Harry Potter Fashion Sew Our Stash

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Are you ready for some awesome Harry Potter Fashion?

DIY Hogwarts Swim Team Shorts fun Harry Potter Fashion

It’s the last Thursday of the month as well as Happy Harry Potter week 2 which means I’ve got a Sew Our Stash Harry Potter edition coming at you. And I have to say that I absolutely ADORE the two items I made for myself this month.

Harry Potter board shorts and towel. And other DIY potter fashion

I liked my shirts from last month and have worn them a ton but I squealed from delight when I finished my two pieces for this month.

How awesome are these Harry Potter inspired Hogwarts Swim Team Board Shorts DIY sewing pattern

The first are these swim shorts. I used the Swim and Surf pattern by Gracious Threads along with some board short material that I got from Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop. And I couldn’t resist attacking them with heat transfer vinyl to add Hogwarts Swim Team emblem to them with my Cricut explore. And you guys I TOTALLY love them.

DIY women board short sewing patten review

I made the size 16 in the Run (medium) length. I like it a lot but I think I’ll make the Swim (shortest) length next. I did the simplest version without a tie or eyelets and used regular elastic instead of multiple rows of swim elastic. I figure IF I wear them in the water and the elastic breaks down fast I can just open the casing and replace it easy peasy. If you’re looking for an easy and cute board short pattern I highly recommend this pattern. I will definitely be making more for myself!

Fabulous swim short sewing pattern for women plus how fun Hogwarts swim team board shorts

I’m sharing this as a part of the Summer Swimwear Tour hosted by by Call Ajaire, Gracious Threads, and The Wolf and the Tree  to see more awesome DIY Swimwear, get discounts, and enter their fabulous giveaway see this post! I had originally planned on sharing my easy technique for making bias tape like I used on the shorts BUT I had some major technical issues so I’ll have to share that later.

Deathly Hallows tank top. Santa Fe sewing pattern review. DIY shirt

Now to my second creation the Santa Fe Top by Hey June Handmade. You all know I love Adrianna’s patterns. I seriously love this tank. I made the Large which was exactly what my measurements suggested I should make and I think it fits great.

Super cute women's tank pattern. Great fit and fast sew. I will be making many more

I love the flowy style and the various options. I’m excited to try both the more narrow tank version (this is the wider tank) as well as the actual sleeved versions.

Fabulous diy harry potter tank and sewing pattern review for women

It came together SO fast I really can’t wait to make more. Goodness I really need to just cut out a bunch. Of course I had to add some Iron-on vinyl again because I just can’t handle plain clothes and I think the Deathly Hallows sign on it is the perfect compliment. And it’s totally just a tad off center ugh but I don’t think I’ll ever but still enough or the shirt will be sitting just so that most people would be able to notice without staring and then they would be the weirdos right!?

Don’t forget to check out the awesome top that Bev from Flamingo Toes made! We would love you to join us by tagging your selfish sewing with #sewourstash and challenging ourselves to sew at least one wearable item each month for ourselves.

And there’s still time to enter the Happy Harry Potter giveways! They are amazing guys!



Easy Knit Skirt Tutorial

I love a good comfy but still play-in-able skirt. This easy knit skirt tutorial is perfect for cranking out tons of easy to wear skirts the kiddos with love.

Great sewing tutorial so easy to adjust for different sizes. The kid loves this knit skirt and I love that it was an easy sew in less than 30 minutes.

I did a kid size one for my niece but I love how it turned out so I’m thinking of making an adult version. You could easily make this for any size person including adults and babies with just a few measurement changes.

Darling quick and easy sewing tutorial. 30 minute knit skirt (and that's totally Gryffindor inspired!)

Today I’m sharing this obviously as a part of my Happy Harry Potter series. Gryffindor PRIDE!!! But also in conjunction with the girls from Simple Simon and Co and their Skirting the Issue series. I’ve participated in this for a few years and it’s such a great cause. The basic idea is to sew and donate skirts to girls in foster care so they can have something new to wear when the school year starts. It’s such a cool thing and since skirts are SO easy to make it’s very very easy to get involved. Here are a ton easy skirt tutorials! This year I’m going to have my nieces sew a few to send over! You can read more about the program and how to get involved here. Now let me show you have quick and easy it is to make this little knit skirt.

Measurements You Need

  • Elastic Waist Measurement: unstretched, for this almost 8 year old (she wears size 7/8) I used 22 inches and when sewn it ends up being about 21 inches around when not stretched.
  • Skirt Length Measurement: we wanted a fun cheerleader skirt feel so it’s a little on the short size but this skirt I cut the fabric 12 inches the full 60″ length of the fabric (if your fabric is only 54″ that should work fine too if you’re making it an adult size you might want to add some width but maybe not just wrap it around yourself and see if you like the fullness). You will lose about 1/2 inch in length sewing. I left the bottom edge unsewn but if you want to hem it add in some extra length for that. This is my favorite way to hem knits if you’re curious about that.

30 Minute Knit skirt tutorial. So cute but comfy too. Made this and the kiddo loves it. Will sew more!

What You Need

  • 2 inch elastic (I cut 22″ x 2″)
  • Knit Skirt Fabric (I cut 12″ tall by 60″ wide)
  • Knit Band Fabric 4.5″ by the length of your elastic (I cut 4.5″ X 22″) You can skip the band fabric but I think it gives it a more clean look.

What to Do

  1. Sew or serge the short ends of your main fabric right sides together to form a tube.
  2. Do the same for the band fabric.
  3. Overlap the elastic and sew down using a zig zag stitch to form a tube.
  4. Gather the top edge of the main fabric tube. I found this cheater serger gathering trick works great for this.
  5. Fold the band fabric around the elastic so it’s like a sandwich tube.
  6. Line up the raw edges of the band (so 3 layers fabric elastic fabric) with the right side of the gathered edge of the skirt and make sure the fabric is gathered but not all the way flush with the elastic you want it 4-6 inches wider than the elastic (or really a little bit wider than the wearer’s hips).
  7. Serge the band to the skirt stretching the elastic as you go. It’s a bit awkward especially on a kids item since the 2 inch elastic tends to be tight but just go slow and stop and readjust as needed.
  8. And you are done!

We're obsessed with these 30 minute knit skirts. Great easy sewing tutorial

So cute right? And L loves it! She was begging to take it home after we took pictures but I wanted to make sure the pictures turned out. I’m sure I’ll be making her more in the near future!

Great sewing tutorial and super clear instructions for how to make a pattern to fit everyone. 30 minute knit skirt tutorial

And before you go don’t forget about the HUGE giveaways!

Harry Potter everything. Great book nerd gifts and book swag.

Prize Pack #1

See more about each prize and sponsor at this giveaway post and be sure to enter the other equally awesome prize pack while you’re there! Winner must have a US address or be willing to pay for international shipping.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So many awesome Harry Potter gift ideas. Great for readers

Prize Pack #2

See more about each prize and sponsor at this giveaway post and be sure to enter the other equally awesome prize pack while you’re there! Winner must have a US address or be willing to pay for international shipping.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Fabulous quick and easy skirt tutorials to sew up

The secret to hemming knits. It's the type of thread you use! Rae Gun Ramblings

Awesome Must Sew Patterns for Women and Sew Our Stash

I’ve been on a sewing spree so I thought I’d gather up some awesome women’s sewing patterns and inspiration as a sort of to-do list.

I want to sew all of them. So many great sewing patterns for women. Great DIY fashion

It is indeed Sew Our Stash day. And I DID make myself something (wahooo) my Vintage Kitchen Kitty dress that I already showed off. But between Easter, which I did quite a bit of other sewing (for the kids), spring break, and company, that I didn’t have time to make a second item. But if you haven’t seen my dress yet I love it and I also share an easy tutorial for how to make the back stretchy even when using non-stretchy fabrics!

Love this idea to add an elastic back panel to DIY sewing dresses so they always fit no matter your weight changes! Great tutorial with lots of steps and pictures

Something about Spring fires up my sewing bug. Maybe that we aren’t constantly bundled under layers and coats, but regardless of the reason here are some fabulous sewing projects for women I hope to be adding to my stack and eventually my closet!

Must sew them all. Great DIY women's clothing sewing patterns.

Must Sew Women’s Patterns

Did you sew something for yourself this month? I’d love to see it remember to tag your pictures #sewourstash and follow me on Instagram at @raegunramblings to see my behind the scenes SOSing all month. And don’t forget to see what Bev from Flamingos Toes made this month!

You might also like these:

great top patterns to sew for women

12 Awesome Tops to Sew

Great sewing patterns and inspiration for women's fashion at Rae Gun Ramblings

Even more awesome garments to sew!

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

Elastic Back Panel Tutorial Sewing Fit Hack

Whether you want those handmade dresses to fit a little long, are pregnant, or just fluctuate in weight, this Elastic Back Panel Tutorial will be your new best friend.

I do this all the time now. Easy way to make sizing flexible for growing kids, weight and weight fluctuating adults. I made some dresses before I was pregnant that I was able to wear through my pregnancy great idea for maternity sewing. Easy tutorial for inserting an elastic panel into any dress pattern.

It seems one of the main reasons so many of us put off sewing for ourselves is that we aren’t what we view as the optimal size. I know that I’m bigger than I’d like and the idea of putting all the work into making a dress that I honestly hope won’t fit for long doesn’t sound appealing. Sure I can sew with knits but sometimes I just want to use a cute woven cotton like these amazing Vintage Kitchen prints from Riley Blake.

Darling DIY sewing dress. Elastic back panel tutorial for flexible fit (like maternity).

That’s why I love this little trick for making part of the back stretchy. As a bonus you don’t have to deal with a zipper or buttonholes. I did this to dresses I made right before and during my pregnancy and I can still happily wear the same ones I did at 9 months pregnant and I’m probably 35 lbs lighter now. So that is some decent wiggle room!

How to tweak a sewing pattern to add an elastic back panel for flexible fit, maternity clothes, or even longer lasting kid sewing. Easy step by step DIY tutorial.

I actually started using this trick years ago to all the nieces’ dresses (for example here and here)  I made for them. It makes the fit last for super long like they have worn some of their dresses for 3 full years. As long as you start with a generous skirt length as the kids grow the stretchy back will allow for room and it will just be a slightly shorter dress.

Great step by step sewing tutorial for how to tweak a sewing pattern to include an elastic back panel. Great for maternity clothes or just to make kid clothes last longer.

Start By Adjusting Your Bodice Back Pattern Piece

You can do this to pretty much any dress pattern that has a bodice attached to a skirt. What you need to do is convert your bodice back piece so that it’s the finished width plus about 4.5 inches. That will give you 4 inches for the elastic panel and 1/2 inch seam allowance. So read through the direction of your pattern if it’s made for you to put in a zipper see how much is allowed for that subtract it and then adding 2.25 inches to the center back edge. Alternatively you can take a bodice back that you have used with knit (stretchy) fabric and add the 2.25 inches to that.

Note I prefer to do this with bodices that are lined or single layers without facings. Basically you can’t have weird pieces hanging underneath (or you probably could but it would be annoying).

Love this idea to add an elastic back panel to DIY sewing dresses so they always fit no matter your weight changes! Great tutorial with lots of steps and pictures

What You Need

Must try adding an elastic back panel for flexible fit (like maternity and kids clothes). DIY sewing tutorial.

Assemble Your Bodice

The first step is to put your bodice together so you can do it how you prefer. I’m just going to give the directions for a lined bodice like I did here. You can do sleeves set in or sewn in before side seams you just need to have a finished bodice with 4 inches extra space in the back to put in the elastic. I do 4 inches both for kids and for adults.

  1. If your bodice front has darts sew those in to both the bodice pieces and the lining pieces.
  2. Sew the front pieces to the back pieces at the shoulders with right sides together (you should have two back pieces and one front piece). Repeat for lining.
  3. With right sides together sew around the neck edges and and arm holes. If doing sleeves you can put your sleeves in before or during this step if you have cap sleeves or do set in sleeves later.
  4. Turn right side out by reaching in through the center back and pulling the fabric of the other side through.
  5. Press with an iron.
  6. Open the back up and and sew it together matching the lining fabrics to each other and the back fabric to each other. Not like this ;) This is just to close up the back.
  7. Now you should have a finished bodice that is a closed tube with an extra 4 inches.

I do this all the time now. Great for maternity, kids, or just flexible fit clothes sewing. Easy to follow tutorial for putting in an elastic back panel.

Putting In the Elastic

Basically you sew rows of elastic across the back. I like to zig zag over my elastic and do the rows in 1 inch increments with the bottom row as close to the stitching line to attach the skirt as possible.

  1. Turn your bodice right side out. I like to serge around the bottom edge just to hold everything in place and pin along the back center seam.
  2. Using your fabric marker draw a vertical line parallel to the center back seam but 3.5 inches to the left. Repeat 3.5 inches to the right of the center back.
  3. Draw a horizontal line 1/4 inch from the top edge.
  4. Draw a line 1/8 inch from where you will attach your skirt to the bodice at the bottom edge. For example I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance so I put my lowest line at the 5/8 inch line.
  5. Now draw lines about 1 inch about in between those two lines. Depending on how high your bodice is it might not be perfectly 1 inch but I think that’s a good gap although I’ve done larger and smaller gaps before.
  6. Set your machine to a zig zag stitch that will sew on and through the elastic making sure it sews through the elastic at at least one side of the stitch.
  7. Position your elastic on one of the lines that run horizontally across your bodice. Back stitch a few times and then pull the elastic as tight as you can. I usually put have my left hand hold the fabric that is behind the needle and I pull it that way while using my right hand to pull the elastic away from the needle and feed the bodice in. You might want to practice this on some scrap fabric your first few times.
  8. While the elastic is pulled as tight as possible zig zag over the elastic sewing it down to the line stopping at the vertical line you drew and making sure to back stitch.
  9. Cut the elastic and threads.
  10. Repeat for every horizontal line you drew.
  11. Now you should have your bodice piece with a gathered elastic back panel.
  12. You can attach the skirt but make sure to allow for some ease in the skirt through portion that attaches to the back panel. I stretch the elastic out while I sew the through that area so it can stretch over my shoulders and bust without a problem.

Super cute DIY dress with great sewing tutorial.

I have attached a fully gathered skirt like the one on this cat dress but I’ve also done a non-gathered aline skirt for a few dresses I made while I was pregnant. I still wear these often post-babe.

Hands down the only way I'll gather when I'm sewing. Great trick every sewist should know and use.

If you are doing doing a fully gathered skirt I highly recommend using my cheater gathering method to gather your skirt piece it makes it so easy to get the gathers even while never running the risk of snapping your basting threads.

how to easily add an elastic back panel to a dress. great sewing tutorial perfect for kids clothing, maternity wear, or anyone who likes flexible fits and comfort in their clothing.

Now let’s talk about this dress. Don’t you just LOOOOOOOVEEEE the fabric? The cats are Kitchen Cat in Yellow from the Vintage Kitchen line designed by the super talented crazy creative Andrea Muller of Jolijou for Riley Blake designs. And the sash was made out of Kitchen Harlequin Teal from the same line.

You'd nee guess this DIY dress is stretchy in the back. Great sewing tutorial for how to make an elastic back panel. Perfect for maternity clothes or just flexible fitting.

I am a huge fan of Riley Blake cottons they just have the perfect weight in my opinion. Thick enough that I don’t have to line the skirt but not too thick that it feels heavy with one layer.

vintage kitchen fabric

Make sure you check out the other awesome creations made from these cool fabrics. I wish that I was a quilter so I could have used all the different prints and color options I really love them all! Here are all the blogs that have been a part of the blog tour for this fabulous fabric line.


Julia – Riley Blake Designs



Andrea – Jolijou



Nina – Hedi



Anja – Nähkitz



Swafing Fabrics



Carrie Beri Bee Designs






Andrea – anlukaa



Emma – Frühstück bei Emma



einchen – doppelnaht



Anorina – Samelias Mum



Bev – Flamingo Toes



Amy – Diary of a Quilter



Julia – lillesol & pelle



Andy – A Bright Corner



Sabine – farbenmix



Simone – KaeptnStupsnase



Sarah – Mädchenkram



Melissa Corry



Jessica Stewart



Bine Guellich



Lindsay Wilkes



Sandra – Flaupa



Amanda Niederhauser



Ina – pattydoo



Ruth Sodl-Warter



Marissa – Rae Gun Ramblings


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this is how I always do chocolate covered strawberries!

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Sew Our Stash Floral Cardigan

Sew Our Stash is all about giving ourselves a deadline and making sewing for ourselves a priority.

DIY floral cardigan a knock off Forever 21 sewing project

We’ve put it on the calendar (the last Thursday of the month) and even if that means we’re scrambling on Wednesday to whip something up and take some pics that’s what Flamingo Toes Bev and I are doing. I have to admit this month it was definitely a scramble. I know for me this month just FLEW by and I know Bev was sewing up her top just yesterday too.

Fast DIY cardigan with pockets

BUT the point is we did it and we each have a new wearable. Mine actually still needs to be finished (sleeves hemmed) but you get the point. And SOOOO sorry for the junky photos I was trying to snap them before an appointment and the room I usually take pictures in is torn apart because I’m got a Sewing Box (eeep so excited) that is half built and totally blocking my dressform.

Floral Cardigan handmade

I live in cardigans so I tried to take the pattern off of one of my favorite Forever 21 styles. I’d say it went OK. It could have been better. But that’s fine since this was a tester. I have some awesome star knit fabric that I want to use when I fix the pattern.

DIY floral cardigan collage

It’s a bit wide at the shoulders and even though the original cardigan is has a flowy band around the front/neck I might see what I think about a folded band so if it flaps back at the neck there won’t be inside seams showing. (Also, what is ALL over my pants?)
Easy pockets on a DIY cardigan

I love the pocket detail. I think My pieces are right and I put it together right I just need to make the back piece a bit smaller at the neck and shoulder. TMI? Do you really care about all those little details? Well hopefully next month I’ll be able to show you a star one that is perfect!

knock off forever 21 diy cardigan

Did you sew anything for yourself this month? I hope you did and if you posted it anywhere I’d love you to comment with a link and if it’s on social media be sure to used #sewourstash so we can see it. If you don’t have it any where feel free to post it to the Rae Gun Ramblings Facebook page. I would love to see it! And don’t forget to see what Bev made!

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

Naughty Time: Hello Kitty Fashion with KuKee

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and KuKee, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #helllokittyletsplay  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.

KuKee Clothing #hellokittyletsplay #PMedia

Last weekend I took the nieces for the afternoon and we did some fun aunty stuff. Cooking, crafting, and shopping. I’ve never taken them shopping without my mom or sister before but it was so fun to just let them pick something out that they loved.

Kids love KuKee

They are both Hello Kitty fans and while we were at Macy’s they each wanted one of these cute Tutu dresses by Evy of California.

  KuKee Hello Kitty Clothes

Little did they know when they picked them out that each of the dresses came with a special label that would launch a fun app. But when we got home we downloaded the app from Itunes onto my sister’s phone and and all kinds of silliness ensued. With the Hello Kitty Let’s Play Dress Up line of clothing it launches this super cute app where you get to pick Hello Kitty’s dress, crown, and accessory. After you do that you’re able to take  picture. It was lots of fun.

Hello Kitty and kukee

T’s dress came with an extra velcro dress for hello kitty that can be added or removed it is SO cool.  It’s kind of crazy how cool clothes are today. I remember when I used to get clothes for Christmas being okay with it but not only do these have style the girls love but the fun app games that come with it make it more fun to give as gifts.

 kukee email blast ALL

 In addition to the games there is a fun scavenger hunt using this cute markers like the ones below. Pssst you can get a bunch of the markers to start the hunt on the KuKee App Pinterest Board.

kukee marker notebook

If you have a little lady who might love this it’s perfect timing because Macy’s will be having great Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on the Hello Kitty Let’s Play items.

kukee Let's Play Dress up

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.


What We Wore, Read and Made Link Party PS Update How You Follow Blogs

space roseMy new favorite dress that I wore to Jersey Boys which was awesome.

Dress -Target
Necklace – Made It
Shoes – Le Sport Sac

Okay friends we are less than 2 weeks away from from the shut down of Google Friends Connect and Google Reader. If you haven’t taken the time to change your feed subscriptions or the blogs you follow I hope that you take the time to do that now. Really I would hate for you to miss out on all the fun posts I have planned. Also my blog feed and URL changed about a month ago so if you haven’t updated that since I moved over to WordPress now is a great time to make that change.

If you would like to add my blog to a blog reader I’ve used both feedly (a firefox add-on just search raegunramblings.com) and bloglovin and both of these have a way to simply import all your Google Reader blogs. Or if you want to follow my RSS feed another way here’s my direct link to my feed (but don’t subscribe via Google because that is going away!).

If you want to receive my blog posts directly to your email you can do that through feedburner.

Let’s see what you’ve been creating, cooking, eating, wearing, reading, all of it! And if you don’t see the linky try refreshing the page.

Fine Print:

Please be a follower
I’d love you to add my button or somehow link back to me.
Link as many posts as you want (I don’t mind if they are older posts).
Please visit a couple of the other people who have linked up.
*if you don’t see the linky try refreshing*

Please Note: I will not be sending reminder emails about the party any longer. hopefully having my button, following, subscribing or something else can serve as your reminder.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.