how to make something lovely out of fabric

perfect zippers 4: making a welt zipper pocket


The zippered welt pocket is the kind of feature that elevates the style of any handmade bag! You can install one on the outside of a bag, or in the handbag lining. They can be oriented horizontally, vertically, or even on the diagonal. I’ve included a 12″ welt zipper pocket on the inside of all […]

4 comments click to read the rest

perfect zippers part 3: making fabric tabs


I usually don’t make fabric tabs for the ends of my zippers, but sometimes it’s a nice way to add detail or a bit of color. In this part of the “perfect zippers” series, I’ll show you 2 ways to make those little tabs to cover your zipper stops. Part 1 was all about installation, […]

9 comments click to read the rest

perfect zippers, part 2: perfect corners


The last thing you want after you’ve installed a perfect zipper in a bag or pouch is to botch sewing the thing together! Good news, friends! It’s super easy to make sure the sides of your zip pouches and handbags don’t collapse in on themselves. But first: let’s chat about cutting your fabric correctly. There’s […]

37 comments click to read the rest

perfect zippers, every time: part 1


Friends, you’ve been lied to. Inserting zippers is not hard.   You hear a lot of noise about how challenging zippers are. You hear dramatic horror stories of epic zipper failure. Of course the process gets built up in your head as some horrible huge thing you need tons of experience or natural talent to […]

12 comments click to read the rest

DIY bow tie five different ways

the syndicate

It’s a fact: bow ties are cool. I’ve been teaching students how to make neckties, bow ties, and pocket squares at Bits of Thread for about a year now, and the bow ties are always a favorite. The good news is my bow tie pattern is now available for sale, and it includes the traditional […]

3 comments click to read the rest

DIY utensil roll for brown bag lunches


I don’t mind telling you I failed spectacularly at keeping my 2013 resolutions, especially the ones about healthy eating. Oops! But I shall persevere for 2014 nevertheless. Thus, I have vowed to commit to brown bag lunches on the days I teach at the studio. As with all things in my life, my new resolutions […]

0 comments click to read the rest

in bloom year round


Fabric flowers are so great – they are fun to make, easy to wear, and add color and interest to your outfit. I’ve used them on several handbags from my main collections, including the zaria envelope clutch, the oasis wristlet, and the idyllic envelope clutch: They are also, of course, awesome to wear on your […]

6 comments click to read the rest

the easy way to sew a narrow hem


Be honest now…how many sewing projects do you have that are nearly finished…except for the hem? Yeah, hemming is a pain. Especially when you need a really tiny one. Well guess what friends, I’m going to show you an easy way to do a tiny, narrow hem (without needing a fancy presser foot)! I’ll use […]

15 comments click to read the rest

tired turtleneck transformed


Too much alliteration? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Anywho, check out my latest refashion: Many years ago, I went through an inexplicable turtleneck-loving stage, which ended suddenly and with even less explanation.  These days I can’t stand wearing turtlenecks, but I hate being cold even more. The obvious solution is to turn those turtlenecks into something […]

2 comments click to read the rest

wear it this weekend: nautical cardi refashion


Although September is well under way, around here it’s still a little warm for long sleeves and jackets. It’s the perfect weather for layers, like a nice lightweight cardigan. You can make this cute nautical style cardigan from a t-shirt, and wear it this weekend! This tutorial is very easily adapted to different weight shirts […]

0 comments click to read the rest