Drawstring Spring Pants Tutorial

DS Pants 2

My boys often like to point out that I do not sew enough for them. So, for Easter, I decided to sew a little more for them than their usual tie. (Although tutorial for the tie is coming soon, too.) I made them these drawstring spring pants. You could make these for girls, too. They are not boy exclusive. 

You’ll need:

– elastic

– one length of main fabric

– half a yard of contrast fabric

DS pants note

First, you’ll want to measure your boy. (Or your three boys.) You’ll need a waist measurement, a crotch measurement (from the front waist band between the legs to the back waistband), an inseam measurement, and an out seam measurement.

DS Pants Notes 3

Once you have all your measurements, you’re ready to start! I like to draw everything out and write in my measurements. (All my seam allowances are 1/2″ unless I say otherwise.)

 

Waist- Divide the boy’s waist measurement by 4, then add an inch for seam allowance. These are loose fitting pants, so no need for perfection. (For Emery, his waist was 19.25″. I rounded that up to 20″ divided by 4 would be 5″ add an inch for a 6″ pattern line.

Crotch- Divide the crotch measurement in half. Emery’s was 14″. Half of that would be 7. Add an inch for seam allowances. Now mine is 8″.

Length- On the main fabric, you’re going to make the length 2″ shorter than what you actually want. So, Emery needed 19″ outseam. Take 2″ away and the main fabric is 17″. (You’ll be adding a 4″ strip of contrast fabric that will make up for those 2″ plus seam allowances.) I use my inseam measurement as a double check to make sure they are going to be well fitting.

 

If you don’t want to go through all this math, you can just grab a pair of pants that fit your boy right now and trace them, leaving enough room for seam allowances. I prefer to write out my own pattern.

DS Pants Pattern

Draw out your pattern onto the wrong side of your fabric. Fold fabric in half, then fold in half again so that the outer edge is double folds. You’ll be cutting both legs at once. Measure your leg width so you’ll know how wide to make your contrast cuff. (Mine was 9″.)

 

I use my Varyform Curve ruler to make the crotch line. The crotch of these pants is an 8″ curve. If you don’t have a ruler like this, you can freehand this curve or you can use a flexible ruler for the curve.

DS Pants Pieces

From your contrast fabric:

Cut 2 rectangles for the pant cuffs. 4″ long and the width of your pant leg. (Mine was 9″ on the fold- so each cuff is 4″ x 18″)

Cut 1 strip the width of the fabric and 2″ tall- this will be your drawstring.

Now you should have 2 legs, 2 cuffs, and 1 drawstring piece. 

DS Pants Cuff

First, sew the contrast bottom cuff (though it isn’t really a cuff, it is just a band of contrast fabric) onto the bottom of each pant leg. 

Go ahead and finish this seam. 

DS Pants Sew Inseam

Now, sew the inseam of each pant leg. Sew both legs. Finish both seams. 

DS Pants Sew Crotch

Tuck one leg inside the other, matching up the crotch with right sides together. (You’ll flip one leg right side out, then stuff it inside the other leg.)

 

Sew this seam. Finish this seam. 

DS Pants Waist

Fold the top of the waistband over about 1/2″. (You can see here that I serge the top of my pants. If you’re going to be folding the raw edge under, you’ll want a little more than 1/2″ in order to fit 1/4″ elastic in there.) Press it with the iron. 

DS Pants Waist 2

Now that you see where the top of your waistband will be, add a couple buttonholes. If you don’t like buttonholes, you could always add some grommets. I don’t think it is completely necessary to have 2 buttonholes. If you wanted, you could sew one larger buttonhole for both strings to come out of. I think 2 looks a little nicer and holds up better. 

DS Pants Waist 3

Sew the waistband closed. No need to leave an opening, you’ll be feeding the drawstring and elastic through your buttonholes. 

DS Pants Hem

Go ahead and hem the bottom of your pants. I find it easier to hem kids’ clothing before elastic goes in, so it lays as flat as possible while hemming. 

DS Pants Drawstring

Make your drawstring! Fold the 2″ strip in half and press. 

DS Pants Drawstring 2

Tuck the raw edges on each side in toward the fold and press. You can do this one side at a time if that makes it easier for you. 

DS Pants Drawstring 3

Sew down the middle of the drawstring. I use a zigzag stitch. It is just my personal preference. 

DS Pants Drawstring 4

Now that you’ve got a drawstring made, it is time to put it into your pants! Grab some 1/4″ elastic. (I used about 18″ for these pants.) Pin the elastic and the drawstring together, with the drawstring on the top. (See my picture.) Make sure you put a pin in the bottom of the elastic and the bottom of the drawstring so you don’t accidentally pull them all the way through!

DS Pants Drawstring 5

Insert the elastic and drawstring in through on of the buttonholes with the drawstring on top. (See photo.) Feed it around the waist casing. 

DS Pants Drawstring 6

When you get to the second buttonhole, go ahead and pull the elastic and drawstring out. With the drawstring out on both ends, put the elastic back in and feed it out the same buttonhole it went in. (See photo.) You want the elastic to be completely hidden inside the waist casing and the drawstring needs to be out each hole. 

DS Pants Drawstring 7

Sew your elastic together. 

DS Pants Drawstring 8

Tie a knot in each end of your drawstring. Feed the drawstring through so it is even. Make sure the elastic went into the casing. 

DS Pants

And that is it! You’re done. 

As usual, make these pants for your boy (or girl). Give them away to a friend. Sell them if you wish. After all, you made them. Just remember to give credit back this way for the free tutorial should anyone ask. Share the free! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wide Leg Ruffle Pants Tutorial

WP TutorialThese are my new favorite pants to make for Imogene. These are her new favorite pants to wear. She is a very girl, girl. And my little ballerina has some strong thighs. So she enjoys the roomier wide leg pants. (Plus with the ruffles and the cut, these are very difficult to outgrow pants! And I love difficult to outgrow clothing.) You can make them full length or capri length. (I suggest going full length and then letting them get capri length as they grow. Sneaky mommy move, there.) You can make this in any size. Once you get to around size 7ish, you’ll need 2 yards of fabric because you won’t be able to get a full 2 pant legs in the width. Make them in flannel, and they are pretty awesome pajama pants, perfect for camp, sleepovers, or just princesses who require cute jammies at all times. You can make them in quilting cotton for a cute, boutique look. Make them in jersey for a comfy, classic look. Make them in denim to replace everyday jeans. Make them in lightweight corduroy, canvas, or duck for heavier weight pants.

So, first you want to figure out what size pants you want. If you’ve got someone to measure, measure them! If you don’t have someone to measure, look up the size chart for your favorite kid’s clothing line and use their measurements to figure out the size.

Grab your fabric. You’ll need 1 yard of a single fabric OR 3/4 yard and 1/4 yard. (If you’re making bigger girls pants, you’ll need to adjust your fabric yardage. I make larger ruffles for bigger girls, so I need more than 1/4 yard of contract for the size 6 pants.) You’ll also need some elastic. (I use 1/4″ natural colored flat elastic in kid clothes.)

 

wp notesHere are my lovely notes on making these pants. (These are my 18 month size notes.)

wp pattern

 

I draw my pattern directly onto the fabric. (This fabric is folded in half, then half again. So the side with the fold is two layers of fold to cut both the front and back at the same size. I measure across 6 inches for the waist. Added an 8″ curve for the crotch (with my vary form curve ruler). Measure 9″ wide for the legs. Measure the length (outseam, so the folded edge side) to 16″. Connect all your measurements.

For size 6: 8″ waist, 11″ curved crotch, 10″ leg width, 22″ outseam. (Plus a 5″ x 36″ ruffle for each leg.)

If you don’t want to make the pattern, you can fold and trace a pair of pants. Just make sure you extend the height a little at the top for folding over the elastic and add some width to make them wide leg. Plus, don’t forget your ruffles!

Speaking of ruffles, cut some. For the 18 month pants, my ruffles were 4″ x 24″. If you want them more ruffled, add width. If you get too ruffle crazy, it can be difficult to get them to lay down.

wp piecesNow you have all these pieces. 2 pant legs. 2 ruffles. (The green behind my fabric is fleece. I got tired of hauling my ironing board up and down 2 flights of stair every time I needed to sew. And The Pastor didn’t want to buy another one because who needs 2 ironing boards?! So, I put a few layers of green fleece on the dresser in my sewing room and I iron there. Not as convenient as a sewing board, but it works.)

wp sewing inseamsSew the inseams of you pant legs with the right sides of the fabric together. Finish them, too. (Serge. Pink. Zigzag. French seams. Whatever it is you do.)

wp finish ruffle edgeTake each ruffle and with right sides together, sew the short ends together. (Not pictured.) Go ahead and hem the bottom of each ruffle. (It is so much easier to do the hem now when you have one long loop rather than trying to properly hem it when it is all gathered and flaring.)

wp inside of my hemIf you were wondering, this is what the inside of my hems look like. I serge, then I fold them over and sew. I like to zigzag my hem. It makes it look more special than just a pair of pants you’d find in the store. It screams “custom” to me. (Plus, on kid clothes, it adds a little bit of whimsy.)

wp leg in legTurn one leg right side out and stuff it inside the other leg. Pin together around the crotch, matching the inseams. (The first time I made a pair of pants, it took me FOREVER to visualize this in my head. I spent almost an hour trying to figure out how to sew it to get the seam the way it should be.)

wp sew crotchSew the crotch. Finish it, too! Flip the pants right side out.

wp basting stitch

 

Sew a basting stitch around the top of your ruffle. (A basting stitch is just setting your straight stitch as long as the stitch length will go and sewing close to the edge.) Pull the basting stitch to gather the ruffle. Distribute the ruffles evenly around.

 

wp pin on rufflePin the ruffle right side to the right side of the pants.

wp sew on ruffleSew. Make sure you’re sewing further in than the basting stitch. (The basting stitch should be closer to the edge, so it won’t show.) Always sew with the gathering on top of the flat piece of fabric. Otherwise, your flat piece will inevitably end up not so flat. Remove the pins as you sew. Don’t sew over pins. You’ll snap a sewing machine needle into your eye.

wp see a ruffle

 

Now you should have a ruffle on your pant leg. Repeat for the other leg.

wp press waistNow that both ruffles are on. (And both are hemmed, since you did that earlier.) Press the waist of the pants down to form the elastic casing. (I serge mine first, then press it down so it is finished when I sew the elastic casing down. If you DO NOT have a serger, you’ll want to press it down, then tuck the bottom up toward the fold and press again. Make sure the finished casing will hold your elastic!)

Sew the waist down, leaving a small opening to feed the elastic in. (I do not like to sew the waist of pants with a zigzag. It tend to break on a waistband being pulled on. I use a straight stitch for the waist.)

wp insert elastic

 

Feed your elastic into the casing.

wp SAVE elasticMake sure you SAVE your elastic end. Put a big pin on it so it doesn’t accidentally slip though.

wp elastic stitchOnce you get the elastic all the way through, you’ll need to sew it closed. You’ll see above what the elastic stitch on my machine looks like. It is that weird lightening bolt zigzag. If you don’t have this stitch, you can just use your zigzag stitch.

wp elasticElastic is sewn closed! Pop it into the casing, then sew the hole in the casing closed.

wp 18 month pantsAnd you’re done!

wp size 6 pantsAs always, do what you want with the pants you made! Keep them, give them, sell them- you made them. However, please share the free. If someone asks how you made them, be kind and point them back here. Don’t try to sell the pattern or keep it some big industry secret. It just isn’t nice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Pants Tutorial

My niece is turning one! I couldn’t let the occasion go by without using the opportunity to make her some clothes to begin her toddling phase in. (Let’s just face it, if I’m your Aunt, you’re going to get homemade clothes. It is just life.) So, for outfit number one, I chose to make a reversible Smocket (find the free printable pattern here) and a pair of girly, tiered pants.

Free sewing tutorial for tiered girl's pants.

I loved making these pants. So cute. So girly. So comfy cozy. I cannot wait to give them to her!

So, here is what you’ll need for the pants:

Half a yard each of 2 fabrics. (Or 1 yard of a single fabric. You could also use some of your larger fabric scraps if you’ve got any of those lying around! Those would be fun!)

Elastic. (This is my go-to kid elastic.)

Your sewing stuff.

First, I made my pattern. (I just drew it right on the back of my fabric. I’m fancy like that.) This is a size 18 months. If you need a larger size, add the inches as needed. (Don’t forget to add to the width and the length!)

Pattern Instructions

Okay, got it? Hehe. I’m just joking. This is my little sketch book drawing of what I made.

Piece 1: Cut 2 on fold: Fabric A: 6″ waist, 9″ crotch, 11″ outseam, 9″ leg width. (I used my Variform Curve ruler for the crotch. You can always eyeball it or grab another pair of pants and copy that pair.)

Piece 1A:Cut 2 on fold: Fabric B: 3″ tall by 9″ wide. (This is NOT a ruffle. It is just straight. You can omit this piece to make the pants shorter. Or you can add 1.5″ onto the length of pieces 2 and 3. Or you     can add a third “crazy” fabric into the mix with this piece. It is up to you. You’re the designer. For my pants, I have it.)

Piece 2: Cut 2 on fold: Fabric A: 5″ tall by 12″ wide.

Piece 3: Cut 2 on fold: Fabric B: 5″ tall by 12″ wide.

Pieces

This is what you should have right now. (My pieces are still together. There are two of each piece, I swear!) (And they are still folded!)

With right sides together, sew piece 1A onto piece 1.


EP gathering stitch

Now, on piece 2, you’re going to want to do a basting stitch (straight stitch, close-ish to the edge, as long as your stitch length will go) and gather the top of the piece. (The basting stitch should run down the LONG side of the fabric on whichever side you deem to be “top”.)

EP Pinned On

Once you’re all gathered up, pin piece 2 onto piece 1A with right sides together. You want the corners to match. Gather as much as needed to get the piece the same width. I gathered mine more in the middle and less on the ends. Why? The ends will be the inner leg. I wanted the ruffles to be more on the outside, with the inside of the legs being less ruffles. It’s a comfort thing.

After pinning, sew right sides together! (Sew with the gathered piece on top. Otherwise your straight piece will end up getting wonky.)

Do the same for piece 3. Baste. Gather. Pin with right sides together to piece 2. Sew.

Repeat for the other leg.

Finish the seams if you’re going to finish them. I serged mine because I have a nice serger and have to use it! If you don’t have a serger, don’t be jealous. Just finish your edges as you wish. (Clip them with pinking shears. Trim and zigzag. Do nothing. Whatever you want to do.)

EP Pant leg

Now, each pant leg should look like this. Fancy, huh? Take each pant leg and sew the inseam. (Put right sides together, matching up the outer edges.) Finish the inseam. (Serge. Pink. Zigzag.)

Now, you should have two pant legs. Do they look like pant legs? (You should answer yes. If you answered no, I think it is time to evaluate what went wrong before pressing on. Fear not. It happens to the best of us.)

EP Leg in Leg

Flip one leg right side out and put it inside the other leg. Match the inseams. Pin around the crotch area. Sew. Finish the seam. (Serge. Pink. Zigzag.)

EP WaistbandWe’re moving on! Press about an inch of the waistband down. (Wrong side to wrong side.) If you didn’t serge the edge, you’ll want to flip about 1/4th of an inch under before you sew. Hide that unfinished edge! Sew around the waistband! Make sure you leave a little hole to feed the elastic through.

EP ElasticI put a brooch pin on the end of the elastic I am NOT feeding through. It keeps the end from accidentally following the leader and ending up inside the casing. I use a safety pin to feed the elastic through the casing.

EP Elastic InPut the elastic into the casing. Feed it through. Don’t let the end follow! It needs to stay out.

EP Elastic OutNow you have both elastic ends out. Yay!

EP Elastic SewedCross the edges over each other and sew. Use a zigzag or elastic stitch on your machine. A straight stitch will break when the elastic is pulled. (An elastic stitch looks like a wonky zigzag. See above.)

Trim the edges of the elastic.

Pull on the waist and pop the elastic inside the casing.

Sew up the hole!

EP HemHem the bottom edge of the pants. (I serge mine, then flip them inside and zigzag them. I like the look of a zigzagged hem. It makes it different from things you can buy at the store. You see the zigzag and you know, those are special!)

EP All Done!And you are done! Adorable little pants to toddler about in!

As always, this tutorial is yours to use as you wish. Make them to give, keep, or sell. Just do not sell the pattern. And when someone asks where you got the pattern, share the free!

Pattern Reviews

I don’t always make my own patterns. It can be frustrated finding that right pattern and then hoping the instructions get you to the picture on the front of the envelope. Well, they don’t always work out as you plan (especially when you take little detours because you either ignore or skip the instructions). I figured I’d review a few of the patterns I’ve used (I own 143 patterns, at the moment).

I recently used this Butterick pattern (4780) to make Imogene a dress. I made view B, which is the yellow dress on the bottom left. I skipped the zipper bit and opted for snaps, so I added a little button facing on the back,  which turned out perfectly. I do think the zipper length could be shorten considerably. Honestly, just two or three buttons on the back would suffice. (I place 7 snaps 1.5″ apart down the back in lieu of the zipper, which ended up being a ridiculous amount of snaps.) Imogene measured a size 3, so I made a size 3 and it is entirely too big. The back droops. I’d suggest sizing down on this one. It also seemed pretty short in length for the width, so you may want to add a few inches to the length. I didn’t and now I am holding onto this little number for Imogene to wear in the fall with a long sleeve white tee and a pair of skinny jeans. (Which will look amazing, since I made mine with zebra print on the skirt and hot pink on the top with lime green snaps! Razzle! Dazzle!)

My favorite apron pattern is McCall’s 5643. The instructions are perfect. My results are perfect every time I make it. It is double sided, so everything is completely faced/lined so there is no tedious seam finishing necessary. It just makes a perfectly completed apron every single time. This makes an awesome gift apron. (Just ask my Aunt Susan or Jessica, since I’ve made them each on of these aprons. (My favorite it the one on the bottom left up there. Adorable!)

I also love Simplicity 2932 for an amazing apron. It is more complex than most aprons, but looks beautiful once finished. There are no facings, so you have to finish your seams (or just leave them all crazy- I’ll admit I’m know to do that at times). But this is an impressive apron. Plus, the fit is fantastic. It is complex, but the instructions are complete. I only make this apron for special people (my mom) because it is so much work. But believe me, it makes beautiful aprons!

McCall’s 5465 is sized entirely wrong. I mean, I know it is supposed to be kind of a big fit, not anything tight at all, but it is way off in sizing. I made myself a size 14, because in pattern world, that is what size I am. (Yes, I did just tell you my size. If you are not aware of pattern sizes, just know, a 14 in pattern sizes is a 10 in mall sizes. Just so you know. If you ever think, “Oh, I’m a 6, so I’ll make a size 6.” Then, not only will everyone hate you for being so skinny (okay, so we won’t hate you, we’ll just be envious, though probably not envious enough to do Jillian Michaels four times a day to get ourselves that small) but you will also have a garment made for a size 2 supermodel.) It was huge! Seriously huge! We’re talking Mumu! Really. I kid you not. It fit me 8 months pregnant and was huge. No joke. I used it as a swimsuit cover-up, after taking it in about 6 inches. So, really, if you want this dress (because the drawing is mighty cute, right?!) make it a few sizes smaller and don’t use woven cotton (that was a mistake, it made the big seem bigger. Like I had bedsheets on.), use something knit or silky or moving in someway. Something with nice drape is what you want, not something that looks like drapes on you. (Also, on a What Not To Wear Note: If you are big chested, this dress emphasizes that since it gathers just above the bust and falls from there. If you’re chesty, you’ll look bigger all over in this thing (unless you wear a belt, which I’m against. Belts. Me wearing them. You wear them all you want.).

And on McCall’s 5465– Can someone please tell me why it is essentially identical to McCall’s 5688?

Yes, 5465 has better cover art. But they are essentially the same thing (and made by the same company)! And sadly to say, I own both! Why? Well, I didn’t have 5688, or so I thought. Then I bring it home, look at it, ponder the fact that I made that exact dress and it turned out a Mumu, and realized they are identical. I inspected the matter further, removing the instructions, thinking maybe the “Stitch and Save” part meant they give you crummy instructions or something. Nope. Exact same instructions. Exact same pattern pieces. Weird.

I recently made this dress, Simplicty 2443. Holy Mother of Pearl did I pick a doozie?! First, me and knits don’t mix well. Really. I don’t knwo why I try. Well, I do know. I try because I love wearing knits, I just despise working with them. This is why you buy the stupid dress at H&M for $24.95 instead of making it! Ahh! So, I picked the world’s best fabric to wear, but the worst to sew, tissue weight cotton jersey. Yeah. It is awesome fabric to feel and look at. Put it in the machine and all your sewing nightmares come full force into your waking world. Really. That bad. The dress was complex. I opted to skip the zipper because I hate them (wearing them and sewing them in) and I skipped the interfacing because I typically do. (Not a fan of interfacing, though I do know it has it’s place- but so do shoulder pads.) My dress was a nightmare to sew. I finally managed to turn out a wearable item, though I’m not sure I will ever wear it because, well, I still hate it from sewing it. Yep. That bad. The cut of the dress is awesome! It is not too low in the front, has an awesome slightly racerback, cinches in at the natural waist, has pockets, and falls slightly below the knee. But it is complicated to get together, the top isn’t lined, and don’t use the thinnest cotton imaginable! Really. Think of some thicker, more appropriate knit. It is pretty true to size. I made a 14 and it fits perfectly. Also, skipping the zipper did nothing to the fit. It still goes on and off easily, though that may be because of the super stretchiness of my fabric and the lack of interfacing. I’ll come back to this one again because if you can pull it off, this is an amazing dress. So maybe another fabric and a little more experience will make turn this into a dream dress for me. Maybe.

I made Simplicity 2642 for a wedding. I made view A, the long short sleeve dress in the top left corner. I made it out of this awesome cotton fabric, that felt simply amazing. I also made it a size smaller than I normally would. Let me tell you, the pictures do not do this dress justice. It is my favorite dress. I wear it every single time I find it clean. No joke. The maxi dresses are in, but if you’re like me, you don’t like tiny straps and all. This dress is perfect. I skipped the shoulder ruching detail because I just didn’t feel it needed it. (Plus, I had a What Not To Wear Moment, thinking the extra bulk on the shoulder would make me look more top heavy than I already am.) It is the perfect fit. The elastic in the empire waist is amazing. It cinches, but is comfortable and fuss free. I love this dress. And it is EASY! No sleeves to set in. Nothing more difficult that single fold bias tape around the neck (which really is simple, if you don’t already know that). It just slips over your head, and looks amazing. Simplicity should really redo the envelope front because it makes this dress look like a hospital gown, which it certainly is not!

Those are just a few of the patterns I’ve used recently. I’m working on Butterick 5505 right now, making a backpack style bag for our many zoo trips. I also have a few more summer items I need to make for myself! (If only I had more time to sew for me!) I’ve also got a few sewing books I’ll be reviewing here before long. I just have to try a few more things before reviewing them! Be sure to check back.

Plastic Bag Holder Tutorial

A friend of mine asked if I could make her a plastic bag holder. Of course, I accepted! I looked online for a tutorial or something. But none of them fit what I wanted it to look like. Most of them were just tubes with elastic at the top and bottom. Very basic. I usually like basic, but I thought it needed a little extra oomph! So, I did what I do. I sat down with my graph paper and sketched out a plan. This is another fat quarter project! Yay! (Fat quarters are 18″ x 22″ pieces of fabric, sold at fabric stores that sell quilting fabric.)

I use reusable bags, but always end up with plastic grocery bags anyway! You could also use this bag to store other things. (I stuffed on with fabric scraps!) And, as always, if you want one of these, but don’t have the skills, time, or desire to make it yourself- you can always contact me! (Check out Moose and Wormy on Etsy!)

To make a plastic bag holder, you’ll need one fat quarter, a 4″ strip of a contrasting fabric, 2 small (4″ or so) pieces of elastic, and one small piece of ribbon (6″ or so). (You can also make a fabric “loop” to hang the bag by. It is up to you!)

Measure your fat quarter. It should be about 18″ x 22″, but sometimes they are slightly larger. You’ll want to cut your 4″ strip of contrast fabric so you have two 4″ strips to go across each 18″ side. If your fat quarter is 19″, then cut your strips 19″ to fit.

With the right sides together, sew the contrast strip to the main fabric along the 18″ edge. Repeat for the other side.

I serge all my edges, since I am usually selling what I make. If you’ve got a serger, go ahead and finish those edges. If you don’t have a serger, you can omit the finishing if you want, or you can pink or zig-zag the edge. Since this is not a wearable object, or an object that will get much washing (if any) it isn’t necessary to finish the edges at all. So, don’t feel bad if you choose to skip that step!

Pin your ribbon loop (or fabric loop) a couple inches from the top of the main fabric along the 22″ side. (Which is not a 30″ side, since you just attached two 4″ strips to the ends!) If you put your loop too high, you’ll be fighting it while you sew the elastic casing or it will end up on the ruffle. So, try to put it low enough it will be out of the way, but still at the top of the bag. (You can turn the top ruffle down and see where it will hit if that helps you. I just eyeball it and hope for the best!)

Fold your fabric in half long ways (with your contrast fabric on the top and bottom) and sew with right sides together. Serge or finish the edge as you did with the other seam!

Serge the top and bottom edge of your contrast fabric (you can see above that the edge of the pink fabric is serged). If you want to skip that step, go right ahead!

Now, press the contrast edge in. (See above!) You want to leave about 1/2″ or so of your contrast fabric showing on the front.

(In the photo above, I am showing you the contrast fabric showing on the front.) Repeat for the opposite end. Press it down, leaving about 1/2″ (maybe a little more) showing on the front.

At this point, you’re bag is looking something like this. It reminds me of the cat tunnel project in In Stitches by Amy Butler. (Don’t know what project I’m referring to? It is a tube, much like this, lined with faux fur for your cat to play in.)

Now, we make our elastic casing! Yay! Sew along about 1/2″ from the edge of the contrast fabric. Sew all the way around, sewing back over your first stitches.

Sew all the way around again, this time sewing as close to the edge as you can. Also, you’ll need to backstitch the ends and leave a small opening (preferably near the back center seam) to guide your elastic through.

Repeat for the other side! Now, you are almost done!

Grab your two pieces of elastic!

Here is how I thread my elastic. I put a large safety pin along the back end. It keeps the elastic from slipping all the way through. (Believe me, that is a pain!) I attach a small safety pin to the front end (the end I’ll be pushing through the casing).  Make sure your safety pins are firmly attached. It really sucks when a pin slips off because you put it too close to the edge.

Thread your elastic through the casing.

Sew your elastic together by overlapping it and sewing it with an “elastic” stitch. (The awkward looking zig-zag stitch on your machine that is more “lighting bolty” than “zig-zaggy.” If you don’t have that stitch, a small zig-zag will work. (You may have to reset the width of the zig-zag so it fits on the elastic.)

Repeat for the other side!

Flip it right side out an you’re done! I know, you’re wondering why I didn’t finish closing off those elastic casings! Well, to be honest, it is a pain in the butt and it serves no real purpose. You can fight through it and close them up if you’d like, but I see no reason to. I backstitched the ends, so I made sure it was nice and secure. The elastic is so tight, You’ll find great difficulty stretching it out to sew that little bitty hole closed. And I see no point in closing it. You can if you’d like, I don’t.

See the lovely loop on the back! You can hang it in your pantry or, if you’re like me, you can hang it on your kitchen wall! (Use some snazzy fabrics and you’ll liven your kitchen up!)

This is my favorite aspect of the design! The top and bottom “mouth” of your bag holder have a nice little flirty splash of contrast! I love it!

Go! Make some as gifts, for yourself, or sell some! (Yep. You can feel free to sell anything you make from any of my free designs.) As always, I just ask that you not take credit for the design and that you’d share the free tutorial with others! (No hoarding freeness!) Have fun!

Courtesy of Moose and Wormy! (visit my shop at mooseandwormy.etsy.com)

Cowboy Bib Tutorial

Once my children got the concept of “baby” and “big boy (or girl)”, bibs were out the window. The thing is, toddlers still need bibs! Our many Sundays with Imogene eating egg drop soup at House of Lu can attest to that! But try to get a bib on her and she’s in the floor, because you’ve offended her. You have just called her a baby without words! (The same melt down occurs when you try to suggest perhaps the newly potty learned girl wear a diaper for whatever reason!) We were eating out one day, and Aidan really needed a bib (spaghetti!). He refused to wear a bib, but happily wore the cloth napkin tied around his neck, because he said he was a cowboy! Ahh! So, that is how we accomplish this?! The cowboy bib is born!

Now, this bib is multi-functional. If your kids are like mine, meal time is not the only time they’ll want to wear this bib. They’ll want to wear it ALL THE TIME! You’ll have to pry it away for washing when they go to sleep! You’re going to need several of these babies, so go ahead and cut out a few! (An added bonus, if you use a warm lining fabric, you’ve got a built in neck warmer when they refuse to replace it with their scarf.)

Here is how to make your own: (Compliments of Moose and Wormy!)

You can easily make a cowboy bib out of fat quarters! (I love things that can be made with a fat quarter! You can avoid buying full yards of that oh-so-cute-but-expensive designer fabric!) One fat quarter is enough fabric for two bib fronts. If you are using yardage, you need at least half a yard of fabric, which will make 4 bib fronts. For the bib back, you’ll need half a yard of something nice. You can use flannel, chenille (my personal favorite), minky, terry (my least favorite option), or fleece. A half yard of backing fabric will make 4 backs.  You’ll also need closure of some sort. I use plastic KAM snaps. If you are not so fortunate to own a snap press or pliers, you could do a button closure or velcro. You could also add some ribbon into the ends to make it tie. I like snaps because they are easy for a kid to use. Easy on and off. And in the event their sister traps them by the bib in the door jam of the closet, they can get free. (Velcro would have a similar advantage, only with the added disadvantage of being velcro and snagging everything in reach.)

The first thing you are going to do is cut your fat quarter in half. You’ll end up with two rectangles that are 18″ x 11″. (If you are using yardage, you’ll need one 18″ x 11″ rectangle for the front of the bib. I cut my yardage into fat quarters, then go from there.) **If you’ve never used a fat quarter before or have no idea what I’m talking about, a fat quarter is a piece of quilting fabric (usually cotton) sold at fabric and quilting stores. A fat quarter measures 18″ by 22″. It is half a yard of fabric, cut halfway between the selvedges- thus it is the amount of fabric in a quarter of a yard, but in a more usable amount- since it isn’t a long, thin strip.**

Pick one 18″ side to be the top of the bib. (If you’ve got a directional pattern, this will be important.) Fold the bib in half (right sides together). From the top, on the open edge, mark 3″ down. (Just a little line at the 3″ mark.)

Now, use a ruler (or straight edge) to draw a line from your 3″ mark to the center bottom of the fold. (In the picture above, my top is to the left and the folded edge is to the top.)

Cut along the line from the 3″ mark to the corner.

Open it up and it looks like this! Go ahead and press it to make it look all nice and get that center crease out as much as you can.

Cut your backing fabric to match. (You can either mark and cut as you just did, or you can use your bib front as a template.)

With right sides together, sew around the edges- leaving a hole to turn the bib right side out. Trim the corners, so when you turn it they’ll be corners, not rounds. Turn your bib right side out, using a pointy object to push your corners out.  (If your using ribbon to close your bib, you’ll want to pin it in place between your front & back and sew it in during this step.)

Topstitch around the edges, overlapping at the ends.

Add your snap (or button closures) and you’re finished!

Want a bib made for you? Contact me! Or see my store for bibs ready to go!

This pattern was made by me. You may use it if you want, but don’t sell the design- that’s just wrong. You may sell bibs you make from this tutorial, I just ask that you give me credit for the design. Thank you. And you’re welcome!