Sunday, December 29, 2013

Personalized Color-Your-Own Pillowcases!

 Several weeks ago one of the lovely ladies behind Pattern Revolution wrote up a tutorial on how to make your own coloring book Christmas stockings (found here) using printable color pages and tracing paper. It is such an awesome idea, I was so bummed that everybody in my family already had handmade stockings that were only two years old.  We surely weren't in need of new stockings.

Then someone mentioned using the technique on pillows, and I knew I just absolutely had to do it.  It would be a beyond perfect Christmas Eve activity for my daughter and her cousins. I set off in search of a pillowcase pattern to use, because believe it or not in my years of sewing I had never made a pillowcase before these.  I ended up using this awesome tutorial by Teal & Lime to make some envelope-style slipcovers. 

Some details on my specific project-

I used Sew Classic Target Bottomweight from Joann's.  Worked beautifully, no issues with the marker seeping into the fabric and turning blotchy at all. I know the Pattern Revolution blog mentioned having to be careful with the twill fabric, I didn't have that issue with this fabric at all. 

I figured out the dimensions needed for my pillow size and cut it out, then marked where the front panel of the pillow would be.  I hemmed the ends, but traced the design onto the fabric before sewing the other seams. I google-searched for the images, and then just typed out the names and year on Microsoft Word in a large, bold font.

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly these came together, I was really expecting them to be rather time consuming, but I was easily able to make two of them in one evening.

My daughter absolutely LOVED it, she sat and colored it all in one sitting.  There will definitely be more of these in her future.  I also really want to try making a coloring tote with this technique.  Another idea would be a small blanket.  "Color your own" for the front and then a nice minky or flannel on the back. The possibilities are truly endless.  What are you going to transform into "Color Your Own?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Crayon Roll Tutorial

I know the internet is flooded with crayon roll tutorials, and the last thing it needs is another one.  But who cares!  Today I bring you my version of the crayon roll.  I drafted this pattern up several years ago when I was still relatively new to sewing.  I found the traditional crayon rolls and made several of those, but really disliked how long they were if you wanted to do more than 12 crayons, and also really didn't like the open top. I set off to correct both of those problems and  I ended up with a double-rowed crayon roll that fit a total of 24 crayons, and folds up on itself to enclose the crayons completely. 

This tutorial is being transferred from my old blog, The Chronicles of Mercy's Mom. The pictures and most of the instructions are copied straight from there.

Without further ado-

Please keep in mind that this tutorial is for a 24 count pack of crayons, but could easily be adjusted to suit any number of crayons.


  • Fabric- two different fabrics that will be visible, and one that will be hidden to add stability to the roll.  I used flannel.  You could also use fleece, an extra layer of regular cotton, interfacing, or you could not use anything at all.  I prefer interfacing because it adds stability without adding bulk like the flannel does.
  • Elastic 
  • Ruler 
  • Scissors or a rotary cutter.

You'll need to cut 3 rectangles out of the main fabric. (The crayon fabric in my case.) One measuring 9x13 inches, and two measuring 6x13 by inches.

  Fold the 6x13 rectangles in half "hot dog" style and iron.

  ^Here you can see the crease made from ironing it after folding it. You will keep your piece folded though, this is just to help demonstrate where the crease should be.
Then cut a 9x13 rectangle out of the secondary fabric (pink in my case), and also of the lining if you are using one. 

Here is what you should have so far-

 Lay your secondary fabric on top of your lining fabric.

 And then take your two skinny rectangles and lay one at the top of the fabric, and one at the other, with the open seams at the edges.

Take your ruler and draw a line 1.5 inches in from the edge on both of the pockets.

Now measure 1 inch from that line and draw another line.  Do the same thing all the way across until you are 1.5 inches from the other edge.

Now for the sewing!

You are going to sew down each of those lines to form the slots for the crayons. To save time on this, I start at one raw edge and sew to the end of that pocket and back-stitch to secure.

Remember to secure the stitches at this point!

Then lift up your needle and presser foot, and move the fabric to the folded edge on the other pocket. Here you will start sewing again, and make sure to back-stitch to secure the stitches at the new start point. Sew from there to the raw edge.  Cut the thread, and repeat for all the lines you marked.

Now trim those threads that trail from pocket-to-pocket.  You can also trim the ones on the back, but it isn't entirely  necessary.

Time for elastic!  Take your piece of elastic, mine was approximately 7 inches, and fold it in half to form a loop like this-

*When I originally wrote this tutorial I believe I was using 1/4" elastic, but have since switched to corded elastic for these.*

Pin your elastic to the side of your roll as shown-

If you can't tell from the picture, the elastic is still folded in half, with the open ends along the raw edge, and folded edge of the elastic on the inside.  Make sure your pin is far enough in that it won't interfere with your presser foot during the next step.

Now take your remaining 9x13 piece of the main fabric and pin it right-sides together with the piece with the pockets.

Stitch around the edges, leaving an opening to turn it though.  I find it easiest to leave the opening on the end opposite the elastic in the open space between the two pockets.

 Clip the corners (being careful not to cut the stitching) and turn right side out.

Now turn right sides out, iron, and top-stitch to close up the opening and give it a nice finished look. 

Fill with crayons, fold, roll up, and enjoy! 

These are great to pair up with a coloring book for a birthday gift, to throw in the diaper bag to entertain antsy kids at a restaurant, or for long car trips or plane rides. The possibilities are basically endless.  I even made one for myself that I carry all my pens and pencils in for my school.  It's always fun on the first day of a new class, the teachers always remark on it.

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and are able to sew up lots of rolly goodness, and I'll see see you again soon!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

How To Make A Two-Tone Sash

Photo by Radiance Photographics
Today I bring you a quick tutorial on how to add a delightful pop of color to any top or dress with a two-tone sash.  It's a super quick and easy way to add some interest to an outfit.  I first saw this done over at That's Sew Kari, her blog is definitely worth a visit if you haven't already.

The dress pictured above and the one I'll be using for this tutorial is the fantastic Peppermint Swirl dress by Candy Castle Patterns.  Absolutely LOVE this pattern, it has such a unique skirt portion and neckline, and despite how it appears, it is surprisingly easy to make!  To see more pictures of this stunning dress visit the website and the Facebook group.

Anyways, on with the tutorial.

After you've chosen the two fabrics you're going to use, you need to figure out what your new measurements will be.

First you need to take the width of the sash piece you're instructed to cut (usually a wider piece that you fold in half to get a skinnier sash) and divide that in half, then add a 1/4-1/2 inch seam allowance.  For example, if you're given a width of 5 inches, I'd change that to 3 inches. Cut out your sash pieces with the length instructed, and your new width, in each color.

The Peppermint Swirl calls for a center piece and then two tie pieces.  As you can see in the picture above, I've got each piece in both colors, giving me a total of six pieces instead of three.

If your sash requires multiple pieces like this one instead of one long piece, assemble each side separately (sew the white pieces together first, then the red pieces).

Now take the two pieces and sew them right sides together, leaving an opening for turning and topstitching. Turn, iron, and topstitch.  You can add a decorative top-stitch for even more eye-catching goodness.   Attach to the bodice as instructed, or leave it unattached for an awesome reversible sash.

 Told you it was easy!