Category Archives: Tutorial

Pants to Skirt and Blind-Hem Tutorial

Do you have a whole bunch of ill-fitting clothes still taking up space in your closet?  Once again I found myself reluctant to give away a pair of pants: they were from The Limited, bought in 2007, 2 sizes too small, but in great shape and buttery soft.

And, as I mentioned in my last shorts-to-skirt tutorial, I really need the warm-weather bottoms! I decided to use more of that stretch sparkle denim for my side panels.  But this time I used the reverse side of the fabric which is a bit more gold than blue.  Saucy!

SONP-2I followed the same procedure as last time for making this skirt.  The only difference was that this time I did a blind-hem stitch on my machine!

I think I tried to do a blind-hem on my machine once before, but I decided to take this opportunity to really learn this skill. If you’re new to the process as well, here’s a tutorial on how to sew a blind hem by machine!  Read on…

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Jorna Hack – Stretch Lace Jorna

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So now that everyone has their Jorna pattern (right???) here’s a simple modification you can make to get a beautiful Jorna out of any transparent fabric with stretch.


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I have this stretch lace and I LOVE IT.  But obviously I couldn’t do the normal lining that is called for in the Jorna pattern, what with the see-through-ocity of the lace.

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My secret to pretty finished edges when using lace or similar fabric?: WONDER TAPE.  Hallelujah sing the praises. This is a skinny double-sided tape that disintegrates in the wash (or whenever it’s exposed to water).

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So to make the dress (or tank – whichever length), first sew together the shoulders as instructed, but then skip ahead to sewing the sides together from hem to armpit.  For this type of fabric, I will finish these seams on the inside with an overlock stitch and trim off any excess.  A serger would be handy here.  Or you could do French seams!  Ohh la la!

Now you just need to finish the armholes, neckhole, and bottom hem.  Start by sticking a long strip of Wondertape along the neck-line’s raw edge, onto the wrong side of the garment.  Remove the backing of the tape, and fold it down!  It sticks! And now you can sew over the tape (on the right-side of the garment) with a narrow stretch stitch.  It’s easy peasy sewing through the tape – no gunky needles in my experience.  Repeat the process for the armholes and the hem.   You could fold the edge over twice to encapsulate the raw edge completely.  You could.  I don’t.

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Where there’s yellow – you must WONDERTAPE

I actually use WonderTape when hemming the Jorna in this YOUTUBE VIDEO of me sewing a Jorna in less than 40 minutes (fastforwarded through genius editing technology so the video is just 4 minutes long).

Okay – and for the slip (because otherwise this would actually make for some fierce lingerie, but I need to be able to wear it on the streets) I made a black tube out of jersey, added straps, and called it good enough.

I’m linking up to the No Pants Summer 2013 party!


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Shorts to Skirt Tutorial

shortsbuttonI’ve done this before, but here we go again!  Here’s a tutorial on how to turn those too-tight shorts into a skirt!  We can easily make a nice pencil skirt out of shorts, and even give it a bit of an A-Line with the help of some side-panels.

I’ve gained my share of inches around the hips in the past 5 years.  I blame babies, beer, and the general annoyance of aging.  So I’ve got lots of shorts laying around, but not enough that fit.  Now that is officially the temperature of molten lava, time to increase my warm-weather wardrobe!

Read on for a full tutorial…

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Back-to-Front Binding Tutorial

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One alternative to making traditional binding is to make a quilt-back big enough to fold over to the front of the quilt and sew in place.  That’s right, you can use the backing for the binding!  I’ve had a tutorial for this process up on the blog – it was one of my very first posts back in 2010!  But that tutorial needed some updates – here we go!

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Trapezoids at Work – Quilt Top and Tutorial

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After seeing THIS IMAGE float around pinterest ( “Trapezoid Love” by Melanie Mikecz), I knew I wanted to do a wonky tumbler quilt.  And, like the inspiration piece, I wanted my points to match.  Wow… how was I going to make a liberated trapezoid quilt (no meticulous calculating and template-making), and still get the points to match?

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It took a couple of unsuccessful trial runs before coming up with this method.  It’s not for everyone – at the end, you’ve got the entire quilt-top in your lap and you’re completing seams and wrestling and it’s a bit gnarly.  But I LOVE the final product.  I see more of these in my future…

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I’ll chat a bit more about this quilt when I finish quilting it and binding it, but for now – a full tutorial!  I have no idea if the below will make any sense, but I tried my best and… you know… it’s free for you to read.

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Archicoop! Quilt Top

Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander is the first line of fabric where I needed every.single.piece.  So wasn’t I a lucky duck to get a 1/2 yard bundle of the entire line for Christmas?! (Thanks, hubs!)

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The colors shout “Spring!” and ever since I saw Rossie’s Pebble Quilt, I’ve been hankering to make an egg blanket.

The pattern on this fabric is so geometric and linear, could it work for this design?  I needed to do a Photoshop mock-up!  (Check out this STUPID EASY tutorial for how to make something like this – I was shocked at the ease!)

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I looked good to me, so I went ahead and started making my egg blocks using Rossie’s Applique tutorial.  If you’ve seen the Famous Porthole Quilt by Lucie Summers I think this is the method!

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I verged from Rossie’s tutorial in a couple of places.  For one, I didn’t trim the seam allowances before flipping the facing to the back.  I found that the facing would flip easier if I had more fabric to convince it to go with the flow.  And instead of top-stitching the layers together, I opted to pull out my fabric glue stick and do the Six Minute Circle method.    Just a couple dabs of water-soluble glue on the flipped fabric and stick it to your egg.  Then you sew along the same line from when you sewed your flipping fabric into place.  Essentially, you are sewing the seam allowance from the foreground piece to the egg background piece.  Go slow.  You can do it.

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No top-stitching! No hand-sewing!

After I sewed my facing to the egg fabric, I clipped the seam allowances.

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Pretty quilt top!  Ready for backing and batting and basting and quilting and binding.

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Sew and Turn Applique

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Do you love the look of needle-turn applique, but don’t have the skills or the patience to pull-off the technique? Then this style of applique is for YOU! No needle-turning, no raw-edges, no cutting of precise shapes; Yes gorgeous, and polished appliques in ANY SHAPE YOU CAN IMAGINE.

I’ve used this technique for a boat-load of projects, such as…
This red tree quilt and its leaves:

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These clouds:

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And this quilt top I’ve had in the works:

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Read on for a full tutorial!

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