30 Minute Wetbag Tutorial

I’m kind of embarrassed that this project has been complete, with pictures and everything for almost a year… I don’t know what I was waiting for!  This is a pretty simple, small wetbag that works great for mamacloth, nail polish, toiletries or cosmetics.  You could of course do this on a larger scale for cloth diapers etc. although I have not done that. (If anyone has done it, maybe you can share the dimensions in the comments section.)  In mine, I use fused plastic bags as a liner (do a google search to find tons of tutorials on how to do this safely) but you can also use clear plastic, oilcloth, vinyl, or skip the lining altogether.  These make nice gifts, and they are sturdy and functional!  You can bust one of these out in about 30 minutes or so.

Materials needed:
Lining
Fabric
Zipper
Sewing Machine and Notions

First cut your fabric and lining into equal sized rectangles (choose your dimensions to fit whatever purpose you have in mind- this one is about 9″x13″).  Then lay your fabric on top of your lining, right sides together.

Pin the top and bottom in place.

Sew or serge the top and bottom, leaving the side edges raw.

Turn it right side out so the seams are hidden.

Pin the zipper to the edge of the  fabric right on the seam as shown in the picture- no turning or folding necessary, since the raw edges are hidden inside.  Sew along the edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  This is basically just a topstitch.

It will look like so!

Now fold up the other side and pin it to the other side of the zipper just like you did in the last step.  It might be a little easier to do this with the zipper unzipped.

Now go ahead and sew the remaining edge to the other side of the zipper.  You’ll probably need to fiddle with the zipper pull a bit- just move it when the sewing machine foot gets near it by zipping it past the foot while the needle is down.  That will keep the fabric from moving and messing up your stitching.  Then continue on to the end.  You now have a tube shape.

If you want a loop handle on the side of the wetbag, cut a piece of fabric into a rectangle about 8″x3″, and make a casing by folding it over on itself with right sides together, turn it right side out and topstitch both sides as in the picture above.  Set this aside for a minute.

Ok- back to the bag… now turn the bag-tube inside out, and pin the raw side edges together.

Take the handle you just made and place it between the two edges, right under the zipper.  So the loop will be poking back inside the bag.  Let the raw edges poke out a little so you can be sure to catch both sides when you sew it up.  The zipper should be completely unzipped.

Sew or serge up both sides.

The next part is optional, but I like it because it allows the bag to stand up on its own, and gives it a nice shape.  Starting at the top left picture above, going left to right, you’re going to pinch the corner, top to bottom, measure in from the corner about 1 inch, and mark a line perpendicular to the seam, about 2 inches long.  Sew along this line.  Repeat for the other side.

Turn your new wetback right side out!

Enjoy it from a few different angles, then go fill it up with… stuff!

Headband Patterns

Hi all!

It has been a looong time since I last posted here at Home Sweet Homebodies.  Between graduating from college, going abroad, getting a full-time job, and having a baby in the past year and half, I just haven’t had much time for anything extra!  Things are starting to calm down around here though, and I hope to do more posts in the near future!

Remember these headbands? Well, its been a long time coming, but I’ve finally written the “Anna” Crochet pattern and put it up in the etsy shop, along with this headband pattern.  I hope to write more in the near future!

“Anna” Headband:

No-Socks Slipper-Mocs

I am so excited to share with you a tutorial on how to make these simple, cozy, moccasin- style slippers… a perfect gift idea for Christmas for your husbands/ fathers/ sons/ brothers/ friends!  Of course, you can use more feminine fabric and make these for the women in your life too!

The basic slippers are made from just two pattern pieces.  It doesn’t get much simpler than that!  Let’s get started.

Click to download the 4T pattern

Make Your Pattern

I am sharing the pattern I made for my son (approximately size 4T- click the picture above to download), but you’ll have to make your own pattern for any other sizes you might need.  Don’t worry; it isn’t hard- here’s how.

Sole Piece
1. Grab a piece of paper large enough to fit your food and then some.
2. Trace your foot (“your” foot meaning whatever foot you want to make these slippers for!)
3. Round out the toes.
4. Measure and mark 3/4″ to 1.5 inches out from the toes (the smaller measurement for kid sizes, the larger for adult sizes).  Draw a line 1/2″ to 1 inch behind the heel.  Draw a 2″ to 3+” line extending out at about a 170 degree angle (again, depending on if it is child sized, or adult sized).  You may need to experiment a little to get the kind of fit you like.

5. Measure and mark 1″- 1.5″ out from the widest part of the foot, and connect to the 2″ line you just drew.
6. Following the contour of the toe, draw a curve connecting the three measurements you have marked out.

Upper Piece
7. For child sizes, draw a 3.5″ line, with perpendicular lines on the top and bottom- the top line measuring 2.75″, and the bottom line measuring 3″.
8. Connect the lines to make a trapezoid, then round out the corners as shown above.

The picture above shows the abbreviated process for making an adult- sized slipper- for the gals.  The upper piece above includes an option for a longer upper that can be folded up to get the effect shown in the gal’s slipper picture at the top.  For men’s sizes, I would use the upper range of the measurements listed above, and make the sole piece at least 4″ wide depending on the foot measurement.

Gather Materials

Pattern pieces, fabric (I recommend something heavy duty, like an old pair of jeans), scraps of faux- sherpa (or other suitable lining), and fabric of your choice to reinforce the soles (this is optional, but it will really lengthen the life of the slippers.  Alternatively, you can put puffy paint or something on the soles to give it grip and make it last longer), pins, scissors, sewing machine.

I made this pair of slippers for my 2 year old, and I already had this anti- skid gripper fabric, so I went ahead and used it for him.  You could obviously use any other material you wanted, including another layer of denim, perhaps with puff paint on the bottom.

Cut Out Pieces

Cut two each of the sole and the upper in both fabric and lining.  If you are using denim, decide if you like the look of right side in, or right side out better.  Make sure you are cutting out a left and a right foot- flip the pattern or fold the fabric to get two opposite feet.  Also, if you wish, use the tracing of the foot that will be wearing the slippers, and round out the toes a tiny bit to come up with your pattern for the sole reinforcement piece.

Assemble Sole

1. If you are adding a sole reinforcement piece, pin it onto the right side of the fabric, with the heel of the reinforcement piece almost touching the back edge of the fabric.

2. Sew the reinforcement piece down using a wide zig zag stitch.

3. Sew the matching lining fabric onto the sole piece, wrong sides together.  See my skillfully drawn dotted lines on picture 3 above? Sew around the sole piece as shown, from one corner to another, with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

4. Sew the back heel seam by matching up the side corners, lining sides facing each other.  Yes, the seam will be “inside out”.

5. Sew the upper of the lining to the upper of the fabric, wrong sides together. (pictured below)

Attach Upper to Sole

First, pin the middle of the top of the upper to the middle of the top of the sole piece, as shown.

1. Working from the middle, make small, even gathers, pinning after each one.

2. Do the same number of gathers on each side.  Try to make sure they are all the same size.

3. This is what the top looks like.  Stop pinning right before the upper piece starts to curve in.

4. Carefully sew the upper to the sole piece, sewing on top of the existing stitching on the upper piece.

Finishing Touches

You could be done now if you want- the raw edge has its own appeal, especially for the grown-up guys; continue if you like the fluffy edge going around the heel.

1. Cut a strip of your lining fabric that extends all the way around the heel from one side of the upper to the other.  Fold it over the raw edge.

2. Pin the strip at intervals and sew in place.

3. Trim the raw edges so they are even- the strip you just sewed and also the gathered area around the toes.

And, repeat from the beginning for the other slipper!

Now you’ve got some pretty dude-ly moccasin slippers (or sweet, if you made ’em for a gal).  Either way, they are sure to keep toes toasty and happy!  Happy slipper sewing! If you make some No-Socks Slipper-Mocs, I would love to have you share them on our facebook page!

Baby Girl Refashions

Here’s a quick share of some baby girl refashion ideas…

This set is made of an old maternity shirt (pink stripes) and a bit of an old white Tshirt. (Pardon the phone pictures.)

I made the onesie using an old onesie that I cut apart as my pattern.  The scratch mitts were made from my Infant Scratch Mitt Pattern and Tutorial here, and the tie-top hat was made from Tie Dye Diva’s pattern found on Sew Mama Sew.

Don’t forget the ruffles!  Lots and lots of ruffles.

Flannel burp cloths- yeah, these are not refashions, although some are made from scraps of fabric used to make jammies, but I am including them anyway, because they are a great way to use up small pieces of fabric, and you can make them out of old flannel shirts, pants, even jersey Tshirts.  They can have batting in the middle or not.  I made my own pattern for these, but there are several free versions on blogs- just Google it or check Pinterest!  These tend to be more absorbent than the ones you can buy from the store, so these make nice gifts.

Baby leg warmers made from Dollar Tree socks.  Again, there are several free tutorials out there to make these.

This is a peasant skirt that I tried so hard to like, but it was just too generous in adding bulk around my hips, and… I just don’t need any extra volume in that general area.  So, my hip- fluffing skirt became a sweet little summer dress for my niece who should be arriving in the next few weeks!

The extra material made a nice diaper cover- tutorial found on MADE.

Can’t wait to meet my niece in the very near future!  😀  Think happy, positive childbirth thoughts for Marissa if you will- good karma, right?  Maybe soon I can post pictures of the little miss wearing some of these outfits!

A Wendy Dress

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine called me up and asked for help in creating a costume for her daughter, who had landed the role of Wendy in her school’s production of Peter Pan.  We couldn’t find a reasonably priced costume, a nightgown that looked like it could be altered, or a pattern
specifically for a Wendy dress, so I semi-cautiously decided to make a pattern myself. (How hard
could it be? No matter that I mainly sew little boy stuff… hahaha.)

We opted to follow most of the stylistic traits of Disney Wendy’s dress, with a change or two of our own.
I
started by taking measurements and drafting the bodice pattern (I
actually didn’t start completely from scratch on this, but I radically modified
an existing girls dress pattern- including resizing it and pretty much
changing the entire shape, so… yeah, I’m going to count that as drafting.).  Thankfully, I made a muslin
first, because I needed to make several changes to my first draft to make it fit correctly.

 

I altered a simple cap sleeve to become a perfect puff sleeve using this technique on Vani’s blog.  Thank goodness for Google searches and awesome people who put up random super-helpful tutorials.

The skirt is just one rectangle, 1.5x the width of the waist measurement.  I know there are other, probably better ways to do this, but this is what I knew and felt comfortable doing, so I went with it.  The bottom ruffle is 2x the width of the skirt.  I sewed the zipper in first, and then sewed the rest of the back seam together.  Oh, and I added a hook and eye above the zipper.  The ribbon belt is tacked on at the side seams to keep everything together in the wash.

I used a little extra ribbon to make a matching hair bow.  (I have to admit that because I don’t have daughters, this is actually the first bow I have ever made- and I really didn’t know what I was doing- so don’t judge too harshly!)

I lined the bodice of the dress for 3 reasons: First, for the “seamless” look on the neckline; second, for a “no-itch” feel- which apparently is really important to eight year olds.  Third, lining the sleeves gave them a little more volume.

I do have to say that the puff sleeves might be my favorite part of the dress.  Aren’t they just adorable?  I’ll just answer my own question- yes!- they are about as adorable as the eight year old wearing them!

The dress isn’t perfect, but it makes a pretty good Wendy-bird costume for the play and for Halloween!  I have to say that I am relieved that it turned out and I didn’t mess the whole thing up… whew!  Has anyone else taken on a project they weren’t sure they could deliver on and how did it turn out?

Ugly Duckling T-shirt Transformations

Is it just me, or does everyone have a basket/pile/box/bin of clothes that are technically unwearable as-is, but have tons of potential if reinvented?  (I guess I shouldn’t admit that I actually have three bins full of such articles…)  These four unlovely and unloved shirts came from one of my bins.  Two of them were previously- loved shirts of mine (from an earlier fashion- phase), and two were pre- loved shirts from D.I ($1 each).

I drafted a little pattern for baby leggings and transformed this shirt into a cute pair of lace-bottomed, ruffle-bummed girl leggings (for Marissa’s baby, of course)!

With plenty of leftover fabric, I created this flower headband to match!

Using the same leggings pattern I drafted earlier, I transformed this stretched out sequin trim shirt from “Closet Disco Wannabe” to “Subtle Sparkling Diva”!  Both pairs of leggings were soooo easy to make, since I didn’t have to hem the legs- I just used the fun trims. 

I believe this shirt was previously a men’s size large which had shrunk in the dryer.  I used a T-shirt that I like the size of as a pattern to cut this shirt down to size.  Of the plentiful fabric scraps left over, I made  the flower, stem, and leaves, which I pinned down and sewed over with contrasting thread.

This pink shirt was a women’s size XL which had also shrunk in the washer (I’m assuming, since it fit me just fine when I bought it at D.I.)  I used more of the scraps from the white shirt (which I cut into long strips) to make the swirly designs- you can see how I pinned them onto the shirt on the top right of the picture below.  I also added a little modesty panel because I really hate layering shirts.  I didn’t bother trying to keep the white strips straight; I figured it would have more character if I twisted, and turned the fabric.  I sewed with white thread down the middle of each strip.  This one took a little more time than the rest, but still probably close to an hour, so not too bad!  Since I have worn and washed it a couple times now, I like how the swirls look even more than that “brand new” look.

Want to see some of my other women’s shirt transformations?
Check out this flutter sleeve refashion, this quick modesty refashion, the stripey shirt refashion, this awesome spring shirt refashion, and, should you be interested, a regular T-shirt turned nursing shirt.

Do you have any go-to refashion techniques for shirts?!

Steps to a Wearable Wardrobe: When Your Flutter Sleeves Are Flying Away

How was that for a ridiculously long post title?  It was almost as ridiculous as I feel wearing flutter sleeves.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind them on other people, but it is the wrong sleeve for my arm, and it makes the difference between a cute shirt that gets worn and a mostly- cute shirt that takes up space in my already- full- closet, making my husband raise his eyebrows when I state that I have nothing to wear.

Take this shirt for example.  Cute detail on the neckline, good length, generally flattering- oh wait- those sleeves are going to get me airborne if there is a breeze.  See what I mean?!  Truthfully, it is just a personal preference, but if you have the same quandary as I do, maybe I can help you.

In this refashion, we’ll be transforming a flutter sleeve to a gathered cap sleeve by threading a piece of elastic through the casing of the sleeve hem.

First, inspect your armpit.  No, not yours, your shirt’s!  You’re going to use your seam ripper to cut two tiny slits to thread the elastic through, so you’ll want to determine the placement for those.

You don’t have to mark where you’re going to cut the slits; I just did so you can see where I put them.

Attach a piece of elastic to a safety pin and insert it through the tiny slit you just cut with your seamripper.  If your shirt is made of a stretchy knit fabric, this will be easier.  [I suggest measuring around your upper arm and cutting that exact length on the elastic.  When you sew it together, it will be snug around your arm.  Or just make it whatever length you want.  I’m not here to micromanage you.  :) ]

Thread the elastic all the way through the casing.

Sew the ends of the elastic together any way you can.  It doesn’t have to be pretty.  Clearly.

Slide the ends up into one side of the casing so it doesn’t show.  If you want to be finished with this project already, you can stop here.  Well, after you do the other side of course.

Otherwise, you can take a needle and thread and sew up the slits you made and keep the elastic concealed.

Ta-Da!

Repeat for the other side, and here’s what we’re looking at:

I like it and it only took about 15 minutes!  So what do you think about flutter sleeves?  Love ’em?  Hate ’em?  Let me know in the comments.  (Hopefully I didn’t alienate anyone with my feelings about flutter sleeves- haha.)

A Quick Modesty Refashion

Just a quick post to show one of my more recent refashions; alas, I took no “before” pictures, but just imagine this shirt without any of the white fabric, and with a neckline that goes halfway down to my belly button (well, don’t imagine me wearing it that way, just imagine how sad it was in my closet, never being chosen because of its refusal to comply with my decency standards).

Those who know me well know that I have little patience for shirts that require tank tops or camisoles underneath.  Hence why I stopped wearing this shirt.  Adding in a faux tank top modesty panel helped with that, but didn’t fix the issue completely, so I inserted a far-from-professional-looking single box pleat in the back of the neckline.  I also added the sleeve “extensions” because the sleeves were so wide that they didn’t help me much.

Now this shirt is much more comfortable to wear!  Oh, and I forgot to mention that all the white fabric came from a camisole I found at D.I. for about $3 last summer for such a purpose as this!