Tag Archives: kids sewing

Sewing class! Make a skirt with pockets!

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I was so excited when one of my friends Grace asked me if I would teach her how to make “something with pockets”. We decided to have a sewing class at her house and I taught some of my friends how to make a super simple skirt with patch pockets.

This is the easiest skirt EVER to make and took us less than an hour. This is the tutorial we followed to make it and then we just added little patch pockets. We all decided on heart shaped pockets except for my sister who always has to be different. She wanted squares.

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Make a skirt and send us a picture! We want to see your creations!

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Upcycled Dress! Design your own clothes!

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So I’m really interested in making my own clothes and have made a few skirts and tank tops but want to make things that are fancier. My mom said it might be fun to make some new clothes using old clothes. It’s called upcycling! We had so much fun with every part of this project and I’m making tons of stuff so I’ll definitely be posting more projects using this technique soon.

So for this dress we used a women’s size medium tank top. We went to the thrift store and bought a bunch of shirts and tank tops that I liked. My mom’s advice in picking out a good shirt to do this with is that the neck line shouldn’t be too low cut or it will be much harder to modify. Basically no V neck shirts and boat neck shirts should  be discouraged in your first attempt. Just find something you like (even a basic t-shirt is awesome) the fabric of. I liked this one because of the buttons on the front.

Here’s what it looked like when we started.

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The first step was to try it on. My mom helped me to pin the straps temporarily just to make them a little shorter and then pull the sides in and pin them close to my body right under the arms. If you don’t have someone to help you with this you can always take a dress or shirt that fits you really well and lay it flat on top of your project shirt and then use it as a template to pin the sides how you want the new shape to be.

pinned straps and sides

pinned straps and sides

pinned straps

pinned straps

Then I took off the dress and layed it flat on my cutting board. I took my seam ripper which is a little sharp tool that you can use to take the stitches out of clothes. It’s a lifesaver for a project like this. I opened up the seam where the straps were just on the front of the dress and took them off. (you may not have to do this if your shirt doesn’t have straps or if the straps aren’t so far off to the edge of your body)

strap removed with seam ripper

strap removed with seam ripper

Now it’s time to cut the sides of your shirt. We started on the outside of the pin and just gently cut down at an angle so that it eventually met up with the edge of the “skirt”

Hopefully this picture will help you to see what we mean.

dress layed out ready to cut.

dress layed out ready to cut

dress cut from the top down the side.

dress cut from the top down the side.

Now we folded the dress in half and cut the other side to match.

folded over

folded over

cut to match

cut to match

Now it’s time to sew! Turn the shirt inside out and match up the front and back along the new cut lines.

Sew down the sides.

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Now try on the dress and pin the straps on where you would like them. We decided to crisscross the straps in the back on ours. It looks really cool. Once you have your straps on stitch them very carefully back onto the top.

You’re done!

Try it on and enjoy your work. It was SO easy and it’s a great way to make your own clothes without having to start from scratch! This dress cost us $2.00 and I love it!

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Now it’s your turn! Make something and send us a picture. We want to see your creations!

Here’s one my mom made me out of a women’s size large tank top. She didn’t have to take any straps off this one she just pinned it under my arms and sewed the sides. It took her about 10 minutes.

before- tank top

before- tank top

after- tank top dress!

after- tank top dress!

I love it!

I love it!

Tic Tac Toe anyone?

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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.

supplies

supplies

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)

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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.

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

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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!

Valentines Placemats- quilt as you go!

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So today’s post is really exciting because I want to teach you a technique called “quilt as you go.” In our example we made a placemat but you could use this technique to make a table runner or a baby blanket, really whatever you want. It’s super easy and really fun.  We also did the binding (the finishing edge around the placemat) with a fun and easy technique so with these little tips you can make TONS of stuff!

The materials you need for this project are

fabric for the back of the placemat 10.5 inches by 17.5 inches

strips of fabric for the top cut 10 inches long by various widths. (we bought 6 different fabrics for the top and bought 1/4 yard of each and were able to make 6 placemats)

batting to place in-between – 10 inches by 17 inches

Let’s get started!

First cut your back fabric 10.5 inches by 17.5 inches

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Then lay your batting on top with the right side (colored side) down on the table. There should be a 1 inch border all around the batting.

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Now you get to have some fun and be creative!

Chose a strip to start with and place it at the edge of the batting and pin all three layers together.

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Sew the first strip on (sewing all three layers together) 1/4 inch in from the edge.

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Now take your second strip and lay it down right sides together on the left edge of the first strip and pin.

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Sew down the edge 1/4 inch (sewing through all layers) and then press open.

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Continue the same way sewing on your strips until you get all the way across to the end of the batting.

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Once you have your strips on it’s time to finish the edge.

This is a super simple way to bind your placemat. You will need a grownups help for this because you need the iron. Iron the raw edge of your back fabric up 1/4 inch and then fold it over and iron it again. (it will now be coming over the edge of the placemat)

IMG_9025 IMG_9026 IMG_9027 the picture on the left shows the first fold over-

Once you have the edges ironed you need to stitch them down. Start in the middle of one of the sides of the placemat and stitch down your binding next to the edge. When you get close to the corner stop and get ready to make the turn. You want a nice mitered edge (which means it looks like a diamond) so you take the fabric, pull it to the side into a triangle and fold it up. Then fold over the right edge and fold up the bottom edge.

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now you can finish stitching down to the end and very carefully turn the corner.

Do the same thing on all four corners and you’re done!!!

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You can use these techniques for all kinds of things. Make something and send me a picture for our creation gallery!

Love Letters- Felt envelopes filled with love!

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To celebrate the beginning of February we’re going to share a few fun Valentines themed projects. This first one is a love letter. You can make these for your parents, sister, brother, classmates, bff, teachers or anyone you love. My little sister loves to play mail carrier and we made a bunch of these for her play mail set. You can fill them with a valentines card, a picture, a heart cut out of felt, candy… the options are kind of endless.

Here’s how to make them. It’s SUPER simple.

The materials for this project are a sheet of felt, extra little scraps of felt in a contrasting color for stamp and velcro sticky dots for  the closure.

Print out the pattern.

We made our pattern so that you can get 2 envelopes from one sheet (8.5X11 inch piece) of felt.

click on pattern to enlarge and print.

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Cut out the pattern.

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Lay it on your felt, pin it and cut it out very carefully. We used a rotary cutter to get the cleanest lines but you can totally use scissors too.

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Fold your envelope in thirds to get a sense of where to put the “address”. We drew on ours with a marker so that you can see but you don’t have to do that if you don’t like the way the ink looks on the felt.

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Next cut out your stamp. You don’t have to be super precise with the stamp. Just a nice curvy square works. We cut a heart for the middle but you could cut a star or any other shape that suits the person you’re going to “send” it to.

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Now it’s time to sew! We used a zig zag stitch to sew on the address. Make sure the envelope is NOT folded when you do this!

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also stitch on the stamp. Use either a straight or zig zag stitch. Whichever you like better.

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Now it’s time to sew it up.

Fold your envelope in thirds and line up the edges. Now open the top of the envelope and just sew down the sides.

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Get out your sticky little velcro dots and place them on the envelope to make a closure.

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ta da!!! That’s it. Simple and so cool.

Make a bunch of them! Send me a picture for our creation gallery!

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Happy sewing,

Tenney

Make a Pillowcase!

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On our trip to Hawaii we visited an awesome Fabric Mart

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They had so much Hawaiian fabric it was almost impossible to choose. I wanted it all!

My mom let my sister and I pick out something and we decided we would figure out what to make with it later. Funny thing is that out of the 1000’s of fabrics there we chose the same one, just different colors of the same pattern.

Once we got home we were trying to think of what to make and after I made my Hawaiian Applique Pillow for my bed I realized that we should make a new pillowcase to go with it too!

We found the best tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company on how to make a really awesome but super simple pillowcase and we tried it out!

Here’s our attempt.

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We love the tutorials at Missouri Star Quilt Company. They’re so easy to follow so instead of posting our own directions we think you should use theirs.

Crayon or Marker Roll Up- take it with you!

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Sunday is my friend Jace’s birthday. He’s going to be 6 like me. For his birthday present I decided to make him a marker roll because he likes to draw.

My mom and I have made these to hold crayons, fat markers and skinny markers. My mom was thinking she might make   a version of this for my sister to hold her matchbox cars in. Really it could work for a lot of different items.

This is a project that requires a sewing machine. You could hand sew this but it would take quite a while.

For this project you need

markers (we’re using skinny ones)

fabric (two colors)- when you go to the fabric store they often have precut squares of cotton called Fabric Quarters or Fat Quarters that are made for quilters. That’s an easy way to quickly pick up a couple pieces of fabric that go nicely together.

coordinating thread

hair band (elastic band)

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Iron both pieces of fabric well before starting. It’s really important to be careful with the iron. My mom helps me with the iron because it’s pretty dangerous.

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Measure and cut your fabric to 10 inches by 12 inches- you can use your first piece as a template to cut your second piece. My mom and I have a self healing cutting mat with measurement marks on it and a rotary cutter that make things really easy but if you don’t have that just use a regular ruler and scissors. It’s important to cut very carefully on this project if you want all your markers to fit.

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pin the right sides together (in sewing when the directions say “right side” they mean the colored or pretty side of the fabric)

leave about a 4 inch gap at the bottom for turning your piece inside out.

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Along the 12 inch side you are going to place your hair elastic. This will become the holder for keeping your roll closed. Measure 4 inches from the top of the fabric and slide and pin your elastic inside the two layers of fabric with about half an inch or so sticking out. (this part will end up on the inside when you’re done. You want the larger part of the elastic inside with the right sides of the fabric- does that make sense?)

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Now it’s time to sew this up. Using a 1/4 inch seam allowance (seam allowance are the words used in sewing for how far in you measure and start your stitch) start stitching at the beginning of your opening point. Use a backstitch for strength  after you make your first few stitches.

Most sewing machine feet are about 1/4 inch to the edge. That’s what I use as my guide. I just keep the fabric right next to the foot of the machine and it stays really nice and even.

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stitch all the way around leaving that gap for stuffing in the middle of the bottom.

To turn your fabric you sew almost to the edge. Stop. Raise your presser foot. Turn. Lower your presser foot and continue on..

Here’s some pictures showing that series of moves. Don’t just try to rotate the fabric while your stitching, it won’t look very good unless you want curved edges (which could look cool too)

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IMG_8173 lift foot

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IMG_8177 lower foot

IMG_8176 off you go!

When you get to the hair elastic you need to move very slowly, this is tricky! I pinch the hair elastic with my fingers and press it right up into the bottom of the foot. I then sew it really slowly and then backstitch over the elastic to add some strength to the stitch.

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Now that you have the piece stitched you want to lay it out flat, trim the threads from your stitches and then clip the corners very carefully. Clipping the corners make your corners look a lot nicer once you get it turned right side out just be careful you don’t go over the stitch line!

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Now turn your piece right side out and iron it flat making sure you gently turn the extra fabric inside that is part of your opening.

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Now it’s time to stitch it again! This is called top stitching and gives your piece a finished look and strength. Use that same 1/4 inch seam allowance you used before.

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Once you’re done topstitching you can lay your piece out with the side you want eventually facing out down and fold up the flap. You want the  flap to be about 4.5 inches up. That gives you enough space for the markers with the lids coming out from the top.

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Start on one end and stitch from the folded side up along the topstitched line. Backstitch at the end of the line where the green and blue meet in the above picture)  so the markers don’t rip the pockets open.

stitch lines all the way down the piece starting on the folded edge and backstitching at the top every time. I spaced mine 3/4 inches apart and it fits 11 skinny markers. You could also do 1 inch and it should fit the fat markers. Just try your marker first before you stitch a bunch of the lines! (that would stink if it didn’t fit!)

Once you have it stitched all the way across clip all your excess threads off, insert your markers, roll up and you’re ready to go!

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I think Jace will like this very much and I really enjoyed making it for him. Handmade gifts are the best!!

Thanks for reading and Happy Sewing!

Tenney