Tag Archives: sewing

Bead Necklace

Fabric covered beaded necklaces have been around for a long time.  I remember making one in Girl Scouts when I was a kid.  For this reason, I wasn’t really big on the idea of actually wearing one as an adult.  Then I saw this adorable bracelet from Hannah Handmade!  I considered making a bracelet, but I really like statement necklaces.  I also found this tutorial for a fabric covered beaded bracelet by Goody-Goody Handmade in my awesome sewing calendar.  I decided to combine my favorite parts of both bracelets to come up with my own design!  The best part about this project was that I had everything I needed on hand and it was easy enough that I could wear the necklace the next day!

Materials needed:

  • Beaded costume jewelry (the beads are easier to work with if they are already attached in a string – mine are about 3/4″ in diameter)
  • Fabric
  • Embroidery Floss
  • 30″ of ribbon
  • Two 3″ segments of ribbon to cover the fabric/ribbon connection
  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun (or another type of fabric glue, if you prefer)
  • Fray check (optional)


  1. Measure your fabric against your beads.  The fabric should be wide enough to surround your beads plus 1/2″-3/4″ for wiggle room and the seam.  The fabric should be long enough to cover your length of beads plus several inches.  My bead string is about 12″ long and my fabric was about 20″ long.  I had some fabric leftover, but I wanted to make sure I had enough.
  2. Once you have cut out your fabric strip, fold it in half lengthwise with right sides facing in.  Sew a 1/4″ seam down the long side of the fabric.  Turn this tube inside out.
  3. Feed the bead string through one end of the fabric tube.
  4. Use the embroidery floss to tie a knot in between one set of beads.  Wrap the floss around the knot several times and then tie a second knot to secure it.  I started in the middle of the bead string and the middle of the fabric to make sure I had equal amounts of fabric at either end.
  5. Once you have finished tie all the beads in place, trim the excess fabric at each end down to about 1″.
  6. Cut the ribbon so that you have one piece that is about 20″ long and another that is about 10″ long.  Use glue to attach one end of each piece of ribbon to one end of the fabric.
  7. Glue the ends of the 3″ pieces of ribbon down to prevent fraying.  If you are using hot glue, use as little as possible for this step as the glue does not allow for much flexibility.  I was in a hurry to finish this project for the next day, so I did not want to wait for another type of glue to dry.
  8. Wrap the ribbon segments around the messy ends of fabric and ribbon and use glue to secure.
  9. Tie a bow with the two lengths of ribbon close to one end of the necklace.  Trim any excess ribbon.  Be sure to cut the ends of the ribbon at an angle to prevent fraying.  Fray check can be applied at this point, but I didn’t have any on hand.
  10. The finished necklace should be big enough to slip over your head.  Therefore, if you want to secure the bow with glue or thread, feel free!
  11. Wear the necklace and admire your handiwork!

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Filed under Babies/Kids, Beads, Clothing, Fabric

Birthday Banner

My nephew is turning 1!  Since my family is coming from all over the place and has all sorts of different time commitments, we celebrated his birthday a few weeks early.  I saw this super fun confetti garland from Increasingly Domestic and had to make one for the party!  I decided to add letters to mine to personalize it for the kid (not that he can read, but he did like the fun colors!).  I also made the birthday hat, so be sure to look for that in an upcoming post!

Materials needed:

  • Felt sheets in several different colors (one sheet of each color should be sufficient for a banner of this size)
  • Ribbon scraps
  • Letter templates (I printed my from a word processor)
  • Circle template (I used the bottom of a candle jar – about 3-1/2″ diameter)
  • Fabric marker
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Hot glue gun


  1. Trace several circles onto your felt using your circle template and felt marker.  I traced 4 circles onto each color of felt.  Since I found 8 different colors of felt, I had a total of 32 circles to create 2 separate chains.  Cut the circles out.
  2. Sew a line through the center of each circle so the circles are just touching at the edges.  Do not cut the threads in between the circles.  Increasingly Domestic provides an excellent photo tutorial for this process.
  3. If you need to create your letter templates, follow these directions.  If not, skip to the next step.  I used Microsoft Word to print out huge letters, but you can use any word processor.  Open the program and type out one of each letter that you will need on your banner.  Highlight the letters and try out different fonts until you find one you like.  Make sure it is thick enough to easily cut out.  I stopped at a font called Marker Felt.  Increase the font size until it is large enough for your banner.  My font size is 250.  Print out the letters and cut them out.
  4. Choose which circle will hold which letter and trace that letter onto a contrasting color of felt.  You might want to trace the letter upside down so any marker lines do not show on the finished product.  Cut the letters out.
  5. Time for the hot glue gun!  Use the glue gun to adhere the letters to the circles.  Make sure the letters are where you want them before attaching them to the circles.  Hot glue is not a very forgiving material when used with felt.
  6. Glue a loop of ribbon to the backside of the end circles.
  7. Hang up your banner and celebrate!  These circles have a tendency to twist on the chain (which is part of the charm), so you may want to hang the chain against a flat wall to keep the letters facing forward.

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Filed under Babies/Kids, Decorations, Fabric

Versatile Collar and Tie

I have a tiki man that my grandfather carved out of a tree stump a long time ago.  He greets people entering my apartment.  I’ve never really decorated him before (with the exception of Christmas) because I think he’s pretty cool by himself, but I thought it might be fun to dress him up!  Now, as most people cannot relate to the difficulty of finding the perfect attire for a 3-1/2 foot tall tree stump, I decided to design this tie to suit several purposes!  The tie features an adjustable hook and loop closure and fits everyone from the tiki man to dogs to full grown men.  This picture is my 11 month old nephew checking himself out in a mirror (again, taken by Mr. B’s Photo Shoot).  This project uses the collar from an old button down shirt.  I haven’t decided what to do with the rest of the shirt, but I’m sure it will show up on this blog at some point.  I am open to suggestions!

Materials needed:

  • Collar from an old button down shirt
  • Fabric for tie
  • 4″ of hook and loop fastener (can use more or less depending on your intended purposes)
  • Piece of paper, ruler, and pencil to create a template for the tie (or you can freehand if you want)
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron


  1. Cut the collar off on an old button down shirt.
  2. Trim this collar as shown in the following picture.  This will remove unnecessary bulk from the finished product.  The extra tab will allow you to attach the collar later on.
  3. Use a small zigzag stitch to finish off all the edges you just cut.
  4. Fold the collar so that the back of the collar is in half and the front of the collar folds completely over the extra tab.  Iron this fold.  The collar should retain a slight curve.
  5. Cut the collar in half and use a zigzag seam on each half to close up the newly created raw edges.  The folded over collar should now be directly sewn to the underside of the collar.
  6. Lay the two pieces out so the collar meets in the front and the extra tabs are overlapping slightly.  Sew a straight line through both tabs to attach the two pieces together.
  7. Time to design your tie.  You can make yourself a pattern using my template instructions or freehand a drawing.  Just be sure to cut two pieces of each.  If you use the template, make sure you place the pattern on the fold.
  8. Pin the right sides of the tail together.  Sew a 1/4″ seam around all edges except the 2″ top part.
  9. Turn the tail right side out and sew a 1/8″ seam around all sewn edges.
  10. Lay one piece of the knot on your table with right side up.  Lay the tail on top lining up the edges that measure 2″.  Lay the second piece of the knot on top of the pile with right side down.  Pin in place.
  11. Sew a 1/4″ seam around all edges of the knot except the 3″ side.  Trim the corners on the 3″ side close to the seam to remove excess bulk.
  12. Pull the knot up so the fabric is right side out.  Fold the top edge in about 1/4″ of an inch.  Pin in place.
  13. Sew a 1/8″ seam around the entire knot.
  14. Pin the tie in place on top of the extra tabs of the collar and under the collar flaps.  Sew a small seam to attach the tie to the collar.  Make sure these stitches will be covered by the collar flaps.
  15. Lay the hook side (the rough side) on the outside of the collar close to the back seam.  Pin in place.  Lay the loop side (the soft side) on the inside of the collar close to the opposite back seam.  Pin in place.  Stitch around both pieces to secure in place.
  16. Your tie is finished!  Here is a collage of everyone sporting this accessory!  (I apologize for the glowing dog eyes)

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Filed under Babies/Kids, Clothing, Fabric, Pets

Book Cover

As a student, substitute teacher, and tutor, my schedule is all over the place and regularly getting worse.  After forgetting about a reading for a class, I finally decided I needed a day planner.  The selection I found at the store was really less than desirable – tiny spaces to write in, too much extra stuff (I really have no need to carry around an address book with me), or super boring covers.  Then I found this one…for $1.38!!!  Boring cover aside, it has everything I require (without any extras)!  So, I decided to make my own cover!  I bought this fabric a while ago and have been looking for the perfect project for it.  Yes, it is void of color, but it has a lot of character and I love it!

Materials needed:

  • A book in need of a cover
  • Fabric
  • Embellishments (ribbons, buttons, sequins…use your imagination!)
  • Iron
  • Sewing machine


  1. The first thing you need to do is test the flexibility of your book’s spine.  The measurements for the inside flaps will depend on this flexibility.  Open the front and back cover as far as they will go (be careful not to hurt the spine).  If the covers come close to touching in the back, you can cover the entire inside of your covers.  If not, you probably only want to cover half of the inside to allow you to get the finished cover on the book.  My book is spiral bound (a lot of flexibility) so I chose to cover the entire inside.
  2. Next, you need to measure the book to determine the amount of fabric you need.  Measure from top edge to the bottom edge of the front cover to get your height.  Measure the inside of the cover to the point you want the fabric cover to stop.  Multiply this measurement by two (for the front and back covers).  Close the book and measure from the side edge of the front cover around the spine and to the side edge of the back cover.  Add this measurement to the measurement for the inside of the front and back covers and you get your width.  Add 2-1/4″ to 2-1/2″ to both the height and the width measurements.  If your book has relatively thick covers, you probably want to lean towards the 2-1/2″ side.
  3. Use these measurements to cut out your fabric.
  4. Fold 1″ down on each side with right sides out and press.  Repeat with the top and bottom.  Fold the sides over to your measurement for the front and back inside covers and press.
  5. Now that you have an idea of what the outside of the cover is going to look like, its time to embellish!  I will continue my directions to include a ribbon as shown in my top picture.  This ribbon actually starts on one inside cover and continues around the book to the other inside cover, but you may choose to only decorate the front of your book if you want.
  6. Unfold all pressed edges.  Pin the ribbon halfway between the top and bottom of the cover.  Sew down both sides of the ribbon as close as you can get to the edge.
  7. Once you are finished embellishing, refold the side edges in along the 1″ line.  Fold the inside covers over the outside covers with right sides together (this will go against the ironing you did earlier, but it is only temporary).  Pin together along the top and bottom ironed creases.
  8. Sew along the top and bottom creases.
  9. Turn the cover sleeves right side out.  Open the front and back covers just like you did in step #1 and slide the cover onto your book.
  10. You’re all done!

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Filed under Containers, Fabric, Other

Yoga Bag (with optional pocket)

I have been wanting to make a yoga bag for a long time!  I’ve never taken a yoga class, but I don’t have the convenience of an in home studio, so storing my equipment is a necessity.  I also shudder to think what my cats could do to my mat if given the opportunity.  Thus a bag is a must for storage AND protection!  I designed this particular bag with a large pocket on the front.  This pocket is large enough for a yoga brick, towel, water bottle, extra shirt, etc.  Should you desire a yoga bag without a pocket, just skip steps 3-7!

Materials needed:

  • 6″ diameter circle (bottom)
  • 20″ x 30″ rectangle (bag)
  • 13″ square (pocket)
  • 8″ x 44″ rectangle (strap)
  • 2″ x 36″ rectangle (drawstring)
  • sewing machine
  • iron

Note:  All of these pieces can be cut out of the same material or they can be mixed and matched however you want!


  1. Start with the drawstring.  This is made just like the dog collar and the drawstring for the dog treat bag.  Fold the short ends in about 1/4″ with right sides out and press.  Fold the entire piece in half lengthwise with right sides out and press.  Unfold the last step and fold the sides in towards the center fold with right sides out and press.  Refold the center fold and repress.  Sew a 1/8″ seam down the open side and the ends of the drawstring.  Set aside.
  2. Now for the strap.  Fold the entire strap in half lengthwise with right sides facing and press.  Sew a 1/4″ seam down the long open side.  Turn the strap right side out.  Sew a 1/4″ seam down both long sides of the strap.  Set aside
  3. Time for the pocket.  Feel free to skip this step if you so desire.  Fold a 1/4″ down on the top edge of the pocket right sides out and press.  Fold this fold down on itself with right sides out and press.  This will create a hem without any loose edges.
  4. Fold the sides of the pocket in 1/4″ with right sides out and press.  Fold the bottom edge of the pocket in 1/4″ with right sides out and press.
  5. Place the left side edge of the pocket about 7″ away from the 30″ left edge of the bag.  The bottom edge of the pocket should be 6″ from the bottom edge of the bag.  The back side of the pocket should be facing the right side of the bag.  Pin the left side in place.  Repeat this process with the right edge.  The pocket will not lie flat on the bag.
  6. Place a pin through the bottom edge of the pocket and the bag 2-1/2″ from the left and right sides of the pocket.  Flatten the remainder of the pocket so that you have an even amount of pocket on either side of the pins (should be about 1-1/2″).  I used this blog by Arm Candy For You as a general idea for designing this pocket.
  7. Sew a 1/8″ seam around the three pinned sides of the pocket leaving the top open.  Be sure to reinforce your stitches at the beginning and the end of the seam.
  8. Fold the bag in half lengthwise with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4″ seam down the open length of the bag.
  9. Pin one end of the strap to the seam of the bag so the strap is facing the right side of the bag and the raw edges match up.  Use a basting stitch to tack the strap in place.  Pin the circular bottom to the bottom edge of the bag fabric with the right sides together.  Sew a 1/4″ seam around the bottom.
  10. Fold the top edge of the bag down 1/4″ with the right sides out and press.  Fold this fold down 1-1/2″ with right sides out and press.  Sew an 1/8″ seam around the bottom edge of this fold.  This pocket will hold the drawstring.
  11. Locate the seam that runs the length of the bag within the drawstring pocket.  Sew a short reinforcement stitch 1/8″ from the top edge and overlapping the seam.  Use a seam ripper to rip the stitches of the seam on the outside of the bag from the reinforcement stitch to the bottom of the drawstring pocket.  This will allow access for the drawstring.
  12. Turn the bag right side out.  Place the top edge of the strap just below the bottom edge of the drawstring pocket and over the seam.  Make sure the strap doesn’t have any twists before sewing in place.  Sew a 1/8″ seam following the top edge of the strap.  Fold the strap up over top of this seam.  Sew a new seam in line with the bottom of the drawstring pocket.
  13. Thread the drawstring through the drawstring pocket.
  14. Add your supplies and start harnessing your chi!  Namaste.

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Filed under Containers, Fabric

Dog Treat Bag

This is a great way to carry around training treats for your dog!  Why buy one when you can make one out of fun fabric!  This particular fabric happens to match my dog!  The clip can be attached to a leash or belt buckle for easy access.

Materials needed:

  • 6-1/2″ x 11″ outer fabric
  • 6-1/2″ x 11″ liner fabric (I used PUL fabric)
  • 3″ x 11″ top edging fabric
  • 1″ x 22″ top edging fabric
  • Swivel clasp (these can be borrowed from old leashes or purchased at your local craft store)
  • piece of top edging fabric 4x the width of your swivel clasp and 4″ long
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron


  1. Take the 1″ x 22″ top edging fabric (hereafter referred to as the drawstring) and the piece of edging fabric measured to fit your swivel clasp and follow the second step of my dog collar instructions.  Iron the fabric in half lengthwise with the right sides (the side you want to show) of the fabric facing out.  Open the fabric and press both sides in towards the middle fold.  Open the drawstring (this step is not necessary for the swivel clasp fabric) and fold the ends of the fabric in about 1/4″ and press.  Refold all edges and pin the fabric in place.  Note: all rough edges should be tucked into the fabric at this point.
  2. Sew a 1/8″ seam down both sides of the swivel clasp fabric.  Sew a 1/8″ seam down one side and the ends of the drawstring.
  3. Fold the outer fabric and lining fabric in half width-wise with right sides together.  If you are using PUL fabric for the lining, the shiny side is considered the right side.  Sew a 1/4″ seam down the 6-1/2″ side of both pieces of fabric.  Trim the edge of the lining fabric close to the seam.  Fold the 3″ x 11″ top edging fabric in half width-wise with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4″ seam half way down the 3″ side of fabric.  Reinforce this seam well.
  4. Press the seam of the 3″ x 11″ top edging fabric open.
  5. Flip the lining fabric right side out.  Fold the 3″ x 11″ top edging fabric in half lengthwise so the right sides of the fabric are on the outside (pressed open seams should be on the inside).  Slip this loop over the lining fabric loop so the raw edges line up.  Make sure the half of the seam that was not sewn is on the outside (the sewn side should be touching the lining fabric).  Line up the seams of the two loops.  Slip the swivel clasp fabric through the handle on the swivel clasp and line up both ends on top of the seams of the two loops.  Slip the outer fabric loop (right sides still facing in) over the entire loop and line up the seams.  Note:  All rough edges and seams should be lined up at this point.  Pin all layers in place and sew a 1/4″ seam around the loop.
  6. Pull the lining fabric down so it is now right side in.  Sew a 1/4″ seam across the bottom edge.  Trim the edge close to the seam.
  7. Pull the outer fabric down so it is now right side out.  Fold one side of the bottom edge over the bottom edge of the lining fabric.  Fold the other side of the bottom edge to the inside to match the first side.  Pin these sides together and sew an 1/8″ seam across the bottom edge capturing both sides of the outer fabric and the lining fabric.
  8. Thread the drawstring through the top edging fabric using the open seam.
  9. Add your dog’s favorite treats and start training!

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Filed under Fabric, Pets

Easy Refurbished Dog Collar

Is your dog’s collar looking a little tired and worn?  Perhaps you’re just bored of looking at the same collar day after day?  Maybe you can’t find a collar at the store that suits your pooch’s personality?  I was surprised just how easy it was to make one.  I hope you will be too!  This is a revised version.  My sewing mentor (my mom) suggested I use interfacing in the collar to make it stronger, so I have changed the instructions to reflect this addition.

Materials needed:

  • an old adjustable collar
  • fun fabric
  • fusible interfacing
  • sewing machine
  • iron


  1. Begin by measuring the width of your current collar and the circumference of your pup’s neck.  Now, you need to measure out the fabric.  The width of your fabric needs to be 4x the width of your current collar.  For instance, my collar is 5/8″, so I cut the fabric to be 2-1/2″ wide.  The length of your fabric needs to be at least 8″ longer than the circumference of your dog’s neck.  This measurement does not need to be exact because the collar is adjustable.  When you have figured out the dimensions, cut your fabric.  Cut a piece of interfacing to the same size as the fabric.
  2. Following the directions for the interfacing, iron the interfacing to the back side of the fabric.
  3. Fold the ends in about 1/4″ and iron.  Make sure right sides are out.
  4. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with right sides facing out and press.
  5. Open the most recent step and fold the edges in to meet the middle crease.  Iron.
  6. Repress the middle crease with the edges still folded in.
  7. Sew an 1/8″ seam down each side of the fabric lengthwise.
  8. Cut the current fabric off your old collar, but keep all the pieces.  You should have four pieces of plastic and a metal ring left.  Two of the pieces clip together.  One adjusts the size of the collar once it is on the dog.  The fourth piece is a small plastic band and holds the collar in place (your collar may or may not include this piece).  The metal piece is a D-ring to hold your dog tags.
  9. If you look at the adjuster from the side, it should have a flat bottom and a rounded top.  Feed the fabric up through one of the slits starting on the flat bottom.  Continue to feed the fabric down through the second slit in the rounded top and out again through the flat bottom.
  10. Pin the tail of the fabric to the rest of the fabric and sew firmly in place.  Sew over the same place a few times to make sure the fabric is firmly attached.
  11. Thread the fabric through the plastic band (if you have one), one side of the clip, and back through the plastic band.  Make sure all plastic pieces will follow the contours of your dogs neck (all rounded edges face out).
  12. Feed the fabric through the adjuster piece in the same manner as before.
  13. Thread the fabric through the metal D-ring and the second piece of the clip.
  14. Pin the tail to the fabric before and after the D-ring.  Sew the tail down firmly in both places.
  15. Allow your pooch to show off their newest accessory!


Filed under Fabric, Pets