Sewing with Scraps – Cord Wraps

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So the scrap sewing pattern this week was another one that was picked cause I needed something to manage the spaghetti factory of cables I have collected, and comes from Leafy Treetop. I recently gave my sister my old laptop case since she needed one for work and mine was just being used to hold all my various charging cables as I no longer have a laptop. This left me with the issue of about 10 cables that now suddenly needed a new home and to be organized. Time to put that scrap to work!

The time for this was much faster then the mousepad last week since I had no drying time, and once I knew what I was doing, I had these setup assembly line style to sew up and save time. You’ll need 2 scraps that are about 3″x7″ and interfacing (midweight) for each cord wrap, along with a bit of velcro. I buy velcro by the giant spool for my chain chomp plush, so I just cut some off to whatever size I needed but I think anything 1″x1″ or there abouts will work.

Using the template, I cut out the fabric needed for the first few (and then more later cause I didn’t make enough, lol). I decided to frame the images on some of the fabric (known as fussy cutting) so I used more scrap then I had to as a result, but that was my choice so it didn’t bother me toooooo much. Once everything was cut, I ironed the interfacing on the back (or wrong) side of the fabric I wanted to have showing. Then I placed the 2 fabrics, right side facing together, next to my machine to sew.

I sewed around the edge without pins (cause this was so small) about 1/4″ from the edge. I have a special foot that Toni suggested to me for this exact purpose and it really helped a lot. You have to leave about a 2-3″ gap in your sewing so you can turn your piece inside out and then iron and sew around the edge once more.

Now that the body is done, you simply place and sew the velcro on as you desire. the first few I did I used vertical strips just on the ends, but I wanted to be able to tighten it more so for the second batch I had the velcro go horizontal on the body. It does mean the design is covered more, but I know the kind of jostling my cords will take and just felt like the initial batch won’t stay in the keeper as well. Time will tell if I’m wrong about this, lol.

As you can see from this picture of my first batch, I forgot to sew the right sides together on one. Opps! I just said screw it and I’m living with it, but if you were making these as gifts or for someone else, then maybe don’t work at like 10pm like I did, lol. In the end I really liked this pattern. It was very easy to follow (lots of pictures) and a great introduction to interfacing if you’ve never used it before. The pattern is simple and besides the small change in velcro placement I’m very happy with everything. I’d give it a 5/5 bobbins. Highly recommend it.

Sewing with Scraps – Mouse Pad

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As Toni can verify, I’ve had a very cautious approach to using a sewing machine. I took classes in school sure, but I was already very good at sewing by hand even then and the machines were so old that half to time they didn’t work. So while I’ve learned a few things and how newer models work, I would still default to hand sewing for years. Well I decided to change all that starting a few weekends back. My sister is a fashion major and, as my birthday gift, offer to sew me a new purse as long as I had the pattern and materials ready for her. After she was done (and it’s super cute) I had about half a yard of scraps that I didn’t want to just toss. My thriftiness wouldn’t allow it! So I scoured the internet for ideas that I could use these bits and pieces for. I found tons of ideas but only about 8 appealed to me. For the next few weeks I’m going to highlight each one I picked, how easy it was for a beginner, and how I feel the final product turned out. Today I started with what seemed to be the simplest of the lot, a mousepad.

Now I’ve been considering buying a mousepad for my desk for a few months as my mouse has worn thru some of the top finish in spots, but it’s started catching on those so the timing here was almost perfect. It would also allow my to make something that would fit the very unusual size I would need (10″ by 6″) for my small desk space. Following the instructions from How Joyful, I gathered my materials.

What you see here is my cut fabric, some dollar store shelf liner, and a paper towel. You basically sandwich these together (fabric, liner, paper towel) and pin in place before sewing – if needed. The paper towel is used to keep the needle from sticking to the rubber bottom of the non-slip liner, so you could use something like tissue paper instead if you don’t have any paper towels on hand.

After you sew around the edge, you then turn it over and slowly rip off the paper towel. Doing the edges first makes removing the middle much, much easier. Try and get as much off as you can since you’ll want the rubber of bottom mat to be able to smoothly touch the surface.

Now for the time consuming part. You flip it back over and apply Mod Podge to the fabric side in a nice even coat. You’ll want 2-3 coats of modge podge total and it’s an hour to dry between coats, so be sure to set it up on some parchment paper or surface you can easily clean. I did my first coat at night and then the second in the morning, but you do with what works for your schedule. Now if yours is anything like mine, the edges started to curl during the drying and I wasn’t having that. I recommend taking a hot dry iron once it’s fully dry (mine was set to cotton since that was my fabric), place parchment paper over the mouse pad and then iron it to fix this.

Here’s my mouse pad at it’s new home. I also trimmed the edges of extra fabric/rubber pad so it looked nice and neat after ironing it. So what did I think of it in the end? Well, there’s a few things I’d change but overall it’s a great easy pattern for a beginner. I don’t like how the surface feels for mine, but that could be on the type of modpodge I used, and it’s much thinner then a normal mouse pad so maybe adding some interfacing on the back of the fabric would fix that issue. Other then that, only time will tell if it holds up to daily use. I rate it 4/5 bobbins. Good and easy, but needs tweaking for personal preference.

Loot Carriers Made Easy

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Happy Sunday, all!

Last week I promised some DIY loot bag ideas and these will not disappoint! 3 of the 4 do involve sewing but they are all pretty easy to make, even for those new to sewing. The first one up is a very simple box bottom bag done in fun Halloween print from Almost Supermom:

Best part is making them to suit the size you want…for more loot.

I think they are super cute and will give everyone some more practice on the basics. Now you’ll have the pattern for a basic box bag! Bonus! Plus the fabric selection is completely up to you – so if your kiddos want a bag to match their costume, there is plenty of fabric out there to choose from (like those new Star Wars fabrics we mentioned?). The second has a similar tutorial but on a much cheaper scale. So if you are trying to save a little money by making your own trick or treat bags, this bandanna bag tutorial from 2 Little Hooligans is the right choice for you:

I am NOT a fan of candy corn but I do love that bandanna pattern.

I think that one is also super cool for customizing as I’ve seen all kinds of themed bandannas out there. Again, this does not have to be used solely for Halloween purposes. Super awesome bandanna bags for all occasions! The third one is interactive and kind of creepy. This “sticky” spider web loot bag from Merriment Design has just the right amount of fun for the little ones:

They also make flies and other bugs that the spiders could have “trapped”…just sayin’.

I love the innovative use of the Velcro to bump up the play factor. The fourth one I found is for those of us that either don’t know how to sew or would rather let our sewing machines have a break after rocking out some amazing costumes. This duct tape bag from Dukes and Duchesses looks simple and useful:

Plus this one is guaranteed to be fairly waterproof in case Halloween is a bit damp.

I’ve seen all kinds of cool, creepy, or even shiny types of duct tape that could be used for those. Hope you’ve enjoyed our festive romp through DIY bags this week. May your bag overfloweth this Halloween season!

Stay crafty!


Vintage Sewing Resource

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With Halloween just around the corner, I know I’m not the only one with costumes on my mind. Half the problem though is looking for what you want as not all patterns are easily available or you have to flip through endless catalogs to find what you need. Well, if you are in need of something 25+ years old, have I got a resource for you.

This Wiki is without a doubt of the best resources for quickly looking through real manufactured patterns for your vintage needs, and they just uploaded over 83,000 this summer! :O I’ll let them tell you a bit about themselves:

We are working to create one location online where people can go to browse through vintage patterns starting from the year 1992 and older and share information about them, including:

  • Links to sellers who have particular patterns in stock
  • Reviews by people who have made the patterns (share photos!)
  • Links to blog posts about particular patterns
  • Wishlist of people who want to buy or trade particular patterns
  • Searchable ‘categories’ on patterns (like ‘cocktail’, ‘wrap dress’, ‘peter pan collar’ or whatever)

So yeah, really good stuff to be found here for the period accurate costumer. The pattern will likely not be free in the end, but at least it will be official as a majority of the patterns located on it come from many long standing brands such as McCalls and Serendipity. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been thinking of making a Linkle cosplay myself and I wonder if they have anything to help me make that cape of hers…

Stained Glass Curtains

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Yes, you read that title right, but no, it’s not quite what you’re thinking.

Handmade by Koren artist Jessica Yoo, these windows are actually covered in a thin fabric paneling meant to mimic stained glass, though hers is inspired by the Koren art style rather then then western. It’s called Meem and her’s what the artist has to say about it:

More than ever, people want a nature-integrated life into their contemporary one. Despite the gross increase of technological development that has been dominating the contemporary life, it is a natural instinct for humans to desire nature. However, the way we have treated sunlight over the years has been quite dull. We shut the curtains when we didn’t like the sun, and opened it when we needed it.
Meem solves this by taking shades back to the traditional Korean concept of personalizing the atmosphere. Specifically, with the translucent quality of Jogakbo, one could incorporate nature into the interior seamlessly. This way, sunlight and nature is not blocked or exposed, it becomes a part of the interior. Jogakbo’s design aspect – the colors and texture-can also fit any mood or mentality of the user, which ultimately creates a harmony of assimilation.

It’s truly beautiful work that really captures her goal of making nature come indoors again in a beautiful way. You can see more of her work over on her etsy shop as these are really just a taste of what she’s created.

Bunnies Galore

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Happy Sunday, all!

Easter is a couple of weeks away and I’ve already been having bunny sightings! Spring has definitely sprung, so let’s get festive and add a few more buns to the mix. If you are the crochet type, you could use all kinds of colors to create these little cuties:

They don’t take that much yarn so the stash could be raided!

Or maybe you’ve already been itching to start a quick/portable hand sewing project? These cute bun buns would do the trick:

I love those widdle whiskers!

Or maybe you’ve still got the old sewing machine out to work on through some of those scrap projects? How about adding a quick bunny basket to the mix:

Just in time to fill with chocolate goodies, too.

Speaking of goodies, I just can’t pass up the opportunity to mention these deliciously cute looking bunny butt cupcakes:

I mean, look at that adorbs tail!

I seem to have become the queen of project lists in the last few months but never fear, I have some tutorials and product testimonials up my sleeve, yet. More to come!

Stay crafty!



Giving Thanks

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Hello Sunday readers!

This coming week includes one of my favorite US holidays, Thanksgiving! I’m quite food motivated so cooking and then eating a whole bunch of it with friends/family is just my style. Since I’m a pretty good cook as well, most folks are thankful when I bring a dish along. This got me to thinking about how to transport my tasty additions so that they would still be warm (oven space is limited at our destination) and not burn anyone’s lap in the car. Behold! The casserole carrier is a quick and easy DIY that may also make great holiday gifts in the coming month:

The best part is using fabric from the stash!

The best part is using fabric from the stash! My Legend of Zelda casserole carrier is going to rock!

I cruised a bunch of sites looking for this pattern because the others I’ve seen use dowels or the actual wooden spoons in the handle. As clumsy as I can be, I sure don’t want to wear the food if I don’t insert those just right. Cloth handles with reinforcement seem like the safest options. Now once we DO get to the cousin’s house, I want to make sure that we can get it out of the carrier without burns so how about some coordinating oven mitts, too:

I am going to have so many geeky patterned kitchen accessories!

I am going to have so many geeky patterned kitchen accessories! Should I use more LoZ fabric or the Doctor Who fabric?

I really liked that pattern because the grips or “thumbs” were on the bottom and not to the side. The link leads to a Danish site but I assure you that the pattern is in English! I would suggest using some sort of insulated lining fabric instead of regular batting (like Insul-Bright) to keep those hands safe. So since we are good guests and like to bring a host/hostess gift, what else would be quick and easy? Maybe a table runner in fun fall fabrics:

Or depending on your host/hostess we could add in some fun video game patterns, too.

Or depending on your host/hostess you could add in some fun video game patterns, too.

That one seems so simple, others may also be getting stash fabric table runners for gifts as well. Or if they are really special to you and they also like to cook a good apron is worth it’s weight in gold:

Again, the fabric possibilities are endless!

Again, the fabric possibilities are endless!

Ok so we’ve got the carrier, the mitts, and a gift but what about the most important thing about holiday meals? I’m talking LEFTOVERS. There are always leftovers and, as stated, I am a bit of a klutz so bobbling the big bowl of turkey and trimmings out of the microwave is one of my worst nightmares. What could possibly be done about this? I’m glad you asked! Behold! From the same site as the lovely carrier, a guest post containing a pattern for microwavable bowl holders:

Give the creator of these a medal, for they are my hero!

Give the creator of these a medal, for they are my hero!

What brilliance and insight! I shall be making a good dozen of these out of stash fabric in the near future.

On a last note, I would like to get a little mushy on you, folks. I must say that I am thankful for many things, not the least of which was our fearless leader taking a chance on me so that I could write about fun crafty things once a week. I’m thankful that I have money enough to own a stash of fabric. I’m thankful I have a family to fight for leftovers with. Most of all, I am thankful for the great crafting and convention communities I’ve been introduced to over the last couple of years. Without them, my life would be pretty sad and a lot less fun. So thank you to whoever may actually be reading our posts, we appreciate you!

Stay crafty!


Pop Up Bins

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So waaaaay back in March Toni dragged me with her to a quilt store in Chicago (as she is want to do) and to my surprise I actually found an item there that wasn’t quilted that interested me. Tote bins in various sizes that could be collapsed for stage and transport; aka pop up bins.

Designed by Jo (the Fat Quarter Gypsy), these lovely bins immediately struck me as something practical I could use around the house and at conventions to hold my yarn and supplies while I was working on projects when not at my work desk. Well, half a year later I finally got to make mine! How did they turn out? Pretty good if I may say so myself. 😉


I made 2 different sizes, the large and medium, and did each of the suggested finishing techniques as well for the top. If you look hard at the large bin on the left you’ll see I even added pockets to hold my tools in when it’s in use. So, being a casual/novice when it comes to sewing what did I think of it? The pattern is simple enough to do if you understand how to use a machine, but the pattern it’s self assumes you know several sewing terms and image short hand. Thankfully we live in an era where information is only a few screen taps or key strokes away, but I’d still recommend talking to someone with more experience with sewing and patterns first to have them explain the process before you jump right in with this as your first pattern.

On the finished product its self, I do feel it’s a sturdy design, with the required wire being very thick and heavy duty enough to support not just the frame but a bit of a beating from being toted about as well. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the wire outlived the fabric really. Since I just finished them on Sunday I can’t speak yet to how well my additions and durability during construction turned out, but the ties have been holding it down nicely on the large one since Sunday night, and I know they’ll be incredibly helpful when I’m working with balls of yarn to keep them from rolling all around the room.




If you’re looking for a simple project and have someone who can help explain the pattern instructions if you’ve never sewn before, then this one might not be too bad. The first one took me about 3 hours to make as I sussed everything out and prepared the fabric for both, but the second one only took me about 30mins of just sewing once I knew what I needed to do. The fabric required is also very minimal with only a bit more than a yard needed for the medium size one (which measures ~8″ tall). So overall I’d recommend these if you like using bins to hold your stuff and as a fairly simple sewing project if you’re not into making clothes.

If you go to The Fat Quarter Gypsy site they have a full range of sizes from mini to extra large that you can make, and if a seller isn’t near your area you can purchase the pattern and wire ring directly from the designer herself here instead. 🙂

DIY Cosplay Boots

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Much like con season, Cosplay season is in full swing and I wanted to share some simple info I found that could help change your daunting footwear tasks. Instead of shopping for the right boots and dumping tons of money on something you’ll not wear more than a few times, why not make your boots?







Based on this free deviantart Doll Boot pattern, tumble user pitoftharkun created their own boots by scaling it up to size and using craft foam for the sides and a cheap $5 rubber mat to make the soles. The end result looks pretty great, imho.

The fabric used was a micro suede of some kind, but I imagine a faux leather would work just as well. You will need to be somewhat experienced in sewing (and ideally have a sewing machine) but anything that saves me hours of shopping and stress is always a win in my book. 🙂


Once Around a Pincushion

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Two Sundays ago I promised a pincushion tutorial and here it is! For reference, I used this Instructables tutorial on how to construct a pincushion cuff. It had a good foundation and some great tips, which I will include but lacked a little bit in some relevant details (more on that later). Please note that this tutorial assumes you are familiar with hand and machine sewing terms and techniques (if not, stay tuned at the end for some recommended viewing). To begin, you will need the following:


  1. Fabric (I used cotton)
  2. A mug or round item approximately 3″-4″ in diameter
  3. Poly fiber filling
  4. Sew-on Velcro
  5. Embroidery floss or other cording
  6. A button
  7. Scissors and/or a rotary cutter
  8. (If using rotary cutter) Self-healing cutting mat
  9. Ruler or measuring tape
  10. Pins
  11. (not pictured) Iron and ironing board

The following are not absolutely necessary but I found it easier to use them and I will refer to the steps where I used them.


(optional) Iron-on interfacing or stabilizer (pictured above)

(optional) Pinking shears

(optional) Seam ripper

(optional) Fabric pencil

Prior to cutting out my fabric, I washed, dried, and pressed it accordingly. You will need to cut 3 circles of fabric each measuring 3″-4″ in diameter and 2 strips of fabric measuring about 9″ (I made my a little bit longer) long by 2.75″ wide. If you opt to use the interfacing, cut it slightly smaller (length and width) than one of your long strips. Cut two 2″ strips from the Velcro.

To begin, I used the mug and fabric pencil to trace out circles on my fabric. The center circle will be used as reinforcement only so it does not need to be a pretty piece. I then used my ruler, cutting mat and rotary cutter to cut out my strips.

PincushionTutMugCircles  PincushionTutFabricStrips

If you choose to use interfacing, which I recommend if you intend to use this often as it will add strength and durability to the cuff, now would be the time to iron it on to one of the wrong sides of one of the strips. Then pin the right sides of your strips together. Using the edge of your presser foot as the seam allowance, sew around all sides of the strips **EXCEPT** about a 1″ space on one of the long sides (this is very important as you will need to flip the whole cuff through this hole later). The Instructables tutorial actually gives a great tip at this point, “Tip: Sew the opening area closed first by back stitching, then lengthening your stitch and sewing about an inch, and then back stitch again where the opening ends. Then you can press the seam open in this area and remove the stitches. This will give you a nice crease to follow when stitching the opening closed.” I did utilize this technique for both the cuff and the cushion. It made hand sewing much easier later on. While you are still at the sewing machine, you may as well sew your cushion, too. Make sure when you pin it beforehand that the right sides of the fabric you want on the outside of your cushion are facing each other while the reinforcement circle is on the wrong side of the “bottom” fabric. All I can say about sewing the seam on a circle is take your time and don’t forget that 1″ opening!

PincushionTutFabricStrips2  PincushionTutSewstrips  PincushionTutSewCushion

When you’ve got your seams done, it’s time to iron! Take both pieces over to the ironing board and iron that seam space open where we left a spot for the flip. Trust me, it will help! You’ll probably notice that my edges look all nice and full of ridges. Alternately before pressing, you can using the pinking shears to trim around your seams (this will prevent fraying when you are attempting to force a bunch of fabric through that 1″ hole), which is what I did. Next is the fun part! If you followed the wide stitch technique as suggested, you need to use your seam ripper to pull out those stitches. Then (brace yourself) you need to flip both things right side out by stuffing all the fabric through that 1″ hole you in the sides. Once you have it flipped, use a chop stick, pencil, or other stick-like implement to pop out your corners. Still with me? Awesome! At this point, you need to hand sew (with a slip/ladder stitch) that little hole closed in the cuff. Before doing the same to the cushion, stuff with what appears to be far too much poly filler (you want a really poofy cushion so you don’t get poked with a pin!). After you’ve stitched both parts closed, you can opt to topstitch around the edges of your cuff which I also recommend for added strength.

PincushionTutIronSeams  PincushionTutStuffCushion  PincushionTutTopstitch

We are in the home stretch now! The next part is to sew the little ridges into your cushion by using floss or some kind of cord to divide the cushion first into quarters, then into eighths. If you can come back up through the top of the cushion after dividing that last portion, you should be able to pop the button right on the top of that end of the floss and dig into the center of the cushion to anchor it.

PincushionTutSewFloss   PincushionTutSewFloss2   PincushionTutButton

Almost there, I swear! Now you will attach the cushion to the cuff by hand sewing the bottom of the cushion into the top layer of the cuff. This does not have to be perfect as it will not be visible but ensure that you sew it down firmly. Once your cushion is not going anywhere, sew your Velcro on – one on the top side and one on the bottom side of your cuff.

PincushionTutAttachCushion   PincushionTutSewVelcro

Clip your ends, grab some pins, and pat yourself on the back! We just made a pincushion cuff!


It’s going to come in real handy if you’ve decided to join in on the NES block of the month quilt-along over in the forums. This thing is the perfect wrist armor for those darn pins!


Above I had mentioned some things that may or may not be lacking (pending your sewing experience level) in the original tutorial. I found a couple of great videos if you aren’t that comfortable with ladder/slip stitch (through this link) or if you’ve never had to topstitch anything (through this link).

Hope you had as much fun as I did today!

See you next Sunday and stay crafty!