how to make something lovely out of fabric

DIY portable ironing pad

sewing

A solid 50% of my private sewing students do not own an iron or ironing board…true story! (I was shocked at first, until I realized that the only time I use MY iron is when I’m sewing…not to iron my actual clothes!) So I found myself toting an iron and mini ironing board to my […]

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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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bad sewing habits that are making your life harder

sewing

So much of successful sewing is muscle memory…experience and practice makes all the difference! So you can imagine how repeating bad habits can make your sewing more frustrating than it needs to be. No matter how long you’ve been sewing, you can improve your work by breaking some bad habits. If you’re still new to […]

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5 sewing tools to upgrade ASAP

sewing

Like so many other hobbies, there’s lots of stuff associated with sewing. How do you know you have the right stuff? Is having the wrong stuff making your sewing life harder? There are so many different tools and notions out there, and anyone who’s been sewing for a while will have plenty of opinions on […]

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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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my favorite ways to customize fabric

crafting

I’ve been in love with fabric for so long that designing my own has always been inevitable! Digital design and ink drawing have both been preoccupations of mine lately, but they aren’t the only techniques I use in my quest for customized fabric… Here are my top three favorites right now: topstitching on fabric Anything […]

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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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