Easy swim cover-ups

I found some cute beach towels on sale last week, then went surfing on pinterest to find easy cover-ups that I could make out of them.

My main requirement was that the towel was still useable as a towel… ie, it could lay flat. Plus, I only picked up one towel for my daughter and one for myself, so any two-towel methods were not going to work.

Then I found this pin. It’s a towel top, and you can get it on Etsy. She’s got some cool colors and buttons, but if you already have a towel, here’s what to do!

Ignore the Olaf photo bombs, LOL, my daughter was not into posing!

How to make this easy swim cover-up:
Beach towel, the thinner kind are easier to sew
Button, the kind that stand away from the fabric
Two small hair elastics

1) find the center point on one long edge of the towel. Sew a button at this point, on the right side of the towel. (This will now be the top edge of the towel.)
2) tack a hair elastic on each of the corners of this same top edge, on the wrong side of the towel, so that they stick out past the edge. I tacked each one down a couple of times by simply using a tight zigzag stitch over the elastic.
3) that’s it! To wear, hook the elastics over the button. This connection will go behind your neck, and your arms go through the large gaps made by looping the towel together.
4) you can also add pockets to either the inside or the outside of the towel. So you don’t have to carry a towel and can even use your towel to carry other stuff, like goggles!

Front view
Back view.

Close-up of how the elastics and buttons connect in the back.

My son’s Olaf towel poncho, which was definitely not as easy but still only took a couple hours, was made by using a combination of this Olaf hooded towel tutorial and pattern and this towel poncho tutorial.




Boy’s shorts upcycle tutorial

shortsYou know when your kids outgrow their denim shorts, but they are still perfectly wearable? Or when kids wear holes in the knees of their jeans during the winter, and by the time it’s warm enough for cutoffs the jeans are too small in the waist? Add panels on the sides and bind the bottom, and you’ve got a new pair of shorts!

Here’s what to do!

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Shirred maxi dress with pockets tutorial

sundress_frontFor week 2 of the Project Sewn sew-along, I made a shirred maxi dress with fabric from my stash, which I had purchased to make myself a maxi skirt last year. Hey, skirt, dress, whatevs, right?

This dress is very easy to wear and construct… so I put together a tutorial as I was making it.

This shirred women’s maxi dress tutorial owes a great deal to No Big Dill’s girl’s maxi dress tutorial, which I adapted previously to make a dress for my daughter and her doll, to Running with Scissors’ shirred pocket skirt tutorial, which I had used to make a skirt for myself (that I’ll blog about eventually), and to Sewaholic’s tutorial on sewing inseam pockets.

If you’ve never shirred anything before, it’s great fun and really easy! Basically, you’re just sewing lots of straight lines across the right side of your fabric, with elastic thread in the bobbin.

Update: If you use this tutorial, I’d love to see the results! Please comment with a link to your dress. Thanks!

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Project Sewn, black and white: part 2


Woohoo! It’s the first ever Project Sewn contest, and this week’s theme, for both the designers and sew-alongers such as myself, is Black and White. This is one of those trends that I’ve been seeing all over the red carpet, and I don’t have too much of in my own closet, so it was fun to create something. Continue reading

Easter “formal” dress, part 2: My dress


For my own Easter dress this year, I wanted to tie in the stripes from my daughter’s dress and the colors (green, blue, pink) from my son’s shirt (picked up on sale at Gymboree a couple years ago for $4). I also was intrigued by the vintage style dresses where the pattern goes one direction on the bodice and another on the bottom. I found this striped chiffon fabric and thought it would work well, mixed with some sheer blue chiffon.

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Crib sheets



My sister- and brother-in-law decorated their baby boy’s room in royal blue and bright red, with a Mickey Mouse theme. I lent them a hand and made two fitted crib sheets, a matching pillowcase (for when baby becomes a toddler, or for tired parents to use in a rocker), and — updated — two flat sheets, too.

I used this crib sheet tutorial from Made, and tweaked it slightly to color-block the sheets so that a different color shows through the crib slats from the side. I love that the sheets are fully fitted for a crib, and that the elastic is encased – things that make it easier on parents when they are changing baby sheets all too frequently! The photo shows one of the sheets on my son’s toddler bed – yep, full-size crib sheets fit on toddler beds, extending the life of those sheets.

For the pillowcase, I followed this envelope pillowcase tutorial, because I love envelope pillowcases for kids. They stay on much better than traditional open-ended pillowcases. Love this tutorial, and you can use it for any square or rectangular pillow, decorating, color-blocking or otherwise mixing up fabrics in pretty much any way, as long as the final measurements are correct. So easy, and can be done with just a four seams if you keep things simple.

Updated: When I posted this, I asked my sister-in-law “Did I make you flat sheets too?” because I couldn’t remember.. and that is why I started this blog, so I can keep better track of all the sewing projects I’ve completed! In any case, toddler flat sheets are super easy. Because a toddler bed is so narrow, you can make them with just about any fabric you want without having to worry about the fabric width (that’s really great since character or quilting fabrics, which make fun sheets, tend to have narrower widths). Here’s a tutorial that gives dimensions and walks you through how to make a toddler flat sheet and a pillowcase from a twin flat sheet (good for upcycling or Goodwill finds); and here’s one that shows you how to make a toddler flat sheet with one fitted end, which is handy since toddlers like to kick their sheets off.

Leggings upcycle into skirt



What do you do when your kid rips holes in the knees of her leggings? I upcycle the leggings into a skirt (and a matching skirt for her doll out of the leftover fabric).

This is very easy to do. Cut off the legs at the holes and even the length. Rip out the center seams of the leggings (up until the crotch seam, leaving the seams in the front and the back) and turn them so that the legs are now the front and the back. Cut triangular panels out of the discarded bottom of the legs material, and sew on the new “sides” of the skirt.

I use hair elastics for the doll waistbands.