Learn to sew - step 1 - straight seam

Learn to Sew – A Straight Seam – Beginners Tutorial

Do you want to learn to sew?  Think it is too difficult? I have been told by so many people that sewing is just too hard…well I thought I would start addressing that by making tutorials for the absolute beginner.  I will be bringing out a series of very basic and easy to follow tutorials to get you started on your learn to sew journey.

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Sew Long Summer Blog Tour – Luna Pants + Giveaway

I am excited to be joining in with the Sew Long Summer Blog Tour hosted by Mahlicadesigns.  There is a whole bunch of bloggers joining in, a rafflecopter giveaway and discount codes from our sponsors.  All the links are at the bottom of this post! I have chosen to make the Luna Pants by Made by Rae.

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Hot Dish Caddy Rectangle + Add Straps

Ok just one more Hot Dish Caddy to go with the original I made a couple of weeks ago (link here)!  I love my circle one but thought some handy carry straps would be a great little feature.  I also needed a larger rectangle shape to carry my large rectangle dish out to BBQ’s, picnics or pot luck dinners.   A double layer of flannelette was the lining of choice this time, rainbow stripes none the less!

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Hot Dish Caddy Tutorial + Free Pattern

The Hot Dish Caddy is just the thing for taking hot dishes out to pot luck dinners or BBQ’s.  In New Zealand we would say ‘bring a plate’ which means a dish/plate of food to share, and has confused many visitors over the years who actually turn up with a plate to eat off.  I believe we even did that once when we first moved to NZ from The Netherlands!  With this tutorial and free printable pdf pattern you can make your own Hot Dish Caddy to easily carry your hot dish from the oven to wherever you are going.  Not to mention it will help keep it nice and warm in the process too!

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Neoprene Ear Bands for Swimming with Grommets

Does a little person you know have grommets?  If so you have probably heard of or seen neoprene bands to hold their ear plugs in place.  This neoprene bands keep the ear plugs securely in place without the need for a swimming cap.  Which makes them great for in the bath or shower too, you can still wash their hair!  This tutorial comes with a free printable pdf pattern and all the instructions you need.

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PUL Reusable Bowl Covers Tutorial

I have been meaning to make some of these reusable bowl covers, for quite a while now.  I too feel a little guilty every time I use plastic wrap…well not so much when I’m making freezer paper stencils mind you that has a purpose!

PUL Reusable Bowl Covers Quick and Easy Tutorial (8)

I recently saw a tutorial on fabric bowl covers on craft gossip which reminded me I need to make these.  I love their design but decided there had to be an easier and quicker way.

PUL Reusable Bowl Covers Quick and Easy Tutorial (9)

So I decided to forgo the double layer and save time on sewing a casing for the elastic.  I decided on PUL (I had some left over from my book bags) and thought a little leak protection wouldn’t go astray!  Instead of regular elastic I used shirring elastic, I used to avoid this stuff like the plague but it really is very easy once you try it.

Fabric Reusable Bowl Covers Quick and Easy Tutorial (10)

Now for the quick and easy tutorial!

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Pattern Review – Luna Pants by Made By Rae

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I actually did it…I made time to sew something for myself!  They are comfortable and casual yet somehow smart, the lovely Luna Pants Pattern from Made By Rae.  I had been admiring Rae’s patterns from afar for quite a while, and then she had a Luna Pants sew-a-long.  I didn’t quite make it in time for the sew-a-long but I got there in the end!

Pattern Review - Luna Pants by Made By Rae FAr

Here is the front view.  The Luna Pant has a nice relaxed fit, I had to make it in size XL.  Even though I am quite tall (176cm or 5’ 9 1/2”) they are plenty long in the leg without any adjustments.  If you are on the shorter side you may want to take them up.  I think I made the ankle cuffs just a little too tight, I didn’t use the provided measurement for the elastic…yep trying to get finished too fast!  That will teach me!  I will let them out a little and remember to follow all the instructions next time.

Pattern Review - Luna Pants by Made By Rae (11)r

That being said I also didn’t use the recommended waist elastic measurement.  But that was a considered decision!  As I am sure a few of you will understand that tummies can get a little squishy after kids (or even without!) and a too tight waistband gives you an excellent roly ‘muffin top’.  So I don’t cut my elastic off the roll, I just feed the end through the casing and safety pin together at what I estimate is the right size.  Then I try them on and adjust the waistband so that it does enough to stay up but doesn’t dig in.  After those steps I cut the elastic to size and sew as normal.

Pattern Review - Luna Pants by Made By Rae FBr

I never thought that woven fabric would be able to make comfortable pants.  I think every single pair of pants (mainly jeans) I own are made out of a stretch fabric.  But with all the lovely prints available in woven fabrics the options are endless.  I just need to remember to make (or buy) more plain tops to wear with them, and not be seduced by the stripes.  I will most definitely be making more of these!

Pattern Review - Luna Pants by Made By Rae (18)r

I overlocked my raw edges for a quick but neat finish.  The Luna Pant is well constructed and I love the pockets!

What is your favorite everyday wear pattern to sew for yourself?

 

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Pattern Review - Made By Rae - Luna Pants By Nina Makes

Quick Sew Long Fit Baby Hat – Any Size

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Things are finally cooling off around here, and some hats are definitely going to be needed!  This is a very quick and easy baby hat that can be worn for a long time as baby grows by adjusting the size of the fold.  In this tutorial I will give you all the instructions you need to make this hat in any size you like.

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This hat is sewn in stretchy knit fabric (don’t be scared…knits are so much fun once you try!) this one is upcycled from a jersey, you only need two rectangles of fabric.  This little hat also has no seams against the baby’s head, so no uncomfortable scratchy seams leaving marks on those precious little heads.

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You can even finish off by tying off the corners and making these cute little ears!  Lets get started with the tutorial.

What you will need

  • Stretch Fabric – I used an old soft knit jersey of Hannah’s
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine (or by hand but will take a lot longer)

 

Step 1 – Measure Head

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You can either measure the wearers head or use the standard measurements I found on a crochet site.  If you are measuring, make sure you measure the largest part of baby’s head.  As you can see Hannah’s ‘baby’ is getting a new hat, and you might even recognise her from my Baby Doll Nappy (Diaper) Tutorial.

Hannah’s Baby has a 26.5cm head circumference.  You will need to halve this number which will be 13.25cm.  And your fabric dimensions will be 26.5cm x 13.25cm!  This allows for a fold over rim which can be folded more or less as needed, making this hat last a lot longer on a growing baby!

 

Step 2 – Cut your Fabric

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I like to cut mine on the fold to make it easier.  The bottom edge in the photo is folded.  If you are cutting on the fold you will need to cut a square, in my case 13.25c,m x 13.25cm.  The stretch in the fabric must go parallel to the shortest side, so in my photo above from left to right.  That way it can stretch around baby’s head.

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Folded out you can see I have two rectangles measuring 26.5cm x 13.25cm.  If you are wondering why I didn’t add any seam allowance, it is because the fabric is stretchy it needs to be a little smaller than the head size, so the seam allowance takes care of that nicely.

 

Step 3 – Sewing

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With the right sides of the fabric facing each other (inside out) pin all the edges together.  Leave a 5cm (2 inch) gap to be able to turn the hat around the right way.  You can see I have marked this with a double pins so that I don’t accidentally sew it shut!

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Start sewing from the edge of the gap (remove the pins don’t sew over top of them!) and reverse over a couple of stitches to secure.  As you can see I am using the edge of my pressor foot as the guide, this is roughly 2/8”.  I would recommend using a little larger of 1cm (3/8”), if your fabric is very stretchy or your hat is very large I would make the seam allowance a little bigger still.

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When you get to the corners leave the needle in the fabric, lift the pressor foot and pivot the fabric to line up with the next side.  The lower the pressor foot and carry on sewing.  Remember to stop at the start of the opening!

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It should look like this!  If you have trouble with the fabric stretching as you sew, make sure you sew slowly and stop with the needle in and lift the pressor foot a few times to let the fabric relax as you go.

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Trim off the four corners so that the hat will lay sit nicely flat once turned around.

 

Step 4 – Turn and finish seam

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Turn the hat around by pushing the fabric through the opening.

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You can gently use a pencil (not the pointy end!) to help push out the corners if needed.

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Hand stitch the opening closed.  You can machine stitch this but then you will be able to see the stitching, but it will end up inside the hat so it’s not a big deal.

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Grab the hat in the centre and push one side inside the other.  Take a little time to get the corners lined up nicely and sitting fairly flat on the inside.

 

Step 5 – Enjoy your hat!

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I think it’s rather cute!!  I do love Hannah’s baby she’s such a patient model!  As an optional extra you can tie off the the corners for a completely different look.

 

Step 6 – Optional – Tie Corners

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To do this I just wrapped a little thread around each corner and pulled it tight, knotted it and tucked the thread ends inside the little ears using a needle.  So simple and very effective!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, as always I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment!