One of my top wardrobe requirements for the summer is having an easy pair of comfortable shoes that I can wear daily. They have to be comfortable, stylish, and also stand up to the elements for trips to the pool, the park, and barbecues. I don’t like to spend a lot of time planning outfits for our summer activities and I love the ease of having a pair of shoes that will carry me through whatever we’re doing each day. When I got a peak at Crocs new line of shoes, I thought that they just might fit the bill for my summer shoe needs. Today’s post pairs a tutorial for a casual summer skirt with these fun wedges! These A-leigh Shimmer Leather Wedges kind of blow my mind. They have the incredible “sink your toes into marshmallow pillows” feel of all the Crocs shoes I’ve tried on and they are so stylish! I pretty much haven’t taken these off since I got them! You know when you walk in your door after running the kids to school or running errands and the first thing you do is kick your shoes off to let your feet be free? Not with these shoes! They’re more comfortable than walking around barefoot! I’ve never worn wedges that didn’t feel hard under my heels, and I really love that these are so wearable. The uppers are black shimmery leather – they look nice, but I’m not worried about getting a little dirt, grass, or water on them. The strapping also feels flexible and soft around my toes. My only issue was that the strap was a bit loose, but I just punched an extra hole and now they’re fine! The bottoms of the shoes have traction, making them suitable for many of the outdoorsy places we like to go in the summer. I pictured wearing them lakeside and needed a flowy summer skirt to go with them. So, naturally, I rummaged my knit stash and came out with this yummy blush knit. For a flowy skirt without a bunch of bulk around the waist, I decided to sew a long circle skirt with a dropped waist. Let’s see how to do that: Choose a fabric that is very lightweight – tissue weight – and has some slink in it. Begin by folding your fabric into fourths and then creating your circle pattern. There are oodles of circle skirt tutorials out there if you need more help creating the pattern. It’s quite simple once you have your fabric folded. You can see more details in this circle skirt tutorial if you’d like. Cut out the hole for your waist. If you have larger hips and want to make sure the knit falls loosely over the hips with a dropped waist, you can use your hip measurement here. Then, measure down to the desired hemline; there’s no need to hem this fabric, so you don’t need to add extra length for hemming. Next, make the waistband. Cut a strip of fabric the length of your waist (or hips if that’s the measurement you used for your skirt opening) and 8″ wide. The stretch of the fabric should run the lengthwise. Join the two raw edges together (right sides together) and serge or sew. Now, grab some 1″ wide elastic and cut a piece the length of your waist measurement. Sew the two ends together and try it on to make sure it’s snug but comfortable around your waist. Now place it around the loop of fabric that is your waistband and move it to the center, as shown in the middle picture above. Fold the waistband down around the elastic so that the elastic is encased inside. Pin the raw edges of the waistband together. Now your waistband is ready to attach to the skirt. Slip the waistband over the waistline of the skirt so that all the raw edges are facing up. Fit and pin the waistband to the skirt and serge (or sew using a zigzag stitch) together. Flip up the sewn waistband and wiggle the elastic to the very top. You can leave the skirt as is or add a narrow zigzag stitch all the way around the waistband to hold the elastic snug at the top. And that’s it! A breezy summer skirt! It’s lightweight and comfortable – easy to wear, but still looks pretty! Paired with my new wedges, I feel ready to get outside and explore with my family this summer, while also feeling put together. I love creating outfits like this! Now, it’s your turn to create a summer outfit that will keep you feeling good! Click here to check out all of the new shoe styles that Crocs.com has to offer! How would you style your favorite pair?
Placemats are a quick way to add some color, mood, and fun to your table. I love the natural look of burlap and I’d like to add more accent pieces to my home. Last summer, I created a super dreamy outdoor tea party setup by hanging a tulle tent around an antique trunk draped with a polka dot and pom pom burlap tablecloth and topped with miniature China, tea, and petite treats. The girls loooooved this tea party and thinking about the magic that we’ve had under our big oak tree pulls at my heartstrings as we pack up to move from here. NEVERTHELESS, this year I’ve noticed tons of other printed burlaps stocked in my Jo-Anns store. Polka dots, damask, metallics, yum! I found this beautiful white lace printed burlap and thought it would make some bright, pretty placemats that I can take with me wherever we go!
Sewing a strip of bias tape around the edges of a rectangle or circle of burlap is fairly simple, but there are a few key steps to getting neat, mitered corners and joining the two ends nicely. Today, I’m going to guide you through a bias tape placemat tutorial so that you can sew a stack for your table!
For this project, you will need burlap and extra wide double fold bias tape. One placemat requires an 18″ x 12″ rectangle of burlap and 2 yards of bias tape. This “Satin” bias tape looks really classy for this placemat project; you can use any kind or any color – just be sure it’s Extra Wide Double Fold bias tape!
Once you have cut your burlap to size (and really, you can make them any size) – let’s take a closer look at the bias tape. In the package, it comes neatly folded. If you look at both sides, you will notice that the one side is wider than the other side. It’s important to take note of this because you will need to align the wider side with the back of the fabric so that when you wrap the narrower side over to the front and edge stitch – the stitches will catch the bias tape on the back. Let’s take a closer look:
Unfold the bias tape and you will see four sections. Line up the edge of the wider side, right side down, with the raw edge of the back/wrong side of the burlap placemat.
It’s time to baste the bias tape around the back of the placemat. Begin in the center of a side of the placemat (this allows room for joining the edges later without running into the corners). Leave an unsewn tail of bias tape loose at the beginning – approximately 3-4 inches (more than shown in the picture above). Begin stitching in that first fold from the raw edge, about 1/2″ seam allowance. You can use a basting stitch.
Continue stitching until you are 1/2″ from the bottom edge of the placemat. Backstitch and cut your threads. Do not cut off the bias tape.
Remove the placemat from the machine and fold up the additional bias tape at an angle out to your right. The bias tape will be perpendicular to the line you’ve just stitched and the bottom edge of the angled out bias tape will line up with the bottom of the placemat.
Keeping that diagonal fold in place, fold the bias tape back over itself so that the fold is lined up with side of the placemat, as shown above. Pin in place.
Now turn the placemat so that you can continue basting on the bias tape. Begin your stitch 1/2″ from the top so that your ending stitching from side 1 and your beginning stitch on side 2 butt up against each other, but do not cross each other. Continue stitching down the side. Continue these steps as you get to each corner.
Once you get back to the side you began on, stop stitching about 4 inches above the beginning. Leave a 3-4 inch tail of bias tape and trim off any excess.
Now it’s time to make a neatly joined edge. Spread the two tails of bias tape in the direction they’re aiming so that they overlap one another. Be sure they’re lined up with the raw edge of the placemat and that there is no extra slack in either tail. Mark with a disappearing fabric marker where you would like the two tails to connect (in the center of the gap). Mark the spot on both layers of bias tape.
Temporarily fold down the bottom tail out of the way. Fold the top tail to the left as shown. Notice the diagonal line of the fold intersects that marked dot.
Smooth the bottom tail up to match up the dots – the bias tape will now be right sides together. Place a pin in the dot (through both layers of bias tape, but not the burlap) to hold them together.
Make a second dot where the fold line on the far left side (bottom tail) and bottom line (top tail) intersect (shown in red in the picture above). Mark both layers and place a pin.
Draw a diagonal line through the two dots and extending to the edges of the bias tape. Place pins along the line.
Now pull your bias tape away from the burlap so that you can stitch it together. Stitch along the marked line.
Trim the excess bias tape and press open the fold. Now position the joined bias tape along the raw edge and connect your beginning and ending stitches to complete the basting of the bias tape.
Now for the final step! Refold your bias tape on its original fold lines. Time to turn it to the front of the place mat. If you have trouble folding the bias tape all the way to the front and covering the basting stitches, simply trim down the seam allowance a bit. Turn one side to the front at a time. You can pin it if you’d like, but I just fold it as I go. Stitch close to the inside edge of the bias tape to secure the front and catch the bias tape in the back! Stitch down until you’re a couple inches from the corner.
To make beautiful mitered corners, fold the corner around so that you have the bias tape fully to the front along the side you’re stitching on.
Then, fold up the other side – adjust the corner so that the two pieces of bias tape meet and form a 90 degree angle. Finger press the bias tape in place. Hold it as you stitch, approaching the corner. Once your needle sews one stitch through that bottom portion of the corner, leave you needle down in the bias tape, lift the presser foot, and pivot the placemat. Lower the presser foot back down and continue stitching down the next side. That’s it!
Wouldn’t these be so pretty on your outdoor tables this summer? I just love the printed burlap! And I would LOVE to hear what projects you’ve been working on!
Years ago – so many years ago – I bought a plain white duvet cover from Target, along with some white muslin from the fabric store. I wanted to make a ruffled duvet cover for Olivia’s bed; I just needed the time and a clean floor to lay everything out and figure out how to do it. Several years and about three room shuffles later, I finally prioritized this duvet cover and it turned out so lovely! I guess needing to finish off Olivia’s bedroom for the house listing finally gave me the push I needed.
Sewing a ruffled duvet cover this way is not actually very difficult – it just takes time. Using a serger is strongly recommended. Basically, I took a pre-made white duvet cover and cut open the side and top seams so that I could attach the rows of ruffles onto the duvet top. You could seam rip those seams, but it’s a lot quicker to just slice the stitches off and you only end up losing maybe 1″ total width and height from the finished duvet once you’ve sewn it back together.
Next, you’re going to prepare your ruffles. I cut mine 6″ wide. Why 6″? Because that’s the width of my long quilting ruler so it made quick work of it. I used white cotton muslin. It’s inexpensive and is often available in widths up to 120″! If you can cut strips over 100″ long, you will be able to ruffle them and still have them stretch across the width of the duvet cover. My twin duvet cover was 61″ wide and 84″ long. I ended up using 18 strips to cover the duvet from top to bottom, with about a 1 1/2″ overlap between ruffles – I’ll show this in a little more detail in a minute. The first thing you’ll want to do is cut 1 strip from selvage to selvage and then play around with it to see how far across the piece will stretch once it’s ruffled.
For each strip, we’re going to finish the raw “top edge”, which will allow us to simply sew it right down on the duvet cover without the edges fraying. The easiest way to do this is to serge it with a 4-Thread Overlock stitch.
The “bottom edge” of each strip will have a rolled edge. Set up your serger to do a 3-Thread Overlock Rolled edge and you’ll be done in no time! Once your strip is prepared with one edge overlocked and the other rolled, it’s time to ruffle. There are several ways you can ruffle your strips and you can read about some of these options in this post on Ways to Sew a Ruffle. I ended up using a very loose ruffle so that I could get my 108″ strips ruffled down to about 70″ long. I was able to simply adjust the stitch length and tension using my regular sewing machine to achieve easy, loose ruffles. Ruffle ALL your strips along the “top edge”, the edge with a 4-Thread Overlock, not rolled. NOTE: You may need to join more than one strip together to create a ruffled piece long enough to stretch across your duvet width. If this is the case, join the multiple strips together (at their short edges) before serging the top edge, rolling the bottom edge, and ruffling the strip. Then, you can just perform the stitching on one never-ending strip all as one. After the long strip has been prepped, measure and cut it into sections that will fit the width of the duvet cover (leave a few inches overhang on each strip).
Now, it’s time to sew the ruffles to the duvet cover. Spread your opened up duvet cover out on the floor or a large, clean surface. (Ok, ok, this is the real reason it took me so many years to do this project, it required extensive mopping as a precursor and I had a hard time getting around to the deep cleaning.) Use a ruler and disappearing ink fabric marker to carefully mark a horizontal line exactly 6″ up from the bottom edge of the duvet cover – working on the right side of the duvet. Mark another horizontal line 4 1/2″ above the first line. Continue marking lines every 4 1/2″ to the top. You may want to work in sections if your marker fades quickly or you don’t think you’ll be able to complete the ruffle sewing all at one time. Now, pin or simply hold in place the first ruffle on that 6″ line. The serged, ruffled edge should align with the marked line and the rolled edge should lay facing down. You’re sewing the ruffle right side up on top of the duvet cover right side up. Sew it down using a 1/4″ seam. Use your marked line as a guide to make sure your ruffle is sewn on straight. Continue sewing subsequent ruffles. There will be about an inch of overlap for each ruffle on top of the next.
Once you’ve reached the top (the math may not work out perfectly – no problem, either stop with a little extra space at the top, or chop your last ruffle to a shorter width), you just need to sew the duvet cover back together to finish! I like to serge (or baste) the ruffles to the sides of the duvet cover so that they all lay flat and don’t get tangled up in the side seams. Once the ruffles are basted along the sides, just match the duvet cover front and back, right sides together and sew around the sides and top using a 1/4″ – 1/2″ seam. You can also serge the seams for a neat finish on the inside of the duvet cover. Now flip the cover right sides out, spread your duvet into the cover, and fluff it over the bed!
For more details on some of these techniques or for an alternate ruffled cover construction method, you should definitely check out this Rolled Hem Pillow Cover that I created for Baby Lock’s National Serger Month e-book. I think it would be SO pretty to do a whole duvet cover with a contrasting thread rolled edge! I also show how to create the full pillow cover vs. sewing the ruffles onto a pre-made pillow cover. You could use the same principle to create a duvet cover from scratch!
I’ll be back soon with a full tour of Olivia’s bedroom!
Curtains are a great way to personalize your living space! They add function and personality, but sometimes it can be difficult to find just the right drapes to fit your space and style. Today, I’m going to show you a really quick method to sew your own curtains. We’re going to make short cafe curtains, but you can use these same techniques to sew full-size drapes as well!
I have sewn large panels of blackout-lined curtains in the past and it was a big, bulky job! This pretty blue damask fabric has been sitting in my sewing room for YEARS, as I’ve procrastinated what I thought would be a cumbersome task. However, since I didn’t need to line the curtains and I wanted the job to be fast, I finally sewed up four panels and it only took me a few hours of work. I topstitched the side edges, made a simple pocket at the top, and used my blind-hem sewing machine foot to give the bottoms a professional-looking finish. We’re going to go through this sewing tutorial using smaller pieces of fabric so that you can see just how to do it!
The first step, and perhaps the most challenging, is to cut your fabric panels. Hang your curtain rod in place before you begin so that you know the exact size to make the curtains. For each panel, follow the diagram above to determine how large to cut your fabric.
- Measure the height from the top of the curtain rod to the floor (or wherever you want the bottom of the panel to hit).
- Add 4″ to the height for the top casing and 2″ to the bottom for the hem. If you are sewing larger drapes, you will probably want to add 4 1/2″ to the bottom for a larger hem, as I did with my dining room panels. For the cafe curtains, I simply used 2″.
- Measure the width of the window from side to center (you’ll base the measurement off of half the width of the window, assuming you’re going to have two total panels that meet in the middle). To achieve a nice gathered look when the curtain is open, multiply the width by 1.5. For even fuller curtain panels, double the width.
- In addition, add width for the side hemming. For the casual cafe curtains, I turned each side under by 1/4″ twice and hemmed, meaning that I needed an extra 1/2″ on each side and an overall 1″ extra width. For the larger drapes with heavier fabric, I recommend turning under 1/2″ and then 1/2″ again, meaning that you would use an extra 1″ on each side and an overall 2″ extra width.
Cut your panels – be sure they are all the same!
- Turn the side in (toward the wrong side of the fabric) by 1/4″ and press well. Turn another 1/4″ and press well. Topstitch the side edge 1/8″ from the edge to secure. Repeat for the other side of the panel.
- Serge the top edge (or simply turn under by 1/4″ and press). Turn in each corner toward the wrong side of the fabric, just enough that the very corner is turned under. Press. Now fold the top of the panel toward the wrong side by 4″ and press well across the width of the panel. Note: If you did not serge the edge and instead turned it under, you will need to adjust the fold down measurement to 3 3/4″. Topstitch across the top panel to form the casing – stitch 3 5/8″ from the top fold.
- If you would like the top “ruffle” on the curtain panel – as pictured in the cafe curtains – you can stitch another line parallel to the first, at 2″ above (and about 1.5″ from the top). Be sure that this 2″ space provides enough room to insert your curtain rod and finial (or that the finial comes off).
- Finally, we’re going to work on the bottom hem with more detailed pictures to follow:
- Turn the bottom edge up (toward wrong side) by 1″ and press well. Turn another 1″ and press well again. (For larger hems, turn up by 1/2″ and then 4″, for example, if you added 4 1/2″ to the measurement.)
- Unfold the hem so you can see the raw edge at the bottom.
- Slightly turn in the side corner of the hem, as pictured above. You want the fold to begin directly below your upper fold line. Angle the fold so that the edge of the side hem falls in line with the bottom fold line, i.e., the fabric is angled in by 1/4″ at the 1″ mark (for cafe curtains). You’ll see why in the steps below. Press well.
- Now, refold the bottom hem up on that 1″ fold line. Press the corner well.
- Fold again on that 2″ fold line. You can see that because your corner was turned in by 1/4″ at the 1″ hem mark – the folded edge lines up perfectly where your side seam ends.
5. The final step is to secure the hem you’ve just folded! We’re going to use a blind hem. You may have sewn a blind hem by hand in the past and, while it’s truly not visible from the right side of the fabric, it takes some time. Plus, as you know, I’m not a big fan of hand-stitching. So! We’re going to pull out the blind hem foot for our sewing machines and finish these panels off in a snap! You can see the spaced stitches that are visible on the front of the fabric in the picture above – however, this picture was strategically focused to really show those stitches. When you have your curtain pressed and hung, those tiny stitches are barely noticeable and the finished look is a lot nicer than a topstitched line all the way across the bottom of your drape!
- To begin, flip your curtain panel upside down so that the bulk of the fabric is facing down and you can work with the bottom hem pointing up.
- Flip the double-folded hem back toward the RIGHT side of the fabric. Gently press this new fold about 1/4″ below the exposed folded edge of the hem. Does that make sense? We’re going to be stitching most of our blind hem stitches on that 1/4″ exposed edge – which is just part of the double folded hem and won’t show when we’re done – and then every 5 stitches or so the machine will bounce over and catch the new fold which is how the hem is secured to the right side of the panel. Do not iron this new fold because once you’ve finished stitching, you’re going to want to press the fold out and it will be easier if you’ve just gently hand pressed it. (You can also use clips or pins to hold it evenly in place, but I like to skip steps!)
- Attach the blind hem foot to your sewing machine. Place your curtain panel under the foot with the majority of the fabric lying to the left and wrong side up. Adjust the knob on the foot so that the guide plate rests on the right side of the folded hem.
- Select the blind hem stitch on your sewing machine. It looks like the one highlighted on my machine in the picture above. Vertical stitches to the right with a little point jumping to the left every few stitches.
- Now, STITCH! Be sure that your fabric is set in the machine so that the needle is stitching on that folded hem and skipping over to just barely catch the other side.
- And that’s it! Flip your panel back over to the right side and gently smooth out the fold to reveal your finished hem. Press out the fold and you’re done!
Here’s your finished curtain panel! Now, sew up the other one like a boss, give them a good press, and hang those pretty things up!
I am pretty darn excited about today’s post because I was able to work with one of my favorite brands to put together a functional, stylish outfit AND give one of YOU a $250 gift card for ECCO shoes! Pretty great, right?!! One of the simplest things that we can do to change our clothes is to sew a new hem and I’m going to show you just how easy it is today. I paired my newly cropped jeans with a handmade blouse, a pair of casual ECCO flats, and the most scrumptious ECCO shoulder bag. The outfit is casual, but definitely put together, and I think it will work well for shopping, a lunch date, and skipping over to all of the kids’ school functions that tend to pop up this time of year. I took a pair of jeans from my donate pile and decided instead to turn them into useable capri pants for the spring. The jeans fit just fine, but the style was bulky and heavy around my ankles, not to mention too long. To hem your jeans into capris, you will need just a few supplies:
- pins or clips
- washable fabric marker
- scissors/rotary cutter
- pinking shears (optional)
- heavy duty/denim sewing needle
- thick thread appropriate for detail stitching on denim
- sewing machine
First try them the jeans on and mark where you want your new hem to be. I find it easiest to scrunch the leg up around your knee until you find the right length and then put a pin at that same height on the other pant leg. Once you have the new finished length marked, the hemming is simple!
- Mark 1″ below the desired finish length and cut the bottom of the pant leg straight across through all layers. This will give you enough excess fabric to make a double-fold hem.
- If the pant leg is too wide, you can taper it in at this point. Figure out how much tapering you want to do by trying the cut pants on inside out. Pinch along the inside of the leg and mark the starting point of your taper (mine was 8″ above the bottom) and mark how far in (mine was 1/2″). Use a washable fabric marker to mark your taper line.
- Sew to taper the leg – work on the inside seam if possible. On these particular jeans, the inside seam was topstitched so I had to taper the outer seam, which turned out fine, too. Use pinking shears to cut down the seam allowance from your tapered side and reduce bulk to 1/4″.
- Fold and press up the bottom edge of the jeans by 1/2″. Fold and press another 1/2″ to create a double-fold hem. Pin or clip in place.
- Set your sewing machine to a bit longer stitch length (I lengthened the stitch to a 3). Working slowly, sew your new hem approximately 3/8″ from the edge. It may be easiest to sew with your jeans turned inside out and place the sewing needle inside the cuff to stitch on the right side of the hem. Add a second row of stitching if desired.
- Repeat for the second leg and you’re done!
I am thrilled with how my new capri jeans turned out – they’re lighter and easier to move around in – perfect for spring. Also, they go great with these adorable ECCO Ballerina Patch flats. The shoes feature soft leather uppers, a breathable full leather lining, and foam insole for added comfort. The outer patchwork design is sewn from a variety of rich leathers that are light and flexible. My ECCO boots that I wore daily this winter (including hours of touring through Paris last Fall) have proven comfortable and these flats seem to provide the same stylish comfort. I love a pair of shoes that I can wear throughout the day. I also added this ECCO Sculptured Shoulder Bag to my outfit and let me tell you, it is divine! It’s made from cow leather and features water-repellant Baby Ottoman lining. The gunmetal hardware blends so nicely with this subtle Woodrose color and I kind of love that it will coordinate with lots of looks so that I can use it daily. Nice and big and ready to stash whatever this busy mom needs! The inside has a dedicated phone pocket, zip pocket, and key ring strap – nothing’s getting lost in the bottom of this baby, but I’m pretty sure it will fit all the things!! Dreamy! My blouse was handmade by me. It is the top version from the Marigold Dress Pattern and I love the elastic waist and pretty neckline. I used gold buttons on this one to dress it up some and the big bow tied sash gives it some added style. Cap sleeves make it great for the warmer weather! The fabric is a polyester I picked up at Britex last Fall. Alright, friends! It’s time to give away the most awesome prize!! $250 for some ECCO shoes of your very own! Can you already smell the sweet smell of that real, supple leather?? What’s your favorite spring shoe trend? Tell me below in the comments for a chance to win an ECCO shoe card worth up to $250!! Eek!
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We are doing some MAJOR cleaning and de-cluttering in our home. We’ve been here a good number of years and the stuff has really piled up. It feels SO great to get rid of all the stuff that is just taking up space and sucking up my energy. I keep finding that each cleaning task leads me down a rabbit hole – before I can sort through that, I have to sort through this, and clear out that, and have a place for this. One such rabbit hole in my master bathroom led me to the realization that I desperately needed a better system of storing and organizing my jewelry. I love the fun trends in accessories, but I can’t even fit one of those chunky necklaces into my jewelry box, much less my whole collection. I sewed a hanging jewelry organizer to keep many of my earrings, bracelets, and necklaces safe and visible. The clear vinyl pockets make it easy to quickly find what I’m looking for and the built in hanger makes it simple to keep the whole thing right in my closet. Today, I’ll show you how to make your own!
You will need:
1 yard of home decor or upholstery fabric (the heavier fabric will help the organizer hold its shape)
2 packages (4 yards each) of double fold bias tape
1-2 packages (3 yards each) of extra wide double fold bias tape
clear vinyl shower curtain liner
ruler and disappearing ink fabric marker
large heavy-duty wire hanger (18″ wide)
heavy duty sewing machine needle
Step 1: Begin by cutting two vertical pieces of fabric 20″ wide by 35″ long.
Step 2: Place your hanger on top of the fabric pieces and draw a line approximately 1″ above the shape of the hanger. Trim away the excess fabric to approximately follow the curve of the hanger. You will want at least an inch around every side of the hanger so that there is enough room to maneuver while you’re stitching the hanger into the organizer later. To ensure that both sides of the organizer are symmetrical, fold the fabric (both pieces) in half vertically, and cut your drawn curve this way – when you open the pieces up, everything will be nice and symmetrical.
Step 3: Cut six sections of clear vinyl from the shower curtain liner. Each sections should be 4″ tall by 20″ wide. These will become the pocket pieces.
Step 4: Using the double fold bias tape (the more narrow bias tape), cut pieces approximately 21″ long. Open up each piece completely. Place the opened bias tape right side down on top of one vinyl pocket piece. Match up the edges along the length. Holding the bias tape in place with your fingers (pins will leave holes in the vinyl so avoid their use or be sure to only place them right along the very edge), stitch the bias tape along the top edge of the pocket piece. Be sure you are stitching about 1/8″ from the edge – right in the first fold of the bias tape.
Step 5: Once you have basted the bias tape in place, fold it up again along its original folds and flip it up and over the edge of the vinyl to the “right side.” Now, topstitch along the edge to conceal the basting stitches and create a fully encased top edge to the pocket. Repeat for all six pocket pieces.
Step 6: With the extra wide double fold bias tape, wrap the bottom edge of each pocket piece and pin the bias tape (keeping the pins only on the bias tape) into place. You’re simple opening the bias tape partway and inserting the vinyl into the fold. Repeat for five of the pocket pieces and set them aside.
Step 7: Now we will prepare the fabric for attaching the pockets. Beginning at the bottom of the fabric (just the front side of the organizer), draw a horizontal line with your disappearing ink fabric marker 4″ from the bottom edge. Draw five additional lines, each 4.5″ from the line below it. You should have six lines all together.
Step 8: Mark where you would like your vertical lines to be on the finished organizer. Each horizontal pocket can be divided into sections of varying widths. For ease, I divided two pockets into 5 – 4″ sections (smaller for earrings and bracelets), three pockets into 4 – 5″ sections (larger for chunky necklaces), and the bottom pocket into 2 – 10″ sections (extra large). Mark these vertical lines now so that you can easily follow them when your pockets are sewn on.
Step 9: Pin the pockets onto the fabric. The top edge of each pocket should align with each horizontal line that you marked. The pocket that does not have extra wide bias tape on its bottom edge will align with the very bottom edge of the organizer. You will need to pin the pockets into place along their top edges AND repin the bottom edge of each pocket, making sure to keep the extra wide bias tape fully encasing the bottom edge of each vinyl piece. It is probably easiest to pin and sew one pocket at a time, beginning with the top and working your way down.
Step 10: To attach the pockets, you will sew two rows of stitching on each pocket. These two rows of stitching should be along the two edges of the extra wide bias tape running the length of the bottom of each pocket. DO NOT SEW horizontally along the top edge of each pocket – simply leave the pins in place for now. The top edge needs to stay open so that you can tuck your jewelry in!
Step 11: Once all of the pockets have been attached along their bottoms, it’s time to sew the vertical lines in to make the pocket dividers. Because you’re sewing on top of the vinyl, it may get a little tricky to keep your presser foot from sticking. Hold your fabric firmly so that you can help to keep the fabric moving. If you have a teflon foot for your machine, it may come in handy. You can also place strips of tissue paper between the presser foot and the vinyl (you can find more information on sewing with vinyl or oilcloth here).
Step 12: Now it’s time to attach the back of the organizer to the front and finish the edges. (Please note that you can add pockets of any size in a similar manner to the back of the organizer for even more storage space. Simply follow the same techniques outlined above before continuing with Step 12.) We will need to first finish the edges at the top center where the hanger will poke through. Cut two 3″ pieces of double fold bias tape and attach them to the top center of each fabric panel as shown (use the same techniques as Steps 4-5.)
Step 13: Place the two fabric panels wrong sides together, matching all the sides evenly and pinning here and there to keep them aligned. Now we’re going to add bias tape all the way around the edges of the organizer. I used the narrower double fold bias tape and I think the finish looks nice and neat. You can also use the extra wide bias tape and it would be even easier to finish off the project, but you would lose a bit of storage space in the pockets. It’s up to you! Either way, open up the bias tape like you did before and match the right side of the bias tape to the BACK SIDE of the fabric organizer. Baste it into place all the way around the perimeter, sewing along that first fold (about 1/8″ away from the raw edges). Be sure you are catching all three layers (front panel, back panel, vinyl pocket edges) in the stitches. I found that I needed to keep the pocket edges pinned so that they wouldn’t stick on the machine as I was sewing and get nudged out of place. Work slowly and carefully – use a heavy duty machine needle to easily sew through the bulky layers, particularly where you are sewing over the top and bottom edges of each pocket. BEFORE you completely stitch on the bias tape, tuck the hanger up into the organizer so that it can be sewn in. We left that extra 1″ of wiggle room around the hanger when we designed the organizer so you should be able to maneuver it to the side as you sew on the bias tape with the hanger in place.
One more note about attaching the bias tape edging: Start and stop the edging about an inch to each side of the top center. Overlap the edging that you added in Step 12 by about a half inch on each side. Also, fold the bias tape back over on itself as shown in the picture above so that when you flip the whole thing to the front side, those top sides of the bias tape will have a neat finish instead of a raw edge.
Step 14: Almost done! You just need to flip that bias tape around to the front side of the organizer and topstitch it down. Because you have some bulk tucked in there, I highly recommend trimming down any uneven edges or excess fabric/vinyl. This way, you will be able to wrap the bias tape all the way over the edge and stitch it down to cover the layers and basting stitches underneath.
Fill her up with all your pretty jewelry, hang her up and out of the way, and give yourself a pat on the back for getting another piece of your home organized and more functional!
***This post was first published on The Creative Spark.