Tag Archives: beginner

Boo-tiful DIY

Fretting about a costume for your little witch? I have something you can whip up in less than an hour! 

Make a tutu and pair it with cat ears or an eye mask or a witch hat for the cutest little DIY costume on the block! It’s adorable and easy, and if you’re a scrap-a-holic like me, you might already have everything you need (fabric strips & elastic. Done and done.)

You can find the how-to on my previous post HERE 

Have a very Happy Halloween!! 

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Sew Easy Placemat Clutch

Sew Easy Placemat Clutch

When you really get into sewing, you start to see fabric everywhere. Seriously. Everywhere. I don’t get rid of clothes anymore if the fabric is sew-worthy, as evidenced by my upcycle/recycle/refashion posts! But now I can’t even go through the grocery store without eyeing the tiny section of kitchen towels that are in the baking aisle.

And Target? FUHGHETTABOUDIT. Towels, kitchen towels, napkins, shower curtains, sheets, placemats, table runners…. there is fabric everywhere, and lots of super cute prints, too!

Guess how this tutorial came about? Yep. Walking by the kitchen linen aisle and spotted this GORGEOUS placemat.

Placemat Clutch

I mean seriously, it is so beautiful and has such great texture.

Placemat Clutch

I ended up buying two – one in this coral color and another in a lovely mustard for a later project!

So anyway, this placemat happens to be lined (bonus!) which made my mind start shouting ideas at me in a tourette-like fashion: BAG! Pillow. Coasters. CLUTCH!Β  Ah, yes, I think a clutch is perfect.

I wanted to make a very stiff, structured clutch – not the floppy kind (I feel like stuff would fall out of a floppy clutch, but you can skip this step if you want a floppy one for yourself), so in lieu of interfacing I used stiffened felt.

Placemat Clutch - Stiffened Felt

WHAT, you say? Stiffened felt. I love this stuff and I use it all the time! The placemat is 14×19 and a sheet of the stiffened felt is 12×18 so it fits perfectly inside. You can get it at your local craft store, or by all means, use some interfacing that is stiff if you want more structure to your clutch.

You’ll also need some velcro. There are several kinds of velcro, and truth be told I would have preferred sew-on velcro instead of the kind with the sticky back (gums up the needle!) but you use what you have on hand sometimes… so if you’re going to get supplies, get sew-on velcro instead of sticky! πŸ™‚

Placemat Clutch - Velcro

So now the fun begins. Slice open one of the short ends of the placemat…

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

Stuff the felt inside…

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

Push it all the way in, there will be a little room on all sides.

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

Set your machine to a zigzag stitch…

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

..and sew that baby back up! Be sure to go back and forth a few times at the top and bottom to seal off the thread. You won’t sew through the felt since it is shorter than the placemat.

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

Now isn’t that lovely? Hold up the placemat and shake it around a bit so the felt makes it back to the center.

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

Next you’re going to fold your very stiff placemat into a clutch. Get ready, you’ll need some muscle.

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

You can fold it to where you want it, what looks good or feels comfortable to you, but if you’re a stickler for measurements (I am NOT), I measured for you and folded up to leave 4.5 inches on the top flap, as you can see pictured here:

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

I put pins to mark my place and went back to the sewing machine. Using a straight stitch, I started at the pin and went straight down to the bottom. Since the placemat is lined and you have the felt in there, your machine and needle will basically tell you where to sew and give you your seam allowance – it’s about 1/4 -1/2 inch. Be sure to go back and forth a few times at the top and bottom again, to secure your thread.

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

This fabric hides your thread & seam so nicely!

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

Now go sew up the other side, too..

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

..and check your work out — you now have a lovely pocket!

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

Next step: use your muscles to fold that top down. Press it really well, it’s going to want to pop back up on you. I set my laptop on mine for a while just to tell it who is boss.

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

This is where the velcro comes in. AGAIN – I want to reiterate that sew-on velcro is much preferred over the sticky-back velcro I am using here. Trust me. I went through 2 needles!

Pick your spot where you want the velcro placed and pin it in place.

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

I joined the velcro once pinned and folded the top of my clutch over to get my spot for the second piece on the main body of the clutch like this..

Placemat Clutch - Make it!Placemat Clutch - Make it!… and then secured the second piece of velcro.

Break out your needle and thread and sew those puppies on!

Placemat Clutch - Make it!

Be sure to go through the placemat and the felt or interfacing if you used it — you’ll want it to be secure and not to pull away from the structure of the clutch. I used a contrasting thread, I thought it would be cute!

Placemat Clutch - Make It!Since I used the sticky-back velcro, I had to use all my power to push the needle through. But the end result was worth the sore thumb muscles!

Placemat Clutch - Make It!Once you’ve sewn both pieces of velcro on..

Placemat Clutch - Make It!You’re done!

Placemat Clutch - Finished!Isn’t she pretty? Dramatic, but still so very classy!

Placemat Clutch - Finished!Β Makes a great gift, too – and they will be SUPER impressed when you tell them you made it yourself! πŸ˜‰

Happy Sewing!

Sew Easy Placemat Clutch




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Pillow Cover Tutorial

Envelope Pillow Cover Tutorial

I have all of this beautiful fabric from Zazzle to play with now (read about it, here!), so my creative juices are definitely bubbling! I think it’s the months and months and months of not having any free time or willpower (or sanity) to make things that has my creative brain screaming for some activity. Oh, babies.Pillow Cover Tutorial - Close Up

I really like the cotton twill fabric — it’s perfect for totes, clutches, curtains, pillows and other home decor items. But seriously, PILLOWS! I do love me some pillows, as they are the quickest and easiest way to change up your decor and bring a fresh new look into your room. Want some color? A pillow here, a pillow there and POW! Whole new house.

Thus, my Stickelberry friends, I present to you, the easiest way to make a removable (and washable) cover for a pillow! This is an easy project, perfect for beginners!

Pillow Cover Tutorial - SuppliesSupply List

  • Pillow (mine is 18×18)
  • Fabric — This tutorial uses one long piece, 19×44. Adjust as necessary to your pillow size, allowing an extra inch on the short side and double the length + (plus) 8-10 inches. (You can purchase the fabric I used, here!)
  • Thread – will show on the back so coordinate the color if you want
  • Scissors & Pins

A few notes before you start…

*I like a loose cover on my pillows so I can smash them — if you like a tighter fit, simply up your seam allowance on all sides and cut off the excess. You can also go back and round the corners if you don’t like them pointy.

**If you DO plan on washing your covers eventually, then DO pre-wash your fabric, please! Otherwise you may not be able to shove that pillow back in again.

1. Start by laying your fabric out, right side down, and placing your pillow in the center. I’ve folded one edge to the middle so you can see..if you fold both sides over the pillow, they will overlap significantly since you added 8-10 inches to the length. This is a good thing. Pillow Cover Tutorial

2. After centering your pillow on the fabric, you’re going to fold the left edge in an inch

Fold Edge

Fold edge in one inch

3. Then fold again and pin.

Fold again and pin

Fold again and pin

4. Repeat on the right side, fold in an inch, fold again and pin.

Pillow Cover Tutorial - Fold Edge Twice and Pin

Fold other edge in twice and pin

5. Take the fabric to the machine and sew down each edge, back-stitching a few times at the top and bottom. Use whatever seam allowance you’d like as long as you’re locking in the fold.

Pillow Cover Tutorial - Sew down folded edge

Sew down the folded edge

6. Doesn’t that look nice? Now Go do it on the other side, too.

Pillow Cover Tutorial - Sewn Edge

Pretty Pretty Sewn Edge

7. After both edges are sewn, lay out your fabric again, but this time right-side up.

Pillow Cover Tutorial - Pleace Pillow on Fabric right side up

Lay fabric down, right side up and center pillow again

8. Fold both edges over so they overlap and the fabric is as tight as you want it around the pillow, and pin at the top and bottom.

Pillow Cover Tutorial - Fold Over

Fold edges over pillow, they should overlap

Pillow Cover Tutorial - Pin at Overlap

Pin at overlap on both of the raw edges

9. Slide the pillow out and re-pin to include the bottom layer of fabric that was under the pillow.

Pillow Cover Tutorial - Slide Pillow Out, Re-Pin

Slide pillow out and re-pin both edge to include bottom layer of fabric

10. Back to the machine! Start at the top and sew all the way down to the bottom, pausing for some back-stitching where the overlap is along the way. I’ve placed my hand where the overlap is — be sure to sew all of the layers together.

Pillow Cover Tutorial - Sew Down Raw Edge

Sew all the way down raw edges, back-stitching where the overlap is to reinforce it

11. Repeat on the other side, remember to back-stitch where the overlap is to reinforce.

Pillow Cover Tutorial - Sew 2nd Raw Edge

Sew down the other side as well

12. Inside-Out Envelope!

Pillow Cover Tutorial - Inside Out

Sewing Complete!

13. Turn your pocket of goodness right side out, use your poker of choice to poke out the corners (I totally use chopsticks).

Pillow Cover Tutorial - turn right side out

Turn your happy little cover right side out!

Pillow Cover Tutorial - Sewing Complete

Happy pillow cover!

14. Press

Pillow Cover Tutorial - Press

Press the cover – get the wrinkles out

15. Shove your pillow in!

Pillow Cover Tutorial

Happy pillow in the happy pillow cover!

That’s it — pretty easy right?

Pillow Cover Tutorial

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Glam Tank Top Tutorial


Glam Tank Top

Glam Tank Top

NOTE: This is my first tutorial. It should also be stated that I am a mostly self-taught sewer, with no professional experience, and I tend to go the lazy route. I’ll see something I like and try to recreate and improve upon it using the “Dani” method — the easiest, least time consuming way possible. Though I still strive for quality! πŸ˜€

This tank top happened one night when I had plans to go out with my girlfriends for a girls night — we are all moms, everyone except me having multiple children, so I’m sure you other moms can relate to needing a night out with your girls every once in a while. As my daily wardrobe usually consists of yoga pants, a tank top and sneakers, I look forward to actually getting dressed in grown-up clothes when I do get to go out for a girls night. I want to get pretty and feel like “I still got it!”

That's me, attempting to look like a pro

That’s me, attempting to look like a pro

While Logan napped in the afternoon I started ruffling through my closet looking for something cute to wear. There were plenty of cute things but they were all old, all had been worn before, and nothing seemed to fit the night’s agenda for dinner out in our downtown beach-side community of San Clemente. It’s casual. Like, really casual – most people sport flip-flops year round. But at night, the girls like to get dolled up, and you really want a balance of casual and chic. You don’t want to over do it, but you don’t want to look like you just came from the beach, either.

What to wear, what to wear! As I stifled the panic and anxiety, wanting to avoid a full-blown wardrobe meltdown, I wandered in to my sewing room – a haphazard mess of a room that is my happy place – and saw a gleam of sparkle coming from my stash of scraps. This nice shiny silver sequined thing that was left over from something I had made for my niece when she was going through her princess phase caught my eye. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be cute to just slap that on a tank top and wear it with some white skinnies and wedges? OH YEAH! And I knew I could probably get it done before the little one in the next room woke up too, so I quickly got to work and made a whole new wardrobe item for that evening’s adventure in less than a half an hour. I took pictures as I went, knowing that I wanted it to be my very first tutorial.

Had to share this one — Logan got in on the action during my selfie:

Mommy’s Little Helper


Here is how I did it – this is a great project for a beginner!


  • A tank top – any color, any style. (Mine was a $5 black racer back bargain from Target, sort of loose fitted)
  • A piece of fabric with some bling. Length should be the length of the front of your top, plus 4 inches. Width – as wide as you want, mine was 4 inches. (I found mine in the remnant bin at Joann’s!)
  • Coordinating or contrasting thread. (I thought some neon yellow thread would be cool, but I didn’t have any so I went with black, the same color as the tank top.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>And now the fun part!

Lay your tank top down on the floor/desk/cutting table, and place your strip of fabric centered on the front of it. Place it so that there are two inches above the neckline, and two inches below the bottom hem. At the top, fold the edge over the neckline, once more under itself, and pin in place.

Fold over edge, fold agin under itself and pin

Fold over edge, fold again under itself, and pin

Pin your bling in place down the front – depending how squirmy it is, you may want to use a lot of pins to be safe.

Pin Pin Pin

Pin Pin Pin

Run a basic stitch at the neckline, about 1/4″ down from the top edge to hold your bling in place. Reverse stitch a few times at the start and end to make sure it is sturdy. If you don’t have a reverse stitch button on your machine, you can do it manually by hand!

Stitch across the top

Stitch across the top

Pull up the needle, turn the fabric so your tank top is perpendicular to you. Now change your stitch to something that will cover the edge nicely. The picture shows my settings – I wanted it to look a little ragged, not have a satin stitched edge. Note also my handwritten L & W to tell me which is length and which is width. πŸ˜€

My settings for the length stitch

My settings for the long stitches down the front of the top

Using your stitch of choice, sew down the length of your bling, keeping it’s edge right in the middle of your presser foot. This will keep it straight so keep your eye on it. Slow down if it gets away from you!

Keep edge in the middle of your presser foot

Keep edge in the middle of your presser foot

Your top should look like this now!

Halfway there!

When you get to the bottom, pull the needle up, cut the thread and pull out your top. Now do as you did at the neck of the top, and fold the bling edge over the bottom, fold it under itself and pin in place as shown in the picture.

Fold over the edge, under itself, then pin

Fold over the edge, under itself, then pin

Put your top back under your machine. Change your machine back to a basic stitch, and just as you did at the top, sew the bottom of the bling on to your tank top. Make sure you reverse stitch a few times on each end to lock it in.

Stitch across the bottom

Stitch across the bottom

Change the settings on your machine back to the stitch, length and width that you used for the length of the bling, turn your top so it is perpendicular to you, and sew that baby all the way up to the top!

Glam Tank Top

Glam Tank Top

Hooray! You did it! Feels great, doesn’t it?! Now you have jazzy little top that you can dress up or down using the bottom and shoes of your choice.

I’ve added this to the link party at Whipperberry too – be sure to check out the other great crafty tutorials there!

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