How To Make Beaded Coasters From Upcycled Sweaters

upcycled sweater beaded coasters youmakeitsimple.com

Coasters do more than protect your tables and counters. They can also add a pop of color to your room and give your cup of coffee or tea a happy place to land. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make beaded coasters from upcycled sweaters.

 

Adding beads around the edges using the BLANKET STITCH, really gives the coasters texture and color. You can make them any shape you desire, however, I have the FREE PDF download for the circle and heart that you can get HERE.

This is a fun, relaxing, and easy project AND a set of these make great gifts!

WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL BELOW

 

Play Video

BEADED COASTERS ITEMS NEEDED

  • Upcycled felted wool sweater/thick pieces of felt can also be used. (I hope you’ve been saving your sweater scraps)!upcycled felted wool sweater scraps
  • Embroidery thread (2-3 yards) Quilting thread can also be used especially for smaller beads.
  • Embroidery needle (make sure the beads you are using will fit through the needle).
  • Scissors
  • Beads of your choice (glass seed beads are a good option)
  • Sewing machine for quilting (OPTIONAL)

BEADED COASTERS INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Cut out two circles (4.5 x 4.5 inches – 11.5 x 11.5 cm) * If you have a very thick felted sweater, only use one layer.
    2. Separate the embroidery thread into 3 strands.
    3. Thread the needle and knot the end.
    4. Place the beads you want to use onto a spare piece of sweater or fabric to make loading beads easier.
    5. Stack two circles on top of each other and line up the edges. If using the heart shape, start stitching at the notch of the heart.
    6. Insert the needle between the two pieces of fabric about ¼ inch/ .5 cm from the edge. Take one stitch and poke the needle out at the edge of the fabric. Load a bead onto the needle and begin the BLANKET STITCH.
    7. Take a stitch and make a loop, pull the needle through the loop MAKING SURE THE BEAD IS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE THREAD. Pull the thread taught and load another bead.
    8. Continue this process all the way around.
    9. To finish, take a tiny stitch, knot the thread. Insert the needle into the fabric close to the stitch and out between the two layers. Cut the thread.

You can leave the coaster just like this or you can quilt it or embroider a design in the center to give it a more dense texture.

If you want to use the sewing machine, attach the quilting foot and free-sew whatever design you want.

That’s it! Make a set for yourself and make some for your friends!

I’d love to see what you come up with. Tag your finished coasters on Instagram . youmakeitsimple.

****If you want to know about FELTING WOOL SWEATERS, check out this post.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE.

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Simple Christmas Stocking Sewing Tutorial | Lined With Contrasting Cuff

Christmas is just around the corner and what a great time to get out your sewing machine and make some fun holiday decorations. This Christmas stocking sewing tutorial is a very simple project that you can whip up in no time at all. The stocking is lined and has a contrasting cuff.

You can make these stockings out of all kinds of fabric.

WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIAL HERE

Play Video

Christmas Stocking Items & Materials Needed

There are two different styles of the stocking. You can make them all one solid color, or piece several types of fabric together to get a patchwork design.

Christmas Stocking Instructions

  • Download and print the pattern. (Due to the size of the pattern, you will first need to assemble the pattern. Not a big deal).

Cutting Out

  • Two of the outer covering and two of the lining pieces.
  • One cuff piece, on the fold where indicated on the pattern. You can also use an upcycled sweater cuff. (The bottom edge of a sweater or the sleeve cuff can be used). If using a sweater cuff, you won’t need to double the fabric, so don’t place the pattern on the fold).
 
  • Loop piece, on the fold where indicated on the pattern

Sewing 

You can use a serger or single needle machine to sew the Christmas stocking. All seams will be 3/8” (usually the edge of your pressure foot) and you will always backstitch at the beginning and end of seams unless directed otherwise.

  • With Right Sides Together (RST), place stocking front to back.  Pin in place.  Sew all the way around, leaving the top open.

 

CUFF:

  • Fold cuff piece in half (RST).  Sew the side seam.
  • Fold the cuff over and in half so the right sides are facing out. (If you want to add lace or trim to the cuff, do it now)
  • With the seam on the left, press in place. Mark the halfway point with a pin, on the right.

PIECED STOCKING:

  • If you want a pieced look, like in the photo on top, follow the directions below. For a more rustic look, you can expose the seams on the outside of the stocking.
  • With (RST) place pieces A & B together matching darts. Pin in place and sew the seam.
  • Open the stocking up and with (RST) place on top of piece C, matching darts. Pin in place and sew the seam.
  • If you want more than three pieces sewn together, like the stocking on the left, you can sew several sweater strips together and then cut a front stocking piece. 
  • Cut out a solid piece for the back.
  • Place these pieces (RST) matching seams and edges, pin in place.  Sew all the way around leaving the top edge open.
  • Place the loop on the stocking lining, centered on the back seam.  Pin in place.
  • Baste the loop onto the stocking. (No need to backstitch) You will be sewing through the lining, stocking, and the loop

SEWING THE CUFF ONTO THE STOCKING

  • Place the cuff inside the stocking, with the RIGHT side facing the stocking.  (If using a sweater cuff, the sweater cuff seam will be facing out and visible).
  • Align the cuff seam with the stocking seam. (There will be 4 layers, 3 if using a sweater cuff)
  • Pin in place.
  • Sew all the way around, through all layers. Stretch and ease sweater cuff as needed.
  • Flip the cuff over. Press seam towards the stocking.
  • Flip the cuff down and Ta-dah…….You are ready to hang your stocking!

There is no limit to the color and fabric combinations that you can do. Make a stocking for each one in the family! 

Have fun sewing. Reach out if you have any questions.

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Unpicking Serger Stitches the EASY WAY

Sewing on a serger/overlock machine is wonderful, but when it comes to unpicking serger stitches, you may find yourself overwhelmed and dreading the whole process.  I used to feel this way until I learned this slick and easy way to unpick; and I’m going to show you how it’s done. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been sewing or how good you are at it, there ARE going to be times that you’ll need to UNPICK! However, once you learn this technique, it won’t matter, because it is so easy to do.

A serger stitch will either use three or four threads to form the stitch: two looper threads and one or two needle threads. In the photo above, I have used a different thread color for each stitch to show you what it looks like. (four-thread stitch).

Before I learned this trick, I would grab my unpicker and try to unpick each stitch. There were little cut threads everywhere, and it took FOREVER! It was so frustrating! I seriously can’t believe and went so long sewing on a serger without knowing this little trick. It makes the process so quick and you don’t have all the cut threads to collect and dispose of.

UNPICKING SERGER STITCHES-HOW TO

The only stitches you are going to pull out are the needle threads. The photo above is a four-needle thread stitch. The RED thread is the left needle stitch, the TAN thread is the right needle stitch, and the blue thread is a looper thread.

1. Take the unpicker and with the point grab the red thread and pull it and cut it. Go down the seam another 1-2 inches and cut the needle thread again. BE CAREFUL NOT TO GRAB THE LOOPER THREADS, this will cause the seam to lock up and the threads will not pull out as easy. Get ahold of one of the tails of the thread you just cut and ease and pull it out of the fabric. (Sometimes you can do the whole seam in one go). Continue this process until you’ve removed that left needle thread completely.

2. If you are using a four-thread, you’ll need to remove the right needle thread as well. Finding the right needle thread can be a little tricky if you are using the same color of thread as the fabric. (A trick to finding the stitch, is to take your unpicker tip and glide it down the little v shape that the looper makes and it will slide right into the right needle stitch). It may seem like a lot of work, but trust me, it goes quickly and you’ll love the results.

3. Here’s the fun part! Once the needle threads are removed, all you need to do is grab the looper threads and give a little pull, and voilà! It will unravel like a dream. There won’t be all those little threads to gather and you’ll be on your way to re-sewing your seam.

I hope this saves you some grief while sewing. Be sure to leave a comment if you have some great sewing tips for us!

Play Video

Here are some other sewing blog posts you may be interested in:

OVERLOCK STITCH | NO SERGER NEEDED 

SEWING BY HAND | MOST IMPORTANT STITCHES TO KNOW

Have fun sewing and UNPICKING!

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Adjustable Face Mask Earloops Tutorial – No Beads

For those of you who are STILL MAKING FACE MASKS, I am going to show you how to make adjustable face mask earloops that are comfortable and don’t require any beads or other hardware. This simple slip knot technique is easy to do and makes adjusting your mask a snap. You can sew these earloops into any of your favorite mask designs.

The secret for comfort is the stretchy fabric strips. You can make your own using upcycled t-shirts, tights, leggings (watch the tutorial HERE) and read this post for some great face mask tie ideas and tips. Or you can simply buy the fabric already cut, stretched, and rolled onto a bolt.

I love this product from FARMYARN. It’s 100% recycled selvage edges from stretchy lycra fabric, and it’s very reasonably priced.

So if you’re making a lot of masks, this is the route I recommend! This stuff can also be used for so many other things and it’s much more comfortable than scratchy elastic! You can purchase it from several places. Here are a few. AmazonEtsy, and ebay.

Do you have a bunch of tie face masks that you want to convert over to earloops? I have that covered. This post and video tutorial will show you just how to do that. 

ITEMS AND MATERIALS NEEDED

 

I have a Youtube video that you can watch and it really helps if you’re a visual person (like me). You can access the video at the end of the post.

FACE MASK EARLOOPS INSTRUCTIONS

1-Take the small strip and make a small loop at the bottom of the strip.

2-Wrap the long end around the loop and poke through the loop.

3-Pull it through while you’re holding onto the two ends to tighten. (Don’t tighten all the way at this point).

4-Take the long strip and make a knot at one end. (This will keep the strip from pulling through the loop when washing your mask). Thread the other end through the loop you just made and cinch it up by pulling the strip that slides to tighten. (You want it to be able to slide, but also be able to hold in place).

5-Hold the two slip knot ends and cut to even length. 

6-Do the same thing to make a set.

HOW TO SEW FACE MASK EARLOOPS INTO MASK

1-Insert the end of the strip without the knot, into the top side of the mask. (Just below the top seam allowance) Allow the strip to overhang the mask by about 1/2 inch. 

2-Place the two slip knot strips at the bottom side of the mask, just above the seam allowance, and sticking out 1/2 past the edge of the fabric. TIP: Take a strip of masking tape and tape the knotted end the sliding stip to the inside and out of the way, so it won’t get sewn into the seam.

3-Do the same thing for the other earloop set.

4-Proceed with your face mask directions sewing the earloops into the side seams of the mask. Make sure to leave an opening for turning the mask inside out. 

5- Turn inside out, remove the tape, clip seams, and proceed with your face mask instructions.

Play Video Play Video

I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.

My other FACE MASK VIDEOS

Happy face mask making!

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DIY Cut Off Shorts | 4 Simple Hemming Methods

cutoff short options

Making a pair of DIY cut off shorts is a snap with these 4 simple hemming methods. This is a great way to recycle and save a lot of money! As you know, I like to upcycle and re-purpose items.  Clothing is one of them.

Cutting off a long pair of pants and making a pair of shorts is one of the simplest upcycling projects there is. I am going to show you FOUR different ways to hem your cut off shorts.

I recommend watching the video tutorial which will walk you through

h all four of these methods step-by-step!

 

Play Video
  • Cut Off & Fray
  • Rolled Hem
  • Cuffed Hem
  • Trouser Hem

What you’ll need to make a pair of cut off shorts

  • Pair of pants

Pants of all kinds can be used. Jeans are one of my favorite things to cut off. So if you have a pair of jeans that have holes in them, don’t throw them out, make SHORTS!

If you don’t have a pair of pants you want to cut off, thrift stores, consignment shops, and yard sales are great places to pick up an inexpensive pair of pants.

  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Pins
  • Needle & Thread (optional)
  • Chalk pen (optional)
  • Seam gauge
  • Iron

How long do you want your cut off shorts?

Whichever way you choose to hem your cut-offs; the first thing you’ll need to do is decide HOW LONG YOU WANT THEM.

The easiest way is to take a pair of shorts that you already have and like the length of and use them as a template.  Or you can simply try the pants on and carefully apply a straight pin at the DESIRED LENGTH. DO NOT CUT OFF AT THIS POINT!

Once you’ve decided how long you want your shorts, it’s time to decide how you want to finish the edge.

If you are using an existing pair of shorts as a template, simply lay the shorts on top of the long pair of pants you are cutting off. Line up the CROTCH SEAM, NOT THE WAISTLINE. (Some pants have a longer waist height than others). Make sure the waist is lined up horizontally so you get an even cut.

Depending on what hem style you are using, you’ll either be cutting off at the DESIRED LENGTH or ADDING TO THE LENGTH.

CUT OFF & FRAY – Cut off at that length.

ROLLED HEM  –  Add ¾ inch

CUFFED HEM  – Add 2 inches

TROUSER HEM – Add 1 3/8 INCHES

1  Cut Off & Fray

The “cut off & fray method” is the simplest and quickest way to finish a pair of shorts.

  1. Cut off one pant leg at the DESIRED LENGTH.
  2. Fold the pants in half and line up the top of the waist.
  3. Use the already cut pant leg as a guide to cut off the other side.

You can leave the fabric unfinished and just the fabric fray out. I recommend sewing around the leg with a straight stitch ¼ – ½ inch from the cut edge. This will keep the fray to a minimum. This is a preference only.

2  Rolled Hem

Using a seam gauge, measure ¾ inch from the DESIRED LENGTH MARK. Make sure the top of the waist is even and straight. Using a chalk pen or disappearing ink pen and draw a cutting line.

Cut off one pant leg.

Fold the pants in half and line up the top of the waist.

Use the already cut pant leg as a guide to cut off the other side.

Fold the edge up 3/8 inch and press. Roll up another 3/8 and press.

Pin in place.

Topstitch just inside the fold all the way around, starting at the inner thigh seam. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

Repeat on the other pant leg.Finished cut edge by using a serger, or the zigzag stitch of a single needle machine.

Fold the edge up, wrong sides together, 3/8 inch, and press. Roll up another 3/8 and press.

Pin in place.

Finish cut edge by using a serger, or the zigzag stitch of a single needle machine.

Fold the edge up, wrong sides together, 3/8 inch, and press. Roll up another 3/8 and press.

Pin in place

Tack the cuff in place so it does not come undone while laundering. To do this, simply sew along the side seams of the cuff using the sewing machine or you can do this by hand.

4 Trouser Hem

This hemming method is a good one to use if you want a more finished look. Dress pants and trousers with a lighter weight fabric work well.

  1. Using a seam gauge, measure 1 3/8 inches from the DESIRED LENGTH MARK. Make sure the top of the waist is even and straight. Using a chalk pen or disappearing ink pen and draw a cutting line.
  2. Cut off one pant leg.
  3. Fold the pants in half and line up the top of the waist.
  4. Use the already cut pant leg as a guide to cut off the other side.

Fold the cut edge up 3/8 inch and press.

Now fold another 1 inch. Press and pin in place.

There are a few ways to finish this hem. You can topstitch with a single or double stitch or you can use the BLIND HEM STITCH. The blind hem stitch can be done by hand or by using the sewing machine. You can watch the blind hem video tutorial HERE.

There you have it; four different ways to make a pair of cut off shorts from an upcycled pair of pants. It’s pretty simple and straight forward. Let me know if you have any questions.

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DIY FELT CHERRIES Easy Sewing Tutorial

Summer has arrived and it will soon be cherry season. This DIY felt cherries easy sewing tutorial is a fun little project that you can make in no time at all. There are so many fun ways to use these bright colored red gems. Add a key chain and hang them on your purse or backpack. Glue a magnet on the back and display them on your fridge, or embellish your gift wrapping.

These cherries can be made using, of course, an upcycled red sweater, red fleece, red knit fabric, regular woven fabric, or felt scraps. Felted wool sweater fabric really adds a unique charm to a set of cherries. So get into your upcycled wool sweater stash and see if you can find a piece of red felted wool.

FELT CHERRIES MATERIALS AND ITEMS NEEDED:

FELT CHERRIES INSTRUCTIONS

Cut Out

  • 2 cherries from red fabric
  • One dark green rectangle and one leaf from light green felt
  • Cut a strip of cord to 7 inches.
 

Apply cord to ring, knotting in the center of cord. Set aside.

Single thread the needle and knot the end.

Using a running stitch, sew around the perimeter of cherry piece ¼ from the edge of the fabric with the knot on the inside of the fabric.

End by poking the needle to the outside, and leave it unknotted. Pull the thread to gather fabric and form a cup.

Insert stuffing into the formed cup. It doesn’t take a lot of stuffing.

Continue stitching around and around using the same seam allowance and pulling to cinch. This will eventually stay cinched.

Push the seam allowance into the inside and pull thread tight.

When the gathering stays cinched you can insert the end of one of the stems into to hole.

Push in about a ½. Sew around the stem and then insert the needle into and through the stem to secure it in place. (These may be a little challenging and will take a little force to poke it through).

Take some more stitches around until the stem is secured in place.

To knot, simply take a tiny stitch at the base of the thread leaving a little loop.

Wrap the needle around the loop and pull to form a knot.

Poke the needle back into the cherry and out the bottom. Cut the thread close to the fabric.

Repeat this process with the other cherry.

TO MAKE LEAF

There are several different ways to finish the leaf. You can just glue the two pieces together with a small leaf centered on top of the bigger leaf, or you can sew them together using a blanket stitch or embroidery the leaf veins using green embroidery floss.

● Center the small leaf on top of the dark green rectangle. Edge the small leaf using a blanket stitch on the sewing machine or sew by hand.
● Embroider the veins (optional).
● Cut out the leaf backing about a ¼ inch from the inner leaf edge.

Leaf Application

Using the hot glue gun, apply a small dab of glue onto the stem knot. Wrap the tip of the leaf around the stem knot and around the key ring. Pinch in place.

SEE THE LEAF TUTORIAL HERE

CHERRY FRIDGE MAGNET

Apply a dab of glue onto the back of a small round magnet and stick it to the back of the leaf.

Play Video

Tadah! Now wasn’t that simple?

Have fun creating and let me know if you have any questions.

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FACE MASK Minimal Sewing Method | It’s A Cinch

Making a face mask just got even easier! This DIY face mask minimal sewing method can be made either by a sewing machine or by hand. It’s really a cinch, literally! Instead of pleating, I teach you how to create a comfortable fitting face mask using a new CINCHING METHOD. 

This adult face mask has four protective layers and an easy to access filter pocket that is accessed from the bottom of the mask, out of the way from your mouth. The ties are made from upcycled t-shirts which makes this mask comfortable to wear. I have given the measurements for a TEEN AND CHILD MASK as well.

 

Recycle an old t-shirt or use a cotton piece of fabric to make your mask. I will demonstrate the sewing machine and hand sewing method in this tutorial.

Face Mask Minimal Sewing Method Materials and Items Needed

  • FABRIC (14.91 cm) cotton fabric, knit fabric, or upcycled t-shirts (cut 16 ½  x 16 ½  inch)
  • SCISSORS/ROTARY CUTTER (OPTIONAL)
  • PINS/CLIPS (OPTIONAL) I LOVE THESE FABRIC CLIPS!
  • RULER/SEAM GAUGE
  • SEWING MACHINE (OPTIONAL-can be sewn by hand)
  • BAG TWIST TIES,  CRAFT PIPE CLEANERS (If using craft pipe cleaners, cut to 4 inch
  • IRON
  • UPCYCLED T-SHIRT/ OR KNIT FABRIC (for the mask ties)
  • Safety Pin
  • Needle & Thread, if sewing by hand.

Cutting Out Mask

Cut the fabric to the correct measurement for the size.

  • ADULT: Fabric 16.5 x 16.5 inches (14.91 x 14.91. cm)
  • TEEN: Fabric 15.5 x 15.5 inches (39.7 x 39.7cm) 
  • CHILD: Fabric 14.5 x 14.5 inches (36.83 cm)

Upcycled T-Shirt

Cut off the bottom 16.5 inches of the shirt, LEAVE THE HEM INTACT!

Cut the same width (16.5 wide).

Woven Fabric

Cut a piece of fabric 16.5 x 16.5 inches.

Cutting Out Ties

The beauty of knit fabric is that it doesn’t fray, and when pulled it will curl. You may be asking why do we want it to curl? When it curls it creates a little tube, like an enclosed tie, but you don’t have to sew it to keep it that way like you would a woven fabric.

If you don’t have any knit fabric or T-shirts to make ties with, I found a great resource where you can purchase this stuff already made. It’s called “FARMYARN”. This yarn is made from recycled lycra fabric that is REALLY stretchy and durable. It’s like elastic and can be used in so many ways ie: FACE MASKS! You can read more about it and buy it HERE

Read the face mask tie tutorial HERE.

Cut two strips either crosswise or lengthwise 1 inch wide. (2.5) cm

Cutting along the bottom of a t-shirt, the fabric will curl and expose the wrong side of the fabric.

 (Which doesn’t matter if using a plain color, preference only).

But if you want the right side of the fabric exposed, cut the shirt lengthwise.

Pull the strips to stretch and curl the fabric.

You can either have the ties tie over the head and behind the neck, or you can make it so you have a continuous permanent loop behind your neck. (That way you don’t have to tie it every time) I personally just like regular ties.

 CUT TWO STRIPS 32 INCHES (58.42 cm) long

CONTINUOUS STRIP  33 INCHES (83.82 cm) long

If you don’t have a strip long enough, you can sew two pieces together.

Sewing Instructions

Fold the fabric in half with Right Sides Together (RST).

(T-Shirt fabric, have the hem edge be on the side).

Using a ¼ inch seam allowance, sew along the long unfinished edge using a straight stitch or sew by hand USING A RUNNING STITCH. Backstitch at the beginning and end of all seams.

 

Turn inside out.

WOVEN FABRIC: Fold unfinished edges under ¼ inch and press in place. Do this on both sides.

T SHIRT/KNIT FABRIC: Skip this step. (Knit fabric will not fray).

Fold WRONG SIDES TOGETHER making a shorter tube.

Line up pressed edges of the two layers.

WOVEN FABRIC: Sew the 2 layers together, topstitching close to the edge.

You will start at one point and sew around until you meet the starting point (Sewing around the tube). Backstitch.

T-SHIRT/KNIT FABRIC: Skip this step

Applying Nose Wire

Take the twist tie or pipe cleaner and insert it between the two FOLDED EDGES of the doubled tube.

(Opposite of where you just topstitched)

(If using a pipe cleaner, barely fold the ends under and crimp in place. This will keep the sharp point from poking through the fabric!).

Center it side to side and down ¼ inch from the top edge. The wire will be sandwiched between the two layers. Clamp or pin in place.

Make a casing for the wire so it stays in place when washing the mask.

If sewing by hand, use a simple running stitch.

Feel with your fingers where the edge of the wire is and start stitching down from the top a few stitches. (You will be sewing through all four layers of fabric).  Leave your needle in and lift up presser foot and pivot fabric.

Sew along the bottom of the wire to the other edge of the wire (feeling with your fingers where that is).

Pivot and sew back up to the top edge. Leave your needle in and pivot again to sew along the top edge. You will have sewn a little box around the nose wire.

Sewing Tie Casings

Sew down the sides of the mask ½ inch from the edge.

If sewing by hand, you can just use a simple running stitch.

Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

Inserting Mask Ties

Attach the safety pin to the end of the tie.

CONTINUOUS TIE:

Thread the tie into the casing starting at the top of the mask. Pull out and continue threading the other side from the bottom up to the top.

REGULAR DOUBLE TIE:

Thread each tie into the casing.

 

Cinching the sides of mask to gather.

No Pleats, Yea!

CONTINUOUS  TIES:

Decide how tight you want the neckband to be by trying the mask on.  Once you’ve situated it and it feels tight enough, clamp in place. Remove mask.

Take the ends of the ties and hold them together. Pull to gather each side of the mask until the gathered section measures 4 inches.

Repeat on the other side.

REGULAR DOUBLE TIES:

Take the ends of the ties and hold together. Cinch the fabric to gather evenly until the gathered fabric area measures 4 inches. CLAMP IN PLACE OR PIN IN PLACE.

Tacking down ties

Sew the ties in place by sewing back and forth over the end of the casings, making sure to catch the ties underneath.

Repeat on both sides of mask. (This can be done by hand or by sewing machine).

Mask Care:

Masks can be washed and dried with other clothing.

See my other face mask tutorials HERE.

 

Play Video
Play Video

See my other face mask tutorials HERE.

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SEWING BY HAND | Most Important Stitches to Know

SEWING BY HAND | Most Important Stitches to Know

 

Knowing how to sew these 3 basic stitches will allow you to mend and create items that maybe you thought you couldn’t because you don’t have a sewing machine.

Although there are several other hand sewing stitches and techniques, I am only going to show you the basting or running stitch, stretch stitch or herringbone stitch and the backstitch.

Items Needed:

  • All-purpose thread
  • Scissors
  • Needle

(I recommend getting a variety set of needles to have handy for different projects). For basic hand sewing, use a sharp or a milliner. You can get more technical with eye size and point types, but for now, just choose one that is mid-sized.

  • Thimble (optional)
  • Needle threader (optional)

I recommend purchasing or making your own little sewing kit. What I love about this one is it comes with everything you’ll need, even my favorite fabric clips and small scissors. It comes with several colors of thread for those small mending projects.

Threading the needle

You can either use a single or double thread. I use a double thread for most projects. Don’t get the thread too long or it may be prone to tangling while sewing. A good length is around 16 inches after doubled.

 

Knotting the thread

Each seam, unless you are just basting, will need to start and end with an anchor stitch. This is where you knot the thread so it will not come undone. For most projects, you can just make a knot at the end of your thread.

To do this, simply take the ends of the thread and wrap it around your pointer finder then roll the thread between your fingers. Gently pull the thread and it will create a little knot. Then you’re ready to begin. To make a knot at the end of the seam, pull the needle to the backside and take a TINY stitch, leaving a little loop.

Wrap the needle around the loop once and pull the thread. Thiswill knot the thread.

If you don’t want the bulk of a bunch of knots when you’re sewing by hand, you can use an anchor stitch. Simply take a tiny stitch and then another tiny stitch right by it. Then start your stitching. You can end a seam the same way.

SEWING BY HAND stitches that are important to know

 

Basting stitch/running stitch

The basting stitch/running stitch is great for temporarily holding pieces of fabric together or for quick seams that don’t need to be real sturdy. This stitch can also be used to gather fabric for ruffles or easing in.

 

Take the needle in and out of the fabric with ¼ to ½ inch long stitches. Take several stitches at a time by popping the needle in and out of the fabric before pulling through.

 

Stretch stitch/herringbone stitch

This stitch has several names. I like to call it a hand stretch stitch because it works so well with stretchy fabrics. (The seam won’t pop and break like a straight stitch will when sewn on knit fabrics).

You can also use it for hemming and decorative embroidery and quilt making.

 

Drawing two horizontal lines with a washable pencil or chalk will help as a guide while sewing by hand. Work the stitch from left to right, making little back stitches and crossing over at a diagonal to the other line.

 

backstitch

The backstitch is one of the strongest, most adaptable stitches. This stitch mimics the straight stitch you would see on a sewing machine and is good to know for simple mending jobs and other small projects. Also good to know if you plan on sewing your own clothing by hand.

 

To keep your seam as straight and as tidy as possible, it’s helpful to mark the line of stitching with a thin pencil line. You can us a sharp pencil, chalk pen, or washable ink. On straight seams, use a ruler.

 

Push the needle into the fabric where you want to start the seam. Bring the needle back through both layers of fabric just in front of the previous stitch. Push the needle back into the fabric between where the needle came in and out of the fabric to create the first stitch. These stitches can touch each other, as you see here, or you can space them a little farther apart.

 

Continue this pattern until you are at the end of the seam. Push the needle to the back side and take your anchor stitch and knot in place.

 

I hope this makes sewing by hand a little less intimidating and helps you understand how to use these three basic stitches.

 

Play Video

The running stitch could come in real handy to make the NO SEW FACE MASKS stay in place longer. Real simple to do!

Have fun sewing!

 

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Simplified FACE MASK / No Elastic / Filter Pocket / Upcycled T-Shirt Ties

As you most likely have heard, face masks are in huge demand right now, as we experience this COVID-19 pandemic. There is a BIG movement going on with crafters making and donating homemade masks. Forbes even wrote an article calling all people who sew to help with the face mask shortage.

However, before you go crazy and start mass-producing a bunch of masks, I think it’s important that you get informed on the mask-wearing facts. I know there is A LOT controversy over their effectiveness and use, but from my research here are a few resources that I think are reliable.

This HUFFPOST article is loaded with links to who should and should not wear a mask, how effective homemade masks are and they even recommend some mask patterns. The World Health Organization has some good videos showing when to use a mask and other tips to protect against the coronavirus.

The purpose of this post is not to educate about the COVID-19 virus, but to show you how easy it is to make a simplified face mask for yourself, your family or serve the community by making and donating them, if you choose. 

Get informed!

I encourage you to be informed. Call your local hospitals, healthcare facilities, and see what their needs are. If they are taking homemade masks and could use them, by all means, get out your sewing machines and your fabric stash and get your little sewing fingers moving!!!!! 

I’m sure you’ve seen a ton of different styles and patterns of masks out there and most of them call for elastic. If you’ve tried to buy elastic lately, you’ll find that most stores are out of stock. NO WORRIES! You can make this face mask without elastic using an upcycled t-shirt!

This face mask has

  • No Elastic
  • A Filter Pocket
  • Wire Nose Clamp
  • Upcycled T-Shirt Ties

 

Material and Items Needed

YOU CAN GET THE FULL PRINTABLE TUTORIAL AND PATTERN HERE.

If you do not sew and would like to purchase a face mask already made, I have them in my Etsy shop HERE.

If you don’t have any knit fabric or T-shirts to make ties with, I found a great resource where you can purchase this stuff already made. It’s called “FARMYARN”. This yarn is made from recycled lycra fabric that is REALLY stretchy and durable. It’s like elastic and can be used in so many ways ie: FACE MASKS! You can read more about it and buy it HERE

INSTRUCTIONS

1- Cutting Out Face Mask

ADULT: Fabric 14 1/2 inches x 8 inches (36.8 cm x 20.3 cm).  
TEEN: Fabric 13 3/4 inches x 7 inches 
CHILD: Fabric 13 inches x 6 inches

2- Cutting Out Ties

The beauty of knit fabric, is that it doesn’t fray, and when pulled it will curl. You may be asking why do we want it to curl? When it curls it creates a little tube, like an enclosed tie, but you don’t have to sew it to keep it that way like you would a woven fabric.

Cut two strips either crosswise or lengthwise 1 inch wide. (2.5) cm

Cutting along the bottom of a t-shirt, the fabric will curl and expose the wrong side of the fabric. (Which doesn’t matter if using a plain color, preference only). But if you want the right side of the fabric exposed, cut the shirt lengthwise as shown in the diagram above.

Pull the strips to stretch and curl the fabric.

Cut ties to 15 inches (38.1) cm

3-  Finish the edges of the short sides of the mask piece using a serger or zigzag stitch.

4-  Place the right sides together of the SHORT ENDS of the mask piece.

ADULT: Measure 1 ½ inches from both sides and mark with a pin.
TEEN: Measure 1 inch from edges
CHILD: Measure 3/4 inch from edges.

5-  Using a straight stitch, sew from the edge to the pin.

Backstitch. Sew the other end the same way.

 

6- Open up seam and press.

 

7- Topstitch along both sides of the seam.

(It’s easiest to keep the wrong side out and sew inside the tube you just made).

 

8-  Place seam 1/2 inch from the top fold

Press.

9- Sewing the Face mask ties

Take the ties and place the ends in the corners of the mask, making sure they butt up against the fold. Allow the ends to stick out a bit to make sure you are catching them in the seam. Pin or clamp in place. Pull the tie ends out of the hole to keep them out of your way.

I love these little fabric clamps, but pins work just fine.

 

Sew down the sides of the mask, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam.

Clip corners.

10- Turn inside out.

Poke out the corners and press.

 

 

11- Mark and sew pleats

Lay the pleat guide along the edge of the mask and place pins in to mark folding points. There should be 6 pins on each side, as indicated in the photo above.

Fold the top pin down to meet the second pin. Clip fold in place using the fabric pins or pin in place. Continue this process until all three pleats have been formed.

If you are making a lot of these masks after a while you won’t need to measure and pin, you’ll be able to just eyeball it. 

 

Repeat this on the other side. Press pleats in place.

 

 

12-Top stitch along the side edges of the mask.

First pass sew close 1/4 inch from the edge, and the second pass sew close to the edge.

13- Wire Nose Clamp

Take the pipe cleaner or wire that you are using and insert it through the hole in the back of the mask. Align it at the TOP of the mask and center. Make sure it is against the folded edge of the mask.

 

Sew along the top edge at 1/2 inch seam allowance to create a casing for the wire.

Sew along the bottom edge as well to reinforce and stabilize the mask. 

Play Video

There you have it.

 

Keep in mind that these masks MAY not prevent us from contracting Covid-19, but they can act as a physical reminder for us to keep our hands away from our face, and when it comes down to it, they may be better than nothing as a protective barrier.

If you think that a handmade mask cannot be used, think again. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a place for them — in times of crisis, like the one we are in right now. On the CDC page: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks, they explain that as a last resort, a homemade mask is acceptable.

NEED A GENUINE N95 Respirator Mask Reusable, (FDA Registered) Face Mask?

Check out this reputable source

Take care my dear friends! We are all in this together! 

Sending love to all of you!

Other posts you may be interested in

 

 

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DIY Fabric Carrots Sewing Tutorial

Here it is almost Easter time and what a great time to get out your sweater stash and make SWEATER carrots. Yep, fabric CARROTS! What can’t you make out of upcycled sweaters? Now if you are short on ORANGE SWEATERS or don’t have any felted orange sweaters, these work up great with orange fleece, and orange knits as well.

 

These make really fun Easter gifts and party favors. Carrots NOT recommended for baby toys! 

Cute to display with a SWEATER BUNNY! Bunny & Bear pattern located in my Etsy shop.

Fabric carrots items needed:

  • Orange fabric (felted sweaters, fleece, or knit) If using felted sweaters, make sure they are not too thick and have a little stretch.
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Carrot pattern template (download here

 

Fold the fabric over in a diagonal shape and place the pattern edge on the fold where indicated. Cut out.

Place Right Sides Together (RST) and sew the side seam with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Turn inside out and poke the tip of the carrot out with some kind of point tool, being careful not to poke through the fabric.

To make the fabric carrot greens: Using the pattern template, cut out 3-4 leaf squares. Using a zigzag stitch, sew the wire onto the middle of the leaf. (template will show how far down to place the wire).

 

Cut little slits in the leaf all around the side and top of square. Round off the top corners with your scissors. Fluff the leaf. Repeat to make however many stems you want.

 

Start filling the carrot with stuffing, a little amount at a time. Using something to push it down. I find the pokey tool just slips through the stuffing and doesn’t push it down. (I found that using the tip of my scissors works well)

 

Continue to fill the sweater carrot with stuffing until it is full.

 

Double thread a LONG needle with either orange, brown, or green thread. (I like to use either brown or green to give the dimples in the carrot some contrast). Your preference.

 

Start stitching so the knot is on the INSIDE. Take basting stitches all the way around the top of the carrot.

 

End stitching with the thread on the OUTSIDE. Do not KNOT the thread yet.

Take the stems and stick them down the center of the carrot into the stuffing, to the length that you want them.

 

Now pull the stitching to gather the top of the carrot. Stuff the fabric seam allowance down into the carrot as you put the thread. Now stitch another row or two around the carrot to close the top tightly around the stems.

Take a little stitch where the thread comes out and knot.

(To make a knot, take a small stitch and pull the thread to make a little loop, then wrap the thread around the needle a few times and gently pull to create a knot. Stick the needle back into the carrot right where the knot is and pull out where you want to make the first dimple.

To make little dimples in the sweater carrot: pull the needle out where you want the dimple to start and take a big stitch (these stitches can be small or even wrap all the way around the carrot).

These dimples give the carrot charter and shape. I like to take two stitches in the same place to reinforce the stitch and give it more shape.

Stick the needle down into where you want another dimple to be. Add as many as you want.

 

Knot the thread again. Now stick the needle back in where the thread comes out. Poke out somewhere and clip thread.

Ta dah! 

Aren’t they cute little fellas?

 

The pattern template comes with two different sizes. Make up a bunch of sizes and some with different shades of orange.

 

Play Video

BUNNY STICKERS shown above on the tag, are available in my Etsy shop.

 

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DIY Ironing Board Cover: Sewing Tutorial

Does your ironing board cover have stains, rips or is it just looking cruddy?  Perhaps it’s time to replace it, and I’m going to show you how to easily make your own! It’s an easy sewing project that you can make in no time at all.

Not only will you save money by making your own cover; you can customize it by choosing the fabric. There are so many options.

I will demonstrate on a mini ironing board, but you can do the same thing with a full-size ironing board. (You will obviously need more fabric, elastic, and bias tape to cover a full-size board).

By the way, I love my little mini ironing board! It is great because there are so many little ironing projects (my sewing projects) that don’t require the big one. I can just throw it on my counter top and go to town. It saves so much room and stores away real nicely. The legs can fold down. This is the one I prefer. It comes with a cover, but I have already replaced mine due to iron water stains. However, making a new cover is NOT a big deal, if you know how. 🙂

video tutorial available at the end of this post

If you are a visual learner, the short video tutorial will show you the process step by step and give extra bonus tips. Check it out below.

Ironing board cover items and materials needed

Instructions

1 – Make a pattern

Place the board wrong side up on top of the material you are using for the pattern (paper or cloth).  Using a seam gauge or measuring tape, measure 1 ½ inches away from the edge of the board and mark with a pencil or chalk. Connect markings to create an outline. Cut out along the line.

2 – Save the pattern in a marked envelope for later use.

This makes it so you don’t have to trace the board every time you want a new one.

3 – Take the pattern and place it on top of the fabric you’re using to make the cover.

Pin in place and cut out.

If you need a new pad, cut one out using a piece of cotton batting or thin foam. (You may want to double the batting).

4 – Apply the bias tape.

With the right side of the fabric facing up, apply the bias tape to the edge of the fabric. Start at the middle bottom of the board. Line up edges and pin in place. Curve the tape around the corners.

When you get to the beginning, overlap the bias tape by 1 inch and cut. Fold the edge of the bias tape on the bottom up by ½ inch and place the other end over the top. (This is where you will be inserting the elastic).

5 – Sew the bias tape onto the cover.

Start at the overlapped tape and sew all the way around. Sew in the pre-pressed fold of the bias tape closet to the edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end of seam.

 

6 – Fold the bias tape over and topstitch, just inside the fold all the way around.

7 – Apply the safety pin to the end of the elastic.

 

 

7 – Apply the safety pin to the end of the elastic.

8 – Insert a safety pin into the little hole you created with bias tape and thread all the way around, pulling as you go.

(Make sure you don’t pull too much and loose the end of the elastic). I like to pin the end when I start getting close to the end of the elastic.

 

9 – Place the cover onto the ironing board and adjust elastic to fit.

Overlap elastic to fit and pin in place.

 

10 – Sew ends of elastic in place with the sewing machine and cut off extra elastic.

11 – Even out the fabric and elastic.

 

12-Remove cover and topstitch folded ends of the bias tape to keep it from fraying when washed.

 

There you have it, a nice new, clean, and styling ironing board cover.

 

Play Video

Have fun sewing!

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Heart Lollipops: Made with Upcycled Sweaters & Felt

Here it is almost Valentine’s Day, and that means craft time to me. I am always looking for new things to make using my favorite felted wool sweater scraps, and these heart lollipops are the cutest!

It’s a quick little project that you can whip up in no time at all. Trust me, you won’t be able to make just one. 

Of course, you can make these hearts with regular felt, but a felted wool sweater just adds so much character and texture. (I hope you’ve been saving all your felted wool sweater scraps)! They really do come in handy for a lot of things. 

What do you do with heart lollipops?

You can’t eat them, but you can:

  • Stick them in a potted plant to decorate your home
  • Embellish a valentine gift wrapping
  • Place one in a plant that you are giving as a gift
  • Put a bundle of them in a small vase and give as a gift.
  • Leave the stick off, and add a loop to hang the heart on a doorknob or wall.

What you’ll need:

The pattern downloaded, printed and cut out. GET THE PATTERN HERE.

  • fabric scissors
  • embroidery needle and embroidery floss ( about a yard and a half for one heart)
  • felt or felted wool sweater (one that won’t fray)
  • Bamboo skewers, or sucker sticks
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • fiber fill stuffing

Instructions:

Watch the VIDEO TUTORIAL at the end of the post

Cut out 2 hearts.

Thread the needle with 3 strands of embroidery floss. (Embroidery floss usually comes in a skein of 6 strands) I like to split it into half, making it not so bulky.

Knot the end of the thread and take a stitch right at the point, with the knot sandwiched in middle so it doesn’t’ show.

Sew around the heart using a BLANKET STITCH.  If you are not familiar with this stitch, you can watch a tutorial here.

Stop about an inch from where you started. 

Add a little stuffing to puff it up a bit, but not too much!

Add a little dollop of hot glue to one end of the stick and poke it inside the heart, and inside of the stuffing.

Continue sewing until you come to the bottom point of the heart. Wrap the needle around the stick and take another small stitch to knot the end. 

Insert the needle back into the fabric right on top of a previous stitch and pull the needle out in the middle of the heart. 

Clip the thread.

You can place it in a small cellophane bag and tie a bow around it, or leave unwrapped.

Another way to make the heart is to leave the stick out and add a loop for hanging. 

If you choose to sew them up this way, start sewing at the top notch of the heart instead of the bottom of the heart.

Make a loop with a piece of jute or ribbon and make a knot at the end. Insert that into the heart before you stitch the opening up.

Be sure to check these posts for some other Valentine’s ideas.

Play Video

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DIY Sewing Machine Bookbinding: Paper Meets Fabric

Two of my favorite materials to work with are unique PAPERS and FABRIC. In this DIY bookbinding tutorial, I am going to show you a project where the paper meets fabric. Bookbinding has always fascinated me and I have dappled in different ways to do it. In this post, I will be showing you how to bind a booklet using a sewing machine and how to apply a strip of fabric or (of course) a strip of an upcycled sweater.

I use this sewing method all the time when I make booklets to put in my traveler’s journal. Such a unique way to add charm to your planning!

It’s really quite simple, and of course, there is always a feeling of satisfaction that comes with it. The joy of making something with your own hands is what motivates those of us who like to diy (DO IT YOURSELF).

The thing is, if I’m going to spend time making something, it better be useful. These little booklets are very useful.

What do you use these booklets for?

bookbinding youmakeitsimple.com
  • Journals
  • Notes
  • Health journals (I print out a monthly health journal and this bookbinding method works like a charm).
  • Sketch booklet
  • Gifts

There are several ways to finish the binding edge: fabrics, felt, thin felted sweater, or nothing at all. There are times when I just bind the center without fabric like my health journals. These are something that I print out every month.

Items and things you’ll need for this DIY bookbinding project 

  • 7-10 sheets of paper (any size)
  • Cardstock cover paper (optional)
  • Sewing machine
  • Paper clips
  • Scissors
  • Extra sheet of paper that is cut the same size as your inner sheets for guide (I recommend using a paper that is a different color than the booklet paper, so you can have a contrast)
  • Durable needle for your machine (universal size 100, or denim needle works great)
  • Ruler
  • paper cutter (optional) I really like this one and have had it for years!
  • Exacto knife
  • Corner punch (optional)

Fabric Binding

  • Fabric strip cut to 1 ½ inches x length of booklet PLUS 1 inch
  • Heat & Bond (lite) cut the same as your fabric strip
  • Iron and ironing board

FELT OR SWEATER

  • A strip of felt or felted sweater cut 1 ¾ inch x length of booklet PLUS 1 inch (You don’t want the fabric to be too bulky or thick).

Bookbinding Instructions

Watch the Video Tutorial Here on YouTube

Play Video

If using a printed calendar or planner pages, download, and print.

Cut paper to the desired size.

Fabric Style Binding

1 -Cut strip of fabric and Heat & Bond.

2-  Place fabric strip face down on the ironing board. Apply bonding strip with the bumpy side next to the fabric. Line up edges and press using an iron without steam.

3-  Let that cool while you sew the pages.
4-  Take your cover sheet (card stock) and place paper stack on top of that. (I recommend testing your sewing machine to see how much paper it will handle) Most machines are able to handle up to 7-10 sheets.

5-  Fold your guide sheet in half and place it on the left side of the paper stack. Line up edges and paperclip in place.

6-  Take it to the sewing machine and sew along the edge of the guide paper. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam. Clip threads

7-  Starting from the top sheet, start folding the papers in over to make a center crease. Do one side of the notebook and then the other.

You’ll notice that the inner pages will hang over a bit, no worries.

8- Take the Exacto knife and using a ruler, slice off the excess paper. It will take several passes to cut through all the layers.

9-  Pull off the paper strip from the Heat & Bond.  Fold the strip in half lengthwise and finger press to make a crease.

10-Slide the booklet inside leaving about ½ inch overhanging. Make sure it is against the edge and press in place. Flip it over and press the other side.

Cut excess fabric off with scissors.

UPCYCLED SWEATER OR FELT BOOKBINDING

1-  Take your calendar or paper stack and cut them in half.

(If using my printable calendars, fold the pages towards each other). If using plain paper sheets, arrange them so you have the outer cardstock on top and one on the bottom.

2-  Paper clip the top, right side, and bottom of the paper stack together, lining up the edges.

3-  Apply the right side of the sweater strip face down on the left side of the paper stack. Leave ½ on each end. Take it to the sewing machine and sew the fabric strip to the paper stack. Backstitch at the beginning and end of seam. Sew slowly making sure your machine can handle the thickness. Trim threads.

4-  Fold the fabric strip around the edge to the front.

5-  Keep the fabric pulled tight as you sew in “the ditch” of the previous seam. (Right next to the fabric edge) Backstitch at the beginning and end of seam.

6-  Flip over and using your scissors, trim away excess fabric right next to the seam. Be careful not to cut into the seam. Clip off the excess fabric on the ends as well.

If your sweater fabric was prewashed and “felted” it should not fray. Some thick knit fabrics will also not fray and can be used as well as fleece. Get creative.You can round the corners of the booklet using a corner punch. (Optional)

Ta-dah!

Now wasn’t that a fun little bookbinding project.

Be sure to check out my post about the 2020 printable calendars that I have designed and that works great for bookbinding!

Stay tuned for some more bookbinding techniques coming up!

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DIY Fabric Window Treatment

Add some pizzazz and color to any room by making your own window treatment. This is a fun and easy project that even a beginner seamstress can handle.

A few years back we remodeled our home and added some space onto the back. One of the things we added was a new laundry room. I am a total light freak and love the lighting in this room, and I love that I don’t have to go into the dreary basement anymore to do laundry.

There are two windows in the corner of my laundry room and in my door. I wanted to add some color to the crisp white planked walls with some kind of window treatment.

At first, I thought about making roman blinds for these windows. I have made them before and they are kinda fun to make, but I am into EASY these days, and a roman blind looks like this when it is pulled up anyway. Why should I waste the fabric yardage, my time, and any frustration that may come along with a more intense project such as a pleated roman blind?

This window treatment works really well for windows that are inset, meaning they are not flush with the interior walls.

Here is a picture of the laundry room before the window treatment.

After

Look at what a LITTLE fabric and a LITTLE bit of time can do!

While I was sewing I thought I would take some photos and share with you how QUICK and EASY this was to make up.

What you will need for this easy DIY window treatment:

  • FABRIC  (measuring instructions below) I used a duck cloth piece of fabric for this window, which is a little like canvas. Any woven fabric will work. If it is a thinner, lightweight fabric you may want to use a piece of interfacing to give it some structure.
  • SEWING MACHINE
  • a piece of wood trim measuring 3/4 x 1/2 inch x window width. (measuring instructions below)
  • drill
  • 1 5/8 inch screws
  • 7/16 inch dowel the width of your treatment (optional)
  • staple gun or glue adhesive
  • rotary cutter or scissors
  • safety pins (optional)

How to measure fabric:

Measure the INSIDE MOUNT width of the window and ADD 1 INCH for seam allowance.

Then decide how long you want the valance to hang down and double that amount then ADD 1 1/2 inches. Mine hangs down 10 inches. So I cut my fabric 21 1/2 inches.

Cutting Out:

Cut out the fabric using a rotary cutter or scissors.

*TIP: use a safety pin to mark the edges of the fabric that are the WINDOW WIDTH measurements. I suggest this because it can be real easy to get these mixed up especially if you have a square window.

Sewing:

Fold the fabric with Right Sides Together with the WIDTH of the fabric at the top. (safety pins should be at the top)

Sew the side seams using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Clip the bottom corners.

Turn and Press:

Turn the fabric inside out and press the edges out real smooth.

Hold the fabric up and if you feel it hangs nicely you can move on. If you find it doesn’t hang flat you can either stiffen it up a bit using some iron-on interfacing or use the method below using a small dowel.

*TIP: If you are using a lightweight fabric, you can insert a small dowel (7/16) cut the width minus about a 1/4 inch into the bottom of the valance.  This will give it some weight to hang down straight instead of being limp.

Finish the top edge to prevent fraying with a serger, or on a regular machine just use a zigzag stitch.

Board Preparation:

You will need to drill some holes in the wood strip before applying the fabric. Measure about 3 1/2 -4 inches from the edges and one hole in the center.  If your window is pretty wide, you may need a few more holes to secure the wood strip tightly to the top of the window casing. If you have a countersinking tool, that works great, if not, no biggie.

The holes that you drill should coincide with the screws you are using.

Applying the fabric to the wood strip:

 

Line up the top edge of the fabric with the edge of the wood strip and make sure the fabric is also lined up with the side edge of the wood or else the wood will show.

Hold securely in place while you staple it using a staple gun. If you do not have a staple gun, you can secure in place using a good adhesive and some clamps to hold in place while it dries.

You may need to use a hammer to flatten any stubborn staples that didn’t get stapled flat.

Inserting the window treatment to the window casing:

Get a drill and 1 5/8 inch screws handy.

The wood strip and fabric should fit snug against the edges of your casing. You may want some help doing this part if you have a wide window.

Fold the fabric up while you, or someone else, screws in the screws. (Keep the wood strip flush with the wall edges).

Tadah! Gotta love it, baby.

What a fun way to add some pizzazz to any room.

non-toxic laundry room

Want a tour of my laundry room? Check out this post.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Have fun sewing!

jan3

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