Drawstring Bag with Circle Bottom

Whitney Sews Tutorial
I’ve been wanting to make this bag for so long, but to be honest, the math intimidated me.  Once I realized there were some easy formulas to follow to figure out the circle size and body size I jumped right in!  I guess those algebra and geometry classes really did have a purpose… This week I’m showing step by step how to sew a drawstring bag with a circle bottom.

There is a PDF that goes along with the video tutorial that covers the needed supplies, cutting details, and a worksheet with everything you need to customize the bag to any size you want!  You can find the PDF HERE or on Patreon as a reward for all my second tier and higher patrons.

One of the supplies covered in the PDF is fusible foam used in the bottom of the bag.

This helps the bag stand up ALL ON ITS OWN and hold just about anything you want to put inside.

Whitney Sews sewing how to
Some of you are probably wondering if a bag like this is hard to sew, especially if you’ve only sewn projects with straight seams. If you sew slowly and adjust the fabrics often to make sure they stay lined up it really isn’t difficult.  It’s a great project to practice curves because it’s gradual and consistent.

Check out the step by step tutorial HERE!

I would love to hear what you would use this bag for and what I should keep in mine!

That is all I have for this week, I’ll be back next Wednesday with another sewing how to.  Until then, Happy Sewing!


So Many Updates!

Last weekend we took a quick trip up to Branson for a little vacation at Silver Dollar City…basically my favorite place on Earth.  I didn’t have time to film a new tutorial, but that’s OK because I have a lot of updates to share.

It has been 6 weeks since I injured my finger.  Haven’t heard how that happened? Check out that video HERE!  I show how my finger is healing, talk about my new Patreon page, share some projects I’m planning and more.  PLUS I announce some giveaways!

Check it all out in this week’s video HERE!

*Make sure to leave your entry comment on the youTube page and not here on my website to be entered*

I’ll be back next week with a new sewing tutorial.  Until then, Happy Sewing!



Tiered Girls Skirt

Whitney Sews how to
One thing I love doing as my girls get older is making some of their birthday party decorations.  I had some polka dot and Minnie Mouse fabric out to make a fabric bunting (using THIS tutorial) and starting thinking they would make a really cute skirt.  I decided on a tiered skirt from two of the fabrics and I’m going to show you how easy it was to make.

I wanted the skirt to have two tiers in different heights so there would be the nice contrast from the darker top tier, but it wouldn’t be overpowering.  Below I’ll have some info on how you can figure out the measurements to best suit the child you are making the skirt for.

I find it easiest to use the full width of the fabric from selvage to selvage for each piece in the skirt.  This takes out a lot of extra measuring and cutting and eliminates fabric waste.  This method works for any waist/hip size from about 18 to 30 inches.  The top tier is one WOF (width of fabric) strip and the bottom tier is two WOF strips.  This allows for some nice gathers where the two tiers attach.  If you want the skirt to really poof out you can try three WOF strips for the second tier.

Now for a little bit of math.  Decide how long you want the finished skirt to be, then decide the finished height of each tier.   The top tier on my skirt finishes at 4 inches and the bottom at 9 inches making the finished skirt 13 inches long.

  • Add 2.25 to the top tier’s finished height (to allow for the double turned elastic casing and seam allowance).
  • Add 2 inches to the bottom tier’s finished height (to allow for the double fold hem and seam allowance).

So in my case the top tier was a piece cut 6.25 inches by the WOF and the bottom is two pieces cut 11 inches by the WOF.

Now that the math is out of the way click HERE for the step by step skirt tutorial!

Not going to lie…I did bribe my daughter with a piece of candy to get these pics 😉  But she looks so stinking cute that it was worth it!  If you make a skirt from this tutorial I would love to see a pic.  You can share them on my Facebook page or on Instagram using #WhitneySews

Until next time, Happy Sewing!


EASY T-Shirt Quilt

Whitney Sews Tutorial

My youngest daughter just turned 3 years old and she LOVES Minnie Mouse!  She requested a Minnie Mouse birthday party and I wanted to make something special for her gift.  I had spent years collecting Mickey and Minnie Mouse shirts for other projects (that never happened) so I decided to finally put them to use in a t-shirt quilt.

I made a t-shirt quilt for my husband a couple of years ago and to be honest it took a LOT of math!  I cut each shirt to a size that suited the design (instead of cutting them all to the same size EX – 12 inch squares) and I didn’t include any other material in the quilt top.  You can find that t-shirt quilt tutorial HERE!
I happen to enjoy doing math sometimes, but I know not everyone does.  So for the Minnie quilt I decided to try improve piecing.  Improve piecing is where you add fabric to a project without it being precut or measured.   It can be whatever shape and size you want.  For my quilt I did have particular areas I wanted certain fabrics to fill, so I made sure each piece was larger than needed and cut down to fit after sewing.

Whitney Sews tutorial

I wasn’t sure if I would like this quilt as much since it doesn’t focus solely on the t-shirts, but I love it and so does my daughter!  You can see the step by step tutorial HERE!

Which t-shirt quilt style do you prefer?  The one that only uses t-shirts or the one with filler fabric mixed in with the shirts?  I prefer the first for school/convention/sports shirts because it really shows off those milestones and memories.  Whereas the second nicely displays large character graphics and allows the low volume filler fabrics to break it up a bit.

I hope you enjoyed the t-shirt quilt tutorial!  I will be back next week with another new sewing tutorial and until then, happy sewing!


Crystal Star | Sampler Sew Along

Sampler Sew Along - Block of the Month Quilt Series

It’s time for the ninth block tutorial in the Whitney Sews Sampler Sew Along!  Haven’t heard about it yet?!?  Each month I’ll be sharing a step by step tutorial to make a traditional quilt block as well as how to sew the blocks together to create a sampler style quilt that finishes in a great lap quilt/baby quilt size. This week I’m sharing a tutorial for the Crystal Star block.  This one dates back to 1934.

Whitney Sews

I share the step-by-step instructions for sewing the Crosses and Losses block HERE!

Don’t forget to share a pic of your finished block with #SamplerSewAlong so we all see it!

I hope you are enjoying the quilt-a-long as much as I am!  Until next time, Happy Sewing!



Drawstring Leather Pouch | EASY How to

How to from Whitney Sews

On of our favorite yearly traditions is to attend the local Medieval Faire in the Spring.  We have gone together as a family for the past nine years.  Each year we come home from a weekend of fun inspired to create many new projects.  One of the first projects I dove into making was a drawstring leather pouch.

Any time we dress up in costumes (which is ANY time there is a reason) we are trying to figure out where to keep a phone, chapstick, or keys.  These simple leather pouches solve that problem for our Medieval/Viking inspired costumes.  They aren’t 100% historically accurate, but neither is the rest of our costumes 😉

I dug through my leather stash (and what a large stash it is!) and found several different kinds of leather, only a couple of which will work for a bag in this style.  Before the sewing tutorial actually starts I share several different leathers to give an example of how they look and feel so anyone making a bag can find the right kind of leather.

Another factor in selecting your material will be size.  I made a basic pattern for my bag that measures 8 inches wide and 8 1/4 inches long with the bottom two edges slightly rounded to give the pouch a nice round bottom.  Two pieces will need to be cut from that pattern along with two strips of leather 3/8 inch by about 18 inches long.  But feel free to make the bag in any shape/size you like.  There is only one seam to sew in the entire bag making it a perfect first project for anyone new to sewing leather.

Ok, enough chit chat – click HERE to watch the entire tutorial!

There you have it!  A super simple project with lots of costume (and non costuming) uses.  I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and until next time, Happy Sewing!


Storytime: How I Cut Off Part of My Finger

Well, this is not a story I ever expected to be sharing, but I ended up in the ER two weekends ago because I cut off part of my finger!  Since it was a sewing related incident and something that will be noticeable in future videos, I thought it was fitting to share.  I tell the entire story from the start in my video HERE!

In the video I mentioned having a photo of the piece I cut off.  I’ve posted the image to my website as a hidden file for anyone who truly wants to see it.  ONLY CLICK THIS LINK IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE PIECE THAT WAS CUT OFF!

I’ll have my regular weekly sewing tutorial up this Saturday, so make sure to come back for that.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


This entry was posted in Blog.

Sew Your Stash – Winter Update

It’s time again for another Sew Your Stash update!  Today I’ll be sharing the progress I’ve made toward using my fabric stash over the past few months.  If you aren’t familiar with the Whitney Sews Sew Your Stash Challenge you can find out more about it HERE!  It’s a challenge I set for myself to focus on using the fabrics and supplies from my stash before buying new.  I extended the challenge to anyone else who has their own fabrics stash and wants to join in.  I have lots of projects to share today so let’s get started!

I focused on sewing a lot of things for my kids and projects that will help us keep our house/toys more organized.  I realized I have a lot of fabrics that my kids would enjoy, so I’m trying to come up with useful items to make with them.  You can see everything I made HERE!

What is your favorite item shown in the video? I would love to know!

Don’t forget you can join the Sew Your Stash facebook group to share the projects you are making from your stash.

BTW do you do any online shopping!? Did you know you can use that shopping to help support the Whitney Sews content you enjoy?!?

If you are shopping through Amazon I would love for you to use my Amazon referral link. By clicking the link first (then continue to shop on Amazon as normal) Amazon knows I referred you and sends me a small percentage. That money goes right back into creating high quality sewing tutorials for you to enjoy!

Another easy way to support Whitney Sews is through Ebates (and save yourself money at the same time!). Ebates allows you to save money by shopping online on different sites from etsy to walmart as well as booking travel reservations online (we saved a ton on our last Branson trip by booking through Ebates) and much more. If you haven’t signed up for Ebates and want to try it out please consider using my referral link. By using my link and making a qualifying purchase I earn a bonus for referring you and that goes right back to creating sewing content for you.

I greatly appreciate your support in any form, from using my referral links to sharing my videos with your friends!

Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Tab Top Curtains | Sewing How to

Sewing Tutorial from Whitney Sews

Since we bought our new house at the end of January we have been needing a curtain to separate the master bedroom and bathroom.  There is a doorway, but no door as I showed in our empty house tour.  We have had the curtain rod up for two months, but no curtain.  I finally found a fabric I liked (and for a great price!) and made us a custom tab top curtain.  I wanted the curtain to look great from the front and back since it will be seen from both sides.  So today I’ll be showing how to make a tab top curtain.

The secret to having a nicely finished curtain is the facing.  It’s a strip of fabric at the top of the back that hides away all the raw edges of the tabs.  I also left the selvage edges on both sides because I like how they look and it keeps the reverse side from look too much like the “wrong” side.

I cut the facing at 5 inches by the width of the fabric and each tab to 6 inches by 11 inches.  I left the remaining yardage whole so the curtain could be trimmed and hemmed after the tabs were sewn on and it was hung up.  I loved making the curtain this way because it can be very difficult to cut a large piece of fabric to just the right length.

You can see just how easy this curtain is to make in my step by step tutorial HERE!

I have several more curtains to make for our house and plan on making many of them this same way.  Let me know what kinds of home decor projects you would like to see here on Whitney Sews.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Curved Top Zipper Bag

Sewing how to from Whitney Sews
I was scrolling through Instagram a while back and saw a zipper bag that had a curved top and what I thought to be a curved front pocket.  I realized later it was not actually a front pocket, but was in fact just a decorative seam mimicking the top curve.  Afterwards I was determined to make the bag I thought I had seen in the photo – with a curved top zipper and a front pocket with a matching curve.  I had never made a zipper bag with a curved top, so this was a fun project to design and make.

Before starting your curved top zipper bag you will need to make a pattern.  I made a quick pattern to test the design, assuming I would need to tweek the pattern and I would film making the new one.  Buuuuut the original pattern worked out and I didn’t need to make a new one. But it’s not hard at all, so I’ll walk you through it.

Grab two pieces of 8.5 x 11 inch printer paper.  Trim a quarter inch off each so they are 8.5 x 10.75 inches.  On one sheet measure up 1.5 inches from the bottom (long) edge and draw a gradual curve from the bottom to the mark 1.5 inches up.  Fold the paper in half and cut along the marked curve to make sure the curve is symmetrical.  Tape the curved piece to the top edge of the larger piece and you have your pattern.

Whitney Sews

Use the pattern to cut two bag outers and two bag linings.  Then fold the bottom two inches of the pattern up so the shortest side measures 6.5 inches and cut two pocket pieces.

I used fusible interfacing on my bag outer and pocket pieces, but in hindsight I should have used fusible fleece.  I love the fusible fleece from Pellon and definitely recommend it.  Here’s the link if you want to check it out.  It’s an affiliate, so anything purchased through it goes to help support future Whitney Sews tutorials.

After the pieces are cut and fused you are ready to start sewing following my step by step tutorial.  Click HERE to watch!

What kinds of zipper bags do you like to make and want more tutorials on??  I love bags with boxed bottoms so they stand up on their own and hold more items.  Well, that’s it for today.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!