How to Make a Guy’s T-Shirt Fit a Girl

This is how I take in a guy’s tee shirt to flatter a girl (i.e. this is what happen’s when I co-opt Adam’s old shirts, as I did for this bleached star shirt). This isn’t about majorly reconstructing a massive shirt to make it tiny. This is about taking a male shirt that almost fits and making a few tweaks to make it more flattering for a female. Adam’s pretty much the same size that I am, and he wears form fitting shirts, so I could wear his old tees without any changes. However, just a few little changes make the shirt much more flattering.   The first and most visible step is to change the length and shape of the sleeve. Men’s t-shirts typically have longer sleeves that are straight across. Women’s tees typically have shorter sleeves that often curve over the arm. To get this shape, cut off …


How to Underline Sewaholic’s Robson Trench Coat

Underlining a coat like this has two major perks: It gives you the chance to really spice it up as your underlining and bias taping will be visible. It also opens up the fabric options you have for the outer fabric as you can hide ugly or scratchy wrong-sides or add weight to a not-quite bulky enough fabric. I think the underlining on my Sewaholic’s Robson Trench Coat is the best part and I wanted to share what I did to make it easy for you too to underline your own trench. Most of what you’ll be doing is the same as the instructions included with the pattern, so I will just be highlighting what to do differently. The major difference is that you will be finishing the edges of your pieces before sewing the coat together instead of as you go. This means that you don’t have to constantly re-thread …


My Favorite Skirt – How to Make a Long Skirt from Recycled Jeans

This really is my favorite skirt. I’ve been wearing it just about weekly for 7 years? 8 years? I had an amazing time teaching people at Maker Faire how to make this skirt. The shape is flattering on all body types (Seriously. I have yet to see a gal that doesn’t look fabulous in this skirt) and allows for great ease of movement. (Seriously. I ride my bike and climb trees in this skirt). Added bonus – I  met my boyfriend husband while wearing this skirt! The basic idea behind this skirt is that we are opening up a pair of pants and setting in four triangles of fabric into the openings. You Need: 2 pairs of recycled jeans. 1 needs to fit you at the waist. Scissors Sewing Machine Thread We start with the first pair of pants. These needs to fit you at the waist. Cut off the entire …


How to Invisibly Bias Tape Arm Holes or Necklines

UPDATE 2017: I’ve updated and greatly expanded this tutorial so pop over here to read the new one! This is a simple technique for invisibly finishing arm holes or necklines using bias tape (seen above on the arm hole of my Pink Peplum Brocade Top. For the technique used to pipe the neckline, click here).


Radial Purse Template and Instructions

Plastic canvas is a pretty fun material to have on hand. It’s excellent for craft projects but also makes a great backbone for sewn projects needing structure – including the radial purse I put together as a part of the Plastic Canvas Blog Hop hosted by Diane of CraftyPod. When you think of plastic canvas purses (if you ever think of plastic canvas purses) you probably think of cheap acrylic yarn in olive green and mustard yellow needlepointed onto a purse by your grandmother in the 1970’s. While there’s nothing wrong with those purses (I proudly carry one myself!), plastic canvas purses can be so much more! My Radial Purse uses a quilting technique to get the fun radials and requires beginner sewing skills. Supplies: Download Radial Purse Template (Print without scaling.) Fabric (Works for many fabric types. Amount varies based on your design decisions.) Snap or velco (optional) Interfacing or …

How to Draft and Sew a Sleeve Facing

Have I mentioned yet that I’m in love with my Mad Men Joan dress? So much so that I wrote a tutorial for drafting sleeve flounces so I can spread the love. The only problem with inserting these pretty arm flounces onto a dress sleeve is that when the flounce flops around, as it looks so beautiful doing, you are liable to catch a big ol’ glimpse of the seam where you sewed the flounce onto the sleeve, and that’s not as beautiful. So, sleeve facings to the rescue!


How to Draft Sleeve Flounces

For my Mad Men inspired dress, I simply had to have flounces on the sleeves, which I drafted myself and added to a commercial pattern. I’ve written a tutorial so you can do the same!

How to Mark a Book for Trade or Sell in Ravelry

While organizing my knitting pattern library in Ravelry, I noticed that there is the option to mark pattern books and magazines as available for sale or trade, but it took me a bit of mucking about to figure out how to do so. I put together this little tutorial to help anyone that might be curious to do so themselves.


How to Add Crochet Elastic to Keep Socks Up

I love to knit socks. One of my favorite socks that I have knit is a pair of knee socks. However, I found that I initially couldn’t wear them because they didn’t stay up on my leg. It was quite frustrating and likely due to two factors – 1) I used yarn that had a significant amount of bamboo in it which is a fiber that does not stretch. 2) The ribbing is P1 K1tbl (knit one through back loop) which is a pretty stitch but much less stretchy than a standard P1 K1 rib. I solved the problem by adding crocheted elastic to the inside of the cuff. I recently had someone on Ravelry ask me how I did it, so I thought I would share.


How to Back an Embroidery Hoop for Framing

There are many ways to frame an embroidery. I really like how they look framed in wooden embroidery hoops. This is tutorial for how I permanently frame an embroidery in an embroidery hoop. You need: Wooden embroidery hoop. Available cheap at craft stores. Not recommended for use while embroidering, but pretty for framing purposes. Felt for backing. Synthetic craft felt works just fine, but if you have nice wool felt you can use that too. Other fabrics are possible, but it must be something that doesn’t ravel. Fine tip permanent marker. Shears. Regular shears (or scissors) are necessary. Also having pinking shears is suggested. Hot glue gun. Trace around the edge of the outer ring of the embroidery hoop with your permanent marker. Cut out the circle of felt just inside the marker line. Position your embroidery in the embroidery hoop. Use pinking shears to pink the fabric 3/4″ from the edge …


How to Sew Half Square Triangle (HST) Quilt Blocks

I’ve now made February’s blocks for the Craftsy 2012 Block-of-the-Month. Both blocks use all half square triangles (HST), but use different methods to make the HSTs, which I will explain below. For a video demonstration of the methods, register for the Craftsy class – it’s free! This is the Balkan Puzzle Block. I think this is a fun block and it’s fun to know that it was popular in the 1930’s.

How to French Knot

My favorite embroidery stitch, and the one that gave me the most persistent headaches while learning, is the french knot. It makes a lovely accent with other stitches and can be quite beautiful on its own. It’s one of only two stitches you need to know to stitch my embroidered love letter (along with backstitch).

How to Backstitch

I thought I would share how to do a couple of different embroidery stitches for those of you interested in getting into embroidery for your wall or to spice up a handmade wearable. First up, backstitch. One of two stitches you need to know in order to stitch my How Do I Love Thee? embroidery. Backstitch is a great stitch for working straight lines and outlining shapes. You can make the stitch length as long or as short as you want and it’s easy to use on tightly woven fabrics as well as aida cloth. To make a line of backstitch growing from right to left: 1 – Start the stitch, coming up from below. 2 – Insert the needle one stitch length to the right. 3 – Come up from below one stitch length to the left. 4 – Insert the needle into the same hole as the left …


Sweaters Blanket Tutorial

This is one of my favorite projects. I have one of these blankets in my living room, my mom has one in her television room, and I gave one to my cousin for her wedding this summer. It’s certainly a bit more involved than the last several days of tutorial projects that I have shared, but it makes for such a lovely finished project and is so easy to customize for anyone on your gift list (or yourself!). You will need: 4 sweaters (see info below about selection) Backing fabric (I recommend a curtain panel. The amount of fabric you need will depend upon your finished size of the blanket) Thread Fabric scissors A sewing machine Sweater selection – Here’s where you can really make the project fit your unique aesthetic by the sweaters that you select. I’ve sewn blankets made from sweaters of just about every fiber content and …

Wool Tree Ring Coasters Tutorial

This is a tutorial for sewing coasters and a trivet out of wool felt to look like tree rings. Make them from a neutral color palette to fit in just about any decoration scheme, or go bright and play up the kitsch!


Wine Cork Coasters Tutorial

I love to make my holiday presents. While I have grand intentions of having everything done before the month of December, I’m honestly usually just getting started (and a little frantic) right about now. For those of you like me, I’m publishing a week of tutorials for easy, fun, gift-able craft projects that you can make in time for Christmas! (Although you’ll be pressed to get them done in time for Hanukkah since it’s so darn early this year!)