Black Rayon Linen Jacket: New Look 6351

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We’re currently on vacation in Colorado, seeing family since my husband recently returned from deployment. We’ve spent some time in Denver with my family and seeing friends (we both grew up here, met and married here) and today we’re heading down to Pueblo where his family lives. Every day has been so full, but in a good way!

So I’m just popping in to share a jacket with you that I made a few months ago, actually, but that’s gotten more wear than possibly anything else in this season’s handmade wardrobe.

This is the final piece made from my black rayon linen score, following the joggers and the dress.

New Look 6351 out of rayon linen || PIn, Cut, Sew

The pattern is New Look 6351 and I absolutely love the easy shape of it. I have said before, I was wanting to have a few jackets to wear instead of wearing mostly cardigans and this has proven a good strategy. It’s gotten a ton of wear, casual and dressy. It adds class to nicer outfits, where a cardigan just wouldn’t do the same.

I only made a couple changes. I did make a muslin, even though it’s just a jacket and decided to take some vertical wedges out of the back pattern piece from the hem to the middle back so that the bottom of the back fits closer to my body. This was the perfect decision, the back fit is my favorite! I also chose not to interface the collar piece because I wanted a more loose look than a crisp one.

Black linen jacket: New Look 6351 || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

There are some great rayon linen fabrics on Amazon if you’re considering trying this kind of fabric! Like this one, this one and this one ( my favorite!) I think I’ve proven how versatile it is and if I had to choose a favorite fabric, rayon linen might be my choice, especially for summer!

In other news, I finally began a new Instagram account just for sewing! I will get around to changing the links here in the sidebar, etc … in the next week, but for now, please follow me @PinCutSew. You can also just click on the linked photo below. Cheers!

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How to alter the waistband of kids' jeans (without darts!)

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.

My 12-year-old daughter has grown a crazy amount this year. She’s always been tall for her age and I expect her to outgrow me by the end of the year (I’m 5’6”, but I’m pretty sure I’ll end up the shortest in my family). Last Sunday she was lamenting that she didn’t have anything to wear. I went in to help her and realized she was kinda right, ha! She’d outgrown pretty much everything. So we went shopping!

We started at Savers (our favorite thrift store) and found a nice haul including three pair of jeans. One pair was Madewell and we got them for $5!!!! I love it when the thrift store doesn’t recognize an expensive brand, haha. The other two are super cute, but slightly big in the waist. She doesn’t love belts, so I said I’d alter them.

I didn’t want to do darts because once that’s done, it’s done and I wanted a less permanent solution so we can take it out if she needs. I came up with a way to add an elastic casing in the back and thought I’d put the tutorial here.

How to fix a too-big waistband on your kids’ jeans, with no darts. || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

All you need is a strip of fabric, 2” x 12” and a scrap of 3/4” or 1” elastic, about 6-10” long.

The first thing you need to do is remove the back belt loop with your seam ripper. I removed mine completely, but if you want to keep the belt loop, simply unpick the top of it and keep it out of the way while you sew, then top stitch it back in place at the end. This will be challenging unless you have a pretty heavy duty machine. I don’t like to risk putting my eye out with a broken needle, so I left them off.

How to make a jeans waistband smaller. || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Next, take your 2x12” strip of fabric and hem the short ends. Then, press under the long ends, 1/4”.

How to alter a jeans waistband, without darts. || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

Pin your strips onto the inside of your waistband, centered over the center back seam and edge stitch them on, both long edges, leaving the short ends open.

How How to alter the waistband of jeans

Take your strip of elastic and attach a safety pin to one end. Thread it through and once it gets to the end of your casing, stitch that end down. At this point, I had Layla try on the jeans and pulled the elastic so they fit how she wanted. Then I stitched the other end in place and trimmed the excess.

How to add elastic to kids jeans.
How to alter the waistband of jeans. No darts! || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio.

If you want a less gathered look in the back, you could remove all three of the back belt loops and make your case go from side seam to side seam. Layla doesn’t mind the gathers, she likes the cute fabrics and they look great when she wears them. This pair is a cute Jennifer Lopez brand boyfriend jean (anyone else watch World of Dance? The girls and I love that show!)

How to add an elastic casing to too big jeans. || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

I hope this helps some of you! I have used a similar method to fix a case of shot elastic when my son was very young. I just added an extra casing all the way around the inside and put new elastic in that way. If you have other ideas for simple alterations of pants, let me know!


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Rayon Linen Dress: Simplicity 2591

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I wrote awhile back about a large cut of Nicole Miller rayon linen fabric I got for so little money, it felt too good to be true. After I made those linen joggers (still going strong in my wardrobe!) I wanted to make a dress out of the same fabric.

Unfortunately, Simplicity 2592 is out of print, but oftentimes you can find oop patterns on Etsy, so if you’re interested in this pattern, try that. There’s not really another one like it out there currently that I’ve seen, so I’m so glad I kept this pattern! I’ve actually made this dress several times before, I’ll try to dig up those photos and put them at the end of this post.

Anyway, here’s my dress. I’ve gotten quite a bit of wear out of it already, it goes for any occasion, really, and can be dressed up or casual. Also, pockets ;)

Rayon Linen black dress: Simplicity 2591 || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

I did a massive clean out of my sewing patterns about six months ago and it made a huge difference in my sewing workflow in ways I didn’t really expect. At the time, I was working on cutting down on decision fatigue in my daily life, so I cleaned out my wardrobe and pretty much every cupboard and corner of my house. I was left with one drawer of patterns and it’s so nice to have fewer choices. It’s easier to picture those patterns hacked into other things and easier to picture a pattern in my stash as I’m shopping for projects. Also, because I’ve actually made probably two thirds of the patterns in my drawer, I have a great collection of tried and true patterns.

This dress is definitely one of those tried and true. Even though my style has changed quite a bit since these early versions, it’s still such a classic dress. (It’s so crazy pulling these old photos. They’re from only about 5-7 years ago, but I feel like I look like a totally different person!)

Simplicity 2591 || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Do you have any tried and true patterns? Are you a large pattern stash person, or a small pattern stash person? Do tell.

Cheers!

Rayon Linen black dress, simplicity 2591 || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio
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Five things to sew this weekend

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Five things you can sew up in a weekend || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Are you planning any sewing this weekend? If so, I’ll live vicariously through you, because I’m not sure I’ll be able to sew until Monday! It’s recital week for my girls and my mom is flying in and there’s Costco and church and movie night, etc …

But, if I were going to sew this weekend, there are five things I’ve stumbled on this week that would be fabulous choices.

  1. These fabulous little fruit zip pouches out of colorful leather scraps.

  2. This star quilt block. Out of bold solids, I’d make and bind just one block and put in on my dining table. So pretty.

  3. Zola Pen Case. My daughter is super into bullet journaling and has quite a collection of pens. This would be so useful for her.

  4. Flower Child Journal Covers. So pretty.

  5. Lucern Blouse by Hey June. I just listened to the Love to Sew podcast episode where they interviewed Adrianna Appl, the pattern designer. I’ve followed her on Instagram for a long time and have a couple of her patterns. I recommend both Hey June patterns and the Love to Sew podcast, which I listen to on Spotify.

One last thing, although it’s not a sewing projects, these DIY design-a-quilt magnets are perfect!! I want to make some with my kids. I’m kinda picky about what goes on my fridge, but I think these would be fun and pretty.

There you have it! What are you sewing this weekend? And do you find you have more sewing time on weekends or weekdays?

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Adventures in Activewear Sewing

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I made a goal TWO YEARS AGO to learn to sew dancewear and activewear in a way that holds up and looks professional. I put it off for two reasons: 1. I was intimidated and 2. Trying to source the fabrics and supplies felt expensive and overwhelming.

But I’ve done it, y’all! Activewear sewing has become a thing in the sewing world over the last few years, probably because more and more people are wearing these kinds of clothes for more than just the gym. My daughter Layla especially prefers activewear over jeans any day. SO, imagine our delight when Hobby Lobby seriously amped up their fabric department recently and added a section of beautiful nylon spandex fabrics for active leggings! More about the fabric in a minute.

First, let me just show you the leggings I made Layla.

Sewing activewear: Simplicity 8424 || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

I already had the pattern, Simplicity 8424 and I’ve actually made three of the four items on this pattern, so that’s a win in my book.

Sewing Activewear

I’ve made these leggings for Natalie in the past, with a cotton spandex, but they weren’t quite up to the job of serious activewear. This time I wanted to make them function like true active leggings. Let me tell you, the Hobby Lobby fabric is truly incredible. It’s not see through at all, which was my number one criteria. It’s soft, and seems like it’s going to hold up well for a long time. Comparable fabric at JoAnn is crazy expensive even when it’s on sale, and that’s what was so prohibitive to me for such a long time, but this fabric at Hobby Lobby is $12.99 a yard and I used my 40% off coupon. I bought two yards and have already made these leggings, a ballet leotard (details coming soon!) and I still have enough for either some active shorts or another leotard. That’s a ton for less than $18 of fabric!!

I’ll try to round up the most helpful articles for you soon in another post, but for now, here are my two must-knows to get started.

1. Use a stretch needle. If you sew with knits, you already know this, but a stretch needle (also called a ball point needle) is an absolute must for sewing activewear.

2. Use the stretch stitch on your machine. My method for strong, but stretchy seams is to first serge them, then use my stretch stitch to top stitch. A lot of people use a zig-zag, but this looks more homemade to me. The stretch stitch looks like a lightening bolt and it allows the fabric to still stretch. I top stitch the side seams and the crotch seams.

Sewing active leggings: Simplicity 8424 || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

I have a few more resources for you now, but I’m still digging in and learning, so I know I’ll have more to share later. For fabrics, if you don’t have a Hobby Lobby, you can order their activewear fabrics online (this is the black one I used). I’ve used three different ones as of today and all have been incredible. Also, I’ve ordered from Spandexworld.com in the past and had a good experience. The prices are good and I like how they add the thickness of the fabrics to the description. I also ordered power mesh and lining there for dancewear. A yard of each will last me a super long time.

Patterns won’t be hard to find, since activewear sewing is coming up in the world. Simplicity patterns were on sale last week, so i grabbed this one, this one and this one (try to see past the novelty fabrics to the line drawings). I already made Layla another pair of leggings using one of these and we got fabric to make a top from another.

However, I can’t say enough how much you can learn from Jalie patterns when it comes to sewing knits. They’re drafted to perfection and just know what they’re doing when writing instructions for these clothes, which are intended to be put to the test in all kinds of sports. More about Jalie will be in that upcoming ballet leotard post. Jalie even tells you how to sew their patterns if you don’t own a serger!

Layla wore her leggings to crossfit kids and got a compliment from her instructor :) She loves these leggings!

Tips for sewing activewear: Simplicity 8424 || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

Have you sewn activewear? I’d love your best tips! I’m not sure why this felt so impossible to me for so long, but now that I’ve learned some tricks, I’m so excited to sew more!

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Rayon Top: New Look 6624

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If I’m lacking anything in my Summer wardrobe, it’s definitely tops. I had a few pieces of rayon left from my last trip to Denver and rather than make dresses, I decided to use this one for a top. New Look 6624 is a newer pattern and since I had great success with my recent wrap dress, I decided to give it a try.

I made a muslin and fully expected to have to alter it like I did my Easter dress, but I was surprised to find it fit perfectly! (Rarely happens these days).

Rayon top: New Look 6624 || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

The only changes I made were to add one inch to the length and rather than have a drawstring go all the way around, I used elastic in the casing, attaching the drawstrings to each end. I think elastic is more comfortable when sitting than a drawstring.

Handmade wardrobe, rayon top: New Look 6624

I love sewing and wearing rayon fabrics, I think they’re so soft and comfortable and the drape works for so many different styles. I have one piece of rayon left from my Denver trip and I’m still deciding what to do with it! I’ll have to wait until inspiration strikes. Luckily I’m going back to Denver soon, so hopefully my mom and I can find time for Colorado Fabrics again.

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Frugal Sewing

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Even just a couple decades ago, sewing was still considered a less expensive way of meeting one’s wardrobe and household needs. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this is just no longer the case. There are all kinds of reasons people sew, but I don’t think “because it saves me money” is often on anyone’s list anymore.

I don’t sew just because it’s cheap, but I would argue that it does save me money in certain instances, and I have some tried-and-true practices that allow me to keep at my favorite hobby in a frugal way. I hope this can help some of you!

My five tips on how to make sewing cost less money!  ||  Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Frugal Fabric Shopping

Use your thrift stores.

When my family needs something, I always try to thrift it first, before moving on to retail stores (you’d be shocked to see the like-new name brand shoes I find there on a regular basis!) Fabric is no exception and it’s super fun to think outside the box when sourcing fabrics at thrift stores. Here are my tips on what to look for:

  • Shop the entire linens section. Not only is this where they keep fabric yardage people have donated, there are other gems also. I’ve made pajamas out of vintage cotton sheets. I also buy large sheets to use as muslins, and since I don’t care what they look like, I find the colored tag that’s half off that week. I’ve found vintage tablecloths to turn into aprons and sweatshirt fleece blankets to make hoodies out of. Last month I found a giant piece of nice activewear fabric to make my daughter some leotards (my next project!)

  • Look for notions. I never pass up a bag of zippers at the thrift store! Often they will package notions together in bags and hang them on an end cap.

  • Look for the potential of ready-to-wear clothes. I was making a dress and didn’t have enough of my rayon fabric to line it. I wanted the lining to be rayon, so I went to my thrift store and found a white rayon skirt with plenty of yardage to line my bodice AND to make a slip for myself out of the skirt’s own lining and elastic waistband.

Think before you donate.

Sometimes I raid my giveaway bag to make sure I can’t remake something into something new. For a full list of ideas on refashioning clothes, see my post here. And if you can’t remake them as clothes, consider using them to sew doll clothes or zipper pouches or other craft items instead. I’m currently disassembling a full skirt out of cotton gingham that my daughter thrifted and outgrew, to make a summer top for myself!

Beware the “stash”.

This may not be a popular opinion in the sewing community, but if you’re tight on funds, don’t prioritize keeping a large fabric stash. I have found I waste less when I try to only buy what I have a plan for, with a pattern already in mind. I can only make one thing at a time, after all. Even when I do buy several fabrics at once, like when I visit Denver, I resist the urge to put them in a drawer and instead, try to use them over the next few months. This is because all too often, the longer we keep things, the less enamored we are with them. A year or two from now, you may not even like that fabric that you just had to have now. If you’ll trying to sew frugally, keep the stash small.

Shop at fabric stores and online wisely.

I don’t want to make this sound like I don’t shop for fabrics the regular way. I do! I love Hobby Lobby for their Spring and Fall fashion fabric lines and their prices are incredible for great quality fabrics. They go on sale very often, or you can use a 40% off coupon. I am NOT a fan of Joann and avoid going there. Occasionally I’ll find a gem in the clearance, but that rarely happens. Their fabric is vastly overpriced in my opinion and I absolutely hate trying to play their coupon games. I’ve been overcharged quite often there too and I know I’m not alone in that.

So I shop at Hobby Lobby or online instead. I know there are a myriad of amazing resources online for beautiful fabrics, but most of them are not in my budget. I’ve found Denver Fabrics and Fabric.com to be my best options for low cost, high quality fabrics. I subscribe to their emails so that I’m notified of sales on fabrics I’m looking for (but I only click over if I actually have fun money to spend!) These emails are how I landed on Natalie’s Easter dress fabric. Fabric.com partners with Amazon, with Prime shipping too, so that makes it even easier to shop with them.

Frugal Pattern Shopping

Wait for pattern sales.

If you’re new to garment sewing, you may not know that the “Big 4” patterns brands go on sale constantly, for as little as $1.99. If you don’t have a fabric store near you where you can shop those sales, subscribe to the emails from Simplicity and McCall’s so you’ll be notified when they put their brands on sale for $3.99. This is how I shopped for patterns when I lived in Hawaii. And even now, since Hobby Lobby doesn’t carry Butterick, I order Butterick during those sales online, as part of my strategy to avoid Joann, ha!

New Look patterns are always inexpensive. So if I have a fabric and am wanting to make something specific right away, I check New Look first.

My method is to keep a running list in the notes app on my phone of patterns I’d like. Every time new patterns are released, it feels a little like Christmas (am I the only one?) and I love to look through them and add the ones I like to my list. This way, I’m ready to run in and grab the patterns I need when there’s a sale.

So, it seems all this culminates into one big piece of advice: learn to think outside the box! Be resourceful, be creative and sewing doesn’t need to break the bank. I hope this has helped some of you. Please let me know if you have other frugal sewing tips for us!

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Shashiko

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Every now and then I like to go Barnes and Noble, get a coffee and sit down with a pile of sewing books I haven’t seen before. Last week, I was intrigued by a book about Shashiko embroidery called Make + Mend. The author also has a wonderful blog, which you can find here.

Shashiko Embroidery

What is Shashiko Ebroidery?

Shashiko embroidery is a traditional Japanese art form that uses a running stitch to either mend clothing or decorate fabric items. You can find all kinds of ideas and patterns for this kind of embroidery and there are lots of great ones in this book. If you still aren’t sure what I’m talking about, see some examples here, here and here (what a gorgeous piece of art!!)

What can I do with it?

These days, I’ve been seeing this running stitch used on modern quilts and table runners and, maybe most often, to repair jeans.

While it’s not something I’ve tried before, I do love the look of it! I’m not sure I have time for this kind of extensive handwork, but maybe I could try a pillow or table runner. A running stitch is pretty fast and easy, so it probably doesn’t take long once you get going. If I try it, I’ll be sure and post my finished project here, of course.

Tools for Shashiko

I read in Make + Mend that embroidery floss for Shashiko is different than regular embroidery floss (although for starting out, I’m sure regular floss or pearl cotton is just fine). You can buy a tool kit to get started if that’s easiest for you. This one has everything you’ll need.

Are you intrigued by sewing techniques that originated in other cultures? If so, you might also like my post about the Mexican Huipil.

Cheers :)

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Kimono Style: Simplicity 8707

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’ve had a piece of chiffon from Hobby Lobby’s 2018 Spring fashion line for awhile now. I think I bought it to make a ballet skirt for one of my girls, but who wants to hem a chiffon circle skirt? I avoided that for the following year and just decided to make a simple kimono for myself instead.

I used Simplicity 8707 because it was already in my stash and as I was making it, I kept thinking, “this probably won’t look great on me, I probably will never wear it”. Well, the joke’s on me because I made it last week and have worn it three times!

Sew a Kimono: Simplicity 8707

This was an instant gratification project, it took maybe two hours from cut to finish. I added a vintage 60’s lace to the bottom and it’s the perfect touch. There are so many great things about a kimono in the summer! It’s lightweight enough so you’re never hot, but can protect you from a cool breeze, or keep you from getting sunburned when you’re out. If you’re self conscious about the backs of your legs as many women are, you can wear your shorts with a kimono and feel totally covered. I wore it to church to add color to a pretty plain dress yesterday. I’ve even worn it as a robe in the evenings. Let’s just say I hope this is a fashion trend that sticks around!

Kimono sewing inspiration, Simplicity Pattern 8707

There are a lot of great kimono patterns out there right now! Here’s what I could find:

As for fabrics, lightweight choices are the best, for sure. I’d go with a chiffon, silk chiffon, rayon challis, or anything flowy. Hobby Lobby has some good choices in their spring fashion line. Here’s a secret to Hobby Lobby fabric shopping. They receive a new line of fashion fabrics twice a year, for Spring and Fall. There are always amazing choices and the prices are unbeatable. They often go on sale, or you can use your 40% off coupon with their app. BUT, they don’t restock these fabrics once they’re gone and they don’t sell them online, so if you’re there and fall in love with something in the seasonal garment sewing line, buy it!

If you don’t have a Hobby Lobby, don’t worry ;) Fabric.com’s partnership with Amazon is the best thing to happen in the sewing world since rotary cutters. Ha!

Here are a few affordable choices for your kimono:

And lastly, here is some great inspiration for your kimono!

Kimono inspiration

1 2 3 4 5

I definitely want to make another one or two for this Summer!

Cheers :)

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How to mark buttonholes (the easy way).

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 mark and sew buttonholes the easy way with just pins! A sewing tutorial by Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

I am lazy when it comes to marking, ha! I mark almost everything with pins and not with actual marking tools. I mark all my darts with pins and I mark buttonholes with pins too and I get perfect results every time, so I thought I’d share my secrets.

How to mark buttonholes

First of all, let me just let you in on the magic of this amazingly useful sewing tool! I put this on my Christmas wish list several years ago and Casey got it for me. It’s seriously so handy. It’s a button hole gauge and with it, you can have perfectly spaced button holes every single time.

So to mark buttonholes, first I try on my garment and find where a button needs to be placed to land right in the fullest part of my bust. I put a pin there and that’s my starting point for all the rest of my buttons (yes, I ignore the pattern piece’s markings of where the button holes should be because it makes the most sense to have a button at that fullest point.) Then I use my gauge. I spread it out so that the button holes are between two and three inches apart and wherever they need to be so that the top button is about half an inch from top edge.

How to mark and sew button holes, the easy way.

I prefer pins with flat heads for all my sewing, but especially for this because I don’t have to remove my pin until my presser foot is down and ready to sew, whereas a round headed pin would get in the way. Basically, I place pins where my bar tacks will go. So I’ve placed my guide on my placket with each prong the correct distance from the edge for the bar tacks to be perfectly centered. You may choose to use a chalk runner and ruler to mark the center instead. I only mark the first bar tack, the other doesn’t matter because your machine will make the size buttonhole needed for the button you place in the buttonhole foot.

Every machine is different, so you’ll have to experiment, but here’s how it works on mine. I put my placket under the machine so that the top pin is centered in the buttonhole foot’s little windo I put my presser foot down and remove the pin. (Most button holes are sewn from bottom to top, so keep that in mind when positioning your fabric.

Sewing button holes || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

To make sure the button hole sews straight, I just make sure the side of my placket is straight along the side of the presser foot or aligned with a mark on the machine (washi tape is good for this if you need a clear line). Then, the machine does its magic!

Now, let me introduce you to another awesome and handy sewing tool, the button hole cutter. You’ll need a mallet also, but one punch in each button hole and you’re done! If you don’t have one of these yet, of course you can use small sharp scissors to cut your button holes open (I have these and love them). I also always use Fray Check on my button holes and buttons so I don’t have any issues with unruly threads later on.

Marking Buttons

Next, to mark my buttons, I don’t use my gauge, I use my new button holes instead. I line up my placket and place pins through my button holes into the next placket. Then I can just “unbutton” them from my button placket and sew my buttons on with my button foot and a zig zag stitch with the length set at zero and the width however far apart the holes are. Yay, no hand sewing!

How to mark buttons and button holes with pins only. || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio
How to sew buttons and buttonholes || Pin, Cut, Sew, Studio

There ya have it, how to mark and sew buttons and buttonholes with pins only and no marking tools! For years, I actually didn’t have a machine that made button holes, so I learned to do it manually on that machine, but when I started teaching sewing to kids, I bought Brother machines similar to these and this is what I still use just for button holes and buttons, it performs beautifully. I’ve since inherited a very nice Pfaff from my mom, but I still use the Brother for buttonholes because I already know how, haha! I should probably get the Pfaff manual out and I give a try, though.

I hope this was helpful! Cheers :)

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Drawstring Pouch Sewing Tutorial

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 such a fun little tutorial for you today! My girls’ dance recital is coming up and Natalie and her friends like to give “cast gifts” to each other. We came up with the idea to make small drawstring pouches to hold their hair pins and other hair accessories. (If you have a dancer in the house, you know how important these things are and how hard they are to corral!)

We based our little pouches on one I made probably 15 years ago to hold my jewelry when I travel. That one has pockets for necklaces and things inside, but we don’t need pockets for this purpose.

If you’d like to come back to this idea later, I’d be happy for you to pin this next image on Pinterest! And don’t forget you can follow me over there too, I’m always pinning the best of the best sewing inspiration.

How to sew a drawstring pouch, by Nikki Schreiner of PIn, Cut, Sew Studio.

This is a very easy project! We made 11 total and it really didn’t take very long at all.

Supplies:

  • Two coordinating fabrics in at least 1/2 yard cuts OR two coordinating fat quarters. Fat quarters come precut 18”x18” and often come in a set like this super cute one. If you go with 1/2 yard cuts, you can cut three pouches per fabric. If you like the fabrics we used in the photos, we got most of them at Hobby Lobby (like the cute strawberries!)

  • Cording or grosgrain ribbon. I recommend grosgrain over other options of ribbon because it’s strong enough to hold up to lots of use. Here is the cording we used, it’s only $1.99 per spool at Hobby Lobby (although it’s on sale this week for .99!) and it’s the perfect size.

  • Fray Check.

That’s it! Let’s get started.

Instructions:

First things first, you’ll need to create a pattern. I taped two sheets of printer paper together and used a protractor to create a half circle pattern, 13” in diameter. Then, cut out your two circles (one for the outside, one for the inside) by folding your fabric and placing the straight edge of your pattern on the fold.

Drawstring Bag tutorial by Pin, Cut, Sew Studio.

Next, place your circles right sides together and sew around the edge with a 1/4” seam, leaving a couple inches open for turning.

Turn your circle right side out through your opening and press the edges, using a chopstick or turning tool to get the edge perfect by running it along the inside of the circle. Press the opening edges in as if they’d been sewn.

How to make a drawstring bag, a tutorial

Now you’re going to make three rows of top stitching around your circle. The first will be edge stitching, 1/8” from the edge, which will sew shut your opening. The second will be 1” inside from the edge. The third will be 1/2” away from the second, or 1 1/2” from the outer edge. Your casing for the cord is between this second and third line.

Pouch sewing tutorial

You’re done with the sewing part! To cut the holes for your cord or ribbon, find opposite sides of the circle by folding it in half and pressing a line. You’re going to use sharp small scissors to cut slits in the 1/2” casing. You’ll have four slits total, one on each side of your pressed line and on both sides of the circle. Use Fray check to keep those slits sturdy and let it dry for a couple minutes.

Drawstring pouch tutorial

Now for the cords. You’ll need to cut two pieces of cording or ribbon, each one 24” long. This is the trickiest part if you’ve never made this kind of bag where the drawstring pulls from both ends. To thread the first cord through, tie a knot in one end and put a safety pin through the knot. Begin by inserting the safety pin in one slit and thread it all the way around to the other slit on the same side as you started. Remove the safety pin, tie the ends in a knot and trim. For the second cord, do the same thing, but use the slits on the other side of the circle. This will be a little harder since your first cord is already in place and the bag is gathered up, but you can do it!

How to make a drawstring pouch, a sewing tutorial by Nikki at Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

When you’re done, open and close the bag using the strings a few times to even out the strings and that’s it! Natalie’s ballet recital has a Candyland theme, so we chose fabrics with treats on them, super fun. I was browsing Amazon though and I think Art Gallery’s Summer Side line of fabrics is so cute (especially the little sunnies, oh my gosh) and would make great little bags!

Drawstring bag sewing tutorial by Nikki at PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

Of course, you can use these little pouches for lots of things other than hair accessories. Use it for a first aid kit for your purse, maybe? Give them as gifts with little goodies inside? Or use it in your sewing room, so store little things like your Wonder Clips or your quilting safety pins.

What would you use yours for? I’d love to hear about it and if you make one, I’d love to see! Just tag me on Instagram :)

How to sew drawstring pouches, a sewing tutorial by Nikki at Pin, Cut, Sew Studio
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Brushed Poly Dress: McCall's 7812

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.

Last Summer I made a dress out of a brushed poly fabric I got at Hobby Lobby. I’m usually somewhat anti polyester, but the print was so beautiful and the fabric SO soft, I gave it a try. That dress is one of my most-worn pieces of the last year! There’s something about brushed poly. It travels great because it doesn’t wrinkle, it holds its shape with wear, the print doesn’t fade even after many, many washes.

So when I visited Denver and went to Colorado fabrics, I chose another brushed poly fabric with McCall’s 7812 in mind. I love how it turned out.

Knit dress, McCall’s 7812

The only changes I made were to shorten the sleeves and to make my own ties out of my fabric, rather than use ribbon. It’s a very easy pattern and perfect for this brushed poly knit fabric.

I rounded up some great brushed poly prints for you, including the cactus print I almost bought instead (it was hard to choose! Here are a several I think are great:

We’ll see how much I like to wear it when it’s super hot outside. The first dress I made with this kind of fabric is very loose, so I stay cool in it, but the jury’s still out on a closer fitting poly dress. I’ll keep you posted.

double brushed poly dress, McCall’s 7812

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How to refashion clothes for kids and teens.

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’m a bit … frugal. Ha! We’ve made the choice to be a one income family, so I’m always stretching my creative muscles in the area of “making do and mending”. One thing I’ve always loved to do is to find clever ways to make my kids’ clothing last longer. Especially at these ages when they grow out of things before they wear them out.

Natalie had hung a few things up in my sewing room that were too small for her and we spent about one hour making three new garments out of the old ones.

Natalie is very slender, so when she grows out of things, it’s almost always in length only. We bought her this Christmas dress at Target in December and she only got one wear out of it before it became way too short on her. She wore it once more with leggings, but now that the weather is getting warm, she decided she’d like to turn it into a top.

Here’s a before and after!

Turn a too-short dress into a top!

We created a hi-lo hem, it looks super cute. This was as easy as trying on, measuring, cutting the skirt and hemming.

Upcyle your clothes!

Next up, she had a black knit dress that had also become too short for comfort. This time she wanted to turn it into a skirt, so we cut it off under the arms, made a casing and added elastic.

Turn a too-short dress into a skirt!

Third, we had a romper that we thought would be cute as pants, for Layla this time. It already had an elastic waist, so we just cut it off about an inch above the waist and hemmed the top edge into a ruffle.

Refashioning clothes

More ideas for refashioning:

  • For little ones, turn winter pajamas into summer ones by cutting the sleeves and legs off into shorts and short sleeves. They will have outgrown them by the next winter anyway!

  • Turn leggings with holes in the knees into bike shorts to wear under dresses.

  • When overalls get too short in the crotch, cut off the pants and add a gathered skirt out of cute fabric! Like this.

  • Turn jeans into jean shorts. Here’s a great tutorial!

  • Cut shirts or sweaters open down the center, hem the sides, maybe add some cute buttons, and wear them as cardigans.

  • Add a ruffle to the bottom of shirts and dresses that are too short.

  • Use my tutorial to turn a sleeved dress into a sleeveless one.

These are all the things I can think of right now that we have done in the past to make the kids’ clothes last just another season or two! If you have anything to add, let us all know in the comments :)

Refashioning clothes for kids and teens
How to upcycle clothes for kids and teens.
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Warrior Quilt

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.

Several months ago now, I finished a new quilt for Natalie and haven’t yet shared it here! She really, really loves it, it matches her room perfectly and I’ve since made matching pillow shams.

Warrior quilt pattern

The pattern is called Warrior Quilt and you can download it for free! I will say, I did have a few issues, but nothing that couldn’t be easily overcome. The quilt is constructed in strips and some of my finished strips didn’t measure the correct length when I was finished them. Perhaps I didn’t print all the templates at 100% or maybe my seam allowances were slightly too large, or maybe it’s just a flaw in the pattern, I’m not sure. Either way, it was no big deal to just creatively add to the strips and no one would be the wiser that it’s not exactly like the pattern photo.

Natalie and I chose the fabrics together. We started with this print at Hobby Lobby and added to it from there, choosing a few solids and a few more subtle prints.

We think it turned out so beautiful and she absolutely loves it!

Quilt sewing

If you are new to quilting, or have been getting into it, but could use some tips, you may find this post useful.

Warrior Quilt pattern. Girl’s quilt by pincutsewstudio
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Wide Legged Cropped Pants: McCall's 7786

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 made something kinda different for me! I feel like fashion trends have made a greater shift this past year than they have for the past few years. It seems like flowier things are back in, jeans trends are changing (It seriously took me forever to get on board with skinny jeans. I remember thinking surely they wouldn’t stick around, but boy did they! Now that I love them, I feel the trend shifting away, of course. As long as low rise stays in the past, I’m good).

Anyway, I originally only bought McCalls 7786 because Natalie, my 14-year-old tried on a similar pair at American Eagle and you know I wasn’t about to spend $35 on rayon pants I could make so easily. I never dreamed I’d make this look for myself, but I had this rayon that was singing pants to me so I just had to try out the look and I LOVE IT.

McCall’s 7786 Wide Legged Pants

My two favorite things about these pants are the pockets (duh) and that they have a flat waistband in the front, but elastic in the back. Brilliant, I wish jeans were made the same way. I made the plain, long version, but cropped the length. As you can see, mine are boring compared to the other options on this pattern. I wasn’t ready to get too crazy, though, haha.

McCall’s 7786

I know I’ll get a lot of wear out of these this Summer! Rayon is such a cool, breathable fabric, it’s pretty much my favorite. I don’t think that will surprise anyone who’s been following me for any length of time. This fabric came from Colorado Fabrics during my last trip to Denver, but here are some at good prices that I think would be beautiful in this pattern (I dare you to make flamingo pants):

Rayon Pants, McCall’s 7786

To complete this outfit, my shoes are White Mountain (similar here) and my shirt is from Target, which you can still buy. It’s a lightweight rayon jersey. I have it in two colors and find them very versatile.

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Harry Potter Sewing Roundup

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.

Any Harry Potter fans at your house? Have you taken the Pottermore quizzes? Any other Ravenclaws??

We are big fans. I stumble on Harry Potter sewing ideas, fabrics, patterns and tutorials pretty often, so I think it’s high time I compile my favorites of those for you! If I were still teaching sewing, I’d for sure be having a Harry Potter sewing camp this summer. If you use that idea, I want to hear all about it!

Let’s get started.

Free Harry Potter Sewing Tutorials

Let’s start with the free patterns! I like to point out that the photos in this section all belong to their respective bloggers, I did not take them :)

Hooded Harry Potter towel. From Making Things is Awesome

Harry Potter sewing roundup

Harry Potter Baby Activity Cube from Bugaboo City

Harry Potter Sewing roundup

This is an epic pattern for a Harry Potter themed quilt! I’ll link you to the first post of the quiltalong, then you can follow the links for the rest. From Sew Fresh Quilts

Harry Potter Sewing roundup

Harry Potter Hats from ikatbag

Harry Potter sewing tutorials

And the Sorting Hat! Also from ikatbag

Harry Potter sewing tutorials

Quidditch Robes from Polkadot Chair. This tutorial uses a robe sewing pattern as a base, so it’s technically not free unless you have a pattern that will work, but a good robe pattern is a handy thing to have on hand anyway!

Harry Potter sewing tutorials

Hogwarts house crest ornaments from Hey Let’s Make Stuff

Harry Potter ornaments

Free Harry Potter embroidery patterns from Flamingo Toes

Harry Potter embroidery pattern

Harry Potter Patterns for Purchase

Let’s move on to the patterns for purchase. There are a LOT of amazing Harry Potter patterns out there, but I have done the footwork and chosen my absolute favorites!

To start, Simplicity has a great Harry Potter costume pattern. I used it for Layla’s Halloween costume last year (she was Hermione).

Here’s Layla in her costume. It was awesome! We got the tie at Target, they had them in the Halloween section for $4 and I couldn’t have made one for that price. You can even get some awesome house crest iron on patches here.

Hermione costume by Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Simplicity also recently came out with a doll clothes pattern for Harry Potter! How fun.

Harry Potter doll clothes pattern

There are some very talented makers on Etsy that also have great patterns for Harry Potter!

How cute are these Harry Potter pocket dolls? By Wal Artesanal

Harry Potter themed Quiet Book pattern by Felting Nerdy and More. Amazing!!

I was looking real hard for a good Harry Potter doll pattern, but came up empty! There are plenty for crochet, but not much for sewing. Not to worry, though, it started my gears turning and I think I can remedy that problem soon! Stay tuned ;)

Harry Potter Fabrics

There are lots of great Harry Potter fabrics out there. I’ll link to my absolute favorites.

First, Here are my Amazon picks. Just click on the photos to shop.

This might be my favorite I’ve seen! So cute.

I also really love this Hedwig one.

Etsy also has some great Harry Potter ribbons.

Project Ideas

If you do order some of that amazing fabric, but aren’t sure what to do with it, consider a pillow case (this is my favorite method). Or some baby bibs, or zipper pouches. Ooh, or an apron. What great gifts all those things would make for the Harry Potter enthusiasts in your life.

Ok, one more thing and this is clearly not sewing related, but it IS what sparked this roundup idea, so I have to include it because my 12-year-old Layla and I LOVE this Harry Potter board game! She got it for Christmas and we think it’s so much fun. It’s a cooperative deck building game so it takes a long time to play through all 7 rounds, but that’s kind of what we like about it! Seriously so, so fun.

If you’d like to save this roundup for later, I’d be happy for you to use this image:

Harry Potter Sewing

I think that’s it! Well, I mean, I could go on and on, the Harry Potter inspo is endless, but I have tried to choose the best of the best for this roundup. If you enjoyed this, check out my Star Wars Sewing Roundup!

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Why I started making a muslin every single time

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.

Before we start, if you don’t know what a “muslin” is in garment sewing, it’s basically a mock up of the pattern in an inexpensive fabric called muslin. I didn’t used to bother with muslins at all. When I got really into garment sewing about 10 years ago, I lived in a place where nice fabric was readily available to me at a good cost. That is no longer the case. The industry has changed quite a bit, I no longer live somewhere conveniently located to good fabric stores other than JoAnn (don’t get me started), and sewing definitely isn’t a cheap hobby these days!

Several months ago, I got really tired of making things that didn’t turn out and having to toss out my nice fabrics and decided to muslin my next project. I had such good results that I have made a muslin of every single garment since then and have only had one wadder due to poor fabric choice (rookie mistake.)

Whether you’re just starting out with garment sewing or are an old pro, I thought I’d give you some tips for making muslins here today.

How to make a muslin for sewing patterns

1.Your muslin doesn’t have to be muslin

You can of course buy muslin fabric by the yard or by the bolt for just this purpose, and if you’re the kind who really needs your practice clothes to be uniform in color, this may be the way to go. However, you can use anything to make a muslin. When your well-meaning neighbor gives you a box of ugly fabric, keep the biggest pieces to use as muslins rather than throwing them out. I’ve taken to buying sheets at the thrift store to use as muslins and it’s been working awesome for me! Be strategic, though. Sheets come in all kinds of fabrics these days. I use the microfiber kind to sub for my drapier fabrics, 100% cotton sheets to use as heavier fabrics and jersey sheets to mock up patterns for knits. Sheets at my thrift store are around $4 each and I can get three or more garments out of one.

2. Cut only the necessary pattern pieces for your muslin

You don’t need to construct the entire garment. You’re making a muslin to check and perfect the fit, so only cut the pieces you need to do so. Omit collars, facings, pockets, and often even sleeves or skirt portions of dresses. No need to insert the zipper either.

3. Use a basting stitch

Use a long stitch length and go ahead and sew your pieces together. I so still back stitch at the beginning and ends of seams so that when I try them on they don’t just come apart. Assume you’ll need to take some of those stitches out as you adjust. A basting stitch will make this much easier.

4. Nip and Tuck

Try on your muslin, pin up any openings or what have you, then see what adjustments needs made. You can get a lot of information about fit by pinching out excess or slicing open spots that pull. Is your top too small in the bust? Do you need a full bust adjustment? Do the edges not quite meet where the zipper will go? Try taking smaller side seams. I the back of the neckline gaping? Take some darts out of it. While I can’t go into a whole fitting series here, you’ll have no trouble finding tutorials for every issue only and below are some fitting books that could be very helpful for you.

5. Transfer your changes

Many people prefer to trace their pattern pieces and make their changes there, but I usually just make my changes on my pattern pieces with good ol’ scotch tape. If you changes were extensive, you may need to cut a new muslin of one or several pieces. I promise it’s worth it! When I posted a wrap dress I made recently, I made the comment that the pattern would not have worked out if I hadn’t taken the time to make a muslin. The front would have gaped wide open and I would have been so sad if I’d had to throw that project away! You can see below how I taped up that front bodice pattern piece and added printer paper to heighten the neckline! I posted Natalie’s Easter dress here, where you can see the taped up pattern piece.

How to make a muslin

Proceed with confidence!

Now that you have your pattern perfected, you can cut into your nice fabric with confidence! Just make sure your print isn’t upside down. A muslin can’t help you there ;)

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White Linen Jacket: New Look 6481

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’m so excited to share this project with you! It’s already gotten quite a lot of wear since I made it, which was what I was hoping for.

I was wanting to wear less cardigans and more tailored jackets. But the casual kind, I guess. I didn’t want anything big or bulky, just lightweight jackets to wear in place of cardigans, for a more put-together look, especially over dresses.

This white linen jacket really fits the bill perfectly!

White linen jacket, New Look Pattern 6481

(Read about that wrap dress here).

Surprisingly, this beautiful white linen came from Target in the form of a clearance tablecloth! I passed by it on an endcap of miscellaneous clearance items with a price tag of $17. It felt really soft and sure enough, the tag said 100% linen. And it was big, about 3 yards long, plus super wide. I didn’t buy it right away, but couldn’t stop thinking about making a linen jacket, so I went back that night and snagged it. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get nice linen yardage like that for such a good price.

I got to work looking at patterns and landed on New Look 6481.

New Look 6481

I love New Look Patterns because they’re sort of always on sale. Their regular price is very inexpensive compared to the other main brands, and then Hobby Lobby has them 40% off of that. So when I have a vision and want a pattern right away without having to wait for a sale, I check New Look first.

This jacket has been a great addition to my wardrobe! I was so thrilled to have it, that I made a similar jacket in black (different patter, though), but I don’t have photos of that one yet, so you’ll have to stay tuned!

For now, enjoy this pic of my pretty pup :)

White linen jacket, New Look pattern 6481

So in the spirit of making clothes out of tablecloths, I thought I’d see what else I could find! Of course there are white linen ones all over the place, but how cute would a jacket be in this striped cotton linen blend?? There’s so much yardage too, there’s plenty of fabric for two projects, making the price a steal.

OH MY GOSH, this pineapple tablecloth is fabulous. As anything, really. Tablecloth, jacket, beach cover up, bag. I might have just put this in my cart, ha! Maybe I should stop browsing.

Have you ever sewn a garment from a fabric found in an unconventional way?

Cheers and Happy Sewing!

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How to make a dress sleeveless

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 found a dress at the thrift store the other day that was brand new (still had the tags) and was in a really nice rayon fabric in a beautiful color. I tried it on and it fit, but I wasn’t thrilled about the sleeves. It had some serious prairie vibes. I’ve gotten rid of sleeves before, though, so I went ahead and bought it.

I’ve used this technique for making a dress or shirt sleeveless many times in the past and it always works like a champ, so I thought I’d photograph the process and make a tutorial for you here.

How to remove sleeves sewing tutorial

This method is super easy! So without further ado:

How to make a dress sleeveless

First, roughly cut off the sleeve, leaving a couple of inches of fabric.

DSC_0150.jpg

Next, IF you have a serger, use it to serge off the excess sleeve about 5/8” from the seam line. If you do NOT have a serger, carefully measure and trim off the excess, measuring 5/8” from the seam line. Then, use a zig zag stitch to finish that edge (if your fabric is a knit, you don’t need to zig zag it because it won’t fray).

I use the left side of my serger’s presser foot as a guide and run the sleeve’s seam line right along it.

How to make a shirt or dress sleeveless

So now you have this. You’re going to use that little piece of sleeve as a facing by turning it to the inside right on the seam line and top stitch it into place, 3/8” from the edge.

How to take the sleeves off a dress

That’s it! Give it a good press and you’re done.

DSC_0157.jpg

In the spirit of full disclosure, I still didn’t feel this dress was super flattering on me (pro tip: if you wonder if something looks good on you, try getting good pictures of yourself in it. If it’s super hard to get a good angle, there’s your answer, ha!) I’m slightly too busty for this style and the ruched waistline was hitting me more like a babydoll dress, making me look pregnant from every angle. Second, it came with a polyester knit lining and I will never understand why brands choose to put a completely unbreathable lining into a beautifully breathable garment. It felt stuffy.

But, it’s okay because I had a plan B all along. I went ahead and cut the bodice off the skirt just over the ruching, finished the top edge above the elastic, ditched the lining altogether and now I have a perfect summer skirt!

Dress into skirt hack

(My shoes are White Mountain footbeds). I love this much more as a skirt, but I still thought it was worth sharing the sleeve tutorial. I hope it’s helpful for some of you!

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Pin, Cut, Sew Tutorials

I took some time yesterday to update my tutorials page! Now you can see all my tutorials, video and written, in one convenient place, there at the very top of the blog. I try to create sewing tutorials that are beginner friendly!

Here is a bit of what you’ll find there now, but I’ll be sure to keep that page updated as I create more tutorials. If you have any suggestions for things you’d like to learn to sew, I’d love to hear them!

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