Five Things to Sew This Weekend

I’m back with five more amazing things to sew this weekend! Every other week, I pick the five best things I’ve spotted around the Internet recently and compile them here for you! If you’ve written a recent tutorial that you think might fit the bill, I’d love to know about it. Place your link in the comments and I’ll take a look!

Now that I’ve been blogging very consistently for several months, I can sort of see which posts are resonating with you, my readers. That makes it easier to tailor these Five Things posts to what you all seem to like the most (which incidentally tends to be the things I also like most, which bodes well for the future of my blog, ha!)

Let’s get to it.

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I’m back with five more amazing things to sew this weekend! Every other week, I pick the five best sewing tutorials I’ve spotted around the Internet recently and compile them here for you!  || PIn Cut Sew Studio #sewingtutorials #weekendsewing #thingstosew #teensewing

This post contains 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.

Five Things to Sew This Weekend:

First up, Scrunchies!

I created a fun tutorial last week on how to sew scrunchies. Grab some friends and sew up some 90’s trends This video tutorial is very beginner-friendly, intended for teens and tweens to be able to make some scrunchies with a bunch of fun accessories, with little to no help.

Sew up some scrunchies this weekend! Grab some friends and learn to sew some 90’s fashion :) || PIn Cut Sew Studio #sewing #scrunchies #beginnersewing #teensewing

Next up, How to Sew Letters onto a Pillow by Swoodson Says.

I love this trend of words on pillows! Learn to sew letters onto a pillow with this tutorial. This method is similar to my tutorial for name banners, so this is very simple and the word options are endless. Word pillows are another project that would be so fun for kids and teens. Or using holiday words for various seasons is a great idea too.

Third, DIY Triangle Pattern Weights, by Easy Peasy Creative

I need some pattern weights sooooo bad! I usually end up using my tape dispenser, a pair of scissors and a magnetic pin cushion, but I was cutting out a sports bra yesterday and the pieces are too small for those makeshift pattern weights, but pins hated my fabric (I really should also get some ballpoint pins, since I’m sewing a lot more activewear these day). Anyway, this tutorial is a great idea and I can whip some up from scraps this weekend.

Fourth, Diamond-Front Backpack by ikat bag

This bag is incredible! I spotted this the same day my daughter and I had seen a bag shaped just like this at the dance store. You better believe I put all my stuff down to inspect that bag, haha. Such a cool shape and ikatbag breaks down how it’s made in this post.

Last but far from least, Jalie’s new Marie-Josee underwear pattern!

Ya’ll know I’m a huge fan of Jalie, but their latest pattern announcement is just the coolest. Now only did they create a beautiful underwear pattern, they included an ostomy option. I know someone who has an ostomy and it is clearly a life-altering experience. Not only did Jalie create a pattern to meet that specific need, they also stated, “100% of sales of this pattern will be donated to Centre Philou, a non-profit and charitable organization that provides specialized services to children with multiple disabilities and their families.”

I applaud Jalie for their generosity. And also, I love this pattern and am beyond glad that higher waisted everything is back in style, even for undies, ha! I just bought a very similar pair from Target and love them, so I’m thinking I’ll bust out some knit scraps and get to work this weekend.

Jalie underwear pattern with ostomy option. Grab some knit scraps and sew up some underwear this weekend! || PIn Cut Sew Studio

Do you have any weekend sewing plans? Please share!

Cheers and Happy Sewing :)

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My National Thrift Store Day Haul (and how sewing has made me a better thrifter)

I’d say about 30% of my wardrobe is handmade and another 60% comes from my local thrift shop. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you know I’m a frugal gal, so it will be no surprise that my go-to store is of the secondhand variety. I have always been a thrifter, my mom raised me right! Haha. My kids love the thrift shop too, especially now that they’re often shopping with their own money rather than mine, making them more aware of how much bang they’re getting for their buck. So imagine our delight when we found out this past Saturday was National Thrift Shopping Day! Woot, woot! Our favorite thrift store here where we live is Savers and they marked all their t-shirts down to .99 that day to mark the occasion. We are also very lucky that our particular Savers offers a military discount of 20% off every single day. As an Army family, we are very thankful for your support, Savers!

I got to thinking about how sewing and thrifting go hand in hand, so I’m going to show you my haul from that day, but while I’m at it, I’m going to share with you how I think being a sewer has made me so much better at shopping in general, and specifically at shopping secondhand.

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Come read the ways I think being able to sew has made me a better thrift shopper! | Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

This post contains 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 Sewing Makes Us Better Thrifters:

We know fabrics.

Fabric content makes a massive difference in how your clothes will wear and wash, so knowing fabric content just by how it feels is a huge bonus when thrift shopping. And feeling fabrics is something sewists are pros at! Also, looking at the tag and seeing words like “viscose”, “nylon” or “linen” is Greek to many shoppers, but people who sew see those words on a regular basis, we know the cost difference between those fabrics and cheaper fabrics, we know which ones are breathable and which are sweaty, and we can tell which clothes are going to wash and wear well, and feel good when we put them on.

This is a viscose dress I thrifted on Saturday (with the tags still on!) The added bonus to knowing fabrics is knowing how to wash them. There are no washing instructions on the tag, but I know better than to put this one in the dryer!

Thrift store haul! Dress #1. Come see how I think sewing has made me a better thrifter. | PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

We know fit

Sewing clothing for ourselves gives us a sense of fit that the average shopper does not have. We all know sewists become quite particular about the fit of things over time, judging the fit of every garment that others are wearing, ha! Knowing how clothing is supposed to fit and being able to tell by looking at something whether or not it’s going to work is a skill that sewing develops in a person, for sure.

We know quality

There’s often a reason expensive brands are expensive, and quality has a lot to do with it. Sewers not only know quality fabrics, we know quality techniques and finishes. We study the construction of garments as a hobby, after all, so no one can spot shoddy workmanship quite like us!

This is an Eddie Bauer dress I got as part of my haul. Knowing quality brands when thrifting can really help you avoid purchasing cheap clothes that fall apart after a few wears. This dress is super soft and even the drawstring is high quality. It just feels really good to wear because of how well it’s made, the great fit and the nice, expensive-feeling fabric. (My shoes are White Mountain, similar here).

Thrift store haul! Dress #1. Come see how I think sewing has made me a better thrifter. | PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

We know what we like

When you spend your free time sewing your own clothing, you know what looks good and what doesn’t. Part of what people find frustrating or annoying about thrift shopping is that it’s such a hunt, you have to see everything to find the gems. However, when you shop with filters like quality fabrics, favorite brands, and styles you know look good on you, it’s easy to quickly pass over the junk to find the treasures. If I spot a high quality, nice brand sweater, but it has dolman sleeves that I know I don’t look good in, I move right along and remind myself someone else is going to get a real nice sweater because I passed it up.

Denim skirts and t-shirts seem like basics, but not all are created equal and not every jean skirt and not every t-shirt is going to flatter every body. I’m always on the lookout for a perfectly-shaped (for me) skirt and I scored this denim Gap skirt and Nike tee (new with tags and only .99 because of the sale!) as part of my haul on Saturday. (Find similar to my cute pink Nikes slides here).

Thrift store haul!  Come see how I think sewing has made me a better thrifter. | PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

We can alter and mend

This might be one of the best perks about being a sewing thrift shopper! So many people just give up on their nice clothes when they lose a button or rip a seam. Because we who sew can easily repair those minor flaws, we can score some great clothes for good deals. Also, simple alterations are easy for us to do and we can envision those needed alterations when trying on thrifted clothes. A too-long dress is not problem! Easy fix.

I got this top as part of my haul and it’s from Hollister. Not a store I would walk into to shop without my teen daughters (or with probably, if I’m being honest, haha), but I do love me some embroidery! It’s a little too swingy on me, I think, but I can just take hose side seams in if I decide to.

Thrift store haul! Come see how I think sewing has made me a better thrifter. | PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

We know what we’ll actually wear.

I had a friend once assume I have a huge wardrobe and was surprised when I told her I take up the least amount of closet space of anyone in our family. The difference is that I wear absolutely everything I keep, where most women have a closet full of clothes, but wear the same 10 things over and over. Because we spend valuable time making garments, it’s much more of a bummer when you find you never reach for some of them.

When I thrift shop, just like when I plan sewing projects, I consider what I actually wear on a daily basis. That’s why I always look in the tees, pants, hoodies, jackets and activewear sections of my thrift store. I was happy to find these Roxy joggers the other day. They’re nice quality fabric and I wore them all day on Sunday with no stretching out. I have a pair of black linen handmade joggers, but they’re definitely a lightweight Summer fabric. These will fill that hole for Fall!

Thrift store haul!  Come see how I think sewing has made me a better thrifter. | PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

I could probably write a dozen articles about ways sewing makes me a better fill-in-the-blank. What a great skill we have! Can you think of any other ways that you’re better at shopping because of your sewing life? I would love to hear what you would add to the list!

As for thrifting, I could write a dozen articles on that too. In recent months, we’ve found an Athleta linen jacket, these exact Adidas in like-new condition, Madewell jeans, a Victoria’s Secret swim suit with the tags still on and plenty more. Once you go thrifty, you’ll never go back! Lol, I just made that up, but it’s true.

Cheers!

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Bleach Dyed Denim Costa Tote

Does anyone else have to curb your enthusiasm for tote bag sewing? I love me a good tote bag pattern, but a gal can only use some many bags, right? I keep just a couple of favorite bags around, but when the free Costa Tote pattern showed up in my email from Helen’s Closet, I knew I had to make one soon.

I loved the cool denims that were used for the samples on the pattern, but I was having a hard time finding some and I wasn’t willing to spend much money to buy fancy denim. And that’s what spawned my recent bleach dying denim adventures! Kinda cool how projects roll into each other and new ideas are hatched when seeking creative sewing solutions.

I put two of those denim pieces to use to make a Costa Tote and I think I’m in love.

Costa Tote bag pattern from bleach dyed denim. || Pin Cut Sew Studio

This post contains 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 know this bag is pretty simple, but there are elements that make it just perfect. I absolutely love the deep pockets on both sides and the slanted shape of the pocket top adds interest. It’s also reversible, so those pockets can be inside if you want.

Costa Tote Bag pattern with bleach dyed denim. || PIn Cut Sew Studio

I really like the deeper hems at the top and on the pocket piece, I think the top stitching there looks really nice. You can see that I used straps purchased by the yard from Hobby Lobby for this version. I also shortened the top by 2”, just due to personal preference. This was easy to do, since sewing the top seam is the final step, so you can try it on for size before deciding to shorten it or now.

One more thing to note, it’s a big bag, so it takes more fabric than you might imagine. Keep that in mind when shopping around!

All in all, this bag is PERFECTION. Grab the pattern from Helen’s closet and go make yourself one! I’ve taken it to the pool and the library more than once already and I can definitely see it going on trips with me in the future, plus being put to use for my homeschool co op, where I’ll be teaching drama and creative writing this year. I also think I’ll sew a few for Christmas gifts, I know the ladies in my family would love these. If I were going to purchase some denim to make another, it would definitely be this one!

Do you have a favorite bag pattern? Please share!

I tie-dyed denim with bleach and used it to make a Costa Tote bag! Come see the details :) || Pin Cut Sew Studio
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How to Make Scrunchies with Accessories!

Scrunchies are back with a vengeance! In fact, if you haven’t noticed, a lot of 90’s trends are back. I think it’s hilarious that my teenaged daughters want to wear high waisted, tapered jeans. The trend I do NOT understand is the wedgie shorts, how is that even comfortable?? But I digress.

I’m here today to show you how to sew allll the scrunchies! Not just the regular ones, but the skinny ones, the ones with scarves, bows, ties, lace, all the things. Time to step up your scrunchie game! The beginner friendly video tutorial is at the end of the post, but first you’ll need the grab the pattern! I also included some links to the supplies I use in this video that will help you on your way.

And if you need to save this for later, here’s a handy pinnable image for you:

Step up your scrunchie game and learn to sew all kinds of scrunchies with my beginner friendly tutorial! | Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

This post contains 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.

Supplies

In the video, I mention some specific tools that I promised to link you to. The first is a rotary cutter and mat. The second is an extremely handy tool called a Fasturn. I’ve had mine for years and I use it in the sewing room quite often. If you’re tired of turning out tubes with the fussy safety pin method, you will not regret buying this fabulous tool! I also use some Wonder Clips in this video, which are another very useful tool to have in your sewing room. Lastly, this is the elastic I’m using.

The last thing you’ll definitely need before you get started is the pattern! I’ve created a printable for this project that includes the measurements of all the scrunchies and their accessories, along with the pattern piece for the tie know scrunchie accessory. Just enter your email below to have that sent right to your email. Then continue on to the video tutorial!

Without further ado, here is the scrunchie sewing tutorial. I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful! If so, I’d love for you to subscribe to my channel and share with your friends. And if you make some scrunchies, I’d love to see them! Just tag me on Instagram @pincutsew. Cheers!

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Back-To-School Sewing Projects (that aren't pencil pouches)

Even though we home school, I always think it’s fun to sew up a little something for my kids when we get started for the year. When I look up “back-to-school sewing”, though, most of the ideas are pencil pouches. Pencil pouches are great (see my pencil-shaped pencil pouch tutorial here), but I thought I’d round up the back-to-school sewing ideas that go beyond the zipper pouch. Enjoy!

This post contains 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 always think it’s fun to sew up a little something for my kids when we get started with school for the year. When I look up “back-to-school sewing”, though, most of the ideas are pencil pouches. Pencil pouches are great, but I thought I’d round up the back-to-school sewing ideas that go beyond the zipper pouch. Enjoy! || PIn Cut Sew Studio

Back-to-School Sewing Ideas

Insulated Lunch Box by Mr. Domestic

Mr. Domestic has a free pattern for an insulated lunch box! He even has a video tutorial. Lunch boxes are a personal thing, in my experience. It has to be the right shape, keep your food cold, maybe a pocket for cutlery and napkins. And a handle is a must. This pattern seems to fit the bill for all those things! We have purchased lunch boxes in this shape for our homeschool co op, but they were cheaply made and I think we can do better. Glad to know there’s a pattern! When we pack lunches, we tend to use containers like these (or these glass ones if you’d prefer), and they fit well into this style of lunch box.

Water Bottle Holder by Fabric Art DIY

Water bottle holders are super handy, especially for littler students. It can be hard to remember to grab your water bottle when you go outside (or anywhere), so having this cute holder might motivate your kids (or you!) to bring your water along. For those older students, though, who may not think a cute water bottle holder is cool enough, check out these awesome paracord water bottle clips you can purchase on Etsy! They’re a best seller on Etsy, actually, and I can see why. I know my tweens and teen would be super into those.

Pretty Backpack by FastMade

I’m a big fan of backpacks and this one is so cool. I’m not sure this would work for a student with lots of heavy books, but this is the exact kind of bag I would have loved in college, when I wasn’t carrying any super heavy loads and wanted a more modern looking backpack than my Jansport (they were all the rage in the 90s, if anyone else remembers. Mine was almost this exact color, haha!) I know my girls would love the look of this bag too, for their co op classes.

Back to School Bundle, Backpack and Lunch Bag Pattern

Here’s another Etsy bestseller! This is a pattern for a more traditional backpack and lunch bag for your elementary aged children. The backpack comes in two sizes and the designer has really thought of everything, I can see why it’s such a popular pattern. It’s such a fun idea to add personalized patches to these kinds of items too. My daughter Layla would love a Gryffindor patch on hers!

Reusable Ziploc Bags by My Golden Thimble

This tutorial is pretty brilliant, since she shows you how to harvest a Ziploc bag for parts, using the zipper to make your own washable, reusable baggies. I made fabric baggies when my kids were little and we took snacks everywhere and they sure were handy and saved me a lot of money. I can imagine if your kids are in school and you’re packing lunches everyday, these bags would be a must-sew. If you’re not into making some, however, these look like a good bet too.

Composition Book Covers by Orange Bettie

I taught a couple classes of tween and teen girls to make composition book covers a couple years ago and they all loved this project! This tutorial takes composition book covers to the next level though, with a clear vinyl zipper pocket inside and a flap front. It helps that it uses one of my favorite sewing tools ever, the Babyville snaps and snap pliers! I don’t see any links to supplies on the tutorial page, so here is a link to the clear vinyl you’ll need and here are my favorite zippers for these kinds of projects (I always keep a stash of these zippers on hand!) She also mentions Wonder Clips, so you don’t have to poke holes in your vinyl with pins.

Period Bag for Teen Girls by Phat Quarters

I think we can all recall the anxiety over school and periods. This bag is such a great idea. It holds and hides all the necessities and is easy to sneak into the bathroom with no one knowing what’s inside. It will also help remind girls to stock it and be prepared! My girls may not go to regular school, but these are perfect to keep in their dance bags.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this round up of back-to-school sewing ideas! And if you can’t resist sewing just one more pencil pouch, here’s a link to my very own tutorial for the pencil-shaped pencil pouch. Super fun to make! And for your older students, here’s my basic zipper pouch tutorial.

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How to take the boring out of denim ... with bleach!

I did something so fun yesterday! Ever since the free Costa Tote pattern was released a few weeks ago, I’ve been wanting to find some cool denims to make one. It’s hard to find cool denim though, and since I’m on a tight sewing budget, I had to get creative.

I had four pieces of boring denim in my fabric drawer that used to be part of my daughter’s curtains. The denim is from Hobby Lobby, a medium weight, but not a color I really loved. I was remembering how I’d used bleach to tie dye a solid blue dress once and it occurred to me I could use that technique to make this denim something special!

This post contains 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 five boring denim a makeover with bleach! Learn how I tie dyed denim at Pin Cut Sew Studio

I looked up some advice online before I started, but there’s not really a whole lot of skill involved here. Some paint the bleach on, others dunk, some use a timer and others just wing it.

I wanted to try a few different designs, since I had four pieces. The first piece I tied rubber bands in random places and got a circular effect. The second I tied in more strategic large concentric circles, more like traditional tie-dye. The third I pinched together lengthwise and tied a few inches apart to get stripes, and the fourth I folded shibori style. Basically, fan fold the piece lengthwise, then fan fold it in a triangular pattern (not folded in on itself life you’d fold a flag, but folding like you would a paper worm.)

How to tie dye fabric with bleach || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

If you’re wanting a play-by-play, I documented the entire process on Instagram Stories and saved it to a highlight, so you can watch that here. But for a general run-down, here’s what I did:

I poured the bottle of bleach into my bucket, then added an equal amount of water. I submerged each piece for about 15 minutes, then rinsed it out and hung it up. Afterward, I washed and dried them all and they turned out SO soft and pretty! I definitely advise you do this outside or in a well-ventilated area AND wear a mask. I couldn’t find one, so I used a tea towel because the fumes were really getting to me! Also wear kitchen gloves and an apron to protect your clothes.

How to tie dye fabric with bleach || PIn Cut Sew Studio

The shibori style definitely turned out to be my favorite! I have it hanging up in my sewing room still because it’s just so pretty to look at! I already made my Costa tote out of two others, and I’ll post that result very soon.

Now I’m thinking of so many things I could do with these and I think I have the fabric dying bug. In my research for this project, I came across several other dye methods I want to try, so i’ll be sure to take you all along for the ride!

Reverse tie dye on denim using bleach, Shibori style! || Pin Cut Sew Studio

You can create a similar look by using white fabric and Rit Dye. They actually have a whole line of dyes for this purpose, which is pretty cool! They have great tutorials for this one their site, which you can check out here.

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5 Things to Sew This Weekend

It’s that time again! Every couple of weeks, I compile the five best quick weekend sewing ideas I’ve saved over the last several days.

Let’s jump right in!

This post contains 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.

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

Large Hot Pad

First up, I’ve been wanting to make a large, casserole-sized hot pad ever since my husband refinished our dining table and I’m afraid of putting heat on it. Deb’s Days has a great tutorial for one!

Pillow Case PJ

I love this idea! I immediately saved it to my “Sewing for Teens” board on Pinterest, because my girls would be so into making PJ shorts out of a vintage pillow case! Go grab the free pattern from The Sewing Revival.

String Bag

Carolyn Friedlander used her own gorgeous fabric line to make a stunning drawstring backpack with a front zipper. She used the String Bag pattern from Green Pepper Patterns. I think the zipper pocket really sets this apart from other similar bags.

Wide Legged Pants

So-Sew-Easy will walk you through how to sew a pair of wide leg pants using a pattern from Craftsy. This style is everywhere currently and they are super easy to sew!

Name Banner Bunting

In this tutorial, I walk you through how to make a name banner bunting for the little ones in your life. I’ve also made them for baby showers with the baby’s name on them, and I taught a class of kids how to make their own!

That’s five things! I hope you all have a great weekend and that you squeeze in some time for sewing!

Cheers :)

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I made a dress for $4.00!

I made a dress, thought I didn’t like it, got rid of the pattern, salvaged the dress, regretted tossing the pattern, then couldn’t find the pattern number anywhere!!

Ugh, sometimes my minimalistic tendencies backfire and this is one of those times! But the bright side is, I made a dress, I love it, and it only cost me $4!

This post contains 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.

Sewing doesnt’t have to break the bank! If you’re sewing on a budget like me, I have tips for you! | Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

I got this fabric at my local thrift store for $3.99. It actually cost less than that because my thrift store has a 20% military discount! It’s a nice rayon i a gorgeous color and there were about 2 yards. The pattern was given to me by a friend who wasn’t really sewing clothing any more and needed to offload her pattern stash, so it was free. I wish I could tell you the pattern number, but alas, I cannot find it! I got rid of the pattern because I actually made this dress months ago and just felt like it was kinda frumpy. I got rid of the pattern! Dumb, because last weekend, I tried this dress on and decided all it really needed was to be two inches shorter. I made the alteration and ended up LOVING this dress, I felt great in it all day and my husband even commented on how much he likes this one. (I also like sleeveless dresses better when I have a tan, which I didn’t have when I first made it, haha).

So, I’m pretty sure I remember it being a Vogue pattern, but I looked at all 338 dress patterns on Vogue’s website and cannot find it. It’s probable that it’s out of print, since I have no idea how long my friend had it before giving it to me. If you have this pattern and can help me out with the pattern number, I will update this post!

But anyway …

If you’re sewing on a budget like me and get frustrated that it seems like an expensive hobby, be encouraged by this post, because a little creativity in how you acquire your materials can go a long way in keeping you in the sewing room. I’ve written a tip-filled article about frugal sewing, which you can read here, or by clicking on the photo below.

What are your best money saving tips for sewing? And what’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten on a piece of fabric?? We want to hear about it in the comments!

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What's the Deal with Cosplay!? (And How You Can Get Started)

It is no secret that costume sewing is my favorite thing ever. My kids and I start talking about Halloween costumes in June and I like to get started in August. But there’s this whole realm of costuming I’m sure you’ve heard of, that takes “costume” and turns it into something over and beyond your basic poster board and sweatpants DIY dress-up.

How to start with Cosplay sewing, even you’re a beginner at sewing! Tools, inspo, books, patterns, all in one place. | 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.

Cosplay seems to have originated with the anime fan base, where people dressed up as their favorite anime characters, went to conventions that way and built community around this kind of costuming. Now Cosplay is defined more broadly as dressing up as a character from a book, movie, TV show or video game, or something inspired by any of those things. Often, cosplayers try to make a costume as historically accurately, or as “screen-accurately”, as possible.

Many of these costumes take hours on hours of work and are put on display at conventions! I don’t think I can fairly call myself a cosplayer, but it’s something I sooo wish I had time and money for (I almost titled this post, “If I were a Cosplayer”), and I sure do love to follow some cosplayers on the Internet! My absolute favorites to follow on Instagram are Hoppin’ Bobbin, who is currently finishing up an Edwardian inspired Ariel costume (using couture techniques, absolutely stunning!) and the husband/wife duo Michaelrburson and HobbitParty. These two have made James & Lilly Potter, Mary Poppins, Doctor Strange, and Luna Lovegood, among other characters. They also have a brand new podcast called Hold My Butterbeer (so clever).

The coolest thing about cosplay is that it’s brought a whole new generation of people into the art of sewing! Many, many cosplayers say they started sewing in order to make costumes for Comic Cons and other such events. Most of them just get started, learning as they go and improving with every costume. They even delve into pattern making skills, which is something most modern sewists are still afraid of! I find it so cool and impressive that so many are jumping into sewing with both feet and conquering difficult skills to make the costumes they want.

All that to say, if you want to start sewing cosplay, but you aren’t sure how or where to start, I have resources for you!

How to Get Started with Cosplay

Pick a Project

The best way to get started is to choose a project and jump in. Collect photos of the costume or start an inspiration board. Start looking for the right fabrics in the right colors. If you’re a beginner, accept that your first costumes won’t be perfect, but you’ll build skills along the way. On the other hand, be realistic. Maybe don’t start with the most elaborate costume on your wish list. Consider your budget in relation to the cost of materials and consider your free time in relation to how many hours a costume might take. We’re thinking about Halloween costumes right now and my daughter wants to be some manifestation of Eliza Doolittle from the Audrey Hepburn movie, My Fair Lady. At first she wanted this pink dress, but I know I don’t have the kind of spare time it would take to make that dress and I’m not sure I’d be willing to spend the money for the right fabric. It sure would stretch my skills, though, and I think that’s the appeal for many people who sew cosplay! This one, on the other hand, is totally doable! I already rounded up some patterns that can be adapted to work and I found a fabric for only $3.99 a yard!

Remember, always make a muslin before cutting into your good fabric!

Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle costume plans and inspiration. | PIn, Cut, Sew STudio.com

Patterns for Cosplay

First, if you’re not ready to start drafting your own patterns, check out McCall’s Cosplay line of patterns. They’ve done in incredible job of keeping up with the times here! You can find patterns for full costumes, or for cloaks, hats, and other accessories. If you’re new to reading patterns, check out my series on how to read a sewing pattern. I’ve used tons of commercial costume patterns with good success, (see my daughter as Hermione Grainger below, made with Simplicity 8723) so just hop on the Simplicity or McCall’s sites and start browsing. If historical costumes are what you’re interested in (did you know there’s a Jane Austen convention every Summer???), a few pattern companies to try are Reconstructing HIstory and Patterns of Time (they also have a sister site, Cosplay Much, where you can buy the harder to make accessories. These are just a few, but a quick google search brings up plenty more. Like I mentioned above, shop for patterns with an open mind. I plan to use this one for Eliza’s jacket and this one for her skirt. These patterns do not have Eliza vibes in the photos as all, but the lines are just what I need. It helps to notice the line drawings, rather than just look at the photos on the envelopes.

Harry Potter Hermione Grainger costume using Simplicity 8723 | PIn, Cut, Sew Studio.com

Cosplay Books

There are SO MANY how-to books on Cosplay available. This one on armor and props gets great reviews. The Make: series is always a good bet, so this one on creating sci-fi armor, weapons and props is sure to be good too. There’s also The Cosplay Handbook and How to Forge Foam Weapons. I believe Hoppin’ Bobbin swears by this Couture Book for advanced techniques. I have that book on my wish list!

Helpful Cosplay Tools: Some necessary and some that would just be cool to have

Obviously a basic sewing machine is a must, but a serger is so helpful when sewing fabrics that fray, which many costume fabrics do. You can of course finish seams in other ways, but a serger will make your life easier!

Hobbit Party uses a 3D printer pretty often to create little accessories that are hard to find, but are essential to a character. I don’t own one, but I can see that if I were to cosplay often, it would save a lot of money in the long run. And it’s definitely better than paper mache’. Haha.

A Cricut is another thing on my wishlist! I’m thinking of spending my birthday and Christmas money on one because my girls and I keep thinking of ways to use it! For cosplay, a Cricut can create logos, appliques, all kinds of things.

Rit Dyes are something you’ll become friends with if you need to get a fabric to just the right color. Remember, there’s dyes for cottons and natural fibers, then there are other dyes for sythetics.

Have Fun!

In my current phase of life, I don’t make time to sew costumes for myself, but in the future, my husband pinky swore we could become Comic Con people and dress up as Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall, ha! We’ll see if he feels the same way in 20 years. For now, I’ll keep making fun costumes for my kids!

Get started sewing DIY costumes! | Pin, Cut, Sew Studio
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Third time’s the charm: How I FINALLY found the perfect cami pattern.

Why am I always surprised that the most basic of garments are the ones that are often the hardest to get right? I guess the upside is that the hunt for the perfect tried-and-true pattern for these kinds of clothes makes it that much sweeter when you finally land on that perfect design!

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 tried three different patterns before finally finding the one that worked for me! || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Such was the case with my cami pattern saga. Ever since the Ogden Cami pattern came out, I’d been wanting to try to make some similar tops to add to my wardrobe. I mean, what’s hard about a basic v-neck camisole? Should be easy to find or adapt a pattern, right?? Wrong! I don’t but a lot of Indie patterns both because of the cost and the unpredictability, so I grabbed a vintage pattern from my drawer with similar lines and gave it a try. It’s beautiful! But, the fit is all wrong. The neckline is too wide and too low (I probably made a size too big; this was before my always-make-a-muslin days) and the back had a ton of extra fabric, even after I added French darts. I used Liberty fabric for it, though, so I’m still not ready to toss it in the bin. I still think I can make it better, so it’s currently sitting on my sewing desk awaiting a light bulb moment. You might remember this cami from this recent post. I love how the fabric scraps add interest to the binding and straps!

Sewing camis || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

After that disheartening experience, I waited a few months and then decided to go ahead and buy the Ogden Cami pattern. I mean, sewists everywhere are OBSESSED with this pattern. And with good reason, it’s beautiful! It seems to work for everyone and the pattern hacking potential is endless. I whipped up my first version using the fabric from a thrifted full skirt my daughters outgrew. I made a muslin, made a full bust adjustment adding darts (when will I learn?) and went ahead and cut my fabric.

Sewing Camis || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

I ended up taking the side seams in and giving them shape, giving more of a curve to the center back seam AND eliminating the half-length facing, as it just got hung up on my bust every time I moved my arms. I cut it into a normal facing and top stitched it 2” from the top. In the end, I do wear this cami, but only under a cardigan, because even after all that, the arm holes are too big and show my bra. (This is not a rant against the Ogden Cami pattern, it’s clearly a wonderful pattern. It’s not you, it’s me, Ogden Cami).

I’d spent money on that darn pattern though, so I wasn’t ready to give up on it. I made a second go of it a few months later, altering the arm holes and drafting a new front facing for it. This version is just ok too. The pattern is just not right for me and after all those alterations, it’s a different design than the Ogden Cami altogether.

Sewing Camis

I am not a quitter, though! I had made a dress several months ago that just hadn’t worked out, but I’d kept it in the drawer hoping I could use the fabric somehow. The skirt part was just big enough for another try at a cami. Digging through my drawer, I came up with McCall’s 2219, one I’d thrifted years ago and made the cut when I cleaned out my patterns last year. I think it’s out of print, but not super old, so not at all hard to find on Amazon or Etsy.

The perfect cami pattern || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

The reason I’d overlooked it before was because it’s a bias cut design and I’ve been using small bits of fabrics for these camis, nothing big enough to cut pieces out on the bias. BUT, since I’d made those other camis, I had learned that if the pattern has bust darts (this one includes them!), then a cami will fit fine cut on the straight of grain. I cut it out, barely having enough and wouldn’t you know it …

The perfect cami pattern || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

This pattern fit, FIRST TRY!!! No alterations required. I love the V neckline, and notice how much coverage the straps give me. The facing is exactly the style I had drafted for my Ogden Cami and the length is perfect. Now that I have a basic pattern to go to, I can hack this into other designs. A straight across neckline will be first, I think, then maybe a dress!

So, here’s what I learned. Once again, just because a pattern seems to be great on everyone else, doesn’t necessarily mean it will be great on me. I knew better than to buy a pattern without bust darts and with such floaty lines, when what I wanted was something completely different and more fitted. And I knew better than to try that first vintage pattern without making a muslin.

Lessons. Learned.

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Before you throw that sewing project in the trash ...

Every now and then, despite my careful muslin making, I sew a project that just flops. Either the fit is all wrong, it’s just the wrong shape on me, or the fabric was the wrong choice for the pattern.

Recently I made a dress that I came really close to throwing in the trash.

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 came so close to throwing this dress in the trash before I ever finished it! Come read how I salvaged it and what I learned. || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

I’m always excited when Jalie releases new patterns and I bought the Michele Tank and Dress pattern almost right away and made a muslin of the bodice only. I knew this look wouldn’t be flattering on me without some shaping, so I took my time adding a full bust adjustment and even French darts in the front and back bodice.

Once I had it right, I cut out the dress from a rayon fabric I had. I didn’t have quite enough fabric for the lining, though! So I went to the thrift store and found a white rayon skirt full enough to do the job.

I got the dress sewn and it just looked awful on me. I’m short waisted and broad through the ribcage, so this floaty, almost babydoll design did not flatter, despite all my fitting work (though that bodice fit darn perfect, haha). I decided to try adding elastic to the inside waist seam allowance, but you know how braided elastic can stretch out when you try zig zagging it on … womp, womp.

I was bummed, but instead of tossing in the trash like I wanted to, I put it in my fabric drawer thinking I could salvage the skirt portion to sew something else in the future.

Fast forward a couple months and I dug the dress out of my drawer and on a whim, tried it on. You guys, it was sooo NOT as bad as I had thought! LOL! If the waistband could be more fitted, I’d totally wear this dress and the perfectly fitted bodice wouldn’t have to go to waste! I recently learned a new technique for attaching elastic to the seam allowance in a way that will hold it’s form, so I unpicked the zig zag, shortened the elastic by a few inches and resewed it using my serger.

Jalie Michele tanks and dress pattern. || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

Perfect.

I hemmed the dress and wore it the next day. I learned a few things from this experience:

  1. First, never toss a project when you’re mad at it! Put away and come back to it later. Even if it’s still awful, you can use that fabric for something else!

  2. Don’t trust your initial feelings! In my defeat, I remembered that dress looking horrible, but when I tried it on again, it was not bad at all. Sometimes putting things aside and looking at them with new eyes can make a huge difference.

  3. I only just learned the elastic technique I needed to make this work. This goes to show once again, no matter how long you’ve been sewing, there are always new things to learn.

  4. Trust your gut with patterns. Just because it looks cute on everyone else doesn’t mean it will work for you (I’m lookin’ at you, Ogden Cami). I know what works on me and what doesn’t and I should have sought out a similar pattern with the right lines and the shaping I needed. In the end I made this one work, but that’s definitely not always the case!

I’m glad I didn’t toss this project in the heat of the moment and I hope I can remember these things when I feel like a project is a total failure in the future!

Side note: I’ve only just begun wearing bike shorts under my summer dresses. I know many people have done this their entire lives, but I am new to the bandwagon and I am loving it. I feel less fearful of every slight breeze, ha! They also just stay put under dresses better. I had one pair already, but needed another, so I ordered these and like them, so I thought I’d recommend them to you all and save you the trouble of wading through all the reviews!




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Scrap Busting for Garment Fabrics

If you were to type “scrap busting ideas” into Google or Pinterest, you’d likely get plenty of great ideas for quilting fabrics and cottons. But what are you supposed to do with those leftover bits of rayons, linens and knits? If you do a lot of garment sewing, you may find those scraps harder to find uses for, but I have a list of good ideas for you today and they’re all about stash busting those fashion fabric scraps!

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 use up clothing fabric scraps in lots of different ways! || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Scrap busting ideas for clothing fabrics:

Search for patterns that use very little fabric.

Pajama shorts are a great way to use up scraps. I made a pair of PJ shorts for Natalie with only about half a yard to work with. I used the Lexi Chick Boxers pattern (adding a waistband per her preference). I’ve made myself several pair of pajama shorts using this pattern because it’s so great for scraps! Large enough scraps can also be turned into camisoles or tank tops. This easy rectangle top is a great option if your scrap is around a yard. Alternatively, those scraps that aren’t quite big enough to make yourself something out of may be just large enough to sew something for the kids in your life. I sewed my daughter a bunch of Jalie tanks out of leftover knits one year when she was younger and they really filled a gap in her Summer wardrobe that year.

Sew Pajama Shorts with leftover fabrics!

Sew Undergarments

Scraps are so perfect for sewing bras and underwear. I’ve made lounge bras with this pattern out of all kinds of knit scraps, even a piece of soft stretch lace. For truly beautiful underwear patterns, check out Evie La Luve she has such gorgeous designs and most require very little fabric. If you’ve never sewn delicates before, those silky or knit scraps offer a great opportunity to try something new!

Use scraps for linings or facings, or other small bits

I love to add a contrasting facing or binding to my handmade garments. There have been times when I haven’t had quite enough fabric to cut certain pieces and have had to sub in some scraps. That was the case with the cami pictured below and the contrasting binding and straps ended up being what I love most about this little top! Other uses for your scraps are pocket bags, Hong Kong seam finishes, cuffs, neckbands, waistband or neckband facings, patch pockets, casings, tie belts, lining pieces, straps, button plackets, hem bands or embellishments such as ruffles or bias strips.

Ideas for using up those clothing fabrics scraps! || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

Plan garments with mixed fabrics.

I once made a raglan woven top pattern using a lace for the sleeves and a solid rayon for the front and back pieces. It was so much prettier than it would have been with just the solid! Raglan sleeves are the perfect opportunity to use two different fabrics. Using contrasting panels in a dress with interesting lines is another option. Often, running short of fabric forces some creative thinking, so those scraps might come in handy!

Use scraps for bags and other small projects.

We tend to gravitate toward cottons for most small sewing projects like bags, wallets, or sleep masks, but your garment fabric scraps can add so much interest and texture to these ideas! Silky sleep masks, rayon bag linings, denim wallets, linen clutch purses, the possibilities are endless if you think outside the box. Those knit scraps are perfect for a batch of baby hats!

Use garment scraps for quilting fabrics!

I made a baby quilt to gift a friend several months ago and included some garment scraps mixed in with my cute cottons. Can you spot both the fabric from the shorts and the fabric from the camisole binding?? The results were beautiful, the shirtings, cotton voiles, and linens added so much texture and made for a more modern finished product!

Quilting with unexpected fabrics! || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

I hope I’ve given you some ideas to use up those fashion fabric scraps! If you have any ideas to add, I’d love to hear them :)

Cheers!




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How Inspecting Store Bought Garments Can Improve Your Sewing Technique

I’ve been experimenting with some pattern mashing lately and so far most things have turned out pretty great! One example is this favorite garment and this dress I’m sharing today is another. I learned a few things from this project and I’m happy to share my light bulb moments with you!

I was really wanting a casual and easy summer dress. I’m set for church dresses, but more easy weekday dresses would fill a gap for me. I scored the rest of some beautiful brushed poly knit fabric at Hobby Lobby. It was being clearanced out so I got it super cheap and bought all that was left.

I thumbed through my pattern stash and couldn’t find any knit dress patterns that sung to me for this project, BUT, I did have a Burda knit top pattern I’d made before and like and thought I could hack it into a dress. Thankfully, it worked!

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 a mash up a Burda top pattern and an Old Navy dress and learned some new techniques along the way! Come see how inspecting your rtw clothes can improve your sewing skills. || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

A few notes on how I accomplished this mash-up. I have an Old Navy knit dress that I really like the fit of, so I measured the length of that bodice, using the measurement to fold my pattern pieces up to reflect that bodice length. I sewed the bodice as instructed, I only made a minor change in the neckline finish.

For the skirt, I used that Old Navy dress to draft the skirt by tracing it directly onto my fabric, pulling the waistline taught to get the correct measurement. (This is my favorite tracing tool of all time). I cut two, so the front and back skirt are the same. To my surprise, the skirt is more like a quarter circle skirt, not a gathered rectangle like I’d assumed and probably would have cut if I hadn’t bothered inspecting my Old Navy dress. I don’t think I would have been as happy with that result, so the lesson here is to inspect well-fitting RTW clothing more often!

The Old Navy dress also had an interesting technique for the waistline elastic that I copied and loved. Usually patterns for knits with elasticized waists will have you make a casing out of the seam allowance and draw the elastic through, but I always find that bulky and shifty. Other patterns will have you zig zag the elastic to the seam after it’s sewn, but I find the elastic stretches out too much and I often end up unpicking it to shorten the elastic and resewing. My Old Navy dress, however, had that elastic serged right into the seam. So once I’d pinned my skirt to my bodice, I cut elastic about 85% of the seam’s circumference (I used 1/4” braided). I marked it in quarters, pinned it to the waistline at those marks and serged the whole seam in one go. It worked awesome, I will always use that method from now on!

Burda 6428 meets Old Navy. Come see how I mashed a top pattern with an Old Navy dress and what I learned along the way! || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

While we’re on the subject of serging, I cannot recommend my Juki serger enough. I’ve had it for over 6 years and it’s been a dream the entire time. I’ve never once needed to get it serviced! If you’re on the fence about getting a serger, take the leap, you will not regret it. And if they fancy ones are out of your budget, give Juki a try, it’s very budget friendly.

I’m sure I’m not the only sewist who takes a careful look at their own clothes or clothing at stores to see how they’re made. I scored an Athleta linen moto jacket at the thrift store a few weeks ago and I was wearing it at church and caught myself marveling over how they finished the cuff plackets on the sleeves, ha! (It had godets! So interesting!) Do you have stories of things you’ve learned from store bought items? Have you ever taken photos of clothes at the store to copy them at home? (guilty). Tell me about it in the comments :)

Cheers!

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Five Things to Sew This Weekend

I keep an editorial calendar of posts I plan to write and I when I checked it see what today’s post would be, I got excited! I love writing these Five Things to Sew posts! I keep a collection on Blog Lovin’ called “Sewspiration” and many of those things end up here in these posts, as well as new sewing tutorials I’ve spotted on Pinterest and around the web. The only hard part is picking my five favorites!

I’ve narrowed it down to just five things you can sew up this weekend. 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.

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The Costa Tote by Helen’s Closet

First up, Helen’s Closet revealed a free new tote bag pattern this week and I am dying. I love a good tote bag, but there’s something about this asymmetrical pocket that sings to me. AND it’s reversible!? I’m thinking of all kinds of family members who would love a version of this for Christmas. If you hop over to grab it, be sure and check out her other patterns. I’m the Blackwood Cardigan’s #1 fan.

Magnetic Bookmark and Pen Holder

This is a great little idea and tutorial by Lorelei Jayne that I know my girls would love. In fact, I’m teaching a creative writing class at our homeschool co op this year and all my students happen to be Middle School girls! I’d love to make them each one as a gift.

DIY Leather Belt Bag

Are fanny packs back?? I’m not sure about those 80’s kind, but I do know this belt bag by Closet Case Patterns is something I can get behind! I’ve also been wanting to try more sewing on leather, so this would be a great project to start with!

Folding Magazine Rack

I’m an avid reader AND and homeschool mom and I have a vintage folding magazine rack that I use constantly. I’ve often thought I could use another. This is a very simple wood and fabric tutorial by Man Made that I’m going to try! I bet my husband already has the wood pieces I’ll need and the sewing part is very simple.

Easy Rectangle Top

If you missed it last week, this is my own tutorial for a very simple top based off of Mexican embroidered top I thrifted and fell in love with. It is seriously the easiest top you’ll ever make and the possibilities for embellishment are plentiful! The best part is, you only need a yard of fabric. If you make one, I’d love to see your version!

I hope you have some time to sew this weekend! We have a new couch coming and a baby shower to go to, but I’m still putting some sewing on my to-do list. I tend to post about the things I’m sewing in my Instagram Stories, so you can follow along there if you want. And if you enjoyed this post, check out Five Things to Sew: Travel Edition!

Hel

lo, World!

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Dancewear Patterns: They DO Exist!

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, at no additional cost to you. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

It’s no secret around here that I’ve accomplished a huge goal recently of learning to sew activewear, and more specifically dancewear! Both my tween/teen daughters are ballerinas and let me tell you, dance leotards are not cheap! They tend to run at least $60 per leotard and they each need two or three at a time, since they both dance four days a week. To have their black leotards in pretty designs is preferred, of course, but the price goes up with every cute detail, it seems!

The dancewear patterns may seem hard to find at first, but there are more out there than you might think! So I’m here to complie a list today of dancewear patterns. If you’re still new at sewing, don’t let this intimidate you like I did for so many years! You can sew activewear with the most basic sewing equipment, you don’t even need a serger and it’s a great way to build skills. So if you have a dancer in your life, no matter how long you’ve been sewing, this post is for you!

You can sew dancewear! Click over to see my big roundup of sewing patterns for leotards, skirts, leggings and even Irish dancing and character skirts. || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Before we start, know that this list is of in-print patterns only. Though I’m sure there’re tons of out-of-print dancewear patterns, both our selection of sewing notions and our access to professional techniques for unique genres of sewing has come a long way in the last decade, so I can’t vouch for those oldest patterns as far as the techniques and finishes they may recommend. So, without further ado,

The Big List of Dancewear Sewing Patterns.

Jalie.

This will be no surprise to you at all. Jalie runs the market and you will learn so much using one of their patterns. If you do not have a serger, that’s ok, the instructions include techniques without a serger. Visit their website to see all the dance patterns they have available. I choose the PDF format because I find assembling the pages much easier than tracing the lines! The leotard I most recently made for Natalie is the Jade pattern. I’ve also made the dance skirts more times than I can count! Jalie also includes boys and mens patterns in their dancewear offerings and they are actually the only company I found that does so.

Sewing dancewear. I made my daughter leggings with Simpicity 8424 and a skirt with Jalie’s ballet skirts pattern. I even altered a basic leotard to add lace and interesting straps! Visit my big list of dance sewing patterns. || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Big 4 Pattern Companies.

Yep, the Big 4 (McCall’s, Simplicity, Butterick and Vogue, plus their other brands) does have a decent selection of dancewear patterns. I have made every single piece of Simplicity 8424 and love the sizing on it because dancers tend to be tiny sometimes. The extra small is perfect for my girls. Other Big 4 dancewear patterns include:

Simplicity 1444. This one pretty much has it all! Would be a good place to start your collection.

Burda 9629. This pattern has everything you’ll need for your littlest dancers.

Simplicity 8561. My girls are allowed to wear active leggings to jazz and modern and we like this pattern for those.

Kwik Sew 3661. I think this neckline is so pretty and the skirt too. Great basic pattern! Kwik Sew can be pricey, but they go on sale occasionally online and at JoAnn.

Indie & Misc.

If you have girls in need of character skirts, here is a pattern for those. Once you know how, you’ll regret never trying them before, they’re pretty simple!

Mountain Ash Designs. This company is new to me, but they appear to have a well-established line of dancewear patterns!

Atira’s Fashions has patterns for various ethnic dance, including belly dancing. If you have a character dancer, you may want to check them out.

Guna Rince makes sewing patterns for Irish Dance.

My Childhood Treasures has a nice selection of dance patterns from younger girls up through the ages.

That’s all I can find, folks! I’m sure that’s not all, though. If you know of others, will you let us all know in the comments? Now that I have the dancewear sewing bug, I’m on the lookout for more unique designs. My girls may end up with more than they really need this year, ha!

Cheers :)










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One Pattern, Two Hacks: Butterick 6686

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, at no additional cost to you. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

Every now and then a pattern comes along that fits perfectly and can be remade in a myriad of ways! Butterick 6686 has been one of those for me. It’s one of the new Butterick patterns and the thing that appealed to me most about it was the sleeves. No set in sleeves meant I likely wouldn’t have to do a full bust adjustment (party!) and I like how these sleeves give freedom of movement. That said, I did make some significant changes, but first let me show you my two makes!

Pattern hacking with Butterick 6686. Click over to see how I made two very different tops out of two very different fabrics, with one simple pattern. || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

The first version I made was out of cotton gingham from Hobby Lobby. I got it when they were clearancing out the Spring fashion line, so it was very inexpensive and a great quality. I did make a muslin like always and I’m glad I did because I ended up getting rid of all the gathers in the back. Here’s a line drawing for reference.

LIne drawing of Butterick 6686. Come see how I hacked this basic pattern into two very different tops! || Pin, Cut Sew Studio

Every time there are gathers or pleats in the back of a top or dress, it tends to look very odd on me, especially from the side. I prefer things to skim my back and because I have a swayback, I almost always alter patterns in the back. However, the width at the hemline was perfect, so I didn’t want to alter that at all. I grabbed my tape and got to work taping pleats into my pattern piece. Here’s how it looked when I was done.

Pattern alterations for swayback. Butterick 6686

Additionally, I altered the armhole to not come out as far. It’s hard to explain, but I didn’t like how far down the bottom of the sleeve was and how it came out in a hook shape. I eliminated that and marked where I would stop sewing in order to hem my sleeve. You can see that dot in the photo above.

ALSO, I don’t care for collars that are one piece, I prefer the collar and stand to be separate. So I used the collar and stand pieces of my trusty button down shirt pattern and it just happened to fit this pattern perfectly. These changes may sound time consuming, but they really weren’t and the end result was so worth it. I think if I hadn’t bothered with a muslin and alterations and just plowed ahead with my nice fabric, it would have ended up in the trash. It’s always worth taking my time!

Butterick 6686 by Nikki at Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

For my second version, I had a really pretty, buttery soft rayon I’d gotten on my trip to Colorado. I didn’t have much of it, though, so I needed a pattern that doesn’t use much fabric. Because it doesn’t have sleeves to cut out and because I took out the gathers, this pattern is perfect for just a yard and a quarter of fabric. This time I did something a little different. Rather than the collar, I made a bias binding for the neckline and left the tie ends long. I love how it drapes open at the neckline!

Butterick 6686. Click over to see how I hacked one basic pattern into two very different shirts for summer! || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

This pattern is perfect for hacking. Do you have a go-to pattern that you can hack into other things? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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How to Sew a Baby Hat, 3 Ways! A Beginner-Friendly 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, at no additional cost to you. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

Part of my purpose here at Pin, Cut, Sew Studio is to make building sewing skills accessible for anyone who wants to learn, from the total beginner (kids included!) to the seasoned sewist, there’s always more sewing skills and techniques to try. So when I try new things in sewing, I pass what I’m learning along to you and I try to make beginners feel like they can tackle new things too.

Learn to sew baby hats, three different ways. This is a beginner friendly video tutorial, anyone can do it! Be sure and subscribe to Pin Cut Sew on YouTube for more sewing tutorials.

This video is one of those totally beginner-friendly projects! Because my baby bib video tutorial is by far my most popular on YouTube, I decided to make another baby item tutorial: baby hats! I’m sure you’ve all seen these adorable baby hats with the bear ears or the tie knots at the top. They’re so cute and seriously super easy to make. So next time you’re invited to a baby shower, sew a few baby hats!

I’ll post the video first and underneath that, you’ll find the form for the free pattern, which you’ll need to download and print out before you get started.

For this project you’ll need some cute knit fabrics, your scissors (I use basic Fiskars), pins (I like these kind), your iron (I love my Shark!) and a turning tool (I use a chopstick!) And don’t forget to download the pattern by submitting your email below. I also mentioned in the video that if you’re having trouble sewing knit fabrics, try a ball point needle and a walking foot for your machine.

I hope you enjoy this tutorial! Be sure and subscribe to my channel, I have fun making these videos and if there’s something specific you’d like to learn, a project or a technique, please speak up in the comments! I’m always looking for new ideas.