Jersey Ruffle Scarf Tutorial.

I wish I could say it’s too late in the season for this tutorial, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be. I’ve been wanting to make a jersey knit scarf all season (mainly because when I’ve seen them in the stores I think about how easy they would be to make and can’t bear to spend $20 on one scarf), and have been so inspired by all the ruffles around lately (have you seen Dana’s Turkey Skirtnow renamed Can-Can Skirt?), so I decided to put the two together and create a ruffle scarf!

This tutorial will guide you through the steps to make your own ruffly (cause that is a word, spellchecker even said so) jersey knit scarf that will keep you looking cute and staying warm. It has exposed raw edges and is super comfy around your neck. It can easily be completed from start to finish in a couple of hours, even if you are a beginner!

Materials Needed:
2.5 yd jersey knit (14″x84″piece)
*2.5 yd of 60″ fabric will make 3 scarves*

Pieces to cut from jersey knit fabric:
Cut 2: 7″x70″ pieces for scarf body

Cut 2: 5″x14″ pieces for ruffles

*ensure that greatest degree of stretch is along 5″ side (width wise) rather than 14″ side (lengthwise) for these pieces — or ruffles will be “flat”*

1. Using a basting stitch (longest stitch length on your machine), stitch down 14″ side of one 5″x14″ piece, 1/2″ from edge. Leave threads at beginning and end of stitch lines long. Stitch again 1″ from first stitch line. Continue stitching lines 1″ apart across width of fabric. The last stitch line will be 1/2″ from edge, just as the first stitch line. You should have stitched 5 lines total.

2. Cut in between each set of two stitch lines, forming 5 strips 1″x14″.

3. Pin one strip to right side of one 7″x70″ piece as pictured. One end of strip will be along edge of long piece 8″ from the bottom, and other end will match up with bottom of long piece.

4. Pin middle of strip 4″ from bottom of long piece.

5. Pulling on TOP threads only, gather one end of strip up to the middle pin. Repeat with other end, and tie loose threads of strip to secure gathers. Even out gathers and pin in place.

6. Stitch gathered piece to long piece, following baste stitch line.

7. Repeat steps 4-7 with another strip and opposite edge of long fabric piece. Repeat steps 4-7 again, placing the strip in the middle of the first two gathers. Lastly, repeat steps 4-7 again, placing last two strips in middle of edge and middle gathered strips.

8. Repeat steps 4-8 with other end of long fabric piece.

9. Pin long jersey knit pieces WRONG sides together, matching ends and sides. Raw edges should be visible after two pieces are stitched together.

10. Stitch 1/4″ from edge down length of pinned pieces on each side. When stitching near ruffles along sides, lift ruffles to the side and stitch underneath.

11. Stitch 1/4″ from edge along ends of pinned pieces, stitching over top of ruffles.

12. Try on your new scarf and go show it off! Great work!

Conversions: Bed Sheets to Fabric Yardage.

Two days ago I had a conversation with my sister Audy (she’s kinda popular around this blog lately, isn’t she?) about using sheets for sewing projects.  She is making an owl toddler sleeping bag for a church activity, and told me she thought it was going to cost her about $150 to make.  Crazy!  I reminded her of all the cute things she could make for $150 and all the new Amy Butler fabric she could buy, and suggested that she use flannel sheets and cotton sheets instead of fabric by the bolt.  Then of course we had a long discussion about how many sheets she would need, their sizes, etc.  I was thinking about how it can be so annoying trying to figure out the conversion from fabric on the bolt to sheets.  Wouldn’t it be nice to just have a chart to refer to instead of using those precious, and in my case, oh-so-few brain cells each and every time?  Yes, it would, so I made a chart.

(click to enlarge)
As I was making the chart, I kept thinking of more information that could be helpful, so I ended up including all of it.  For example, with 45″ fabric you can often get two “lengths” out of the width.  If there was under 10″ of extra fabric on the edges (96″ wide fabric would have 6″ of extra fabric since 45″ x 2 lengths = 90″), I didn’t worry about it.  In cases where there was more than 10″ (you can only get one 60″ width out of a king sheet which is 102″ wide so there is 42″ extra fabric), I also included the conversion of actual square inches.  That conversion would be helpful if you were making a project with many small pieces, such as a quilt top.  Yikes, I hope this chart isn’t more confusing than helpful.  The extra conversions come into play mainly for the larger sized sheets.
*Another thing that’s important to keep in mind is that these measurements are assuming you are using sheets that are either plain colored or that are multi-directional.  If you are using printed sheets for your project that have a one-way design, you may not be able to turn your pattern pieces sideways to get the most out of the fabric.  Make sense?
I hope this chart can be useful to some of you, I just learned that thanks to the Swine Flu Audy won’t be needing it anymore.  Did you know that to test you for the Swine Flu they put a stick up your nose into your brain?  Okay, so it doesn’t actually go up to your brain but Audy said it feels like it does.  The doctor actually asked her not to punch him just before he did it.  Feel better soon Audy!

Button Throw Pillow Tutorial

button front throw pillow tutorialToday I’m sharing this button throw pillow tutorial! I’ll guide you through making a button-up throw pillow cover that will fit on a 14″ pillow form.
Materials Needed:
1/2 yard home decor fabric
1/2 yard co-ordinating home decor fabric
3 buttons
fusible interfacing scraps (2 pieces approximately 1″x15″)
14″x14″ pillowform
main fabric: one 15″x 9″ piece and one 15″x14″ piece
co-ordinating fabric: one 15″x15″ piece
1. Iron fusible interfacing to wrong side of front panels on middle side edge, where buttons and button-holes will be placed.
2. With each front panel, fold and press interfaced edge toward the wrong side 1.5″. Fold and press another 1.5″.
3. With each front panel, topstitch close to folded edge, which will be almost 1.5″ from the edge of fabric. You will eventually place your buttons and buttonholes along these folded edges.
4. Mark placement for your buttons and buttonholes at 4″, 7.5″, and 11″ from the top of each panel on your folded edges. These marks should be 0.75″ from the edge, which will be in the middle of the edge and the topstitching you completed in step 3 (topstitching not pictured below).
5. Using the buttonhole stitch on your machine (if you’re lucky :)), stitch three buttonholes on the left front panel, centered on the marks you made in step 4. I recommend doing a test buttonhole on scrap fabric to see exactly how long it will be so you know exactly where to start the buttonhole on your fabric to have it centered on your mark. Using a seam ripper, open the buttonholes and ensure that your buttons fit through.
6. Using a needle and thread, sew your 3 buttons onto the right front panel on the marks you made in step 4.
7. Attach the front left and right panels together by fastening the buttons. Baste the two panels and the top and bottom where they overlap.
8. Right sides together, pin front panel to the back panel of co-ordinating fabric. Sew around the entire edge using a 1/2″ seam allowance.
9. Trim the corners as pictured.
10. Unfasten your buttons (can be a bit tricky from the wrong side) and turn the pillow cover right side out.
11. Slide the pillow form into the pillow cover and refasten the buttons. Admire your new throw pillow!

Ottoman Slipcover Tutorial.

ottoman slipcover tutorial


As promised when I posted the before and after, here is a tutorial for a simple and contemporary ottoman slipcover.  No pleats, ruffles, or tassels!  It is an easy project to complete and can give new life to an old piece of furniture.

2-4 yards of pre-washed home decor fabric, depending on the size of your ottoman
measuring tape
Pieces to Cut:
1. Measure the length and width of the top of the ottoman.  Add 1″ to each measurement to allow for 1/2″ seam allowance and cut out of fabric.  For example, my ottoman was 26″ wide and 42″ long, so I cut my top piece 27″x43″.  If the ottoman is rounded at the corners instead of square as pictured, use a bowl or lid as a guide to cut the corners into a rounded edge.
2. Measure the length and height of the ottoman sides.  Add 1″ to the length measurement to allow for 1/2″ seam allowance and 3″ to the height to allow for a hem, and cut out of fabric.  If you have a square ottoman you will have 4 equal pieces, if your ottoman is a rectangle as pictured, you will have 2 pieces of 2 different sizes.
1. Right sides together, pin two side pieces together along their sides.  If your ottoman is rectangular, make sure to pin one shorter piece with one longer piece, rather than matching up the two equal pieces.  Stitch two pieces together using a 1/2″ seam allowance.  You will continue to use a 1/2″ seam allowance for the entire project.  If your ottoman is rounded at the top corners as mentioned above, gradually sew from your 1/2″ seam allowance up to a 1″ seam allowance on one end on the last 2-3″ of the seam.  Press seam open and topstitch 1/4″ along each side of pressed seam.
2. Pin and sew remaining two side pieces together as you did with the first two.
Note: If you sewed the wider seam allowance on one end for a curved top ottoman, make sure to lay the pieces out on the ottoman so that the wider seam allowance ends will all be at the top of the ottoman and not near the hem.  This will save you the hassle of seam ripping when you get to step 3 :).
3. You will now have two long pieces for the ottoman sides.  Matching up short and long sides again, pin and sew the two pieces right sides together, press seams open, and topstitch 1/4″ along each side of seams.  You will now have one long tube of fabric that will be your slipcover sides.
4. Pin slipcover side piece to slipcover top piece, matching up side piece seams with top piece corners.  Stitch two pieces together.  Press seam open and then toward top piece.  Topstitch on top piece, 1/4″ from the seam.
5. Fit your slipcover over the ottoman to ensure the fit is proper.  If you measured correctly, you should have room for a 3″ hem.  If you need to make any adjustments to the hem length, now is the time.
6. Fold bottom edge of slipcover 1″ toward wrong side of fabric and press.  Fold your pressed edge 2″ more toward wrong side of fabric and press.  Stitch close to inner folded edge to form your hem.  Stitch again 1/4″ down from the first hem line.
7. Admire your new ottoman slipcover!

Rag Edge Baby Blanket Tutorial

Rag Edge Receiving Blanket

When Wyatt was born my MIL gave me a blanket and burp cloths that were similar to this.  I loved them so much that I made a bunch more burp cloths the same way (I even found the exact same camo fabric that she had used!).  Today I’m sharing a tutorial so you can make your own Rag Edge Baby Blanket too!  They would be great for your own baby or for a gift. I often give one of these blankets paired with an item sewn from one of my favorite free baby patterns, and it’s always a hit with the new or soon to be mom!


This tutorial will guide you through the steps to sew your own rag edge receiving blanket.  It is a perfect beginner project, and I promise it will be the simplest receiving blanket you’ll ever make!  It can easily be done from start to finish in less than an hour.  At 40″x40″ when finished, this blanket will be perfect for swaddling your baby as he or she grows and outgrows other smaller receiving blankets.


Rag Edge Baby Blanket Tutorial


Materials Needed:
1.25 yd flannel fabric
1.25 yd co-ordinating flannel fabric
matching thread


1. Pre-wash your flannels.  Cut each piece of flannel to a square 40″x40″.  Make sure that the selvage edge is cut off, or that edge will not fray properly when the blanket is finished.
2. Fold each piece of flannel in half into a rectangle, and then in half again into a square.  Stack the two pieces of flannel on top of each other, matching up the 8 free corners.  Using a round bowl or lid as a guide, trace a curved line onto the top layer of the free corners.  Cut along line, forming curved edges.
2. Open up both pieces of fabric and lay flannel squares on top of each other, wrong sides together.  Match up the four sides, and pin in place.  Using a ruler stick, trace a line from each corner to corner, forming an X in the middle of the blanket.  Pin near the X lines to hold the two layers together.  If you’re too lazy to go find a ruler stick like I am, just fold the flannel in half into a triangle, and pin along the folded edge to mark your sewing line.  Next fold the flannel into a triangle using the opposite corners, and again place pins along the folded edge to mark your sewing line.
3. Sew along either your marked lines or your line of pins from each corner to corner, forming an X in the middle of the blanket.
4. Using either a narrow zigzag stitch or a decorative stitch, sew around the entire blanket 0.5″ from the edge.  If using a zigzag stitch as is pictured (for a farm themed blanket I thought it was more appropriate than a decorative stitch), adjust your stitch length to be short enough so that the stitches are fairly close together.  On my sewing machine, I set it at a “1”.  Whichever stitch you choose, just be sure that it will be sturdy.
5. If desired, stitch again around the entire blanket using a co-ordinating thread, 0.25″ in from the first stitch line.  Depending on which type of stitch you use, you might want to skip this second row of stitching.  I thought it would be cute with this particular blanket, but use your own judgement.
6. Now for the fun part… Get out the ol’ scissors and start hacking.  Just kidding, that would be very counterproductive.  Every 0.5″, make a small snip around the edge of the blanket perpendicular to your sewing line.  Clip fairly close to your stitch line, but not through it.
7. Wash and dry the blanket 1 or 2 times to allow the clipped edges to fray.  The best part about this blanket is that it gets better and better with each wash.  Great work, you are done your Rag Edge Baby Blanket!
Rag Edge Receiving Blanket