Category Archives: How To

How To Make a Perfect Yo-Yo… With NO Special Tools or Widgets!

Fabric yo-yos are fun AND easy to make. Despite what the Clover company would have you believe, you don’t need any special plastic discs or tools to make them. All you need is a piece of paper, various round objects and my handy chart!
Step 1. Chose the right size circle for your desired yo-yo size. You can rock it old school and actually draw a circle template on a piece of paper with a compass. Seriously, I lost mine and had been trying to buy a new one… guy working in a hardware store did NOT know what a “compass” was… *sigh* I eventually found one at Michael’s.

Hey, Millennials… use this mysterious object to draw a circle. No, you can’t use your phone.

If you don’t have a compass, you can just look around the house for circle objects to trace, such as various lids, CD’s, etc. It turns out that tracing a CD will result in a lovely 2 1/8″ yo-yo. Now you know.

Pro-TIP! You will need a circle 2x the desired finished size plus 1/2″. See this handy chart to find your perfect size:

Finished Yo-Yo Size Fabric Circle Size
1″ 2.5″
2″ 4.5″
2.5″ 5.5″
3″ 6.5″
4″ 8.5″

Step 2. Cut out as many circles from fabric as needed – one for each yo-yo. Press.

Press your fabric circles before beginning

Step 3. Using a doubled strand of thread, fold down edge of fabric 1/4” and baste close to folded edge, about 1/8”. Baste all the way around circle.

Turn down 1/4″ and baste

Step 4. For best results, use a long basting stitch, between 1/4” and 3/8”. Note that a standard No. 2 pencil is a little less than 3/8” wide, so you can use that for a handy guide!

Width of a pencil is “just right” for the stitch length

Step 5. Pull on thread to gather circle tightly, distributing folds evenly. Tie off thread securely with double knot.

Scrunch it up!

Step 6. Tah-DAH! You didn’t need to buy any special tools or crappy plastic widgets AND you can now make ANY size you want! Doesn’t that feel great?

Now make about a zillion of them!

Use this technique in making this cute Mrs. Claus Holiday Pillow!
Warm Stitches,
Sewfie

How To Make Perfect Fabric Baby Blocks

You can make cute fabric baby blocks from a foam cube and six fabric squares. We used 4″ foam and an adorable fabric panel called “Baby Geniuses Grow Up!” by Linda Carlson & Diana Henage from Benartex. You can get the 4″ foam from any “big box” fabric store like JoAnn or just about any place that sells Home Dec fabrics. The green stuff is the “high density” foam – it’s more expensive but it makes a much firmer block that will hold up to lots of slobbering.

You can make these cute fabric baby blocks!

You can make these cute fabric baby blocks!

One 5/8 yard panel has 30 colorful squares (enough to make 5 blocks) featuring letters of the alphabet and adorable cartoon animals. You could also use the 3″ number squares to make smaller number blocks.

Baby Geniuses Grow Up! 5/8 yard panel

Baby Geniuses Grow Up! 5/8 yard panel

You can use any size foam, simply cut your fabric squares 1/2″ wider than your foam. You can cut your foam block to shape using any sharp kitchen knife. For best results, use long, slow strokes in one direction.

Materials: 4" foam cube and six 4.5" fabric squares

Materials: 4″ foam cube and six 4.5″ fabric squares

Note: To make nice square corners, do not stitch all the way to the edge of the fabric. Be sure to start and stop stitching 1/4″ from all edges.

Sew in 1/4" seam allowances

Sew in 1/4″ seam allowances

Sew six squares into cross shape

Sew six squares into cross shape

So far... so good!

So far… so good!

Fold bottom on diagonal, then sew each of the four side seams

Fold the bottom square on a diagonal angle, then sew the side seam (where scissors are pointing). Repeat for each of the four side seams

Now you have a box with a flap top

Now you have a box with a flap top

Sew two sides of the top flap, leave one side open

Sew two sides of the top flap, leave one side open

Turn right side out and square corners gently with chopstick

Turn right side out and square corners gently with chopstick

Squeeze foam cube through opening

Squeeze foam cube through opening

Stitch opening shut

Stitch opening shut

Finished!

Finished!

Baby approves!

Baby approves!

New Patterns at Sew Fun!

New at Sew Fun, Halloween Trick o’ Treat Tote Bags in 6 fun designs: Zombie, Jack o’ Lantern, Werewolf Alien, Black Cat and Ghost! Whip one (or two) up in an evening for your little demons!

Trick o’ Treat Bags from Sew Fun – Black Cat, Werewolf, Alien and Ghost

Zombie and Jack o’ Lantern Halloween Tote bags

How to Make Table Scraps Coasters

Dear Sewfie,

I can’t bring myself to throw any any scrap of fabric, no matter how small. I’ve even gone through the trash after my kids clean up from a sewing project (shocking but true… they sometimes do clean up), re-claiming even the tiniest swatch that may be “still good for something”. As a result, every work surface in my sewing room is drowning in a sea of scraps… my sewing machine table, my cutting table, the book cases, even my knick-knack shelves… all covered in piles of scraps. What can I do with all of this without throwing them away?

Scrappy

Dear Scrappy,

This easy, fun project will justify your obsessive frugality AND will make a whole stack of fun little gifts and craft fair fodder!

Table Scraps Coasters

Make these cute coasters out of scraps lying round your cutting table

Materials & Supplies

  • Random fabric scraps from your cutting table, totaling about 12″ square
  • 12″ square fabric for backing (or 4 different 6″ squares)
  • 9″ square of heavy weight interfacing such as Timtex or Pelon Peltex
  • Masking tape
  • Yield: makes 4 coasters

Collect your scraps

Pick different colors and prints. Don’t be afraid of combinations you may think “don’t go together”.

Trim scraps

Using rotary cutter, trim the edges of your scraps. You don’t have to make perfect squares: try uneven strips for that “scrappy” look.

Sew Together

Stitch scraps together until you have an assembly at least 4.25″ x 4.25″ or larger. Press.

Line up template

Make a 4.25″ x 4.25″ template by marking your quilting ruler with masking tape.

Cut to size

Using your taped “window” as a guide, position your template over your fabric. Experiment with different angles. Cut your fabric to a 4.25″ x 4.25″ block by cutting one side, then rotating template 90 degrees. Repeat to cut all four sides. This is your coaster top.

Stitch to interfacing

Cut the heavy weight interfacing into four 4.25″ x 4.25″ blocks. Using a long basting stitch, machine sew coaster top to one square of interfacing using a scant 1/4″ seam.

Self-binding

Cut backing fabric into 5.75″ x 5.75″ squares. Place backing fabric right side down. Position coaster top right side up in the center of one backing square. Pin. Finish by self-binding with mitered corners. Click here for complete illustrated instructions on Self-Binding and How to Make Mitered Corners.

Enjoy!

This Table Scrap Coaster is working hard at a U.S. Army Nanotechnology lab, keeping its owner’s desk dry and looking stylish to boot!

You could totally make a dozen of these
Warm Stitches,
Sewfie