How to Make a Dress Sash Tutorial

How to make sashes and handkerchief scarves. Sewing Tutorials

Hey all, today I’m over at Riley Blake Designs sharing how to make quick and easy dress sashes as well as these 10 minute handkerchief scarves. The are both such fun accessories perfect for adding a little pop of color and splash of interest. Head over there to learn more about the dresses I made too!


DIY Holly Shoe Jingle Bells Tutorial

I’d love to put a little Christmas spirit in your step, quite literally. I made these adorable DIY Holly Shoe Jingle Bells and I’m giddy about how they turned out.

Love this simple Christmas craft. DIY holly shoe bells tutorial and free pattern

Today I’m joining in on I Heart Naptime‘s annual Crazy Christmas Event. Every year Jamielyn invites loads of talented bloggers to share tons of awesome crafts, recipes, and printables perfect for Christmas. Hop over to see how I made these fun Holly Shoe Bells. P.S. I made the pattern in 3 sizes baby, kiddo and teen/adult.


UPDATED: The following tutorial originally appeared on I Heart Naptime on 11/29/2016

I love the festive little jingle the little holly adds to every step. But more than that I love how quick and easy this little craft comes together.

Such a fun way to dress up our shoes for Christmas. Easy jingle bell holly shoe accessories. Full tutorial and free pattern.

This is easy enough that even elementary school kids who can do basic hand sewing could make their own if you help them cut out the leaves.

Christmas shoe craft. Cute jingle bell holly accessories.

What You Need

How to make Christmas holly shoes that jingle. Easy craft tutorial

What to Do

  1. Cut 2 holly leaves out for each shoe you want to dress up. There are three sizes on the pattern so they can work for baby shoes, kids, and teens/ adults.
  2. Cut a pipe cleaner in half and then fold that in half to find the middle.
  3. Sandwich the middle of the pipe cleaner between the points of two leaves. Take a couple stitched to sew the pipe cleaner to the leaves.
  4. Thread one bell onto your needle and stitch in place. Repeat for the rest of bells.
  5. Take a couple extra stitches to secure the sewing in place before knotting. This will help prevent the stitch from pulling through if the bells get man handled.
  6. Secure the bling to the shoe by threading one side through a shoelace hole and twisting. Alternatively you can simply slide the pipe cleaner under the shoelace and twist to fasten it in place.

Easy to remove Christmas jingle bell bling. Holly shoe tutorial.

I think these turned out so stinking cute. My 2 1/2 year old little boy got SO excited when I put one on his shoe he LOVED dancing and spinning around.

How cute turn regular shoes into jingle bell holly shoes for Christmas. Full tutorial and free pattern.

And as adorable as I think it is I love that when we went to watch his cousin’s gymnastic competition I could quickly and easily remove the holly so we wouldn’t be disruptive.

Toddler holly jingle bells shoe swag tutorial

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My new favorite party recipe. This spinach artichoke dip recipe is SO good and easy. Perfect appetizer or snack.

Super Easy and Yummy Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe

Easy mini collage ornaments using recycled mason jar lids. Christmas craft tutorial

Fun Collage Mason Jar Lid Christmas Ornaments

10 Minute Wood Slice Joy Ornament and More DIY Ornaments

I think one of the reasons I love making handmade ornaments is that they tend to be really fast projects. This Wood Slice Joy Ornament is no exception.

Tons of easy christmas ornament tutorials and these 10 minute wood slice joy ornaments

I made glitter wood slice ornaments a few years ago and really love them. This joy ornament is an even simpler version of it.

How to make custom wood slice Christmas ornaments

What You Need

What to Do

  1. Import the Joy design and cut vinyl out on your cutting machine
  2. Weed design and apply transfer tape. Place design on wood slice.
  3. Drill a hole in wood slice if yours didn’t already come predrilled.
  4. Cut a strip of fabric or ribbon and tie through hole

love these simple joy wood slice christmas ornaments. so easy to customize on the cricut

So easy right!!! And if you’ve got a fear of power tools you can just glue the ribbon/fabric to the wood slice.

How to make custom word Christmas ornaments on your cricut

Want more great handmade ornament tutorials? Check out these from my friends!

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One Hour Tee FREE Pattern


I’ve been living in these one hour tees lately. They are so easy to sew and I’m happy to say I’ve got a FREE pattern and tutorial for it to share!


I sewed up some a few Sew Our Stash-es ago and I got such a great response that I decided I wanted to share the pattern. Now keep in mind that I really don’t know what I’m doing. This is a homemade amateur pattern. And even though I put a good amount of time into it it’s still free to my email subscribers so just be warned maybe try it out on some cheap fabric you don’t love first. It’s one size which should work for anyone who wears a medium or large. I based the design off of one of my favorite ready to wear shirts that’s a size medium but now a days I wear larges too. So it works for both as long as you use a fabric with some decent stretch.

DIY shirt. Free women's sewing pattern and tutorial

For mine here I used this gorgeous Feathers Navy fabric designed by my friends from Simple Simon and Co. for Riley Blake Designs. I LOOOVEEE this fabric the design is so easy to wear and if you’ve never used RBD knits you’re missing out. It’s the perfect weight and stretchiness for clothing! Make sure you check out the rest of the By Popular Demand fabric line it’s really gorgeous I mean who can resists arrows and triangles? I want some of all of it!

FREE one hour tee sewing pattern for woman's shirt

What You Need

These are my favorite shirts love this quick and easy free women's shirt sewing pattern

What to Do

  1. Print out the pattern and tape the pattern pieces together by matching the top edge of the paper to the line on the paper above as pictured above. Cut your fabric out.
  2. Place the front piece on the back piece with right sides together matching up the shoulders and serge or sew with a stretch stitch the shoulders with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
  3. Serge or sew the side seams.
  4. Iron the neck like and sleeve edges under 1/2 inches. Pin if necessary.
  5. Iron the hem of the shirt under 1 1/2 inches. Pin if necessary.
  6. Hem the sleeves and the shirt hem using a twin needle and woolly nylon. If you’ve never done this see my step by step how to hem knits tutorial.

Make a shirt in less than an hour with this free sewing pattern. Women's shirt tutorial.

I love these shirts. This is my third now (see the others) and I wear them all the time. When the weather is warm they are great on their own. Now that the weather has cooled they are perfect under a cardigan.

It really is a very versatile silhouette and can give you a totally different look depending on what fabric you use! I think I’m going to try to make a version out of a fancy sequined knit next!

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

My FAVORITE way to hem knits

Tips and tricks to buying a serger you'll actually use and love - Rae Gun Ramblings

If you’ve been wanting to buy a serger you’ll want to read this!

DIY Christmas Potholder Towel Tutorial

Are you ready for awesomeness? Get this, it’s a double potholder that also is a towel. It hangs on your oven and no your family won’t use it to clean up gross spills or throw it on the floor when ice melts so you never have a towel to dry your hands. Okay that might have been a bit ranty but you guys I’m so excited about this little creation of mine.

Darling double pot holder towel tutorial. Great free sewing pattern

I’m joining in on Skip to My Lou‘s annual Christmas Craft Bake Sew series sharing how to make these fun little Christmas Potholders. I just adore it. Plus it’s insanely quick and easy to make.

Love this free sewing pattern. Quick and easy DIY towel backed double potholder tutorial

Hop on over to Skip to My Lou for the full tutorial!


My sister has already demanded that I make her a set of her own. These little towel potholders would be darling for your own holiday decor or as an easy hostess gift. It sews up so quickly I will definitely be making myself some versions for every season.

Easy christmas potholders with free pattern also serves as christmas towels

I especially love that I used terry cloth for the underside so as it hangs on my oven I can use it to dry my hands after I use the sink but unlike most kitchen towels I won’t find it crumpled on the floor or used to wipe up a spill since it looks nice and is obviously a potholder too.

What you needs for double potholders and tutorial

What You Need

The measurements given will be for one potholder towel. But if you buy 3/4 yard of terry cloth you will have enough to make 3. I cut the terry cloth out of one piece instead of two like I did for the main fabric to reduce bulk but if you want to buy less fabric you can do the terry cloth just like the main fabric.

  • 2 pieces 27″x7″ Terry Cloth (you can buy it by the yard at the fabric store or just cut up an old towel)
  • 2 pieces 14″x7″ Main Fabric
  • 2 pieces 6″x7″ Pocket Fabric
  • 3 yards Bias Tape
  • Heat Transfer Vinyl (optional)
  • Joy to the World design (optional) download here
  • Owl design (available in Cricut design studio or use any image you like)

Note: You can add a layer of special fabric made for pot holders that will make it even more heat resistant but I tested these out and for me the heat did not come through the cookie sheet. If you want to do that just cut a piece the same size as the two fabric and in step 3 layer that between the terry cloth and main fabric.

Favorite Christmas Hostess gift this double potholder kitchen towel is awesome. Easy sewing tutorial

What to Do

  1. Cut two pieces of bias tape 7 inches wide. Sandwich it around the top edge of both pocket pieces and sew in place using a zig zag stitch.
  2. With right sides together stitch the top edges of the main fabrics to each other. If your fabric is directional like my owl one make sure the TOPS of the fabric are touching each other.
  3. Layer everything. Start with two layers of terry cloth, then the layer of main fabric with the right side of the fabric facing up and then the pocket pieces also right sides up. Pin in place.
  4. Sandwich the layered fabric between the folds of bias tape and sew with a zig zag stitch all the way around making sure to catch all the layers. When you get to a corner just tuck it in to form a triangle fold (sort of a mitered corner).
  5. Now you are good to go. If you want to add a fun design like I did on the Joy to the World one you can cut out some heat transfer vinyl on a cutting machine like a Cricut and iron it on. Check out my step by step iron-on vinyl tutorial. If you’re not familiar with the stuff it’s one of my favorite ways to personalize my sewing projects.

Everyone raves over these easy double potholder towels. Easy DIY sewing tutorial

Super cute right and with all the darling holiday fabrics out there you can make ones to suit any type of style or color scheme.

Hands down our favorite gift for foodies. Double potholders that function as kitchen towels. Free sewing pattern and easy tutorial

 I have tons of Christmas crafts and recipes but here are a few of my favorites!

Won't make chocolate covered strawberries any other way!

Love these Chocolate Covered Strawberries during the holidays!

Quick and easy Reversible Place mats tutorial

These DIY Reversible Placemats would be great with Thanksgiving/Christmas fabrics.

Best collection of Harry Potter Crafts and Recipes

Tons of great Harry Potter Crafts, Recipes and More which make great gifts!

60 Minute No-Fuss Apron Skirt Tutorial

affiliate DISCLOSURE

I’ve always loved the way those wrap apron skirts look. But I hate wrap skirts, I’m just too worried they’re going to come undone. I have seen people add a zipper to the back or side but I hate committing to a size in a way that zippers require.

How to make an apron skirt without a zipper. Sewing tutorial 60 minutes with full step by step video instructions.

This skirt has the look of an apron skirt but slips on (and stays on) without a zipper and still has a flexible fit. You could say it’s my new fav.

60 minute DIY gathered skirt tutorial with step by step video instructions. Great sewing project.

What You Need

This can be easily adjusted to a kids size by decreasing the width (I’d use I length of 44″ for kids under 8 and over 8 I’d just do a very full skirt and do the same width) and changing the length.

  • Skirt Fabric 2 pieces 44 X length of desired skirt plus 3 (for me this was 27 inches) I used Bittersweet Main Orange
  • Band Fabric 1/2 yard I used Bittersweet Floral Green
  • Elastic enough to stretch across your back (for me this was 10 inches)

Watch the video tutorial for step by step instructions and footage of each step. Or see the written instructions below.

60 minute big bow skirt tutorial. Easy sewing project.

What to Do

  1. Make the sash. Start by cutting or tearing your fabric into 3 pieces each 6×44 inches long. Then cut one of those pieces down to the the length of the distance of the front of your waist (basically from one side to the other for me this is 17 inches).
  2. Next sew your your short edges of one of your long pieces to the short edge of your middle piece right sides together.
  3. Repeat with the other short edge of the middle piece and the other piece of fabric right sides together. Now you should have a long strip of fabric.
  4. Next fold the sash in half right sides together. Sew down an angle at the short edge and then down the length of the fabric with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Leave the other short edge open for easy turning.
  5. Turn your sash right side out. I like using a loop turner for this.
  6. Iron your sash making sure to tuck the open end in at an angle.
  7. Sew across the end to close the hole up. Set your sash piece aside.
  8. Sew your your skirt by sewing the side edges of the skirt pieces with right sides together.
  9. Finish the top and bottom edges of the skirt with a serger, zig zag stitch or pinking shears.
  10. Gather the top edge of the skirt. For a slower treatment of how to gather see my awesome cheater gathering trick.
  11. Pin your elastic to the back edge of your skirt gather your skirt to the elastic. Sew the elastic onto the skirt while stretching the elastic (this is easier to understand when watching the video).
  12. Attach the band to the skirt.

How to sew a sash onto a skirt for a big bow. Great sewing tutorial for 60 minute gathered skirt.

I love that this skirt looks like a dress but that you can change the top for a completely different look or change up the type of sleeves for different occasions or weather!

How to make a gathered skirt with bow sash. Sewing tutorial with full video instructions

I also think it’s fun to sometimes wear the bow in the front and other times wear the bow in the back!

Reversible big bow skirt tutorial. Step by step video with sewing instructions. How to sew a skirt in 60 minute

See more great project made using Sue Daley’s gorgeous Bittersweet Fabric line for Riley Blake Designs.

20 Minute Clear Vinyl Wet Bag Tutorial

We’ve been squeezing out every last ounce of Summer here and my DIY wet bags have been so awesome while as we hit up the pools and water parks. But I have a feeling like I’ll be making for for other purposes.

How to sew clear vinyl wet bags. Free pattern for clutch size and pool bag size. Great sewing tutorial.

I made a clear vinyl wet back that attaches to my Ultimate Pool Bag last year and I loved it so much I wanted more. I wanted another large sized one and a smaller clutch style one that would serve as more of a splash bag.

Summer Sewing Series

I’m so excited to be sharing this as a part of Polka Dot Chair‘s great Summer Sewing Series!

Love this make wet bags out of clear vinyl. Large ones for pool stuff and small ones for splash clutches. Great 20 Minute sewing tutorial.

I’ve got sizing for both but you could easily tweek my pattern to make whatever size suits you. They would be awesome for pencil cases or craft kit holders. Really any time you’d love to quickly be able to see in your bag or want a little protection from dampness.

How to Make a Vinyl Wet Bag

They come together so fast with very inexpensive supplies it’s hard not to want to make a gazillion. Watch how easy it is to make your own clear vinyl wet bag.

Love this make wet bags out of clear vinyl. Large ones for pool stuff and small ones for splash clutches. Great 20 Minute sewing tutorial.

What You Need


Clutch Size

  • 10×13 Clear vinyl
  • 1 yard bias tape

Wet Bag 

  • 15-18X60 Clear Vinyl
  • 1.5-2 yard Bias Tape (depending if you want to do the bottom strip)

What to Do

  1. Fold your vinyl in half to form your bag shape make one edge about 1/2-1 inch below the other edge.
  2. Trim the bias tape to a little more than the width of the top edge of your bag. If doing the bottom edge you will need two pieces this long. With the remainder you should have close to what you need to line the top edge and fold it over for a wrist loop trim it down if you want it smaller.
  3. It is easier to do both top edges first (on the clutch video I don’t do this). Start by tucking the edge under of your bias tape to hide the raw edge then sandwiching the vinyl in between the folds of the vinyl. On one edge you will finish by tucking the edge under and clipping. On the other you will have a long tail.
  4. Zig zag stitch the bias tape in place making sure to catch the vinyl in between. On the side with the tail once you get to the end of the vinyl just straight stitch the bias tape together along the bottom Edge.
  5. Next fold the tail over to form your wrist loop. Tuck the raw edge under and sew into place with an X or a few rows of back stitches.
  6. Fold your bag so that the edge with the wrist loop is 1/2-1 inch above the other top edge.
  7. If you are adding bias tape at the bottom edge you can cut it to make it lay more flat. Skip to step 8 if you are just using the folded edge. Attach the bias tape to the bottom edge just like you did to the top edge.
  8. Next attach the snaps. See the video for step by step instructions if you’re not sure how to do that.
  9. Next clip the sides in place.
  10. Fold the wrist loop edge over the other top edge and clip in place
  11. Sew the sides about 1/4 seam allowance and making sure to back stitch at both ends. At the top you should have both bias edges on top of each other.
  12. Next attach the snaps. See the video for step by step instructions of how to do that.

Made these wet bags and not sure how I lived without them. Great 20 minute sewing project perfect for taking to the pool

And you’re good to go! I like the large one for shoving all the wet stuff in as we’re leaving the pool. You know swimsuits, goggles, aqua socks, toys. All of that. And the little one is awesome for keeping my phone accessible but protected from splashes or drippy kids hanging around.

Free sewing pattern for pool wet bags. Clutch size for phone splash protection and large pool tote for everything else.

It’s obviously not going to do anything for crazy amounts of splashing but off to the side how I have it it’s just what I need. I might have to make some more of the small sized ones for toiletry bags or just to have see-through cases I can throw in my bags for on the go.

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

hands down the best trick for gathering fabric on the sewing machine - Rae Gun Ramblings

Harry Potter Wand Holster Tutorial

I have wanted to make a wand holder for a long time not but totally put it off. So I’m SUPER excited to share this tutorial today because I adore how it came out!How fun a wand holster to carry your harry potter wands. Great sewing tutorial and how to make DIY wands too.

Too fun! DIY Harry Potter Magic wand holster. Sewing tutorial.

Get the Harry Potter Shirts here

This tutorial is a little more complicated sewing than I normally share because of the zipper and all the steps but it’s still not that hard of a project but if you prefer to just purchase one you can get one here. Oh and if you don’t already have a wand to put in your holster I have a super fun and super easy Wand Tutorial.

Have your wands at the ready at all times with this Harry Potter inspired DIY wand holster. Sewing tutorial

My little guy has been carrying a wand around since we made them. He took one on a walk today and it made my geeky Harry Potter loving heart explode.

What You Need

  • Holster Fabric
  • Strap Fabric – adults will need two strips of 3″x44″ fabric, one strip for the kid size.
  • Small Zipper (optional)
  • D- Ring (optional)
  • Snaps (optional)

What to do

Before I start I just wanted to say I wanted mine to be adjustable and have a zipper pocket so that makes things a little more complicated. BUT you could leave out the zipper and just make your strap the right size for the wearer or even use a safety pin instead of snaps and that would save some work.

1. Cut your fabric out. You can see the general shape I used. I meant to make a free pattern but I totally forgot. I will update this post with a pattern that can be downloaded if you want to save it or pin it and check back later.

2.  Make the straps. For the adult size sew the short ends together. Iron your strap fabric in half  (so it’s skinnier) and sew down the length.  Turn right side out and iron.

3. Make the Wand Pocket. The wand pocket fabric should be about 3″x 7″ depending on your wand length. Do the same as you did for the strap.

Steps to making a wand holster

4. Tuck in one side of the wand pocket tube and sew closed. Position on the holder piece and sew down along both sides. Make sure it’s just one layer of fabric NOT folded.

5. Open both holster pieces and with right sides together sew across the V to connect them at the bottom edge.

How to make a Harry Potter wand holster tutorial

6. Mark where your zipper should go and then with right sides together sew the the raw side edges closed of the non- zipper and and up to where the bottom of the zipper will go. You do want to leave the top edges open. (If you want to skip the zipper just sew it all and leave the top openings.)

Make a zipper pouch wand holder

7. Sew in the zipper.

8. Turn right side out and tuck under the top edges on both sides.

How to make a Harry Potter wand holster adjustable. sewing tutorial

9. Cut off 3 inches from your strap, loop it through the D ring and tuck it into one opening. Sew closed. (If you are making a fitted strap you can skip the D ring and just sew a strap that is the correct length tucking in top openings)

Sew an adjustable magic wand holster perfect for harry potter fans.

10. Sew the raw side of the other strap in the other opening. At this point you can use a safety pin to make your strap adjustable or put in snaps. Just mark where you want your snaps and add them.

How awesome, magic wand holsters. Perfect for Harry Potter lovers. This would be great to take to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

We’ve all had fun running around with our wands this Summer. And yes the kids love it as much as I do ;)

Must make these! DIY Harry Potter Magic wand holster. Sewing tutorial. Fun gift idea.

I’m excited to be sharing this as a part of Nap-Time Creations‘ Summer Fun Series! See all the other awesome projects being shared today. And make sure to scroll all the way down for the HUGE Harry Potter giveaways.

Summer Fun #6 Make a treat, bookmark, wand holster or stacking dolls. Learn kids photography tips all on Nap-Time Creations

Photography Fun for Kids – Sugar Bee Crafts

Milk Dud Cake Mix Bars – Kleinworth and Co

Turtle Bookmarks – Lulu and Celeste

Wand Holster – Rae Gun Ramblings

DIY Stacking Dolls – Nap-Time Creations
Head over to Nap-Time Creations/Summer Fun to see all the posts in the series.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaways!!!

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

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.

Prize Pack #1

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

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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Last Summer when the nieces wanted to do “sewing class” I thought to myself, I really want some placemats for when they come over and eat like savages. And like the good Auntie that I am I decided to make them make the placemats themselves. 15 minute reversible placemats tutorial. Great DIY sewing project easy enough for beginners.

I’m so excited to be FINALLY sharing this tutorial as part of 100 Directions’s National Craft Week series! This project is super easy and fast which makes it a great beginner sewing project.

Perfect way to teach kids how to sew. 15 minute reversible placemat tutorial and free pattern

Since you have to turn something right side out (you know to make them reversible) that’s a good technique that builds on what they learned with my go-to starter project the basic skirt. And this is all straight lines so good practice on that front too. And if you’re interested in what machine I like for beginners it’s this one, does everything you need (I still sew on this machine most of the time), affordable, and most importantly has speed control.

Very easy DIY 15 minute reversible placemats sewing tutorial and free pattern

I think the best part though is that the girls are were SO proud the first time we pulled them out for dinner. And any time someone new joins us they get a kick out of sharing that THEY made them.

Perfect beginning sewing project. DIY reversible placemats. Free pattern and 15 minute tutorial

What You Need

I’m writing this for one but obviously multiply it by however many placemats you want! And a speed tip from a girl who sews a whole lot of the same thing over and over (ahem for my shop), cut all your pieces out at once and do the same step for all of them at the same time (as opposed to making one placemat completely and then starting another). Alternatively for motivation you might want to do one full one first or just a few so that you (or your sewing minions can feel successful and excited to keep going). 

  • Front Fabric 18 x 15 inches (I just use quilting cotton)
  • Back Fabric 18 x 15 inches
  • Loop Turner (optional)
  • Pins, sewing machine, thread, scissors, iron, all that basic stuff

The kids made a bunch of these. Super easy 15 minute DIY reversible placemats sewing tutorial and free pattern

What to do

  1. Start by cutting all your fabric pieces to the right size. Keep in mind that placemats don’t have to be perfect you can do bigger or smaller if that works better for you (or your fabric stash) but the two pieces that will make up one placemat DO need to be the same size.
  2. Next decide which pieces of fabric will go together (the nieces loved doing this).
  3. Then with right sides (the pretty size) together pin around the edges with the pins going in perpendicular to the edge and the head of the pin on the outside.
  4. Starting at the middle of any side (so NOT at a corner) sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance (that is the space from the needle to the edge of your fabric) and leaving a 2 inch space between where you start sewing and stop sewing. To do this sew around and when you get 1/2 inch from the corner use your hand wheel and turn it so the need is down then lift your presser foot and turn your fabric so you are on the next edge of the fabric.
  5. Clip your corners. Basically cut your corners off (this will help you get a nice point when you turn your placemat right side out). Make sure to cut close to but NOT over the sewing line.
  6. Next turn your fabric right side out. You can reach in and grab it or use a loop turner to help. The loop turner is SUPER cool but does take practice to get the hang of it. If you are a newbie that might be an unnecessary frustration but if you feel confident I encourage you to learn how to use one it will make so many things in your sewing life easier (see my video on how it works here).
  7. Make sure the corners are pushed out from the inside (I use a loop turner but you can use a pencil) and iron making sure the fabric is folded under at the opening through which you turned the placemat.
  8. Now topstitch around the edge of the placemat with a 1/4 to 1/2 seam allowance (I like the look of a smaller one but that can be harder for new sew-ers).   This time sew all the way around and over where you started sewing this will close up the whole and also reinforce that initial sewing place.
  9. Make something delicious and eat it upon you new fancy placemat. Share it on instagram and tag me #loveraegun @raegunramblings so I can do a happy dance with you!

Just used this great sewing tutorial. Perfect for beginners or anyone wanting to sew reversible placemats FAST. Easy great home decor project. Will make more.

And remember it doesn’t have to be perfect. The more you do the better you will get. In reality this is a piece of fabric to catch stray food (oh and to look pretty on the table I guess). But if your stitches aren’t straight no big deal that’s part of the fun make some more and get in some more practice!

The kids sewed some of these this weekend. Great 15 minute reversible placemats sewing tutorial perfect for beginners or anyone wanting a fast project. Free pattern.

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