Drawstring Bag with Boxed Bottom

Tutorial from Whitney Sews

Now that the holidays are over I’ve been trying to come up with ways to keep our house more organized – especially the kids toys!  I posted two drawstring bag tutorials a couple of months ago and they inspired this bag.  I wanted to make sure it could hold both of our duplo block sets, so a boxed bottom was very important.  I also thought it would be fun to have a contrasting section at the top.

I started digging through my fabric stash to see what the kids might like.  I came across a Minnie Mouse print left from another project.  Skyler loves Minnie Mouse right now so I knew she would love this fabric for the bag.  After I found a couple of other coordinating fabrics I was ready to start.

Whitney Sews

The height of the two outer pieces added together should be a half inch more than the lining piece.  So my lining is 14 by 16, the contrast top is 14 by 5 inches and the bottom is 14 x 11.5 inches.

By the way the contrasting top is a great way to add visual interest.  It’s also a fantastic way to use scraps or make the most of a favorite print you don’t have a lot of.

Check out the step by step tutorial HERE to see just how easy this bag is to make!

So what is your favorite part of this bag? The contrasting top or the boxed bottom? Next week I’ll have another organizing DIY and until then, Happy Sewing!


Crosses and Losses | Sampler Sew Along

Sampler Sew Along - Block of the Month Quilt Series

It’s time for the eighth 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 Crosses and Losses block.  This one dates all the way back to 1929.

Sampler Sew Along

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!



Sewing Pattern 101 – The Pattern Instructions

Whitney Sews

It’s time for another Sewing Pattern 101 video!  This week I’m going over all the information found on sewing pattern instruction sheets.  No matter what major company your pattern is from (Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity, Vogue, etc) the same kinds of information will be included.

The instruction sheets start off showing design sketches of the front and back of each item that can be made from the pattern. Each option (or view) is assigned a different letter.  The next section will show each pattern piece provided labeled with a number.  This will help figure out which pattern pieces are needed to make the view you have selected.

The instructions also include a good amount of general sewing information.  You will find the allotted seam allowances, pattern markings, how to make adjustments to the patterns, and more.

Next up are the pattern layouts.  These are VERY helpful for figuring out the best way to lay out the pattern pieces.  You don’t HAVE to lay out your pieces the way the layout shows (especially if you are making alterations or using more/less fabrics than the pattern calls for) but it is helpful, especially if you are new to patterns.  You DO want to follow the grainline and fold markings, these are very important for the drape and cut of the finished piece.

Many patterns will also include a small glossary section defining a few specific sewing terms that you’ll come across in the pattern instructions.  Then it’s time for the actual sewing instructions.  They are divided into sections for each of the pattern views.  So find the view you want to make and start from there.

Check out the video HERE where I go into more detail about all the information on the sewing pattern instructions.

I’ll be covering more of the specific terms and techniques you’ll come across while using a sewing pattern in upcoming sewing pattern 101 videos.  Make sure to leave a comment if you have a request for a future sewing pattern video.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Ho Ho Ho – May the Force Be With You

Costume by Whitney Sews

A couple of weeks ago Jeremiah was watching Star Wars Theory on youTube and showed me a really neat illustration of Santa drawn as Luke from The Force Awakens. Jeremiah wanted to know if I could make the costume.  I said yeah, then realized he meant could I make it to wear to some Christmas events this year.  So we set to work making a Jedi Santa costume.

BTW the original illustration was part of the Star Wars Theory channel merch and you can find it HERE!

We examined the design and broke it down piece by piece.  Then I went through my pattern stash and found all the patterns that would work for the costume.  This is why I LOVE having a ton of sewing patterns on hand!  You can see my pattern collection (as of this summer) right HERE!

Then came the hunt for fabric!  This was a huge struggle and I ended up only having 5.8 yards of red fabric to work with. Less than half of what I had hoped for, but I made some adjustments to my plans and was able to make everything work out.

I thought it would be fun to vlog the process of making the costume to share with you all.  I ended up with a TON of vlog footage!  You can watch the entire vlog HERE!

Since the vlog ended up being so long I made another video talking through the highlights as well as showing all the finished costume pieces and pics.  You can watch that video HERE!

So do you like different Santa costumes or are do you prefer more traditional ones??  We had so much fun planning and making this costume and Jeremiah loved wearing it.  I hope you enjoyed seeing everything.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!


Memory Pillow or Pillow Shams

Whitney Sews

I get asked quite often if I make memory pillows or will show how to make them.  Today I wanted to share why I don’t make memory pillows.

Pillow shams can be

*washed and dried as needed

*changed as often as wanted

*stored in a small space.

This allows someone to own only a few pillows, but shams for every holiday, occasion, etc.

Step by step tutorial from Whitney Sews

Pillows are

*harder to wash and dry

*larger to store

*can get lumpy or compacted as time goes on

Those reasons are why I always encourage people to consider memory pillow shams instead of memory pillows.  They want to preserve a special article of clothing from a loved one, so it would make sense to do so in a way that will last the longest.

Today I wanted to show one of the easiest ways to make a pillow sham.  It incorporates the original closures from the clothing (zipper or buttons) as the closure on the sham.  See the step-by-step tutorial HERE!


So what do you think?  Do you prefer memory pillows or pillow shams??

Want even more memory sewing inspiration?!?  I have an entire playlist full of ideas HERE!

BTW did you know I have a few giveaways going on right now??  One is on my youTube channel and the other is on the Whitney Sews facebook page.  Make sure to check out both and find out how to enter.

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


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!