Five Things to Sew This Weekend: Fall Edition

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

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

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

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


One:

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

Two:

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

Three:

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

Four:

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

Five:

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



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

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

Cheers : )



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DIY Fortnite Costume

If you have a son of a certain age, chances are you're scratching your head wondering how exactly to put together a costume for whatever particular Fortnite character he's asking to be for Halloween. I have to admit, the graphics and skins on that game are super fun! Some are easier to turn into costumes than others, and luckily last year my son wanted to be one of those easier guys. His name is Dire and he's a werewolf-like character on Fortnite.

Today I'm going to show you how to DIY a Fortnite Halloween costume! Well, ok, just one Fortnite costume for now, but you'll want to read about the works-for-every-animal-costume hat pattern towards the end!

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How to make a DIY Fortnite Dire costume! || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewing #fortnite #costume #diy

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

Here's what Level 3 Dire looks like, this is what we were going for.

How to make a DIY Fortnite Dire Costume || PIn Cut Sew Studio #sewing #fortnite #costume #DIY

When creating costumes, I try to break it down, one piece at a time. Some parts were easy. We thrifted a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt, plus a black jacket. Then I only needed to deconstruct these pieces to resemble Dire's ripped up look. I ripped up the jeans and cut them shorter with a raggedy edge. I ripped the sleeves off the jacket and cut the flannel shirt hem off to look ripped. The gray base layer is a thermal set we bought from Target. I didn't want to damage the thermals because he continued to wear them as long underwear last Winter.

I bought a half a yard of fur from Hobby Lobby (with a coupon of course because fur is pricey!) I sewed some patches of fur behind the holes in the jeans and created cap sleeves for the black vest to make furry shoulders.

How to make a DIY Fortnite Dire Costume || PIn Cut Sew Studio #sewing #fortnite #costume #DIY

My favorite tip here is the hat! I was asked to make several different animal hats for a Narnia production at our homeschool co op a few years ago and I used the same hat pattern to make every one of them, in various fleeces and furs, just adding different ears and the appropriate animal characteristics. The pattern is Simplicity 8273, View C and I pulled it out again to make Dire's hat. I made it from the fur, adding wolf ears to the top seam and it turned out perfectly.

How to make a DIY Fortnite Dire Costume || PIn Cut Sew Studio #sewing #fortnite #costume #DIY

Below is a photo of the same hat pattern, this time as Mr. Tumnus, the fawn. It's also been used to make a unicorn, horses, a bearded man, beavers and a wolf. There's probably more, but I can't think. It so easy to create ears and transform this pattern into all kinds of things! The pattern is drafted with a cross of seams in the top, so adding ears and say, a mane, doesn't change the way you'd construct the hat, you just baste your extra animal parts in before closing those seams. For the fir versions, I left out the lining, but for the fleece versions, I did include the lining.

How to use Simplicity 8273 to DIY any animal hat. I’ve made SO MANY animal hats, including Mr. Tumnus from Narnia shown here, with this pattern. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #diycostumes #sewing #costume #animalhat

This year, Kelby has toyed with being Drift, which I think would be pretty simple. Or the Guaco skin, which may not be so easy, because of the taco face, ha! But we can do it!

OF COURSE I know not everyone enjoys making costumes as much as I do. So if you’d rather eat a bug than spend your precious sewing time making video game characters, Amazon has great Fortnite costumes too, so you can always just buy your kid a costume, no guilt allowed ;)



I'll have costume sewing updates as we get going on them this month! Natalie is still set on Eliza Doolittle and Layla wants to be an 80's Jazzercizer, which I think is HILARIOUS. Must find the white puffy L.A. Gears.

If you missed it last week, here is my post about our Harry Potter Hermione DIY costume and here is a whole post about cosplay: what the heck it is and how you can get started.

Cheers!

DIY Fortnite Dire Costume || PIn Cut Sew Studio #diy #costume #fortnite
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One Pattern, Three Looks: New Look 6644

Happy Monday, folks! Did you do any sewing this weekend? I haven’t so far, but today after the Bronco game I hope to … or during the game if they start losing really bad, hahaha.

Last week I got on a roll with one knit top pattern and made three different versions. It’s one of the Fall New Look releases, 6644, and I liked it for the pants initially, but once I looked at the top, I was even more excited about that!

I have three versions to show you, so 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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I made New Look 6644 three different times! Each look is so different and I know I’ll be using this basic knit top pattern a lot in the future. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #newlookpatterns #sewingpattern #diyfashion #sewingclothes

The first version was intended to be a muslin and thus, is made from a thrifted jersey sheet. Once I knew I liked the pattern, I went ahead and finished this top as a pajama shirt. Of course, I needed some shorts to go with it, so I pulled out McCall's 7610 and whipped up a pair with the remaining fabric. It was my first time using this pattern for shorts and I really like it!

I made New Look 6644 three different times! Each look is so different and I know I’ll be using this basic knit top pattern a lot in the future. || PIn Cut Sew Studio #newlookpatterns #sewingpattern #diyfashion #sewingclothes

The second version and the one I love the most is from a rayon baby rib knit I got on my last trip to Colorado. It's a beautiful deep sea green color and so soft. There wasn't quite enough of it to make a cardigan, which was my original intention, so this pattern was the perfect solution. It's absolutely perfect to throw over pretty much any outfit and it's a perfect transitional piece for Fall. I've already worn it quite a bit this week and I'm sad when it's in the wash. (My shoes below are a pair I thrifted and they were like new! They’re Puma, you can find them here in several colors, and SO SO bendy and comfy). Also, the jeans are from Target, find similar here.

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 was so excited about this pattern, I went ahead and pulled a few other fabrics to see if I could squeeze out one or two more. This pattern doesn't take very much fabric, so it's perfect for the smaller knit pieces in my drawer just waiting for the right project to come along.

I had thrifted this striped double knit several months ago. For this version I got fancy and used some stretch lace to make a small front pocket and sleeve bands. I cropped the sleeves on this one and also two inches off the bottom before adding the band. I love this one too! It's perfect over my plainer dresses. I also think it would be cute over a solid white button down. (My booties are also thrifted, but they are Nine West.)

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 not done with this pattern by a long shot. I didn't even put it back in the envelope when I worked on something else this week. I've pulled a pretty green rayon sweater knit out of the drawer and am crossing my fingers that I'll have enough for a fourth version.

I will also be making those pants at some point!

What is your favorite tried and true pattern? Also, are you creeped out by thrifted shoes?? Haha!!

Cheers!

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Kon Marie Your Sewing Room

If you haven’t read the book, The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up, you’ve no doubt heard of the corresponding reality TV series, in which the decluttering guru Marie Kondo helps people dig out of their mess and organize their belongings.

I read the book a few years ago and while there were a few things that were just too hokey for me (I don’t thank my belongings for serving me before putting them in the Goodwill bag, for example), I did glean some organization tips from that book that were pretty life-changing. (I mean, not like the births of my children life changing, but you know …)

One strategy in particular and one that I have now employed in my home for three or four years, is the KonMarie method of folding and storing clothing. Not only did this revolutionize my dresser, it changed how I store and view my fabric stash and sewing notions. That’s what I want to talk to you about today!

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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Here’s how I organize my sewing room using the best tip from organization guru, Marie Kondo! Come see my best tips for how to keep your sewing room neat and organized, KonMarie style. || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewingroom #konmarie #craftroom #organization

Marie Kondo recommends, rather than folding your clothes and stacking them in your drawers, fold them set them upright, file-style. The rows of garments are nice and neat and you can see everything in the drawer, never having to dig to find clothes under other clothes. Brilliant!

Here’s how I organize my sewing room using the best tip from organization guru, Kon Marie Kondo! Come see my best tips for how to keep your sewing room neat and organized. || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewingroom #konmarie #craftroom #organization

I store my fabric the same way. If you missed it, I blogged about my DIY cutting table we made from a secondhand dresser last week. The drawers hold all my fabrics. I even have a bin of small scrap fabrics inside one drawer that would ordinarily be strewn into a messed up pile, but are neatly folded and filed in a drawer. I have a drawer of “filed” garment fabrics, a drawer of quilting/cotton fabrics and a drawer of fleeces. My holiday fabrics are folded and filed just as neatly and share a drawer with the aforementioned scraps bin.

Here’s how I organize my sewing room using the best tip from organization guru, Kon Marie Kondo! Come see my best tips for how to keep your sewing room neat and organized. || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewingroom #konmarie #craftroom #organization

But thinking beyond fabric, this method works well for my patterns too. I have the patterns neatly filed into one drawer. I don’t allow myself to keep more patterns than fit in the drawer. I know the thought of limiting your pattern stash this much may give some of you a heart attack, but having fewer patters eliminates a crazy amount of decision fatigue and I’ve experienced so many benefits of my massive pattern clear out!

Here’s how I organize my sewing room using the best tip from organization guru, Kon Marie Kondo! Come see my best tips for how to keep your sewing room neat and organized. || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewingroom #konmarie #craftroom #organization

I have a second small cabinet in my sewing room that holds thread, notions, interfacing and other small things. My Father-in-law built this cabinet for me many years ago and having several smaller drawers right next to my machine is so handy.

Here’s how I organize my sewing room using the best tip from organization guru, Kon Marie Kondo! Come see my best tips for how to keep your sewing room neat and organized. || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewingroom #konmarie #craftroom #organization

I organize my thread by color in one drawer and store my ribbons and trims KonMarie-style in another drawes, nice and neat in rows, (though those crazy ribbons need reorganized on occassion!) My rick-rack, bias tape and piping get filed in a bin inside one drawer.

Here’s how I organize my sewing room using the best tip from organization guru, Kon Marie Kondo! Come see my best tips for how to keep your sewing room neat and organized. || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewingroom #konmarie #craftroom #organization

This method of storing items in my sewing room has been so useful for me and I’ll never go back! Having fabrics in drawers keeps them safe from sun damage and dust too. Also, restricting your storage to only the space you’ve made available for it truly helps you not overbuy. And this leads me to one thing I wish Marie Kondo addressed more on her show and in her book. “Tidying up” is great and all, but If we want to keep a tidy home for the long haul, we must address our shopping habits. It’s not going to work if we continue to bring in new items at the same rate we always did before the clean-out sesh, right?

Do you have thoughts on this?? I’d love to hear them and your thoughts on sewing room organization in general. Are you a keeper or a purger?







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Vest to Jacket Pattern Hack (my almost-sewing-fail)

This jacket story is more like a saga. I found this amazing pink and red wool flannel at my thrift store and neeeeeded to see my jacket vision through immediately. This must-have-it-now attitude sort of backfired on me this time! Long story short, after putting in a lot of pattern hunting time, then pattern hacking time into it, the jacket was just slightly too small for me.

BUT, there is a happy ending! The jacket is perfect for my daughter. Meet Natalie's new coziest-ever-super-cute-really-well-made jacket.

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 I used to Hero Vest pattern to make a jacket by adding sleeves (and all with thrifted fabrics!) || PIn Cut Sew Studio #diyfashion #teensewing #jacketpattern #sewing

It's SO cute and seriously, the wool flannel is the coziest ever. The dark navy sweatshirt fleece I used for the sleeves, lining and hood lining is also thrifted. It was originally a very nice quality sweatshirt fleece blanket! (I've blogged about thrifting for fabrics here.) The inside of the lining is sewn so that the soft side is against her body, like a sweatshirt would be.

I could not for the life of me find a pattern for the jacket I knew I wanted to make with these two things, so I ended up using a vest pattern and adapting it to include sleeves. The Hero Vest pattern by Make It Perfect was the closest I could find (I wanted both pockets and a hood). My fatal mistake was not making a muslin! I've even blogged about why I started making a muslin every time! Ugh, Nikki. I didn't take my own advice and it backfired on me, for sure. Lesson learned, though!

How I used to Hero Vest pattern to make a jacket by adding sleeves (and all with thrifted fabrics!) || PIn Cut Sew Studio #diyfashion #teensewing #jacketpattern #sewing

If I had made a muslin, I would have realized how small the sizing runs. I did make my size according to the chart, but I should have cut the front and back out of muslin fabric, just to make sure it would fit. I even added four inches to the front opening in attempt to make it work (see the navy bands down the front) and it was still a little snug. But again, the silver lining here is that it's perfect for Natalie and she really loves it. She’s worn it to dance a couple times and has gotten lots of compliments, which is always a good feeling.

How I used to Hero Vest pattern to make a jacket by adding sleeves (and all with thrifted fabrics!) || PIn Cut Sew Studio #diyfashion #teensewing #jacketpattern #sewing

As for my changes, I added sleeves by using the sleeve piece from a hoodie pattern I had in my drawer. Then, since the vest pieces have lower armholes than a garment with sleeves would, I altered that line using the front and back pieces of the hoodie pattern as a guide.

Also, there are instructions on the designer’s website for how to encase the zipper into the lining, which I used and that worked awesome. This way, the zipper tape doesn't show if you wear the jacket unzipped.

SO, despite my troubles, I actually would recommend this pattern! It turned out so cute and I might reprint, figure out the correct size and try again. Just beware the size chart!

While I was hunting for a pattern for this project, I came across several amazing vest patterns, which I recently compiled into a blog post here. So check that out, if you’re inspired to try a vest this cold season!

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Sew your own Harry Potter Costume

Last year I made my daughter a Hermione costume for Halloween and while a few of the photos have made appearances in other posts here and there, I haven’t blogged the details. Since costume sewing season is coming up quick, I thought I’d share how I made this super cool Harry Potter Gryffindor costume!

Before you HP purists get on us, we realized much later, Hufflepuffs wear the gold hood lining, while Gryffindors wear the red. It’s just a costume, though, so we can all relax! Right?? Ha!

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How I made a Harry Potter Gryffindor costume, complete with fabric and pattern sources, plus accessory ideas! || Pin, Cut Sew Studio #harrypotter #costume #cosplay #gryffindor #diyharrypotter #hermionecostume

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

The Pattern

I used with Simplicity 8723, an obvious place to start. I love making DIY costumes and if there’s a pattern available that’s anything close to what I’m going for, I use it. This pattern came out last Fall, so perfect timing.

I made Layla the adult small version and had to alter it down to fit her, especially the length of the sleeves. It’s not a hard pattern to adjust, though, the width is almost one-size-fits-most, and it’s easy to alter the length of the sleeves and hem. We love the pointy hood, it’s so fun!

How I made a Harry Potter Gryffindor costume, complete with fabric and pattern sources, plus accessory ideas! || Pin, Cut Sew Studio #harrypotter #costume #cosplay #gryffindor #diyharrypotter #hermionecostume

The Fabric

Costume satin is very inexpensive, so costume makers, rejoice! I’m pretty sure I got my black and gold at Hobby Lobby, but here is the black on Amazon and here is the gold. This fabric can snag if you use a dull needle, so I recommend microtex needles for these silky fabrics. They also fray, so finish those edges, either with a serger (I have this one and love it), a zig zag stitch or at the very least, pinking shears. Otherwise, these fabrics are not hard to sew, don’t be scared of them!

The accessories

The pattern does include the tie, but I didn’t need to use it since Target had the house ties in their Halloween section. Good news, they sell them year round online here! You can also buy them on Amazon here: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw. We used a pair of black pants and a white collared school uniform shirt we got on clearance at Target to complete the outfit.

As for the wand, Layla DIY-ed her own! She used a piece of a wooden dowel we already had and used her hot glue gun to add texture in a spiral pattern around the handle section. Then she painted the whole thing brown. Clever.

How I made a Harry Potter Gryffindor costume, complete with fabric and pattern sources, plus accessory ideas! || Pin, Cut Sew Studio #harrypotter #costume #cosplay #gryffindor #diyharrypotter #hermionecostume

More Ideas

We did not purchase an iron-on patch, but that would have been super fun! You can find them very inexpensively on Amazon:

It would also be pretty easy to turn this pattern into the Harry Potter Quidditch player costume. The shape of the Quidditch cloak is the same, so you’d only need to change up the fabrics. I think I would use fleece to keep costs down, and felt for the stripes and number. A broom , some goggles, and a snitch would really take this costume over the top! This costume would be warm too, which is always a consideration in many states.

And since Luna Lovegood is my personal favorite, just for fun, here are Luna’s glasses.

If you want more Harry Potter inspo, I have a big roundup of the best Harry Potter tutorials and fabrics right here!

Cheers :)

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Five Things to Sew This Weekend, Vol. 6

I’t’s that time again! Every couple of weeks, I gather my five absolute favorite sewing ideas or tutorials I’ve collected on Pinterest recently and compile them here to inspire you (and me!) to get sewing this weekend. I’m super excited about this edition of Five Things, I’ve found the coolest projects! So let’s just jump right in, shall we?

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I’t’s that time again! Every couple of weeks, I gather my five absolute favorite sewing ideas or tutorials I’ve collected on Pinterest recently and compile them here to inspire you (and me!) to get sewing this weekend. I’m super excited about this edition of Five Things, I’ve found the coolest projects! So let’s just jump right in, shall we? || PIn Cut Sew Studio #sewing #tutorials #sewingprojects #weekendsewing

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.

Yay Sports Hat, by Swoodson Says

This project seriously gives me the giggles! If you care more about the football food than the football game, this hat is for you. Even better, you can embroider it while you “watch” the game, haha. This tutorial will teach you how to hand embroider your hat, no fancy supplies or embroidery machine required.

Fabric Twine by Easy Peasy Creative

I’m obsessed with this project idea!! I’ve been throwing those scrappy strips away for years, but I’m in love with this fun twine made from those strips of fabrics you always end up with after cutting out a project. I’m going to start saving them for sure. I wonder if I could gather enough by Christmas to wrap gifts with. I may even be tempted to fake some scraps by cutting my Christmas fabrics into strips, haha.

Mini Scissors Case with Needle Minder

I really need one of these for when I take my hand sewing over to the couch. Hopefully it will help me not drop pins on tor lose my scissors. I like that it’s compact, holds my thread scissors, a seam gauge and just enough pins, needles and Wonder Clips for my hand finishes.

Rock a Rope Bowl

I’ve been wanting to make one of these forever, but somehow this tutorial seems less intimidating than others I’ve seen. I really love the plain rope with the colored thread! These would make great gifts. I think I might make one up to hold the mini pumpkins I like to buy for Fall decor.

How to Make a Cheater Quilt, by Heather Handmade

A quilt without piecing?? I never would have guessed this quilt wasn’t pieced together! If you want a quilt without the tedium, this method will do the trick. Can’t go wrong with her Harry Potter fabric choice, either!

This has reminded me of a whole cloth quilt I made for our bed several years ago out of a fun cactus tapestry I found at Target. Check out how I did that right here.

As for me, I have a shirt cut out to sew up this weekend and I’m trying to decide how many of these ideas I can squeeze in too! How about you? Are you sewing this weekend? Do tell!

Cheers :)

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Let the Fall Sewing Commence! Burda Style Blanket Cardigan

Ok, first off, I am still in full-on Summer gear with my wardrobe. It’s still in the 90s where I live and I’m hoping maybe if I embrace Summer for as long as it wants to hang on, Winter will seem less long! But, I also want to be prepared for cold weather. They’re predicting epic snowfall in my county this winter and I don’t feel like my cold-weather wardrobe has been doing it’s job effectively these past two years. To be fair, after living in Hawaii for the three years prior, I was completely de-acclimated, ha!

But still, I’m determined to make some stylish warm clothes before the cold months hit this year. Starting with this fab blanket cardigan. It’s soooooo cozy, guys.

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.

Burda Style Swingy Cardigan. I made a warm blanket cardigan before the cold weather hits! || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewing #wintersewing #winterfashion #cardigan

This was one of those times the fabric sort of just told me what to make from it. I scored this thick, soft sweater knit at JoAnn on serious clearance, it ended up being $3.20 a yard! I bought all that was left and went home to look for some kind of blanket-style cardigan pattern.

I landed on the Burda Style Swingy Cardigan and the result fits my vision perfectly.

Burda Style Swingy Cardigan pattern || Pin Cut Sew Studio #cardigan #sewingpattern #winterfashion

This was my first time using a BurdaStyle pdf pattern, though I’ve used paper Burda patterns in the past. There are some great things about them! I love that I can find pretty much anything I’m wanting to make on the BurdaStyle website. There are often photos of the members’ makes, which is nice. They also have so many unique and interesting details to many of their patterns.

The down side is that they do not come with seam allowances, which adds some time to the pattern prep process. I did find this post on The Last Stitch with some tool recommendations for making it easier and faster to add seam allowances. I already have a small metal seam guage, but I’ll add one of these bendy rulers to my list for next time. Added to that, the instructions are very sparse and it’s assumed you know basic to intermediate garment construction. Because of this, I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner (though we live in the Internet age, where you can easily find sewing help when you need it!)

I made a cozy blanket cardigan with the Burda Style swingy cardigan pattern! || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewing #wintersewing #winterfashion #cardiganpattern

Let’s talk about sweater knits. I happen to know a lot of sewists are afraid of knits in general and wouldn’t touch a sweater knit with a ten foot poll. I’m here to tell you, sweater knits aren’t scary! This fabric was not hard to sew at all. I used a stretch needle (as always with knits) and with my walking foot (mine is built in, but you can buy one for any machine), it sewed up perfectly. Also, because of the high pile, it hides the stitches anyway, so mistakes won’t show at all. The only thing is, using a seam ripper is risky, you’ll likely get holes in your sweater, so sew slowly and carefully! Those are my best tips for sewing with sweater knits.

Here are some beautiful sweater knit fabric choices for you:

A few final notes. I took the sleeves and underarm seams in about an inch and half because I just prefer a slimmer sleeve. I also omitted the pockets, I didn’t want the extra bulk in the hips, but in hindsight, I think they would have been fine. Next time, maybe!

Lastly, the top I’m wearing in these photos is self drafted and I have a tutorial here for how to sew a super easy rectangle top. My jeans are from Old Navy (I’m loving their new fits and fabrics!) and my booties are thrifted, but are Nine West.

Burda Style swindy cardigan pattern. || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewing #winterfashion #fallsewing #cardiganpattern
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Green Shirt Dress: Simplicity 8014

I really love green! I always have. Do you guys remember the “Color Me Beautiful” quiz from the 80’s (I think) that categorized you into a season and told you what colors to wear? I’m pretty sure I was a Spring, and most greens are probably Fall colors, but I don’t care, I like to wear it anyway. It does need to be a certain shade to look good on me, though. If it has too much yellow, it’s a no go.

I’d been pinning several green shirt dresses to my style board on Pinterest, where there are no shortage of styling ideas for a piece like I had in mind. A quick search on Gap’s website alone comes up with three fabulous green shirt dresses, like this green denim one, this maxi version and this one (my favorite!).

When I spotted a pretty green cotton fabric with great texture at Hobby Lobby, mixed in with the Halloween and pumpkin prints, I immediately bought some. It was just such a perfect weight for garment sewing, so I thought it would make a great green shirt dress for Fall.

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.

Green shirt dress with Simplicity pattern 8014 || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewing #shirtdress #diyfashion #simplicitypatterns

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out! I already had a couple shirt dress patterns on hand, but since one of my favorite sewing bloggers, Emily Hallman, has said good things about this one, I went with Simplicity 8014. I made a muslin and to my amazement, it needed zero alterations! That never happens to me, but I wasn’t going to argue with it.

I did have a bit of drama with the buttons. To make a long story short, the snaps I bought at Hobby Lobby don’t function and need to be taken off the shelves. I didn’t read reviews on them first, but if I had, I could have saved myself the trouble. Since I had already purchased them (AND the corresponding snap pliers), I didn’t want to spend more money on different snaps. I also didn’t want to go all the way to Joann. I really was set on the look of snaps, though, ugh! I was being so picky!

Green shirt dress, Simplicity 8104 || Pin Cut Sew Studio #diyfashion #shirtdress #simplicitypatterns

I slept on it and it occurred to me I don’t actually need the buttons to function. It’s not like I’d be wearing it unbuttoned! I had managed to figure out how to attach the snap fronts, just not the backs, so I went ahead and installed them on the front placket and then … I sewed the front shut from the top snap to the bottom one, right along the top stitching on the placket. I can get the dress on over my head just fine and no one will be the wiser (except for you, because I just told you ;) It has the added bonus of not being at risk of gaping open between the buttons!

Problem solved.

I find there’s a lot in sewing that requires problem solving skills (wait until you hear about my latest jacket adventure!) and that’s actually one of the things I really like about this hobby. Don’t you feel like sometimes having to make do, or come up with a creative solution, ends up being what you like best about a project? Happy accidents abound in sewing.

Cheers!

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The 6 Best Vest Patterns to Sew for Fall

I acquired a piece of plaid wool flannel from my thrift store last weekend and got a bee in my bonnet to make a jacket sort of like this one. Let me tell ya, I had a really hard time finding a pattern! I did find a few for men, one Simplicity and one McCall’s, but none for women.

I decided a pattern mash-up was in order. I found plenty of great vest patterns, so I would need to choose which pieces I’d add to one of them to get the look I wanted. I definitely wanted a hood and pockets and I wanted it lined, so I found a pattern that had those elements, to which I could easily add sleeves. I’ll reveal which pattern I purchased later, but I also want to share with you the six fabulous vest patterns I now want to sew up, thanks to my frantic searching for the perfect jacket pattern!

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I’ve found my six favorite Fall vest sewing patterns and put them in one handy place! come see the six vests you should sew for Fall and get fabric suggestions to go with them! || PIn Cut Sew Studio #fallsewing #vestpatterns #outerwear #diyfashion

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.

  1. First up, from our trusty Big 4 company, McCall’s 7695

Someone on Instagram who was watching my pattern hunt on stories, alerted me to McCall’s 7695. Ultimately I didn’t go with this one because it didn’t fit my vision for this particular project, but I promptly put in on my list for the next McCall’s sale. I’m seeing similar jackets on boutique sites (like here) also, which helps me see the many ways I could style a vest like this.

But, if sewing outerwear isn’t your thing, you can try this one:

2. Second, Burda Style Puffy Vest Pattern

I just found out today my city is expecting epic snowfall this year (facepalm), and I have frozen my way through my two winters in Utah (Hawaii living really killed my cold tolerance, ha!) I think adding a couple of warm layers might be the ticket and help me stay warm. I’ve never owned a puffy vest, but this might be the year I finally make one! This pattern seems to be basic enough and would do the trick.

Though, if I were going to buy a puffy vest instead, I'd go with this pink one (the yellow is a close second!)

3. Next up, the Envigado Vest by Itch to Stitch

I love this vest and see similar ones styled up in all kinds of ways all over the Internet. I didn’t pick this pattern for this project because I wasn’t sure how I’d figure out the sizing if I’m planning to line my jacket with a thicker fabric. I think is a great utility vest pattern, though and I’m excited to track down some twill and make one up. I have a great Fall flannel I could line the hood with, too.


Here is a similar vest for purchase (I love the burgundy color too!)

4. Burda Style Waistcoat

This pattern is so cute! I almost ditched my whole plan and made this instead, but I think it will be more useful in a solid color. I can see it being a good addition to my wardrobe in a neutral, but probably not in the pink and red plaid I’m using for this project. The peplum and the side buttons are my favorites details.

5. The runner up, Waffle Patterns Hooded Vest

I almost went with this pattern, I truly love it. But using an Indie pattern company for the first time, knowing you’re going to make alterations is always risky and in the end, again, I wasn’t sure of the sizing with the thicker lining I was wanting to use. This pattern is fabulous, though, especially because you can purchase a sleeve add-on to make it into a jacket instead of a vest, which is pretty convenient.

Since we’re vest shopping (ha!) I really like this Carhartt vest in light blue. I don’t know if it fits my life. Maybe if I still had chickens, I wouldn’t feel like a poser wearing Carhartt, hahaha! Is this something I could wear in my city-girl life??

6. The winner: Women’s Hero Vest by make it perfect

I went with this pattern for my jacket! The pattern calls for sherpa lining, so I know it will work with the sweatshirt fleece lining I’m planning to use. The hood is also lined, which I wanted. It has pockets, I like the style and it should be easy to add sleeves. I already cut out my pieces with my sleeve alteration, so I’ll keep you posted on my finished product later. Fingers crossed it works out how I want it!

Hero Vest pattern by make it perfect. Come see why I chose this pattern among 5 others, plus fabric links for sewing Fall vests! || Pin Cut Sew Studio #sewing #fallsewing #vestpattern

Fabric Suggestions:

Like it said, I got my wool flannel at the thrift store, but I didn’t mention that I also found my lining there. I always shop the entire linens section for fabric options! I found a sweatshirt fleece blanket of great quality that I cut up to line my jacket with.

Finding the proper fabrics for projects like outerwear can be confusing, I know. Hobby Lobby’s Fall fashion line has some seriously amazing choices for these styles of vests right now! Yesterday I spotted several sherpa options, including a sherpa-lined buffalo plaid. They also have some great quilted fabrics, including a dusty pink one I think I might use for McCall’s 7695. When I first saw these fabrics arriving at my Hobby Lobby, I had no idea what to do with them, but this vest saga has given me plenty of ideas!

And of course there are also plenty of great options on Amazon!

I’m excited to sew up some outerwear this Fall and Winter! I’ve been pinning all my favorite ideas here, and I’d love for you to follow along and point me in the direction of any other great outerwear ideas you come across! Tips for how to keep my feet warm this winter are also welcome ;)

Cheers!

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A Free Sewing Printable!

I am so excited about what I have to share with you today! My blog readership has been growing so much lately and I really wanted to make something special to say thank you. I created a free printable to-do list for my email newsletter subscribers! If you have already entered your email here on my site, you should have already received your freebie. Not yet a subscriber? Not to worry! Read on :)

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Free sewing printables! Print your free “I’d Rather be sewing” to-do lists by hopping over to the Pin Cut Sew Studio blog.  #freeprintables #sewingprintables #todolists #freesewing

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 only recently became a to-do list person when I found myself lying awake at night thinking about all the things I had to do the next day, only to wake up and sort of wander around wondering what I should do next! Can you relate? I’m especially bad at getting to piddly administrative tasks, like making appointments, or placing an order for something not fun (I have no problem placing orders for the fun things, ha!) Starting to make a to-do list each morning boosted my productivity big time! It’s also helped me realize what amount of tasks will realistically fit into my day while leaving margin for rest and hobbies. Knowing these limitations really helps me see which things can be moved to tomorrow, or maybe that aren’t important at all and can be let go of altogether.

I’ve been making to-do lists on any paper I can find handy, but these “I’d rather be sewing” lists are obviously so more more fun. Of course, you can also use them for shopping lists, menu planning or love notes, it is up to you. I printed several, cut them apart with my paper trimmer (if you don’t have one of these, you need one, they’re so handy!) and stapled them together at the top with my homeschool-mom-heavey-duty-stapler.

Ready for your free printable lists?? Just fill out the form below and check your email. Once you confirm your email, you’ll receive the link to download your freebie. That’s it!

Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here and being interested enough in my content to keep coming back. I’m honored and feel like I have a bunch of sewing friends out there, even if I’ve never met them in person. I love hearing from you all when someone takes the time to email me, so don’t be too shy to hit that reply button and tell me about yourself!

Cheers and Happy Sewing :)

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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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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.