Simple Drawstring Pouch Tutorial

These simple, unlined drawstring pouches are perfect for so many uses--storing trinkets, keeping works-in-progress, giving gifts, even for lunch bags. I know there are a million and one drawstring bag tutorials online but I've found this to be the simplest way to make one or (especially) multiple bags quickly and still get a nice, neat look. The trick is to use a serger to make it speedy. However, if you don't have a serger, you could always use pinking shears or certain zigzag or hemming stitches but they might fray more with use or washing. This tutorial shows you how to make these bags, as well as how to customize for just about any size you want.

(Click here to view the tutorial document.)

(I apologize for the horrible lighting. Such is the trouble with saving rainy days for sewing.)

Deluxe Tri-Fold Interchangeable Knitting Needle Case Tutorial

This tri-fold case is designed to hold a set of interchangeable circular needles--the needle tips and cables as well as DPNs and fixed circulars plus a large zippered pocket in the back to hold loose accessories and tools that might otherwise get lost. I am not brave enough to use DPNs myself and only have one 5" set. The two side panels are 6" wide so they hold mine perfectly fine. But those of you with the longer DPNs (like 7") might want to increase the overall width. An easier option would be to sew narrow pockets in the center panel for longer DPNs. Overall, this has been designed to suit the needles and tools I have, so I highly suggest you read the document thoroughly first to see if want to make any changes or modifications.

View, download or print the directions here.

Holiday Tree Ornaments

Can you believe Christmas is just a little under two weeks away? Unfortunately, this year, I'm not making too many handmade gifts. I originally had big plans but then realized they were a little unreasonable (sadly, I had to rip the biggest gift I was planning.) I might start a gift or two in the next week but I'm not going to stress about the 25th deadline.

However, I did want to make something simple and holiday inspired this year. First, I tried an advent calendar that had been in my mind for a while but it wasn't turning out the way I envisioned. So I tucked it away and will probably try it again next year. But then these tree shaped ornaments came about---probably after seeing something inspiring on Pinterest or Etsy. I call them ornaments but they would also be great tied to a gift package. As you can see by the four styles I made, they very customizable.  Here is the link to view the document where I’ll walk you through the basic process for the various styles.

Weekender Overnight Travel Bag Tutorial (with pattern!)

Introducing the Liesl Made Weekender Bag Tutorial. Finally, it only took me two years! This bag is the perfect size to carry all you need for an overnight trip or weekend getaway. It also makes a great gift (and the holiday season is coming up.)

Here are the links to download the PDFs for the instructions and the pattern. (EDIT on 9.15.13: the first link I posted wasn't the right PDF. It should be four pattern pieces on ten pages. If you don't know how to, this article explains how to use print-at-home patterns. For mine, the letters are where you line things up. Also, the bit about doubling the length of the one piece means that pattern piece should be a total of 25 1/4" long. You can either print or copy two of them and tape them together to create one full length piece to use as your pattern piece or simply place the one 1/2 length pattern piece on a fold of the fabric. But note the grain line since it is sewn to curved piece.) As I said in the PDF file, this tutorial is for an intermediate sewer. It's not that complicated but it is better if you've had some experience sewing zippers and curves. I did not go into specific details or steps I assumed an intermediate sewer would know. However, if you have any questions, feel free to email me or comment below.

A few notes: I made the photos in the PDF small so you wouldn't have to waste too much ink if you print it. If you want to see any of them larger you can see them at this flickr set. Also, the 1" scale square is on the last page of the pattern PDF, so it would be smart to print that first and measure it make sure it's accurate. You may need to adjust your printing options to get it right.

4.18.14 Update:I've received a lot emails and comments from people stating they are having trouble viewing, downloading or printing the pattern file from a tablet or smartphone. You may need to do so from a desktop. The instructions are in PDF format and hosted here on my blog. The pattern file is also a PDF but uploaded and hosted via Google documents. This was the easiest way for me to upload and host a file of this size. To my knowledge you do NOT need a Google account to view or print the document. Also clicking the "share" button does not work the way people think. For whatever reason, when you click "share" it means you are asking me, the document author, to share the file with you, so you can be a co-author and edit and whatnot. If you want to share the document in the way that any normal person would want to "share" something like this, simply copy/paste this post URL or the document URL with your friends. I'll work on getting this file hosted as a simple PDF in the future so there is no more confusion.

And if you make one of these yourself, I'd love to see it!

Pattern is offered for free and intended for personal use only, meaning you are not permitted to sell or distribute the pattern, instructions or any finished bags made from this tutorial.

Hand Stitched Blind Hem Tutorial

I should probably start by specifying this is a tutorial for how I do a hand stitched blind hem. I've come across a few other methods in which the some of the details are tweaked just slightly but this is what has been working of me for years. This can also be done on a sewing machine (if it has the proper stitch option) but I enjoy slowing down and doing these finishing touches by hand. It isn't only limited to the hems of garments but can be used to finish arm holes or collars. As long as the hem allowance isn't too big, it works on a curve as well. (For example, I have about a half inch allowance for the arm hole project below.)

For things that endure a lot of wash and wear, like pajama bottoms or kids clothes, it's best to stick with a simple, sturdy machine top stitch. But for things like dresses or skirts or items made with finer fabric, I like the look this blind hem stitch offers. Sometimes I come across a lovely handmade dress but the puckered, machine top-stitched hem is an eye sore and can ruin the whole look. Another thing this hand stitched method offers is that you can pull it out and drop your hem later without a lot of hassle or mess.

If done right, the stitches from the outside should be barely visible.

Start by gathering up some pins, a needle, scissors and thread that matches your fabric.Fold back and pin half your allowance. (In my case that would be 1/4". I just eyeballed it but you can measure and mark on the wrong side of the fabric first.) Fold back again, the other half of the hem allowance, and pin. All your raw edges should be tucked inside and no longer visible. From the wrong side of the fabric, pinch the folds and pin. This photo shows what it looks like from the outside/right side of fabric (above) and what it looks like from the inside/wrong outside of fabric (below.) With your needle, threaded single, knot at the end and the wrong side of the fabric facing you, stitch through the bottom fold and the top fold as seen, at perpendicular angle. Be sure that when you go through the bottom fold, you only go under/catch a few threads of the fabric. That stitch is the one that can be seen from the outside. You want to hit that sweet spot of just enough to be sturdy but not to much that it's super visible from the outside. When going through the top fold, you can catch more. Keep doing this every half and inch or inch. Here is what it will start to look like when you're holding it. Here is what it looks like from the inside/wrong side of the fabric, when you've removed the pins and flattened it out. And here is a shot of how it looks when done: the top shows shows the inside view and the bottom shows the outside view. You can see, or rather can hardly see, the stitches. A little press with the iron will smooth out any indents. 

Stripey Lonestar Quilt Block Tutorial

Good morning. Here is the latest block for the Series. I'm quite smitten with this one. Click the above photo to be taken to the tutorial document. I think it fits in with the quilt really well--I'm still on the fence about the Dresden Plate Block. I wonder if I should redo it more like this one, to make it mesh better with the "scrappy" feel of the quilt? Sampler Quilt. Here is the progress so far. What do you think?

Dresden Plate Quilt Block Tutorial

I guess the third time really is the charm, for the next quilt block for the tutorial series is up! This time it's for a Dresden Plate block. It's not technically "mini" but I think it's small enough and uses up 16 scraps. It has me thinking though--we might need more block similar to it in the quilt or else it'll look out of place, don't you think? Any suggestions? I'm thinking a Mariner's Compass or some kind of Starburst block. Here is how the quilt is looking so far: Progress.

Mini Log Cabin Block Tutorial.

Sorry this is up so late. I was working on a Dresden Plate block for the next tutorial in the series, but it didn’t turn out right. I tried it again but still with no luck. Third time may be the charm, so maybe you’ll see it next week. As for now: when in doubt, log cabin. Every sampler quilt needs a log cabin, right? I’ve decided to do my block super-mini*, but I’m aware normal people, unlike me, do things like sleep and have a social life, so I’ve shared measurements for a little less time consuming regular-mini block as well. It’ll be four 6” blocks comprising a 12” block. (Mine---and yours if you are so inclined---will be sixteen 3” blocks making up a 12” block.) There is more info in the tutorial document. *I’m still trying really hard to use up all those really tiny scraps that I’m overwhelmed with but can’t bear to throw out.

Mini String Block Tutorial

(Click the image above to be taken to the tutorial.) I originally planned this block for last week, but I figured, after all the really tiny patchworking of the Spider Web Block, you’d probably strangle me for doing another really tiny patchworking block. Don’t worry, next week’s is simple. (Once I decide what it'll be!)

I won't be blogging tomorrow. So I'll see you on Friday with my weekly round-up! Those of you in the States, have a grand holiday!

The Liesl Made Pleated Tote Tutorial.

Hello and Happy Monday. I have a wee tutorial for you all--just in time for holiday gift-crafting. Don't have time this year but still want to give handmade? Check out my shop where I've dropped the SALE prices even lower. Or check out my sponsor Pretty Wit for their Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale. (All hand knit items ship for free until November 29th and you can combine it with their generous 25% off coupon code--"iloveliesl" until the end of the year.)

Mini Patchwork Chevron Block Tutorial

Hello all, I can't believe it took me all day to get this post up. I just couldn't seem to get my bum in gear. I was on the computer (finally starting to visit some of your blogs!) a little today but somehow never put together this tutorial! Well, here it is. Hope you enjoy it. (Click the image above to be taken to the tutorial.) For more of the Mini Patchwork Quilt Tutorial Series, check out here.

(I'll be back tomorrow night to pick the winner for the giveaway and to share my weekly finds.)

Mini Patchwork Fence Rail Block Tutorial

The first block we are going to make for the Mini Patchwork Sampler Quilt Tutorial Series is the Fence Rail block. (I originally was wrong in calling it the Rail Fence---though, but before that I was calling it “Kinda Like Our Sidewalk Block” because that is kind of how we laid out our bricks.) Anyways, let's start this simple, fun block, shall we?

You could make the left/top strip in each three strip square a solid color, like white, then you’d be able to have a zig zag pattern. I didn’t think of that when I pieced this block though. (What can I say? I was so excited to use up my print scraps!) Here is a photo to show you what I mean.

You can also do the strip method, where you sew three 1 1/2" strips together, then cut them down to 3 1/2". I did it one at a time because, like I said, I'm trying to use up all those small scraps.

This tutorial creates a traditional 12” block.

Cut a scrap of paper that is 1 1/2” by 3 1/2" for your template. I like doing it this way because I can hold the template up to the various scraps to see if they are big enough. Pin it to a scrap of fabric and cut out.

Repeat 11 more times and lay out as seen.

Stitch two of them together, along the long side, with a 1/4" seam allowance. Press seam allowance open.

Stitch the third piece to the previous pieces.

Repeat for the other three squares as seen.

Stitch the top two together then the bottom two together.

Now, stitch the top and bottom together.

Repeat these steps three more times so you have four squares total, as seen.

Now stitch the top pieces together, then the bottom pieces.

Finally stitch the top and bottom pieces together. And voila, you have your very first block and managed to use up 48 itty bitty scraps.

Any questions? Let me know!

Mini Patchwork Sampler Quilt Tutorial Series.

Mini Patchwork Quilt Tutorial Series. There are so many great quilt blocks out there I’ve been itching to try. I just don’t like the idea of making the same block repeatedly for one quilt. So, why not a sampler quilt?

I’ve decided to make it different than your average sampler quilt. All the blocks will be mini versions of themselves, because I have so many itty bitty scraps to use up. Basically, I’ll make each 12” block a four-block block of itself. (If that makes sense!?)

Originally, I intended to do this slowly, one block at a time over many months and when I finished a block share it with you here on the blog. But I thought: why not show you how I made the block with a tutorial. Yes, I’m planning a Mini Patchwork Sampler Quilt Tutorial Series.

I’m hoping to make 20 blocks, so with sashing and border, I can make at least a 6’ by 7’ quilt. So far I have about 13 in mind. (If you have any suggestions for interesting blocks, speak up!) Every week I’ll share a new mini patchwork block tutorial. (I’m hesitant to call it a “mini block” because they will be the traditional 12” block when finished.) So it should take five months total. Totally sounds reasonable, right?

The tutorial series is only for the blocks themselves, in the end you’ll have to have the knowledge and creativity to finish the quilt as desired—piecing the top together, quilting it, binding, etc.

This post will be home base, where I list all links to the blocks as they go live.

Blocks Fence Rail Block Spider Web Block Chevron Block String Block Log Cabin Block Dresden Plate Block Flying Geese Block Postage Stamp Block

Trifold Wallet Tutorial.

Here it is! The Trifold Wallet Tutorial!Apologies in advance for the sudden change in the print/color of the fabric--I ended up doing a different style zipper. And apologies for the poor/inconsistent lighting in the photos. I'm still trying to get the hang of photographing in my studio. Also I will warn you that the top flap doesn't lay perfectly flat like seen in the photo. It helps when you pre-iron the interfacing in one of the steps of the tutorial, but I thought I'd give you a heads up in case this is a major issue with you. Mine has flattened downed nicely, being in my purse, so it might just be a temporary thing.

MATERIALS: 8" x 12" piece of ultra firm stabilizer/interfacing (I used Pellon's Peltex 70, it's about 1/16" thick. This might be it.) From the print: a piece larger than 8" x 12" (it doesn't have to be larger than that, but you'll see why I prefer it) 8" x 4" for the small card pocket 8" x 5 1/2" for the large card pocket 8" x 6 1/2" for the money pocket 8" x 6 1/2" for the coupon/extra top pocket 8" x 6" for the checkbook pocket 8" x 4" (approximately) scrap From the solid: 8" x 8" for the top lining 8" x 4 3/4" for the bottom lining 6" x 8" for the coin pocket lining 1 8" or larger zipper 1 magnetic snap (I used the extra thin kind, 3/4" size) 1 1/2" scrap medium or heavy fusible interfacing (I used Pellon Decor Bond) 1 1/2" piece of 3/4" wide elastic 42" (or more) of 2" wide binding zipper foot usual sewing supplies: machine, scissors, thread, pins

INSTRUCTIONS: Fold both the money pocket and the large card pocket in half lengthwise and iron. Place the large card pocket on top of the money pocket, with raw edges lined up. Stitch about 1" from raw edge with the stitch length set to 3. It should look like so now. Fold and iron the small card pocket in half lengthwise. Place on top of previous pieces, lining up raw edges. Pin or mark the center. Stitch down center (4" in on either side), stopping at the fold (top) of the large card pocket and back stitching. Should look like this now! :) Now we are going to machine baste the elastic in place. Place it about 3/4" from center, folded in half. Stitch about 1/8" from raw edge. (Feel free to customize the size of your elastic based on the size of your pen. Remember to add 1/2" to the length for the seam allowance and you want the elastic to be a bit smaller than the width of your pen.) Fold and iron the check pocket in half lengthwise. With the bottom lining (the 4 3/4" x 8" piece) in front of you, place the check book pocket on top and pin. This next step is only if you are indeed using this pocket for a checkbook. If you don't use checks, you can stitch down the center and create more card pockets or leave it as is for an extra coupon/misc pocket. Stitch down about 7/8" from the side, stopping and back stitching at the fold/top of the check pocket. Repeat for the other side. Should look like this! Place the middle (card and money pockets) section lined up against the bottom of the top lining with right sides up. Then place the check book section on top of that, right sides down. Pin and stitch 1/4" along that bottom edge, back stitching over the elastic for a little extra security at that stress point. Like so. When you open it up it should like this. You can iron it nice and flat, having that seam allowance you just stitched folded down. Set that chunk aside and grab the extra/coupon pocket. Iron in half lengthwise like all the other pockets. Open back up and on the wrong side, mark the center (4" in on either side.) Now mark 1/2" from the top edge. Grab your 1 1/2" scrap of medium/heavy fusible interfacing and mark it's center as seen (not on the shiny side!) Line your square up as seen in the photo-a half an inch from the edge and centered. *Mine is a little crooked in the photo!* Iron it to set it in place. Place the (I guess you'd call it) washer from the magnetic snap on the interfacing, centering it. Mark the two lines where you will cut the slits in the next step. Do just that, cut the slits. I fold along the line and snip snip each line. Be careful not to make the slits too large! Now grab the male half of the magnetic snap. You can see how nice and thin mine are in the photo above. Push the prongs through the front of the fabric. Fold back the prongs. Fold the pocket back to it's original shape (in half length wise) and stitch a square (or circle or other shape if you feel fancy) through both layers of fabric around the magnetic snap. Now get out your ultra firm stabilizer/interfacing and mark down the center. Now 1 3/4" from the bottom edge, mark a line in the center. 4" from the bottom edge, mark a line all the way across. (This is the one fold line.) Now 3 1/2" from the top edge, mark another line all the way across. (This is the second fold line.) It's smart to iron the wallet closed like it will be later. It helps later on. Now we are going to put this zipper opening in. I cut a rectangle out like this to reduce bulk. The rectangle is located 1" in on both sides. It's 1/2" tall and 2 3/4" up from the bottom fold line you marked before. Here is where the wallet fabric changes. Hopefully it's not too confusing. With the wallet fabric piece right side up, place the interfacing on top. Now with your piece of scrap print fabric right side down, place that on top of the zipper opening. Pin in the rectangle, pinning through the two layers of fabric. Feeling through the top layer of fabric, mark out the rectangle on the back of the scrap fabric. Now you're going to pull the interfacing out (just for now--it'll go back in later) through the zipper opening. Up next is to stitch that rectangle you marked. I've found it's smart to go a smidgen outside of the rectangle--makes for a tighter/tauter opening later on. Now cut a slit down the center of the rectangle lengthwise stopping about 1/4" from both ends. Then snip to the corners as seen. Next you pull the scrap through the opening. Iron nice and neat. Now finagle the interfacing back into place by pulling the scrap piece through the zipper opening. The markings you made on the interfacing should be visible to you. Should look like this now. Flatten it all out and make it nice and neat, then pin everything in place. Now we are going to baste the zipper in place. I usually just eyeball it by placing the zipper on the table, closed with the pull on the left hand side. Place the wallet on top, so the opening goes over the zipper nicely. Make sure there is some extra room between the zipper pull and the end of the opening on the left side. There should be a a lot extra on the right side. Now pin then baste the zipper in place. Flip over and place the coin pocket lining as seen, with the long edge lined up with the bottom of the zipper tape. Now pin the lining in place. I usually feel through and pin just above the zipper teeth as well as the ends, so they don't fold up, bunch up when sewing. Next flip the whole thing over and sew along the bottom edge, starting and stopping a smidgen after and a smidgen before the ends of the opening. You can back stitch if you desire but I usually pull the top and bottom thread through to the back and tie into a knot. Now flip the wallet over and line the top edge of the pocket lining up to the top edge of the zipper tape. Next I pin like you did before: this time under the zipper teeth and again on the ends. Flip over and stitch along top edge just like the bottom. Up next, we need to stitch up the sides of the pocket. Fold back the wallet fabric and interfacing as seen. Now stitch as close as you can to the fold--it's a good idea to still use the zipper foot, so you can get really close. You want to make sure to close up the end of the zipper opening. You want to stitch straight down to the bottom of the pocket lining, where it's folded. Repeat for the other side. It should like like this now. This bit is optional but recommended for a nice clean look. Top stitch the ends of the zipper opening. (I often start where I left of the long side, pivot at the corner, go down the short end, pivot again and finish up. Finally we can trim the excess off both ends. Up next we will put the female part of the magnetic snap in. On the interfacing, where you marked the line 1 3/4" from the bottom, place the washer thingamajig centered where the two lines cross. Mark the two slits. Snip the slits, push the snap in place, through the interfacing and the washer and fold the prongs back. (The snap part should be on the right side of the wallet.) Now place the inside of the wallet (the bit with all the pockets) on top of the wallet outside. The check pocket should be at the bottom where you just put the female half of the magnetic snap in. Pin in place and baste. Trim the excess off. Finish with binding as desired. (You could completely machine stitch your binding on, or machine stitch the front then hidden stitch the back, like I did.) The finished width of your binding should be 1/2", so that your cards and what-nots all stay in their pockets. Any question, let me know! And note that this tutorial is for personal use only--please don't make the wallets to sell.

Paper Bag Mailer Tutorial.

I figured I'd (finally) share this super simple tutorial for a brown paper bag mailer. You could also decorate it and use it as a gift envelope! This tutorial is for standard paper bags you get at the grocery store, but if you're like me and plan on making a bunch of mailers, you can get a roll of kraft paper (I get 50# strength) at a craft store or on eBay. Simple cut a piece 15" by 48", fold in half so it's 15" by 24", then leaving the 3" or so overlap, fold in half again, making an envelope.

You'll need: -2 brown paper bags -an old needle (a new one will work too, but it will dull it) -paper clips or binder clips -sewing machine, thread, scissors, etc

It's smart to keep some old, dull needles around specifically for paper sewing. I store mine in the little thingamajig they come in (be sure to label them so you don't confuse them for a pack of new needles!) But you can keep them in an envelope. Or you can get real clever like Jenn and use a jar to keep your dull needles and pins in!

Start by cutting down one side of the bag.

Cut around the bottom, removing it.

Cut off one of the narrow sides.

Repeat above steps for the other paper bag then sandwich the two together, leaving the printed sides (if there are any) on the insides.

The next two steps are only necessary if you want a US First Class Parcel applicable envelope. To ship First Class here in the States the package must be under 13 oz. and be no larger than 12" by 15".

Trim off 2" along one of the long sides.

Now trim off 3" off one of the short sides.

Fold in half, leaving a 3" overlap at the top.

Using paper clips or binder clips (as seen here) clip the sides to hold everything in place when stitching. (Molly sent me these cute little bitty ones--they come in handy, thanks!)

Set your stitch width to 5, or the widest.

Set your stitch length to 2.

Switch over the zig-zag stitch. (In my case, it's "B".)

Stitch up the one side about 1/2" from the edge, removing your clips as you go. Don't stitch the overlap and be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end, to secure those stitches.

Repeat for the other side.

And you're done! Now you can send your goods out in nice handmade envelope! Or mail someone a present. (Like maybe me!?)

Liesl Made Butcher's Apron Tutorial.

Liesl Made Butcher's Apron TutorialFirst of all, I'd like to apologize for the inconsistent photos--my studio is surprisingly difficult to get photos in. I did my best to touch them up.

Also, I'd like to remind you this is for personal use only. Meaning you can't make this apron to sell. Thank you.

This is a tutorial for a full body apron that will hit about your mid-thigh to knee, depending on your height. It fits a variety of sizes. If you're skinny you can wrap the strings around and tie in front, or if your plus sizes, you can tie in the back. The design is so that it will fit a variety of shapes as well. Also works great for guys too!

There are a ton of photos, so click below to expand the tutorial.

Liesl Made Butcher's Apron

You'll need:

1 yard home decor weight fabric

1 yard cotton contrast

a piece of paper for the pattern at least 14 1/2" by 32"

usual sewing supplies

 

Start by drafting your pattern as seen. I've gridded it out so hopefully you won't have trouble. You'll need a piece of paper at least 14 1/2" x 32". I like using freezer paper personally. Use the measurements given to create a gradual curve.

With the long straight edge on the fold of the fabric, cut out your apron body.

Mark the placements of the pockets by drawing a dot on all four corners with a water soluble pencil or some chalk.

Next mark 1" along all three straight edges.

Clip the two corners as seen.

Fold the fabric back so the points match up with the lines. This is how you do mitered corners.

Along one side fold the fabric back 1/2".

Fold back another 1/2". See how nice and neat it makes your corners! Pin hems in place.

Set your stitch width all the way to the left.

Stitch about 1/8" from the inside edge all the way around, lifting the presser foot and pivoting at the two corners.

Speaking of the corners, they should look like this now!

Now to make the pockets and strings.

Fold your fabric in half along the bias.

Up in the squared corner is where I usually cut the pockets out.  You'll need two 9" squares. Set them aside for later.

Now cut down that fold with scissors.

With the two cut sorta-triangles still together, fold that long cut bias edge in half as seen, measure out two 4" wide strips and cut out. This will give you four separate bias strips. This will be plenty enough.

Stitch the angled ends together as seen about 1/4" until you have one long piece.

On one end, cut a 13"-ish piece for the top contrast. I have a pattern piece made for the contrast that is a bit wider but for the sake of convenience, I'm showing you how to do it this way.

On the long ends, iron back 1/2".

Then in half.

Now comes attaching it to the apron body. Place as seen.

Fold down and pin. Stitch about 1/8" from the edge.

Trim the excess.

Now I usually do the pockets.

Mark 1" around all edges. Fold down the top hem and stitch about 1/8" from the inside edge.

Now do mitered corners like I showed you before. Don't forget to clip the corners like seen in the photo above.

They should look like this now.

Now pin in place on the apron body using the dots you marked earlier as a guide.

At this point I'll show you what the finished pocket stitching will look like to see where you're heading in case any of the following instructions get confusing and you think I'm sending you and your needle all over the place. The stitching is a bit faint in the photo but if you click the above image, you'll see it larger. You could easily do a single stitch but I think this looks nicer and is sturdier. Excuse the fact that I haven't clipped the threads in the photo!

With your needle all the way to the left, start stitching down the right side of the pocket.

Stop when you get about 3/8" from the bottom edge.

Leaving your needle down, lift the presser foot and pivot to become parallel to the bottom edge.

Continue stitching down that side and then the left side. Now pivot to create the small line at the top. It should only be a few stitches.

Pivot (yet again!) to head back down the left side of the pocket, this time 1/8" from the edge. Continue around all three sides like that until the stitching looks like the completed pocket photo I showed you earlier.

Repeat for the other pocket and then we can move on to the strings and neck strap.

Cut your bias binding at 125" long.

Iron in half lengthwise.

Open the length back up and iron in quarters lengthwise. This encloses the raw edges nicely inside.

Iron the corners down as seen.

Then iron back as seen.

Fold that sucker back in half lengthwise.

Now find the center and pin. Measure 11" from to the left and 11" to the right and pin there too. These two pins mark where you will place the strap/string at the neck/chest of the apron body.

Do just that, with the strap open as seen, and using the pin as a guide place the body of the apron.

Fold over and pin in place. (Don't forget to remove the previous pin from the back.)

Continue pinning down the apron and onward to the apron strings.

Repeat for the other side and the neck strap. This makes for a 22" neck strap, if you'd like it longer or shorter, now would be the time to adjust it.

Now bring the apron over to the sewing machine, and starting on the left side, stitch the end about an 1/8" from the edge.

Pivot at the corner and head down the apron string.

When you reach the side of the body, back stitch to reinforce the stress area.

Back stitch again at the top/neck area, another stress spot. Repeat as you're going down the other side.

Clip your threads and TADA, you're done! Go cook in style!

If you have any questions, let me know. Honestly, I'm not that great of a teacher.

PJ Shorts Tutorial (with Pattern)

UPDATE: I figured out how to make and upload PDFs but still haven't figured how to do one PDF with multiple pages. I'm getting there... In the mean time, you'll have to download all eight pieces but it should be easier to print considering you won't have to worry about scaling them.Updated August 2013 : I finally figured out how to merge all files into one easy PDF. Link to that download is now updated.

PJ Shorts Tutorial!

I know there are a bunch of PJ tutorials out there but here is mine. Unlike most of the other ones, this one doesn’t require you to copy a pair of pants you already own. I already did that. And then adjusted for sizes small and large. So you can just print the multi-size pattern I’ve uploaded.

I realize not everyone has a serger so I’ve set this tutorial up to be done with French seams. I’ll show you how to do French seams if you’re new to them. Actually, you’ll be doing a French seam on a curved seam but it’s a gradual curve so it works out well!

Materials: about 1 yd fabric 3/4" elastic (if you buy one yard you should be fine) Safety pin The usual helpers: sewing machine, pins, pencil/water soluble marker, etc. Button or piece of twill tape/ribbon (optional)

Size Chart: Small - waist/hip up to 36" Medium waist/hip up to 40" Large - waist/hip up to 44"UPDATE: There have been some comments on fit. With 40" hips (at the widest part, level with my crotch,) I've always been able to fit perfectly into the Medium. When I convert these shorts into pants, I tend to make the Large for better comfort. So you may want to size up.Instructions

Start by printing this PDF pattern and cutting-taping together all the pattern pieces. You’ll need to attach the smaller bits together to create two pattern pieces—a front and a back.

Pin to your fabric and cut out. Mark the back by drawing a B or something on the wrong side of the back PJ shorts fabric pieces.

(Like I said in the introduction, I’ve set this tutorial up to be done with French seams, but if you have a serger or would prefer to pink the raw edges, just stitch the seams 5/8” as usual.)

With WRONG sides together, pin one front piece and one back piece together at inseam.

Stitch at 1/4". (Ignore that the photo shows me stitching 3/8". I got it backwards.)

Repeat for other two pieces.

Trim seam allowance to 1/8".

Open up and iron seam allowance to one side.

Fold over so right sides are touching and seam is nice and straight along edge and press.

Stitch 3/8". (Again, ignore that I'm stitching 1/4" in the photo.)

You’ve mastered French Seams!

Open the two sewn-together pieces and with WRONG sides together pin together along inside curved edge.

I like pinning one seam allowance one way and the other the other way to make less bulk.

Stitch 1/4" along the long inside curve. Then trim to 1/8"

Now you want to clip the seam allowance to allow for some ease. Be sure not to clip your stitches.

Fold so the RIGHT sides are together and press so seam is nice and neat.

Stitch 3/8".

Open the shorts up so they look like a pair of shorts and WRONG sides are touching. Do French seams up the side seams. I don't think I need to explain it again. You're a pro by now! ;)

Now we are going to hem the legs.

With PJ shorts upside down and inside out, mark and fold the edge down 1/2" and pin. You can press if you prefer but I never bother. I like placing the pins as seen in the photo because when you do the next step you can pull them out easily and pin again.

Fold again another 1/2". If you pin just like I do in the photo, you can easily pull the pins out as you sew in the next step.

And the next step is indeed to sew about an 1/8" from the inside folded edge. I like starting at the inseam.

Repeat for the other leg.

Now for the waistband. Fold down 1" along waistband edge and pin.

Then another 1".

If you didn't mark the back when you cut the fabric, never fear, the back is the sides which are longer in width at the leg hems. So now at the back center waistband, place a pin as seen. This will help remind you where to stop when you're stitching.

Now I usually pin on my labels. I use cotton twill tape but you can use some ribbon. This is so you know which side is the back when putting them on. I didn't do this for the first pairs of PJ pants I made and I was always putting them on backwards. If you chose not to use a ribbon/twill tape tag in the back, you can stitch a button in the front center at the very end. Either way, the point is to leave a 2" opening so you can slip the elastic in later.

Now starting where you placed the ribbon/tag, stitch 1/8" from the inside folded edge. Be sure to back stitch when you start stitching so the threads don't pull loose later on.

Stitch around the waistband, stopping when you get to that pin you placed earlier. (If you're anything like me, you're usually singing along--out of key, mind you--to tunes and it's easy to forget to stop stitching.) Don't forget to back stitch when you finish, to secure the threads.

Now cut your elastic. For the size Small I cut a 26" piece, for the Medium a 29" piece and for the Large a 32" piece. But hey, these are your PJ shorts, why not customize? You can wrap the elastic comfortably around your waist (the PJ shorts have about a 9" rise) and add one inch for overlap.

It's smart to mark the elastic as seen. It may come in handy later.

Now, with a safety pin attached to the end of the elastic, insert it in the opening you left earlier. Pull the elastic through until it comes out the other side. Don't let the other end of the elastic slip into the casing, make sure it still hangs out some.

Overlapping the elastic about 1"-1 1/2", with the markings you made on the same side, pin or hold in place. Make sure the elastic isn't twisted anywhere along the waist. I forgot to get a picture of this bit, but you want to stitch a rectangle with a X in it where the elastic overlaps.

Now you want to pull the elastic back up into the casing and pulling the fabric taught/flat stitch an 1/8" from the edge.

OK, you're done. Slip 'em on and dance around! Or get your lounge on!

I'm not really the teacher type, so if any of this doesn't make sense, let me know. I'm happy to answer any questions.

As with most of my tutorials, they are for personal use only. Please do not make these shorts to sell. Thank you and have fun!