DIY Top Knot Headband | Easy Sewing Tutorial

top knot headband feature2

When you’re looking for a cute baby gift, this top knot headband is so quick and easy to make! They can be made with a minimal amount of knit fabric and OF COURSE, an UPCYCLED T-SHIRT! 

top knot headband tshirt

Choose fabrics that have good stretch to them. These top knot headbands are cute made up of solid colors or prints. I’ve been known to buy shirts, dresses, and skirts for the fabric to make other things with. In fact, I do it all the time, especially clothing on clearance racks! So be on the lookout in your closet and on clearance racks for some cute stretchy fabric that you can make headbands or other baby clothing with.

Choose fabrics that have good stretch to them. These top knot headbands are cute made up with solid colors or prints. I’ve been known to buy shirts, dresses, and skirts for the fabric to make other things with. In fact, I do it all the time, especially clothing on clearance racks! So be on the lookout in your closet and on clearance racks for some cute stretchy fabric that you can make headbands or other baby clothing with.

Make sure you are checking out my SEWING PATTERN STORE, where you’ll find a big handful of other things you can make for babies.

top knot headband

These topknot headbands look adorable on babies, toddlers, and even adults. They can be made to fit ANY SIZE HEAD, just follow the head measuring instructions to get a perfect fit.

You can make these headbands using a regular sewing machine; serger or you can even sew them by hand. If you don’t have a sewing machine, be sure to check out my HANDSEWING tutorial where I show you how to sew a stretch stitch by hand.

Top Knot Headband Materials & Items Needed

  • Sewing machine/Serger (optional)
  • Scissors/Rotary Cutter-Mat
  • Knit Fabric or UPCYCLED KNIT CLOTHING
  • Pins/Fabric clips (optional)
  • Measuring tape
  • Turning stick
top knot headband measurement

HEAD MEASUREMENT

The best way to get the correct size is to measure the head you are making the headband for. If that’s not possible, refer to the Average Head Circumference Chart. Knit fabric will stretch to fit a wide variety of heads sizes in that range so don’t be too stressed about it!

Using a measuring tape, measure the widest part of the head. Write that measurement down.

CUTTING OUT
Cut a strip of knit fabric (6-8 inches/15.5 cm x HEAD MEASUREMENT)

Feel free to alter the thickness of the headband. You may want a thicker, bulkier, or even a thinner headband. It’s all your preference and you can cut them out accordingly.

Make sure you cut out the strips with the stretchiness of the fabric for the widest part.

topknot headband tshirtUpcycled t-shirts work really well

SEWING TOP KNOT HEADBAND

SEAM ALLOWANCE IS 3/8 INCH

 

STITCH TYPE: 

Use a lightning bolt stitch, a small narrow zigzag stitch, this is so the seams won’t pop and break when the fabric is stretched, or you can use a 3-4 thread serger.

TOP KNOT HEADBAND

Fold the fabric strip in half lengthwise. Sew along the unfinished edge. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

Turn right side facing out using a turning stick or the eraser end of a pencil.

Align the seam so it is in the center of the headband.

top knot headband topknot headband knot

Take the short ends and tie a very loose knot.

Place the shorts ends Right Sides Together and with the seams lined up. Using a regular straight stitch, sew along the unfinished edge using a 3/8 inch seam allowance. (Basically the edge of your presser foot). Trim seam allowance.

 

I love this method because there is NO SEAM on the back of the headband, therefore making it so much more comfortable to wear.

Slide the knot down so it covers the seam you just made. Adjust the knot how you want it and you’re finished!

Tadah! Now wasn’t that simple!

I hope you have fun making these top knot headbands as much as I do. 

 

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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Sewing Corners and Curves | Serger Tips and Tricks

sewing corners and curves

Serging around corners and curves can be a little tricky, but when you know these handy tips and tricks, it’s no problem at all.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to easily sew around square outer and inner corners and how to sew curves without any puckering.

For those of you who are visual learners, you can watch the video tutorial at the end of the post. I give several other serger tips that you won’t want to miss!

Typical Corners and Curves Sewing Projects

Of course, sewing around corners and curves is not a big issue with a regular sewing machine, but when you are using a serger (3 or 4 thread) it is different. For one thing, the serger leaves a chain of stitching that can get quite messy and add bulk to your project if you leave them too long when turning. No more of that!

Before I learned these tips and tricks, I had stitching tails all over the place, which doesn’t look really clean and finished.

Before trying any of these tips, I recommend getting some scrap pieces of fabric and just practice. It takes a little practice and every fabric is different.

Tips for Sewing OUTER CURVES

Start with lining up the fabric edge you are sewing with the side of your serger plate (the side with the blade). This is where you want to keep your focus point. As you slowly sew, you’ll be gently rotating the fabric to the right, keeping the edge of the fabric aligned with the edge of the cutting plate.

Be careful not to twist too much or you’ll get puckers. Just let the machine feed the fabric and you turn the fabric. You’ll get the hang of it real fast.

Tips for sewing  INNER CURVES

The same thing as with outer curves, except instead of rotating fabric to the right, you’ll rotate to the left. Inner curves are a tad trickier because it is a smaller radius. Just go slow. Any slight puckering that occurs can be pressed out.

Most likely, you’ll be sewing a lot more outer corners than inner corners, but knowing how to sew an inner corner using this method is a GAME CHANGER!

Sewing Corners and Curves outer corners

Outer Corners

To sew an outer corner, sew up to the edge of fabric and then take two more stitches by TURNING THE HANDWHEEL TOWARDS YOU.

Lift up the presser foot, gently pull the fabric back a bit to disengage the threads from the looper hooks. This will enable you to PIVET THE FABRIC around. Align the fabric edge with the knife plate edge and the top of the fabric in align so that when the needles come down it will be at just inside the edge of the fabric.

Continue to sew. It’s pretty simple. Do some practicing on scrap fabric. It’s actually quite fun, and notice what clean corners you have all finished nicely!

Sewing inner curves

Inner Corners

Begin sewing and when you get close to the corner, flip the bottom of the fabric edge to line up with the knife edge of your serger. THIS WILL MAKE A NATURAL PLEAT! Flatten the pleat (it will look like a little ice cream cone).

Continue to sew straight, keeping the fabric along the edge until you have completed the corner.

Open up the fabric and BAM, there you have it!

If there is just slight puckering, this can be pressed out.

sewing corners and curves clip cornerNOTE:  if the fabric is thicker, you may need to clip the corner just slightly 1/16 of an inch before sewing. You shouldn’t have a problem with lighter weight fabrics.

Once again, practice and test out the fabric you’re using on your project to see whether you need to clip the corner or not.

I hope that was helpful. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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DIY Neck Cooling Scarf | Easy Sewing Tutorial

neck cooling scarf youmakeitsimple.com

When it’s hot and you need to keep cool, this DIY neck cooling scarf works like a charm. The scarf is made of simple cotton fabric and filled with water beads. These polymer crystals or water beads are quite amazing and when soaked will plump up with water, expand and then release the moisture slowly. That’s what makes this cooling scarf so nice is that it will stay wet and applies gentle moisture to your skin that keeps you cool for hours.

This is a very simple sewing project that even a beginner seamstress can handle. Making a neck cooling scarf will only take you about ten minutes to make, and it only takes a minimal amount of fabric. These are great to wear when you are working outside, or inside and can be worn by adults and children.

What types of water beads/crystal are best to use?

There are lots of varieties out there. The “crystals” are very small chunks that almost looks like a powder, while the “beads” are smooth spheres. I like to use spherical beads for comfort and ease of use, and some say that the small crystal powder can absorb into the fabric. You will be AMAZED at how the big the beads plump up when soaked in water. One teaspoon turns into 3-4 cups once soaked!

You can find the beads in most craft stores, floral shops and even some hardware stores will sell them in the garden section. They were all sold out in the stores in my location, so I bought them on-line and was very pleased with this brand. (clear beads) (colored beads)

You can find the beads in most craft stores, floral shops and even some hardware stores will sell them in the garden section. They were all sold out in the stores in my location, so I bought them on-line and was very pleased with this brand. (clear beads) (colored beads)

Neck Cooling Scarf Materials & Items Needed

  • Water beads or water crystals
  • Cotton fabric
  • Scissors/rotary cutter (optional)
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Pins/ fabric clips
  • Measuring tape
  • Cookie sheet (to keep the beads from going all over the place)

Neck Cooling Scarf Instructions

1-Hydrate the beads.

If you are using beads, hydrate them before placing them into the scarf. There are so many different sizes of beads that it’s hard to know how much they are going to expand. If you fill the scarf tool full they can expand too much and pop the seams.

If you are using the crystals you can apply the powder before soaking. JUST REMEMBER YOU’LL ONLY NEED JUST A LITTLE BIT! 1 teaspoon of powder, split into different pockets.

neck cooling scarfThe bead to water ratio is 1 teaspoon/3 cups water. Get a big bowl or tub to put them in. It may take a few hours for them to hydrate completely. I like to soak my beads the night before I plan on sewing.

neck cooling scarf cutting fabric

2 -Cut a piece of cotton fabric 4.5/10 cm x 42-44/112 cm inches.

Most bolts of cotton fabric are 42-44 inches wide, so just cut a strip of fabric 4.5 inches.neck cooling scarf cutting ends

3 -Fold the long edges of the fabric strip in half and CUT OFF THE SELVAGE EDGES AT A 45° ANGLE to form a taped edge.

4 -Open up the strip and fold in half again with the RIGHT SIDES FACING EACH OTHER.]

5 -Pin or clip in place.

You are going to leave a space un-sewn about 4 inches/10cm long to turn to the scarf. Find the center and mark that 4 inch space so you don’t forget and sew.

red clips
neck cooling scarf tip
neck cooling scarf sewing

6 -Sew together.

Using a straight stitch, start sewing at one tapered edge and sew all the way around to the other end. DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE THE OPENING. When you come to the red clip, backstitch and then lift up your presser foot and move to the next red clip. Backstitch and continue to sew the rest of the seam backstitching at the end.

7 -Clip corners.

neck cooling scarf turning

8 -Using a turning stick, turn the tube right sides out.

9 -Press seams out.

Fold the seam allowance under where you left the opening and press in place.

10 -Fold the scarf in half and measure 10.5 inches/27 cm from the fold and mark both layers with a pin.

This is where you will stitch the scarf to create the pocket that will hold the beads. You don’t want the whole scarf to be filled with beads, just the portion that wraps around the neck. (Some folks like to make 3 separate pockets, and this works well if you are using the powder, but if you are using the beads, I find it’s not necessary and only takes more time).

11 -Sew vertical seams

Sew two seams where you marked with pins. Backstitch at the beginning and end of seam.

neck cooling scarf filling with beads

12 -Fill scarf with beads.

Now it’s time to fill the scarf with beads. Place a cookie sheet under your workspace so you don’t have beads rolling all over the place. YOU DON’T WANT PETS OR CHILDREN INGESTING THESE BEADS!!!! You can use a funnel that will fit the beads, but I find that you can just grab a handful and feed them into the hole you left. Fill one side and then the other. Don’t overfill as they may expand a little more and pop the seam.

13 -Sew the opening closed.

Once the scarf is full, place the opening edges together and clip in place. You can hand-sew the opening closed or I use the sewing machine. I prefer using a 1/8 inch seam allowance on the sewing machine, it’s much quicker.

14 -Clips threads and you’re finished.

neck cooling scarf soaking

15 -How to soak and hydrate the neck cooling scarf

The beads will eventually dry up, but it takes several days. To re-activate the neck cooling scarf, just soak the entire thing in water for a couple hours. If you want to dry it out, just leave it in the sun. The beads will shrivel up to almost nothing, allowing you to store the wrap flat until the next time you need it.

Some friends and I are currently making a bunch of these up and taking them to the homeless shelter all hydrated and cooled. Perhaps this could be a project for those in your own community who are out in this heat; just a little way to give back.

Get in your fabric stash and make a few neck cooling scarves for yourself, family and those in need.

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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4 Basic Sewing Machine Seams and Seam Allowance Tips

seams and seam allowances

In this tutorial I am going to go over the basic sewing machine seams and give you some seam allowance tips.

What are seams?

Seams are the building blocks of a clothing item and are the points of connection between fabric pieces. As a beginner seamstress, the first thing you will learn how to do is sew a basic seam. (Sew two pieces of fabric together).

There are several different types of sewing stitches that you can use to make up seams. Be sure to check out my SEW SIMPLE SERIES, A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO SEWING, where I show you all the basic stitches, seams and guide you through several easy sewing projects. (PATTERNS INCLUDED).

seam allowance

What is a seam allowance?

Whenever you sew seams, you’ll have some kind of seam allowance. This is the distance from the seamline to the raw edge of the fabric, which allows the fabric pieces to be durably connected without fraying or coming unsewn.

 

Here are some basic seam allowance “facts” and “rules”

  • The width of the seam allowance depends on the type of fabric and the seam finishing technique used. A thicker, bulkier fabric requires a larger seam allowance while thinner, lightweight fabrics work well with a narrower seam allowance.
  • The most commonly used seam allowance measures 3/8” to ½”.
  • Some seam allowances are finished to ensure seam durability and prevent the raw fabric edges from fraying. Fabrics like knit or polyester do not need to be finished. Here are some simple techniques to finish seams (NO SERGER NEEDED).
  • After the seam is stitched, the seam allowance should always be ironed down in a specified direction in order for the seam to lay flat (you’ll see a demonstration of this in the sewing tutorial video below).
    All conventional sewing machines have a seam allowance guide to the right of the sewing machine needle. In order to sew each seam at the proper seam allowance, the raw edge of the fabric is aligned with the appropriate seam allowance guideline according to the required seam allowance length. In my tutorials, I usually give some great tips on things you can do and use to make following these guides easier.
  • Most patterns will give you the SEAM ALLOWANCE requirements and measurement for that specific project. If it doesn’t, use the standard 3/8 inch seam allowance. (This by the way is just the edge of your normal presser foot).

BASIC 3/8 INCH SEAMS INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the two pieces of fabric you are working with together, matching edges and pin in place. Use the 3/8 inch guide on the top plate of your machine to line up the edges of the fabric, or if your presser foot edge is at that measurement, you can just use the edge of the presser foot as your guide.pressing seams
  2. Sew the seam. Open up the seam allowance and press flat using an iron.

FLAT FELLED SEAMS INSTRUCTIONS

A flat felled seam is basically an overlapping seam that’s sewn flat. When the seam is complete, there are no raw edges showing. It’s used frequently in menswear because it’s extremely durable and sturdy and provides a neat finish. If you’re wearing jeans, take a look at the seams. They are almost certainly flat-felled. Use a flat felled seam on shirts or trousers, which see a lot of stress, and you’ll get a durable finish.

Here’s how to go about sewing a flat felled seam.

  1. Pin fabric with right sides together. You will be using a 5/8 inch seam allowance. tape seam allowance guideI like to place a piece of masking or painter’s tape onto the sewing plate at the 5/8 inch mark. This will help you see more clearly and help you guide the fabric along as you sew.pressing seam allowance
  2. Instead of pressing the seam open, you’re going to fold the seam allowance to one side and press.flat felled seam stitching
  3. Flip the fabric over to the right side. Now sew a straight line on the side that the seam allowance is pressed to.1/8 inch seam allowance
  4. Sew 1/8 inch from the seam line fold. TIP: Most presser feet will have little notches indicating 1/8 inch marks. This is nice to use this feature when sewing this seam. Simple line the fabric up with that right 1/8 inch guide and sew away.

FINISHED FLAT FELLED SEAMS INSTRUCTIONS

trimming seam allowance

  1. Sew the seam with a ½ seam allowance. Before pressing the seam, take your scissors and trim away ¼ inch from the right seam allowance.pressing seam allowance
  2. Fold the uncut seam allowance over the cut seam allowance and press in place.
  3. Now fold the top seam allowance under ¼ inch encasing the cut allowance. Press in place.
  4. Topstitch in place along the folded edge to secure in place.

FRENCH SEAMS INSTRUCTIONS

French seams are perfect to use on lightweight, sheer fabrics, or lace. I like using this seam when I make pillowcases. The seam encasing all of the fraying fabric edges inside a tiny seam allowance of 1/4″ (5mm). French seams can be great to use if you haven’t got an overlocker (serger) and want to create a perfect finish to your project.

  1. When sewing a French seam, you start by placing WRONG SIDES OF THE FABRIC TOGETHER, instead of right sides together.French seam 1/4 inch seam
  2. Sew the first seam using a ¼ inch seam allowance. Then, fold the fabric along the seam line, so the right sides of the fabric are together and the stitching is at the edge of the fold. Press well, so you are working with a sharp crease at the fold on the seam. You may want to pin the fabric edge, especially if you are using a slippery fabric.3/8 inch seam allowance
  3. Now sew another seam using a 3/8 inch seam allowance.

     

  4. Press the finished seam to one side or the other.

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There you have it, 4 basic seams for you to use.

HINT: my SEW SIMPLE COURSE COMES WITH INSTRUCTIONS AND MEASUREMENTS FOR ALL SIZES OF PILLOWCASES.

OTHER BLOG POSTS YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN:

7 Sewing Machine Presser Feet and How To Use Them

Unpicking Serger Stitches the EASY WAY

SEWING BY HAND | Most Important Stitches to Know

Have fun sewing my friends!

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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DIY Upcycled T Shirt Bags | Sew and No-Sew Methods

DIY Upcycled T Shirt Bags

Recycling and upcycling is one of my passions, and making these t-shirt bags is another way to reduce waste and find another use for unwanted clothing. I love these bags! They make great grocery bags, activity bags, and you can even use them as a purse if you want. You will be surprised how durable they are!!

Making and using these DIY T-Shirt bags is great way to reduce waste and recycle unwanted clothing. They make great grocery bags, activity bags, and you can even use them as a purse if you want. You will be surprised how durable they are!!

These bags are super easy and quick to make (10 minutes), and it will help to reduce the pollution of shopping bags. Did you know that one hundred billion grocery bags are used in the United States each year?  This means that the average American family gets 1,500 bags from shopping trips. That’s NOT OK!

That’s a lot of bags. Even if they make it into the garbage, 100 billion bags take up space. Whether they’re stuck in a tree, floating in the breeze or sitting in a trash pile, these bags don’t decompose. Because they’re made from petroleum, toxic chemicals can seep into soil and water.

 

Pollution on land is a problem, but what about these bags when they get in the ocean?  It’s dangerous to animals. Sea turtles, marine mammals and fish confuse the bags with prey, such as jellyfish, and eat the plastic imposters. Ingestion of these bags can lead to malnutrition, and eventually, starvation. Bags can also become caught on waterfowl or coral and wrap around the animals, causing injury or death.

Ok, I think you get the picture. Making and using these upcycled t-shirt bags will help reduce plastic bag pollution. I love that, and I love upcycling t-shirts as most of you know.

I am going to show you two different methods. A no-sew method (in case you don’t have access to a sewing machine) and a simple sewing method.  I prefer the sewing method myself because it is a lot faster!

Let’s jump right into the tutorial.

Upcycled T-Shirt Items & Materials Needed

  • T-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape (optional no-sew method)
  • Sewing machine/serger (sewing method)
  • Fabric clips/pins (sewing method)

T-Shirt Bag Instructions

NO-SEW METHOD

  • Turn the t-shirt wrong side out.
  • Cut off the sleeve just inside the arm seam.
  • Fold the shirt in half lengthwise.
  • Cut out the bag opening by cutting a deeper neck line. (About the depth of the armholes).
  • Decide how deep you want the bag to be +3 inches/7.5 cm. Cut the bottom off if you want it shorter. You’ll really only need to shorten if you are using a very larger t-shirt.
  • Measure 3 inches/7.5 cm from the bottom of the shirt, take a piece of masking tape or painter’s tape and apply it to the shirt to mark this point.
  • Cut little slits along the bottom of the shirt up to the tape line, ½ -3/4 inches/1 cm apart.
  • Starting from one side, tie one strip from the front to the adjacent strip on the back in a double knot. Continue tying knots until the bottom is all tied.

There will be little holes between the knots. To close those up, take one tie from the first knot and tie it to one of the ties of the second knot in a diagonal manner. Do this to all the knots.

Reinforce the end knots by tying them again.

Flip right side out and there you have it.

T-Shirt Bag Sewing Method

  • Follow the steps for the no-sew method, but instead of cutting the strips, simply sew the bottom closed.

 

  • Set your sewing machine to a LIGHTNING BOLT STITCH or SMALL ZIGZAG STITCH. (SHORT & NARROW).

You can use a serger if you have one.

  • Make a tuck/pleat in the bottom of the bag by folding the sides of the shirt over about 4 inches/10 cm. Clip or pin in place.
  • Use about a ½ inch seam allowance. Sew across the bottom, backstitching at the beginning and end of the seam.
  • Turn right side out and ta-dah you’re all finished. Such an easy project.

Get in your closet and find some t-shirts you no longer want or need and MAKE T-shirt BAGS!

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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DIY Baby Bib Tutorial | Reversible

baby bib reversible youmakeitsimple.com

Sewing for babies is the best thing ever. This reversible baby bib is a fun and quick little project that is great for even a beginner seamstress. You can apply snaps or Velcro and it has an optional food pocket.

You can use two different contrasting fabrics, or use the same fabric for both sides. The baby bib can be made with several types of fabric: flannel, terry cloth, quilting cotton, sturdy knit fabrics, or laminate cloth.

These make the best baby gifts! Combine a few bibs with some burp cloths, a mitered corner baby blanket, and a bottle of yummy smelling baby lotion and you’ve got an adorable baby gift, a gift that is made from the heart.

Be sure to check out my other baby tutorials.

Baby Bib Materials and Items Needed

Baby Bib Fabric Choices & Requirements

Bibs can be made using several types of fabrics; flannel, terry cloth, quilting cotton, knit, and Pull laminate finished cloth (used for diapers). 

You can make the baby bib reversible and you can use two different prints or colors.

 

Baby Bib Pattern Assembly

Due to the large size of the pattern, you will need to assemble the pattern first.

Simply fold or cut the dotted line on pattern piece 2 and place it on top of and on the dotted line on piece 1 where indicated.

Tape in place and cut out the chosen size.

There is a size for infants, toddlers, children, or a small teething bib. 

*YOU CAN MAKE THE PATTERN SMALLER OR LARGER. I give you specific instructions in the video on how to easily do that. 

Cutting Out

Fold the fabric in half, lengthwise with selvage edges (the finished edge of fabric) parallel to the fold.

Place the pattern piece so the grain arrow is parallel to the selvage edge. 

baby bib cutting outCut out 2 bibs on the fold. You can double fold and cut all 4 pieces at once if you are using the same fabric for the front and back.

FOOD POCKET (optional)

Cut out a piece of fabric approximately 8 x 12 inches. Fold the fabric in half crosswise and then fold in half again lengthwise.

Place the food pocket pattern along folds where indicated. Cut out one.

 

Sewing Baby Bib

If applying a FOOD POCKET, fold the pocket fabric piece in half lengthwise.

* Adding a tag along the pocket top is a cute addition, but optional. Or you can add a tag in the seam somewhere.

Place the folded pocket on top of one of the bib pieces right side facing up. Align the edges and clip in place.

 

Baste in place using a ½ seam allowance and a long basting stitch. Do not backstitch.

Place the other bib piece right side facing down on top of the other bib piece. Line up edges and clip or pin in place.

You will be leaving about 4 inches unsewn on one of the sides of the bib. (This will allow you to turn the bib inside out).

Starting on one side, sew all the way around using a    3/8 inch seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and end of the seam.

Clip outer curves with V notches and inner curves with little slits.

Using a turning stick, poke out the curves and edges.

REMOVE BASTING STITCHES FROM FOOD POCKET

Close the opening you left open by folding the edges in to match seam allowance. Press and clip in place.

baby bib topstitching

Topstitch all the way around using a 1/8 – ¼ inch seam allowance.

Baby Bib Snap Application

You can use KAM snaps, which is what I prefer and use. Or you can use sew-in snaps or even Velcro.

Place the pattern on top of the bib, lining up curves. (Notice: you will be placing two snaps on one side of the bib and only one on the other. This will allow you to adjust the neck size).

Using the awl, that comes with the snap kit, poke the holes where indicated to mark the snap points.

Follow product instructions for the snap or Velcro application.

Tadah!

Here are some other baby projects you may be interested in:

BABY BEANIE HATS

DIY MITERING CORNER BABY BLANKETS

SEWING WITH PLUSH FABRICS

DIY FABRIC LABELS

Have fun sewing!

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My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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Sewing With Plush Fabric | Tips & Tricks

Sewing With Plush Fabric

Items made with plush fabric are the coziest things ever; however, sewing with plush fabric can be a little tricky. In this post I am going to give you some great tips & tricks that will make the sewing process a lot easier and save you a lot of grief!

What Is Plush Fabric?

The fabrics that are considered “plush” are:

  • Faux Fur                 
  • Fleece
  • Minky (also known as “Cuddle” fabric
  • Velvet
  • Chenille
  • Velveteen

These fabrics usually have a “nap” to them. If you run your hand up and down the fabric, they’ll be smoother in one direction and may even look a shade different in color.

plush fabric blanket

What do you do with plush fabric?

These cozy fabrics make really nice toys, blankets, pillows and jackets. It’s not just for babies! We, adults, deserve to have something COZY! 

The fabric is available in solids, prints, embossed and double-sided. Embossed Cuddle is a favorite. You get softness plus a subtle design that pops up from the nap, such as the classic dimple as well as hearts, stars, paisley, and more. Next time you’re at the fabric store, check and see what they have available.

You can buy the fabric by the yard, or you can upcycle a throw blanket or item of clothing (like I like to do). The bunny in the photo below was made from an upcycled fleece jacket.

PLUSCH FABRIC BUNNY

Sewing With Plush Fabric Tips & Tricks

  • Things are going to get messy! Plush fabric sheds when cut; use a rotary cutter to minimize fuzz. After cutting, place pieces in a dryer with a damp washcloth on low heat for about 10 minutes. Keep a lint roller, masking tape, and vacuum handy.

plush fabric stretch

  • This fabric has some stretch to it. It stretches on the crosswise grain but very little along the lengthwise grain (parallel to the selvages). If you are sewing two pieces of fabric together, it’s important to line up stretch with stretch and the grain with the grain, or you’ll get twisting and uneven seams.

plush fabric pinning

  • Use a lot of pins! This fabric will do a lot of shifting from the time you pin until the time you actually sew, so place a lot of pins to hold things in place. I love these long, floral tip pins. It makes them easy to see, so you don’t accidentally leave pins in your projects. 
  • Attach a walking foot, if you have one. If you are going to be sewing on these types of fabrics, it’s well worth the investment. Most sewing machines have one available if it doesn’t come with one. It makes a huge difference when sewing on the fleece, Minky, upcycled sweaters, etc. *If you don’t have one, be sure to hold the bottom layer of fabric a little more firmly when sewing. What happens is, the bottom fabric gets fed through the machine more quickly and you’ll get uneven sewing.
  • If you’re sewing a different type of fabric together with the plush, place the plush fabric on the bottom when sewing.
  • Use a ballpoint needle, 90/14 (Ge my NEEDLE GUIDE HERE).
  • Set your stitch length to a longer-than-normal stitch (3-4) to keep seams from puckering.
  • Do not use an iron. The fabric can melt!
  • Use a slightly bigger seam allowance. I like to use a ½ inch seam allowance when sewing on plush.
  • Using a rotary cutter will give you a cleaner cut edge.
  • If sewing together with a different type of fabric, especially cotton, be sure to wash the cotton piece first! Plush fabric will not shrink, but the cotton will.

Sewing with plush fabric is really not that bad once you get the hang of it. I wished I would have known this stuff before I attempted my first plush fabric project.

I have a video tutorial showing you how to make a plush self-binding blanket, and I go over these tips in it. WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE.

You may also find the fleece binding tutorial helpful.

Check out my sewing patterns HERE.

I hope this was helpful and that you’re now ready and excited to make a fun baby blanket or teddy bear.

Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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7 Sewing Machine Presser Feet and How To Use Them

presser feet youmakeitsimple.com

Have you ever gone through the sewing machine attachments that come with your sewing machine and wondered, “What the heck is this used for?” I certainly have! In this post, I am going to walk you through the 7 most basic sewing machine presser feet and how to use them.

Whatever type of sewing machine you have, it will come with some basic presser feet attachments. Some of them may look very intimidating and seem complicated to use. NO WORRIES. By the end of this tutorial, you are going to be all ready and hopefully, excited to tackle any sewing project.

What are presser feet?

Presser feet are small attachments that are added to the machine to help feed the fabric through the machine while you sew. There are many types of presser feet and each does something different to make the sewing task easier.

janni tips

Make sure to use presser feet that are compatible with the model of the sewing machine! Some feet are universal and can be used and several models of sewing machines, but others are not. When you purchase a new foot, it will tell what models it can be used on.

 

7 Basic Presser Feet

Play Video

Standard Presser Foot

This foot is most likely the foot you’ll be using for most of your sewing projects. It’s used for standard and decorative stitches.

  • Straight stitch
  • Satin stitch
  • Zigzag stitch
  • Overcasting
  • Other fancy stitches
  • Zipper Foot

Most machines include a zipper foot. There are several types of zipper feet and different ways to attach them. Depending on the setup of your machine, will determine how you attach it.

It’s pretty obvious what the zipper foot is used for, but how does it work?

Most commonly a zipper foot has gaps on either side of the foot. Depending on which side of the zipper you are sewing you position the zipper tape under the relevant side of the zipper foot. You stitch along one side of the zip then repeat for the other side.

The gaps in the foot allow you to sew close to the zipper teeth on either side of your zipper. If your sewing machine is capable, you can also adjust the needle position to more precisely place your stitching.

You can also use the zipper foot to attach trimmings and that have a tape, just like you do with a zipper. A zipper foot can also be used to apply piping. (There is a piping foot, which makes the task even easier

Overcasting/Overedge Foot

This foot is wonderful if you need to finish the raw edges of fabric but don’t have a serger or overlock machine. There is a little bar in the center of the foot that works to wrap the thread around the edge of the fabric for a neat finish and to prevent fraying.

There are usually a couple of options for overcasting stitches on most machines. You may need to play around with the length and width of the stitch to get the result you are looking for. I always recommend practicing on a piece of scrap fabric first.

You can watch the video tutorial where I will show you in more detail how to do the overcast stitch on your sewing machine.

Play Video

The overcasting stitch can be used even if you have a serger. It comes in handy for quick, small, and hard to reach places.

Blind Hem Foot

This foot is a nice option if you want to hem a pair of pants, curtains, skirt, or other items that you don’t want to be able to see the seam and you don’t want to sew it by hand.

The foot has a gap down the center and the right side of the foot is wider than the left side. The left side is also slightly raised compared to the right side because once the fabric is folded correctly there will be three layers of fabric to fit under the left side of the foot (two layers of the garment fabric itself plus the hem allowance), but only one layer on the right side

You can watch the detailed blind hem video here

Play Video

As I mentioned before, take a piece of scrap fabric and test it out there before sewing on your project. It takes a little tweaking to get the stitch how you want it.

Select the blind hem stitch on your machine and position the foot with the right side of the foot snugly against the fold in the fabric. The right side of the foot will act as a guide as you sew making it easy to sew accurately and ensure the stitches are falling correctly.

As you sew the stitches will be straight and then it will jog over to just catch the main garment fabric as it joins it to the hem allowance. You may need to play with the needle position to get your stitches in the correct place.

You will see a minimal amount of stitching from the right side, especially if you are using thread that is the same color as your fabric.

Buttonhole Foot

This foot can look intimidating, as at least it did for me until I used it. There are different types of buttonhole feet and some are fancier than others. I’m going to show and demonstrate how to use a one-step buttonhole foot. Most machines will come with at least a sliding or adjustable foot, which is similar to the one-step.

The one-step buttonhole attachment looks similar to the sliding and adjustable buttonhole feet, but it also has an area at the back of the foot where you can insert your button. You slide the foot until the button is fitting snugly in the gap then engage a lever or similar on your machine (instructions for this feature will be in your manual). This allows the machine to measure the button and stitch out the correct sized buttonhole in one simple step. I LOVE IT!

Practice on a scrap piece of fabric first. It’s actually quite fun making buttonholes!

Button Foot

You can always just sew a button on by hand but if you’re not a fan of hand sewing this foot could be a very welcome addition to your sewing kit! This foot allows you to sew a 2 or 4 hole button, and in different sizes, depending on the size of the button you are using.

Some machines will have a special setting for applying a button. But if it doesn’t NO WORRIES!

Simply set the stitch width according to the gap between the holes on the button and set the stitch length to “0”. The machine does all the work. If your machine does not have the special button setting, when you complete the stitching, move the needle position to the left or right and set the width to “0” and take several stitches in the same hole to knot the thread. Or you can just manually knot the two threads on the underside.

Viola!

Applique Foot

An appliqué foot is shorter in length than most presser feet and has a wider area for sewing all kinds of decorative stitches. The foot is shorted in length which makes maneuvering curves and angles easier.

The front of the foot sits on the fabric to maintain the required pressure; however, the back of the foot is raised to allow stitches and fabric to feed through easily.

Simply attach the foot to your machine, select an appliqué stitch of your choice, and sew around your chosen design quickly and easily. One of my favorite stitches to use is the blanket stitch.

There you have it. I hope this was helpful and allows you to feel more confident and familiar with those foreign-looking attachments that come with your sewing machine.

janni tips

It’s always a good idea to read through the manual that comes with your sewing machine. There may be some good tips in there to help make your sewing experience a lot easier.

 

 

For those of you who would like a little more direction and tips on all the SEWING BASICS, be sure to check out my SEW SIMPLE COURSES. Find out more about them HERE.

OTHER SEWING POSTS YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN:

Sewing Machine Needles, Why choosing the right one matters!

Unpicking Serger Stitches the Easy Way

Have fun sewing, and remember to KEEP IT SIMPLE!

 

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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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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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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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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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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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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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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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OVERLOCK STITCH | No Serger Needed

Do you want a finished overlock stitch for your seams but don’t have a serger? NO WORRIES! I am going to show you how to finish your seams using four different methods and there is NO SERGER NEEDED!

Ideally, it would be nice to have a serger in your sewing tool kit, however, not everyone can afford one or has access to one. Maybe you’re just getting into sewing and haven’t ventured into the serger world yet.

There are still several ways to get a nice finished edge without using a serger. I did it for years and these few stitches I’m going to show you work really well.

Why do you need to finish seam edges?

If you are sewing on a woven fabric, the seams WILL eventually fray, especially after washing. You don’t want your seam to come undone after all the work you put into a project. Depending on what you are sewing, you can use different methods. I will show you several different ways to finish the seam edges. Even the most basic sewing machines will have these stitches.

Sewing Machine Overlock Stitching Alternatives

ZIGZAG STITCH

This is a stitch when sewn along the edge of the fabric will keep it from fraying.
SEWING MACHINE SETTINGS: Width 4-5, Length 1-2
You can either open up the seam and sew each side of the seam allowance separately or sew them together. This depends on the project you are sewing. If the pattern has you open up the seam and press, sew separately. This is good for light to medium weight fabrics. (cotton prints, linen, etc.)

ZIGZAG STITCH with ADDED STRAIGHT STITCH

SEWING MACHINE SETTINGS: Width 0, Length 2.5
For added strength and a more finished look, you can sew down along the inside edge of the zigzag stitch. You will see this type of seam used on jeans, and projects that with heavier weight fabrics and seams that need more stability.

OVERLOCK STITCH

This is an actual stitch option on your machine. It looks like a zigzag with a straight stitch on the side. It will obviously take a bit longer than it would with a serger, but it does the job.
THIS STITCH WORKS REALLY WELL ON STRETCHY FABRIC! When using this stitch on stretch fabric seams, the seams won’t pop open when pulled. A narrow and short zigzag stitch will also do the same thing. LOVE IT!

You can use this as your seam stitch and the overlock seam. However, since the seam is small, your seam allowance will be very small. You’ll have to take that into consideration and trim the seam allowance first.

Most machines will come with a special OVERLOCK FOOT. You can see what it looks like in the photo above. This foot will help guide the fabric so you are sewing right along the edge where you’re supposed to. It works really well.

SEWING MACHINE SETTINGS: Width 4-5, Length 1-2

SLANTED LADDER STITCH

This is another sewing stitch option that most machines will have. It is also good for stretchy fabrics.
SEWING MACHINE SETTINGS: Width 4-5, Length 1-2
You can play with the length and width to get the stitch you want.

I recommend getting some scrap fabric and practicing with these stitches. You’re going to love it.
Please send me a note if you have any questions.

Have fun sewing!

Other posts you may find helpful:

Sewing By Hand, Most Important Stitches to Know

DIY Bias Tape

Play Video

Have fun sewing and remember to keep it SIMPLE!

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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

My intention for this website is to share tips and tutorials that I have found on my journey of life that has brought me joy, improved health, and peace, in hopes that it will do the same for you. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

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How to Sew Hexies On-the-Go | English Paper Piecing Tutorial

I have to share with you my new crafting project LOVE, hexies. Yes, I’ve made them before and have even hand pieced a hand quilted hexie flower garden quilt. (That was years ago). For some reason, the smaller one-inch version has caught my eye I love making them. We recently went on a road trip and I NEEDED some handwork to do while riding in the car. I figured while I was in the car I would show you how to sew hexies on-the-go. 

One thing I get excited about going on vacation is not only time away, but some time to work on projects like these. Unless I need something to do while watching a movie, or I know I’ll be waiting somewhere for long periods, projects like these get put on the back burner. But WHY? Little sewing projects like these bring me joy, help me chill and relax, and are very rewarding. I guess I’ll have to go on more trips!

So I made sure I had some projects to take with me. (I had three small bins of things to DO: a little sewing, a little crochet, some beading, and my travel watercolor kit). I never get to them all, but at least I have them with me. Is anyone this crazy?

WHAT ARE HEXIES?

Fabric hexagons (which are affectionately referred to as hexies) are made using a process called English paper piecing. Each hexagon is made individually by wrapping the fabric around a paper shape, then securing it in place using either stitch basting or glue basting. (The paper will eventually be pulled out).

These hexagon shapes can be used alone or stitched together to form other fun shapes or patterns like flowers. There really are so many fun ways to put them together. You can applique them on pillows, quilts, or make a wall hanging. Of course, Pinterest has a few ideas.

This is a GREAT WAY TO USE UP YOUR TREASURED FABRIC SCRAPS!

I made a little HEXIE TRAVEL KIT. Let me show you what‘s in it. 

Hexagons are measured by the length of their sides. The hexies I show in this tutorial were made using a 1-inch template and is a good size to start with.

HEXIE TRAVEL KIT CONTENTS

  • Pre-cut fabric scraps (cut to 2 ½ inch – 63 mm squares). Use a variety of colors and prints. 
  • Pre-cut hexagon papers you can buy them already made in bulk, or you can make them yourselves. I like to make them using a lightweight cardstock. Cutting them by hand can be a little time consuming, so I made a template on my Silhouette and let the machine cut them out for me. It’s very important that they are cut out accurately and that they are uniform. I have the CSV file available HERE.
  • I like to get a little tin or zip lock bag to put the papers in for easy access.
  • Needle and Thread Some people use a glue stick, but I prefer the simple needle and thread method. Use a milliner type needle size 9-11. (However, any embroidery needle will work just fine). Throw in a spool of white or neutral color thread for basting.
  • Scissors I take my fabric scissors because I like to trim the fabric before sewing. A smaller pair of embroidery scissors are nice if you have a pair.
  • Upcycled Altoid tins to keep single already made hexies, and spare needles.
  • Acrylic template (optional)

HOW TO MAKE A SINGLE HEXIE

Double thread a needle and knot the end. (Don’t get your thread too long, or it will get tangled, about 16 inches after doubled.

Place your hexagon paper on the wrong side of your fabric and centered on the square. Hold the paper in place while you trim the corners to make a 3/8 seam allowance. 

Fold the fabric firmly over the paper on one side and then fold the adjacent side over to form a mitered corner. Take two small stitches over the mitered corner to tack in place. Stitch about ¼ inch from the edge.

Fold the next side over and hold in place while you tack that corner in place.

Repeat until all sides are folded over and sewn in place. Knot and cut the thread.

Store your made hexies in the tin until you are ready to sew them together. If you are home, it’s nice to press the hexies before sewing them together. However, if you are on-the-road, you can still sew them together and press later.

HOW TO SEW HEXIES TOGETHER

Decide how you want to sew them together. You can make hexie flowers for a Grandma’s Flower Garden quilt, (as shown above) or just start randomly sewing them together if you don’t want a specific pattern. I’ve done it both ways.

Double thread the needle and knot the end.

Place two hexies right sides together (RST). Using a WHIP STITCH, sew along one side from point to point. Sew small stitches that are about 1/8 inch apart. Catch the top folded edge of fabric only. DO NOT SEW THROUGH PAPER. Small, closely spaced stitches that are sewn straight across the fabric top are best.

When one edge is sewn, secure your stitching with a couple of stitches repeated in the same place, at the end of your hexagon side. This keeps the stitches tight and the seams (for each side of the hexagon) neatly intact. Next, fold the hexagons out flat and decide which hexie you want to add next.

When sewing more than one side together, you’ll have to flip the hexie as you sew. Sew the first side right up to the corner end. Align the next side by folding the other hexie next to it in half (without creasing). This allows you to line up the edges more easily. Sew that side and repeat the flip. 

While on the road, you can just make up a bunch of single hexies, or if you’re like me, you won’t be able to wait and you’ll want to arrange a flower and sew one together right away. 

Play Video

Seriously, once you make a few hexies you’re going to be hooked! 

I hope this inspires you to make a little travel kit and get sewing, EVEN ON-THE-GO!

Have fun sewing!

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