Tablecloth to Skirt Transformation

I found this beautiful, vintage tablecloth at my local thrift store a while back.  I fell in love with it and knew I needed to take it home with me.  I didn’t want it for my table…I wanted to wear it!  I knew that I wanted to cut a waistband in it and transform it into a skirt.  But even though I had a plan from day 1, it still took me over a year (if not closer to two) to be brave enough to cut into the tablecloth.

This was been a trend in my life for so long!  I have several items stashed away that I love, but can’t use in their current state, but am fearful of cutting into them because I’m afraid I will mess them up and ruin them.  But at the same time I am getting zero joy from having them stashed away and in fact am causing myself to have more clutter. So I’m trying to challenge myself to be brave and take on these projects.  Last week I finally resized a skirt I had been hanging onto for almost 9 years!  You can check out that video HERE!

That skirt turned out so amazing and definitely encouraged and motivated me to work on this one!

Since my table cloth was an oval to start with I folded it twice to find the center point and treated it like I would any material I was using to create a circle style skirt.  The only difference is I’m not actually having to cut or hem the bottom edge.

The skirt was quick and easy to make and looks so amazing.  Watch the step-by-step tutorial HERE!

Let me know in the comments what item you have been hanging onto for a sewing project.  I hope this post encourages you to create something you’ve been wanting to work on.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Ruffled Skirt Refashion

I bought this beautiful ruffled skirt back in Fall 2009!  I fell in love with the different colors and how flowy the skirt is.  Unfortunately the skirt is a size 1X, so in the past 8 years I have worn the skirt zero times.  Even when I was pregnant and at my largest size I could not make the skirt fit.

Over the years I wanted to refashion the skirt.  My plan for a very long time was to make it a strapless dress.  But I don’t even like wearing strapless dresses! Then I thought of the idea of making it an adjustable wrap skirt.  But there really isn’t quite enough material to make the wrap over part look right.  So I waited and waited, doubting my ideas, doubting my skills to do the skirt justice, and afraid I would ruin this lovely skirt that I love so much!

I am SO GLAD I waited!

I finally realized the skirt didn’t need anything fancy at all.  It just needed the existing invisible zipper cut out (which involves cutting the entire side seam out) and an elastic waist added.  So simple!  I cut the side of the outer and lining open and cut the zipper out.  Then resewed them closed with a french seam to tuck the seam allowances away inside.  Then I made the elastic waistband the same way I showed HERE!

Simple as that, the skirt is done and now fits perfectly!  I can wear it was a shirt tucked in and a cute belt or with a shirt hanging loose over the top.

Watch my full step-by-step refashioning video HERE!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.  I can not wait to wear my fun “new” skirt!

Did you know I have a second channel where I post vlogs and other fun videos??  You can watch the behind-the-scenes vlog from this refashioning HERE!

Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Sew Your Stash Update…Finally!

It is finally here…a long overdue sew your stash update!  It starts off with a quick explanation of why I haven’t posted an update since last August then I go over my 2017 goals and if each was a success or fail.

Check out the full update HERE!

You should see more Sew Your Stash updates in the future. In the meantime, feel free to check out Sew Your Stash on facebook where 14,000+ people are sharing what they are making from their stashes! Until next time, Happy Sewing!


How to Sew a T-Shirt Quilt with Whitney Sews

We all have that pile of t-shirts that are so special to us, but we no longer wear them.  Today I’ll be showing how to transform those shirts into an amazing one of a kind quilt full of memories.

My husband had a pile of shirts, mostly from conventions he had worked at, that he wanted to make into a quilt.  He never got the time to make it so I offered to take over the project.

Because the shirts are from all different places and events the graphics are all different sizes, so cutting the shirts to uniform sizes was not going to work.  If your shirts have similar sized graphics/logos check out my tips down below!

I made some notes with the sizes I wanted each shirt to be cut down to allowing about 1 to 1.5 inches outside the graphic on each side.  Then cut the shirts to a little larger than those measurements and cut a piece of fusible interfacing to the same size.

HERE is the interfacing I like to use!

Fuse them together from the back side.  You do NOT want to place your iron on any screen prints because the heat will damage them!  Once each piece has been fused use a couple of rulers and a rotary cutter to cut each block down to the correct size.  At this point you can start improve piecing them together…but I’m not brave enough to do that…so I planned mine out on graph paper.  If you improve piece (or plan ahead and your t-shirts just don’t all match up to make a rectangle shape you will need to add filler pieces.  Filler is leftover t-shirt pieces that have been interfaced).  I show my sketch in the video linked below.

I planned my quilt out so it had 5 different rectangular units that all fit together to form the entire quilt top.  It took a few tries to get all the numbers to line up and I had to adjust the pieces a half inch here and there to get them to all fit together right, but got it all to work out.  Below is a photo with the units circled so you can see how they all fit together.

Each unit was pieced using a 1/4 inch seam allowance like a typical quilt and because the pieces have been interfaced they can be treated like regular fabric.  After each unit is pieced, sew them all together to form the quilt top.

After the top is completed you can finish a t-shirt quilt in a few different ways.  I chose to sew mine like a blanket with the backing and top right sides together, sew around the outer edge, turn through an opening and top stitch.  We chose a sweatshirt type material for the backing, but you can interface the backs of the t-shirts, sew them together until it is larger than the quilt top and use that for the backing.  Another option is adding a batting and backing, quilt and bind like a traditional quilt.

You can watch my full step-by-step T-shirt quilt tutorial HERE!

As I mentioned earlier, if your t-shirts are all similar you can make your quilt a little differently.  Instead of needing to measure each shirt and cut to different sizes, you can decide on one size for them all.  Trim the shirts a little bigger than you want the finished square to be and fuse the interfacing, as shown in the video, then trim to the final size.  Then sew the pieces together to create rows.  So if you have 20 shirts you can sew them into 5 rows with 4 shirts in each row.  Then sew the rows together.  My favorite way is to sew the quilt into two big pieces and lastly sew those together to have the entire quilt top.

This style of quilt is better for beginners because you aren’t having to do a lot of math and figuring, you simply just sew squares together in any order until you have a full row.

If you are more advanced you can add other fabrics and create designs, add sashing, borders, etc to make your t-shirt quilt even more unique.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful!  Make sure to come back next Wednesday for another new tutorial.  Until then, Happy Sewing!


Repairing the Knee Pedal on a Vintage Sewing Machine Cabinet

This week I have a quick video to share about how I repaired the knee pedal on my vintage sewing machine cabinet.  Instead of using a regular foot pedal to control the machine, this one uses a knee lever that is attached to the cabinet.  I didn’t love the idea of a knee pedal when I first got it, but now I’m used to it and prefer it more than a foot pedal.  So when the lever started getting loose then broke off I was pretty sad about it.  I was right in the middle of filming a sewing tutorial and had a memory bear order to complete and zero time to waste!

I took the knee pedal off the side of the cabinet and headed to the nearest hardware store.  I found a nice man there who knew more about bolts, threading, and all that and explained what I needed and he set me up with the right supplies.  I came home with a bag of bolts and a bag of wingnuts for under $3 and had my machine back up and running in under 5 minutes!

Check out the video HERE to see exactly how I put it all back together!  Links for the needed supplies are in the video description box.

I hope you found this helpful, or at least interesting!  If you want to see my week in the life video when my knee pedal, belt, and more broke all in the same day click HERE!   I’ll be back next Wednesday for another new sewing tutorial.  Until then, Happy Sewing!


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Cheyenne Rope Bag How to with Pins + Needles Kits

This week I partnered back up with Pins + Needles Kits to bring you all a tutorial for the Cheyenne Rope Bag from Serendipity Studios.  Pins + Needles sent all the supplies needed to make the bag to all of their February Premium subscribers.  But even if you don’t have the kit or the pattern, you can still follow along to learn how to work with foam stabilizer, how to sew inset zippers, and installing magnetic snaps.


Follow along with my step-by-step video tutorial HERE to make your bag!

Want to try out your own Pins + Needles Kit??  Use the coupon code WHITNEYSEWS10 for $10 off your first Premium box!


Want to learn how to make another bag??  Check out my lined tote bag with outer pockets tutorial.  It also incorporates foam stabilizer and is a fun project to make.

I post a new tutorial every Wednesday, so don’t forget to check back next week.  Until then, Happy Sewing!



The BEST Tips for Sewing Memory Bears

Now that I’ve shown how to make a memory bear (find that playlist HERE) it’s time for all my BONUS TIPS!  These are all the best tips to help your bears go from good to amazing!

Even if you have already made some memory bears I am certain you will learn some new things in this video that will help you improve even more.

So I won’t drag this out too much…click HERE to watch my Memory Bear Tips video!

Let me know what your favorite tip was from the video in the comment section on or on the youTube video page.  I’ll have a new tutorial up next Wednesday so make sure to come back for that.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


How to Sew a Memory Bear

It’s finally here; the week I know you all have been waiting for!  This week I’m showing step-by-step how to sew a memory bear!  I have been making tons of bears for Whitney Sews Memories and can’t wait to teach you all how to make your own.

I use Simplicity A2115 for my bears, but the pattern is out of print, so unless you happen onto some old copies at Walmart (like I did!) you may have to select another similar pattern.  The Simplicity Rare Bear pattern is a great option that is VERY similar to the one I used.  You can find that pattern HERE.  But no matter what pattern you are using this video will still be helpful because a lot of techniques will be similar.

If you haven’t been following along with the entire series I already shared videos showing how to select a pattern, copying the pattern onto plastic templates (if you want a sturdier pattern to use again and again), how to install safety eyes and how to sew a ladder stitch to finish your bears.  You can find all those videos in a playlist HERE!

So now it’s time to sew your precious memory bear together!  In the video I show from cutting the fabrics to finishing the bear off with a ladder stitch, following right along with the pattern directions.  Not great at using sewing patterns?!?  No problem!  I explain each step and what it means as we go along!

Click HERE to watch the Memory Bear How to!

Next week I have another video where I’ll be showing all of my tips and tricks for taking your memory bears from good to great!  You’ll learn those little details that will make your bears look professional!  Make sure you are subscribed to Whitney Sews on youTube so you don’t miss out on that video!

Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Ladder Stitch How to – Memory Bear Sewing Series

It’s time for another addition to my memory bear sewing series!  This week I’m showing how to hand sew a ladder stitch.  This stitch is so important for finishing any stuffed animal.

The ladder stitch is pretty simple to do after you’ve practiced it a time or two and can be nearly invisible when done right.

Click HERE to watch the step-by-step ladder stitch tutorial!

Lots more memory bears tutorials coming soon, so make sure you are subscribed to Whitney Sews on youTube.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Selecting the Right Memory Bear Pattern

When it comes to finding a great pattern not all are created equal!  This is definitely the case when looking for a memory bear pattern that will give you a finished bear you love.

I wanted to share some patterns that would work well for memory bears, including my favorite, as well as an example of a pattern that wouldn’t work well.

Check out the video HERE!

Want a copy of the same pattern I use for all of my bears?!?  Watch to the end of the video to find out how to enter a giveaway to win the pattern!

What is your favorite stuffed animal pattern??

Until next time, Happy Sewing!