Category Archives: handsewing

Tic Tac Toe anyone?

tic tac toe!

tic tac toe!

My sister and I love playing tic tac toe. It’s a fun game when you’re sitting at the doctors office, waiting for your violin lesson or on a camping trip.

My mom and I decided to make this little portable tic tac toe set. This would be a great birthday gift for a friend or just something to make for yourself.

It’s really easy! Here’s how you do it.

The supplies for this project are two pieces of fabric 10 inches by 11 inches]

ric rac or ribbon (although you could just use a zig zag stitch in a coordinating color  to make the lines if you don’t have any ric rac)

10 buttons- 5 of one color and 5 of a different color (you could also use little colored tiles, painted rocks, little pencil erasers, plastic checkers, really anything but they need to be different colors.



Start by cutting two pieces of fabric 10 inches by 11. Make the 10 inch side the width and the 11 inch side the height. (you need that 1 extra inch to make the casing on the top to close up the bag)


Iron your fabric and then lay out the ric rac in a tic tac toe position on one piece of the fabric.

laying out the design

laying out the design

pin on the ric rac and sew on the bottom two pieces carefully.


Now pin and stitch on the other two pieces of ric rac.


trim off the extra ric rac and then lay the right sides together of your second piece of fabric.

trim off excess

trim off excess

right sides together
right sides together

Now measure 1.5 inches from the top and draw a line with a pencil. This will be the casing so when you sew the bag together you want to start below this line.

1.5 inches down from the top

1.5 inches down from the top

Stitch around the three sides. We used a 1/4 seam allowance. Don’t’ forget to backstitch at the beginning and end. It will keep your bag from tearing open.

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Once you have the bag stitched together it’s time to make the casing, or tube for the drawstring. Using your iron fold the top over just a little bit (about a 1/4 inch) and press, then fold it over and press again but this time fold it over about an inch. You need your casing to be big enough to fit your cord (or in our case we used extra ric rac as our drawstring)

first fold over

first fold over

second fold over

second fold over

Stitch very close to the edge to leave plenty of room for your cord.

stitching on the casing.

stitching on the casing.

Time to feed in the drawstring. This can be tricky but is MUCH easier if you use a little safety pin to help you feed the ric rac through the casing.

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Now tie off the ric rac so it doesn’t slip back into the casing and you’re ready to play!

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Ohh and for an easier version of this craft we found this fun tutorial for a hand sewn felt version. Check it out here!


First Guest Post! Sew a Sit-upon!



I’m so excited to have the first guest post on sewkidsew. My friend Colton who lives Tampa Florida and is in first grade loves to make things about as much as I do and he shared this awesome project he made with me.

I know you’re going to love it. I’m going to make mine today.

Thanks for sharing Colton!

Enjoy and Happy Sewing,



A sit-upon is exactly what it sounds like: something to sit…upon. It is great for many things, like taking on a camping trip, sitting outside on wet grass at the park or on a picnic or even for circle time inside.

You need:

-waterproof fabric: we used a $3 table cloth from Big Lots because my sister’s Daisy troop made 10 sit-upons. I made this last one for Mariangel, who missed the meeting.



-used plastic grocery bags, newspaper or other filler material


-hole punch



1. Measure and cut out two 13″ x 13″ squares. It is easiest to cut them at the same time.


2. Punch holes every inch (or so). You may need to ask an adult for help. I got kind of tired punching all of those holes.


3. Measure 40″ of yarn and make a “needle” out of the yarn and tape. Wrap the tape around the end of the yarn so it is easy to go through the holes.
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4. Thread through a corner and tie a knot. “Stitch” in and out of holes. Here, you can do it like I did or try your own stitch like a diagonal like a whip stitch. You can do anything, as long as it closes the two sides.

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My sit-upon kept moving, so I decided to put a TV remote on it so it didn’t move while I was sewing…


…and a little Lego guy helped out.


5. When three sides are done, fill the inside with your stuffing. I used six used plastic grocery bags. My mom forgets to bring her cloth bags to the store sometimes.

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6. Stitch the last side and tie a knot at the end.


I hope you enjoy your sit-upon! Take it with you on camping trips, to the park, to concerts, picnics and more!


Time saver: you can cut some on a fold and save a side of stitching, but I really liked the sewing part.


Field Trip!- learning about the handwork and culture of Hawaii


I’m so excited to share a few pictures with you. The last few days we have been on a great field trip to the island of Oahu in Hawaii. We’ve been visiting different places to learn all about the culture of fabric and handwork in Hawaii.

It is just so amazing!


Our first stop was the Bishop Museum in Honolulu. This is me with my grandparents who live on Oahu. We were able to see very old examples of barkcloth which is the predecessor to fabric. It’s basically super heavy weight paper that was used as bed covering, clothing, and lots of other things. You would strip the peel off the bark, use the pulp to create a paper, and use a beater to flatten it out. The beaters had different designs carved into them and that is what left the unique “watermarks” on the bark cloth that made them so amazing to look at.

Here’s a picture of me using a beater to make my own barkcloth.


We also saw some amazing woven pieces that were so beautiful and completely handmade.

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My favorite thing though by far was the feather work. I didn’t even know such a thing existed! Lei’s and beautiful royal capes and neckpieces were all made of feathers! The feathers were tiny and all individually sewn on. It’s incredible.

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Today I got to meet an actual feather artist! We went to a place called Waimea Valley on the North Shore of Oahu. It’s a historical site where many artisans share the traditional arts and crafts of Hawaii.

The feather artist is named Reni A’ia’i Bello and she was working on a lei and I got to watch her work. She actually let me try on an amazing lei that was made to look like a peacock!

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It was so special! Here’s a link to Reni’s work.

It was a fantastic field trip and we’re not done yet. I’ll be sharing more with you soon about Hawaiian quilts which are the most beautiful quilts I’ve ever seen!

Thanks for reading and Happy Sewing!


Felt Plushies



This is my fourth and last post dedicated to handsewing with felt. We will revisit this idea from time to time and if you have a project in mind using felt please let me know.

Today we’re making new friends or plushies! These can look like anything you can imagine and are SO fun to make because there’s no wrong way to do it. I was getting frustrated when I first tried these because I wanted them to look realistic and they didn’t. Once I realized that these dolls are way cooler when they’re more abstract I had so much fun making them.

The materials you need for this project are


Needle and thread (embroidery thread or perle cotton thread  give you the nicest features)

buttons or beads for eyes and nose (or not if you would rather embroider on the features)

stuffing (if you don’t have stuffing you can use little scraps of cloth, or bean bag filling, whatever you have on hand)

Draw out your friends shape on the felt. The simpler the design the better.

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pin the felt to a second piece on the back and cut out carefully

IMG_8064 IMG_8068 IMG_8069 there he is!

Now if you don’t want to see the pencil/pen marks you can flip the pieces over to hide the marks on the inside of your project. I forgot to do that but they don’t bother me much so it’s no big deal.

Now it’s time to put the facial features on. Separate the two layers and sew the features on the front side only. You can sew buttons for eyes, a bead or button for a nose, and even embroider on clothes. I think I’m going to make some felt clothes later for my friend to wear.

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Once you have your features complete it’s time to sew your friend together. Start in a place where you can leave a gap to stuff your friend once you get almost all the way around. You want kind of a smooth spot for stuffing. It’s hard to stuff and then sew up an area with a bunch of turns in it. (like legs or arms)

Insert your needle in between the layers so that the knot will be hidden on the inside.


Now stitch, stitch, stitch! I took a lunch break while doing this. Don’t get discouraged if it’s taking a while.IMG_8087 IMG_8093    IMG_8090 sewing with mom!

(note from my mom- “sewing together with your child gives you both some wonderful opportunities to open up a dialogue. When the hand and mind are both working together the conversation starts flowing in a really organic way. I find the time when we’re handsewing together to be a great time to talk about our feelings and issues that may have come up recently. Give it a try next time you want to have a talk but need to “set the mood” for discussion!”)

alright- mom’s done talking, back to the project.

IMG_8095 spot for stuffing

Time to stuff this guy!

Use a pencil or chopstick to get the stuffing into small spaces like arms, legs, head etc..


Once you get your friend stuffed then stitch it closed, tie it off and clip the remaining thread.

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Time to play!!!!


Having fun with my friend and my mom’s little guy.


As always I want to see your work too! Please send me a picture of your creation and I”ll add it to my Creation Gallery.

Thanks for reading and Happy Sewing!


Felt Bracelets





Felt Bracelets- so many ideas!

This is my third of four posts using felt for beginning handsewing. It’s a great material because it doesn’t fray (unless you want it to) and is super colorful and easy to work with.

I had so much fun making different bracelets using all kinds of stitches I’ve been learning but the one I’m going to show you is a pretty simple one. We will make a bracelet with beads and fringe but you make yours however you think it should look! There’s no wrong way to do it. I found this great site with beautiful pictures of all kinds of embroidery stitches and then instructions on how to sew each of them. Check it out for inspiration.

Onto my tutorial!

Here’s your materials list for this project.

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felt in any color (there’s some really cool printed felt at the craft store if you don’t want a solid color)

needle and thread (we used perle cotton thread which is made for embroidery- it’s thicker than regular thread but not as thick as standard embroidery thread)


tape measure

beads (we used pony beads but you could use and kind of bead as long as your needle will go through the hole)

button for closure (you could use buttons for decoration too if you like)

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Start by measuring your wrist (you may need a friend to help with this) and then cut your felt at least 2 inches longer than that so you have plenty of overlap for the button and hole. You can always trim it down if it’s too long.

Cut your felt as wide or thin as you like but remember the thinner it is the harder it is to work with.


Lay out a design on your felt. For this bracelet I’m using pony beads.

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Start at the center of the bracelet and stitch on the beads. I stitched each bead on two times to make it a little more firmly attached. Continue down the bracelet on one side and then go back to the middle and do the other side. It’s easier to see the spacing you want if you start in the center.

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Once all your beads are sewn on you can get creative. For this bracelet I wanted to add fringe. I took my scissors and with just the tip I snipped the edge of the felt down both sides leaving the end un-fringed so that there’s still room for the button and button hole.

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stitch on button and snip a line in the felt for a button hole (make it smaller than you think and then cut it a bit longer if you need to!)

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ta da!!! A  felt, fringe, beaded, bracelet! Say that 5 times fast.

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Here are some of the others I made. I had fun embroidering some cool designs on some of the others. Check out this link for instructions on how to sew lots of different stitches.

My final post in this felt handsewing series will be making plushies and then we will move onto machine work which is my favorite! If there’s something you would like to learn to make please let me know!

Thanks and Happy Sewing!


Make your own sewing kit with needle book



Before I start my next lesson I want to say thank you for looking at my blog and letting me teach you how to sew. My mom and I decided we would start with some really easy projects before moving onto harder ones. If you have a sewing machine that’s great! I’ll be doing some projects with that soon, but first we’re going to do some hand sewing and mostly use felt just to get some practice making things and using a needle.

This project is making a needle book. It’s a nice little place to keep your needles safe.

Once you have your needle book and pin cushion you have almost everything you need for a sewing kit.  You can see a pictures of mine at the top of this post.

To make the needle book you need the following supplies.

1 piece of felt (8 inces by 3 inches)

1 button



needle and thread


measure and mark with a pen an 8 inch by 3 inch rectangle.


cut it out


fold in half and pin the two sides together.


I decided to round off the raw edges of mine because I like how it looks. You don’t have to if you don’t want to. You could also use pinking shears (those zig zag scissors) to cut this out and that would give it a fun look.


thread your needle and tie it off. Here’s a trick to tying off your thread quickly. Wind the thread around your finger so that it makes an X. Then roll the thread down and off your finger and once you pull the thread it will form a knot at the end of the string.


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Now it’s time to sew on your button. Pick a spot for your button near the edge of the felt and push the needle up through the back. If you have a 4 hole button like I picked, you can do a criss cross or if you have a 2 hole button you just go up and down.

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Keep alternating between down and up until the button is tightly attached to the felt. You don’t want it falling off.

When you’re ready to tie off your thread here’s how my mom taught me to do it.

Insert the needle on the back side under a few of the threads and pull it through slowly until you just have a little loop at the end. Then using the needle tip go over under a few times just around the needle and pull it through. That will make a knot right next to your felt. Trim the thread, flip it over, and admire your work.

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Now it’s time to cut the button hole. Fold the felt over and see where your button is placed . Directly above it on the top piece you want to cut a small x to work as a button hole. Make it small at first, you can always make it bigger. I’ve made that mistake and it’s a bummer when you make your x so big that the button keeps falling off.


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Yhea! You did it. Now you can open it up and insert some needles.

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In my sewing kit, which is an old cigar box my grandpa gave me, I have my pin cushion, needle book, thread, some buttons, and normally I have some scissors, a pencil and a ruler too but they weren’t in the picture.


A sewing kit like this could be a really great present for a friends birthday, a gift for your mom or grandma or just something for yourself. Make a few! They’re really fun.


Thanks for reading and happy sewing!


My next project will be making a pillow and blanket for your favorite doll or stuffed animal.  Check back for that soon!

Make your own pin cushion



Everyone who sews needs a pin cushion so I thought it would be the perfect first project to share.

This is super easy and you don’t need too many supplies.

Let’s get started.

The supplies for this project are 1 medium sized piece of felt, something round to use as a template (we used a mason jar) thread (we use perle cotton thread), needle, scissors, stuffing (if you don’t have any you could just use some cotton balls), marker or pen.


Step 1. Fold felt in half


Step 2. Use jar or other round object as a template and trace around with pen or marker.IMG_7755 IMG_7758

Step 3. Pin the two pieces together before cutting.


Step 4. Cut out, just outside the line.

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Step 5. Flip over the piece with marker on it to hide the marks.


Step 6. Thread needle and tie a knot in the end.

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Step 7. insert needle between the two layers so you hide the knot on the inside of the project.IMG_7774

Step 8. pull thread up and then go around to the back and push needle toward the front again making a whip stitch. Go about 3/4 of the way around leaving about an inch or so open for stuffing.IMG_7778 IMG_7784 IMG_7785

Step 9. Stuff- if you don’t have fiberfill stuffing you can use cotton balls packed pretty tightly. IMG_7786

Step 10. Once you have your pin cushion stuffed pretty firmly finish stitching closed and tie off. IMG_7789 IMG_7790

Insert pins and now you’re ready to sew bigger projects!

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You can make a pin cushion in ANY shape you like. A circle is the simplest but you could make a heart, star or the first letter of your name! Get creative and make a bunch!

Please send me a picture if you make one. I would love to see your project.



I got this picture emailed to me from brother and sister sewers Jacob and Sarah who saw my post and here’s their pin cushions and much more!  They’ve taken this technique and used it to start making their own plushies! This is so fun and exactly why I’m doing this! Sharing our creativity is the best. Thanks for sending me the picture guys! Keep sewing and creating! If you’ve made something from one of my posts and want to share it please send me pictures!

Sarah and Jacob's felt pin cushions and plashes