Tips for Using Sewing Kits and Patterns | PINS + NEEDLES KIT GIVEAWAY

This week I had the opportunity to work with Pins + Needles Kits to bring you a fun video full of tips and helpful hints for working with sewing kits and patterns.  I got a box in the mail full of everything needed to make the Just in Case pattern from By Annie.

You can use the coupon code WHITNEYSEWS10 to save $10 off your first box from Pins + Needles!

Check out the video HERE to see me make the project from start to finish and find out how you can win your own free box from Pins + Needles!

I had a lot of fun making this project and doing something a little different than my usual tutorials.  Next week I’ll be back with a new quilt tutorial so make sure to come back for that.  Until then, Happy Sewing!


Finishing Quilts and Starting More | Sew Your Stash

This week I am so excited to share another Sew Your Stash update!  I made a huge dent in my WIP pile as well as making several new projects.

Check out the video HERE to see what all I’ve been sewing!

All the tutorials mentioned in the video are linked in the description box on youTube.

I hope you all enjoyed the update!  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Double Pocket Crossbody Bag

I love when a project has lots of ways it can be transformed to create many variations!  This bag is the forth variation of my original 5 Minute Zipper Bag!  It started out as a very basic, unlined bag created to help beginners get used to working with zippers.  Then after receiving many, many requests for a lined bag I created a lined version.  I began to wonder if it was possible to combine two of the lined bags to create a fun double pocket version, and sure enough, it worked!  Then I got the idea to add a strap so it could be worn as a crossbody bag.  That is what I’ll be showing how to do today!

To make your bag you will need:
2-4 fabrics
2 D rings (mine measure 7/8 inch inside)
2 zippers (at least 11 inches in length)
Pellon Shape Flex (optional)

Small pocket – 10.5 x 15 inches (one lining and one outer)
Large pocket – 10.5 x 21 inches (one lining, one outer, one shape flex)
Tabs – 2.5 x 3 inches (two from any fabric and two shape flex)

After your pieces are cut out you’re ready to sew your bag together!  Click HERE to watch the full tutorial!

It’s the french seams that make this bag so easy to create!  I love incorporating french seams into my projects to easily finish of all the raw edges inside a project.  Check out my entire french seams playlist HERE!

Let me know in the comments are there are any other variations of this bag you would like me to make.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Adjustable Bag Strap


This week I wanted to share a basic tutorial that can be used for lots of different projects.  It is an adjustable bag strap.  This one is made out of foam stabilizer and fabric, which allows you to match it to any print or design you want.  *If you need your strap to be very, very sturdy (ex. heavy camera bag strap) consider making it out of store bought woven strap material instead of sewing your own strap, but still follow the tutorial to know how to add the clips and slider to make it adjustable.*

The hardware I used in the tutorial was cut off of old bags and purses that were beyond use.  This is a fantastic way to get hardware, buttons, etc for little to no cost, especially if you are trying new projects and aren’t sure how they will turn out.  In the future I plan to buy some in larger quantities such as THIS and THIS.

The size you cut your fabric and stabilizer will depend on what size of hardware you’re using.  Mine measures about 3/4 – 7/8 inch on the inside opening.

With that measurement in mind I cut 2 strips of fabric 2.5 inches wide.  This allows enough material for it to be folded in half and a half inch of each side to be turned in for the seam allowance.  So the strap will finish 3/4 inch wide.  I like my straps super long since I’m fairly tall so I believe my strap (presewn) is something like 50-60 inches in length, but got with whatever length you need plus several extra inches for making the adjustable part.  I wanted the foam stabilizer just slightly smaller than the strap so I cut 2 pieces 5/8 inches wide.

The fusible foam stabilizer I used is the Bosal In R Foam Plus.  It is a double sided stabilizer that is not only fusible, but easy to sew through.

It would have probably been better to use the single sided fusible foam for this project since I did only fuse one side, but I used what I had on hand.  But if you want to check out the single sided bosal you can find it HERE.

Ok, so now that all that is out of the way, click HERE to watch the step-by-step adjustable strap how to.

Next week I’m going to share a really neat way to make a crossbody bag that this strap is perfect for!  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Double Pocket Lined Zipper Bag {EASY}

In the past I have shared my Five Minute Zipper Bag tutorial which is the EASIEST way ever to sew a zipper bag! After many, many requests I made a lined version of the bag. This week I wanted to show a fun way to use that same idea to create a double pocket lined zipper bag.

You will need:
2-4 cotton fabrics (the outer fabric for the small pocket can be a directional print, the rest need to be non-directional prints)
2 zippers measuring at least 10 inches (do not use metal zippers)

Cutting Measurements:

Small pocket – 9.5 x 13 inches (one lining and one outer)
Large pocket – 9.5 x 21 inches (one lining and one outer)

Once your materials are cut watch the step-by-step video tutorial HERE to learn how to sew the bag together!

I absolutely love this bag and have come up with so many different things I want to use it for!  I know if Peyton sees it she will try to claim it for herself!  Let me know if you want to see more bag how tos and other projects using french seams.

If you give this tutorial a try please share a pic using #WhitneySews so I can see it!

Until next time, Happy Sewing!


The Willow Dress – How to


This week I had planned on making a cute Wonder Woman inspired skirt for Peyton using blue star fabric for the bottom and red for the waist with some yellow trim accents.  But I felt like it would end up too similar to THIS skirt tutorial I posted recently.   I went through Peyton’s dresses and found a dress that inspired me.  It is a cute, easy to wear dress that doesn’t have any zippers or buttons.  I used it for inspiration and created the Willow Dress.

The dress fits a little loose at the top and has straps with elastic in them.  The ties at the waist tighten the top and take in any excess material on the back side.

I figured out the simplest way to make it including finishing all the seams on the inside using french seams instead of serging.  You can find the pattern I created and used for Peyton’s dress HERE!

I made the first dress with a Wonder Woman theme, then made a second upcycling a pearl snap shirt for the skirt portion.  I think they both turned out adorable!  Two completely different styles, but made using the same pattern!  Imagine all the other ways this dress can be made by combining different prints and fabrics.

Check out the video HERE to learn how to make the Willow Dress!

You can find a PDF pattern of the exact pattern piece and measurements I used that HERE!  The pattern fits a 2T/3T.

Or you can create your own pattern using your child’s measurements and a a dress/top you already own.  Keep in mind that the top needs to be about a size larger in order to fit.  Also include a 1/2 inch seam allowance all the way around.

For Peyton’s size I cut the straps at 1 3/4 x 12 inches and the ties at 1 1/4 x 20 inches, but you may need to adjust depending on the size you are creating.

I hope you enjoyed this how to!  If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them!  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


New Mexico Haul and Travel Log

Last month we took our first family vacation, just us and the kids without any extended family.  We set out in a rental car with no plans other than exploring and having fun!  We had a great time and have lots of memories to share.

The first thing I want to share is our vacation video.  It is so fun to put together the clips from our trip and I really love how it turned out!  That video is posted on my personal channel, Whitney’s Tiny Life, but you can watch it right HERE!

On thing I really wanted to do was share some of the actual stories from our journey.  I considered narrating the video, but it just didn’t seem to fit.  So instead I wrote out the narrative for anyone who wants to read it.  **If you don’t want to read the entire story scroll down to the next photo**

This summer we decided it was time to take our first family vacation. We picked up a rental car and headed West. We had no schedule and no plans other than making it to Santa Fe and returning the rental 6 days later. As we drove we left the familiar landscapes behind and entered a different area full of cacti, rocks, and brush. It was beautiful in a way we are not used to seeing. The Oklahoma hills turned into plateaus and then mountains. It was easy to spot Route 66 from the highway as it snaked it’s way through the land, sometimes freshly paved and other times looking like a well worn back road.

As we came across interesting places we would stop and explore and meet interesting people, like Heidi and Kevin, the dog, at the TeePee Curios. We thought we would stop for a few minutes in Tucumcari, and ended up staying a few hours shopping, taking in the sights and murals, and having lunch. Then it was back on the road. The girls did amazing with all the driving, sometimes watching a movie and other times napping or in Peyton’s case analyzing maps and fliers for an hour or so while Jeremiah took in the amazing sights.

We finally ended up at an adorable motel in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The next morning we set out to explore and on our way to the plaza area we happened onto a beautiful cathedral right as Sunday morning services were starting. It happened to be Mother’s Day and I was wished happy mother’s day more times that day while walking around the cathedral and plaza than in the previous two years combined.

After a packed lunch and some running and playing we hit the road again toward the tent rocks national monument. We hiked the short trail and took in the incredible sights.

The first night we were in Santa Fe we saw the most beautiful sunset as the sun slowly sunk behind the mountains filling the sky with pink and orange rays. We decided to spend one of our evenings chasing the sunset. Setting out about two hours because the sun would go down we drove and drove toward the western horizon. We didn’t know where we would end up, just wanted to find a great spot to take photos. We ended up finding the ranch were Bonanza was filmed and driving down roads until they turned to dirt while Peyton serenaded us with Let It Go. We finally found the perfect spot just as the sun was starting to fall behind a mountain in the distance and stayed there until it was completely out of sight. It is truly an amazing thing to slow down enough to watch the sun set and the sky change from one moment to the next as different colors spread across the sky.

On our last full day in New Mexico we took a day trip up to Taos to explore and look at some earthships. We happened onto one earthship that offered tours. It was neat to finally be in an earthship after looking at so many of them online. After making a quick stop at the Rio Grande’ Gorge we headed into Taos for lunch. Much to Peyton’s delight we found a place that had a great gluten free pizza then another little shop that had the most delicious gluten free carrot cake in the world!

There was a sudden downpour so we took refuge in a little shop called Overland and chatted with one of the employees for a while. He was from Dallas, Texas and visited New Mexico every year with his family when he was young. He loved it and when he got tired of the fast paced Dallas life he retired and moved to New Mexico. He had been afraid it wouldn’t be as wonderful, casual paced, and beautiful as he remembered, but said it was just as great, if not better!

The following day we packed up the car and headed toward home.

We stopped at a McDonald’s near Tucumcari, New Mexico on the way home. An older man came in who I immediately took notice of. There were lots of people coming and going, but he stood out to me. He was walking straight and tall with his head held high, despite having to use a walker to get around. Now Skyler is at a really fun age where she will take to certain people and smile and wave at them for as long as they will wave back. The gentleman sat at a small table across from us and Skyler took an interest in him. She gave the man a wave. He waved back with his left hand and they exchanged smiles. Skyler smiled and pretended to be shy then gave him another big wave. He returned he wave. This went on for quite a while. Even after the man’s food arrived and he was eating he continued to wave and smile at Skyler each time she waved to him. I knew I couldn’t leave without speaking to the man. We fell into a short conversation and I learned his name is Gordon Faulkner. Despite the shake in his voice making it hard for him to speak Gordon told me about surviving 3 strokes and a heart attack that have left his right hand basically unusable. We finished chatting and parted ways with sweet memories of an unspoken connection between a young child and a sweet man.

Our final stop on the trip was the Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo, Texas. Peyton had fun dancing around and looking at the multicolored cars standing on end in the earth. If you happened to stop by shortly after we left you may have noticed Whitney Sews written in white paint inside the car on the West side.

Late that night we made it back home to Oklahoma. It felt good to asleep in our own beds again and think about all the great memories we made on our trip!

Like the photo??  Jeremiah took tons of amazing pics on the trip!  You can check them all out HERE!

Since this was our first big trip we decided to get whatever we wanted to remember the trip by.  We got everything from typical souvenirs to OOAK jewelry pieces.  Jeremiah and I filmed a haul video showing everything we got!  You can check it out HERE!

We wanted to make sure to share the details for every place we picked something up.  So if you’re interested in learning more about a place we stopped or an item we showed, check out the info below.

Tee Pee Curios 
Collectable Pins
Tucumcari, NM
(575) 461-3773

Mesalands Dinosaur Museum
Souvenir Rocks
Tucumcari, NM
(575) 461-3466

Bowlin's Flying C Ranch
Baja Jackets
Encino, NM
(575) 472-5116

Lamplighter Inn
Stayed 4 nights
2405 Cerillos Rd. Santa Fe, NM
(505) 471-8000

Chocolate En La Plaza
Chocolate Bar and Truffles
70 East San Francisco Street #19-B Santa Fe, NM
(505) 795-8280

Sunwest on the Plaza
Earrings, Pins, and Patch
56 Lincoln Ave, Santa Fe, NM
(505) 982-0227

Can't Locate Store Name
Purple Skirt

Gloriana's Fine Crafts
Beads and Pendant
Corner of Washington and 55 W. Marcy Santa Fe, NM
(505) 982-0353

Pauline Vanfleet – Navajo artist
Beaded necklace
Palace of the Governors – Santa Fe NM

Emilio Chavez – Pueblo artist
Turquoise ring
Palace of the Governors – Santa Fe, NM 

Eastwind Echo
Purple Hareem Pants and Ring
235 Don Gasper Ave, Santa Fe, NM
(505) 983-8733

Overland Sheepskin Co
1405 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos, NM
(575) 758-8820

Farmhouse Cafe & Bakery 
The best gluten free carrot cake!
1405 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos, NM

Big Texan
Souvenir Pins
Amarillo, TX 

Whew!  That was a lot of info!  I hope you enjoyed getting a glimpse at our vacation.  Have a wonderful weekend and make sure to come back next Wednesday for another new sewing video!


Wonky 9 Patch How to and BONUS Tips for Better Quilt Blocks

Last week I finished a scrappy quilt project I started 3.5 years ago!  How awesome is it to finish WIPs from your stash?!?  Successfully finishing one quilt top made me want to start a new one, so I decided to finally make a wonky 9 patch design.

I went to work gathering 9 coordinating fabrics from my stash (since I am doing the Sew Your Stash Challenge this year!) and set to work!  I have an adorable piece of mermaid fabric I wanted to feature so I fussy cut my square using a rotary cutter and square ruler.  Then I made sure all my cuts framed the center mermaid.  This gave my wonky blocks a very symmetrical look, but you can make all your cuts at different angles for a totally different look.

Check out the full step-by-step video tutorial HERE!  Make sure to stick around for the end of the video because I share 4 tips to make your quilt blocks more successful!

Let me know in the comments if you have made wonky style blocks before!  Also make sure to leave any other quilting tips you have so we can all learn from each other.

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out the Sew Your Stash group on facebook and come back here next Wednesday for another new sewing tutorial! Until then, Happy Sewing!


Sewing Denim, Broken Serger, and More Sewing Space

A Sew Your Stash update is sooo long overdue!  It seems like we’ve been busy or sick every single day since my last update, but I still have a lot to talk about!

If you’re new and don’t know what Sew Your Stash is, it is a challenge I started this year to focus on sewing using fabric and supplies from my stash without buying new materials.  I am also trying to finish WIPs that have gone unfinished for far to long.  There is a facebook group for the challenge full of inspiration and almost 8,000 members!

Since my last update I have been busy making aprons, skirts, a denim rag quilt and more! Check out the video HERE to see what I made!

I also managed to break my serger (watch the video to hear how that happened!).  But the most exciting thing that happened is I’m taking back my sewing space!  My younger daughter had been sleeping in the sewing room for a couple of months and she has been transitioned back into the same bedroom as my older daughter!  This means I have more space and can sew after the kids go to bed!

What have you been working on in the past couple of months? I would love to see pics!  You can share them on the Whitney Sews facebook page or on instagram with #WhitneySews

Until next time, Happy Sewing!



Cast Iron Skillet Handle Cover

My mother-in-law gave me some cast iron skillets a few years ago, but it wasn’t until recently (because of watching lots of homesteaders on youTube!) that I finally started using them.  The problem is that I’m pretty forgetful and have been known to grab many hot handles.  So I tried to keep a small potholder draped over the handle as an IT’S HOT! reminder.  I finally just decided to make an actual handle cover.

I traced around my handle and did some measuring and came up with a pattern measuring 6 1/8 by 3 1/2 inches with a curve at the top.  (This ended up a little too long so I recommend going with 5 3/4 inches for the length if you have a similar skillet).

I used one layer of THIS batting on each side of the handle cover.

You can definitely use two layers or a heat proof material (like THIS one) if you want.  Besides the pattern and an insulating layer you will also need 4 pieces of fabric measuring about 7 x 4 inches.  These can be solid pieces or pieced from scraps.  I went with two scrappy for the outsides and two solid for the lining.

Check out the full tutorial HERE!

What items do you like to make with your scraps?  Want to see more scrappy projects from me?  Check out an entire playlist of them right HERE!

Make sure to come back next week for another new video and until then, Happy Sewing!