hemming the bottom and sleeves the traditional way. I love how that ended up looking! It feels more substantial, somehow, maybe because it adds weight to the hem.

I’d like to make this pattern again, for sure! Next time I will do a full bust adjustment, as I should have done on this one. This version fits well, but I can tell it would be just perfect with the FBA. Now that I know how to do them, I’m not as afraid of them!

I sewed an athleisure sweatshirt hoodie dress with Simpiicity 8790! Click over for the details. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #simplicitypattern #athleisuresewing

(Find my favorite sneakers here).

I’m on the hunt for a sweatshirt fleece to make the shirt version next, so I’ve been looking at my thrift store for sweatshirt fleece blankets. I have super hard time buying fabrics online and I always have! Do any of you feel this way?? As much as I’d like to, I just never quite know what I’m getting! And paying for shipping and having returns be challenging and often costly, it feels so risky! One company I ordered from sent my fabric to an old address and I never received the fabric, nor would they give me my money back. It was super disheartening and I’m even more timid about online fabric ordering now. I’m on a pretty tight budget, so I’d rather not order swatches and spend even more money. How can I get over this?? Advice about ensuring success when fabric shopping online would be very welcome!

And if this dress inspired you, feel free to pin this image to save for later!

Cheers :)

How I made an athleisure dress with Simplicity pattern # 8790. Click over for the details! || Pin Cut Sew Studio #athleisuresewing #sewadress #diyfashion
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Fall Sewing Plans

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

I have a couple of very specific things on my Fall closet wish list! Northern Utah transitions pretty swiftly from Fall to Winter weather, so I better get on it! Hopefully these items will be useful through the Winter too.

The first is a long blush pink cardigan. I have several dresses and outfits that I think this item would be the perfect topper for, and I’ve seen many pretty examples on Amazon and Pinterest. I know the Helen’s Closet Blackwood Cardigan pattern is perfect, since I’ve made it so many times, and I’ll have to order a good sweater knit (maybe this one) and I think I can make myself one of these pretty inexpensively.

Fall sewing plans! Long blush pink cardigan using the Blackwood Cardigan pattern. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #fallsewing #cardigan #diyfashion

The second item I’d like in my Fall wardrobe is a sherpa vest! This is one of those things took a season for me to come around to, but right now I’m loving this look. I’ve pinned some pretty cute sherpa vest outfits to my style board and Hobby Lobby has the sherpa fabrics right now, in three colors and for a great price too. I’m thinking this pattern is perfect, although there are plenty of good ones. I’m pretty excited about this one!

Fall sewing plans! I’d like to make a sherpa vest and Hobby Lobby has the perfect fabric right now. || Pin Cut Sew Studio #vest #diyfashion #fallsewing

Lastly, I don’t have patterns and fabrics picked out for this one yet, but I’d like some tunic length tops. I have a pair a really nice rayon ponte leggings/pants that I got from my last thrift store haul and I’d like some longer shirts to go over them (maybe even with my sherpa vest, like this!) I have plans for a long flannel shirt and I”d like to make a few like this too. Pattern suggestions are welcome!

Do you plan ahead for seasonal sewing? Or do you sew for the season you’re in. I think I kinda do both, but I’d like to plan ahead a little better. Problem is, I often don’t see holes in my wardrobe until we’re already into the season at hand. How about you?

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Unrelated: Vol. 3

Welcome to week 3 of Unrelated, where I share with you five things I’m loving lately that have nothing to do with sewing! My favorite part about blogging is the community; chatting with people with common interests about what we all love. I’ve come to think of you all as my friends and I love sharing tips, recipes, ideas, books, all kinds of things with my friends in real life, so why not chat about those things with you all too?

Here are five things I’m loving lately. Enjoy!

DIY record holder. || Pin Cut Sew Studio

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

First:

One of our favorite family hobbies is our record player and record collection! It’s not huge, we keep it pared down to what we actually listen too, but we love finding used vinyl shops and hunting for the good stuff. Recently I asked my husband to make a holder for our records similar to one I’d seen online. He obliged and it’s so cool! I love how we can easily flip through the records and it looks so much prettier than the plastic bin I had them in before.

He stained it to match our table, since we keep our record player in our dining room. It’s so fun to listen to records while cooking! We also homeschool in here (which explains the chalkboard), so the cabinet holds supplies.

Record cabinet with DIY record holder. || PIn Cut Sew Studio

The record player we have is this one and we use this speaker with it. Natalie wanted a record player for her room, so we bought her this one for her birthday, which has the speaker inside and bluetooth, which is pretty cool. We’ve had a record player since the kids were little and it’s bee a fun way to expose them to all kinds of musical genres.

Second:

I am in love with this artist!! Oh my goodness, so fun. I’ve bought some pretty amazing Star Wars art on Etsy for my husband for past Christmases and this shop is definitely what I’m going with this year. I’m thinking this one for his office! And then when we move, perhaps this one for my kids’ bathroom. I will decorate around it, ha!

Third:

I’m a little shocked I haven’t shared this one with you yet, but I LOVE my HP Sprocket. It’s a little printer that prints out 2x3” photos from your phone via bluetooth. It doesn’t use ink or anything messy, the ink is in the paper! The paper refill packs are super cheap too, so if you like the idea of an instax mini, but are annoyed about the price of the film, get the Sprocket instead!

HP Sprocket. These are a few of my favorite things! The Sprocket prints out your phone photos via bluetooth! So fun!! | Pin Cut Sew Studio

It comes with an app and you can add words, borders and stickers before you print a photo if you want. Natalie prints photos for her pin board all the time, I print photos on the spot when we visit family, or stick a little photo into a card. You can even peel the backing off to use them as stickers! We also use it in our book of centuries for homeschooling. When we study a historical person, we print and stick a photo in its proper century. It’s seriously so fun and useful.

HP Sprocket for homeschooling. We print little photos and stick them in our book of centuries!

Fourth:

I’ve always been a game lover and my family all enjoys playing games together, but one of my daughters is as much into board games as I am, so we play together often. We’ve been playing a lot of Yatzee this week, which reminded me to share another dice game with you that we bought on vacation last Summer called Qwixx. It’s super fun, plus it’s really easy to learn. It’s one even my husband will play over and over. We tend to keep a game or two in the dining room so we can play during lunch, or waiting for the next dance pick-up.

Fifth:

Our schedule for these next few months is a little insane. I am finally at that point in life where I need a large family calendar hung up where everyone can see it. I was kinda going crazy trying to remember dates and times for various things and the schedule is never the same from day to day or week to week. I went out and bought a giant desk calendar and these fine point Sharpies, so I could color code my kids’ activities! I wrote eeeeeverything down and felt immediately better. I hung it on magnetic hooks on the side of the fridge, so it’s not taking up wall space, but we can all reference it when we need to. Why didn’t I do this sooner???

That’s five things! What things are you loving lately?

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DIY Infinity Scarf

I use infinity scarves constantly in the Fall and Winter! I like them better than traditional scarves because I think they’re easier to wear, there’s no fancy tying involved and I never have a long tail accidentally working it’s way loose and getting dragged on the ground. Plus, a circle scarf can be pulled up over my head as a makeshift hood if I need it, to protect my ears from wind, etc ...

I have a few favorites, one light weight and one warmer, but when I saw this black and white double sided fabric at Hobby Lobby, I thought it would be fun to make an infinity scarf, in a medium weight that fits right in between my two others. The fabric is a cotton double gauze and it’s buffalo checks on one side and gingham on the other. I mean, it was speaking my language.

I have a simple how-to for you today. This is one of those things most people could figure out, of course, but it’s also nice to have someone just spell it out and save you some math and thinking, ha!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

Click over to learn to make an easy DIY infinity scarf! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #infinityscarf #diyscarf #circlescarft

How to make an easy DIY infinity scarf:

You’ll need two yards of fabric, give or take a few inches (it’s not rocket science). You want to choose fabric that is the same on both sides or has two fronts. Basically, two right sides, so it doesn’t matter which side is showing.

DIY-INFINITY-SCARF.jpg

I’ve found when making a circle scarf, it’s hard to know what width you’ll want it until you’ve sewn it into a circle. This is because different fabrics are obviously bulkier, so the width of my lightest weight one is much greater than the width of my thick sweater knit one.

Therefore, I recommend sewing the ends together first, creating your circle. Straighten those edges and sew them together in a French seam — first sew the seam wrong sides together in a 1/4” seam. Trim to 1/8”, press to one side, then press the seam right sides together so that the seam is sandwiched. Then sew the seam again, right sides together in a 3/8” seam encasing the raw edge inside. You want this seam to sort of disappear, so after it’s sewn, I flat fell it, by pressing it to one side and top stitching it down near the flappy edge. See what I mean in the photo:

Click over to learn to make an easy DIY infinity scarf! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #infinityscarf #diyscarf #circlescarft

Now you’ll need to decide on the width, so try on the scarf and wrap it around twice as you would if you were wearing it. If it’s too bulky, try folding it inward to a certain width and try it on again. Play with it until you get it right. I hemmed mine to 29” wide this time. Trim off the excess and then simply hem the long edges with a narrow hem (turn under 1/4”, then again 3/8” and top stitch down near the folded edge).

Click over to learn to make an easy DIY infinity scarf! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #infinityscarf #diyscarf #circlescarft

You’re done! I hope this made the process easy for some of you! Circle scarves make great gifts, since it’s so easy to personalize. They’re also a fun thing to make with fabrics you love but aren’t really sure what to do with.

Click over to learn to make an easy DIY infinity scarf! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #infinityscarf #diyscarf #circlescarft
Click over to learn to make an easy DIY infinity scarf! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #infinityscarf #diyscarf #circlescarft
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DIY Starbucks Barista Costume

This is the last of last year’s Halloween costumes I have to share with you! But don’t worry, I’m working on this year’s costumes (at least mentally, haha), so there will be more through October, I’m sure. I’ve also been asked to make new Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes for the Grinch ballet, so those might also make an appearance.

Good thing costume sewing is my favorite!

Unlike this Halloween and every other Halloween of her life, Natalie chose a very simple to put together costume last year. She wanted to be a Starbucks barista! The costume was easy, inexpensive and super, super cute. When we went trick or treating, pretty much every adult asked if she’d brought them coffee, haha.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

How to make a DIY Starbucks barista costume! All the details and resources you’ll need. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #starbucks #costume #halloween #diy #easycostume

The details:

We ordered the basic green apron from Amazon. It’s the perfect size for what we needed and a great price. We then used iron on transfer paper to apply the logo. You need the one for dark fabrics to make sure the white logo shows up on the green apron. The transfer paper works great, you just print the design onto it with your printer (we had no problem finding the image on Google) and follow the instructions to iron it onto the apron. Super easy. We ordered the plain black visor from Amazon also.

To complete the look, she wore black pants and and a black hoodie that she already had. Since it’s chilly here, she wore black gloves also. She made the name tag out of cardboard and painted it to look like the ones they wear at Starbucks.

We thought it would be fun if her treat bag fit the costume, so I asked at my Starbucks if we could have one of the brown bags with their logo on it. They gladly handed one over when I told them what it was for! Natalie was worried the heavy candy would tear the bag, so she used clear packing tape to reinforce the whole thing and that did the trick.

How to make a DIY Starbucks barista costume! All the details and resources you’ll need. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #starbucks #costume #halloween #diy #easycostume

This costume was really fun! If you missed my other recent costume posts, click here to read about Layla’s Hermione Grainger costume and click here to see the Fortnite costume I made for Kelby last year.

Are you making any DIY costumes this year? Please share!

Cheers :)


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September Thrift Store Haul

I am not even a tiny bit ashamed to tell you that I am a thrift store lover (as if you didn’t know that already). I had fun conversing with you all about my my recent post on why I think sewing makes me better at thrift shopping, so I thought it would be fun to build on that and share with you my recent haul from my favorite thrift store!

Full the record, I do not just go thrifting once a month, I visit my Savers probably once a week. Not just to aimlessly wander and shop for stuff we don’t need, but if anyone in my family does need something, I always check there first. And with growing teen/tween children, it seems like they’re always needing something! Often, I’m only going to look for that one thing and I always go with a budget in mind. I’m not above buying pretty much anything secondhand. Shoes, sleepwear, outerwear, sheets, it’s all great.

The weather has really turned here this last week and I was short on long sleeved items for myself and I wanted to look for some warmer running clothes, since I started running a few mornings a week back in the Spring. Let me show you what I found on my last trip to Saver’s!

What I found at my thrift store in September! || Pin Cut Sew Studio #thrifting #diyfashion

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

First, I did find a couple of running tops. The light gray jacket is very similar to one I was thinking of buying on Amazon if I couldn’t find one secondhand. It not only has thumb holes, the cuffs flip all the way over my hands to keep them warm, which is something I really wanted in a running jacket. My hands get cold, but the cheap soft gloves aren’t great for a sweaty activity. The brand is Mondetta, there’s a similar jacket here. The purple jacket is originally from Gapfit (similar here) and I like how it has the kind of hood that covers my neck and will stay on when running. The leggings pictured are an Old Navy pair I thrifted several months ago (similar here).

One Pattern, Two Hacks (1).png

Next, I found a great rayon Old Navy dress and this is where the sewing thing comes in handy! I’ve tried on a similar style to this dress at Old Navy before and I remember the facing having issues. On this dress, it appears someone had been frustrated with the facing popping out and had tried to just cut it off. When this didn’t solve the problem, they donated the dress.

I was able to serge the raw edge of the facing and top stitch it down. If Old Navy would learn to properly understitch a facing, they might avoid this problem ;)

Sewing comes in handy for thrift shopping! I mended this hacked off facing and now I have a new rayon dress :) || PIn Cut Sew Studio #thrifting #diyfashion

It’s a pretty Summery dress, but I thought I could style it for Fall and Winter so I put some outfits together for all seasons. Both jackets pictures are from the thrift store too, the white linen moto jacket is Athleta (couldn’t believe that lucky find!) and the brown one is A.N.A. brand. Unfortunately my son put that one in the dryer once when he was helpfully changing the laundry and it’s not quite the same. Any suggestions on reshaping it would be great! It’s not leather, but not polyurethane either, it’s viscose. Help, please!

One thrifted dress, mended and styled for all seasons. || Pin Cut Sew Studio #diyfashion #thrifting #fallstyle

It will probably not surprise you that the gray sweater leggings are part of my thrift store haul also, ha! The grey booties are ones you’ve seen before and yep, you guessed it, they’re thrifted as well. They’re Nine West brand and you can find similar ones here. The brown boots are NOT thrifted (can you believe it!?) but they are Merrells and I cannot recommend them enough!! Solid arch support, real leather, completely waterproof. The ore you wear them in, the better they get. Total workhorse pair of boots if you live somewhere that gets a lot of wet and snowy weather. Great for wide calves too. Yep, they’re pricey, but you will not regret it.

Okay, next, I scored another Old Navy dress, this one a basic black rayon jersey dress. Everyone needs a piece like this in their closet and my previous one is several years old now and looking threadbare. I wear this kind of dress in all seasons. It’s so easy to dress up or down, throw a sweater and leggings on with it, or wear it over your swimsuit in the Summer. I was glad to find this piece.

Thrifted Old Navy dress. How to dress thrift store finds up or down and for the seasons. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #diyfashion #thrifting

Next, I found and American Eagle sweater and it’s so soft and I like the dark gray color. I’ve already worn this a few days this week, just to throw over what I was already wearing, since we’re in that season when it’s goes from 50-70 and back again several times per day. The jeans I’m wearing here are my favorite Old Navy pair and the shoes are Puma (scored in new condition at the thrift store!) and I talked about them here.

September thrift store haul || Pin Cut Sew Studio

Lastly, I found a super nice cotton button down shirt! The brand is Dip, which I haven’t heard of before, but it’s a pink and white pin stripe and fits me absolutely perfectly. So perfectly, in fact, that I want to alter my go-to button down pattern to more closely resemble how this shirt fits. I got some good feedback on Instagram about how to go about copying ready-to-wear clothes, other than waiting until they wear out and cutting them apart. The shoes here White Mountain and not thrifted. It always feels a little fancy when I buy new shoes from an actual new shoes store, hahaha!

September thrift store haul! || Pin Cut Sew Studio #thrifting #thrifthaul #diyfashion

I did get one last thing I didn’t get any photos of, but I was super excited to find. I got a pair of black rayon ponte leggings/pants that I think are going to be SO useful this Winter. I’m still working on making and adding pieces to my wardrobe to wear with them, so I’m sure they’ll make an appearance here soon!

That’s it for this particular trip! In total, I spent $51. That included a jersey sheet to use for making muslins. Earlier this month I went looking for some coats for my girls and scored big time! I got them both like-new down puffer coats in their preferred colors. One is Gap and one is Express and I paid $20 for both. Like I said, I always check the thrift store first and it very often pays off.

Truth time, is there anything you would NEVER buy secondhand? I’m a little weird about water bottles and thermoses that have the straw-style or flip up spouts. It’s kinda funny that that’s where I draw the line.

Cheers!


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Unrelated: Vol. 2

Happy Sunday! Sundays are my favorite days. Church, Mod Pizza, then Broncos, or sewing, or reading, or book store wandering, or just generally relaxing. I try to do all my school planning and other must-do-by-Monday things (like writing this post, for example, haha) before Sunday so none of that is weighing on me, which can make for full Saturdays, but it’s worth it when Sunday comes!

Anyway, I’m back with the second edition of “Unrelated”, where I share with you, my tribe, five things I’m loving that aren’t related to sewing. I’m really loving sharing these tid-bits with you and it’s been fun to keep a mental list of the things I just have to put in the next edition of Unrelated.

First, though, we did make the wreath idea I included in last week’s edition! It was fun to make this with the kids and we smile every time we pull into the driveway :)

I made a DIY Fall pinecone wreath!. Click over for the link to the great tutorial! || Pin Cut Sew Studio #falldecor #wreath #diy

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

Let’s get to this week’s five favorite things!

One:

Thriftbooks! Oh my goodness, my friend told me about thrift books a few months ago and I cannot get enough. Every time I place an order, it almost feels too good to be true. Thriftbooks is pretty much what you’d imagine, an online store store for used books. The best part is that you get free shipping for orders over $10 and you earn a free book every now and then when you get enough points from your purchases. Most titles cost $3.99 and many I’ve bought have been in new condition. I’ve found all genres of books on my to-read list, including homeschool books. BEST PART, you can get a 15% discount on your first order by clicking over through this link!

Two:

Grain Free Granola recipe by Iowa Girl Eats. I can’t eat gluten, it gives me awful headaches. Most store-bought granolas contain wheat, so I was buying this Grain Free granola from Target. It’s pricey for a pretty small bag, though, so I sought out a recipe and this one delivered, big time! It’s soooooo good, I’ve made it twice now and it lasts for about a week, even with my kids snacking on it. I put it on my cheerios, my yogurt, or just eat as a snack on it’s own.

Three:

Besides sewing, photography is a favorite hobby of mine. I go to Barnes & Noble to peruse the magazines sometimes and the other day I grabbed the newest edition of Shutter Magazine. The black and white theme is what caught my eye. I browsed through it at home and it’s really inspiring! It’s what led to my challenging myself to post a black and white photo every day on my personal Instagram account, which has been really fun so far. If there are any photographers in your life, a subscription to Shutter magazine would be a good gift idea. If you’re a photographer yourself, It looks like you can access the digital editions for free, which is pretty cool!

Here is a photo I took of Layla the very day I bought the magazine. I always have a willing subject at hand when inspiration strikes ;)

Black and White photography || Pin Cut Sew Studio

Four:

I bought this pair of olive and rose gold Puma sneakers at my thrift store last month. They were in like new condition, so I really lucked out and I ended up LOVING these shoes. They are so, so comfy and bendy. I like them so much, I’m thinking of ordering this similar pair in the elderberry color, because you know, a girl’s gotta have options. I do however, use inserts in all my shoes. I have one good pair with nice arch support that I just switch from shoes to shoes. So when I get new shoes, I rip the original inserts out and use my good ones. Even in my running shoes. I’ve been doing this for a few years now and it’s opened up a whole new world of shoe options for me! I have scoliosis and my body would just start to hurt if I wore shoes that didn’t have the right support. So, if you have knee, ankle, hip or back pain, might I suggest the first thing you try should be good inserts for your shoes? I recommend Vionics or similar brand, NOT the gel or memory foam kind and not the cheapo kinds you can get at Walmart. Lecture over, ha!

Five:

I was at Hobby Lobby today and they carry the oh-so-popular CC hats. We have a few of the hats and they are pretty great. The range of CC products has expanded though and now they have gloves too! AND, they’re “smart tips” gloves, so they claim you can use your thumb and finger to access your phone while wearing them. I was skeptical because I have tried on gloves that make these claims in the past and they really didn’t work at all. But, I tried them on and played with my phone there in Hobby Lobby and they worked! I didn’t buy them, but I want to and Amazon has lots more color choices than they had at Hobby Lobby, so I think I’m gonna go with the oatmeal confetti color.

Here’s a photo I took of Natalie in her CC hat last year. She’s had this hat a few years now and it’s still in great shape.

Pin Cut Sew Studio #fallphotography #ccbeanie

That’s five things! Please tell me what unrelated things you’ve been loving lately! Be sure and come back tomorrow to see my September thrift store haul, it’s a fun one.

Cheers!

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Five Things to Sew This Weekend: Fall Edition

Of all the seasons, I think Fall invokes the most feelings. When you imagine Fall, vivid pictures enter your mind; colors, foods, objects, the smell in the air, the feel of the chilly breezes. Everything just seems so rusty and burnt orange, so soft and cozy, like we can relate to the hibernating animals, innately knowing it's time to wrap up the outside life and prepare for the season of being indoors with our blankets, slippers and hot tea.

That Fall scent is in the air here in Northern Utah and it give me all the feels. I wish it could last a big longer before Winter hits and the true hibernation begins, but in the mean time, I will start some Fall sewing projects and share my top five Fall weekend sewing ideas here with you, in case you feel the need to sew something cozy too.

Five thing to sew for Fall that you can sew up this weekend! Click over for my top favorite sewing tutorial and patterns for Fall. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #sewing #fall #diy #pumkincrafts

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.


One:

How to sew a fleece blanket by Sugar Bee Crafts. Ok, I know, fleece blankets are everywhere, but I really love this one because it’s actually sewn together with a front and a back, not just tied or finished with a zig-zag, AND has those fabulous big pom-poms. I think these would make great gifts, especially if you use nice anti-pill fleece.

Two:

Chenille Fabric Pumpkins by Flamingo Toes. I adore these! I’ve made some fabric pumpkins, but the texture of these ones is so great, and the raffia adds a special touch, plus the vintage baby spoons for stems!? C’mon. So cute. I love the colors she chose too, unconventional colors always add something unique to traditional projects. Find some chenille options here.

Three:

Arm warmer tutorial on the Califabrics blog. I like arm warners because my other hobby is photography and I use them to keep my hands kinda warm while keeping the necessary fingers free. This project is super cute and could really use up some knit scraps! And they’d be way faster than the knitted pair I made several years ago, ha! (For real, knitting takes forever … or I’m just really slow at it).

Four:

Hey June released the Evans Blazer today and I’m dying. She makes the BEST patterns for people like me, who dress casually most of the time. I like how she styled each different blazer she made for the post too. Just love it and definitely plan to buy the pattern and make one (or three). I just need to find the right fabrics. Maybe this for my first one.

Five:

Pumpkin Sky Pillow by Carried Away Quilting. I really like this quilt block, especially the white pumpkin idea. It’s a pillow here, but I’m thinking of making it as a mini quilt. It will be fun to go through my scraps to find some fabrics to sew this up this weekend. Seems like a relaxing little project for me!



That’s five! I definitely want to fit in some serious sewing time this weekend! It’s been pretty busy around here this week, so I’m going to try to carve out time to sew on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of five things to sew this weekend. Here’s a link to all the previous editions.

Cheers : )



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