Colour Pop Top Knock-off {tutorial}


Knock if Off is a series hosted by the fabulous Heidi of Elegance & Elephants and is one of my favorites.  Knock offs are awesome – we all do it – see something at the store and think, “I can make that!”  That’s why so many of us sew in the first place!  The series is already going strong, and you can check out projects from the last 2 weeks here!

For my project, I recreated this Applique Colour Pop Top from Mini Boden.


It’s a perfect top for summer and really simple to make.  Plus you can customize it with whatever applique you want!  It doesn’t take much fabric and is great for showcasing scraps of cute fabric.  I actually think this is the perfect project to make from an old t-shirt if you have one laying around, and that makes the project even simpler!  Anyways, versatile top, simple to sew, and great for the upcoming summer months – makes a perfect top to knock off!



Fun right?  I’m going to show you how to make your own!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fabric (I think anything light to medium weight is fine – linen, cotton, knits, etc. and amount will depend on what size you’re making, but for most kids, 1/2 yard will be plenty).
  • Scraps of fabric for applique
  • Strips of fabric for shoulder ties, or store bought bias tape if you’re looking to skip some steps 🙂
  • Paper backed (double sided) fusible web (I use Pellon 805 Wonder-Under)

ColourPopTop3I’m still trying to work through my stash and not buy new fabric, so I dug through stash for all the solid cottons I could find.  Ended up using some leftover linen from this coat and a bunch of scraps from various projects.  The yellow fabric is actually polka dotted because I couldn’t find any solid yellow 🙂

To cut your main fabric, find a top that fits your kid well – a loose fit tunic is probably best.  Measure the width of the bottom.  Add one inch for seam allowance and that will be the width of your fabric.

ColourPopTop4For the length of the fabric, I used the same tunic to measure the general length.  The top of your fabric will be folded over twice to create a casing, so add that to your measurement and know that this will hit at the top of the chest (not shoulders).  Also remember to add about 1.5 inches for hemming the bottom.  You need two of these rectangles – one for the front and one for the back.


Fold one of the pieces in half lengthwise to cut out the armholes.  I just eyeballed this, but draw and cut a curve in the top corner (not on the fold).  The top inch and a half will become the casing, so this should be a straight line down before it curves.

ColourPopTop6When you open up your piece, it should look like this.

ColourPopTop7For simplicity sake, I decided to make the front and back of the shirt the exact same, so using the cut piece, trace the same curve on the 2nd rectangle.

You will also need to cut two strips of fabric on the bias for finishing your armholes.  I cut my strips at 1 inch by about 12 inches or so (and had a lot extra).  You’ll need your scraps of fabric for the applique.  I had 6 colors and 2 circles of each and my circles were about 2-2.5 inches, so I cut little rectangles that would fit two circles on them.  You’ll also need fabric for straps.  If you’re using pre-made bias tape, you can skip this step, otherwise, cut 2 strips of fabric that are 2 inches wide and 30ish inches long (does not need to be on the bias).  Again, mine ended up being longer than necessary, but you can always trim them later.


Now let’s get started with the applique!  Be sure to follow the directions for your particular fusible web.  Cut your fusible web into rectangles slightly smaller than your fabric scraps.  With the Pellon Wonder-Under, there is a papery side and a rough/web side.  The rough side will be ironed down to the wrong side of your fabric.  Repeat with all the fabric scraps.

ColourPopTop9You can easily draw on the papery surface of the fusible web, so sketch your shape out (or just start cutting if you’re feeling daring!)

ColourPopTop10Cut out your circles and play around with placement on your fabric.  Be sure to leave 1/2 an inch on either side for seam allowance, plus room to hem the bottom as well.

ColourPopTop11Once you’ve got it just the way you want it, carefully peel off the paper backing and adhere the circles to your main fabric with your iron.  Be sure to read the directions of your fusible web first!  Wonder-Under requires a damp cloth between the applique and the iron.  Once you’ve got all your circles fused on, top stitch around the edge of the circle with coordinating thread.  Take your time, rounded edges are always tricky – but if they aren’t perfect, no worries!  It just adds character! 🙂

ColourPopTop12Repeat with all the circles.

ColourPopTop13Fun!  Now we need to construct the top.  Lay the front and back pieces with right sides together and pin the side.  Sew up the side seams with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Finish the raw edges with a serger, zig zag stitch or pinking shears, if desired.

ColourPopTop14Press the seam open.  To finish the armholes, take your bias strips and press one edge in about 3/8 inch towards the wrong side.  Repeat with the other strip.


To finish the armholes (click on the picture below for a larger view):
1. Pin the bias tape along the edge of the armhole (right sides together).  Raw edges should be aligned (not the folded edge).
2. Sew along the edge of the armhole with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and then press the bias tape up.
3. Flip to the wrong side and fold the bias tape twice, once along the previously pressed crease and then again to encase the raw edge.  Pin and sew along the edge of the bias tape fold.
4. Trim an excess bias tape, press flat and you should have a beautifully finished armhole! Repeat with the other side.

ColourPopTop16Once you have your armholes finished, we can finish the front and back neckline.  Fold the front edge down about 3/4 inch towards the wrong side and press.  Fold down another 3/4 inch, press and pin.  Sew along the edge to create a casing (leave the two ends open).

ColourPopTop17Repeat with the back.  To create your ties, fold your strips lengthwise, wrong sides together and press.  Fold the two edges in towards the center fold (folding your strip into fourths) and press.  For the ends, unfold the strip and tuck the end in about half an inch.  Fold it back up so you’ve got a nice clean end.  Then top stitch around all open edges.  If you’re using pre-made bias tape, you can just skip right to the top stitching step.

ColourPopTop18I went ahead and eyeballed the tie length, but ended up shortening them after I put them in the top.  So, if you want to top stitch everything but the last few inches, you can finish that part after you’ve measured out the exact length that you want.

Using a safety pin, thread one tie through the casing on the front of the top, and the other tie through the back casing.  Tie them (and trim and finish edges if necessary).

ColourPopTop 25

Then hem the bottom to the desired length by folding and pressing the bottom edge twice towards the wrong side and stitching close to the folded edge.




Now you know how to make a simple and fun summer top!  And think of all the endless applique possibilities!

If you make a top using this tutorial, please add it to the you & mie flickr group!  I LOVE seeing your creations!

OR if you’ve made your own knock off project, be sure to add it to the Knock It Off Flickr Group.  And don’t miss out on the rest of the series over on Elegance and Elephants!

So before I go, I couldn’t not share how goofy my kid is, but for some strange reason during this photo shoot, Yuki decided to sing “Doe A Deer” from the Sound of Music at the top of her lungs on repeat.  Oh how I wish these photos captured sound . . .

ColourPopTop23I love her . . .

ColourPopTop 24Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Reversible Spring Coat Tutorial

I’m re-posting this Reversible Spring Coat tutorial that was originally up on iCandy Handmade for their Basic Bodice Series.  The premise of the series was that if you have a great bodice pattern and some ideas for mixing it up, you can pretty much make anything!

ReversibleCoatSo I decided to take a basic dress bodice and turn into a reversible coat!

It’s going to take a bit of pattern altering, of course, but I’ll walk you through it and it’ll be pretty simple!


And the finished product will be a sweet and practical coat for your little one!  I used 2 lightweight fabrics (nani iro double gauze and linen) to make a spring coat since I know the weather will be warming up soon.

You’ll need:

  • 2 fabrics (yardage will depend on what size coat you’re making)
  • 4 buttons (or as many as you desire, just be sure they are the same size and you have enough for both sides of the coat)
  • interfacing (optional)
  • bodice pattern
  • sleeve pattern (or draft your own)
  • tracing paper
  • ruler

I started out with Made by Rae’s Geranium Dress pattern for my bodice because it’s the pattern I’ve been using for dresses recently, but you can use pretty much any basic bodice pattern.  I went up one size because this is outerwear and I want it to fit over clothes, so instead of 2T which my daughter usually wears, I cut out the 3T size bodice pattern.

Basic Bodice Coat1The original pattern has the front bodice piece cut on the fold and a button placket in the back, but we want our button placket in the front and will cut our back piece on the fold.  So, the first step is to cut the extra off the back bodice.  Place the front bodice pattern on top of the back bodice pattern lining up the bottom of the armhole and bodice.  Mark the fold line onto the back pattern and cut on the line.

Basic Bodice Coat2Depending on your bodice pattern, you may want to lower the bottom of the armhole.  I trimmed off a bit starting from half an inch down.

Basic Bodice Coat3On your tracing paper, line up the straight edge of your back pattern piece with the edge of your paper and trace the shoulder seam and armhole.  I raised the neckline so it hit about an inch higher at the fold line.

Basic Bodice Coat4From the bottom of the armhole, use a ruler to make an A-line shape for your coat.  You can make it whatever length you want.  The bottom hemline is slightly curved.

Basic Bodice Coat5For the front pattern piece, you’ll want to take another piece of tracing paper and tape it so it hangs over the straight edge of the back coat pattern by 1.5 inches (1/2 an inch for seam allowance and another 1 inch for the button placket).  Place the front bodice pattern to top so that the bottom of the armhole and the straight edge lines up with the back piece.  Trace the shoulder seam and armhole of the bodice pattern.  I brought the neckline up by about 1/2 an inch.

Basic Bodice Coat6Remove the bodice pattern and trace the side seam and bottom hemline from the back pattern piece.  Make sense?

Basic Bodice Coat7_1Here’s what my pattern pieces looked like.

Basic Bodice Coat8

You’ll also need to draft a sleeve, collar and pocket pattern.  For the sleeve, I actually used one that I already had.  To make sure it’d fit, I cut a muslin of the sleeve piece and after I sewed the front and back pieces together of the coat, I checked to see if it would fit in the armhole, then adjusted the pattern as necessary.  If you don’t have a pattern piece for a sleeve, you can find many tutorials for drafting your own with a simple web search.

For the collar, I used this tutorial by Vanessa of LBG Studio.  And for the pocket, I took a piece of paper, folded it in half and drew the basic shape that I wanted.  Be sure to add seam allowance!

Basic Bodice Coat9Basic Bodice Coat10

From Fabric A, you’ll need:
– 2 front pieces
– 1 back piece (cut on the fold)
– 1 collar piece
– 2 sleeves
– 4 pockets

And from Fabric B, you’ll need the exact same thing.

Now we get to the sewing part!

Basic Bodice Coat11

*If you are using super thin or flimsy fabric, you may want to fuse interfacing to one or both of the collar pieces to add more structure.  I did not.*

Place your collar pieces down (1 from Fabric A and 1 from Fabric B) with right sides together.  Pin and sew the outer edge.  Clip rounded edges to reduce bulk when you flip the collar right side out.

Basic Bodice Coat12Flip right side out and press flat.  Top stitch around the outer edge, if desired.

Basic Bodice Coat13Place two pocket pieces together (right sides together) and pin.  Sew around the edge, leaving a 1 inch opening.  I like to sew along the opening as well because it helps flip the seam allowance in when you turn the pocket right side out.

Basic Bodice Coat14

Flip the pocket right side out, press flat and sew onto one of the front coat pieces.  Stitch close to the curved edge of the pocket, back stitching several times at the tops of the pocket to reinforce the corners (don’t sew the pocket closed!)  Repeat with the other 2 pocket pieces for Fabric A.

*Again, if your fabrics are really thin, you can add a strip of interfacing to the front coat pieces where your buttonholes and buttons will be.  Cut two strips of fusible interfacing 1 inch wide.  The length will depend on how many buttons and where you will place them.  Fuse them to the wrong side of your front bodice pieces 1/2 an inch from the edge.  I skipped this step too.*

Basic Bodice Coat15Pin and sew shoulder seams.  Press them open.

Basic Bodice Coat16Open up the coat at the shoulder seam, right side up.  Find the center of the sleeve and pin that to the shoulder seam, right sides together.  Continue pinning the sleeve to the armhole carefully.  Sew and press seam.  Repeat with other sleeve.

Basic Bodice Coat17Line up the side seams and the bottom of the sleeve, pin and sew (right sides together).  Repeat with the other sleeve and side seam.  Turn coat right side out and press.

Basic Bodice Coat18Take your prepared collar and line up the center with the center of the back of the coat.  You want the right sides of Fabric A to be facing up for both the collar and the coat when you lay them on top of each other like this.  Pin the inner edge of the collar to the neckline of the coat.  Baste the collar to the coat.

Basic Bodice Coat19Repeat all of the steps with Fabric B (except for basting the collar).

Basic Bodice Coat20To attach the two coats, lay Fabric A coat down, right side up.

Basic Bodice Coat21_1Lay the Fabric B coat on top, right sides together.  Sleeves should be on the inside.  Pin the entire outer edge and sew together leaving about a 6-8″ opening along the bottom.

Basic Bodice Coat22Pull the sleeves out.

Basic Bodice Coat23Take one of the sleeves and fold it out (towards the wrong side) by about 1.5 inches.  Slide it inside the other sleeve, line up the bottom seams of the sleeves and pin the ends of the sleeves together.

Basic Bodice Coat24

Sew the sleeves together along the pinned edge.  Go slowly and untwist the coat to your left as you go along.  Repeat with other sleeves.

Flip the coat right side out through the opening in the bottom.  You’re almost done!!  Press all the edges of the coat out.  Hand sew the opening shut using a slip stitch.  If you want, you can top stitch along the entire outer edge of the coat.

Basic Bodice Coat25

Sew your buttonholes where desired and attach your buttons.  You’ll want to either use the same buttons on both sides or at least use the same size buttons.  I sewed buttons to both sides of the coat at the same time using one thread.

You’re done!

ReversibleCoat1Now your kiddo has two stylish coats in one!


I hope you guys have fun with your bodice patterns and are realizing all the endless possibilities a great pattern has.  If you sew up a reversible coat using this tutorial (or any from this site), I’d love it if you shared it with us in the you & mie flickr pool!

Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Confused Geese Pillow Cover {tutorial}

Like I said, I didn’t make too many Christmas gifts this year.  But I did make one more.  This is the last one.  I’m pretty sure.

Our best friends, Sanjai and Jude, are truly amazing.  They invite us over to their house every week, cook amazing meals, are the BEST with Yuki and overall, just take great care of us.  Over the last several years we’ve become very close and their house has become our second home.  And it. is. gorgeous.  If you follow me on Instagram (@youandmie), you’ve probably seen pictures of their house.  And one day maybe I can give you a full tour because it really is magazine worthy.

Anyways, we love spending time there and so does Yuki.  They take great pride in their home and they have amazing style.  When I was thinking of a gift for them, a throw pillow seemed most appropriate because I knew they could put it wherever they wanted and switch it out with other covers depending on how they were feeling/decorating at the moment.

Around that time, Jessica from A Little Gray posted a work-in-progress picture of this pillow cover she was working on and she happened to mention “flying geese” in the caption.  Lucky for me, because I didn’t know these cool triangle patterns had a name!  (but of course they do).  Once I looked up what “flying geese” were, I was hooked.  I’ve totally fallen for the triangle craze and I was drawn to this particular pillow cover.  I was just going to copy it exactly, with a row of triangles, but as usual, I had to go and make it all complicated 😛

So I played around in my sketchbook a bit and came up with this design.

Confused GeeseConfused Geese1I call it the Confused Geese Pillow Cover.

Why confused?  Because all of my geese are flying in different directions . . . get it!??

Haha.  Anyways, it’s a simple envelope pillow and I like the way it came out except it’s a bit too snug on the pillow form.  I had read somewhere that for an 18×18″ pillow form, a 16×16″ cover would fit well.  But it’s a bit too snug, on two sides anyways.  Maybe I’d give it an extra inch for room if I were to make it again.

I used a mustard linen blend that I had originally bought for another project – but it ended up being perfect for this.  Great color, soft enough for comfort but sturdy enough for a throw pillow.  The geese and center diamond are made from fabric scraps in my stash.  The dark gray is the chambray I used for my Darling Ranges Dress, and the light gray is a quilting cotton that I used to make my first pair of pants ever for Yuki when she was about one.  I never blogged it, so here’s a picture.

Simple Baby PantsAwww, baby Yuki learning to walk . . .

Anyways, there are tons of great tutorials out there to teach you how to make flying geese (which is how I learned), but in case you wanted to put together this exact pattern, I thought I’d show you how.  There are a lot of numbers, but I have all the measurements for you, so even if you’re not a quilter or you’ve never made flying geese before, it’s really quite simple.  I will say, however, it takes a bit of patience and attention to detail if you want all your corners to come out sharp.  Mine certainly aren’t perfect (so don’t look too close)!!

As I mentioned, my finished pillow cover was 16×16 inches.  I’ll give you all the measurements for that (and in parenthesis I’ll note the size I’d use to make a 17×17 inch cover).  If there is no parenthesis, you should use the measurement listed for both size pillow covers.

For your main fabric, you’ll need:
– 4 squares that measure 7 x 7 inches (7.5 x 7.5)
– 4 rectangles that measure 4.5 x 3 inches (4.5 x 3.5)
– 12 squares that measure 2  7/8 x 2  7/8 inches
– 2 rectangles that measure 12 x 17 inches for the back of the pillow (12.5 x 18)

For Accent Fabric A (which in my case is the dark gray chambray), you’ll need:
– 2 squares that measure 5.25 x 5.25 inches

For Accent Fabric B (the light gray), you’ll need:
– 1 square that measures 5.25 x 5.25 inches

You’ll also need:
– a 17 x 17 inch (or 18 x 18) piece of fabric to use as backing for the pieced pillow cover.  I used my main fabric, but you can really use whatever you like as it will only be on the inside of your pillow cover and won’t really show.

*seam allowance for piecing the entire pillow top is 1/4″
*seam allowance for sewing the pillow front to back pieces is 1/2″

Ok, to start, you’ll need to make your flying geese!  Grab one Fabric A square and 4 of your 2  7/8 squares.  The large square will become the “geese” (large triangles) and the small yellow squares are called “sky” pieces.

FlyingGeese01Now go and follow this tutorial on how to make 4 flying geese.  I like this tutorial, not only because it’s easy to understand but because she is making the exact same size geese as we need!

Take your time and make sure to sew straight and press well.  This will help get neat looking triangles.  Now repeat with Fabric B to make 4 more flying geese.  You should have 4 geese with Fabric A and 4 with Fabric B.

To make the diamond in the center of the pillow, you’re going to need your last Fabric A square and the last four 2  7/8 squares of your main fabric.  It’s going to start out a lot like you’re making flying geese.

FlyingGeese02Draw diagonal lines from one corner to the opposite corner on all 4 of the small “sky” squares.

FlyingGeese03Place one “sky” piece in the corner of the large square with the diagonal line cutting across the corner (not lined up with the corner).

FlyingGeese04Sew 1/4″ along the inside of the line (towards the center of the large square).  Cut away the excess fabric directly on the line and press open.

FlyingGeese05Going clockwise, place another “sky” piece in the next corner and repeat (you can see that I accidentally sewed on the outside of the line and then went ahead and unpicked it, even though it was going to get cut off in the end!  Doh!)

FlyingGeese06Repeat with the next corner.  Trim and press.

FlyingGeese07Done!  Now you’re ready to piece all your geese together!

FlyingGeese08Line up one edge of your diamond piece with the base of a Fabric B triangle, right sides together.  Sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Press open.

I didn’t take pictures of every step here because it gets a bit repetitive.  It should be fairly straightforward though.

Attach a Fabric A “goose” to the Fabric B “goose” in the same way.  Repeat to the opposite side of the diamond.  Your center panel is now pieced and should look like this:

FlyingGeeseLayout(Excuse my rough sketch – it is not to scale)

Sew one of the 4.5 x 3 inch (4.5 x 3.5) rectangles (in the main fabric) to the top of the panel and one to the bottom, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Set that aside.  Sew together the top of a Fabric B triangle to the base of a Fabric A triangle.  Then attach the top of the Fabric A triangle to your 4.5 x 3 (4.5 x 3.5) inch rectangular piece of the main fabric.  Press each seam open and repeat with your last two geese.  These are what your 3 pieces should look like:

FlyingGeese10Following along so far?  Ok, good!

FlyingGeese10_1Grab your 7 x 7 (or 7.5 x 7.5) inch squares and sew them onto the sides of the 2 small rows of the triangles to complete the side panels.

FlyingGeese12Line up the edges (right sides together) and sew with a 1/4 seam allowance.  Repeat with the other 3 corner pieces and your side panels should look like this:


FlyingGeese14Now sew the side panels to the center panel with a 1/4 inch seam allowance and your pillow cover top is complete!!

FlyingGeese15Place it on top of your 17 x 17 (18 x 18) inch backing and quilt the layers together however you like.  I kept it simple.

Now to complete your pillow cover, take one of your 12 x 17 (12.5 x 18) inch rectangles and hem one of the longer sides by folding under by 1/4″, pressing, folding under another 1/4″, pressing and then sewing along the fold.  Repeat with the other back piece.

Now to sew the front and back pieces together, place your pillow top right side up on a flat surface.  Place one of the back pieces on top, right sides together, lining up 2 of the the corners and with the hemmed edge towards the center.  Place the other back piece, right side down, also with the hemmed edge towards the center of the pillow, lining up the corners.  The back pieces should overlap by about 6 inches.

Pin along the outer edges of the pillow and sew around all 4 sides with a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Trim and/or finish edges as desired, turn right side out and press.

You’re done!  If the construction of the front and back pieces is confusing without pictures, search for “envelope pillow tutorial” and I bet you’ll find a million.

Now stuff the pillow cover with your pillow form, step back and admire your work!

photo(24)If you make a Confused Geese Pillow Cover, don’t forget to upload your photos to the you & mie flickr group!

Hope you all have a wooooonderful weekend!  3 days off for me – yipee!

Quilted Jacket {Mini Boden Knock Off}

Since I’m on a little vacation, I thought it might be a good time to bring home some guest posts that were originally posted on other blogs.  This is one of my favorites from this past year (did you see my top 12?) that was posted on Elegance and Elephants for her Knock It Off series.  Enjoy!


I love sewing all sorts of things, but sewing for my daughter is my absolute favorite.  I’m also a huge fan of Heidi’s and I think this series is absolutely brilliant – I mean, who doesn’t love a good knock off?!

But I didn’t realize just how hard it was going to be to pin down just ONE thing to knock off!  There are soooo many awesome store bought outfits out there just waiting to be made at home.  I checked out some of my favorite knock-off inspiration pinboards (here, here, and here) and consulted with my favorite idea girl, Kristin, and with her help FINALLY decided on this Mini Boden Quilted Jacket.


I love that the jacket is super stylish, warm and comfy and the bias tape finishing actually makes the construction really quite simple.  I also love unisex patterns AND, get this, it can be reversible!!  The most time consuming part is the quilting, but it goes quickly once you get going (or you can buy pre-quilted fabric).  So let’s get started!

You’ll need:
– Main fabric
– Lining fabric
– Batting
– Double fold bias tape
– 4 buttons (or 8 if you’re making a reversible jacket)
– Chalk or fabric marking pen
– Coordinating thread
– Walking foot (optional)

Draft your pattern:
To draft your pattern, start with jacket or top that fits well and draft the back piece on the fold.  The jacket has a slight A-line shape, so draw a slight slant from the bottom of the armhole to the bottom corner of the pattern.

I need to mention that my jacket turned out quite snug on my daughter and I’m wondering if the batting had something to do with that.  I’d suggest giving your pattern some extra wiggle room when you draft it.

To draft the front piece, trace the shoulder, armhole and side and bottom of the back pattern.  The neckline should scoop lower and the center should extend past the back piece (mine extended 1.5 inches) and round your edges.

Using your well-fitting jacket, draft a pattern for the sleeves, a 3 piece hood and a pocket.

Cut your fabric:
Here’s what you’ll need to cut . . .

*If you want to make the jacket reversible, cut 4 pockets of the lining fabric as well.*

When I cut my batting, I pinned the main fabric to it and just roughly cut around it in case the batting shifted.

Now, we quilt!  We’re only going to quilt the main fabric to the batting.  Because I’m sorta anal, I wanted to center my diamonds.  So first mark a line down the center of the pattern piece.  Then make another line at 45 degrees.  I decided to make my lines 1.75 inches apart, so I cut a piece of cardboard of that width to help mark the rest of the lines.  Once you have your lines marked, sew along each line, using a walking foot if you have one.

To center your diamonds, draw a 45 degree angle going the other direction making sure to cross a point where the center line intersects with one of the lines you already quilted (red dot).  Use your cardboard ruler to mark the rest of your lines and quilt.  Trim the excess batting.

Repeat these steps to quilt all of your main/batting pieces.

Construct hood:
With right sides together, pin the curved side of the hood to the center panel and sew.  Repeat with the other side.  Press seams open.

Top stitch along the inside of your hood seams.

Attach pockets:
Position your pockets (right sides together) on the front and back pieces of the jacket, making sure they line up.  Sew along the straight edge.  Press open.

Attach shoulder seams:
Pin the front and back pieces right sides together at the shoulder and sew.  Press seams open.

Attach hood:
Line up the center of the jacket back with the center of the hood and pin, right sides together.  Pin the hood along neckline.  You want at least 2-3 inches of the jacket front to extend past the edge of the hood (I had to trim my hood back a little bit for it to fit).  Sew the hood on and press seam open.

You’ll have the extra seam allowance along the top edge that extends past the hood.  Trim that down and round the edge (I think this will make more sense as you’re sewing).

Attach sleeves:
Pin the center of the sleeve to the shoulder seam and then carefully pin the rest of the sleeve along the armhole, curving the fabric as you go.  When sewing, start from the shoulder seam and work your way down to the bottom of the armhole slowly.  Then start back at the shoulder seam to sew the other side of the sleeve.  Repeat with second sleeve and press.

Top stitch along the inside of the sleeve seam.

Side seams:
Turn your jacket inside out and pin the sleeves, sides and pockets together and sew.  Clip corners.  Flip your jacket right side out (your pocket will automatically be turned in) and press seams well.

Construct lining:
Follow the same steps to construct your lining, omitting the top stitching (if you are making a reversible jacket, add the pockets as you did previously.  If not, skip those steps).  This should come together really quickly and easily this time around!

Attach lining:
Once your lining is complete, slip it into the outer layer of the jacket, wrong sides together.  Make sure to carefully line up the seams and edges.  Pockets should be pointed towards the front of the jacket and be hidden between the lining and jacket.  Baste along the outside of the jacket very close to the edge to attach the layers together.

Binding edges:
We’re almost done!  To finish the edges, unfold your bias tape and starting from the bottom of the jacket, a few inches from a side seam, pin your bias tape along the edge of the jacket.  Make sure to leave several inches of bias tape free before you start pinning.  Continue along the entire edge of the jacket, being careful around curves.  You should have one continuous long edge starting at the side seam, up the front of the jacket, around the hood, back down the other side and along the bottom.  When you get close to where you started, measure where the ends will meet and sew the two ends of the bias tape together.

Sew along the crease of the bias tape closest to the edge.  Flip the bias tape over the edge of the jacket and fold the other edge of the bias tape back under.  Make sure to cover the stitch line with the edge of the bias tape and pin.  From the outside of the jacket, top stitch along the bias tape just next to the seam.

For the sleeve, measure the length around the sleeve and cut two pieces of bias tape one inch longer.  Unfold your bias tape and sew the ends right sides together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance creating a tube.  Press seam open.  Pin the bias tape along the edge of the sleeve and repeat same steps as before to attach binding.

Buttons and buttonholes:
Sew on your buttons and make buttonholes where desired.  If you are making a reversible jacket, sew buttons to both sides of the jacket.

And you’re done!


I hope you can make your little one something warm and comfy this season.  Please feel free to visit me at you & mie some time and if you make a quilted jacket, please add it to the you & mie flickr group because I love to see your creations!

(Faux) Leather Accent Foldover Clutch

Last month, Kristin shared a tutorial for a foldover doily clutch that was so super cute and seemed like the perfect gift for the upcoming holiday season.  Then I saw Vanessa‘s hand stamped foldover clutch with a block of vegan suede which was damn near perfection.  Which made me think of Delia‘s lil leather shoes that she’d make out of thrifted belts and purses.  Basically I just steal other people’s ideas and mix them all together into something a little different, because that’s how I came up with my go to Christmas gift for this year, the . . .

Foldover Clutches1 triangle_clutch1

I basically took Kristin’s tutorial and added faux-leather to the bottom.  For the large triangle clutch, I hand stamped my own fabric.  So there are a bunch of ways you can mix it up, or you can go with the original doily clutch just as it is – regardless, the tutorial is FANTASTIC.  Really simple, very clear and well written and so cute and practical – I highly recommend it.

So I started by going to the thrift store and looking for some cheap purses in great colors and with enough material to cut into rectangles for the bottom of these clutches.  If you are going with faux-leather, you can pick one up for just a couple bucks.

NaniIro Clutch

For this clutch, I busted out some Nani Iro Little Letter Flannel in sage green that I bought from Miss Matatabi because it matched soooo perfectly with this light brown leather I found.  I actually used the zipper from the original purse as well, which is why it matches so perfectly!  And I decided to go a little fun and funky with a tassel zipper pull 😛  The lining is a Japanese double sided gray and white fabric that I used in Yuki’s nursery.  These materials just came together so beautifully and I love the combo so much it really hurt to give this clutch away!  But it’s headed to someone who I know will appreciate it, so that makes me happy.

Anyways, I’m going to give you some tips that I learned about sewing with leather and show you how to remix Kristin’s foldover clutch to make a leather accented clutch.  It’s easy!

Leather sewing tips:
– Look for leather that is not too thick or hard (it’s obviously harder to sew with and your seams won’t press flat)
– Use a denim or leather needle – you’ll need something heavy duty that will hold up sewing two layers of leather
– Lengthen your stitch (so as to not perforate the leather)

Also, when choosing your fabrics, pick something in similar weight to your leather.  If you’re using a thick heavy leather, don’t use a flimsy fabric – it just won’t work.  You can use canvas or duckcloth, or add interfacing to your fabric.  Likewise, if your leather/faux leather material is very thin, a regular cotton will probably be perfect.

Alright, let’s get started!  If you’re using an old purse, carefully cut out the largest panels of material possible.  Also feel free to cut and save any other hardware you might want to keep (zippers, buckles, etc).

Leather3The rectangles of fabric in the original tutorial are 10×12 inches, so you’ll want to cut your leather 10 inches wide.  The height will depend on how large you want your leather block to be (and how much you have).  Be sure to add 1/2 an inch for seam allowance to the height.  Cut 2.

Leather4To figure out the size of your coordinating fabric for the outside of the clutch, you’ll want to take 13 and subtract the height of your leather piece.  That number will be the height and your width will be 10 inches.  The reason for this is that you want your finished piece to be 12 inches and you’ll need 1/2 an inch on each piece for seam allowance.  So for example, if I cut my leather piece at 10 inches by 4.5 inches, my fabric will need to be 10 inches by 8.5 inches (because 4.5 + 8.5 = 13).

Leather5Cut your lining fabric according to the tutorial directions.  You should have 2 of everything.

Sew your leather to your outer fabric by placing them right sides together, holding them in place with paper clips or binder clips (you don’t want to/won’t be able to pin the leather).  Sew them together with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.


Press your seam flat (but be careful pressing the leather – use a low heat and test it out on a scrap piece of leather first).


From here you can follow the original tutorial exactly!  The only part that is a little different is when you are sewing the front and back together, you’ll have to take some extra steps  switching your needle and thread colors.  I like to sew the leather first and then the regular fabric.  If your leather is pretty thick, you may want to round your bottom corners instead of trying to make them square.

Leather8Be sure to clip your corners.

Leather9And that’s it.  Kristin’s tutorial will walk you through the rest!

Maya Clutch


The hand stamped version required an extra few steps, but was totally worth it.  I carved a simple triangle shape and used fabric paint to make a fun pattern on canvas.

trianglestamp(testing on paper)

trianglestamp2Once it’s dried and set, you can cut and assemble as instructed above!


I had so much fun sewing these up these last couple of weeks and even more fun watching friends receive them.  It’s been a big hit, so if you’re looking for a last minute gift to sew up for someone stylish and special, definitely go check out Kristin’s foldover clutch tutorial.  You won’t regret it!

So are you still working on some last minute gifts or other holiday projects or are you all done?  Truth is, I’m so behind that I know I’ll be working past Christmas.  Better late than never right? 😛

Snowflake Tree Skirt

Hello!  I hope that those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving had a wonderful one.  I had a great week relaxing, eating and spending lots of time with family and I ended up taking the week off of blogging!  But now I’m back and super pumped about some fun things coming up.

It’s crazy how quickly the holiday season is approaching.  I’m a pretty bad holiday blogger because I never do projects early enough to share them with you guys.  But I did do a couple of holiday posts last year, back when I had like 2 followers, so I thought I’d bring them back.  The first is a tree skirt that I made for my very first REAL Christmas tree.

Haha, pretty dinky tree, huh?   We weren’t really sure if we were going to get a real tree last year, but Yuki was starting to understand holidays, so on a whim I bought this lil beauty at the supermarket.  I wanted to make a skirt, but since it was my first try I didn’t want to buy a bunch of new fabric, so I just used what I had at home – some gray and white felt and white fleece.  It’d woulda been nice if I’d had more festive color, but otherwise I’m really pleased with the way it came out!

I had this huge piece of dark gray craft felt that I bought for another project, but never used. I knew I wanted to use it up and it was the perfect size. It was a bit dark though, so I planned on accenting it with white snowflakes.  I found this tutorial online for a cute snowflake stocking and used it to make my tree skirt snowflakes. Here’s how I did it:

First I cut my main fabric (the gray felt) into a large square, about the size I wanted the finished skirt to be. I folded it in half and then in half again, so it was a square. Then I cut the fabric in an arc, from one edge to the other (with the folded corner on the inside of the arc). If you want to be precise, you can measure from the corner to the edge (which is your radius) and measure and mark (with chalk or pins) the same distance around until you get to the other edge. Sorry, I didn’t photograph this part, I hope it makes sense. I also cut a quarter circle from the corner for the center of the skirt.

This is when the fabric was still folded in fourths, after cutting:When you unfold it, it should look like this. I cut a straight line from the outer edge to the inner circle for an opening.I wanted to make a scalloped border, so I took some white fleece and cut it into 2″ strips. I had to cut about 5 strips and sew them together to make it long enough to go around the outer edge of the circle.

I used a round cap to make the scalloped design and then cut it out.

I lined the straight edge of the scalloped border with the outside edge of the skirt and zig zag stitched them together all the way around. Then I considered top stitching the scallops down for some nice detail, but after realizing it would take too long and be really hard to make it look nice, I opted for some fabric glue 🙂

Now for the snowflakes! The post I mentioned earlier has some templates for snowflakes that I printed out. I traced them onto white felt.

I used my machine to sew along the lines.

The most time consuming part of this project was cutting out the snowflakes, but I just turned on a movie and cut away!

Finally I glued them on with some fabric glue and I was done!

The best part about this project was that I already had all the felt, fleece and glue, so I didn’t have to buy anything extra.  Now we got our tree and skirt and all we need are some presents!

Have you started your holiday decorating?


Crayon Booklet Party Favors

So before I go back in time to share some of my summer (and pre-summer – eek!) projects, here’s one that I just finished last week.  My daughter recently turned two and we threw a casual little park get-together for some of her kiddo friends and their parents.  Around the same time that I was planning her party, I stumbled upon small + friendly’s new-sew crayon wrap tutorial.  I thought it was genius!  What a simple project to make and perfect for parents of toddlers to whip out at restaurants or whenever they need to distract their little one.  I decided I wanted to make them as part of the party favor for Yuki’s birthday party!

But could I keep it simple?  Could I keep it no-sew?  Nooooooooo . . . obviously not.  I had to go and make it all difficult for myself.  Hah!  Well actually, though did make a few changes and add a few steps, it was still a super simple project and I was able to whip up 17 of these crayon booklets pretty quickly.  AND I had all the materials I needed already in my stash (except for the crayons), so that was a big plus!

So here’s how I used Carla’s tutorial and made my own lil version.  You’ll need:

Felt (I used a wool felt for the outside and acrylic for the inside because that is what I had on hand)
Exacto knife
Crayons & paper
Sewing essentials

First, Carla mentions in her tutorial that if you want to thicken your felt to wash it in hot water, put it in the dryer until almost dry and then iron.  My yellow felt was wool, so I decided to give it a try.  But something went terribly wrong!  After washing it, I noticed that the felt was totally coming off in clumps.  It was pilling and crazy-uneven-fuzzy all over and definitely not any thicker.  I threw it in the dryer anyways, but it looked the same when it came out.  I didn’t really take a picture of what it looked like right out of the dryer and after ironing, but here’s what it looked like after I picked off a lot of the loose felt (that ball of fuzz is all the stuff I picked off by hand).

Wool felt isn’t cheap, so I wasn’t about to abandon it.  I just picked off as much as I could and smoothed the rest down with my hands and in the end, I don’t think you can tell at all on the finished product.  It definitely wasn’t any thicker though and I have no clue what I did wrong.  Any ideas?  Has this happened to you?

Ok anyways, I wanted the booklets to fit into these little metal buckets I had bought from the dollar bin at Target, so I had to size mine down.  The size of my unfolded booklet was 5.25 x 7.5 inches.  I added a little tab to my template for the velcro closure.  The original tutorial/pattern has more info about the size and spacing of the slits.  Mine had four pairs of slits for the crayons on the left side and two 2.75 inch slits for the paper on the right.  So here’s what my template looked like:

Using your blade, cut through the lines on your paper template.  Cut a 5.25 x 7.5 inch rectangle from your inner felt.  Lay the template on top and mark the lines using chalk or a disappearing ink pen.  Cut those with your blade.  Using your template as a guide, cut another rectangle WITH the closure tab from your outer felt.

On your outer felt, feel free to add an applique or any other decorations.  Sew one side of the velcro to the tab and the other to the opposite side of the cover about a 1/4 inch away from the edge.

Pin the two layers of felt together with wrong sides together.  Make sure that when you open up the booklet the crayons slits are on the left and the paper slits are on the upper right.

Sew around the edge in a rectangle.

Your booklet is done!  Now to add the goodies . . .

Cut your paper into fourths along the long edge of the paper.  Each strip should be 2.75 inches wide.  Stack the 4 strips and fold them in half.

Slide your crayons in on the left and your paper through the top slit and back out the bottom slit on the right.  The most fun I had was picking out the color combos for the 4 crayons 🙂

And you’re done!  Pretty simple, right?

Now go make 16 more 😉

Thanks to Carla for the fabulous inspiration and tutorial!  I’ve stashed one of these in our diaper bag and I imagine I’ll be whipping it out quite often.

What kinds of “distractions” do you keep on hand to keep your child entertained?  My sister-in-law was the one who taught me to ALWAYS have paper and writing utensils on hand (for any age kid).  And you know what she carries in her purse and has entertained children for loooong periods of time?  A balloon!  Deflated, of course.  Serious (long lasting) fun can be had with a simple balloon.  Genius.

Happy sewing and have a great weekend!!

Tutorial: Summer Breezes Top

I thought I’d bring some guest posts back to the blog, in case you didn’t catch them earlier.  This one was for Project Run & Play’s Flickr Friends series and it’s a great addition to any summer wardrobe.  I recently was sent a photo via my FB page by Tina who made one for herself!


Summer weather is upon us and my daughter needs lots of warm weather tops for outdoor play this season.  I’m going to share a tutorial for my latest top, the Summer Breezes Top.

I saw a tank top in a store about a year ago that used this type of “wavy pleats” (as I like to call them).  I knew I wanted to copy the style, but wasn’t sure how I wanted to do it.  Recently, this technique started popping up around blogland and I decided it was time to share my take on it as well.  The waves created by the changing directions of the pleats reminded me of a summer’s breeze, hence the name of the top.

The top is made of white linen, which at the time seemed like the perfect simple breezy summer top.  But now I’m kicking myself wondering what I was thinking!  A white top for a messy, dirt-loving toddler made of linen, the most wrinkly fabric ever?  Awesome job, Cherie.  Nice.  So I’ll let you choose whatever is appropriate for your kiddo.

This top is finished off with bias tape, so feel free to make your own or use store-bought in either a matching or contrasting color/pattern.  Feel free to brighten it up with some colors!

Ok, let’s make one together!  Here’s what you’ll need:
– 3/4-1 yard of lightweight fabric
– A few yards of bias tape (store bought or homemade)
– Sewing essentials

First you have to make your pattern.  I have to admit, I don’t have an exact science for this, so I hope you can experiment with drafting your own.  To keep it simple, I made one pattern to use for both the front and back of the top.

I started with a straight vertical line which is the center fold of the pattern piece.  Then I used a top that fit my daughter and traced the neckline.  Mark the bottom of the arm hole and draw a curved line up to meet the neckline.  From the bottom of the armhole, draw a line (I flared mine out slightly for an A-line shape) that is the desired length of the top.  From there, draw a slight curve back to the vertical center line.  You will not need to add seam allowance to the neckline, armhole or bottom since we’ll be finishing these off with bias tape.  You will want to add seam allowance along the side seam.  And there’s your pattern!

Now we’ll make the pleated placket (I’m not really sure what else to call it).  Cut a rectangle out of your main fabric that is at least 8 inches wide and a couple inches longer than the length of your pattern.

Find the center of your rectangle by folding it in half lengthwise and marking it.  I wanted my pleats to be 1 cm each, so I made 7 marks on either side of the center, each 1 cm apart.  Do the same on the bottom of the rectangle.

Starting from the left, make your pleats.  Folding your fabric with wrong sides together, the first and third marking should match up and the 2nd mark is where the fold is.

Press your fold and sew along the length of the fabric 1 cm from the folded edge.

Press your pleat and fold it down toward the right.  Make your next pleat using the next three markings and continue until you have five pleats.

When they are all pressed down toward the right, they should look like this.

Sew a line across the top of the pleats about 1 inch down from the top.   Change the direction of your pleats by folding them towards the left.  Mark a line 2 inches down from your first line with chalk and sew.

Continue changing the direction and sewing down the pleats every 2 inches until you get to the bottom.

Cut out two pieces of fabric that are each larger than your pattern piece.  We’re going to attach the pleated placket before cutting out the pattern piece (less math).

Trim the edges of your placket piece to about 1/2 an inch on either side.  With right sides together, sew the placket to the edge of one piece of fabric, and then repeat with the other side.

On the wrong side, trim the seam allowance to 1/4 inch and finish by serging or zig zag stitching.  Press away from the placket, then on the right side, top stitch along the edge of the placket.

Fold your fabric in half, making sure to fold right down the center of your pleated placket and trace your pattern piece.  Cut it out.  Cut out the back piece from a piece of fabric as well.

Pin the sides of the top, right sides together, sew, press and finish edge.  Repeat on other side.

Baste the pleats along the neckline of the top to keep them folded in the correct direction.

Open up your bias tape and pin it along the edge of the neckline, right sides together.  Sew along the fold closest to the edge.

Fold the bias tape over the edge of the neckline, press and pin.  Make sure the edge of the bias tape is covering the stitching on the wrong side.

Top stitch just above the edge of the bias tape making sure to catch the edge on the wrong side.  Trim off the extra bias tape and repeat for the back.

For the armholes and straps, we’ll do the same thing.  Leave about 12 inches of bias tape for the strap then start pinning the open tape to the edge of the armhole.  Measure another 12 inches of bias tape when you get to the other end of the armhole and cut.  Sew the bias tape along the armhole, fold the bias tape back up and when you get to end of the straps, fold it in about a 1/4 inch before folding it up.

Sew the ends of the straps closed, then top stitch along the edge of the bias tape closing up the straps and finishing the armhole.

For the bottom of the shirt, normally I’d just hem it by folding it up twice, but with all the extra pleated fabric, I thought it’d get too thick, so I finished it with bias tape as well.


I hope you enjoy some nice summer weather!

Guest Post for Sum Sum Summertime!

Another summery post for you, today at this heArt of mine.  Amy is hosting a fun summer series with everything from food and fashion to gift ideas and artwork.

I’m sharing a really simple and fast summery accessory.  It’s a rectangle vest with a twist!

It can be worn as a vest, a wrap, a bathing suit cover-up, etc. – it’s quite versatile!

So hop on over to this heArt of mine for the short and sweet tutorial.

(Told you we’d be doing a bit of blog hopping this month.  Hope you stick with me through all the traveling :))

Guest Posting at Project Run & Play!

Doing a bit of blog hopping this week.  Today I’m over at Project Run & Play sharing my Summer Breezes Top.

The pleated placket was a fun and easy way to jazz up an otherwise very simple top.  Check out the full tutorial HERE.

It is really exciting to be sharing over on PR&P today because their sew-along was really what started it all for me, in a way.  They are having tutorials from sew-alongers all month and then skirt tutorials all next month, so go check it out!

Later this week I’ll be popping over on another great blog with another summery tutorial.  I hope you don’t mind traveling a bit with me 🙂