Sew in Love With This Valentine Apron!

Valentine’s Day French Baker’s Apron Skill Level: Beginner (basic sewing skills required) Approximate Cost: Under $30 depending on fabric selection My family will concur that I am a messy cook, and a messy eater. When I sit down to enjoy a meal at the table, al fresco, dashboard diner, TV Takeout, or on the run, I know better than to go sans napkin. I’ve also been known to don a cooking apron or an old shirt replete with stains.  No shame. No apologies. Most times it’s just a tea towel. I even keep one on hand across the arm of…

Recessed zipper on a bag

I’ve had a lot of people ask about doing recessed zippers on bags — especially people who want to add a zipper to our diaper bag pattern. I decided to go ahead and whip up a tutorial. Whip up – hah! I spent some time mentally developing a game plan. It was a game plan that didn’t work out as planned. I loved the fabric and was determined to complete this, so I took a breather and then undid a whole lot of stitches. Then I did some more thinking and a very obvious method came to me. If there’s…

How to do a blind hem stitch

A blind hem stitch can be used for many applications, such as hemming garments or curtains. It’s useful when you don’t want to see a line of stitching on the outside of the finished product.  It seems tricky, but once you understand how the fabric is folded and the basic idea behind the stitch (tacking), you’ll have it down in no time. I was working on some curtains for an upcoming post and realized I hadn’t covered this before, so I thought it was time for a tutorial.

Knitting needle roll tutorial

If you knit, you have probably found that every time you decide on a pattern, you need a set of needles you don’t own. Before you know it, you’ve got quite a collection. I think I’d actually need several knitting needle rolls to hold all of mine. I designed this one with a pocket for notions like stitch markers and a counter. I love this owl fabric, which I paired with polka dots for a little contrast.

Food-a-plenty lunch bag tutorial

When I pack my lunch/dinner for work, I take a lot of containers, silverware and a big, reusable water bottle. So I need something that holds a lot. I wanted to make a cute, functional and ROOMY bag for my lunch.  I fell in absolute love when I saw this tea fabric. It’s cute, and I’m also into that natural, burlappy, linen-y look right now. I made a short strap, but you could always make it longer if you want to carry it on your shoulder. This bag uses Peltex as a stabilizer – it’s stiff and sometimes a bit…

How to insert an invisible zipper

Invisible zippers are beautiful on skirts and tops. They are a discreet closure for beautiful garments, and they are not hard to do. One difference you’ll notice from the way you insert a regular zipper is that you do not stitch the rest of the seam first. You first insert the zipper, then sew the rest of the seam. Frankly, I find it easier to get a nice, even finish with this type of zipper.

Flat felled seam

A flat felled seam is a double stitched seam that is heavy duty. You’ve probably seen them on jeans for seams that need extra strength.While similar in some ways to the French seam, I like that this seam doesn’t require any calculations for the seam allowance. You just start with whatever your seam allowance is supposed to be and go from there.

Vinyl handbag tutorial

Bags are one of my favorite things to make, but I’d never worked with vinyl before. I decided to conquer my fears and give it a try. This bag is nice and roomy. You don’t have to use vinyl. Feel free to use this pattern with any fabric, though home dec weights will work best. Because this was a new challenge for me, I made some mistakes and learned some lessons along the way, which I’ll share with you as we go.

All-machine binding

This post is an unplanned one, and not one I’d normally post here because it’s just a personal project. But a number of people have asked about binding entirely by machine, and as I was working on this, I decided to grab my camera and do a post. So finishing a binding entirely by machine, whether it be bias-tape binding of an edge or a full quilt binding, is something that makes many sewers pull their hair out. I’m among those. There are some little tricks for bias-tape binding, addressed in this tutorial, but it’s not fool-proof. For this blanket,…