I am so incredibly excited to share this post! I’ve been working on this tutorial for a while and am so happy to finally share it! I absolutely love making bags, and know that bag making can be pretty intimidating, so I wanted to create an in-depth tutorial for one of my favorite style bags to make!
This tutorial is for a small lined crossbody bag with a push lock (or tongue lock) close, with a flat bottom, adjustable strap and exterior zipper! This bag is similar in style to the bags I designed for my etsy shop, but much quicker and easier to make! I’ve created a PDF tutorial filled with photos and instructions, and there’s a video tutorial on YouTube!
One of the things I love most about this pattern is that it is totally customizable! Don’t want an exterior pocket? No need to include it, or use the instructions to make an interior pocket! Want to make the straps removable? Stitch the strap ends to swivel hooks! You can curve the front flap into a half circle shape, and if you want, make the bag bigger or smaller by adjusting the measurements provided! This is a great bag to introduce you to bag making, or to get some more experience with bag hardware and zippers! (If you are looking for online spots for materials, I shop most hardware at Purse Supplies R Us on Etsy, zippers come from ZipIt, and Push Locks from Pacific Trimming!) The exterior fabric used in this bag is a large upholstery fabric swatch from my collection, and the lining and pockets are cotton.
I hope you love this bag! If you make it, let me know! I would love to see your version! Any questions, I am here to answer!
Today I’m sharing a fun tutorial to upcycle an old pullover! One way or another, I wind up with a bunch of them in my wardrobe. This teal one came from my mom! She had worn it over the years and was ready to let it go, but before it ended up in the donation pile I took it to upcycle! This is a really fun refashion, and may take some time at the embroidery machine, but the end result is a really great piece (that I’ve already worn many times!)
Take a pullover sweatshirt and find a good crop length. You can fold the hem under and test length in front of a mirror. Cut length off (I cut 7” off mine)
Mark center point on new bottom of pullover and line up embroidery hoop. Add stabilizer (I started with tear away but went to cut away mesh, which I preferred for this project) Leave a small space between the start of embroidery and hem of pullover (I left 3/8” blank on hem bottom). Embroider!
To add continual embroidery, measure the length of the embroidered design – this design measures 9 ½”. From the center point of your original design (4 ¾” is my center point), measure out the total length (9 ½”) to get the center point of your next design. This point will be the new center point in your hoop. If your garment has a flair, you may need to add ½” spacing (¼” on each side). Use your hoop template and the Trace Without Stitching key on Embroidery Machine to check your design.
I found it helpful to embroider on one side of the original embroidery first, then the other, so that my final embroidery would be done on the center back of the pullover. Continue with this all the way around the pullover.
If your design leaves a little extra space on the pullover, but not enough for a complete design, use your hoop template as a guide to fit the rest of a design. My design has two colors, so I needed to skip a few floral pieces. On your machine, use the Jump Key (Calculator) to skip patterns you don’t need and jump to the design you want. It is also helpful to have the Cross Key (+ button) on to see where the design is currently stitching.
Trim away stabilizer, give your pullover a quick press and wear!
The expo is February 24th -28th 2021 and I am teaching two classes:
One Needle Class: 1124 Upcycling with Embroidery FRIDAY, 4:00 - 4:45 PM (PST) SUNDAY, 12:00 - 12:45 PM (PST) Give old clothes a new look with machine embroidery! This class is centered around inspiration and learning techniques for adding machine embroidery to apparel.
3133 Upcycle Swatch Book Fabrics into a Zipper Pouch THURSDAY, 5:00 - 7:30 PM (PST) SATURDAY, 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM (PST) Swatch books are filled with beautiful fabrics that can be turned into something useful! Turn two coordinating fabric swatches into a small zipper pouch. You’ll learn how to make a lined, flat bottom bag with a zipper close. $5 project kit.
This year’s expo is virtual, so you can access the expo from your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone! Purchased classes will also be recorded and available for a limited time after the live class.
Both classes I will be teaching are focused around sustainability and using your sewing skills to encourage upcycling!
My first class, Upcycling with Embroidery, is a lecture style class where I will be sharing projects, ideas and tips to add machine embroidery to old clothes. This class is open to all skill levels, and I welcome anyone to attend even if you don’t currently own an embroidery machine! One Needle Classes are $6, and 45 minutes long.
My second class is a project class, meaning you will need a sewing machine (preferably with a zipper foot) and iron/ironing board to do the project. Three Needle classes are $30 and there is a kit that will need to be purchased for this class, which is $5 and includes fabric and zipper for your project. This is a great class for beginner sewists who are looking to make a project with a zipper! I will be sending kits with fabric swatches, so you can see exactly what I use to make the bags that are in my etsy shop! Three needle classes are 2.5 hours long.
Registration opens tomorrow, January 12th! And please note, registration for classes with project kits will close February 2, 2021 to allow time for shipping, which includes my swatch book class.
If the expo is something you’ve been thinking about attending, or are already set to register, I hope you consider one or both of my classes! I would love to see you there!
Jeans are my favorite wardrobe staple. I wear jeans almost every day, and just about all them are skinny jeans. But it has been a great year to try different styles, like all the wide leg cropped pieces I’ve been making (here and here), and I have a whole box of secondhand jeans from ThredUp to create with!
ThredUp sent me a denim rescue box for another project, but since the box is 50 lbs of denim, I have a lot of jeans to work with! Rescue boxes are filled with unaccepted items for resale and unsold jeans from the site. In my box, there are a lot of jeans in great condition that are not my size and I plan on donating them. Since it is a rescue box, quite a few of the pairs are stretched out, or stained; completely unwearable in their current condition. I went through the box and there were a few pairs in my size, two that look and feel great! One is a pair of black skinny jeans, which I’ve been wanting for a while, and the other was this pair of Levis, which fit great except for the length! I was going to do a simple hem, but I thought this would be a fun moment to try something new.
Flare jeans came to mind and I started going down a little rabbit hole on pinterest. DIY flare jeans have been a popular tutorial for years with some of the most popular projects including adding a patterned fabric flare, or lace insert. While they look great, that isn’t the style I wanted for these jeans. I wanted a pair that looked a little more intentional, and I started seeing flare jeans made with denim inserts and embroidery, and really loved the idea. There are some beautiful pairs on Free People and Modcloth (sold out)!
I started looking at different embroidery designs and went through a few options. I wanted to do something like the inspiration pieces, with a full embroidered insert but couldn’t find the right florals, and decided to do something a little simpler.
I found a piece of denim remnant in my stash (from my very first pair of jeans!) that was a really close shade to my jeans. I also loved that this denim remnant had the raw edge, and while it doesn’t perfectly match the raw edge of my jeans, it still meshes well with the jeans.
Want to DIY your own pair? Here’s a quick step by step:
Mark the exterior jean side seam right under the knee. Seam rip the exterior seam up to this point, and reinforce the seam at the top so it doesn’t continue to unravel. I wanted my jeans to hit the floor when wearing heeled boots so I also let the hem down on my jeans (this is optional).
Cut a piece of fabric large enough for your embroidery hoop and trace the triangle for your insert before stitching. If you don’t want to add embroidery, you can cut inserts straight from your fabric. My insert measured 10.5″ x 18.5″ (the length of my insert + a little extra seam allowance)
Add your embroidery! Cut the insert out, and trim away interfacing. Pin inserts wrong sides together to jean openings. I pinned onto the original jean seam. At the insert tops, stitch up to the reinforced seam. If you are leaving your edges raw, you are done!
I want to get the edges a little rougher, so I’m excited to let them fray over time.
I really loved the fit of the jeans, and now love the added length so I can look a little taller than 4’10”! (Jeans photographed with one of my recent refashions!)
Happy Friday! I have a quick project to share today!
A few years ago, I started watching thrift hauls on YouTube. I don’t go thrifting as often as I used to, but I do enjoy watching people thrift and seeing what people find. It’s also a way that I’ve been learning and discovering different brands that I normally wouldn’t look at. One brand that I kept seeing pop up was Johnny Was. Before these videos I had no idea who/what this brand was, but I have fallen very hard and very fast for this company. Their site is filled with beautiful colors and textures, and the most incredible embroidery. However, it is a decently expensive clothing company. So for right now, I am going to take advantage of borrowing the amazing Janome Memory Craft 15000 to create some of my own Johnny Was inspired pieces!
One day while I was thrifting at Plato’s Closet for pieces to embroider, I came across these camo print pants from Gap that reminded me of something I had seen on Johnny Was. And here’s the result!
This project was pretty easy with the use of the embroidery machine! All I had to do was seam rip the inner leg seam and put the pants in the hoop! After the embroidery was complete, I stitched the legs back up and my new-to-me pants were updated!
I did also hem these up a bit, just to fit better with the footwear I plan on wearing!
These are going to be a great wardrobe addition for Spring – which is only two weeks away! Yay! Here are some close-ups!
Happy New Year! I’m popping in with a quick little post today sharing one of my favorite projects from last year: my wedding jacket!
A few months before the wedding, I was searching on pinterest and came across some beautiful painted wedding jackets. I absolutely love the idea, but I am not a painter. So I turned to my embroidery machine! For this quick upcycle I used a jacket from my own closet, a beautiful file from Urban Threads and the most amazing sewing machine, the Janome Memory Craft 15000!
This is an easy project and with different embroidery files, can be made for so many occasions! Weddings, graduations, birthdays, or just to create a one of a kind piece to treasure!
Who else hasn’t started their holiday sewing?! Show of hands? Please don’t tell me I’m alone… well if you haven’t started either, this new DIY is a great gift for someone who you don’t know what to get! My mom and my sister might both be getting versions this year!
I took a floral vest, and a stained suede skirt and turned it into this bag! (thankfully I was able to save the top of the skirt, so I also got a mini skirt out of this refashion!)
First of all, thank you so much to everyone who read, commented, liked, etc. my last post. That was a huge step for me to get out and I appreciate all the love. I had a great birthday, and so far a good couple days being 28! I went thrifting the other day and found a few new pieces to get my scissors on! Last night Drew and I went to my cousins wedding (yes, I made my dress!) and we are taking today off for a little adventure!
Today I have a new refashion to share with you that I worked on for Janome! As most of you guys know, I have a loaner embroidery machine from Janome (Skyline S9) and LOVE it. No, I’m completely obsessed, and I am so happy the embroidery trend is still going strong in the apparel world.
I’ve taken my love of refashioning and added a little embroidery to my latest project for Janome (and this project is where I was able to get a little more denim for my Seamwork Audrey Jacket!)
Head over to the Janome Blog to get the written instructions for this Jeans to Shorts refashion, and check out my video on YouTube! Yes, I have a YouTube channel, and I am happy to admit the quality from my first video to my second is much better – I finally took the 2 minutes to figure out how to work the video function on my digital camera!
So please subscribe, like, comment, all that good stuff, over on YouTube! I’ll be working on more videos in the future, they are so much fun!
Just a quick hello from me today! I’ve been busy doing sewing projects for a few of my favorite sites! Best part about these projects is that you can make them too!
My first ever downloadable bag pattern is over on Fabric.com!
If you are taking a short trip this summer, this bag is perfect for your travels! I wanted to create a basic pattern that would leave room for customization, and you can certainly customize this bag to have exactly what you want!
Happy 2018! This year felt like it went by crazy fast but as I look back on the projects I made, I’m surprised how many came from 2017! Here are my favorite projects from the past year!
I made two pairs of jeans this year, and both are on constant rotation in my wardrobe.
My workout wardrobe got a huge boost!
And dresses had their moment as well!
Of course refashions were among the favorites.
And prints had their shining moments:
I also did some really fun projects for Janome.com!
Every time a “New Year” comes around, it’s usually a time of reflection and I’ve certainly been reflecting on my sewing journey.
I’m in “refocus” mode and want to start blogging more and interacting more with the sewing community. I’ve had a lot of thoughts over the past year about sharing projects just to share, and sharing to inspire- and working towards finding a balance of making for fun & creating a wearable wardrobe.
I also tend to keep to myself in the sewing world, I will “like” and make comments online but in terms of having online sewing buddies, I’m not one to reach out. I think it’s the introvert in me – and that is something I would like to work on more this year.
For 2018, jeans are still on my radar. I’m excited to make more pairs and finally get rid of my RTW jeans. I can’t wait to make a few Blackwood Cardigans and Kalle Shirt Dresses. I am also really excited to do more refashions and I have a whole pile of clothes waiting to be transformed! I’ve also pre-ordered Melissa Fehr’s new active wear book that’s being released in March!
And in other news, I’m hoping to release some patterns of my own in the new year! After making my latest handbag, I decided I want to share my patterns with the world – not just my finished bags. I don’t have too much of a timeline on this, but it’s all in the works! Here’s my latest bag:
I have so many projects for 2018, what are you planning on making?