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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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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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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Rayon Top: New Look 6624

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.

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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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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How to Make a Unicorn Headband

This post contains affiliate links, which mean 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. 

Unicorn Headbands DIY

Unicorns are all the rage right now! I have an 11-year-old daughter who's a tad obsessed. I thought a unicorn headband would be a fun DIY project to post a tutorial for. My 13-year-old got to work a couple days ago and made one together, the Layla whipped one up today. Super fun! 

Unicorn Headband tutorial by Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

Before you get started, you'll need to grab this free pattern. Just click on this photo to make it big, then right click to save it to your desktop. From there, you should be able to print it (make sure you click "fill page"). 

Unicorn Headband Pattern

As for fabrics, anything goes! We used small scraps of some sparkly costume fabrics, some fleece and novelty fleece we like to call "Flur", and felt for the flowers. You'll also need a headband. Ours was the wrong color, so we wrapped it in ribbon, but that's optional. This project can easily be sewn by hand (there are only a couple small sewing parts) if you don't use a sewing machine. A glue gun is also a must. 

Start by cutting out one horn and four ear pieces total, two from your ear back fabric and two from your inner ear fabric. You can cut two at a time, but make sure your ear face the opposite direction from each other, if that makes sense (see photo). 

Unicorn headband tutorial

To make the horn, just fold the piece right sides together and sew from point to bottom edge in a 1/4" seam. Clip the corner to eliminate bulk and turn right side out, using your handy dandy chop stick to gently poke the point out. Stuff the horn. Nest, thread a needle and use a long running stitch to hand gather the opening edge: 

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Then pull it tight, creating a flat-ish bottom. Knot and trim your thread. 

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To make the ears, place your outer and inner ear pieces right sides together and sew the sides, leaving the bottom open. Clip your corner and turn right side out.

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Now, to shape the ears, for our first version, we sewed a pleat, but ended up shaping them further later on by folding the outer edge in toward the middle. So when Layla made hers, she folded both sides in toward the middle and sewed across the bottom and we liked that better. Just do what you think looks best. 

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At this point, if you want to wrap your headband in ribbon, start by gluing the end of the ribbon to the bottom of the headband and then wrap it diagonally around until you get to the other end. It's fiddly to get started, but just do your best. 

Then we glued the pieces on, first the horn to get it centered (be sure and put the seam facing the back!), then the ears. The glue alone isn't secure enough, so next, thread a needle and sew the pieces, as shown in the photo. 

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Next, the flowers! These are so much fun to make, my girls have been making them just for fun now for two days. There are plenty of felt flower tutorials out there, but we think these are the easiest kind and perfect for this project. Find a couple circles to trace onto felt. Ours ranged from 2" to 5" in diameter. Cut out your circle and then cut it into a spiral, about 3/8"-1/2" wide. 

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Then, just start wrapping it around its center, ending with a dot of hot glue. That's it! I takes a little practice, but it's pretty simple. Cut some leaf shapes and arrange your flowers and leaves over your horn and ears before hot gluing them down. 

DIY Unicorn Headband free pattern and tutorial

I hope you enjoyed this simple tutorial! If you made some unicorn headbands, I'd love to see them! And for the unicorn lover in your family, we recommend this cool book. Layla has really enjoyed it and has read some parts to us during our home school. 

DIY Unicorn headband free pattern and tutorial
How to make a unicorn headband
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DIY t-shirt tassel tutorial

A new tutorial is up on the Pin, Cut, Sew YouTube channel and this one contains plenty of family antics as I teach my girls to make cute tassels with their old t-shirts. Tune in and please subscribe to our channel!! I'm discovering there is a whole world of sewing vloggers out there that I didn't even know about! I plan to create a blog post about some of my favorites in the near future. Until then, enjoy making some t-shirt tassels and then tell me, which kinds of sewing projects would you like to see a video tutorial of? 

Cheers and happy sewing! :)

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Textured t-shirt Technique and YouTube announcement!

Pin, Cut, Sew is on YouTube, you guys!!! I'm so excited, making videos is suuuuper fun. I had so many ideas when I was trying to get started and I found it helpful to write down a few purpose sentences to help myself focus. Here's what I came up with: 

At Pin, Cut, Sew Studio, we believe:

  • Anyone can sew! Kids included. 
  • Any age is a good age to start.
  • Anyone can sew with basic equipment. 
  • Sewing is cool again! 

Please subscribe to our channel and tune in for weekly how-tos, tutorials, tips and general sewing news! My first video is a fun tutorial on making textured DIY scrappy t-shirt fabric. Enjoy! 

Cheers and Happy Sewing! 

Upcylced t-shirt technique tutorial

Upcylced t-shirt technique tutorial

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DIY Emoji Pillow, Free Templates

It's been about a month since I had an emoji pillow sewing class for kids and my own emoji pillow is sitting on my bed, making me laugh on a daily basis, so I thought it would be a shame not to share the templates I made for the class so you can make your own! 

I'm pretty sure this is what expression is in my mind, if not on my face, most of the time these days. 

This is not an official tutorial, but I'll give you the basics. I made a circular pattern that was 15" in diameter, using the old string taped to a pencil method. Then, we cut and arranged all our pieces and appliqued them on with a zig-zag stitch. We didn't use any fusible web or anything, but a regular old glue stick can help the pieces stay in place a little better than pins can. I use this trick a lot in my kids' classes! 

Here are the templates we drew! With any luck, you should be able to right click, save and print. They're not perfectly drawn, hence the free price tag, ha! 

Of course there are many more emojis you could make! We freehanded several other pieces, but these are the most common. 

I didn't manage to take many photos during this class (things get crazy!) but here are a few pics of my students working on their pillows. 

Kelby got in on the fun this class. It's my "policy" to always allow my own kids to sew with my classes if they want to, even if I'm totally full. Natalie joins us almost every time, Layla about half and Kelby a little less than her. He got really excited about these pillows and even made a few more after the class was over. 

We had enough time to make some mini versions too. Kids gets so creative, I just love it. The mini versions would make great ornaments that kids could give as Christmas gifts if they wanted to, just add a ribbon to hang! 

If you use my templates, I'd love to hear about it! 

Cheers and Happy Sewing :)

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