Zipper Bag with Bound Seams

sewing how to from Whitney Sews

This week I have a fun project to share! I recently picked up a set of tinker type toys at the thrift store for my youngest daughter (She LOVES working with her hands).  One of my favorite things to create are all sorts of bags for my kids to keep their toys organized.  Drawstring bags to hold wooden animals, zipper bags to store game pieces and more.  So I definitely I wanted to create a set of bags to hold all these new pieces.  The idea popped in my mind to make a tote bag with zipper top (which is one of my highest requested tutorials and next week’s project!).  Since there are a TON of smaller plastic connector pieces it seemed like a good idea to make a separate bag to hold those as well.

This week’s tutorial is the smaller lined zipper bag with bound seams.  This means all the seam allowances inside the bag are bound with bias tape.  It’s inspired by my 5 Minute Zipper Bag and the lined version that incorporated french seams.  The french seams add quite a bit of bulk to the edges of the bag, so this time I tried out binding them instead.  Cuts out all the bulk and finishes the raw edges so nicely.  Some of you may be wondering why I love this style of zipper bags so much instead of lining them in the traditional method, that is because I like making sure the lining won’t be moving around and trying to come out each time the bag is dumped over.

Pick out the two (or three) fabrics you want to use and grab some seam binding (or make your own using THIS tutorial) and cut out the pieces using the measurements listed below.

Whitney Sews Tutorial

Now you’re ready to sew the bag together!  Watch the full how to HERE!

I would love to see pics of the bags (and other projects you make) so make sure to share them on the Whitney Sews Facebook page or on Instagram with #WhitneySews.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Sew Your Stash – Spring Update

I will be completely honest with you all, I have lost my sewing mojo!  This happens to me once or twice a year because of the quantity of projects I have to come up with to put out a new tutorial every week.  Usually it is creative burn out where I can’t come up with a single creative thought.  However that isn’t my current problem.  For the past couple of weeks I’ve been mentally exhausted between potty training (pray for me), having a vehicle break down beyond repair, trying to get our old house sold, and more.  When I finally get a few minutes to sew I have no desire to start a new project.  So this week instead of a new sewing tutorial I decided it was best if I shared a Sew Your Stash update instead.

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.

It’s a good thing I keep a running list of items I make using my stash because I had definitely already forgotten a few of these.  In the last three months I managed to use some pleather, leather, corduroy, a weird monkey fabric, and a whole lot more (plus several cute fabrics!).

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!

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!



Drawstring Project Bag | Sewing How to

Sewing How to
I am OBSESSED with this bag!  I love the way it has the shape of a fabric bin, but is really a drawstring bag with handles.  The best part is all the things I can carry in the bag.  I always hear about crafters taking knitting, embroidery, and other projects with them, but I never have a project to take when I’m out and about.  I would like to get in the habit of having ongoing projects or small mending I can take on the go and this will (hopefully) be my new drawstring project bag.

The secret to the “fabric bin” look is selecting an outer fabric that has a nice bit of structure on its own.  Something like an upholstery fabric or a medium weight denim would work well.  If you don’t have a heavier fabric to use, another option is to use a fusible fleece or fusible foam with a cotton fabric.  HERE is my favorite fusible fleece and HERE is my favorite fusible foam!  Fuse the stabilizer to the fabric before starting to sew then make the bag the same as shown in the tutorial.

Whitney Sews
You’re probably thinking this bag looks complicated to make with a ton of pieces in all different sizes.  I am happy to report that is incorrect!  The entire bag (excluding the straps) is made of six pieces that are ALL the same size!  No complicated numbers or odd pieces to keep sorted out.  If only every project could be that straight forward!  Pick out the two (or three) fabrics you want to use and cut out the pieces using the measurements listed below.

Whitney Sews

Now you’re ready to sew the bag together!  As long as you follow my step-by-step tutorial it really is not hard to make.  In the video I also show how to make an insert for the bottom of the bag. Watch the full how to HERE!

I would LOVE to see the bags you make!  Please share your pics from this or any other Whitney Sews tutorial on my facebook page or using #WhitneySews on Instagram.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


ISpy Bag Tutorial

from Whitney Sews

Many years ago I made something called an ISpy Bag for a Whitney Sews tutorial.  I saved the ISpy bag until I had kids and they loved playing with it for quite a while.  That bag met a terrible fate (the corner of a tile step) and I thought it would be fun to make another one using some different techniques. So that is what I’m sharing today.

If you don’t already know, an Ispy bag is a pouch with a clear vinyl window in the front.  It is filled with some sort of filler (rice, plastic pellets, beads, etc) along with little trinkets the person can try to find inside.  They are great for young children who need something to keep their hands and minds busy (but to be honest, I love playing with them too!)

My original ISpy bag was unfinished inside and those raw edges could be seen through the vinyl.  I’m sure I’m the only person it ever bothered, but I found it very annoying!  So my main goal with this bag was to find a way to fully finish the inside and outside…and I succeeded!

This bag is PERFECT for using fabric scraps!

You will need to cut the following pieces

Front Top/Bottom - (2 outer and 2 lining) 4 x 1.5 inches
Front Sides - (2 outer and 2 lining) 5 x 1.5 inches
Vinyl - (1) 4 x 4 inches
Backing - (1 outer and 1 lining) 5 x 5 inches

Once all your pieces are cut you are ready to sew.  Watch my step by step sewing tutorial HERE!

I put my ISpy bag in our car kit so my kids can enjoy it while we’re driving to and from town (longer distance now that we live rurally!).  I’ll be sharing everything in our car kit this Friday on my vlog channel.  You can subscribe now (HERE) so you don’t miss the video when it comes out!  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


One Hour Blanket

Whitney Sews Tutorial
Let’s be honest, there are times when even the most skilled sewer wants (or needs) to make a quick and easy project.  Maybe it’s a last minute baby shower gift or just a cozy blanket to keep on the couch.  Today I’m showing how you can make a One Hour Blanket.

Most fabric stores have super cute preprinted or presewn panels.  They can be finished like a quilt with a batting, backing, and binding or they can finished like a blanket with a soft backing fabric.  I picked up one of the panels on clearance at Wal-Mart a while back along with a fleece blanket for the backing.  From start to finish it took less than an hour for a blanket that looks like it took a LOT longer.

You don’t have to just use preprinted panels!  You can use an cute fabric you like or even a top you’ve pieced and don’t want to quilt.  I use this same method for finishing my t-shirt “quilts”.

Whitney Sews Tutorial

Click HERE to watch and see just how easy it is to make a blanket!

What is your favorite under an hour project?  Besides this style of blanket I also love whipping up zipper bags and drawstring bags because they have so many uses.  You can find some of my favorites HERE!

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


Flying Geese | Sampler Sew Along

Sampler Sew Along - Block of the Month Quilt Series
It’s time for the tenth 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 Flying Geese block.  This block is very important historically because it was used to help guide escaping slaves in the underground railroad.

Sampler Sew Along

I share the step-by-step instructions for sewing the Flying Geese 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!


Reusable Produce Bags

Tutorial from Whitney Sews

One of my favorite parts of summer is all the delicious, fresh produce!  But one thing I don’t love are the plastic produce bags.  They tear sooooo easily and I end up with so many.  I decided to start making my own reusable produce bags.  I can pop the fresh fruits and veggies into the bags at the store or farmers market (take everything out for weighting) and not have to deal with all those little plastic bags.

I have some double gauze fabric in my stash that I’ve been wanting to try out.  It was interesting to sew with because of how the fabric is woven and I like the look and feel of the finished bag, but I’m not sure how long it will last before the fabric starts ripping around the stitches.  For the rest of my bags I think I’ll stick to basic cotton.

Speaking of stitches, the produce bags are sewn with french seams and a double turned top edge so there are no raw edges inside or out.  So these bags can be tossed in the wash whenever needed without any worry about fraying.

Check out the step by step video tutorial HERE!

I’m far from perfect when it comes to waste, but I’m always looking for things I can reuse – cutting back on cost and trash.  Currently I use cloth menstrual pads, compost my kitchen scraps and old papers, purchase second hand clothing, and donate unused items.

Looking for other fabric/DIY low waste alternatives??  I have a playlist full of tutorials from unpaper towels to cloth pads that you can check out HERE!

BTW did you hear the exciting news from last week?!?  I got a package from youTube!  Want to see what’s inside??  You can see the unboxing HERE!

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



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!