How to Repair Small Holes in Clothing using Fabric Paint

Welcome to my how to Repair Small Holes in Clothing using Fabric Paint. Today I’m going to show you how to use dimensional fabric paint to patch little holes in clothing.  I have only done this on tees but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work on other fabrics too.  The first T-shirt I patched for Hannah is still going strong 8 weeks later and that is with a lot of wash and wear.

How to Repair Small Holes in Clothing using Fabric Paint (18)r

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Soft Stuffed Fabric Balls Scrap Busting Pattern + Tutorial

These Soft Stuffed Fabric Balls are an excellent scrap busting project!  Not only can you use the littlest pieces of scrap fabric you can stuff them with scraps too.  And also a great little gift to sew for boys or girls and I think a baby would love one too!  You could even add a few folded pieces of ribbon as in my Baby Taggie Blanket/Comforter Tutorial for that texture little ones love exploring.

Soft Stuffed Fabric Balls Scrap Busting Pattern + Tutorial Nina Makes (2)

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Upcycling Leggings into Children’s Harem Pants Tutorial

Upcycling leggings is an excellent way to get some extra life out those leggings you never did end up wearing.  I was given this pair and Hannah loved the look of them. They were much to big for her and too small for me not that I thought I would wear them anyway.

Upcycled Leggings into Children's Harem Pants Tutorial

After I was given these leggings to upcycle I had a brain wave for a quick and easy upcycle idea. Since these leggings are quite small and a nice floaty knit fabric (viscose elastane) I thought they would make great Harem pants for Hannah.  The only things I need to alter is the waistband and the length. Let the Upcycling Leggings project begin!

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Finding Dory Party Treats Jelly/Jello Slice Recipe

Welcome to my Finding Dory Party Treats Jelly/Jello Slice Recipe! A firm favourite for my children, which they often request for birthdays or other special occasions. Since they love it I thought you would too!

Finding Dory Party Treats JellyJello Slice Recipe_www

Need a easy no bake finding dory party treats solution for your Finding Dory themed party?  Or a delicious jelly/jello slice for any occasion and colour scheme you might need.  This Finding Dory Party Treats Jelly/Jello Slice is nice and easy to make, the hardest part is waiting for the layers to set!  Not to mention it is rather delicious even for the grown ups too.

Finding Dory party ideas jelly jello slice_www

I have started creating craft tutorials for other sites which has introduced me to the world of movie themed party and craft ideas.  Want to see the Finding Dory Party Ideas, yep that’s the link!   I couldn’t help but think of another Finding Dory themed party idea for Nina Makes too. What better to go with a game then some Finding Dory party treats. Not to mention I don’t need much of an excuse for eating jelly!  For those wondering, in NZ Jelly is the wobbly desert, Jello isn’t a word and Jam is what you eat with peanut butter…clear as mud!

Finding Dory easy party treats recipe_www

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Stella Summer Dress Version 2

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Don’t like tying ties?  I find it a bit of a hassle as they cant tie them themselves if they come undone.  Also not great for school swimming etc.  So I have made a tie-less version!  Since the front and back neckline are elasticated it will go on and off easily.

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You can also choose to an elastic waist…or not for a loser fit.

What you’ll need

  • Fabric – Extra Piece for straps, you will need two at 5cm (2”) wide, the length is adjustable for the best fit.  I used 20cm (8”) for a size 7.
  • Extra elastic for waist (optional)  I used 3mm elastic x 53cm (21”).


Step 1 – See Stella Summer Dress Post

First up you need to check out my original Stella Summer Dress post.  It has all the details you will need to get started.  While cutting your fabric don’t forget to cut the extra two pieces for the straps.  Complete up to Step 5 and head back over here to finish in this style.


Step 2 – Finish Armholes

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Since we don’t need to make the ties we won’t need to use bias binding for the armholes.

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Start by overlocking the armhole, overlock with the right side of the fabric facing up.

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Head over to that trusty iron and press the seam over a little larger than the width of the overlocker seam.

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Pin in place on the right side of the fabric.

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Sew in place with a small seam allowance.  Making sure you are catching the overlocked edge underneath.  And that is the armhole finished! 

Note: By folding over the seam the arm hole is larger than if you finished it with bias binding.  This is good as it leaves the extra needed to fold over the neckline in place of using bias there (like in the original version).  So if you want to bias edge the armhole you will need to bias the neckline too or add extra seam allowance to the neckline.


Step 3 – Create Neckline

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Fold the neckline over by 1cm (3/8”) and press in place.

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Fold over again by 2.5cm (1”) and press in place.

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Sewing on the right side of the fabric use your machine guides to sew just under an inch from the top folded edge.


Step 4 – Prepare Straps

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Press the pieces in half lengthwise with the right sides facing each other.

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Sew with a small seam allowance (approx. 1/8”) turn around the right way and press!  Then you should have two like above!


Step 5 – Attach Straps and Elastic

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Feed you elastic into the neckline, making sure you leave a good tail sticking out.

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Insert this tail into the strap you just made.

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Tuck in about 1cm (3/8”) and sew the elastic in place.  You can see the white stitches on the dark blue polka dot fabric.

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Feed the elastic through a bit further until the end of the strap is inside the neckline by about 1cm (3/8”).

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Sew in place using a straight stitch, sew close to the edge of the neckline on the right side of the fabric.

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You can go over a couple of times for extra strength.

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Repeat with the other side of the same strap.  Attach the elastic and feed it through, sew in place just like the first side.

And again for the second side.  Tip:  use a pin to hold the elastic in place in the neckline to prevent it pulling the end inside.


Step 6 – Adding Elastic Waist (optional)

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If you you want to add an elastic waist you will need to measure the child’s waist or go by an average size, plenty of charts online.  Sew this measurement into a loop, making sure it is not twisted!!  I like to sew the join in zigzag.

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Find the middle of the elastic and mark.  Hold the seam end folded together and the other fold will be the middle.   This post has all the details on finding the middles of the elastic!

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Place in a pin in the seam on both sides at the height you want the waist band.  For my size 7 this was 14cm (5 1/2”).  Next time I would like to try it a little higher up to give more a of a princess style…what do you think?

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Pin the elastic in these two points in the seam.  Use the elastic join on one seam and the pencil mark you made earlier on the other seam.

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With all the gathers it is impossible to measure accurately from the top so measure from the bottom!  Start at a pin  and check the measurement, mine is 33cm (13”).

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Then with the dress laying flat measure the same amount up from the bottom in three places and mark with a pin.  Once all measured stretch the elastic from the side seams and line up the stretched elastic with the pins and pin in place.  This makes sure the gathers are spread evenly.

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Time to sew it on!  Start at the side seam without the elastic join, sew and reverse a few stitches.

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Pull from the next pin (you can see it sticking out from under the front of my thumb), and sew with a straight stitch.  When you get near the pin stop and remove it and pull from the next pin, until you have sewn all the way around.  Lastly reverse a few stitches to lock in place.

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Here is the finished inside view!  A synched in waist the easy way!

Happy Sewing!

Stella Summer Dress

Stella Summer Dress a

This really is a Stella summer dress…I know but I love a good pun!  After seeing a multitude of ‘pillowcase’ dresses I thought I better do my own take on these simple yet stunning dresses.  My main gripe would be the lack of sizing information being available in one place, and that it actually makes any sense!

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I thought I would save you all the trouble and scour the internet finding all the details, checking and editing them to my taste of course, then compiling them here for you.  So this time there is a PDF pattern for the armholes, which also has the sizing chart for the dresses!  I have even converted it all in metric (cm) and imperial (inches), so everyone can work in their preferred units!

I will write this tutorial for a Size 2 as an example!

What you will need

  • Fabric – Use chart to work out dimensions for a Size 2 you will need two rectangles of 46cm x 56cm (18” x 22”)
  • Elastic – 1.25cm (1/2”) wide by 18cm (7”)
  • Bias Binding
    • Single Fold 2.5cm (1”) wide (while folded) same width as the fabric so 46cm (18”) for Size 2.  This is optional you can just fold and turn the neckline
    • Double Fold 1cm (3/8”) – 140cm (55”) cut in half
  • Thread, sewing machine, pins, iron.  An overlocker is optional you can use French seams or zigzag instead of overlocking.
  • PDF Pattern you can print and cut out the armhole guides sizes 6 months through to 9 years.  Click this link to download the Stella Summer Dress + Size Charts PDF.


Step 1 – Cut Fabric

Stella Summer Dress (2)

As you can see I have added a contrast hem, you can add one any width you like.  You just need to allow an extra inch for the extra seam.  For example my Size 2 is 56cm (22”) total length.  I added a 5” contrast hem, so I had to take 4” off the main fabric measurement, which worked out at 18” main fabric + 5” contrast hem = 23” total.


Step 2 – Attaching Contrast Hem (Optional skip to Step 3)

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With the right sides of the fabric facing sew the two layers together using a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance.  Overlock or zigzag the raw edge, then press the seam over with your iron.

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I then topstitched the seam to keep it sitting flat and I like how it looks!  I haven’t shown all the steps, so if you need more help check out my Contrast Hem Skirt which has all the steps!


Step 3 – Sew Sides

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You need to pin with the right sides of the fabric facing each other (inside out).  If you have added a contrast hem then match that carefully!!!  You can adjust the top or bottom edge if they don’t quite line up but the contrast hem seem will be obvious.  Sew with a 1cm 3/8” seam allowance, and overlock or zigzag the edge.

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Repeat for the other side, and press the seams flat.


Step 4 – Hem

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Press the hem over 1cm (3/8”) half an inch is fine too a couple of mm here is not going to make too much difference.

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Then fold over again and press with a 2.5cm (1”) fold.

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Sew in place.  This would be a great time for a decorative stitch or a blind hem too!


Step 5 – Cutting Armholes

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Now you should have a tube with a nice hem at the bottom and a raw edge at the top.

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Print out the PDF (link above) and cut out the size you need.  Place the long straight side on the seam edge and cut around it.  This will make the armhole.


Step 6 – Bias Neckline

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Time to pin the single fold bias to the neckline.  Pin on the right side of the fabric with the edge of the bias just slightly short from the raw edge of the fabric.

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Sew in the crease closest to the edge.

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Press flat with your iron.

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Fold over so that the aqua fabric is just visible and press again.  Not the best photo sorry, I should’ve moved the back layer away from underneath!  But you can see how the aqua polka dot fabric is visible next to the bias edge.

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Topstitch the top edge.  I sewed approximately 1/8” in from the side using the guides on the machine.  You can get a special quilting foot for this I have recently found out, but I don’t have one and I have other things I want more!  But if you have one by all means use it!

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Repeat with the other edge of the bias binding.  I prefer to sew on the right side of the fabric as the machine stitches are tidier on the top.  It may not be noticeable on your machine so d whatever works for you!


Step 7 – Add Elastic

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Feed the elastic part way through the tube created by the bias using a safety pin.  Just so far that the end of the elastic sticks out by half an inch.

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Sew in place between the two seams and trim off the excess.

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Feed the elastic through the rest of the way.  Make sure it is not twisted!  Leave the same half inch of elastic sticking out and pin in place about an inch away from the edge (leave this pin in!).  So that you can sew without removing pin!  Sew the same as the other side.

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Now you will have a nicely gathered front, repeat for the back!


Step 8 – Bias Ties

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Cut your double folded bias to length.  I am using knots not bows so I use the smaller measurement 27cm (10.5”).

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Pin the gathers back from the edges a little, this will make it easier to get a nice seam on the bias.

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Fold the bias in half to find the middle and line this up with the side seam.  Pin the bias on in the same way as for the neckline.   That is on the right side a little in from the edge.  Sew in the crease closest to the raw edge starting from the top of the neckline.  Don’t sew past edge of the top of the neckline as this will be visible once folded back up.

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Fold the bias over and pin in place.  Make sure that the underneath layer is at least as far over as the top, that way you will catch both layers when sewing from the top side.

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Fold over the ends of the bias like above.

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Sew from one folded end all the way to the other, stay nice and close to the edge.  Being careful to catch both layers.  If you are having trouble catching both layers you can zigzag this instead!

And repeat for on the other side!

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And there you have a gorgeous light and breezy summer dress for your little girl!  Looks so cute and comfortable I want to wear one!  Somehow I don’t think the cute factor would carry over to adult sizes!

Upcycled Toddler Sleeping Bag

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You know all those blankets or flannel wraps etc that you have for your baby?  Once they grow you don’t use them anymore…turn them into baby sleeping bags!  The easiest way to keep the blankets on ever!

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I have used baby sleeping bags for both my kids and absolutely love them.  No worrying about your child getting cold when they kick their blankets off, which mine were both excellent at!  The fleece one above is one I made for my Niece earlier this year, and they love it.  So I will be using that pattern again this time.  I have altered it to allow a little more room for the woven (non-stretch) fabric.

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What you’ll need

  • Baby blanket/wrap in appropriate weight, if you are making a winter weight sleeping bag you can use two layers.  I am using cotton flannel wraps for a summer weight bag.  It will need to be at least 1m x 1m (1.09yards).  As long as it is this long on one side you can always make the front or back out of different fabric.
  • Bias Binding for single layered bags (optional for double layers)
  • Domes or Velcro
  • Pattern – Toddler Sleeping Bag Free PDF in size 12m – 24m


Step 1 – Print Pattern

Print your pattern in ‘actual size’  or make sure the ‘scale to fit’ box is unchecked depending on what software you are using.  This pattern has the front and back on the same pattern, so you will need to print two copies and cut one for the front and one for the back.

Step 2 – Cut Your Fabric

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Depending on the size of your blanket/wrap you may need to up-pick the seams to get all the additional room you can!

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I then washed and dried the fabric after un-picking, to help wash out the creases and it also gets rid of most of the cut thread.  Who doesn’t like a shortcut!  This pattern is cut on the fold, you will need to cut one front and one back.

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You should have one front piece and one back piece.


Step 3 – Sew the sides and bottom

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With the right sides facing (inside out) pin and sew or overlock from one armpit all the way around to the other.  If you are sewing you may need to zigzag the raw edge if your fabric is going to fray.

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Step 4 – Reinforce dome area

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I like to sew pieces of folded out bias to the area where the domes will sit.  This will prevent them pulling out as the flannel fabric alone is not strong enough to hold the domes.

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Pin the bias pieces onto the inside of the fabric, just a little down from the top.

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Sew in place and trim off the excess.  You won’t see the raw edges at the sides as the bias will cover that soon!


Step 5 – Bias Binding

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Add your bias binding starting with a folded over edge at one of the underarm seams.  Pin all the way around until you are back in the same spot!

Toddler Sleeping Bag (19)Toddler Sleeping Bag (20)

If you need more instructions for this step you can check out the start of the Bandana-ish Baby Bib Tutorial.  I have sewn the folded over bias slightly differently this time but either way would work fine!

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Sew in the crease closest to the raw edge, starting from the folded over piece at one underarm.  Sew all the way around then overlap the end over top of the folded edge and lock stitch.

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Your bias will sit up like above.  Time to fold it over!

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While you are folding it over pin in place as you go.  It will not sit perfectly round all those curves just yet but a good press after you have sewn it will work wonders!

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And here it is sewn in place!


Step 6 – Add Domes

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You can add the first domes on the shoulder tabs, making sure that they go through the small piece of bias you attached earlier.  I have a tutorial with all the dome instructions here.

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As this fabric doesn’t stretch I like to add a dome 2.5cm (1”) in from the side seam to be able to take in the armholes, but still leave plenty of room to get the sleeping bag on or off.

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In the above photo the sleeping bag is inside out, the smooth parts of the domes are on the inside of the seam.  That way if you have them left open when the child is bigger it will still be comfortable.


Step 7 – Complete!!!

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My model is a good sized 13 Month old and you can see there is plenty of room for movement and growth.  So it will be large on a 12 month old but a bit of room to grow is always a good idea!

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Congratulations you have finished!  Hopefully you will get much more use out of all those blankets and wraps now!

Book Bags + Waterproof Lining = Easy As!

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I don’t know about yours but my kids seem to ruin book bags at an astonishing rate!  The plastic backing peels off in places in about three seconds flat.  So why not make my own!  And I’ll give you the usual step by step instructions so even the newest beginner can make one too!

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What you will need

  • Fabric
    • Outer – a medium weight fabric is ideal.  Like Cotton duck or lightweight denim.  As it is double layered you don’t want to go too thick.
    • Lining – PUL waterproof fabric.  This is often used for making modern cloth nappies, and can be found online and in fabric stores (mine came from spotlight).
  • Thread
  • Bias Binding – You will need two pieces one of 33cm (13”) and one of 120cm (47.25”)
  • Domes – 2 sets (or you can use Velcro)

This design is based on the school book bags my kids already use.


Step 1 – Cut fabric

Book Bag Rectangle Pattern

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All you need is a rectangle of outer fabric and one exactly the same size for the lining.  Make sure if you have a pattern (like my elephants) that they are up the right way.


Step 2 – Attach Bias Binding to bottom edge

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Lay your pieces with the wrong sides facing each other.  This means that the right sides of the fabric are on the outsides.

NOTE:  Please read ahead if this isn’t making sense!  Then you will be able to see how the fabric folds to make the book bag!

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Now we need attach the bias to the bottom, this piece of bias will be the inside part of the opening later once folded.  Insert both layers of fabric into the middle fold of the bias.

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Then peg in place.  You can use fabric clips or bulldog clips too.  You can also pin if you prefer, the reason I haven’t pinned is to prevent any unnecessary holes in the waterproof lining.

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Once the whole edge is pegged/clipped/pinned we can sew it on.  If your bias is slightly narrower on one side than on the other, sew with the narrow side up so that you don’t risk missing the underneath layer.

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I don’t recommend sewing over pins, but well pegs I’m sure I don’t have to mention to remove them as you go!  Sew nice and close to the edge of the bias.

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And it should look like above!


Step 3 – Sew Layers Together

I prefer to sew the two layers together before adding the next bias as it will be folded and four layers thick.  You would be very likely to not catch every layer, especially since the PUL lining is quite slippery on one side.

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So peg/clip/pin all the way around the fabric.  All except the bias edge that is already joined.

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Sew with a very narrow 1/8” seam allowance.  This seam will not be visible after you attach the bias binding, so don’t worry if it is not perfect!


Step 4 – Round the Top Corners

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You will need to fold the bias edge up as shown in photo above.  Adjust it till the folded piece is 35.3cm (14”), as you can see on the measuring tape in the photo.

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Grab something big and round!  The closest thing near me was my roll of elastic, you could use a saucer, ribbon reel etc.  And mark out the curve on the lining side.

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Repeat on the other side, so that both sides are roughly even.

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Stitch along the drawn line.

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Now you can trim away the excess and you have a nice curve!


Step 5 – Attaching Bias Binding to Remain Seams

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Recheck that the fold is still in the correct position

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Pin the bias in place.  Leaving a tab at each end for folding in later.  I have used this method for attaching bias many times, the first part is the same as in my Bandana-ish Bib Tutorial.

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Yes I did use pins this time, as you can see I have made sure to stay inside the seam line (fold closest to the raw edge) to prevent extra holes.  Attaching bias around corners needs pins!

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Starting at one end sew all the way around in the fold closest to the raw edge.

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When you get to the top of the pocket where the bias sits in your seam, sew over it then reverse and sew over it again.  Then carry on the rest as normal.  These few extra stitches will give this area a bit of extra strength, when the kids pull on it trying to get their book in there!

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Folding the ends of the bias is a little fiddly but can give a great result!  Sometimes photos just describe it so much better.  So that are the four steps in photos.

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Now back to the pegs I go!  This is quite thick now so I find it easier with the pegs, than trying to pin through so many layers.

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Time to sew!  You sew this just the same way as the first bias.  Start from one end and sew all the way around to the other end.

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Don’t forget to or over the opening area an extra time!

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Step 6 – Attach Domes or Velcro

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I won’t show you all the dome steps this time.  I have detailed instructions in my Baby Doll Nappy (Diaper) Tutorial if you would like to read those.

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If you are using Velcro you can use one piece in the centre if you wish.  Just position and sew around the edge to hold in place.


Step 7 – Add a Label

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If you want to add a label you can!  If you have an in-seam label then hopefully you tucked it into the bias binding earlier!

* Great tip!!!  Use glue stick to hold your label in place while sewing.  Just put the glue on the back of your label and stick in place.  Then sew around the edges, and you are finished.  When I remember where I saw this I will credit accordingly!