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!

Scrunchie

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!

Headband

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: How to Choose the Right Fabric

Why the Fabric You Choose Matters

First of all, some of you may be asking, why does the fabric you choose even matter? Well, short answer: it does, and makes a big difference in how well your project turns out. I’ll use a bad example to illustrate my point: a heavy, upholstery canvas for a summer blouse. This is an obvious one, but there are some that are not so easy to figure out on your own! Especially if you’re not familiar with many types of fabrics and their specific uses. So we’re going to break things down a bit and help you understand the ins and outs of how to choose the right fabric.

Synthetic vs. Natural Fabrics

It turns out there’s a lot to unpack when considering which fabrics to use on a given sewing project! In order to choose the right fabric, it’s crucial to know the difference between natural and synthetic fabrics. They are what their names suggest, but they each have pros and cons.

Natural Fibers

Natural fibers come from natural sources that have not been synthetically modified. These can come from animal or plant sources. Examples of natural fibers include cotton and linen (plant sources); and silk, wool and cashmere (animal sources).

Pros

  • More breathable and moisture wicking (nice in hot/humid climates and in the summer months)
  • Production doesn’t produce poisonous gases
  • More gentle on sensitive skin (most of the time)
  • Biodegradable
  • Overall more comfortable than synthetics

Cons

  • Not as strong as synthetic fibers
  • Shrink when washed
  • Sometimes requires hand-washing or dry-cleaning (silk and wool)
  • Can be damaged by moths/other pests (especially wools)
  • Wrinkle more easily
  • More expensive
  • Can be itchy (this applies to wool, especially)

Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic fibers are fibers that can be manufactured synthetically, rather than being sourced strictly from nature. They were created to mimic their natural counterparts. Examples of synthetic fibers include polyester, acrylic, nylon, spandex, and lycra.

Pros

  • Stronger than natural fibers
  • Retain their shape better than natural fibers (think stretched-out knees of your cotton jeans)
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Cheaper than natural fibers
  • Resistant to pests, mold, mildew, etc.
  • Can be stretchy (think elastic, spandex and lycra)
  • Don’t shrink in the wash

Cons

  • Not as breathable as natural fibers and not moisture wicking (extra hot in hot weather!)
  • Usually more uncomfortable than natural fibers
  • Sometimes causes irritation to sensitive skin
  • Can be more slippery/difficult to sew on
  • Melt if the iron is too hot

Blended/Semi-Synthetic Fibers

Semi-synthetic fibers are natural fibers that have been chemically altered, but less so than fully synthetic fibers. Blended fibers are a blend of natural and synthetic fibers. Both blended and semi-synthetic fibers retain some of the characteristics of natural fibers while also incorporating characteristics of synthetics. For instance, they might retain the breathability of natural fibers while being more wrinkle-resistant than their natural counterparts. Examples of semi-synthetic fibers are rayon, viscose, modal, bamboo viscose, and seacell. Examples of blended fibers are polyester/cotton, cotton/lycra, and acrylic/wool.

Questions to Consider

Now that you know the difference between natural and synthetic fibers, let’s apply that knowledge to your fabric choices. Here are some questions to consider when picking a fabric for your next project:

  • Do I want my fabric to be wrinkle-resistant or not?
  • Will I need to wash by hand, or can it go in the machine? Also, can it go in the dryer or not? (needing to wash by hand or hanging to dry are not deal breakers. But you definitely want to be aware of these things so you know how to prewash and care for your fabric).
  • What season am I making my project for? Does it need to be lightweight/moisture-wicking, or thick and warm?
  • Do I have sensitive skin? (a sign that you should steer clear of synthetics and itchy wools)
  • Do I prefer a fabric that’s easier to sew on? (If so, avoid stretchy, slippery, and overly thin/thick fabrics).

And finally:

  • What is the best overall fabric for my specific project? Pillow vs. tote vs. blouse vs. pants vs. drapes, etc.

Most Commonly Used Fabrics

If you’re still a bit stumped on how to choose the right fabric, we’ve compiled a list of examples. Here are some widely-made projects and the most common fabrics for them:

Clothing

Clothing can be made using woven (not stretchy) OR knit (stretchy) fabrics. Before making your decision, consult the pattern! It will say if it’s meant for knits or woven fabrics. Many patterns even give specific guidelines as to which fabrics are ideal.

Here’s a list of common clothes to make and best fabrics:

  • Blouses and Dresses: woven, natural fabrics like cotton and linen often work well. But there are some pretty synthetic/semi-synthetic fabrics out there that are pretty, too! Chiffon, viscose and rayon are all good options. Want to be fancy? Go for silk! Just remember to be gentle when washing.
  • Pants: Again, woven, natural fabrics are great. For summer, try a light cotton, linen, or blend of the two. For winter, wool, twill, and a light canvas or denim. And remember that wool and cotton shrink! That means wash in COLD water and probably stick to hand-washing those wools.
  • Jackets/coats: Lined cotton and wool make great coats, when you’re in the mood for a more intense sewing project.

Here are some clothing options we’ve made and love! Mother’s Day apron, Easter outfitsquilted face mask, quilted sleeping mask, baby bonnet, bunny bonnet, quilted coat, Father’s Day tie and bowtiegarden apron pattern and FUNKY TOWN bandanas.

Throw Pillows

There are quite a few options that would work well for a throw pillow! If you’re going for a softer feel, try a lighter fabric like cotton or linen, or even a light velvet. Want something more substantial? Go for a canvas or other upholstery-weight fabric. The key here is that woven fabrics work MUCH better for a pillow with some shape than knits.

Here are some we’ve made:

FUNKY TOWN throw pillow, Shaped throw pillows, Celtic knot pillow and stuffed Easter bunny.

Totes and Bags

For totes and bags, generally woven canvas or denim of some sort works best. Steer clear of knits and make sure the fabric you choose is durable and you’re all set!

FUNKY TOWN tote, Lemon Tote bag, duffel bag picnic tote, Reusable lunch sack and DIY beeswax wrap.

Blankets

Blankets and quilts also demand woven fabrics. Try lightweight cotton or linen and you’ll be golden.

Try this duffel bag picnic tote, which doubles as a blanket! Also try this mushroom playmat, which is essentially baby-sized quilt.

Curtains/Other Home Decor

For curtains, you could go with a variety of fabrics depending on what you prefer! If you want a breezy, summery curtain that still lets some light in, try lightweight cotton or linen. Again, woven fabrics are your best friends here. Want a good blackout curtain? Try a double lined curtain and go with a thicker, tighter cotton/linen weave or a velvet.

Here’s our quilted shower curtain and DIY headboard.

quilted shower curtain

Fabric Resources

Well, that’s a wrap on how to choose the right fabric. Still looking for resources? Cough, cough. Officially launched yesterday, we now have a shop full of designs created by The House that Lars Built! You can find them here. During COVID, we also compiled a list of our favorite fabrics from around the web. There are so many options we ADORE. Check them out here!

Did we answer your questions on how to choose the right fabric? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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!

Neck 

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.

Bust

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). 

Underbust/band

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.

Hip

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.

Inseam

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.

Outseam

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.

Shoulder

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:

Neck

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.

Sleeve

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.

Chest

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).

Waist

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.

Hip

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.

Inseam

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.

Barbiecore Costume Ideas

Costume of the Century

I love a good pop culture costume. Remember Jasper as Jared Leto? It turns out the Met Gala is too perfect of a pop culture feast to pass up. Well, the feast of the century presented itself earlier this year and Barbiecore made its debut. I mean, what better way to usher in the new Barbie movie than with a show-stopping Barbiecore costume?

We mixed and matched a few different outfits, and loved how they turned out. Oh, and we couldn’t have done it without our amazing model, Hannah! She even brought her own pink outfit to add to the mix, which was PERFECT.

Barbiecore from Around the Web

Since most of you are probably thinking about making a Barbiecore costume a reality, we decided to help out a bit. We scoured the internet for Barbiecore items worthy of a costume. The good news is that there is a lot of potential out there! Here are some options we found that just might be perfect for a Barbiecore costume of the century:

More Inspiration

Loved this Barbiecore costume and need more costume inspiration? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. See this roundup of our best cardboard costumes, and also check out these Mommy and me costumes! Then step over to our blog archives for tons more costume ideas and Halloween content. And don’t forget about our Halloween shop for tons more Halloween ideas!

5 Ways to Wear Green

5 Ways to Wear Green

We made a list of five ways to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day years ago (2014, can you believe it?!), which you can find here. Well, we wanted to add to it, because it turns out we’ve had some bright ideas since then!

St. Patrick’s Day Beaded Bracelets

Just a few weeks ago, we came out with these St. Patrick’s Day Beaded Bracelets! It’s the perfect solution if you don’t want to overwhelm the world with green or don’t have any green in your closet already. These sweet little bracelets are delicate and refined, and give you that splash of green you need. You might even find yourself wearing them on other days besides St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick’s Day Buttons

These St. Patrick’s Day Assorted Buttons from our shop are another great way to add just a touch of green to your outfit. Bonus: you don’t even have to make them! Just order and you’re all set. And come on, these little beauties are adorable. You’ll be looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day just so you have a reason to wear them.

Rainbow Collar Pin

Another great accessory, our DIY Rainbow Collar Pin has been around for a while now and it’s a beloved classic! Rainbows are a classic St. Patrick’s Day icon, and the great thing is that (if you hadn’t noticed already) the color green is always present in a rainbow. Plus, I love me a good little collar pin accessory and this one fits the bill perfectly. It’s cute, functional, and protects you from the pinches.

St. Patrick’s Day Crowns

Did someone say St. Patrick’s Day party? These two St. Patrick’s Day crowns are the perfect party accessory for your guests! We have two versions, a printable and DIY version, so pick whatever suits your fancy. Not interested in having a party? Then just have fun and wear a crown for the day! Its delicate and playful and you can relax, because no one will miss that pop of green.

Painted Shoes

If you’re into the subtle details, these Painted Shoes are for you. Paint a rainbow or some green on the soles of your shoes and flash those colors when someone tries to give you a pinch!

Other Options

Here are some other ideas for how to incorporate green into your St. Patrick’s Day this year:

More Inspiration

Loved this post on ways to wear green and want more St. Patrick’s Day inspiration? Try this lovely St. Patrick’s Day Wreath. Also try this St. Patrick’s Day crown, or these kid-friendly coloring pages! And if you’re in need of a new spring craft, try our DIY Paper Orchids! Not interested in making anything? Check out our shop for some seasonal favorites you’re sure to love.

Floral winter coats

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Floral winter coats

Floral everything has been in for awhile and it finally made its way to winter coats (not to mention quilted coats!). I’m in! And the Canada Goose x Reformation collaboration is just unreal. From the prints, to the head scarves to the styled shoot. Call me president of the fan club. I mean, look at this:

Floral puffer coat options

Here are some more favorites from around the web.  yellow floral puffer coat canada goose

Clockwise from top left: Diamond print long coat, Yellow floral print coat, black floral puffer coat, blue puffer coat, black long puffer coat, green polka dot (not floral but still cute print), black abstract floral

Not pictured: This cute green floral print puffer, this pink puffer coat,

What do you think? Is it something you’d splurge on? I know I’m waiting for a big sale!