When Pins Revolt

This post has moved to our new website!  Check it out over here:  http://theecosewist.com/2015/10/21/the-revolting-pin/

We’ll see you over there!!


Pillowcase Challenge

Have you heard of the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge?  If not, here it is:


Just create a pillowcase to donate to charity and log it on the website.

Here’s a simple pillowcase tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company to get you started : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrYWCma9wgM&list=WL&index=62

Go on, now!  Get sewing.    See you next time!


My New Serger!

Words can’t describe how excited I am to finally own a serger!!!  After weeks of deliberating with my husband over whether or not I should invest in a serger, I finally found one and purchased it on Saturday!

I spent a couple of weeks researching and watching Craigslist to see what I could find.  On Friday night, I decided on a make and model I wanted.  So I began a thorough internet search.  And that search turned up an even better deal.  Instead of the Brother 1034D, I found a Juno by Janome 3434D on sale at Hancock fabrics.   After asking several friends about this machine (one of them has the same one!) I decided it was the machine for me.

Saturday afternoon we made our way to Hancock Fabrics (with both kids in tow) and purchased my machine.  Just yesterday Mary Anne (my former sewing instructor) came by and helped thread it.  It works beautifully and I am so excited to really learn to use it.

If you have a serger and have any tips, please leave them in the comments below!


Up-cycled Toddler Dress

A cute picture of a little girl’s dress made from an up-cycled men’s dress shirt was floating around Facebook a few weeks ago.  Someone at church asked if I could make it for her daughter.

So I bought a few dress shirts on sale at a local thrift store and began to sew away.  The first dress looked like a pillow case dress-not the look I was going for.  But it was cute.  The second dress looked better-I used a pattern I have but made it too small.  The third dress came out much better.  I intend to have my daughter wear the third dress so I’ll make some slight alterations to it.

After trying the three practice dresses, I was ready to cut into the shirt I was given.   I asked the girl’s mom if she had a dress that fit her daughter well.  She had one and was nice enough to let me take it home to make the pattern.  Using the dress as a guide, I cut out a pretty cute dress from the shirt.  The dress isn’t finished yet.  I still have to create the elastic casing around the neckline and the arms.  I hope to finish this dress today.  I promise to post a picture of the finished dress.

What are you working on today?


Homemade Freezer Paper

Freezer Paper.  Wax Paper.  Are they the same?  No, not really.  Wax paper has a waxy coating on both sides of the paper.  Freezer paper has a shiny/waxy side and a paper side.

I want to create my own tags for my handmade items and I began my search the other day.  I found a tutorial  on YouTube on how do to this.  (It really works, by the way!).  In the tutorial, freezer paper was used.  I don’t have any on hand and didn’t want to run to the store.  I needed to make two labels for some rice bags I made for someone.

So I set out to find out if you could make your own.  And I found out the hard way that wax paper is not the same as freezer paper.  It just doesn’t iron onto anything.  I found a way to make my own using items I already have on hand:  computer paper (I’m sure almost any paper would work, but I used it because it was handy) and a plastic trash bag (unused, of course!).  I used a white trash bag.  The tutorial I found said to use a black one.  It worked well with the white bag though.

If you want to make your own freezer paper, I’ll show you how!

Supplies Needed:


  • Plastic Trash Bag (Again, I used a White one)
  • Paper
  • Iron and Ironing Board
  • Press Cloth (I use a scrap piece of fabric)

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First, cut your plastic bag to fit your piece of paper.  I used a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11.  I cut the bag slightly smaller than my piece of paper.

Next, place your press cloth on the ironing board and put the piece of plastic down (first picture).  Make sure to smooth out the wrinkles as best as you can.  Then, place your piece of paper on top of it; I made sure the plastic was centered on top of the plastic bag piece (second picture).

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Cover the piece of paper with the press cloth to protect the paper from burning.


With your dry iron set at about medium heat (I think I set mine to 5), begin to iron.  I start from the center of the piece of paper and work out, although I don’t know that you have to do it that way.


Iron until the plastic is melted onto the paper.


You can check periodically and see if it’s all adhered to the paper.  If it’s not, just cover it back up and iron down that part.


Voila!  You’re done!  Wasn’t that easy?  I’m on a mission (along with many other things this week) to make a lot of this paper.  It will come in handy for making those fabric labels and for transferring patterns to the freezer paper so I can iron them into place on my fabric (no pinning required!).

Do you use freezer paper?  Let me know if you give this a try!





Little Girl’s Dress

My last post promised updates of the McCall’s Purse pattern I was working on.   The truth is simple:  I haven’t had time to work on the purse because I have my first custom order!  I was asked to create a pillow case dress for a little girl and a dress made from a men’s dress shirt.  I’ve been busy working on both!

The men’s shirt dress looked simple enough.  I figured I’d get that one down on the first try!  The pillow case dress looked simple enough, but for some reason it appeared to be more difficult than it really is.

Instead of showcasing the progress I’ve made on the purse, I’ll share pictures of the two dresses that are finished (these are practice dresses I made for my daughter; not the dresses for my customer). Whether or not my daughter will actually wear them, I don’t know!.




Of the two dresses pictured, I like the purple one best.  The other dress is made from an upcycled  women’s dress shirt.  I wasn’t sure of how to create the neckline so I created a casing and added ribbon using a safety pin.

The (wo)men’s dress shirt dress is a work in progress.  Yesterday I cut out a new dress using a pattern I already have.  The dress seems to be coming together well.  I forgot that dress pattern sizes are different than the clothing we purchase in the store.  Therefore, the dress is too small for my daughter.    (I’m going to create another practice dress before making “the real one”).

If you’ve created a dress from a man’s dress shirt, let me know how you did the neckline!  I’d love to know how to finish this project up.