Learn to Sew: How to Mark the Fabric Before You Cut and a Giveaway

Now that you’ve set up your sewing machine, practiced your stitches, chosen your fabric and pattern, you’re ready to to mark all of those pattern marks to your fabric. But which marks do you transfer and what should you use?

There are many tool options for marking your fabric, and everyone seems to have their favorite. Test them out on a small scrap of fabric first to see which one you prefer and to make sure that the mark can be removed later. Let’s take a look at some of the options and which pattern marks you will need to transfer.





Click here or on any of the pictures to learn which pattern marks to transfer and which tool option to use.

As a special thank you for being a part of this new series, and to celebrate over 7,000,000 views. I’m going to be giving away a $100.00 Joann’s Fabric and Craft gift card to one person who comments, shares and pins my eHow articles in this new sewing series. Each share, pin and comment will be counted as an entry in the giveaway.

Learn to Sew: Essential Sewing Tools

Learn to Sew: Basic Sewing Machine Stitches

Learn to Sew: Choosing Fabrics and Patterns

Learn to Sew: How to Mark the Fabric Before You Cut

Thank you all so much for all of your encouragement and support over the last few years. It’s truly been a pleasure to share this sewing adventure with you!


For more sewing and refashion inspiration:


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Learn to Sew: How to Read Patterns

I almost wore my Hawaiian sundress to work yesterday, but I thought that would just be too obnoxious.

But can you blame me? We’re finally on our way to Hawaii. Our plane leaves in a few hours and by this afternoon, I’ll be lounging on the beach with a tropical drink in my hand. YAY!

Needless to say, there won’t be a whole lot of sewing going on next week, but I made sure to get the third episode of the Learn to Sew series up and running for you before I left:

How to Read a Pattern and Choose Fabrics


If you’ve ever ventured into a fabric shop and tried to read the mysterious language on the back of a pattern envelope,


wondered what all of those marks on the pattern mean and


wanted to know how to choose fabric and cut out the pattern,


then this episode is just what you’ve been looking for.

Join me here for the third episode in the new Learn to Sew series. It’s free and you can access it anytime you like.

If you missed the first two episodes you can find them here:

Learn to Sew: Essential Sewing Tools In this episode you learn how to get your sewing machine up and running, wind a bobbin and what tools you need to get started on your sewing adventures.

Learn to Sew: Basic Sewing Machine Stitches  This is where your sewing adventure begins. You’ll learn to sew a straight stitch, basting stitch, gathering stitch, zig zag stitch, reverse stitch, how to turn a corner and how to make a buttonhole. Then you’ll practice your newfound skills by creating your own pillowcase.

Well, I’m off on my tropical adventure, but I’ll still have my computer with me if you have any questions or comments on this new episode.



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Learn to Sew: Basic Sewing Machine Stitches

It’s here!

Episode 2 of the Learn to Sew Series.

It’s free and you can access it anytime you like.

So, pick out a scrap piece of fabric, turn on your machine and crank up those tunes, because THIS is where your sewing adventure really begins!

Learn to Sew: Basic Sewing Machine Stitches

In this episode, you’ll learn to sew a straight stitch, basting stitch, gathering stitch, zig zag stitch, reverse stitch, how to turn a corner and how to make a buttonhole.



Then you’ll practice your newfound skills by creating your own cute pillowcase.


To see the first episode in this fun new Learn to Sew series you can click here to learn how to wind a bobbin and thread your machine.


Thank you so much for your wonderful response to this new sewing series. I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun it is for me to see how excited you are about learning to sew. And thank you so much for sharing these posts with your friends and family that also want to learn to sew. I always look forward to your comments here and over at eHow.

Happy Sewing!


For more sewing and refashioning inspiration click here:


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A Tote Bag Tutorial


Tote bags, tote bags!

Who wants to make a tote bag?


Tote bags are an easy first project if you’re just learning to sew or a wonderful way to get back into sewing to refresh your skills. Even if you’ve been sewing for years, tote bags are fun projects to make for gifts or even for yourself.


When Becky Olk invited me to be a guest on the midwestern lifestyle show, Happi House, I jumped at the chance to hang out with them again. In this episode, Happi and I make this tote bag together.

Click here to watch us in action.

I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed filming it with the creative and fun Happi House crew.


“Happi” Sewing!




If you’re just learning to sew or would like to refresh your skills, click here for the first episode of the new sewing series: Learn to Sew. It’s free and you can access it anytime you’d like.

Thank you to everyone who went over to eHow and shared the first episode in the Learn to Sew series. And thanks so much for all of your nice comments! The winner of The Refashion Handbook is… Mary Anne Bolis Krohn. Send your address to bhunting@eoni.com and I’ll send the book to you ASAP.


For more sewing/refashioning inspiration:


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10 Most Popular Posts of 2015

“Remember, Cooper, something wonderful is going to happen today!”

Even though Cooper sometimes sighs and raises his eyebrows when I say this, I can tell by the way the corners of his mouth go up a bit and by the little twinkle in his eye, that deep down Coop loves hearing me say this every day in my sing song voice as I leave the house. I mean really, what teenager wouldn’t? Right???!!!! :)

 Well, on this last day of 2015 as we head into a new year, I want to say the same thing to all of you:

“Remember, something wonderful is going to happen in 2016!”

I hope this past year has been a beautiful time in your lives and my wish for all of you in 2016: Lots of love, success, wonderful new experiences and abundance!

Thanks so much for always being so supportive and encouraging. It’s so much fun for me to know which projects and articles you liked the best and here’s the top ten list for 2015 starting with the 10th most popular article. (I love that two of the articles include Brookie!)

# 10 – Sewing 101: Basic Clothing Alterations You Can Do Yourself


#9 – DIY Upcycled Clutch

Upcycled Clutch

#8 – How to Make Headbands Out of Shirts

How to Make T-Shirt Headbands

#7 – Refashioned Denim Easter Basket

Upcycled Denim Easter Basket

#6 – How to Make Aprons From Shirts

How to Make Aprons From Shirts

#5 – How to Make a Ballet Tutu

Ballet Tutu

#4 – How to Turn a Crew Neck T-Shirt Into a V-Neck


#3 – How to Make a Pair of Slippers

How to Make a Pair of Slippers

#2 – How to Make the Waist Bigger on Jeans

How to make the waist bigger on Jeans

#1 – How to Take in a Pair of Blue Jeans

How to Make Your Jeans Fit Like a Glove

And there you have it. The top ten posts of 2015.

Happiest of New Years to all of you and a big Happy Birthday to my sister Jan!

And don’t forget,

Something wonderful is going to happen this year!!



PS. If your new year plans include learning how to sew or dusting off your sewing machine and you’d like a refresher course, you can check out my new Learn to Sew Series here. It’s free and you can access it whenever you’d like.

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Learn to Sew: A New Series

So, you’ve watched Project Runway for years now.

You marvel at the haute couture creations of the young seamstress in the series, The Time in Between by María Dueñas.

You run your hands over beautiful textiles as you wander through fabric shops imagining what you could make if you only knew how to sew.


Maybe you even opened a beautiful new sewing machine on Christmas morning.


Now what? Where do you start? What else will you need to buy? How will you get that sewing machine up and running?

Well, grab my hand and come with me to my new sewing series, Learn to Sew where together we’ll get your machine up and running, get you the tools you need, master the basic stitches, crack the pattern code, create a few simple projects to get you started and before you know it, you’ll be making your own fabric treasures. :)

Once you get a taste of how much fun sewing can be, I promise, you’ll never look back.


If you’d like to learn to sew or know someone who would, click here for the first free episode: Essential Sewing Tools.

I hope you enjoy this new series and as an added bonus, if you make a comment over at eHow and pin the Essential Sewing Tools  article to one of your Pinterest boards, your name will be entered to win a copy of The Refashion Handbook.


The winner will be announced next week.

Happy Sewing!



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“The Next Black” and Give an Old Coat a New Look: An Easy Wool Coat Refashion

I love a good documentary.

And when it explores the future of fashion and gives me some new vocabulary words to throw around in certain circles, EVEN BETTER!

The Next Black is a compelling film that explores the way innovative designers and companies are creating the next big steps in clothing history.

We’ve all heard the words sustainability, slow fashion and recycling which are highlighted in this film, too, but what really rolled my socks up and down were the new phrases such as “Digital Couture Experiences”, “Wearable Tech” and “Bio Couture”.

So fascinating!!!

When I watch a film like this, I’m totally inspired, recharged and ready to forge forward doing what I do. Creating new clothing from old isn’t as new and innovative as some of the techniques in The Next Black,  but it’s still an important part of changing the way the world views clothing and fashion. It’s an honor and so much fun to be a part of this movement.

And even though this next refashion project wasn’t created on a 3-d printer, doesn’t measure your heart rate and wasn’t created in a petri dish, I still think it’s pretty cool. :)


We all have one — an old faithful winter coat that has kept us warm for years, but has gotten slightly blah. Instead of getting rid of it, give it a modern, edgy twist by adding leather.


To get the step by step directions and to help change the way the world views fashion and clothing, click here.

Thanks, as always, for checking out my articles over at eHow. Even just clicking on the link helps me to be able to keep bringing you more refashion inspiration. If you’d like to help spread the refashion movement even more, share it on your social media sites or pin it on one of your Pinterest boards. That helps more than you’ll ever know.

Happy Sewing!


For more sewing and refashion inspiration:


And just in case you’re looking that perfect gift for a seamstress in you life,

The Refashion Handbook

The Refashion Handbook is now 25% off when you buy it directly from me.

Happy Holidays!


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DIY: Removable Faux Fur Cuffs

Ooh La La! Shopping never looked so good!

My beautiful friend Linda is looking mighty fine in these, easy to make, removable faux fur cuffs. No need to make separate cuffs for all of your coats and jackets. Just make one pair and switch ’em out.


All you need is 1/4 yard of faux fur and lining material, a hair elastic and some buttons to make your own removable faux fur cuffs.


Click here to get the step by step directions to make some faux fur cuffs for yourself or someone you love.

And just a thought…..

These cuffs would make a great handmade gift this time of year. :)


Have fun with the cuffs and remember, if you’re looking for a gift idea or maybe even a treat for yourself, you can get my book, The Refashion Handbook: Refit, Redesign, Remake for Everybody for 25% off right now.

Click here to order.

For more sewing and refashion inspiration click here.

Enjoy your week!


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Holiday Sale: 25% Off The Refashion Handbook: Refit, Redesign, Remake For Every Body


Thanks for stopping by all these years! Your visits, comments and encouragement make it all worth it.

For your holiday shopping pleasure, The Refashion Handbook is now 25% off.

Click here to order some for the seamstresses in your life.

The Refashion Handbook

Have a wonderful weekend!


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Fun Thanksgiving DIYs To Do With Kids

Tomorrow is the big day.

You can get the kids involved in holiday decorating by adding a thoughtful touch to your Thanksgiving table with whimsical turkey place cards. Made with love and kid fingerprints, these vibrant and colorful turkeys will welcome all your family and friends to the table this year.


Click here or on a picture to find out how to make these cute place cards.



And if you’re feeling especially ambitious, kids and adults alike can get in on the fun this Turkey Day by creating these fun and colorful pinecone turkeys. Use them for centerpieces, napkin holders, or even place cards for a festive, family-made Thanksgiving tablescape.



Click here or on a picture to find out how to make a pinecone turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!


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