Making a fabric-covered button

Do you have one of those shirts that’s so comfortable and flattering that you wear it at least ten times as often as any of your other clothes? This wine-red American Eagle shirt with fabric-covered buttons is one of those for me. After being worn a bazillion times, it recently lost one of its buttons. Fortunately, there was extra fabric below the collar (where the label was … Read more

Applique the easy way

My friend Enid taught me an easy way to make applique with finished edges, and I’ve used it ever since. All you need is: your appliqué fabric used dryer sheets marker thread Here’s how to do it. I draw or trace the appliqué shape onto the dryer sheet and pin it to the right (show) side of the appliqué fabric. … Read more

Re-hemming a torn pillowcase

I have a pillowcase that Lilo the cat decided would make a tasty treat back before she started her medication. She chewed the edging in two places. Instead of throwing it away or tossing it in the scrap heap, I decided to fix it. I used a seam ripper to remove the old binding. Then I ironed the fabric and pressed … Read more

Sewing A Blind Hem Stitch

I’m finally learning how to sew a blind hem, thanks to a sewing machine that is capable of doing them. A blind hem is called that because its stitches are barely visible from the surface of the garment, making the hem “invisible” or “blind.” Here’s the skirt I wanted to blind hem: Then it was time to do the blind hem. … Read more

Making a recycled blank journal

To make this journal, I used things that would otherwise have been thrown away (or actually had been thrown away): the paperboard cover from a broken binder notebook odd-sized old-school computer paper with perforated edges that I found in a dumpster fabric from an upholstery sample book (the kind that fabric stores throw out on a regular basis) binder screws … Read more

Illustrated tutorial: Making basic, no-frills wrist warmers and hand warmers (fingerless gloves)

Earlier this week I was in my office typing, and as often happens when I do this in the winter, my hands felt stiff and cold. I often wear regular hand braces when typing, which doesn’t have much effect on my hands’ warmth, but I remembered seeing fancier wrist supports on Amazon that offer compression, so I looked them up. The … Read more

Altering a cashmere sweater for a better fit

I picked up this wonderfully soft cashmere sweater by Banana Republic last fall while going through the piles of stuff that local university students throw out when they move to new apartments. Besides being extravagantly comfortable, it is scandalously low cut. Maybe that’s why the previous owner threw it out. I decided to create a less revealing neck line by taking in … Read more

Sewing a chairpad cover and matching chair back

I had an ugly ergonomic chairpad in my office that had seen much better days. When I got a new desk for my office, I figured it was time to spruce up the chair, too. So I decided to sew a cover for the seat and the back. First, I traced the outline of the top/bottom and edges of the chairpad … Read more