5 Surprising Tools Every Sewing Room Should Have

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We all know about the basic tools, of course. Your scissors, pins, seam ripper, etc … But there are a few tools that have lived in my sewing room for years that I will never again go without! I’m here to share five of those unlikely, but oh-so-useful tools with you.

Unlikely sewing tools you should keep handy in your sewing room!

Unlikely sewing tool #1: Hemostats.

Yes, hemostats. The kind doctors use. Mine actually came from a medic my husband was friends with in his early days in the Army. I asked if he could score me a pair and they’ve been within arms reach in my sewing room ever since! They’re so useful for so many things, like turning tiny things right side out, getting stuffing into hard to reach places and reaching in to grab the elastic end you accidentally let slide inside its casing.

Unlikely sewing tool #2: Washi Tape

I love washi tape! If you’re unfamiliar, this is a decorative tape that you can find in the craft department of any store and in lots of cute prints, to boot. It’s different from regular tape in that it comes off very easily, without ripping paper or distorting fabric. I keep a roll of this handy in my sewing room for a few reasons. It’s very handy for taping the changes into pattern pieces I’m only temporarily altering, since it’s not permanent like other tape. I also use it to mark lines on my sewing machine when I’m sewing a deep hem or just need a line where my sewing machine doesn’t include one (on my serger too!). I also use a small piece of it to stick to the front pieces of something I’ve cut out, if the front and back look very similar, so I can tell them apart.

Unlikely sewing tool #3: An Awl

Many sewists have probably overlooked this notion, although they are sold in the fabric store. An awl has many uses, including helping to feed fabric through your machine if it’s stuck, without getting your fingers involved. It can also be used to turn seams the right direction as they go under the machine. An awl punches holes for snap setting or animal eyes and can get you started when you’re cutting button holes open.

Unlikely Sewing Tool #4: Tweezers

I didn’t know how dependent I was on my sewing room tweezers until they went missing one time. Threading my serger is a huge pain without them! While similar to the hemostats, tweezers can reach things the larger hemostats can’t. They’re also useful when putting your buttons in place if you sew buttons on with a button foot. Mine have an edge on that that I use to tighten or loosen the screw that holds my needle in place (though a set of micro screwdrivers lives in my sewing room as well).

Unlikely Sewing tool #5: Scotch Tape and Paper

Okay, I know this is two things, but they almost always go together. When making pattern alterations (and I almost always need to after making a muslin), I use plain ole’ printer paper and scotch tape. It’s irritating to have to go upstairs and get some, so I make sure to keep a stack in my sewing room at all times, right on my desk. Scotch tape on a dispenser is indispensable (see what I did there?) for making alterations and of course, for taping together your indie patterns. Mine has a permanent place on my cutting table and I keep refill rolls in my desk. Like my sewing scissors, my family knows better than to remove my tape dispenser from the sewing room!

That’s five! But I can’t end it there. There are some just-for-fun-totally-optional things in my sewing room that I LOVE and count among my favorite things.

Sewing room essentials! Click over for my list of unlikely sewing tools AND some just-for-fun items to have in your sewing room. || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

First is my Spotify Premium Family account!

I procrastinated on going premium for way too long, but now that we have it, we’ll never go back. They don’t even have an affiliate program, so this is not an ad, ha! I just like it that much. Each family member can have their own account and we have any music imaginable at our fingertips. It pretty much feels to good to be true. You can even play your podcasts on it and we all know podcasts and sewing go together like PB&J.

Second is my Bose Colorlink Speaker.

My husband got this for me for Christmas one year and it was a huge suprise, we don’t usually do more than stocking suffers for each other to keep the Christmas budget under control. But it’s seriously one of my favorite things and I use it in the sewing room and all over the house constantly.

Third is my Bluetooth Noise Reducing Headphones.

I hesitated big time on buying these because the price was so much less than what’s mostly marketed these days, but they’ve been awesome. They do a good job of blocking out the Fortnite noise that I partially share a room with, so I can hear my podcast, so that’s a win in my book.

Your turn!

What items do you love having in your sewing room? I’d love to hear about them! Maybe you have a tool I didn’t even know was out there. Lemme know in the comments!

Cheers :)



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The easiest top you'll ever sew!

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.

Awhile back I wrote a blog post about the Mexican Huipil that I scored at a thrift store. It’s still one of my favorite tops, though now that I know how much hand embroidery and care probably went into making it, I wear and wash it a bit less often, in the hopes it will last longer!

I’ve been wanting to copy the shape of this top for awhile and since I had a piece of rayon that was only about a yard, I thought it was a good time to try it.

Now I can truly say, this is the easiest top ever!! Anyone can draft a rectangle and that’s seriously all it is. A rectangle with a neckline. The back and front are the same.

Let me show you my finished top first and then I’ll show you how I did it and how easy it is, so you can try it too.

How to make a rectangle top. Super easy, anyone can do it! || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

The cool thing about this being the same on the front and back is that you can get creative about the hemline and the trim, if you decide to add some. I had a small length of lace leftover from this (my most-worn garment this summer!) So it was enough to trim the front hem, but not the back. But it turned out to be a cool design feature! I can reverse the top and do a front tuck so that lace is in the back. I can’t decide which way I like it better.

How to make a rectangle top. So easy anyone can do it! || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

Ok, here’s how you can draft a rectangle top for yourself. This isn’t so much of a full tutorial with step by step photos, but I think it’s enough info. And it’s just super easy, I think anyone could figure this out!

To cut the right size rectangle, you need to decide how long you want it. Mine is 27” in length (that includes 1” for seam allowance and hem. For the width, take your hip measurement and add 1”. Divide that number by four. My hips measure 39”, so after adding an inch and then dividing by 4, my rectangle’s width is 10”. Here’s my finished rectangle, for a visual.

How to draft a rectangle top. So easy, anyone can do it!

Ok, next draft your neckline. Measure 3” from the center front and 7” down from the top. Simply create a curve using the above photo as a guide.

You can see I have two notches on the side seam of my rectangle, one is 8.5” from the top and the other is 5” up from the bottom. When you sew your side seams, sew in between the notches, then narrow hem the sleeves and the slits. The slits help the top fit over your widest part (your hips) without making the top really wide everywhere else, so I wouldn’t leave them off unless you’re very narrow in the hips.

So here are the steps in order:

  1. Sew your shoulder seams.

  2. Stay stitch the neckline to prevent stretching.

  3. Finish the neckline with your preferred method. I made a bias binding and turned it to the inside and stitched.

  4. Sew your side seams between notches and press open.

  5. Narrow hem your arm holes and side slit openings.

  6. Hem the top and add trim if you want.

Done! If you have questions, I’d be happy to help further!

I’m a little baffled about why this basic rectangle top fits so well, when everything else seems to needs darts and adjustments up the wazoo for it to fit me right. But I guess I won’t question it ;)

I’d be thrilled if you pinned this graphic to come back to for later and for others to share too!

How to draft and sew a rectangle top. So easy, anyone can do it! || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio
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A Handmade Ballet Leotard: Jalie Jade Pattern

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This is one of those things I still can’t quite believe I successfully made. I’m not sure why it intimidated me so much, I have actually hacked some basic leotards into fancier ones before, but learning to add the elastic for some reason had me nervous about making them from scratch.

BUT, I have conquered the ballet leotard! Let me say right off the bat, there is no question when it comes to activewear patterns, Jalie dominates the market with good reason. I am not an affiliate with Jalie, I just love them so much, I have to spread the word. More about why I love Jalie further down, but here is my 14-year-old ballerina’s finished leotard!

Sewing ballet leotards with Jalie patterns || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

At my girls’ dance studio, they wear black leotards to class, any design. Natalie likes things with a high neckline and she loves a pretty back design, so when Jalie released this new Jade Leotard pattern recently, it was a no brainer. It went together perfectly and she absolutely loves it. The fabric is nylon spandex from Hobby Lobby, part of their new activewear fabric line and it’s to-die-for. Use the 40% off coupon and you can get it for less than $8 a yard. I also used this lining from Spandex World.

Sewing ballet leotards with Jalie patterns || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Ok, here are the reasons why Jalie patterns can’t be beat.

  • Their sizing is spot on. When I was teaching sewing to kids, we made pajama shorts with this Jalie pattern and I took measurements of each student. Every pair of shorts fit perfectly. When you buy a pattern from Jalie, it comes with all the sizes, from children to adult and the sizing chart is right every time. I definitely cannot say that about most patterns, Big 4 or Indie. There’s usually some trial and error involved to find your size with other brands.

  • They teach professional techniques. I learned so much from using this pattern, especially about how to apply the elastic and finishes. They even include instructions for those who don’t have a serger!

  • They have great variety and modern designs. Jalie keeps up with the trends and goes beyond basic designs. I’m always excited to see what they’ll release next! They have patterns for all kinds of sports, including water sports, gymnastics and figure skating, plus designs for everyday clothing.

Now that I’ve learned these skills, we’re excited to design and make more leotards! I also have the basic leotard pattern, which will be easy to hack into other designs. I saved the following photo from Dancewear Solutions’ Instagram stories this morning. I love the twisted back, so clever with the two colors! They are allowed to wear colorful leotards to jazz and modern, so maybe I’ll some in colors too. (I should add, Dancewear Solutions is my favorite for ordering leotards if I’m not making them. They have the best prices I’ve found.)

Sewing for ballet, inspiration

I think one of the biggest hurdles to breaking out and trying other genres of sewing are gathering the supplies. Once I had the right fabric, some lining, the right elastic, the right needles, and the pattern, I was good to jump in. Half the battle is sourcing the more unique materials.

Next on my “learning new things” list, is a coat! But one thing at a time, ha!

I’d be happy to have you follow along with my sewing adventures on Instagram!

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A Woven Cardigan and Hair Care Talk

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 am soooo happy with my latest make, you guys, I have literally worn it for the last three days in a row! I think I need a second one so I have one to wash and one to wear, ha!

Lemme just show you a photo, first thing.

Woven cardigan with Simplicity 8601 & 8707

(Find similar shoes here and my tank here — I highly recommend!)

I love this for so many reasons! I realized how great it can be to have a kimono style “topper” in the Summer, when you either want to protect against chill, sun, or just be more covered. I have worn my yellow chiffon kimono quite a bit, much more than I thought I would, but it’s honestly not the most flattering shape on me because of the drop shoulders and wide sleeves. I’m already pretty broad for my size through my upper body, so the kimono definitely adds more width.

I had the idea to make something similar, but with normal set in sleeves, when I was eyeing a woven cardigan my daughter has that she got at a thrift store. Hers has cute tie details on the sleeves and I had a light bulb moment! I remembered Simplicity 8601 has those tie details and that pattern was already in my stash and I’ve made it a couple times.

Woven Cardigan: Simplicity 8601 & Simplicity 8707 || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

So, I used the kimono pattern, Simplicity 8707 and mashed it up with Simplicity 8601 in order to make myself a version of this cardigan. My method was as you’d expect, I used the main pieces of 8601, adding length and then altering the front pieces by placing the front of Simplicity 8707 on top and tracing that front line onto my fabric. The sleeves I cut as normal, of course.

Some additional details: I flat felled the seams in order to have the insides look nice and I bound the back neckline with denim bias tape. Not only does it look nice, it’s much stronger that way. I left slits in the sides about six inches from the bottom and added a pretty lace from Hobby Lobby. Oh, and my fabric is a rayon from Colorado Fabrics in Denver.

Flat felled seams: Woven cardigan with Simplicity Patterns || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

I’m definitely serious about making a second version. This one truly goes with most things in my closet and it’s already proving so handy. I’m being quite picky about the fabric, though, so I’ll have to sew other things until I find the right fabric. A soft lace one would be pretty and I do have a piece in my stash, but I don’t think it’s enough. We’ll see!

Moving on! Sometimes I come across things that are unrelated to sewing, but I still feel are worth sharing with you because I think they’re awesome! And after all, anyone who sews clothing probably cares about fashion and therefore possibly also cares about hair care, right? So you see, it fits.

I have two hair products to recommend. I have naturally curly hair. A few times in my life, however, due to hormonal freak-outs, I lost a ton of hair. The first time that happened, it grew back pretty straight. The second time it happened, it grew back curly again. I was forced to cut it short and it was ridiculous to deal with for a solid year. But anyway, long story short, I acquired an awesome hair stylist, she helped me through this process and my hair is now healthy and curly again, not to mention thicker than it’s ever been. She recently sold me this curly hair product called KMS Curl Up Mousse. You only use a little and apply it to wet hair. When it dries, you have soft, not frizzy or crunchy, curls. I just noticed they also have this curl cream, which I think I’ll for sure order.

The second thing is a hair dryer. Mine died recently and I used this one at a hotel and loved it. I took a pic and ordered it when I got home. It’s compact and folds up, so easy to travel with, and the cord retracts. The cord is not super long, which I prefer, so it doesn’t become a twisted mess. It also has three speeds instead of two! So, while I find I usually air dry my hair now, it’s nice to have a good hair dryer when I need it!

I’m a pretty basic beauty routine gal, so when I find good things, I like to share! What are your go-to personal care products? If you have anything you swear by, I’d love to hear about it.

One last thing. Prime day is coming! If you are not an Amazon Prime member, you can snag a free trial just in time to get the good deals on July 15th & 16th. I’ll be sure and post the best deals for crafters as it gets closer!

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Sewing Activewear: Simplicity 8634 & 8631

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.

A few seasons ago, Simplicity came out with these slightly ridiculous superhero activewear patterns. Because of the outlandish novelty fabrics, I’m not sure many people really gave them more than a glance, but the designs themselves are actually pretty great.

I’ve been on a quest to conquer activewear (see some tips and what I’ve learned so far in this post) and used these Simplicity patterns to make Layla some more clothes for Crossfit Kids this summer. We love how her new activewear outfit turned out and it was really fun and easy to sew!

Sewing activewear: Simplicity 8634 & 8631 || Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

All of these great fabrics are from Hobby Lobby. I can’t decide if I like the pants or the top more, thy both have such great details. The lines on the pants are perfection, I’m going to make a pair for myself, probably in navy. But the BEST part of the pants, is that they have deep pockets!! My phone could fit in there when I run and that is something lacking in most store bought active pants, I’ve noticed. They give you the tiniest pocket ever, big enough for one house key, I guess. The pattern for these leggings is Simplicity 8634. These patterns use the novelty elastic for the waistbands, but we don’t like that, so I used the waistband piece from Simplicity 8424.

Sewing activewear, running leggings pattern: Simplicity 8634

Then there’s the top, which is equally cool and I also want my own version of! I love the back ties, so cute! She loves this top and it’s perfect for Crossfit because it stays put. The neckline and armhole pieces for this pattern are drafted perfectly. I used my serger to apply them, and also serged all the seams. I serged the hem edges before turning and hemming with a stretch stitch on my regular machine. With knits, turning them twice and hemming never looks as neat. The pattern for the top is Simplicity 8631.

Sewing activewear, tie-back workout top: Simplicity 8631 || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

I definitely have more activewear in the cue! I can’t wait to take photos of the ballet leotard I made my daughter and I bought some swimsuit fabrics on my trip to Denver last week that I have big plans for, can’t wait! I feel like now that I’ve learned some good techniques for these tricky fabrics, the world is at my fingertips. I’m thinking of ordering this book. It’s author, Melissa Fehr, seems to be quite the queen of activewear sewing, not to mention a very inspiring person in general. It’s worth spending some time on her website.

I talked about this in my last activewear post, but a few essential tools for activewear are definitely some stretch needles and a walking foot. And while you can do without these things, a serger will absolutely make your life in activewear sewing so much faster and easier and give you sturdier results. I also do almost all my cutting out with a rotary cutter, on a large mat. It really saves my hands, which become tired with scissor cutting. At first I thought free handing with a rotary cutter would be risky, I thought it was a quilting tool only, but once I tried it, I never went back!


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Five Things to Sew This Weekend: Travel Edition

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.

We’re still traveling and visiting family until Monday, so no sewing is happening here, but I have been gathering inspo all the same! Here are five things you can sew up this weekend, and this time they’re all travel related. Enjoy!

Five travel-related sewing tutorials you can sew up this weekend. || PIn, Cut, Sew Studio

Packing cubes! Yes! I so wish I had some of these. Sometimes my husband and I share a giant suitcase and I feel like it gets so jumbled up. I almost went out and bought some the day before our trip, but I didn’t. Now I can just make some!

Triangle Zipper Pouches. This is a video tutorial on my YouTube channel and I use these pouches to contain hair accessories during trips. Super useful! These are my favorite zippers for this project (and many other projects, for that matter!)

Cord Keepers. Very useful and easy to personalize. These would make great stocking stuffers at Christmastime. I think I’d use my snap pliers and snaps to make them even easier.

Travel Wrap. This is brilliant. If you’ve ever been cold on a flight, you know how miserable that is. This knit wrap can be worn as a scarf, shawl, nursing cover, cardigan, or blanket. Pretty ingenious, if you ask me! She doesn’t link to any specific fabrics, but I think rayon jersey like this or this would be my first choice for this wrap.

Sleep mask. I have a template you can download for free. Obviously, you can leave off the emojis, if you want. I also just remembered, I have a cute pig neck pillow tutorial in the archives also! Find that here.

Ok, that was technically six things, not five, so I’ll go ahead and add another. I wanted to bring a sock money to a little friend we were going to be seeing while in Colorado, so I brought that along as a hand sewing project (see, it IS travel-related ;)

I have a full video sock monkey tutorial on my YouTube channel. I went ahead and machine sewed the monkey body parts before we left home, then brought them along and stuffed and hand sewed him while on our trip. Our little friend really loves his sock monkey, which does my heart good :)

That’s all for now! Happy Sewing! I’m living vicariously through you all, haha! Can’t wait to get back to my machines next week :)

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Black Rayon Linen Jacket: New Look 6351

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.


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

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 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

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.

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

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 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

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.

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

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.

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

Did you know I’m always pinning great content and ideas for sewing on Pinterest? Click the button below to follow me there!

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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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