Easter Crafts

Our Favorite Easter Crafts

We have so many Easter crafts that we’re just thrilled to share with you this year. Many of them are brand new, too! Need a new Easter Basket? We’re here for you. How about a fresh spring wreath? We’ve also got you covered in that department. Without further ado, here’s the list of our favorite Easter crafts!


I love a good wreath. And spring wreaths are some of my favorites! They’re a must have when talking about Easter crafts. This year we have a brand new Palm Leaf Wreath you’re sure to love. It’s delicate, colorful, and festive. Just the thing to celebrate Palm Sunday, Easter and spring all in one go! If you’re feeling more into eggs, try our ever popular Easter egg wreath, or this sweet Honeycomb Easter wreath. Both are lovely and sure to put a little spring in your step. Also, you can’t go wrong with a simple floral theme. This Daffodil Wreath is very appropriate for the season, as is this Lemon Wreath!

A floral Easter wreath hanging on a pink wall next to a white door. A wooden mushroom is also on the porch.

Easter Baskets

You can’t have Easter crafts without Easter baskets! And we have a brand new one for you to try this year. It’s our DIY Easter Basket, and the best part is that it doesn’t require any sewing. Another clever no-sew Easter basket is this Paper Easter basket. Just download, print, cut and assemble, it’s that easy! If you want to sew an adorable bag that doubles as an Easter basket and will be around for years to come, try this carrot shoulder bag! The bonus is it packs up easily and is equally cute.

If you’re looking for inspiration on what to fill your basket with, look no further than this Easter Basket choose your own adventure. We help guide you through the steps to picking your perfect Easter basket, along with everything to put inside it, like this Paper carrot treat box, carrot surprise balls, or this DIY stuffed bunny. You can also make some of these Danish Easter letters to tuck inside.

Easter Egg ideas

As it so happens, we have a lot of Easter crafts that have to do with eggs. Are you really that surprised? I mean, what’s Easter without at least one little nod to an egg or two. Just yesterday, we release the most lovely nesting Easter eggs! We love the little twist on original nesting dolls. Also try these Easter egg columns, which are a lovely way to decorate your home this Easter. Don’t forget about these Honeycomb Easter eggs, either! Make them into a wreath or decorate with the individual eggs. Either way they’re lovely!

Another fun variation on decorating Easter eggs are these dried flowers on Easter eggs, as well as our Pysanky Easter eggs (here’s the E-book of the Pysanky eggs, the profits of which will be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort). If you’re into more decorating, try our DIY pom pom Easter eggs! Or if you’re having a party, you’ll definitely want to take a look at our Easter egg name tags, Easter egg cupcake toppers, and Easter egg runner.

Felted Easter Eggs

New this year is a tutorial from Jessica Peterson all about felted Easter eggs. They’re a new classic! All the supplies are listed here

For Kids

If you have kids, you’ll love these Easter-themed toys, accessories, and activities. First stop: these fun bunny party hats. Having a new baby this spring? You won’t want to miss these adorable DIY Baby bonnets! Or these Easter bunny twist ties.

Need a craft to do with your kids to keep them busy and happy? You’ll love these Easter Egg coloring pages, the profits of which will be donated to the Ukrainian relief effort. Then there’s our DIY stuffed bunny, which is a sweet little Easter toy. Plop it in your child’s Easter basket and you’re all set!


Easter printables

A great way to get crafty is with some printables, and we’ve got some great ones!

These Easter egg coloring pages featuring pysanky are great for older kids.

Along with our chick and bunny paper dolls and matching color pages.

Paper crowns

One thing is for sure, if I had a little girl, I’d be making a paper crown floral crown.

And we’ve got a few to choose from! These pretty blue, red, pink, and white flower crowns.

This printable spring crown.A printable flower crown in purple, yellow, pink, white red, and blue being held up by two hands.

And another handmade paper flower crown perfect for spring.

Easter paper flowers

While we’re on the topic of paper flowers, these Easter lilies are a favorite of mine. I think I’m going to try and make them again this year.

Easter Egg Column People

A new favorite of mine are these adorable Easter column people. I think they’d make a great tablescape!

painted Easter egg columns perched on colorful books against a yellow and pink background.


Family History Questionnaire

Finding Answers

Growing up, my understanding of family history boiled down to pouring through tedious amounts of old records to discover basic information about my ancestors, like where/when they were born, marriage, and death. That’s about as complex as you can get when all you have to work with are hospital records, immigration records and gravestones. Of course, it’s much easier to get to know your family details while there are still people around to ask! The purpose of this family history questionnaire is just that–get to know your family members now so you and your children can still feel connected years later when the opportunity has passed to ask those questions.

Questions for Parents and Grandparents

Sometimes we take our memories for granted. There is so much value in writing down memories we have of loved ones while our brains still have them accessible. Well, as it happens, our parents and grandparents have years of memories stored up! Why not sit down with them and write down the things they remember? Aside from being a wonderful bonding opportunity between grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren, it’s also a valuable way to learn about your more distant relatives–the ones your older relatives knew and interacted with but you never had a chance to. 

And then, of course, ask questions about your grandparents’ and parents’ lives, too! Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, which is where this family history questionnaire comes in handy. Most people think they know their parents and maybe even grandparents pretty well. But you may be surprised by the things your loved ones share that are completely new to you!

Family History Questionnaire

This family history questionnaire is the perfect way to get your children started on their own family history journey! Just click here, download, print, then grab a pen and get started! Print as many as you want–once you get started, you may find the list of people you want to talk to grows. The questionnaire is intended with grandparents in mind, but can of course apply to anyone! Oh, and don’t forget–our family history questionnaire includes a printable frame for photos or drawings of your grandparents and other loved ones.

Now we want to know: Who’s at the top of your list to interview? Are there other questions we left off? Let us know in the comments!

More Inspiration

Loved this family history questionnaire and want more family history content? You won’t want to miss our popular family photo heirloom ornaments! This year we’re doing a community craft along featuring the heirloom ornaments–learn more about it here. For an alternate photo transfer option, try these photo transfer dolls. Also, check out these painted grandparents day frames and last year’s craft along craft, our mid-century heirloom nativity.

Sewing Basics: How To Take Measurements

Finding the Perfect Fit

If you’re interested in sewing clothing, either for yourself or for others, knowing how to take measurements is a must. It makes all the difference! Instead of worrying about which size will fit, you can simply take your measurements, look at the size chart, and figure out exactly what size is ideal for your body. And if you’re in between sizes? If you’re shopping for finished clothes, you either have to size up or down. But not so when you’re the one sewing! The main perk of sewing clothing by hand is that you can adjust the pattern–if there’s something that’s a little small or large in one area, you can tailor it to your measurements and it will fit like a glove. But in order to do that, you need to know how to take your measurements correctly. Let’s go!

Differences Between Mens’ and Womens’ Measurements

First, let’s talk about how to take measurements for women. Did you know taking womens’ measurements is different than taking mens’ measurements? Yep. That’s because mens’ and womens’ bodies are shaped differently, and the size charts are made with those differences in mind. Men generally have less of a difference between their waist and hip measurements, for starters. They also have different shaped chests and wider shoulders, proportionally. All of that needs to be taken into account when measuring!

How To Take Measurements For Women

The following measurements are important for women to take when making clothes. They’re also generally useful for buying clothes when you aren’t sure of your size! 

Note: When measuring, make sure to remove bulky clothing. Ideally measuring against the skin will give you the most accurate measurement. If that’s not possible, measure with one thin layer of clothing, like leggings and a thin undershirt. Also, it’s nice to have someone else with you to help take measurements because it will make things more accurate. Now let’s learn how to take measurements for women!


The first measurement to take is the neck. This isn’t required for all patterns, but it’s useful to have on hand. To take the neck measurement, simply measure around the neck. Leave a finger width of slack so you don’t choke yourself with a too-small neck opening.

High bust

This measurement isn’t necessary all the time, either, but it can really come in handy if you’re trying to be as precise as possible. To take the high bust measurement, wrap the measuring tape snugly around the torso underneath the armpits. It’s generally most accurate if both arms are outstretched, parallel to the floor.


This is one of the most standard and useful measurements you’ll take, along with the waist and hips. How to take a bust measurement? First, stand with arms out and parallel to the floor. Now wrap the measuring tape around the fullest part of the bust. This is usually in line with the nipples. Don’t pull it too tight, just gently fitted. Also make sure to wear a thin fitted bra–not sports bra (that will squish your ladies!) or a padded pushup (that will give you an inaccurately large measurement). 


This is basically your ribcage size and, along with bust measurement, is the measurement needed to figure out bra size. To take measurements of your underbust, simply wrap the measuring tape around your ribcage just below the bust. Make sure it’s snug but not too tight.

Natural waist

You’ll also want to know how to take measurements of the natural waist. This is where your torso bends when you lean to the side. For this measurement, wrap the measuring tape snugly but not too tightly around the natural waist. Leave a little slack so you can breathe in your new outfit later.


Next up: the hips. It’s important to note that the hip measurement is taken at the fullest part of the butt. Basically, you want the widest measurement you can find here so you don’t end up with something disproportionately tight on your booty. To measure, wrap the measuring tape around your hip. Again, don’t wrap too tightly, but avoid slack, too.

Sleeve length

The sleeve length is a bit less common, but nonetheless helpful when sewing. You want those sleeves to hit just at the wrist, rather than dangling over the hands or ending up halfway down your arm. To find the sleeve length, measure from the tip of the shoulder to the wrist with the arm bent.

Back neck to waist

This measurement is less common but useful to have, especially if you have an unusually short or long torso. To take this measurement, start at the nape of your neck (on your back) and extend the tape down to the natural waistline.


You’ll also want to know how to take measurements of the inseam. The inseam is a really useful measurement to have when buying or making pants. To find it, measure right at the top of the inside of the leg, up against the crotch, all the way down to the floor.


The outseam is also useful for pants, skirts, and dresses. For the outseam measurement, go from the natural waist all the way to the floor, this time on the outside of the leg.


It’s nice to have the shoulder measurement, too. Especially if you have a blouse or shirt that you want to hit right at the top of the shoulder. You can take each shoulder measurement individually, or the full shoulder width. For individual measurements, start at the end of one shoulder and go to the nape of the neck on the same side. Repeat for the other side. The full width is from one end of the shoulder, all the way across the back, to the other end.

How To Take Measurements For Men

The key measurements for men are a bit different than that of women. They’re especially useful if you need to buy a suit or dress shirt. Here are the most important measurements to take for men:


It’s essential to know how to take measurements of the neck! If you’ve ever wanted to surprise your husband, brother or dad with a nice new dress shirt then you’ll know it’s nice to know the neck size. To find the neck size, use the same technique as women.


Taking a man’s sleeve measurement is a bit different than for women. Instead of going from the top of the shoulder, go from center back. Then go around a bent, raised elbow all the way to the wrist.


Next up: how to take measurements of the chest. Similar to the bust measurement for women, have him stretch both arms out parallel to the floor. Then measure around the fullest part of the chest after he takes a breath in (so it’s a bit fuller).


The natural waist measurement is the same as for women. Take it where your torso bends when you bend to the side. Unlike women, it’s also nice to take a low waist measurement for reference. That’s where most mens’ pants generally sit. It probably won’t be much different than the natural waist, but it’ll vary a little depending on body type and weight.


You’ll also want to know how to take measurements of the hip! This is also similar to female hip measurements. You’ll simply measure around the fullest part of butt, snugly, but not too loose or tight.


Last up for men is the inseam. This is also similar to female inseam measurements. Simply measure from crotch to ankle. Tip: if you’re measuring someone else and don’t love the idea of sticking your hand right in their crotch to get the measurement, not to worry. Measure instead from the wrist bone down to the floor on the outside of the leg. That will give you almost exactly the same measurement. 

Well, that’s a wrap! Questions or comments? Drop them in the comments below!

More Inspiration

Loved this post on how to take measurements and want more sewing content? Step right this way! Check out the rest of our Sewing Basics series here. You won’t want to miss this DIY Fanny Pack or these cute DIY pencil cases, either! Also, see more past sewing projects: New Team Outfits, Easter outfits, Casetify inspired projects, shaped throw pillows, Mother’s Day apron, quilted shower curtain, quilted face mask, rainbow buttons, reusable lunch sack, and DIY beeswax wraps. Last but not least: check out our shop for lots of sewing templates! And stay tuned for future sewing basics posts, released on Tuesdays.

Sewing Basics: How to Read Seam Allowances

What Is A Seam Allowance?

First of all, let’s just cover the basics so we’re all on the same page. In order to know how to read seam allowances you should know what a seam allowance is. What is a seam allowance? It’s the excess space between the stitching line and the raw edge of your fabric. When patterns are made, they first draft out the exact measurements of the project according to the stitch line. The last step is to add on the seam allowance. That ensures that your project will be precise, and all measurements of the finished piece correct.

Seam Allowance Sizes

The size of the seam allowance varies depending on the pattern company and the project itself. Back in the day, most pattern companies had standard seam allowances, pattern markings, and layouts. Vogue, Butterick, and McCalls are all good examples of this. ⅝” seam allowances were standard unless otherwise indicated. Now, with so many new pattern companies popping up all over, it’s not so universal. Generally, though, seam allowances range anywhere from ⅜” to ⅝” (1-2 centimeters). 

all seam allowances

How to Read Seam Allowances

It can be confusing to know exactly how to read seam allowances in order to get the right seam allowance for your pattern. Here are some simple steps to walk through:

  1. First, check the pattern’s instructions. It will always indicate the standard seam allowance for the pattern. In addition, it will usually tell you when a different seam allowance is required. Sometimes the seam allowance for collars, necklines, or other specific details of your project will be slightly different than, say, a basic side seam. The pattern will always tell you if that is the case.
  2. Next, line up the seam allowance indicated on your pattern with the seam allowance markings on your sewing machine. On our sewing machine, these markings are labeled, which makes it nice and easy! But some machines don’t have all the seam allowances labeled. Easy trick: sew a ¼” seam allowance by lining the edge of the fabric up along the edge of the presser foot. From there, the markings are about an 8th of an inch apart: ⅜”, then ½”, then ⅝”. The markings continue after that, but the main ones to know are the ones we just mentioned.

1/4" seam allowance3/8" seam allowance1/2" seam allowance5/8" seam allowance3/4" seam allowance7/8" seam allowance1" seam allowance

That’s what you need to know! Now we want to know: how did it go? Have questions or other thoughts? Drop them in the comments below!

More Inspiration

Loved this post on how to read seam allowances and want more sewing content? Step right this way! Check out the rest of our Sewing Basics series here. You won’t want to miss this DIY Fanny Pack or these cute DIY pencil cases, either! Also, see our past sewing projects: New Team Outfits, Easter outfits, Casetify inspired projects, shaped throw pillows, Mother’s Day apron, quilted shower curtain, quilted face mask, rainbow buttons, reusable lunch sack, and DIY beeswax wraps. Last but not least: check out our shop for lots of sewing templates! And stay tuned for future sewing basics posts, released on Tuesdays!

Ways to Repurpose Scarves

Repurpose Your Scarves Three Ways

Today we’ll be showing you three ways to repurpose your old scarves: throw pillow, scrunchie, and headband. First up? a throw pillow. 

Throw Pillow

Making a throw pillow just made sense, since the dimensions of many scarves are about the same as the dimensions needed to make a pillowcase for a 20” throw pillow. The scarves we started with were roughly 18” square. That was perfect for a 20” throw pillow since generally you want your pillowcase to be a few inches smaller than the dimensions of your pillow insert for maximum fullness. 

How to Make a Throw Pillow From Scarves

  1. First, take two scarves and line them up, right sides together.
  2. Now, sew all the way around the perimeter of your square with a ¼” seam allowance. Leave a gap that’s almost the length of one side of your square so you can flip it right side out after. Make sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.
  3. Next, iron the opening down along the seam allowance. This will make sewing it together easier later.
  4. Now flip your pillowcase right side out and stuff your insert inside.
  5. Last, pin the opening and sew it closed using your sewing machine. For this, it helps to stuff the pillow down so you have a little room to work with as you sew.
  6. All that’s left is to adjust the insert and make sure it’s evenly distributed inside the pillowcase. Done!


Next we’re making a scrunchie. This is such a simple little project that doubles as the perfect accessory! Here’s what to do:

How to Make a Scrunchie From Scarves

  1. Cut a piece of fabric that’s 4” x 30”. Also cut a piece of elastic that fits loosely on your wrist, plus a few inches. Ours was around 8”.
  2. Next, finish the 4” ends with a zig zag. Then fold and iron both ends over about ¼”, wrong sides together.
  3. Now fold the fabric together lengthwise, pin and sew along the raw edge.
  4. After it’s sewn, flip it right side out with a safety pin. 
  5. Then feed the elastic through, again with a safety pin. 
  6. Once the elastic is in, tie the elastic ends together in a knot.
  7. Now layer one end of the fabric over the other and sew down the width to secure in place.
  8. Done!


Last but not least, here’s a simple headband tutorial! It’s so simple, but looks lovely when finished. Like the scrunchie, it’s a great accessory, especially if you’re in need of a little pop of color. The great thing about this headband is that it’s almost the same as the scrunchie with a few variations. Here’s how to make your own:

How to Make a Headband From Scarves

  1. First, pick a headband to use as your understructure. Then cut a piece of fabric that’s 4x the headband width and roughly 55” (give or take a little depending on how full you want it).
  2. Next, follow scrunchie steps 2-4.
  3. Once your fabric casing is flipped right side out, you can feed the headband through one end.
  4. Secure that end with hot glue, then feed the headband all the way through the casing so it’s scrunched up evenly. Make sure the seam is on the bottom of the headband so it doesn’t show when you’re wearing it.
  5. Now, just secure the other end with a dab of hot glue and you’re done!

More Inspiration

Loved this post on ways to repurpose scarves? If you’re looking for more sewing hacks, try our Sewing Basics series! You might also love this tote to drawstring backpack hack. Also, see some of our recent blog projects like this DIY Fanny Pack, DIY Pencil Case, or Casetify Inspired Fabric Projects

Sewing Basics: Essential Sewing Supplies

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Essential Sewing Supplies

The sewing supplies we’re talking about today are the essentials. They’re the ones I absolutely can’t live without! I use them religiously for probably 99% of my sewing projects. So if you’re lacking some basic sewing supplies but aren’t sure what’s really necessary, read on. I wish I had known about all of these sewing supplies when I first started sewing!

Note: our focus today is on the little things people might miss but that are incredibly useful. That being said, the big things are important, too! If you don’t already have a sewing machine, iron, and ironing board, invest in them, because you’ll use them for every sewing project.

Cutting Mat

This is a sewing supply I haven’t always had, but it will make cutting your fabric much easier and more precise, especially if you’re cutting squares or rectangles for things like quilts. It’s also great for altering hemlines of clothes! I use my cutting mat all the time–please, make your life easier and get yourself a good cutting mat.

Cutting mats come in many different sizes, but I’ve found that larger is better, if you have the space for it. Get one that will still fit on your table, but that’s big enough to lay out a large amount of fabric at once. My favorite cutting mat is this Fiskars one, but you can also go with this smaller version if you don’t have the space for the larger one. It’s self healing (a must), and gridded, which again, helps a lot when you need exact measurements.

cutting mat and ruler: essential sewing supplies

Clear, Gridded Ruler

I am obsessed with my clear, gridded ruler and would definitely consider it an essential sewing supply! It’s basically replaced my yardstick. The benefits of a clear, gridded ruler? First, it’s clear, so you can easily see the fabric you’re trying to cut underneath it. It makes lining things up much easier. Next, since it’s wider than your average yardstick or ruler, it helps hold the fabric down flat while you’re cutting it–that means extra precision. 

Rotary Cutter

Another one of my favorite go-to essential sewing supplies is a rotary cutter. If you’re going to use a clear, gridded ruler, a rotary cutter is a must. It’s impossible to get the same precision from a regular pair of sewing scissors, no matter how neat you are at cutting. The benefit of a rotary cutter is that it allows you to cut perfect, straight lines quickly and efficiently, as long as you have a cutting mat and clear, gridded ruler. 

Tip: if you’re planning to buy a cutting mat, clear gridded ruler, and rotary cutter, I’d highly recommend saving a bit of money and buying this cutting set. It comes with all three and is a better deal than buying all three separately.

Essential sewing supply: rotary cutter


A good pair of sewing scissors is an essential sewing supply everyone needs. While a rotary cutter is excellent to have on hand for straight lines and precision, regular sewing scissors are good for everything else. Cut straight lines, curves, notches, and clip your threads with sewing  scissors. These should never leave your side when you’re sewing.

Speaking of scissors, the Fiskars scissors we released back in May are now available on our shop! Fiskars is my favorite brand for sewing supplies, and scissors are their specialty. The bonus is that our custom Fiskars scissors happen to be pretty cute, too.

scissors essential sewing supply

Flexible Measuring Tape

A good, flexible measuring tape is another essential sewing supply that you’ll use frequently. It’s especially necessary for taking measurements (those clothes need to fit right!), but it’s also useful for measuring a lot of other things. Since it’s so long, it’s great to have on hand for measuring things like drawstring cording, elastic, fabric and more.

measuring tape essential sewing supplies

Marking pencil/marker 

Another one of our essential sewing supplies that’s definitely useful to have on hand is a marking pencil or marker. You can also use chalk, if you want. Whatever you choose, it needs to be water soluble! I wish I could have told inexperienced, teenage me this before I used a sharpie to mark the button placket on my white shirt. You don’t want to stain your new project! The benefit of using a marking pencil or marker that’s made for sewing is that it will probably be made with water soluble ink. That means when you wash it it will be gone. No permanent stains on your new shirt!

Seam Gauge

A seam gauge is another essential sewing supply you’ll be grateful for. This makes measuring hems and seam allowances much more precise and efficient. This one also has a handy point at one end for turning corners.

Marking pencil and seam gauge essential sewing supplies

Pins, Safety Pins, and Needles

Regular straight pins are a very useful sewing supply to have on hand. They help pin things in place so you can cut and sew precisely without things slipping around! Safety pins are also nice for times when you need to pin something and then try it on–that way you don’t have to worry about jabbing yourself with a sharp point as you’re taking it on and off! Also, you’ll use safety pins for turning casings and narrow things right side out.

You’ll also want a variety of needles on hand–hand sewing needles are great, especially for details you don’t want to show, as well as buttons, mending, and hand-stitching things closed.  You’ll also want some extra sewing machine needles (try as I might, I still manage to break my sewing machine needles more frequently than I’d like to admit). Luckily, most sewing machines come with a few extras.


For any sewing project, make sure you pick up some matching thread! You won’t be able to sew without it. My favorite brand is Gutermann–their thread is strong and they usually have great color options. But you can also go with Coats and Clark. It’s a bit cheaper, but still great quality and versatile. 



It’s nice to have a decent amount of extra bobbins on hand. Your machine will come with a few, but if you’re like me and your projects are colorful, you’ll probably have bobbins of almost every color of the rainbow. It’s nice to not have to reuse the same four bobbins if you’re in that boat!

Seam Ripper

Last but definitely not least is a seam ripper. As much as I’d like to think I can make it through a whole project with no errors, that’s more of a dream than reality. I’ve messed up enough times to want my seam ripper close at hand for every sewing project. Plus, if buttonholes are involved, a seam ripper is part of the process.

I made a nice discovery recently–most sewing machines come with a basic little seam ripper. But you can also buy fancier ones with bigger handles that make them easier to hold.

seam ripper

More Inspiration

Did you love this post on essential sewing supplies? There’s more where that came from! Check out the rest of our Sewing Basics series here. You won’t want to miss this DIY Fanny Pack or these cute DIY pencil cases, either! Also, see our past sewing projects: New Team Outfits, Easter outfits, Casetify inspired projects, shaped throw pillows, Mother’s Day apron, quilted shower curtain, quilted face mask, rainbow buttons, reusable lunch sack, and DIY beeswax wraps.

Sewing Basics: Parts of a Sewing Machine

Parts of a Sewing Machine

Have you ever looked at a sewing machine and been overwhelmed by all the knobs, buttons and gadgets you see? I’m right there with you. It can be confusing, especially if you’ve never taken a sewing class before. Well, not to worry! We’re here for you. Today we’re going to demystify some of those confusing terms, symbols, knobs and buttons so you can use your sewing machine with ease. And lucky for you, once you know the basic parts of a sewing machine, taking on your next sewing project will be a breeze.

For this tutorial, we’ll be using our Singer sewing machine as a reference. While your machine may not be completely the same, there’s a lot of overlap and you should be able to find a similar part variant on other machines. Without further ado, let’s learn the parts of a sewing machine!

Bobbin and Thread Parts

Bobbin winder spindle

Your bobbin winder spindle is the little spindle where you’ll place the bobbin to wind it with thread. To do this, simply slide it on, then push it to the right. It should click and you’ll be ready to go.

Bobbin winder stopper

A little disc to the right of the bobbin winder spindle, this stops the bobbin from winding when it’s full of thread.

Bobbin winder thread guide

This is the guide you’ll wrap the thread around to wind your bobbin. For more details on threading a bobbin, see this post.

Bobbin cover

The bobbin cover is the clear, plastic cover that covers the bobbin on most top loading bobbins. If your machine loads the bobbin into the front, your bobbin cover will probably look completely different and may not be clear.

Bobbin case

Lying just beneath the bobbin cover, this is where you’ll place the bobbin. To see how to thread your bobbin, see this post.

Bobbin cover release button

Only found on machines with top-loading bobbins, this button releases the bobbin cover so you can access the bobbin and case beneath.

Thread spool pin

This little pin is where you’ll place your spool of thread. On our singer machine, the pin is facing horizontally, but it’s sometimes also upright.

Second spool pin hole

If you’re ever interested in sewing on knits or using a double needle, you’ll want to know about the second spool pin hole. This is where you can put your second spool pin and a second spool of thread. See the accessory section below for more information about the second spool pin.

Thread take up lever

This lever moves the thread up and down as you sew. As you thread your machine, you’ll want to make sure the thread is correctly threaded through it. See this post for more details on threading your sewing machine.

Thread cutter

The thread cutter is a handy little attachment on the left side of the sewing machine. You can use it to cut your threads after sewing. We should note that this isn’t found on every machine, but many have them and it sure is a nice perk that speeds up sewing a bit.


You can’t sew without the needle! After threading the machine, simply poke the thread through the hole in it and you’re all set to start sewing.

Needle clamp screw

If you didn’t know, you can change out the sewing machine needle pretty easily. All you have to do is twist the needle clamp screw to loosen a bit, and you can pull the needle out and replace it. This is especially handy if you break a needle in the middle of a sewing project.

Machine Settings

This next section of parts of a sewing machine covers basic settings you’ll want to know about before you start sewing. If your stitch isn’t doing what you want it to, check these settings–chances are, something’s up that can be fixed with a quick look at these settings.

Thread tension

The thread tension controls how tightly the upper spool of thread is held in place. You don’t want it to be too tight or too loose, as both can cause problems. Ideally, your thread tension should be somewhere around 4 or 5 for most standard projects.

Bobbin thread tension

Did you know there’s also a bobbin thread tension? To see it, you’ll have to take off the needle plate like you do for cleaning. It’s a tiny screw located on the front of the bobbin case that can be loosened and tightened to match the upper thread tension. Stay tuned, because we’ll talk all about how to make sure your thread tension is adjusted right in a future post!

Needle position

The needle position is located on the top middle of your sewing machine. It tells you to which side the needle is aligned; left, center, or right. Normally you’ll want to keep your needle position in the center, and use the stitch type to adjust what the stitch does.

Stitch width

Also located on the top of your sewing machine, on the right side, the stitch width dial adjusts the width of your stitch. For more details about sewing different types of stitches and setting your stitch width accordingly, see this post. And for details on settings for buttons and buttonholes, see this post.

Stitch length

Located on the right front of your sewing machine, this is a round dial that adjusts the length of your stitch. See this post for specific information about what to set your stitch length to for different stitch types, and this one for stitch length info on buttons and buttonholes.

Stitch type

Another round dial located below the stitch length dial, this one adjusts the type of stitch. The ones you’ll probably use most often are straight and zig zag. For more info on this, see our basic stitches post.

Other Parts

Presser foot

This is located just under the needle. Its purpose is to hold the fabric in place as you sew.

Needle plate

Another useful part of a sewing machine to know is the needle plate. This is the metal plate the fabric rests on as you sew. It’s important so you know what your seam allowance is. The numbers of different seam allowances are all listed on the needle plate itself, so you can stay on track easily as you sew.

Feed dogs

The feed dogs are located just below the presser foot. They’re the poky little rows that help pull your fabric through the machine as you sew.


Presser foot lever

Usually the presser foot lever is either located on the left side or back of the machine on the left side. It’s used to drop the presser foot into place and lift it up when you’re done sewing.

Presser foot release lever

This is a little metal lever right behind/attached to the presser foot. Press on this lever to release the presser foot and change it out. 

Buttonhole lever

This is the little white lever next to the presser foot. You’ll get to know this lever very well if you plan to make any projects with buttons and buttonholes. See more info on buttons and buttonholes here!

Backstitch lever/button

Press this lever down when you want to sew backwards to reinforce stitches. It’s located front and to the left of the center of the sewing machine.


Located on the left side of the sewing machine, the handwheel raises and lowers the needle as you turn it. You’ll use this often!

Foot pedal

Don’t forget about the foot pedal! It’s one of the most important parts of a sewing machine. Press down on it with your foot to start sewing once all your settings are in place.


Accessory storage

In some machines, there’s also an accessory storage compartment somewhere on the body of the machine for easy access. In it, you’ll find a lot of useful odds and ends for your sewing needs. We’ve listed them below for your convenience!

Essential accessories 

Most machines come with a few extra presser feet, like a button foot, buttonhole foot, and a zipper foot. You’ll also find extra needles and bobbins, as well as a second spool pin. (Remember earlier when we talked about the hole it goes in)? Two other useful accessories are a seam ripper/cleaning brush (did you know the cleaning brush has a secretly disguised seam ripper you can pull out of it?!) and screwdriver key. The screwdriver key is a little metal tool used to unscrew the tiny screws on the needle plate to access the things underneath. See more about that here.


How did our tour of the parts of a sewing machine go for you? Let us know in the comments! And let us know what else you’d like to learn as part of our sewing basics series. We’re all ears!

More Inspiration

Did you love this post on how to read a pattern? There’s more where that came from! Check out the rest of our Sewing Basics series here. You won’t want to miss this DIY Fanny Pack or these cute DIY pencil cases, either! Also, see more of our past sewing projects: New Team Outfits, Easter outfits, Casetify inspired projects, shaped throw pillows, Mother’s Day apron, quilted shower curtain, quilted face mask, rainbow buttons, reusable lunch sack, and DIY beeswax wraps. Oh, and don’t forget to visit our shop for lots of sewing templates and patterns!

Sewing Basics: How to Read a Pattern

How to Read a Pattern

Reading a pattern can be confusing, especially if you’ve never seen one before. What do all those markings mean? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know where to start. Our goal today is to teach you all you need to know about reading a pattern so you can successfully use them for your sewing projects!

Basic Terminology

First things first: some basic terminology. In order to successfully tackle any pattern, you need to know some basic terminology, including the symbols that show up on your patterns. Most patterns will have a guide somewhere that has a key, telling you what each symbol means for that specific pattern. Use the guide provided by the pattern, and consult the following list if you’re still confused.

The following terms are the essentials–almost every pattern has these, so you’ll need to know what they mean and what to do with them:


Notches are little ticks or marks that show up periodically along the edge of your pattern pieces. Traditionally, they’re the shape of a little triangle or diamond (Vogue, Butterick, and McCall’s patterns are all standardized and triangle/diamond-shaped), but they can also show up in the form of simple lines. Pattern makers put notches on patterns so the pattern pieces can be lined up and sewn correctly. What to do with them: You can either cut the little triangle completely out, or snip down to the point. If there’s a simple line instead of a triangle, just snip on top of the little line about ¼” in.

Cutting lines

These are the lines you’ll follow to cut out your correct size. In traditional, non-digital patterns, the lines are all stacked next to each other. Each different size will have a different patterned line so you can differentiate between the lines (dotted, dashed, etc). In more contemporary, digital patterns, it’s also common to have the option to click off the extra sizes. That way you just have your size selected (see this post on how to do this!). What to do with your cutting lines: cut out each pattern piece along the cutting lines!

Fold Lines

These lines tell you when a part of your pattern piece should be cut out on the fold. They’re basically lines with arrows on each end that point to the line that should be placed along the fold. What to do with them: simply line up the fold line edge of your pattern piece so it’s on a fold, rather than cutting along that edge.


The grainline is very important. It’s a long, straight line in the middle of your pattern piece with an arrow at each end. This double-sided arrow tells you what direction your pattern piece needs to face on the fabric. Line it up incorrectly and you end up with wonky pattern pieces that don’t hang right. What to do with it: To line it up correctly, make sure the arrow is parallel to the selvedge (the white, non-fraying border along the edge of the fabric. The selvedge usually has words printed on it, so even if your fabric is white, you should be able to tell where it is.)


Another important symbol to know are darts. These are also triangle and diamond shaped, like notches, but much bigger. Darts are used to shape the fabric and fit it to your body more closely. What to do with them: mark all the dart points with pins, fabric marker, or chalk, then follow the pattern’s instructions to sew them correctly.


Next on our list: buttons. These are little X’s, and they mark where the buttons go. What to do with them: simply mark them with pins or fabric markers, then follow the pattern’s instructions to sew the buttons on.


Like buttons, the buttonhole markings simply show where to put the buttonholes. Their symbol is a little line with one perpendicular line at each end (kind of like a capital i). What to do with them: mark them with pins or fabric markers, then follow the pattern’s instructions to sew them.

pictured: Friday Pattern Company’s Davenport Dress

Other Important Notes About How to Read a Pattern

Before we send you off to tackle reading a pattern on your own, remember to read the pattern’s instructions! This is at the top of the priority list, since most of your questions will probably be answered as you read each pattern’s instructions. Things that should be included in your pattern’s instructions are:

Default seam allowance

This will tell you if you should have a ½”, ¼”, ⅝”, or some other seam allowance. This makes a big difference in how well the clothing item you’ve chosen will fit! Sew with a seam allowance that’s too big and your beloved shirt will be too tight. Sew with a smaller seam allowance than indicated and it will be bigger than you want it.


These are the extras you’ll need for your sewing project. This includes buttons, thread, elastic, zippers, snaps, drawstring, etc. Basically anything that’s not your actual fabric! The pattern instructions will indicate how much of each thing to get and what size, so you’ll definitely want to consult this list before buying your supplies.

Size charts and fabric yardage 

Size charts are absolutely essential! They tell you what pattern size is right for your body (or whoever you’re making the clothes for), and how much fabric you’ll need for that size. Definitely consult this before just guessing what size will be correct, as many patterns sizes and measurements vary.

Pictured: Birgitta Helmersson’s ZW Gather Dress

Our Favorite Patterns

Now that you’re an expert on reading patterns, it’s time to get going! Here are some of our favorite pattern companies (for discount codes, click here):

Friday Pattern Company

One of our favorite pattern companies is Friday Pattern Company. They have so many cute options! Their patterns are also very detailed and the instructions are clear. They’re a great option for beginners.

Birgitta Helmersson

Another wonderful source for patterns, especially if you’re looking to be more eco-friendly in your sewing, is Birgitta Helmersson. Her patterns are waste free, which means you don’t have to print out a pattern at all! Instead, she has detailed instructions and diagrams for how to cut and assemble your pattern pieces. 

Merchant and Mills

We also love Merchant and Mills! Based in Great Britain, their patterns are classic and timeless. We’re obsessed!

Obviously, this list of pattern companies is far from extensive. If you have pattern companies you love, let us know in the comments! And please, any questions or comments about how to read a pattern, just drop them below.

Pictured: Friday Pattern Company’s Patina Blouse (Top), and Merchant and Mills’ Eve Trouser (Bottom)

More Inspiration

Did you love this post on how to read a pattern? There’s more where that came from! Check out the rest of our Sewing Basics series here. You won’t want to miss these cute DIY pencil cases, either! Also, see our past sewing projects: New Team Outfits, Easter outfits, Casetify inspired projects, shaped throw pillows, Mother’s Day apron, quilted shower curtain, quilted face mask, rainbow buttons, reusable lunch sack, and DIY beeswax wraps.

Favorite Places to Buy Boy Clothing


My Dressing Boys Philosophy

I’m of the opinion that, here in America, we have gotten away from dressing children as children. We put children in clothes that mimic adults or, even worse, teenagers. The problem with this is that the proportions are wrong, not to mention the style and colors and subject matter. Their little bodies are not suited for suits and button down shirts and specific styles of pants. That’s why rompers and bobby suits and overalls came to be and were popular for some time. For some reason we got into a phase where we wanted “boys to be men” and “girls to be women” so boys started wearing pants and shirts and button downs, even though it did nothing for children, just adults. 

Then adults started attaching labels to children: “your son looks like a girl”, “your son is going to hate you when he’s older”, etc, which, yes, has happened to me. I’m not offended by it at all because I realize that it’s rare to see a baby boy dressed in tights with a little romper that shows off his chubby legs. I think it’s just new for most people. However, the way I see it, the only way he will hate me when he’s older is if people are telling him that what he was wearing is wrong. And it’s not! The clothing I try to select for Jasper are ones that are appropriate for his age and proportional to his tubby body.

With that in mind, I’ve done my digging around for clothing companies that cater appropriately to little boys. Some are even organic certified, handmade, and well-designed because I find it’s important to have thoughtful and considerately-made clothing. Others are larger companies that make well-designed clothing. It truly finds me joy to dress my boy in beautiful clothing so I hope you enjoy!

Favorite Boy Clothing Shops

My Main Boy Clothing Staples

The clothing options below are my main staples for boy clothing. I buy these regularly and love them every time!

  • Maisonette is the new children’s superstore started by former Vogue employees. It’s got a beautiful curated collection. Stay atop of their sales because they are GOOD!
  • Vild House of Little has great quality organic basics. I love it!
  • Zara Kids typically has well-designed clothing for boys (and newborns!). I usually shop their sales
  • Vintage Osh Kosh B’Gosh This summer I dressed Jasper in vintage overalls with no shirt because it’s ADORABLE
  • Polarn O. Pyret is based in Sweden and sells quality basics. Especially good for cold weather items.
  • Lewis has wonderful organic pjs. I’ve gotten the same ones in a few sizes because I love them so much.
  • Winter Water Factory has fun organic prints. I’ve used them since our collaboration last year for every size!
  • Mabo has great basics for kids. Again, sales!
  • Smallable is another great store in France with international shipping that carries favorite brands. Again, great sales in July and January
  • Hanna Anderson has great basics. We’ve used some of their overalls and have loved them!
  • H&M sometimes has some great basics but they fall victim to licensed characters.
  • Did you know that Amazon has some great pieces for boys? You have to dig, but here’s some of my favorite pieces all in one place!

Inspiration/Dream List

The following boy clothing list is for the times when I take a look and dream. Sometimes it’s just nice to know that there are well-designed things out there in the world even though I may not get to buy them all the time! Ha!

  • Caramel of London has a higher price point but oh so lovely. Nice to dream! But also, shop their sales!
  • Oso and Me has the most whimsical prints! My boys’ church clothing is nearly exclusively Oso!
  • La Coqueta is such a dream. I love them for church clothes for my boy.
  • Boden has a more traditional vibe with cute knitted items. Great sales!
  • Centre Commercial is a collection of favorite brands based in France with US shipping. Great sales in July and January!
  • Misha and Puff has dreamy knits!
  • Tiny Cottons is a rad Spanish brand with great illustrations and unique shapes.
  • Serendipity DK Organics Beautiful basics
  • Bobo Choses another great Spanish brand with unique colors and shapes
  • Le Petit Lucas du Tertre I love this French brand. Great patterns and colors.
  • Les Gamins NYC Great basics
  • Cloth Beautiful basics
  • Pure Baby DK Everything organic based out of Denmark
  • Liewood is a Danish brand. The gold and white stripe swimsuit (pictured above) is from Liewood. I got it when we visited and it’s my favorite thing ever!
  • Konges Slojd Another beautiful Danish brand with the best stuff!
  • All American Mumwear My dear friend started a vintage shop and she has the BEST collection

Boy Accessories

Boy Shoes

Special Occasion

Ok! That’s it for now on boy clothing. I’d love to hear what places I should know about! Give me your best recommendations!

If you’re interested, I keep track of all my favorite shops on my personal Instagram @BrittanyJepsen

Also! If you’re visiting Paris anytime soon, take a look at my “Best Baby Shops in Paris” guide.

Sewing Basics: How to Print and Assemble a PDF Pattern

PDF Patterns: The Basics

First off, why PDF patterns? We’re glad you asked. Back in the day, they didn’t exist. It was all paper patterns. Which are great, because you don’t have to piece them together or print them off at all. So convenient. BUT (there’s always a but, right?). Paper patterns aren’t always the most convenient option. Like what if you want to buy a pattern from Great Britain, Sweden, or somewhere else? Even shipping within the U.S. takes time, and we know that project you’re itching to make sometimes just. CAN’T. WAIT. Hence, the birth of the PDF pattern!

PDF patterns make an instant download and print of your pattern possible. That means you can start on your sewing project the same day you buy your pattern. All you need is a printer, scissors, and tape and you’re all set to print and assemble your very own PDF pattern.

How to Print a PDF Pattern

Note: for this tutorial, we used the Friday Pattern Company Patina Blouse pattern. You can find the PDF pattern here, and a discount code here!

Here are Carrie, Jenny, and Jane, all wearing the Patina Blouse:

Adjusting the PDF Settings

Printing a PDF pattern is simple, once you have the settings correctly adjusted. Here’s what to do:

  1. First, download your PDF pattern. Often, there will be multiple files available to download. The one you want to print will have the pattern separated into multiple 8.5”x11” pages for printing convenience.
  2. Once you’ve found the correct file for printing, open it up in Adobe Acrobat. Many PDF patterns have the option to print just your size, rather than all the sizes stacked on top of each other. To do this, you need Adobe Acrobat. It’s a nice perk if you can do it, and makes cutting your pattern out really simple! (If you don’t have Adobe or another PDF editor, skip these steps and go to “Prepping for Print” step 1). 
  3. With Adobe Acrobat open, you’ll see a little icon on the left side that looks like a stack of three squares. That’s the layers icon–click on it.
  4. When the layers icon is open, you’ll be able to see a column of tabs. Those tabs are the different sizes and can be clicked on and off.
  5. Now that you can see the size tabs, click off all the sizes except yours. Make sure to leave the important markings on, though, like notches and guides for connecting the pages together. (To figure out what size you are, take your measurements and check the size chart). 
  6. With all the correct tabs clicked on, you’re ready to print! 

Prepping for Print

  1. If you didn’t use Adobe to edit the layers, go ahead and open your file. (If you just edited the layers in Adobe, your file should already be open). Now open the print menu.
  2. In the print menu, do the following: click single-sided printing, and scale custom 100%. This should make it so the printed pattern doesn’t shrink or get cut off, but prints to the actual size. 
  3. Now print your pattern! Note: As a fail safe, many PDF patterns have a test page that you can print out and measure with a ruler. If it’s the correct size, you’re good to print.

Once your pattern is printed, you’re ready to piece it together!

Assembling your PDF Pattern

If you’ve printed your pattern correctly, assembling should be a breeze. Here’s how:

  1. First, find a nice, large surface on which to lay your pattern pages out. If you’re like me, you may not have a table that’s big enough, so the floor is a perfect option!
  2. Following the numbers on each page, line up all the pages in a grid block chronologically. Note: most patterns have some sort of system for aligning the pages, like arrows, dots or lines. Use these to precisely align each page. There will be a white margin around each printed page that’s outside the printable area. I like to cut those margins off so I can see where to align the pages better.
  3. I find that the easiest way to assemble the pieces is to tape as you go. That way the pages won’t slide out of place as you lay each paper down.
  4. Once all the pieces are taped together, all you have to do is cut out your size along the lines and you’re done!

Now, we want to hear from you: How did printing and assembling your PDF pattern go? Leave your questions and comments below, and let us know if we can clarify anything for you.

Now that you know how to print and assemble a PDF pattern, stay tuned! In a couple of weeks, we’ll be teaching you how to read a pattern so you can get sewing.

More Inspiration

Interested in learning more about sewing? See our Sewing Basics series here! Need inspiration on where to buy patterns? Try some of our favorite companies: Friday Pattern Company, Birgitta Helmersson, and Merchant and Mills.

Becoming Emily Henderson

What do you consider yourself ? Example: Artist, designer, illustrator, maker, business  person, educator, etc.? 

These days I identify most with being a design content creator and writer. 

Where did you grow up? Were there aspects of your childhood that have influenced what  you do now? 

I was born into a Mormon family in rural Oregon. A big family with a lot of crafting and DIY.  I learned from a very young age the fun of thrift and how much can be done from so little. Hence my deep and intense love for all things vintage. But, what my childhood really taught me was how to work VERY hard, of which I am extremely grateful for because it’s one of the big reasons I’ve been successful. 

What did you dream of becoming when you were younger? 

Growing up in the 80s in rural Oregon, no one really knew Interior Designer was a career choice you could do. It was Teacher, Doctor, or Lawyer so I grew up thinking I would be a teacher like my parents and studied history and english in college. It wasn’t until I worked at Jonathan Adler and met stylists that I became interested in a creative career. Now I can see that most of my interests merged (writing, history, and design), which isn’t as rare as it sounds in the creative world. You collect knowledge throughout your various interests and sometimes the culmination of it all directly affects your career.

What inspired you to become a designer? 

When I was in my 20s living in New York I was a shop girl at Jonathan Adler and that’s where I met stylists and learned what a stylist even was. I couldn’t believe people got to shop and borrow and make things to style out sets for their job and I thought that sounded really fun. So that experience plus my love for vintage is what got me interested in styling and interior design. 

What is one piece of work that you are especially proud of and why?

The Mountain House I designed and renovated is my favorite place to be. I designed it for my family (and friends) to enjoy and we love spending months up there during the summer. It’s open, airy, warm and inviting. It has this very special positive, calming energy that I can’t get enough of. 

We’re so excited about your new book! Can you tell us more about it?

My book, The New Design Rules, is all about empowering and educating through the renovation and decoration process. It has all the construction vocabulary, distilled renovation process (and my preferences) with the intent to communicate effectively with your contractors so you don’t get man-splained, make as many mistakes, fight with your partner, and feel like a total failure. And yet it’s full of beautifully styled inspirational shots of homes – kitchens, bathrooms, living, mud and bedrooms, office, basements, and more 🙂 It’s all about knowing the rules so you can creatively break them. 

What is your design process like? Where do you find inspiration for new creations?

I use Pinterest to get some initial ‘look and feel’. When I first start designing a room I will pin a bunch of rooms until I can get a sense of what style/feeling I am going for. 

I always design a room by asking myself  “how do I want this room to feel?” Every room is different, truly, and the process is driven more by the needs and wants of the room than a step by step process. But I always try to design the space with UTILITY in mind – not in a boring functional way, but more ‘how do I want to USE the room’, which easily separates the family room from the formal living room. I lean into comfort on most things these days, knowing that we gravitate towards rooms that are the most comfortable (so why not make every room extremely comfortable?). 

What artists and creatives do you look up to, both historical and present? 

I’m all over the place. I find that the people I admire the most have such different style than what I want in my own home, so I try to analyze WHY I love them so much and be inspired by their work, then create my own version. I love Beata Heuman, Heidi Caillier, Jessica Helgerson – all their work is so inspiring. But more livable spaces I also love Amber Lewis and Sara Sherman Samuel. I think what they all have in common (despite being so different) is confidence, clarity and comfort. And they attack that in such different ways, aesthetically. 

What is a piece of advice that you have carried with you and who is it from? Do you have a  personal motto? 

​​”I don’t know the key to success, but I do know the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” As someone with a large following of readers who watch my every move pretty closely, I know that I have to act from my inner moral compass, listen to my close team, friends and family and make decisions based on experience. Trying to please everyone is simply as impossible as trying to be perfect and once you realize that, your life gets so much easier. 

How do your surroundings influence your work?

I’m a huge nature lover and need to be outside to calm down this dumb ruminating brain of mine. So while I don’t think I design specifically around nature themes or anything (although I have done many a tree mural now that I think about it) I think after being in nature is when I do my most grounded work. 

What is a typical day like for you? 

I am currently mid-renovation and right now there are a lot of things happening FAST so I usually start my day going to the farmhouse to make decisions. Then I write for a few hours and check in with my team. I have two kids that have reached the wonderful ages of 6 and 8 which makes them pretty independent and extremely fun to hang with. As a design content creator in the wild west of digital media I have to really monitor my time to ensure I don’t work 80 hours a week. Right now I feel relatively balanced with a great team and a decent work life balance but it took YEARS to get to this point and it wasn’t easy (lots of nervous breakdowns and Eckhart Tolle if you know what I mean). 

Do you have a secret talent? What is one skill that you are working on?

When your life is on social media there really aren’t any secrets, but I have a strangely good sense of direction 🙂 In the fall I’m going to start teaching myself photography – I have the camera, I know angles and lighting, I just don’t know how those buttons work so I’m extremely excited to take some time to learn that next year. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-teach a new hobby or skill?

The best advice I can give is to simply START. You can’t let fear or perfectionism get in the way. 

Nobody likes to talk about it, but can you share any advice regarding financing your  business? 

There are a billion ways to run a healthy business and frankly we all have to figure out what works for us which can often be a messy process. But I kept my overhead pretty low for years and it wasn’t until I had a large team and a big overhead that I struggled financially. It’s a process that I needed to go through to learn what is best for me, but just know that bigger isn’t always better for creatives running a business. I spent the first 5-7 years of my career building my portfolio, proving the value of our work and working my ass off with the help from my team, so at this point we charge a lot for our time and services because we know the value of our work. But it takes years of figuring that out (and maybe you’ll do it a lot faster). 

Is there anything more you would like to “become?”

I’m shifting more into the teaching and mentoring phase of my career. I don’t have the same lust for new marketing ideas that I did 8 years ago, but I do feel passionate about synthesizing what I’ve learned and passing it on – both in design and career. While I still blog about swimsuits and tanning lotion because it’s good for the business, my passion is still creating good design content. As soon as we are done with the farm I want to start working with my brother (an aspiring contractor) and do projects together and document them, with a more hands on approach. 

Two Easy Quilt Hacks

Custom Quilted Fabric

As you’re probably aware by now, we have a Spoonflower design library full of fabrics we designed ourselves! Well, as it happens, a couple of our designs are the perfect solution to your quilting woes. First, our Retro Florals. We just can’t get enough of these colorful babies! They made their debut when we launched our first Casetify collection. Since then, we’ve been riding the Retro Florals train and loving it (see our retro florals backdrop, spring tablescape, Mother’s Day breakfast in bed, and new team outfits to get an idea). As we made project after project with them, though, we realized something: they were the perfect candidate for an easy DIY quilt that requires no piecing together whatsoever! 

The second design that’s here to save the day is our Rainbow Star Quilt. Designed like a traditional star quilt, you can rest easy knowing you don’t have to piece all those tiny triangles together. And the best part is you still get the look of a traditional quilt with a fraction of the time spent. Just order the fabric and the rest is a cinch. 

Easy Quilt Hacks

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make two quilts, two ways. Both are super simple. On our Retro Florals quilt, we’ll quilt the three layers together with a basic straight stitch on the sewing machine. For the Rainbow Star quilt, we’ll hand-tie the quilt. Without further ado, here are our two easy quilt hacks!

Easy Quilt Hack #1: Retro Florals Quilt

Prepping Your Fabric

  1. First, prewash and iron all fabrics you’ll be using.
  2. Next, divide your front, patterned fabric equally in half. Line the two halves up with the design’s grid, right sides together, then sew them together. Iron the center seam out flat.
  3. Now repeat for the solid backing fabric.
  4. Now, lay the back fabric facedown (right side down) on your work surface and secure in place so it’s nice and flat, with no bumps or wrinkles. Tip: if you don’t have a quilting loom or fancy setup, just tape the fabric down with painter’s tape so it doesn’t slip around as you’re trying to put the layers together.

Sandwiching Your Quilt

Now it’s time to sandwich your quilt together!

  1. For this, you should already have your backing fabric laid out and ready to go. Now, place the batting on top, smoothing it out as you go so it’s even and flat.
  2. Now you’re ready for your front layer! For this, simply lay out the fabric, face up, on top of the batting layer. It helps to work from one side to the other, unrolling or unfolding as you go so it aligns correctly.
  3. As you go, make sure you have a few inches of extra batting and backing poking out around the front layer. This border is just in case the top layer shifts slightly as you quilt it together. Make sure everything is smoothed out, with no bumps or wrinkles.

Quilting It Together

Now you’re ready to quilt it together!

  1. First, it’s important to pin all three layers together in plenty of places so the layers don’t shift too much as you sew. Pin about every hand width or a little more, all over the quilt, in a similar position as with a tied quilt (see the Quilting It Together section below for tips on tying).
  2. Now you can take the tape off that was securing the quilt in place and take the quilt over to your sewing machine.
  3. Next, start sewing! You’ll sew directly on top of all the lines of the grid in straight lines. Snake your way around the quilt until you’ve sewn the whole grid, using the lines of the grid as a guide. 
  4. Now you can remove the pins. You’re ready to bind the quilt edges!

Binding Your Quilt

  1. To bind your quilt, take a strip of fabric that’s roughly 2” wide and a bit longer than the perimeter of your quilt (you’ll most likely need to sew multiple pieces together to get the desired length). Iron down one side of the length by ½”. 
  2. Now, pin it all the way around the quilt’s perimeter with right sides together. Sew along the edge with a ½” seam allowance. 
  3. Next, fold the sewn strip over so it’s laid flat and iron.
  4. Now you can fold the strip over to the other side of the quilt and pin in place, then sew close to the edge. If you don’t want your stitches to show, you can also slip stitch to hand sew the binding in place.

Binding the Corners

  1. For the corners, sew down one whole side of the binding as described above. Make sure to clip the excess at the end down so it’s flush with the edge of the quilt.
  2. Now you can sew down the other side of the binding, this time leaving an inch or so excess off the edge.
  3. Once that’s done, fold the binding back on itself with right sides together, pin, and sew together.
  4. Now, clip the excess fabric and flip the binding back so the seam you just sewed is inside. To make flipping the corner easier, you can use the pointy end of a scissor blade to poke the corner all the way out.
  5. Next, iron down the corner so it’s nice and flat, then sew it down.
  6. Done!

Easy Quilt Hack #2: Rainbow Star Quilt

Prepping Your Fabric/Sandwiching Your Quilt

For these steps, simply follow the instructions above for quilt hack #1.

Quilting It Together

  1. To tie your quilt, start at one end of your quilt in the center of the corner star. Poke the needle through the three layers from front to back. Then, poke the needle back up through all the layers about ½ cm to the side.
  2. Now tie a simple double knot. Clip excess yarn, then move to the middle of the next star (every hand width or so).
  3. Tie in a straight line along the first row of stars. 
  4. Then, fold your quilt edge up one row and continue tying, row by row. Fold up each completed row as you go, which will make tying the remaining rows easier. Remember to clip the yarn as you go!
  5. Continue tying until  you’ve finished the whole quilt, smoothing the fabric out as you go to make sure there are no ripples or bumps.

Binding Your Quilt

Again, you’ll use the same binding technique as with quilt hack #1.

What To Do With Your Quilts

In case you weren’t aware, there are more ways to use a quilt than putting it on your bed! Though that is a spectacular option, it’s summer. Which means there are endless ways to use your quilts outside. Number one: picnic! These quilts are light and summery, perfect for an excursion to the park or a relaxing afternoon to read in the shade. And then there are those summer nights. Utah’s summer nights can get a bit chilly, especially if you’re heading to the mountains like many Utahns here do. Pack these quilts for a little extra warmth and get cozy for an outdoor summer movie night. You can also take these babies camping, or for just a fun, get away up to the mountains for a change. Even if you’re not wrapping it around yourself for warmth, it makes a cozy seat.

Now we want to know: how did making your first quilt go? Drop your questions and comments below!

More Inspiration

Loved these easy quilt hacks and want more quilt inspiration? We have just the thing! Try this quilted shower curtain, how to make a quilted coat and face mask tutorials. Also see this roundup of our favorite quilted coats and Gee’s Bend quilts! Are you interested in learning more about sewing? Check out our sewing basics series