how to make something lovely out of fabric

DIY domino-style mask

sewing

Are you one of those people who has already finished their Halloween costume (handmade, obviously), have already posted multiple Instagram pics, and have already RSVP’d to all the events and parties that will be graced with your presence (and your awesome costume)? Then this post is not for you! I made this tutorial and pattern […]

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it’s not the tension: troubleshooting steps to get your sewing back on track

sewing

In the last several years, I have taught hundreds (thousands?) of people the basics of sewing, and helped many of them improve their skills beyond the beginner level. I’ve seen a lot of frustration with bent needles, dull scissors, stubborn fabric, and the myriad other woes that sewers of all experience levels regularly must deal […]

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perfect zippers 4: making a welt zipper pocket

sewing

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 […]

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perfect zippers part 3: making fabric tabs

sewing

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, […]

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perfect zippers, part 2: perfect corners

sewing

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 […]

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perfect zippers, every time: part 1

sewing

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 […]

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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 […]

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DIY utensil roll for brown bag lunches

tutorials

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 […]

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in bloom year round

crafting

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 […]

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the easy way to sew a narrow hem

tutorials

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 […]

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