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Filtering by Category: Tutorial

Tutorial: Strappy Back Laguna Swim Top

Jane REuter

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Blogger: Jane Reuter

Strappy Back Laguna Swim Top

Strappy back swimsuit tops are all the rage this summer, so my daughter and I made a few simple modification to the Laguna swim top to create the same look. Surprisingly, it was rather simple.

To begin, print the Laguna “Binding” pattern piece for the front top only. Use the bikini cut line. Measure the child just under the chest to determine how big of a back opening is desired and how wide the front swim piece will need to be to wrap around the sides of the body. My daughter wanted hers to just come around the sides of her body and have a larger opening in the back, so we settled on a measurement of 21.5” total width for the entire bodice piece.

The front Laguna bodice piece will need width added to draw the extended width. Tape a piece of paper to the original front bodice piece to give some drawing room. Line up the bottom straight edges.

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The pattern piece needs to become half of the measurement you came up with. For example, we wanted the bodice 21.5” wide, so the pattern piece needed to be 10.75” wide since it is cut on the fold. The size 14 front bodice piece was already 8” on the fold, so we simply measured 2.75” out from the edge of the bodice and made a mark. Draw a vertical line at this point. The height of this line will determine the height of the bodice edge. The top and bottom will lose 3/8” seam allowance when elastic is added later, so keep that in mind. Our vertical line was 2” tall.

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Draw a curved, smooth line to connect the points. Please note that the tip of the original curve will be cut off. Cut out the new pattern piece.

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If lining the suit cut a main and 1 lining. Baste the lining to the wrong side of the main. Follow the directions (starting on the bottom of page 31) in the original tutorial for adding the front center binding.

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The binding for the side curves of the bodice will be done the same way as the tutorial, but the length will need to be adjusted. For size 14 years, we deducted 17” from the length of the circumference binding. However, in the original tutorial only 1 circumference binding is cut. For the strappy back version we will need 2. Same thing for the elastic. For size 14 years, we cut the binding and elastic 38”. Follow the instructions on page 35 through the top of page 36 to attach the elastic to the binding.

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Attach the binding to the swimsuit as instructed in the Laguna tutorial. However, begin attaching the binding at the edge of the bodice.

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When finished, it will look like this. Repeat on the other side.

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Measure the bottom raw edge of the swimsuit. Cut a piece of 3/8” swim elastic 90 percent of the measurement. Slightly stretch the elastic across the wrong side of the bottom raw edge of the swim suit. Clip in place and sew to attach with a zig zag stitch.

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Using the same technique in the tutorial, fold the elastic over one time, to the wrong side of the fabric. Clip in place. Sew to secure from main side of the suit using a zig zag stitch. Trim the edges of the suit at a slight angle. When the elastic is thread through the casings, this will give the bottom edge a slightly tighter pull to keep the suit fitted across the body.

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Fold the short raw, side edges over 1/2”, keeping the newly cut angle. Sew to attach. Thread the straps through the back casings so they criss cross. Fold the raw ends of each strap back and tack them in place.

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The Laguna strappy swim top is now ready to wear and is swim tested and approved!!

Tutorial: Delray with Enclosed Front Bodice

Niina Kivelä

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Blogger: Heather Chisolm

Delray with an Enclosed Front Bodice

There is truly nothing cuter, in my opinion, than an adorable outfit that is handmade with love. Delray is a perfect summertime design for handmade sews! Today we will show you how to omit the keyhole cut-out in order to make Delray with full tummy coverage. Whether for modesty purposes or school dress code, it is super easy to make Delray with a closed-front bodice!

Select the layer for the size being sewn, and print two copies of the front bodice pattern pieces. It does not matter if the small or large opening front bodice piece is used. Tape an extra blank piece of paper to the bottom of the printed pages. The paper will provide extra length for drawing room when extending the bodice.

Creating the Lining Pattern Piece: Using a ruler, draw a line extending the bottom of the bodice and center fold line, so that they meet at a 90 degree angle. Cut out the new lining pattern piece following these lines.

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Creating the Main Front Bodice Piece: Using a ruler, extend the bodice side seam, (underarm) to the measurement listed in the chart below. For example, on a size 4, the pattern piece measures 5 1/2’’. This piece will be extended to a total length of 9 5/8.

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Using a ruler, extend the center fold line to match the new length of the side seam. Join the two lines horizontally, making sure the pattern piece is squared at the bottom of the bodice. In the below photo, the edge of the ruler is lined up straight against the underarm line and the bottom of the ruler is on the 9 5/8” mark. Cut the front bodice pattern piece out.

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Taaa-daaa!!!! The new front bodice main pattern piece is now ready! Cut the fabric according to the cutting instructions in the pattern.

Follow the tutorial through attaching the straps. After attaching the front bodice straps, use a fabric pen or pin to mark ½” down from each underarm and 1/2” up from the bottom edge of the bodice. Do not gather this section, as this is the seam allowance. Sew two rows of gathering stitches on each bodice side using a 1/4 and 3/8” seam allowance. Do not gather this yet.  

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After sewing the main and lining together per the pattern instructions, we need to create the center gather. This can be done two ways, either with ¼” elastic or with two rows of gathering stitches. The method used is a personal preference, both methods are explained below.  

Elastic: The elastic will be attached to the wrong side of the main front bodice piece only, not the lining. Using the method detailed in the tutorial to attach the elastic. Refer to the chart above for the elastic lengths required for the closed bodice.

Gathering Stitches: In lieu of elastic, gathering stitches can be used. Simply draw a line down the center front using a removable sewing marker. Sew a row of gathering stitches 1/4’’ to the left and right of the center line of the front bodice main only. Gather the front main bodice to the same height as the lining. Sew straight down the center line to attach it to the lining. Remove the gathering stitches.

In the below photo, the center is gathered but edges are not. Turn the bodice right side out.

Gather each side seam of the front main bodice to match the match the height of the lining side seams. Follow the pattern instructions to attach the straps to the back bodice, through attaching the back bodice side seams to the front bodice side seams. The gathered section of the front bodice main will be pinned to the back bodice main.

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That’s it!! Wasn’t it easy?! So there you have it! You’ve made an adorable enclosed front bodice Delray perfect for lazy summer days or back to school.

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Tutorial: Brighton Mini Quilt Decorative Pillow/Cushion Cover Hack

Niina Kivelä

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Blogger: Sarah Scott from Piccolo Studio

Brighton Pillow/Cushion Cover

The following steps apply after the Brighton mini quilt has been quilted, but not bound. In addition to the fabric requirements for the mini quilt, you will also need 3/4 yard of coordinating quilting cotton and a 20” decorative pillow/cushion insert.

Cutting Instructions

Cut 2 rectangles 22” x 15” using the coordinating quilting cotton.

Assembly Instructions

Trim the mini quilt top to size – 19 1/2” x 19 1/2”. Set aside.


Take the 2 rectangles and hem one long side (22”) of each piece. To hem, fold the long edge 1/2” wrong sides together. Press. Fold it another 1/2’’. Press. Sew to secure the hem.

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Place the mini quilt top right side down on the cutting mat. Lay the two rectangles right side up, on top of the mini quilt top, allowing them to overlap each other by 5” in the middle. Place a pin in the center to hold all 3 pieces together.

NOTE: The bottom rectangle piece shown larger than actual cutting size to show placement. The two pieces will line up equally on each side.

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Very carefully, turn the pieces over without dislodging them. Pin securely around the edge, making sure the overlapping fabrics on the back have stayed flat.

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Stitch around the quilt top 1/4” from the edge, removing pins along the way.

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Cut off the excess backing pieces.

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Bind as per the pattern.

Insert the cushion insert into the decorative pillow/cushion cover.

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