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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DIY: You CAN Rock That Too-Small Leather Skirt After All!

I’ve always thought that there is something so extravagant, so luxurious, and so gorgeous about a leather skirt. Leather skirts seemed a bit self-indulgent to me, but you know what?Why not be a bit self-indulgent during the holiday season? We’re so totally worth it! New Year’s Eve party, here we come, showing off a bit of leg and rockin’ our leather skirts!!!!

But of course, this skirt didn’t start out this way.

No. It. Didn’t.


It started as a super small thrift store skirt that I bought, at the time, just for the leather. You know… to make a bag or something. I NEVER intended to wear it as a skirt.


But, by adding some width and softening up the look a bit by with a beautiful panel of a discontinued upholstery fabric sample, this skirt became perfectly wearable just in time for the holidays.


Click here to find out how to create your own cool leather skirt to rock this holiday season.


And for more sewing and refashion inspiration, click here.

Happy Sewing!


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An Easy DIY Fringe Cardigan

Getting dressed in the morning will be so much more fun when you have a couple of these ridiculously easy-to-make fringe cardigans hanging around in your closet.


All you need is 1 1/2 yards of knit sweater fabric and about 30 minutes to make one for yourself.


And I’m not gonna lie: For some reason, I LOVE making fringe!!!!


To learn how to make this cute fringe cardigan, click here and as usual, I’d love to know your thoughts.:) A big thanks to all of you who share and “like” my tutorials over at eHow, it is because of your kind actions that I get to keep bringing you these tutorials. HUGS!

For example:

Thanks to you, my article: Sewing 101: 14 Basic Clothing Alterations You Can Do Yourself has been in eHow’s top 100 articles for over a month now.


And the other day I heard from the editors at AllFreeSewing.com. They let me know that, thanks to you, my Renegade Tote Bag Pattern is one of their top 50 projects, too.

A Totebag Tutorial

Thank you for being the most encouraging and supportive subscribers a blogger could ever hope for!!!

For more refashion and sewing inspiration click here.

Happy Sewing!


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How to Hem Knits Without a Serger

I’m here to tell you that you can sew most anything on a basic sewing machine.

Nothing too fancy here for The Renegade Seamstress.

However, one of these days, I just know someone important in the sewing world is going to notice that I don’t have a serger and they are going feel compelled to give one to me.

Until then, I’ll just have to make due with my beautiful Genie from the 70’s, who, BTW, really rolls my socks up and down and if you missed how we met, you can read all about it here.


One of my favorite fabrics to sew with is knits. So forgiving, so stretchy and no special finishing needed on the seams.

Even though knits don’t fray and hemming isn’t always necessary, it’s a good idea to hem them anyway to give your special projects that professional, well-made look.

My favorite tool of the trade when sewing with knits…..

drumroll please…….

the double needle!


A double needle, sometimes called a twin needle is super easy to use and creates a beautiful, professional looking hem every time.


But even if you don’t have access to a double needle, there are several other ways to create a beautiful hem on your knit garment using a single needle and a regular sewing machine.


Check out my latest eHow article to learn three ways to hem knits using a regular sewing machine with and without a double needle.

The winner of The Refashion Handbook from last week’s article, How to Add Sleeves to a Sleeveless Dress, is Lynness Hawkes. Thank you for leaving such a nice comment over at eHow. Send your address to me at bhunting@eoni.com and I’ll send it out to you ASAP.

 For more sewing and refashion inspiration, click here.

Happy Sewing!


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