Handmade Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Whitney Sews

It’s that time of year again! Time for my Handmade Holiday Gift Guide.  I love sharing ideas for projects you can make and gift this holiday season.  Every single project mentioned has a corresponding step-by-step tutorial already posted to my youTube channel. The list includes ideas for the men, women, and children in you life, as well as some reusable gift bag options.

Check out all the gift ideas HERE!

Like any of the projects shown in the video?!?  The tutorials are all together in a playlist you can watch HERE!

I would love to know what you are making to give this holiday season.  Let me know in the comments down below.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!



Reversible Bowl Cozy

Easy How to from Whitney Sews

A couple of months ago I was sent a package by a sweet lady named Leslie. She had made a couple of things for me and sent over some pretty fabrics as well as a pattern for her reversible bowl cozies. I showed all the goodies in an unboxing HERE!  Several people asked to see a tutorial for the bowl cozy, so that is what I’m sharing today.

Whitney Sews

The cozies are easy to make and only take a few supplies.

After you’ve picked out your two fabrics, a fusible fleece (this is my favorite), and a coordinating thread, you’re ready to make the pattern.

The pattern is a 10.5 by 10.5 inch square.  Draw a line through the center (at 5.25 inches) in each direction.  Then mark 2 inches down on each center line and 2 inches away from the center on the outside lines.  Connect those markings to form a triangle.  Round off the outer edges and your pattern is ready.

How to from Whitney Sews
Now you’re ready to make the cozy. Watch the step-by-step sewing pattern HERE!

These cozies are NOT microwave safe because they are not made of 100% natural fibers.  Use them to hold food that has already been heated on the stove.  If you want to make a cozy that is microwave safe make sure to use cotton fabric, cotton thread, and Wrap n Zap instead of fusible interfacing.  You can find Wrap n Zap HERE!

BTW these cozies also work perfectly for bowls of ice cream too!  Gotta keep those fingers from getting too cold while you enjoy a snack.

Will you be giving this project a try??  If so I would love to see a pic!  Please share using #WhitneySews on instragram or directly to the Whitney Sews facebook page.

Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Sew Your Stash – Fall 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 kiddos – from pillowcases to bags to organize toys and supplies to, of course, Halloween costumes.  I also managed to make a few things for myself and even one for Jeremiah.  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.

Are you going to be doing any online shopping for the holidays?!? 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!


Road to Oklahoma | Sampler Sew Along

Sampler Sew Along - Block of the Month Quilt Series

It’s time for the seventh 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 Road to Oklahoma block.

Sampler Sew Along
I share the step-by-step instructions for sewing the Road to Oklahoma 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 Bag with Contrast Casing

Easy sewing how to

Last week I shared a tutorial for easy lined drawstring bags.  I got a request for a drawstring bag with contrast casing at the top.  So that is exactly what I’m showing how to make today!

I’ve been working on a 1950s style pleated skirt using this adorable Christmas plaid.  I had a few scraps left and knew they would make an adorable, reusable gift bag!  I pulled a couple of other holiday fabrics and ribbon from my stash and was ready to sew.
The bag body finishes approximately 8 x 9.5 inches (uncenched).  Below are the measurements I used-

You can make a bag in any size you like to suit your needs.  Decide on your finished bag size (accounting for ease and dimension of the items that will be inside) and add a half inch to the height and width for seam allowances.  The casing pieces are cut to the exact width you want the bag to finish by 2.5 inches.  This will work for ribbons 3/8 to 5/8 inches wide.  After the pieces are cut you are ready to sew!

Watch the full step-by-step tutorial HERE!

After last week’s post I made two more bags to hold Peyton and Skyler’s wooden animal sets.  I selected fabrics I knew the girls would like. Lined Drawstring Bag DIYI’m having so much fun making drawstring bags that I’m considering making some for everyone on our Christmas gift list.  So if I make bags for Christmas gifts should I use holiday prints or fabrics that suit each person’s tastes?  With the later type it’s more likely the bags would be used year round.

I would love to know if you use traditional wrapping paper and boxes for gift giving or reusable options? With reusable options do you personalize them for the receiver to use in other ways or prefer them to be used as wrapping again the next year??

Well, that is it for today.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


1940s Inspired Thrift Haul

Thrift store clothing haul

This week I hit the thrift store on half price day and found tons of great items!  They fit perfectly into my 1940s inspired wardrobe!  Since so many of you are leaving sweet comments about my vintage style I wanted to share the thrift store haul today.   Want to know more about my journey into vintage?  Check out the video HERE!

When we go to the thrift store we usually start near the craft area to see if there are any good sewing patterns.  That is directly across from the toys so that keeps the kids occupied for a few minutes.  Then we swing around to the shoes and accessories, and finally over to the linens/fabric area.  This trip we hit all the usual areas plus the sweaters and shirts and didn’t find a single thing.  I thought we were going to leave without buying anything (which is pretty unusual for me).  Then I decided to run by the trousers- an area I don’t typically have much luck in.  But this day I hit the jackpot!

I found an amazing pair of plaid, high-waisted vintage (1980s?) trousers that are actually long enough for me!  They are exactly what I’ve been wanting!  I wasn’t sure if I already owned anything that would match the trousers, so I wanted to pick up something while I was still at the store.  I headed back to the sweaters and found one that was perfect!  Then it seemed every aisle I went down had something else I loved and I ended up leaving with a large bag full of clothes I love!

Check out everything I picked up HERE!

I love every thing I bought and can’t wait to get them all washed up to wear!  What was your favorite thing I picked up??

I’ll be back Wednesday with another new tutorial!  Until then, Happy Sewing!



Lined Drawstring Bag – 30 Minute DIY

Easy sewing DIY
My mom and I both own several vintage sewing machines.  We obviously can’t have all of them out and in use all the time.  So my mom made drawstring bags for us to store the extra cords and foot pedals in.  I thought it was such a neat idea!  I have made some drawstring bags in the past, but wanted to try out some different styles.

This week I made bags in two different sizes.  Instead of a ribbon casing at the very top, the casing is two inches down creating a gathered embellishment when the bag is closed.

The smaller bag can easily fit a pint size mason jar and the larger bag can hold a quart size jar.  I’m picturing jars of apple butter and cookie mixes for gift giving, but obviously the bags can be used to hold anything you want!

To make your bags pick out two coordinating cotton fabrics and matching ribbon.  Select which size you want your bag to be and cut the pieces using the measurements listed below.

You can whip up a bag in only 30 minutes using my step-by-step tutorial HERE!

Will you be making some of these drawstring bags??  I have a feeling as soon as my daughters see them I will have to make several more in cute kid prints for all their games and toys!

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


The Seamstress Tag


A couple of months ago I came across The Crafty Pinup’s version of The Seamstress Tag on her youTube channel.  It’s a fun tag to get to know seamstresses better. So this week I wanted to answer the 12 questions in the tag myself.  I hope you enjoy the video and learning a little more about me.

I was not actually tagged to make this video (as far as I know), but it was fun to make anyway.  The seamstress tag questions will be listed below if you want to do the tag as well.  If you do make sure to tag me or send me your link and also use #theseamstresstag.

Check out my answers HERE!


So did any of my answers surprise you??  Did you learn something new about me??

Tag Questions:
1) Who are you?
2) When & why did you start sewing?
3) What is your favorite or proudest make?
4) What is your most disastrous make?
5) Where is your favorite place to go fabric shopping?
6) What is your most used pattern?
7) Your most dreaded sewing task is…
8) And your favorite sewing task?
9) What is your favorite ‘sewing entertainment’?
10) Printed or PDF?
11) What sewing machine do you use?
12) Do you have any other hobbies?


I’ll be back on Wednesday with another new sewing tutorial! Until then, Happy Sewing!


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Halloween Costumes – Pattern Review, Fabric Haul, and More

Simplicity 1035 Pattern Review

My daughter Peyton has been obsessed with Batman since she met OKC Batman last year.  So it was no surprise that she wanted to be Batman-girl (not Batgirl) for Halloween.  I found Simplicity 1035 and she loved it and convinced Skyler to dress up as Wonder Woman.  This year I set to work making some awesome superhero Halloween costumes for my daughters.

Once I bought Simplicity 1035 and starting looking at the details I realized just how much I had gotten myself into.  The pattern includes dresses, logos, capes, headbands, masks, belts, cuffs, boot covers, etc.  So many pieces to make!  But I planned on making every piece so my kiddos would have costumes they love!

With that many costume pieces comes a LOT of fabrics that need to be selected.  I pulled a few fabrics from my stash, then hit the fabric store for the rest.  With sales and coupons the fabrics for two costumes came to about $30.

Then I washed up the fabrics and started making the costumes and the disasters started…

Simplicity is my go to pattern company, but this time they let me down.  I won’t go into it too much, because you can see the full pattern review in my video, but the two biggest issues were the sizing and the pattern layout being completely incorrect for the fabric stretch.

In the end I was able to work things out and make some awesome costumes that my kids love!

Seriously though, how cute are these two?!?

In the video I share my fabric haul, a review of Simplicity 1035, extra details I added to make the costumes better, as well as tons of pics and video of the kids in their costumes.  Check it all out HERE!

I would love to hear if you have made any Halloween costumes this year.  Did you start with a sewing pattern??  If so, how did it go??  I’ll be back in a few days with a fun tag video.  Until then, Happy Sewing!


DIY Halloween Vest | Fabric Panel Project

Which witch and the who

Since Halloween is quickly approaching I thought it would be fun to create a cute Halloween vest using a preprinted fabric panel. A sweet lady named Janice sent this to me recently (along with a ton of other sewing goodies!) and it brought back a ton of fun memories for me. Growing up my mom made most of my clothes and some of her own.  She often worked with sewing patterns, but I do remember several times when she used fabric panels to make vests, aprons, fabric books, and more.

The neat thing about printed panel projects are all the designs are printed on, so there are no appliques, piecing, or fabric matching needed most of the time.  Of course this can also end up looking a little flat and one dimensional.  An easy way to add the dimension back in is with buttons, puffy paint, beads, and trims.

The first time I sewed a panel project it was a Charlie Brown tree skirt back in 2011 or 2012.  I added a ton of buttons and beads to it (which ended up not being a good idea…presents don’t sit well on it and it’s uncomfortable to step on).

This vest project actually had buttons printed on so I selected 16 buttons from my stash that were a similar size and color to be sewn on top of each.  After the embellishments were added I was ready to sew the vest together.

See how it all came together in the video HERE!

So have you made projects using fabric panels before?? I would love to hear about yours, so leave a comment on youTube or here on the blog. Until next time, Happy Sewing!