Casetify Inspired Fabric Projects

Funky Town Fabric Projects

The best thing about the projects we picked to feature our funky town fabrics is that they are all so simple. Seriously. If you consider yourself a beginner, you don’t need to feel intimidated by any of these projects. Just follow along with us to learn how to make these easy staples to add to your wardrobe and home!

Tip#1: before starting any of your projects, make sure you’ve pre-washed your fabric first!

Tip#2: when cutting out square or rectangle pieces, it’s much easier to be precise when you use a cutting mat, rotary cutter, and clear gridded ruler.

Bandana/Kerchief

Simplest of our Casetify inspired fabric projects, this bandana is the perfect accessory to your outfit. If you’re lacking a little color, the bandana will give you that pop you were looking for! For ours, we chose the small marbled and lilac checkers fabrics.

Here’s how to make your own:

How to Make a Bandana/Kerchief

Prepping the Fabric

  1. First, order your favorite fabric from our new Funky Town collection! For fabric type, we’d recommend cotton poplin, as it’s soft, light and breathable. Remember to prewash!
  2. Next, for each bandana, cut out a square that’s 23″x 23″, or adjust the size as necessary for your neck size (smaller bandanas can be as small as 17″ or 18″, and larger closer to 28″ square).

Sewing the Mitered Corners

Now you’re ready to sew the mitered corners. This is the neat diagonal finish to the corners that eliminates some of the bulk caused by traditional hemming. It looks neat and is easy to do!

  1. First, fold over and press each edge by a 1/4″, then a second time to cover the raw edge.
  2. Next, unfold the second fold and measure double the width of the hem from the edge of the fabric down. Mark the spot on each side of the corner with a fabric marker, then connect the two sides with a line across.
  3. Now fold the corner on itself with right sides together, pin, and sew along the line you drew.
  4. Last, clip the excess fabric, press open and flip the corner to the right side to reveal your finished corner.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for the remaining corners.

Finishing Touches

  1. To finish up, simply topstitch along the edge of the folded over sides to complete your hems. Press so it’s nice and flat.
  2. Done! Lay it out and admire.

Simple Throw Pillow

Our next Casetify inspired fabric project is a simple throw pillow. This is the simplest technique to make a throw pillow. No piping or zippers, so there’s not much to be intimidated by. The great thing is it looks lovely when done and takes less than an hour to finish! For ours, we used the retro rainbow stripe in cypress cotton canvas.

Prepping your Fabric

  1. Once your fabric is prewashed and ironed, lay it out and cut out two squares that are 19″x19″. These are the dimensions you’ll need for a standard 20″x20″ throw pillow.
  2. Now lay the two pieces out on top of each other with right sides together.
  3. Next, fold over and press both sides of one edge of each fabric square over to the wrong side by 1/2″.
  4. Pin the three sides you did not press down to prep for sewing.

Sewing the Pillow

  1. Now that your pillow pieces are pinned, sew around the three un-pressed edges. Backstitch at beginning and end.
  2. Clip corners and flip your pillow to the right side.
  3. Next, stuff the pillow insert into the pillow cover you just made and sew up the opening close to the edge. Make sure the pressed edge you created is tucked neatly inside.
  4. Done!

Tote Bag

The tote bag is a bit more advanced than the other two Casetify inspired fabric projects, but we promise you can do it! For this one we used the large retro rainbow marble in cypress cotton canvas, with golden accent handles and strap.

  1. Print off our tote bag template found here.
  2. Cut your bag pieces out of the fabric using the bag template. Note which part of the fabric you want to highlight on your bag and which direction it will face when complete.

Main Bag Piece

  1. With right sides together, sew the front and back of the main bag pieces together at the side seams. Use a single stitch and then finish off with a zig zag to prevent fraying.
  2. Next, pull the edges of the notched part of the cut fabric together (the two bottom corners) to form the flat bottom of the bag. Use a straight stitch, trim the excess down to 1/4″, then finish the edge with a zig zag.
  3. Now turn your main bag piece right side out to prep for future steps. Now to move on to the handle straps!

Handle Straps

  1. First, hem under each long edge by 1/4″. Then fold both of the handle straps in half so the folded edges meet.
  2. Next, pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of each strap.

Shoulder Strap

  1. For the shoulder strap, fold the shoulder strap piece in half with wrong sides together lengthwise.
  2. Next, unfold, then fold each side into the center seam, pressing as you go.
  3. Now you can fold the strap back along the center crease you made. Make sure the two folded edges line up evenly.
  4. Lastly, pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of each strap.

Attaching the Straps

Now to attach the straps to the main bag piece. For this, make sure your bag piece is turned right side out.

  1. First, position the handle straps in the center of the bag opening on each side. Align the raw edges with the top opening of the bag. Pin, then sew in place with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  2. Now attach the ends of the shoulder strap piece to both side seams of the bag. Position them the same way you did with the handle straps and sew in place.

Finishing Touches

  1. Now it’s time for the facing. For this, take both facing pieces with right sides together and sew along both short edges by 1/4″. You should now have a tube that’s the same size as the opening of your bag. If it’s too big, make the seam allowance larger to adjust.
  2. Next, fold one edge under (wrong sides together) by 1/4″ and press.
  3. Now, with right sides together, align the raw edge of the facing tube around the opening of the bag.
  4. Next, sew a single stitch around the top opening edge of the bag, with a 1/2″ seam allowance.
  5. To finish up, turn the facing to the inside of the bag, press, and pin in place. Make sure the sewn edge of the facing/bag is creased neatly along the top edge of the bag. It shouldn’t show on the outside.
  6. Last, edge stitch along the creased edge of the facing to hold it in place.
  7. Done!

Styling Your Funky Town Projects

You can have a lot of fun styling your Funky Town Casetify inspired fabric projects! The great thing about these fabrics is that they can be mixed and matched in so many different ways. Try a marbled with a checkered, like we did, or add a solid pop of color to a busy pattern as an accent. The options are endless.

We’re excited to see what you make! Let us know in the comments!

More Inspiration

Loved these simple Casetify inspired fabric projects? Check out the first post in our sewing basics series, how to thread a sewing machine! You’ll probably also love these other easy sewing projects. Try our Mother’s Day apron or our Easter outfits (not limited to use on Mother’s Day or Easter). If you want more home decor sewing projects, try our shaped throw pillows or quilted shower curtain.

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.

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!

 

 

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