Entries for the ‘tutorials’ Category

Twisted Headband Tutorial

Monday, March 17th, 2014



Spring is nearly here (according to the calendar….but its been sitting here in AZ for the last month) and its time for fun, bright colors!  This is a super easy project to use up your scraps and add some color to your wardrobe.  Here is what you’ll need:

1. 2 strips of fabric 5.5″ wide by 16″ long

2. 5.5″ piece of elastic (1/2″ or 3/4″wide) -you may need a longer piece for an adult, but this length worked for my 4yo and 9yo



Step 1: Sew your strips in half width wise (right sides together) and stitch.  Flip right side out and press.  I like to use a safety pin to help me turn it- I pin it to one end and thread it back through the piece- same as if I were threading elastic through a waist band.

step2 copy


Step 2: Lay your strips on top of each other in a perpendicular way, and fold each piece in half (see pic)


Step 3: Take the raw edge of one length and turn it in about 1/2″ and finger press.  Take the other raw edge and tuck it in to the turned in edge.  Slip the elastic edge in as well and stitch closed.  Repeat for both of your ties.




Your finished project should look like this:


This is a fun twist on the traditional headband, gives it a little “architectural interest”!

head_band1 copy

If you are wanting to make one for an adult, measure your head using a tape measure placed all the way around your head- as you would wear a headband.  Take that measurement and subtract 15, that will give you the length of elastic you will need.

Happy Spring Sewing!

Sequin-eared Rabbit Applique

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Every few months I receive children’s clothing catalogs in the mail.  I love looking at the styles and individual pieces, I get inspired about different designs and styles i can MAKE for my own children.  Lately I’ve noticed that sequins are IN, it seems every retailer is selling clothing for girls with sequin embellishments.  I have two daughters, both of whom adore anything glittery and sparkly.  This week I made a copy-cat from one of my favorite children’s retailers.  My daughters LOVE the shirts!

My sister-in-law took the littlest one out for a play date and told me that a few people stopped her and asked about the shirt and how cute it was.  Best compliment EVER for a home sewist (to have your work noticed and praised)!

It was super easy to make, so I put together this tutorial for YOU!

corduroy scrap
cotton scrap
small sized puff
sewing machine
steam-a-seam (or wonder-under)
embroidery floss

I have decided that I LOVE corduroy for applique, it holds its shape and washes up so soft!  Here is the pattern for the rabbit and his contrasting fur.  Adhere your rabbit and his fur according to the manufacture directions for your adhesive.

Step 2:

Stitch all the way around your rabbit and his contrasting fur with a small (I used a size 3) zig zag stitch.  For tutorial purposes I sewed the sequins on first because my daughter was napping and I didn’t want to wake her.  It’s much smarter to top stitch first- then sequins!

Step 3:

Stitch sequins on ears.  I used a pencil to draw some lines to give me an idea of how much of the space I wanted to fill up.

You’re going to sew these on in a back stitch fashion. In step one you are going to come up from underneath your fabric and place a sequin on your needle. Step two you bring the needle down very close to where you came up.  Step three, bring the needle up again about an 1/8inch from your last stitch and place the second sequin on the needle.  Step four, bring your needle down in the center of the first sequin, bringing the needle back up again just past the second sequin.

Step Four:
Use your embroidery floss to stitch an eye and whiskers.  Eyeball it and decide where your whiskers/eye should go.  I used a french knot for the eye and a back stitch for the whiskers.

Step Five:
Stitch your cotton tail on!  I used multiple stitches (up and down and x’s) to make sure it would stay attached.  I am happy to say it has been through the wash and it still affixed!

Ta da!  You’re done!  Send me a picture if you make one, I’d love to see it!  My oldest wants me to do a cat with a sequined collar next!  You could really play with this and do any animal.

For the Under 2 set, you can stitch this up without the sequins like I did here.

I’m not sure if I’m going to put this one in the shop or not….it is sized 12months, anyone interested?

A Little Christmas

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Every Fall  Jaylee does a HUGE Super Saturday Craft Extravaganza .  She researches all sorts of fun projects, gathers supplies and charges very reasonable rates for you to show up and make said crafts.  I am always amazed at how many people from far and wide come to participate.  If you are local and want to know about the event email me or leave me a comment and I will make sure you get the email when it gets out.

In an attempt to help her  I whipped this sample up yesterday:

It was SUPER easy to do, it is very much like this one over at 52 Mantles (but with a few changes).  Here are the supplies if you are interested.

-10″ embroidery hoop
– 3′ ft of glitter ribbon
-2 packs of ornaments
-sequins or glitter covered tiny balls
-14″ square of linen
-embroidery floss
-brown felt

Here is the embroidery pattern, already reversed!

I bought all of my supplies at Hobby Lobby, the ornaments were only $1.99 per pack.  For the glitter balls I bought one of those twig things and cut them off (see the bad phone picture below)

Lightly trace the hoop onto your fabric, center your embroidery pattern to the right and transfer it to the fabric.  Stretch the linen into the hoop and stitch (I used a blue/grey floss).  Use a glue gun to arrange  the ornaments in a large triangle shape, placing glitter balls to fill in holes or add depth.  I thought about doing a star out of sequins but changed my mind, but you might want to add something to the top of your tree.

Cut your brown felt into a rectangle to be the trunk of your tree.  Use the glue gun to adhere the glitter ribbon to the edge of your embroidery hoop-hiding the wood.  Flip your hoop over and glue the edges of your fabric into the inside edge of the embroidery hoop (you may need to trim it first).

Personally, I think it would look nice hung from a big wide ribbon in a complimentary color.   Because one craft wasn’t enough yesterday, I also made cupcakes for last nights pack meeting!

Maxi Dress: for little girls

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Do you have any idea how hard it is to photograph a dress on a two-year old?!  Next to impossible, which is why I ask you to please ignore the football.  This was a really simple dress to make once I had it drafted, it is comprised of 4 rectangles.  It should take you about 2 hours to complete.

You’ll need:
Knit (one yard is perfect for a two year old)
One yard of 1/8″ elastic
ric rac (optional)

I’ll tell you how I came up with the measurements for my two-year old and you can recalculate for your little girl.  My daughter’s chest measures 20″, wanting the dress to be able to be gathered slightly I made each piece (front and back) 15″ across, so the final chest measurement would be 30″.  I measured her shoulder to where I wanted the empire waist to fall and it was 7″, so I cut the top to be 8″, allowing for seam allowance.  Next I measure from the shoulder to her calf- where I wanted it hemmed and it was 27″, so I cut the length of the skirt at 20″.

Some things to remember about sewing knit, it is VERY forgiving so don’t sweat it if you mess something up!  When stitching try not to pull or stretch the knit at all- just go slow and let the feed dogs do all the work.  Everything is sewn with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Step One:

Cut two rectangles 8″ x 12″.  I used chalk and a quilters ruler to mark the rectangles on my fabric.

Step Two:

Once you have them cut, lay them with right sides together and cut at an angle.  Cut conservatively first, overlap them and decide if you want to cut deeper.  When you lay them out, overlapped, it should be 15″ across.

Step Three:

Sew a rolled hem along the diagonal edges (I tried to find a good online tutorial for this, but didn’t find one that I liked.  It is as easy as it sounds, roll a hem, pin it and stitch over it.  If you have a rolled hem pressure foot for your machine- use that).  After you have overlapped your bodice, make sure it measures 15″ across- adjust if you need to.  Baste the pieces together.

Step Four:

Draft and cut your skirt.  The top width of your skirt needs to be 15″ across, the bottom of your skirt should be 20″ across and the entire length of the skirt is 20″ as well.  I drew the top and bottom width first and then drew a diagonal line connecting the two.  You can see in the image above that I drew one straight line down the center of the skirt so I knew where the middle was.

Step Five:

Pin the bodice to the skirt with right sides together and stitch.  Make sure you catch the little tail of the diagonal cut edge into the seam.  Turn right side out and press.

Step Six

Lay your front piece (with right sides touching) onto your fabric, you will use this as the pattern for your back piece.  Pin and cut.  Stitch the front and back pieces together at side seams *leaving a 5″ opening at the top for arm holes*, and shoulder seams.

Step Seven

Do another rolled hem for the back neck and armholes.

Step Eight

Mark the inside back of your dress along the waist (match it with the bodice seam on the front of your dress).  This is to help you stitch your elastic on straight.

Step Nine

Cut a 20″ piece of elastic (or whatever length your chest measurement was), and mark it in quarters.  Pin the elastic (using your marks) to the side seams and center front and back seams.  Stitch with a small zig zag stitch, stretch the elastic as you sew, but try not to stretch the knit.  Do your best to sew straight down the center of the elastic, this will help it not bunch and to lay flat.

Step Ten

I thought about adding a ruffle at the bottom, but decided against it.  If you want to do this, cut a 2″ wide, 60″ long strip of fabric.  Gather it and then stitch it to your skirt.

To hem the dress, fold up 1″ on inside (don’t worry about the raw edge, knit doesn’t ravel).  I recommend stitching with a double needle if you have it, it gives the dress a very nice finished looking stitched hem.

After hemming I drew a chalk line 2″ from the bottom and stitched two rows of lavender ric rac with a straight stitch- being sure NOT to stretch the knit while I sewed.

Please email me if you need more clarification on anything.

If you make the dress I would love to see it!  Leave me a comment with the link to your picture, please!

Basic Photo Editing (photoshop or elements)

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Since it is summer and you are likely taking lots of pictures on your fun vacations, I thought I would do a very basic photo editing tutorial to help you get the most out of your pictures.

This was one of my favorite pictures from our weekend in california, it didn’t need much help, but I think a light touch went along way!

First thing I wanted to do was crop the extra people out of the frame.

You can set your cop dimensions at the top of your screen, be sure you set your resolution to at least 300dpi for quality printing.

Next I duplicated my background layer by right clicking and selecting “duplicate layer”.  Now I have 2 layers, background and background copy.

With your background copy layer selected, you are going to change the mode from normal to “soft light”.

Don’t panic if your image looks crazy now!  Depending on your image you may want to change the opacity a bit so the image isn’t too saturated.  With this picture I did not play with the opacity, I kept it at 100%.

Next thing is to open up a new adjustment layer.  Click on that half white half black circle at the bottom of the layers window and select “curves”.  We’re going to play with the lighting a bit….brighten up the photo.

I place my mouse on the dot in the very center and slowly move it diagonally across the boxes.  Make sure you have your preview box checked!  Watch your image as you go and stop when you like what you see!  If you are working on a portrait you may find that an “S” curved line looks better on your image that the  “C” I’m doing here.  Experiment until you like what you see!

This totally brightened up the photo!  You can stop here if you want, or maybe you want one of those fancy vignettes around your subject to bring the eye in

Select the circle marquee (under the square one, click the little triangle in the bottom corner).  Up top in your setting, set the feather to 50px, then draw your oval around your picture to highlight what you want the eye drawn to.  In the select menu you want to select “inverse”.

Then go to the layers menu, select “new fill layer” and then “solid color” (make sure you have black selected as your foreground color).  Your image should now look something like this:

YIKES!  Don’t freak out, just head over to the layers pallet and adjust the layers opacity until you like what you see!  (unless you totally dig the pinhole look)

see, I set mine at 11%.  It really depends on your image and the look you are going for.  Personally I think this picture would be fine without the vignette, but I wanted to show you how.

Before you post your pic online you might want to watermark it with your name or blog title or maybe you just want to call your image “fluffy”.  Select your text tool (the fancy looking T), select a font that you like and then draw a text rectangle somewhere on your image.  Type your name, change the opacity to fade it in and voila- you’re done!

Happy photo editing and vacationing!  Feel free to email me or comment if you have any questions or if I left something important out.

Stick Family

Thursday, June 30th, 2011


This is the perfect summer craft as its a great way to re-use those popsicle sticks!

All you need is:

-sticks (big and small) – i soaked mine in soapy water for 5 min to get all the sticky popsicle off.

-scrap fabric

-pipe cleaners


-school glue



-sequins, buttons or other embellishments

-patience (cause its about to get MESSY)

The Fun Aunt

For the ladies, we just cut rough triangles as dresses.  The pipe cleaners are cut in half and wrapped around the body for arms.  Yarn for hair and markers for the face.

Crazy Aunt Agnes

With those sequin eyes I decided this had to be “crazy aunt Agnes”, and cousin Ruby.  Cracks me up to look at them, my daughters creativity know no bounds!

Be warned, this is a messy project….best done on the patio, unless you live in Arizona and its a hundred million degrees outside!


Felt Floral Barrettes

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

OK, before I get to the meat of this post, here are some linky loves that I must pass along.  Tasha, of A Little Sweetness is giving away some of her personally designed fabric.  It is SO CUTE, and if you don’t win, you can always pick some up in her shop!  I think the Little Red Riding Hood on white is my favorite!

Also, if any of you are a Flea Market Fancy fans like myself (I still have a few pieces I’m hoarding!), go sign this petition to get Free Spirit to reprint the line (oh to dream!), and while you are there enter to win this selection of 29 FMF fat quarters and some great books.  If you win, will you share a  FQ with me?

Yesterday my daughter was invited to a birthday party of a girl from her preschool class.  I always have a hard time buying gifts for families/girls I don’t know very well.  Not everyone appreciates the homemade, and I don’t want to waste my efforts if they won’t be appreciated.  Soooo, off to the big box store we went for some plastic Princess crap.

birthday gift

After getting it all wrapped up I felt guilty for A. Shopping at Target & B. Not making something…then I remembered all of the great felt I bought from the HB booth at Blissfest (you can also buy it online) and whipped up a little flower.  Not only does it look great as part of the wrapping, but it’s a barrette for the little girls hair!

flower barrette

First, I strongly recommend that you use wool, or wool blend felt for this project.  The cheap craft felt you can get at most craft stores will pill and stretch and not give you the lasting look you are going to want.  Here is what you’ll need:

2 colors of felt
1 piece of green felt
1 metal snap barrette (or a pony tail holder)
1 coordinating button
any other trims that appeal to you

Here is the pdf with the pattern pieces I free handed for the above barrette.  Cut all your pieces out, for the front circle, I folded it in half and cut little triangles out of it to give it the fringed look.

Layer the pieces as you’d like them to be, place the button on the top and stitch through all the layers.  For the back, take the circle and cut 2 small slits in the back about an inch apart in the center, thread the pony tail holder through.

Attach the circle to the entire flower, stitching through all but the top layer.  It should look like this when you’re done.

To do a barrette back, you can do it 2 ways.

You can measure your clip and cut out a piece of felt the length of your barrette, be sure to cut a small slit in it for the metal arm to go through.  Then sew this to the back of your flower, sewing through all but the top layer.

Using the circle pattern provided for the back, you can cut a small slit for the barrette arm and then stitch the whole circle to the flower.  The barrette side goes against the flower, the metal arm is what you should see when your barrette is finished.

I made this one to match one of my daughters shirts!  Be creative, try different shapes, add embroidery, seed beads, ribbon anything that appeals to you!

AND, because you made it through this whole LONG post, I made a holiday poinsettia barrette to give away.  Just leave me a comment telling me you’d like to win, I’ll pick a winner on Monday Nov 29th.

poinsetta barrette GIVEAWAY!

Thrifty Re-Do

Monday, December 1st, 2008

A few weeks ago I was browsing Goodwill for a pair of pants, instead I found this diamond in the rough for $2.

It was a good size and didn’t have too many tacky “things” on it that would need to be removed, so I bought it.  I used my scissors and wire cutters to remove the ghastly bow and “crystallized fruit”, I did save the little birds nest that were on it though.  After everything was off I fluffed up the branches a bit, making it appear more full.

I ventured out at about 8pm on Black Friday to grab these little things from Micheal’s.  They had a huge selection of do-dads for making your own wreath.

I only used one of each bunch of berries, and about half of each spool of ribbon.  I started by ripping the silver berries off the large stem, and then using their wire to wrap it around different wreath branches.  Then I filled it in more with the aqua berries.  I wanted the birds/nests to be a bit symmetrical at the top of the wreath, I spaced them out enough that I could put a large ribbon in the center and hang it.  After everything else was on I tied a bunch of small ribbons and adhered them to the wreath using some 24 gauge wire I had (I would recommend something a bit heavier).

I wanted something simple but pretty and was very happy with the results!  It now hangs on our front gate, welcoming all who visit!

With Birds

All together it took me about an hour to create and cost me approx. $9.  I could maybe be talked into making a smaller one…if anyone is interested.  Go forth and create!  Happy Holiday decorating!

Make Your Own Mailing Label

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

This weekend Amy of Nana Company posted pics on flickr of some really cute mailing labels that she had made in MS Word.  I loved them and decided it was time I had some cute labels too.  I fiddled and fiddled with Word and could not make anything near as cute as Amy did, so I gave up and opened Photoshop and created this:

Mailing Labels

I think they turned out pretty cute, and if I have time this week I’d like to create more.  In the meantime though, I thought I would share a tutorial on how I made these.  Think of the cute labels you can make to go our with your holiday cards?!

I have Photoshop CS and here is what I did:

Open a new project in Photoshop, I set mine for 4″x2″ (because that is the size of Avery lables I have).  Set your background to white and make sure you have your color set to RGB and a DPI of at least 300.

Click the “new layer” button in the layers palette.  Use the marquee tool (dashed line square box) to create a column.  Select a foreground color and then use the paint bucket tool to color your column.  Use the marquee tool to create a few more columns (I used 4 colors so I created 4 columns).

Once you’ve got your 4 columns of color in layer one, you are going to right click the layer 1 in the layers palette and select duplicate layer.  Use the “move tool” to move your layer on your image to where ever you want it.  I kept duplicating and moving until I filled the whole image with columns, it should look like this.

Next, we’re going to add a white rounded box to the center of the image.

select the “custom shape” tool from the tool bar, scroll though your presets until you see the square with the rounded edges.  Make sure you have your foreground color set to white (mine is still set to blue in the image above).  Draw your rounded square into your image, make sure you leave a good border so you can still see the stripes (leave maybe .5″).  Use the “move tool” to center your square if you need to.

Here’s where it starts to get tricky…  Once you’ve got your square right, select it from the layers palette.  Once it is highlighted select the “paths” tab.

select the vector path and then click on the little arrow things in the upper right corner, select “save path”.  You can call it whatever you want.  Go back to the layers palette and select the “layers” tab.  Create a new layer (see image one), again name the new layer whatever you want.

Make sure the new layer is highlighted in the layers palette, then select the “paths” tab again, you should see something like this.

Select the brush tool from the tool bar and then you want to click on the “brushes tab” at the top of the screen.  If yours isn’t showing select windows>brushes. Make sure you set the foreground color to whatever color you want your dots to be.

Select the “brush tip shape”,  and select the brush point of 5. Then near the bottom you’ll see a slider for spacing, bump that up to 150%, this will give you a dotted line.  Go back to the layers palette where you have the paths tab open.  Click on the “stroke layer with brush” or the outlined circle button.  This should add the dotted line around your rounded square (if you can’t see it, make sure you have layer 2 above the rounded square layer in the layers palette).

Next I created ANOTHER white rounded square, larger than the one before (see step 3), make sure that your dotted line layer is still above your new rounded square so you can see it.  It should look something like the above.

Use the text tool to create the return address.  I used the font “Pupcat” for the name and “georgia” for the address.  I played with the color of the name too, using the same colors as the columns.  Voila- you’re done!

Then follow the instructions for setting up the Avrey labels in Word and insert this image once you have everything formatted.  I did play with the margins in word a bit to get edge to edge printing.

If you post flickr/blog images of the labels your create, send me a link, I’d love to see them!!!  Feel free to email (heather at heatherhalesdesignsDOTcom) me if you have more questions about this, I never know if I give enough detail.

Making Your Own Skirt

Monday, August 4th, 2008


By popular demand here is how to make your own skirt using vintage sheets (or pillow cases if your girl is little enough).

Here is What You’ll Need:
1 vintage sheet/pillow case
1.5-2yards of coordinating pom pom trim
1/2″ or 3/4″ wide braided elastic
safety pin
measuring tape
everything is sewn with a 1/4″ seam allowance

First- go get your tape measure, you’ll need a waist measurement and a length measurement (how long you want the skirt to be).

You’ll need to wash, iron (enjoy the smell of 30 years of different fabric softeners) and square up your sheet.  Then cut 2 rectangles, each rectangle should be Waist Measurement Wide by (Length Measurement)+ 2inches long.  So, if your waist measurement was 20 inches and your length measurement was 15 inches then you would need 2 rectangles each one being 20inches wide by 17inches long.

laid out and ready to go

With right sides together sew the side seams up, don’t forget to finsh them (serge or zig zag).  Iron the seams flat.


To create your waist casing fold over a 1/4″ and press at the top of the skirt.  Fold over again a whole inch and press (see below).


Your going to stitch you casing closed- stitching as close to the bottom edge as possible.  I always like to leave my opening in the center back, so when I close it I can stitch the tag in at the same time.

sew casing

When inserting the elastic I like to use a safety pin, I find it easier to guide the elastic around, I pin the tail end with a straight pin at the opening.  After you’ve threaded the elastic be sure to stitch it securely closed, I always sew over the elastic a few times, be sure to close the casing when you are done.


With right side up pin pom trim 1/2″ from the edge of skirt- the poms should be facing the waist band.  I used a zipper foot for this part, you want to stitch as close as you can to the pom edge of the trim (see pic).


When you get the pom trim sewn on, your skirt should look like this.

before hem

Next your going to flip the skirt inside out and iron the poms back, as close as you can to your seam.

iron hem 1
(i should have clipped my threads before taking this pic)

Your going to create a  hem  here by ironing the raw edge over into the trim, like this:

iron hem 2

See how the bottom edge of the pic has the hem folded into the trim edge?  Once you’ve pressed it all under your going to stitch as close to the top of the pom trim as possible.


Now, be sure to send me pics of your cute daughters, neighbors, nieces etc wearing the skirt!