Upcycled Baby Romper and Headband

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I bought this sweatshirt off a clearance rack without trying it on first and it was too big!  I loved the floral print on it so I thought, why not try making it into something new?

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Since it was stretchy fabric, I also got to practice using my serger!

I purchased the PDF pattern on Etsy from “Brindle & Twig patterns” .  You can purchase the pattern here.  The pattern was really nice to read.  It was really clear with detailed photos of every step.  It had nice big font and it even came with photos and terms to help beginners cut out the pieces correctly.

Instead of making fabric straps and snaps like the pattern suggests, I used soft, fold over elastic.

To complete the outfit, I created a matching headband which was really easy to make. Seriously easy.  Like, you can make it in 5 minutes easy.  Here’s how:

  1.  Choose a part of the fabric you’d like to use (in this case, a rose.)IMG_0865
  2. Cut out a piece of heat n’ bond lite approximately the size of the rose and iron on to the wrong side of the fabric with the paper side up.IMG_0868
  3. Cut out the rose with the paper still on the back.IMG_0869
  4. Peel off the paper on the back and place on your backing fabric (in this case, some felt) and iron on using a pressing cloth to prevent the synthetic felt fibres from melting!  I used felt because it gives the rose some added stiffness and texture.

    5. Cut it out and stitch around the rose to secure it to the felt.  If you use Heat n’ Bond Ultra hold however, it can stay in place without stitching.IMG_0876

    6. Tack it to the elastic with a few stitches and sew your elastic to size.  FullSizeRender-1

Voila!

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Let me know if you give it a try!

Happy Sewing,

-AFriendLikeBen-

 

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Easy Owl Pillow Tutorial

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Our good friends from out of town were coming over for a visit and they have an adorable little girl!  I wanted to give her little something so I whipped up this cute owl pillow in no time.  I used fabric I already had and used this great FREE pattern from “We All Sew.”  (Thankyou!)

As per usual, I didn’t follow the pattern exactly!  I didn’t include a centre strip (because I didn’t have much time!) and I dislike “raw edges” in appliqué, so I used an “appliqué without raw edges” technique that involves sewing two appliqué pieces right sides together and turning them right side out.  If you’d like to learn more, keep scrolling!

First, download and cut out the pattern pieces.  You can find the pattern pieces here.

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Pin the pieces to your chosen fabrics and cut out.

With my “appliqué without raw edges” technique, I had to cut out double of the eye, beak and wing pieces with an extra 1/4″ seam allowance.   So in total…I have 2 main body pieces, 1 bodice piece, 4 feet pieces, 4 wing pieces, 4 large eye circles, 4 small circles and 2 beak pieces.

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Using one of the large eye circles as an example, I have demonstrated the “appliqué without raw edges” technique I used below!

Sew 2 large circles, right sides together all the way around.  Do not leave an opening.

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Trim the seam allowance to be a scant 1/4″ and cut little slits around the edge being careful not to cut through the stitches.  (This helps the fabric lay flat when turning the piece right side out.)

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Choose which side of the piece will be the back and cut a slit in the centre (again, being careful not to cut too close to the stitching.)

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Turn the piece right side out through the slit you just cut and press with a hot iron.  Although not a perfect circle, the edges are nice and clean and it’s ready to be sewn to the owl!

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Continue this technique with the other eye circles, beak and wings.  (*note: for the wings, I only sewed the inside edge, right sides together.)

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When all the pieces are prepped, you’re ready to assemble the owl.

Start by folding under the top edge of the bodice piece and sew into place.

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Place the wings on top.  Pin in place and sew the inside edge of the wing with 1/4″ seam allowance. (I like using my 1/4″ seam foot for a clean line.)

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Now, add on the face.

First, place the beak on the owl face.  Because the piece is small, I used a tiny dab of school glue to hold it instead of pins.

So….Dab the glue…

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press in place with a hot iron…

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Sew it to the owl with a 1/4″ seam.

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The white part of the eye was big enough to use a pin for placement.  For the black part, I used the glue technique again.

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Once the face is applied, add the feet!

Sew the feet, right sides together, turn and pin the raw edge of the feet to the raw edge of the owl’s body.  (I was running out of time so I didn’t stuff the feet but they’d look cute stuffed too!)

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Place the back piece of the owl body over top and pin the layers together.  (I used “wonder clips” – they are so great to use when you’re trying to pin layers of fabric together quickly.)  Sew with 1/2″ seam allowance leaving a 3″ opening for turning.

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Turn project right side out and press.  Stuff owl to desired puffiness through the opening you left.

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Hand stitch the opening closed using a ladder stitch and you’re done!

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Voila!  A quick and easy, one-of-a-kind owl!  Let me know if you give it a try or have any tips or tricks.

Happy Sewing!

-AFriendLikeBen-

Easy, Adjustable Crib Skirt Tutorial

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So, as you can see, I’ve been having fun with this Studio E “Around Town” fabric!  So far I’ve made nursery art, a mobile, a window cornice box, and now a crib skirt!

There are tons of tutorials about how to make crib skirts however, I found most of them to be a one size only tutorial which didn’t make sense to me!  With a crib, as the baby grows, the mattress height changes which means the crib skirt length changes.  If you only have one length of crib skirt, then what do you do when you have to lower the mattress?  Let it drag on the floor?  With this tutorial, I’d like to show you how I made an adjustable crib skirt that can be used for all 3 mattress heights.

First, let’s take a look at a crib.  Below is a birds eye view of a crib without a mattress in it.  See the space in-between the crib bars and the base?  That’s where you’re crib skirt will hang.

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To show you the finished birds eye view, I made 3 crib skirt panels (I didn’t make one for the back of the crib because you can’t see it.)  I attached it to the base of the crib with thumb tacks.  I know…it’s not the most polished of finishes but once the mattress is on top, no one will see it!  It’s actually quite neat and tidy!

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So, to make the crib skirt, all you need to do is decide what fabric you’d like to use for your panels, measure your panels out so they fit on each side of the crib, hem them how you wish, slide them in-between the bars and the base of the crib and secure them at the desired length with pins.

If you get the idea, go ahead and make your crib skirt panels how you wish!  If you’d like to see how I did mine specifically, keep reading!

Adjustable Crib Skirt Tutorial:

This tutorial will demonstrate how the side panel was made.

If using “directional fabric,” make sure each panel has the same part of the pattern on it.  For the widest panel, you may need to join the patterned fabric together.   (To learn more about how to join patterned fabric, see a previous tutorial here.)

To make sure each panel has the same section of the pattern on it, cut each patterned strip at the same place.  With this fabric specifically, I chose to cut below the red houses as the top cut and below the red roofs as the bottom cut (as shown.) image

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The side panel needed to be 26″ wide so I cut the patterned strip to be 26″ wide.

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Then I cut a 26″ wide piece of white fabric and kept it how it comes off the bolt (folded in half.)  I wanted to have 2 layers of white fabric for weight and to make the skirt more opaque.

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Cut off the selvage edge.

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Pin the 26″ raw edge of the patterned fabric, right sides together, to one of the 26″ raw edges of the white fabric.  Sew with a 1/4″ seam.

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Press seam allowance towards the patterned fabric.

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With right sides together again, pin the other 26″ raw edge of the patterned fabric to the other 26″ raw edge of the white fabric and sew together with a 1/4″ seam.  Now you have a large tube of fabric.  Again, press the seam allowance towards the patterned fabric.

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Now sew up each side of the panel with a 1/4″ seam allowance leaving about a 4″ opening on one side.

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Turn right side out through the 4″ opening you left and press flat.

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Top stitch with a 1/4″ seam allowance over the bottom edge of the panel.

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Top stitch over the top edge of the pattern piece…

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Finally, top stitch along each side of the panel (not shown).  Make sure you top stitch over the opening you left to turn the panel right side out.  This will neatly close the opening.

Hang your panel in-between the crib bars and the base of the crib and pin to desired height with thumb tacks.

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Repeat with the other 2 sides of the crib.

There you have it – a simple, adjustable, crib skirt.

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Let me know if you give it a try or if you have any suggestions or questions!

Thanks for stopping by and happy sewing!

-AFriendLikeBen-

DIY Art Made With Fabric

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I’m currently working on some homemade nursery decor as we are expecting a baby girl in early September.  🙂 So far, I’ve made a window cornice box, a mobile, this nursery art and am working on reupholstering a chair using the “Around Town” fabric collection by “Small Factory.”  I found it on sale at a local quilt shop.  Although it doesn’t necessarily scream “newborn baby” I love how girly and friendly it looks!

To start, I purchased these blank canvases on sale at Michael’s.  (If you haven’t noticed, I rarely buy anything for my projects that isn’t on sale!)

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The canvas I used was 12″ x 12″ so I cut a 15″ x 15″ square of fabric to have enough to wrap the fabric around to the back. Then I followed these steps:

First, lay the fabric, right side down, on the table then place the blank canvas, right side down, on top.  It doesn’t have to be perfect but centre the canvas as best you can on the fabric. Fold up the bottom edge of fabric.  To make sure it’s straight use the pattern as a guide.  (If you look closely at the photo below, I used the windows and bricks on the fabric as a visual to make sure the fabric was straight.  The windows were just below the bottom edge of the canvas and the bricks were in a straight line below the bottom edge as well.  I glued it in place with a hot glue gun starting with a dollop in the centre and working my way outward to the corners.)

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Do the same with the opposite side using the pattern on the fabric as a guide to make it straight while pulling the fabric tight as you glue it along the edge.

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For the sides, wrap it like a present.  Fold the corners in and glue them into place first…

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…then glue the rest to the back of the canvas.  Again, starting with a dollop of glue in the centre and working outward to the edges.

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Do the same to the final side and you’re done!  I made 2 of these.

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But wait…there’s more!

To add a little contrast, I made one more fabric canvas with a complimentary fabric from the same collection.  I’m thinking I will hang it in-between the 2 house canvases above the crib.

I also appliquéd 3 white hearts to the complimentary fabric which required a few extra materials.  I used some freezer paper to cut out the pattern, some Heat N Bond for the appliqué and some fusible interfacing to prevent the background colour from showing through the white hearts.  To do the same follow these steps:

Prepare the heart pattern to be appliquéd to the background fabric.  (To find the template I used for the heart, please refer to my previous post here.)

To get the heart printed as a pattern, trace it 6 times onto a piece of paper.  (You only need 3 but trace 6 so you have more for another project!)

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Tape a piece of freezer paper (shiny side down) to a blank sheet of paper, place it in the printer and photocopy the 6 hearts you just drew to the freezer paper.

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Roughly cut them out.

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As mentioned above, also cut out the 3 white fabric pieces, 3 fusible interfacing pieces, and 3 Heat N Bond pieces.  (Cut them all the same size.)

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Layer these pieces like a sandwich!

You can’t see the layers but here’s what you do:

First, iron the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of fabric.

Second, iron the rough side of Heat N Bond to the fusible interfacing.

Third, Iron the shiny side of the freezer paper pattern to the right side of the white fabric.

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Once the hearts are prepared like so, cut them out.  Peel off the freezer paper and when you’re ready to apply the heart to the background fabric, peel off the paper backing of the Heat N Bond.

Here’s how to apply the hearts quickly and neatly.

To find the centre of the fabric, fold the 15″ square into fourths, unfold it, peel off the paper backing of Heat N Bond and place the centre heart where the creases meet.  Iron into place.

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Next, fold the fabric into thirds and use the creases to line up the other 2 hearts.  Iron into place.

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Stitch around the perimeter of each heart with a zig-zag stitch.

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*helpful tip.  To make sure the background fabric is centred on the canvas before gluing it on, you can use pins right through the canvas.

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Glue the fabric onto the canvas as demonstrated earlier!

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And you’re done!  🙂

Quick, easy and cute!  Let me know if you have any tips or give it a try.

Happy Decorating!

-AFriendLikeBen-

Cloud and Heart Nursery Mobile

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Continuing on with the nursery decor, I thought I’d make a little cloud and heart mobile!  I didn’t follow a pattern in particular but used a heart template and a cloud template that I found online.  If you’d like to make your own, here is what I did!

For the hearts, you can find the template I used here.  (I used the smallest heart on the template for the mobile and shrunk that heart 50% with a photocopier for the appliquéd heart on the cloud.)

For the cloud, you can find the template I used here.

To make the mobile, I started with making the hearts.  I wanted 2 blue, 2 yellow and 2 pink so I cut 4 rectangles that would fit the heart template in each colour.

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Now, I know most people cut out the shape first and then sew.  Since these hearts were pretty small, I decided to trace the shape onto the fabric first, sew on the line leaving a small opening and then I cut it out with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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Now, for the exciting part…turning the hearts!  I used to dread this part but with the “Dritz Quick Turn” tool, it was so easy!  I love this tool and feel it was the best $8 I’ve spent on sewing notions – it comes with 3 tubes in different sizes.

To get started, first you stick the tube inside the opening.

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Then from the opposite end, insert the “chopstick” into the opening of the tube.

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Then push the fabric over the chopstick.

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Set the tube aside and use the chopstick to push out the seams of the heart.  The whole process takes about 30 seconds!

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After I sewed 6 hearts, I pressed them and stuffed them with polyfill.

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Now, if this was a toy, I would hand stitch each heart closed BUT since it’s a mobile that won’t really be handled, I closed each heart up with a dollop of hot glue.  (It saves time and no one will notice!)

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See?  How cute!  🙂

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Okay, now on to the cloud. I used the same technique as I did for the hearts.  First I traced the cloud onto the wrong side of my white fabric using a disappearing ink marker .

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Before sewing with right sides together, I added a mini appliqué heart to each side of the cloud.

To appliqué, first, trace 2 tiny hearts onto the wrong side fabric and cut them out.  Trace 2 tiny hearts onto the paper side of “Heat N Bond” and cut them out too.  The “Heat N Bond” is great for appliqué projects because it holds little shapes in place without pins.  (Make sure you use Heat N Bond that is meant to be sewn through on a sewing machine.)

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To apply the heart to the cloud, iron the rough side of the Heat N Bond heart to the wrong side of fabric heart.  (Please excuse the busy ironing board cover!)

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After, peel off the paper backing, apply the heart where you want it on the cloud and secure into place by pressing over it again with an iron.

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Once the heart is in place, stitch around the perimeter with a small, zig-zag stitch.

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To sew the cloud together, I used the very same technique as the hearts.

First, stitch on the line of the cloud the was drawn leaving a small opening.  Cut out the cloud with a 1/4″ seam allowance.   Turn right side out using the tube turner tool and press the seams.  Stuff with poly-fil.  Instead of gluing this seam closed, I hand stitched the cloud closed using a ladder stitch.

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Finally, I sewed the hearts to the cloud with some white thread and a long embroidery needle.

To sew on the hearts, mark where each string of hearts should be on the cloud with a pin.

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Tie a knot in the end of long piece of doubled thread, and insert the needle into the top of the cloud and out the bottom where you marked your first pin.

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Gently pull the thread until the knot is pulled inside of the cloud.  Draw the needle through the first heart until you have it at the desired length and tie a knot at the bottom of the heart.  Draw the needle through the second heart until you have it at the desired length and tie a knot at the bottom again.    (If you look at the picture carefully you can see the knot I had started to tie at the bottom of the second heart.)

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Before you cut the end of the thread, pull the needle back through the heart and out the top, pull tight and snip the end.    By doing it this way, there are no loose ends of thread sticking out.

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I repeated this process with the yellow and blue hearts…

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Before long, I was done!

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I loved this project because it was fairly quick and easy and a super cute addition to the nursery.  Let me know if you give it a try!

Happy sewing,

-AFriendLikeBen-

How to Join Patterned Fabric

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I wanted to make a simple cornice box for the baby’s room using some cute fabric I found on sale!  The only issue…the window was wider than the width of the fabric I was using and there was a repeating pattern I had to match up.  Scary!  Actually, not scary at all.  Here’s how you can easily join patterned fabric for any project.  🙂

First, lay down your 2 fabric panels and find a place you’d like them to join together.  They should be overlapping slightly.

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With the panel that will be overlapping, fold back the raw edge about 1/4″ and press with an iron.

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Lay the panels together again to make sure they still line up.  They do!  Good.

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Secure the fabrics together with a little bit of Elmer’s School Glue along the folded seam!  Press with a hot iron to really make it stay!  (you don’t need too much glue.)

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Open up the newly attached fabric panels so they’re laying right sides together.  Where you glued and pressed, there should be a nice, crisp, line you can sew along on the sewing machine.  Sew down the line.  I used some pins to be extra sure that the fabric would stay in place.

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After, trim the seam allowance to 1/4″.

And, voila!  A continuous pattern.  Can you tell I have 2 seams along this long panel?

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A tutorial on how I made a simple cornice box coming soon!

Happy Sewing,

-AFriendLikeBen-

How To Sew a “Welt” Pocket

image_4 See that little black rectangle inside the bag?  That’s a little welt pocket.  I made it to fit an iPhone 5.  This tutorial is about how I made this welt pocket and you can make this pocket any size that fits your needs.

Before you begin, determine what fabric the outside of the pocket/the lining of the bag will be (in this case, grey) and what fabric the inside of the pocket will be (in this case, black.)

To start.  I ironed interfacing to the wrong side of the inner pocket fabric (black.)  I didn’t measure a size.  I just made sure that it was wider than the iPhone and when I folded it in half lengthwise, it was longer than the iPhone.

From here, follow these simple steps: Measure 3″ down from the top edge of pocket fabric and draw a line in pen.

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Draw a parallel line 1/4″ above and below the line you just drew.

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Draw a vertical line 1.5″ in from the outer edge of pocket fabric on both sides.  Draw another verticall line 3/4″ from there on both sides.  Now you have drawn perfect, little rectangular boxes.

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Inside those boxes, use the points of reference to draw 2 triangles pointing inward.

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Fold both the pocket fabric and the lining fabric in half widthwise to determine the centre midline.  Line up the 2 pieces, right sides together, and pin together.

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Now you’re ready to sew.  Sew around the perimeter of the main rectangle you drew.  Around the outer edges, sew with a small stitch length and in the middle sections, sew with a regular stitch length.  (I wrote, on the interfacing, the stitch lengths I used to help explain further.  For the edges, I used a 1.0 stitch length, for the middle section I used a 2.2 stitch length…ignore the inches (“) I wrote next to those numbers…)

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With a seam ripper, carefully rip through both layers of fabric following the lines.  You rip along the centre line and out towards the corners.  Be careful to stop at the stitch line.  You don’t want to rip through the stitches you just made.

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Turn your work by pushing one layer through the hole you just made.

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Press flat.  One side looks like this…

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The other looks like this…

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Secure fabrics in place by topstitching along the side, bottom and other side of the hole.  Don’t stitch the top side yet.

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Now it’s time to make the pocket.  Fold the pocket fabric (black) up towards the top raw edge of the lining fabric (grey.)

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When you’ve determined how deep you want your pocket to be, pin in place.  (I determined the size of my pocket by placing the phone inside.)

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Remove the phone, and stitch pocket in place along the top of the pocket hole.  (My sewing machine has a function where I can move the needle over.  To sew a straight line, I centred the foot of my sewing machine over the seam but moved the needle a little to the right so that I stitched just a little to the right of the seam like so.)

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Now it’s time to close the sides of your pocket.  Move the lining fabric (grey) out of the way and draw two vertical lines down from the edges of where your pocket opening is.

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Stitch down the lines and cut away the excess.

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And you’re done! (Don’t forget to remove the pin!)

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I LOVE this pocket because it looks impressive but is relatively easy to do. If you’d like to see a video about welt pockets, I found a great one here.  The technique in the video makes a more intricate looking pocket than what I did but he does a great job explaining how to do it.  I will definitely give it a try next time.

Here are 2 more examples of welt pockets I made recently on some handmade bags.  I give all credit to my teacher, Marlous.  Learn more about her patterns on a previous post here.

Let me know if you give it a try!

Feel free to follow me on instagram for updates about my sewing a crochet projects (@afriendlikeben).  You’ll see my instagram pics on the left side of this blog page as well.

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Sewing!

-AFriendLikeBen-