Category Archives: Sewing FYI

Skirt Sew Along Part 3: Zippers

We are finally to the part of the skirt many people dread most. There is no need to fear, with a little practice zippers can provide a professional look as a closure to your projects. I will explain and use videos to show you how to install an in-seam zipper or invisible zipper depending on your preference.

In-Seam Zipper

I will start with the in-seam zipper. To me, it is the easiest to explain and visualize. For this zipper you will use an all purpose zipper.

Zippers can be hard to explain, so I also found a video I think it a nice tutorial for inserting an in-seam zipper.


Begin by sewing your center back seams placing right sides together. I use a longer stitch toward the top of the skirt where the zipper will be. Use a 5/8″ seam and press the seam open.


Place the zipper tape face down with the teeth lining up with that seam line in the center and pin in place. This is where the video really does a nice job. Use your zipper foot to stitch down one side of the zipper tape, pivoting at the bottom to go across the center and pivoting again to return back to the top.


Now flip the skirt over and rip out the stitches in front of your zipper so you can open it. Be sure not to go past the stitches you made across the bottom of the zipper tape. And your in-seam zipper is done!

Invisible Zipper

Again, I found a video to really help you install the zipper well. It is nearly 20 minutes, but I feel it is a very thorough video that walks you through step by step.

Invisible zippers are not hard to install once you understand them, but I have done several and can still sometimes mix myself up. I often refer to this tutorial from Colette Patterns which is just pictures and text.


First, I mark my 5/8 inch seam allowance on the right side of the skirt along both center back pieces.


I then pin the zipper teeth along that line as shown above. I am working on the right panel first.


Next using an invisible zipper foot, I bought mine for just a few dollars, I roll the teeth of the zipper out as I stitch to ensure I am getting as close to the zipper tape as possible. I also do a few reverse stitches at the end to anchor the zipper in place.


Now you will repeat the same steps on the other side.


After I pin and before I sew I like to flip the garment the way it will lay when I wear it to be sure I did not twist the zipper tape or do anything silly like that. Now go ahead and sew along this side as you did the other one.


Now I like to flip my skirt over to make sure my zipper is really invisible. I also like to make sure it zips. When you sew that close to the teeth, you can accidentally go over them which will stop your zipper from working. If that happens, pick those stitches out and go back over giving yourself a little more room.


Now place your panels right sides together and pull that little zipper tail out of the way. You may pin to keep your seams even down to the bottom of the skirt.


Starting a little bit before the bottom of the stitch I made for my zipper I sewed a 5/8 inch seam down to the bottom of the skirt.


Congratulations! You have now completed your invisible zipper!

Skirt Sew Along Part 2: Darts

Today is a shorter task, but we will work on zippers next which may be a challenge for some of you. Today we will take a look at sewing our darts. Those were the V shapes we marked into our fabric last time.


First you will fold your fabric down the center of the dart matching your markings on both sides. Make sure you have your fabric right sides together while you do this.


Now, sew along the marking from top to bottom.


This is what your dart should look like. I am using white thread so it is more visible for pictures, but you will probably want to use a color that matches your fabric.


Take the thread tail located at the bottom of the dart and tie a few knots in it. That reinforces it, and is less bulky than trying to reverse on a dart to anchor it. Repeat this dart sewing for the remaining three darts on your skirt.


When unfolded, your darts should look like this on your skirt front piece.


Press your darts toward the center of the garment. In general you always press darts toward the center unless the directions specify other wise. As you can see above I laid my skirt back pieces next to each other to help myself visualize which way would be center.


As you can see the blue skirt is still mirroring the pink skirt. We will start showing differences in finishes on the next post.

Skirt Sew Along Part 1: Fabric Cutting and Marking

I was wondering how far into detail I should go in this sew along. I decided since we were doing a beginner’s skirt version, we should be considerate of beginners and really get into the nitty-gritty of making this skirt. Some of this may be too beginner for you, but maybe we can get some tips from each other.


This is your view of the back of the pattern envelope. The top flap has a guide to help you use your measurements to choose which size to make.


This section gives you a description of the garment you are about to make. Under the Notions section you are told of any extras you will need to complete the garment, in this case you will need a zipper and maybe ribbon depending on the version you are making. The Fabrics section tells you which fabrics and weights of fabric will work best for this particular pattern.


This section tells you how much fabric to buy. Most fabrics come in 44 inch and 60 inch widths. I used a 60 inch fabric that did not have any nap or directional print to worry about, so I needed 7/8 yards. You can also see you need fusible interfacing here which comes most typically in 20 to 22 inch widths. For this skirt a light weight fusible interfacing works fine.


The directions that come inside the envelope are very helpful. In this shot it is showing you how to lay out your pattern pieces to best fit the width of fabric you bought.

Go ahead and cut out your fabric pieces along the line designated for the size you chose to use. In my case I am following the line for a size 20. By the way, don’t let the sizing turn you off. It was disheartening to need a size 20 pattern, but pattern sizes are different from your ready to wear sizes. I wear a size 12 in ready to wear clothing, but if I tried to make a size 12 in this skirt to save my pride I probably wouldn’t be able to fit the skirt over my hips!


After I have cut out my pattern pieces I like to iron them on a very low setting to help flatten them out. At this point I also iron my fabric I will be using to remove any wrinkles. Creasing and wrinkles in pattern pieces or fabric during this stage can really affect the fit of your skirt later on.


Here is how I laid out my pattern pieces on my fabric. I like to lay them all out before I cut or even pin just to be sure they fit.


In this photo I have placed a few pins just to keep the fabric and pattern from moving while I cut them.


As I cut out pieces I like to cut little notches where you see these triangles. These are used later to make sure your pieces are lined up as you are sewing.


This marking here shows we will have a dart. There will be a dart in both sides of the skirt front and back pieces. It is important to mark these before you begin to sew because they are the very first thing we will sew. There are several ways to mark darts depending on your preference.


These are the three methods I use most:

  • Frixion Pen – this pen is sold in office supply stores. It irons invisible and washes out.
  • Tracing paper and wheel – the paper comes in several colors and makes a light mark that fades away or is washed out over time.
  • Tailor’s Chalk – This is a waxy type of chalk that washes out.

For this project I am using my tracing paper and wheel, but there is no one right method to marking fabric. It all comes down to personal preference. When I was first starting, I even used regular pencils and ball point pens, so don’t feel like you have to go buy something fancy.


To use the tracing paper, I slid the folded paper in between the layers of fabric with its chalky sides out. I then used my tracing wheel and heavily went over the lines of the dart to insure the markings would be visible.

You have officially marked and cut your fabric! Please feel free to share if you have another method that works for you or if you have any questions.

Skirt Sew Along

I just love a skirt in the summer. Nothing fancy or lined, I just want a plain old skirt to wear. A-line is my favorite shape, and Butterick 4461 is my favorite pattern. It’s not too fancy. I can dress it up or down, and it is so much cooler to wear than shorts or pants in these hot Houston summers.



I made this version last year for the rodeo and got a ton of compliments. I used a Texas wildflower print by Michael Miller Fabrics.


I made this version this winter while wishing for spring. Sadly, I have already gotten to wear it and am wishing summer away.


I made this version around the same time. Sadly my iron wigged out and burned a hole through it. Le sigh. It was really beautiful.

I was thinking of the best way to do a sew along. Butterick 4461 the first skirt I ever made, so a very beginner could do it, but now I like fancy seams and new techniques that I would like to share. Here is what I came up with: I am making two versions of the skirt. The blue one will be a skirt that uses more advanced techniques. The pink one will be a version that uses very basic techniques that a beginner would benefit from.

Think of it this way, have you ever gotten an exercise video and the crazy buff trainer in front says if you are having any difficulty you can follow the one person doing a low impact workout? The pink skirt will be low impact and the blue one will be all out. You will be able to switch techniques I show on both skirts, and maybe you can teach me a thing or too.


Low impact pink skirt.


Advanced technique blue skirt. Isn’t it cute?

I know A-Line skirts are not for everyone. If you have a simple skirt with zipper in another shape, you may be able to follow along as well. I’m happy to try to answer any questions you have about this. In the meantime go get your pattern and fabric. As for zippers I will show how to do both an in seam zipper and an invisible zipper, so go nuts!

I’m off to complete my first important step: washing and drying my fabric on hot before I cut my fabric to thwart any washing and drying disasters in the future. I hope you do the same, and we’ll cut out fabric and patterns soon!

Random Question: Hey Stacie!  Why do you  recommend pre-washing fabrics on “Hot”?   Signed, Curious

Good question!  Sometimes my husband will do the laundry and not pay attention to temperature settings. We had an incident not long ago with a dress I had made that I had prewashed on a regular setting that he washed after it was completed on hot after several typical washings. It shrank and pulled, and I don’t think it will ever fit again. That was a huge lesson as well as a waste of money,energy, time and being upset with my husband. Now, in an effort to save my marriage, I wash on hot first to be proactive instead of reactive when someone else does laundry. If you have an alternate arrangement, washing on hot may not be necessary, but do pre-wash your fabric.

French Seams the Stacie Way: Tutorial

Plagiarism and pirating is BAD! BAD!! BAAAAAD!

But re-posting the entire content of a friend’s blog with total permission and also posting a link to her blog is Mmmmm, Mmmmm, GOOOOOOD!

So, my very good friend and fellow “Fashionista”, Stacie Davis, of the wonderful blog:  Stacie Thinks She Can, wrote up an extremely well presented tutorial on sewing accurate French Seams.  Yep, she did!  And she gave me permission to post it on the SewVac Blog for your viewing pleasure.

On the topic of my friend, Stacie, she also recently made a very beautiful quilt which you can see here:  The Awesome Quilt  Once you visit the link, you can scroll down and see how the quilt came together.

Anyway, behold!

French Seams the Stacie Way

by:  Stacie Davis

I have been working on the French seams in my Peony, and have developed a few methods that have helped me.  I thought I would share. I have been doing French seams on garments on and off for awhile, but this project has really made me look at ways to help myself out.

First of all French seams are seams you sew in which the raw edges are encased within the seam allowance. Very unnecessary, but they look nice and are pretty darn strong. Above is the inside of the French seam we are about to make.

Place your fabrics wrong sides together. Yes, it goes against everything you believe in, but trust me. “Wrong sides together,” is your chant when you are doing French seams.

Next I get out my 1/4″ presser foot. That’s right, it is used for more than my boring quilt posts!

Mathlete Moment: Remember 1/4 inch is also equivalent to 2/8 inch. 

When using a 1/4 inch presser foot you just follow the outside edge of the presser foot. Just stitch right down the seam.

Press the seam open.

Now fold it so it is right sides together. I usually like to press the seam again here to make sure it is lined up and not poofy.

Here is my seam allowance magnet. I use it for all garments. I get distracted and tend to start following the foot instead of the usual 5/8″ seam allowance. This sticks to my machine and my fabric can follow it instead of the tiny markings that come on the machine.

I lined up my magnet to the 3/8″ mark on my machine.

Here you just line up the fabric with the magnet and stitch.

Mathlete Moment: Your first seam was 2/8 inch, your second seam was 3/8 inch.

2/8 + 3/8 = 5/8

We made a 5/8 inch seam allowance!

Press your seam to the side.

Now look at what you did! Your seam is perfect from the outside and pretty on the inside! That 1/4″ foot and magnet totally helped you be more accurate.

As for the Peony, I’m working on it.  Will share soon!


Dear Stacie,

You did a great job lady and we all thank you for allowing your tutorial to be shared here!

Dear Readers,

Don’t forget, we are having a gift give away and the drawing is on March 2nd.  It’s not to late to add your name to the list. For more info. or to enter to win just visit:   Gift Give-Away

Once again, thanks for reading and thanks to Stacie for a great tutorial on French Seams!

Bye 4 now!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny




T-Shirt Quilt Part 3: Piecing Tips & Assembling Your Quilt Top

We're Back! Ok, Here's where we left off..... You should have 3 columns, from left to right and 4 rows from top to bottom, with sashing attached to blocks only in columns 1 & 2.

If you’ve missed parts 1 & 2 of this project, it’s not too late!  Just click the T-Shirt Quilt Sew Along link in the right hand menu of our blog!                                 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 Now, it’s time to join the 3 blocks in row one of your quilt map!

  • Arrange the blocks for your row one, with right sides up, in order from left to right.

Row One: Block 1, Block 2, Block 3

  • Take Block #1 and lay it on top of Block #2 with right sides together.

Block #1 and Block #2

Right sides together

  • Align the top and bottom edges of the t-shirt blocks.  Also align the raw edge of sashing for Block #1 and the raw edge of t-shirt Block #2.

Align top and bottom edges of t-shirt blocks.

Align the sashing of Block #1 with left raw edge of Block #2.

  • Pin the sashing in place.


  • Use the 1/4″ presser foot or same seam allowance you used earlier to stitch the pinned seam.  (Note:  We are always stitching with the sashing on top and the t-shirt on bottom, so that the t-shirt’s fusible interfacing is touching the feed dogs.)
  • Now it’s time to sew Block #2 to Block #3!

Lay Block #2 on top of Block #3 with right sides together.

  • Make sure the top and bottom edges of the t-shirt blocks are aligned and that the sashing of Block #2 is aligned with the left edge of Block #3.

Align t-shirt block bottom edges.

Align Block #2 sashing with left edge of Block #3.

  • Pin sashing in place  and stitch the seam.
  • Press all seams towards sashing.

Row One is assembled!

  • If you have sashing extending past your t-shirt row’s top/bottom edges, just leave it for now.

Don't cut off the extra sashing ends yet...

  • Repeat all of the above steps to assemble the blocks for rows two, three, and four.

From top to bottom, we now have Rows 1, 2, 3, & 4 of our T-Shirt Quilt!

All right!  Now we’re cookin’ with GAS!  Wha’?

Anyway, now it’s time to attach the horizontal sashing strips to Rows 1,2,&3 of your quilt.

How to Sew Horizontal Sashing:

(Note:  We are NOT attaching the outer framing strips at this time so, follow along closely!)

  • Lay a long sashing strip along the bottom edge of Quilt Row #1.

  • Lay this sashing strip with right sides together onto the bottom edge of Quilt Row #1 so that the raw edges are aligned.
  • At this point, you’ll be able to see if your shirts are in an even row.  Sometimes, no matter how carefully you assemble the rows, one shirt may end up a little out of sync.  (Like mine!)
  • To make up for this “shirt shift”, I’m switching to using a 1/2″ seam allowance for ALL of my horizontal sashing.  This is so I can make sure I catch the bottom edge of each t-shirt in my horizontal sashing seams.  – The other option would be to seam rip and try again.  Ummm, NO THANKS!

Sashing aligned with bottom edge of Row #1.

  • Pin the sashing in place and stitch using a 1/4″ or a 1/2″ seam allowance.  (As I mentioned, I switched to a 1/2″ seam, since one of my t-shirt blocks ended up a little un-even.

Stitching horizontal sashing with a 1/2" seam allowance.

  • Repeat the Horizontal Sashing steps for Rows Two & Three, but NOT Row #4!!!

Horizontal Sashing is attached to Quilt Rows 1, 2, and 3. Stop here!

In the next post,  T-Shirt Quilt Part 4, I’ll be showing you how to join Rows 1,2,3, and 4 so that the vertical sashing is nicely aligned.

We’ll also be adding the outer frame/exterior sashing to the sides, top, and bottom edge of your quilt.  BAM~!

That’s all for now!

Let’s get sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Sewing with My Daughter!

For many of us sewers/crafters, a good day is getting to have some quality time with our sewing machine, embroidery machine, hot glue gun, you know, some time getting to be creative.

For me, that is definitely a good day.  But, a GREAT day is getting to be creative WITH my daughter/s!  And that is what happened yesterday afternoon.

My youngest daughter, age 13, asked if we could make an ugly doll, referring to McCall’s pattern 5826 that she recently found in my pattern stash.  A request to which I replied, “YES!!!!!  Let’s go pick out some fabric!”

We had a good time at the store, hunting for fabric, crazy button eyes, etc.

Here’s the pattern we’re using:

McCall's 5826

Along with polyester fiberfill and decorative notions, these dolls take 1/2 yard of 45″ wide fabric.  Recommended fabrics are:  cotton, cotton blends, novelty fabrics, fleece, short pile fleece, short pile fur, velour.  Felt is recommended for the doll’s face pieces.

My daughter chose a baby corduroy for the body and some white felt for the face….  He’s not quite finished yet, but I wanted to show you our progress so far.

First she decided on her doll’s body type.

Then she chose the style of ears, arms, and legs she wanted him to have.  (His name is Alex.)

Once she had selected all of his individual body parts, we traced them off, cut them out, and taped them together to make our own pattern.  We worked as a team and it was done in no time.

Here’s our pattern & fabric!  Isn’t Alex a cutie?

Next, she pinned the pattern to the fabric and cut him out using her good fabric scissors.  (If you want to sew with a child who is very young or not that in to sewing yet, be open to doing the cutting for them.  Otherwise they may get burned out before you ever get to the sewing machine.)

Once his body was all cut out, she designed his face and sewed on his mouth.  (You’ll get to see the finished Alex in the next post.)

In the meantime…

After she cut out Alex’s body pieces, she laid them right sides together and pinned all around to keep the fabric from shifting as she sewed.  She opted to use her 1/4″ presser foot with guide to make easy work of putting this guy together with 1/4″ seams.

She made sure to leave an opening on the right hand side of his body so she could turn him right side out later.

Once he was all stitched up, she used a 5″ pair of embroidery scissors to clip all of the curves.  She clipped “Up To, but not Through, the threads.”

This guy has LOTS of curves.

Here he is so far:

All she has left to do is to:

  • turn him right side out
  • stuff him however much she wants
  • use a slip-stitch to hand sew his side-seam opening closed
  • hand sew on his button eyes
  • snuggle!

We’ll be sure to share pictures of her finished project, our “newest addition” to the family soon!

Note to Moms and /or Grandmas:  Having sewn with many, many younger students, I have this humble advice to share:

When you are sewing with a child or young person, unless they ask for your creative input, try to let them be in control of all the creative decisions for their project. It shows them that you trust their creative expression and prevents unnecessary friction during your time together.   If you really wish they had chosen the other ears or different arms etc., and it’s bugging you to distraction, maybe you could sew along with them and make a doll just for you.

That’s all for now!

Thanks for reading.

T-shirt quilt part 3 coming soon!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego: StitchinJenny

T-Shirt Quilt Part Two: Quilt Layout Tips & Preparing Your Sashing

Hi! Howdy! Hello!

I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend!

I spent mine teaching a few new students sewing lessons from my in-home studio and also hanging out with my kiddos.

Daddy went to play in-line hockey and we got to turn up our music nice ‘n loud and DANCED like maniacs all over the house.  My kids are so FUN!!!

Anyway, I’d like to share Part 2 of our T-Shirt Quilt Sew Along so here goes!

Quilt Layout Tips

First, take a look at this printable “Quilt Map” I’ve made for you:  Quilt Map Printable PDF

Yeah, I come from a long line of artists….it really shows right?


This Quilt Map is for you to print out and fill in.  It will help you keep track of your desired quilt layout so that it doesn’t get too crazy confusing when you get busy sewing all your blocks and sashing together.

After I prepped all my t-shirt blocks (as directed in part one), I had to decide how to display them in my quilt.   I auditioned my quilt blocks by spreading them out on the floor in different arrangements.  Then I picked the arrangement that looked best to me.

Layout Tip #1:  Don’t put all your dark shirts at the top or at the bottom of your quilt.  See how unbalanced it would look?

Layout with all the light colored blocks at the bottom of the quilt.

Layout Tip #2:  Try to mix up your shirts so that the colors are evenly dispersed throughout your quilt.  Here’s another picture of what not to do:

Layout with the shirts poorly mixed.

Here’s the layout that I liked best for my quilt:

The beginning of my t-shirt quilt!

Once I had a layout that I wanted to keep, I filled in my Quilt Map.  In each square of my map, I noted the color of the block and also the graphic or words.  This will come in handy when it’s time to sew!


Ok!  Now it’s time to work on our Sashing Strips!

Making the Sashing Strips

Sashing Fabric:  2 & 1/4 yards of 45″ wide fabric for quilt frame sashing & interior sashing on front of quilt

We are going to need several 4″ wide strips of fabric that are 2 1/4 yard long.  Yikes! Have you ever had to cut such long strips before?  Trust me, your quilt frame and the interior sashing will look better if you go ahead and cut these long strips.  See instructions below for some helpful tips:

#1 Fold your fabric with right sides together so that the selvage edges are aligned.  Selvages are the densely woven part of your fabric that will not unravel.


The dark thread you see is because I serged the cut ends of my fabric before I pre-washed and dried it. The selvages are aligned with the numbers edge of my cutting mat.


#2 Now, fold this fabric in half so you have 4 layers of selvages and the cut ends are stacked on top of eachother.

Peek-a-boo! Four layers of selvages.

#3 Make sure the folded edge and the selvages are aligned with a straight line on your cutting mat or even a straight line on your tile floor.

I aligned my folded edge with a grid line on my mat. The ruler is just there so the fold is laying down well for the picture. Do not cut this fold!!!

#4 Use your rotary cutter or scissors to trim away your selvages.  Remember, selvages are the densely woven part of your fabric that will not unravel.

#5 Use your rotary cutter to cut strips that are 4″ wide and parallel with the selvage edge of your fabric.  -or- If you’re not comfortable with a rotary cutter, you can mark lines on your fabric that are 4″ apart, then pin through all layers of your fabric, and use scissors to cut your strips.

When you are marking or cutting your fabric, make sure your ruler is squared up with the folded end of your fabric. If it's not, your cut strips will be zig zag strips instead of straight strips.

You will cut 5 sets of 4" wide X 2 1/4 yard long strips.

Because of the way we folded your fabric, each set that you cut, is really 2 long strips. You will have 10 long strips of fabric to use for your sashing and quilt frame.

Now that we have our sashing and quilt frame strips, the next thing to do is begin attaching the sashing to our quilt blocks.  To prevent unwanted mistakes and to help your quilt turn out as nice as possible, please follow along with me for this step and do not jump ahead!

Attaching Your Sashing to Blocks in Column 1 and Column 2 Only

For this step, you are going to use a 1/4″ seam allowance or a 1/2″ seam allowance (whatever you prefer).

We will be sewing the sashing strips to the right hand edge of all the blocks listed in column 1 and column 2 of your quilt map.

Here’s a picture of my quilt so far.  The detailed instructions are below:

As seen above, only the blocks in column 1 and 2 should have sashing attached at this time.

Step One:

Lay the sashing fabric on top of the quilt block with right sides together and raw edges aligned. Sew a 1/4" seam.

I used my 1/4" presser foot to help me sew my sashing with perfect 1/4" seams.

Step Two:

Press the seam just as you stitched it.

Step 3:

Unfold the sashing and press the seam open.

Make sure the seam allowance is pressed towards the sashing.

Repeat these steps for all of the blocks in column 1 and 2.

Stay tuned for T-Shirt Quilt Part 3:  Piecing Tips and Assembling your Quilt Top

That’s all for now!

Let’s get sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny





Onesie Conversion!

Look at what I made!

Today I refashioned a ready-to-wear onesie that I had purchased at Walmart for about $2.  I used my handy dandy embroidery machine and added an applique to the front of it.  I also bursted a few brain cells and created my own pattern so I could add a mock-wrap skirt to it.  The picture above is the fruit of my experimentation.  I’m looking forward to seeing this on my niece!

Here’s a close-up of the applique that I found for FREE online.  I’m sharing a link to the website where you can download this and other free designs as well as purchase tons of very cute ABC’s etc.

Note:   To be sure you like the results, you may want to stitch out a test one on scrap fabric first.

New Video Tutorial Coming Soon:  My hubby filmed me going through the steps of stabilizing, hooping, and stitching out this applique on a onesie.  I’ll be able to share the video as soon as he’s done editing etc.  Yay!

After I embroidered my onesie, I fused a stabilizer called Fuse So Soft to the back of the embroidery design.  It’s like a tricot fabric, but it’s fusible and this keeps the rough threads from scratching or irritating a baby’s delicate skin.  You can get it at Humble Sewing Center or order something similar online.

After the embroidery was all done, I used my self-drafted miniature skirt pattern and went to town putting this cute little frock together.  My skirt pattern is basically a trapezoid shape with a rounded bottom edge.

See?  My onesie has a mock-wrap skirt.  The overlapping flap is sewn in place near my contrasting chocolate band and there are no waist ties.

I assembled and hemmed the skirt before attaching it to the onesie.

I marked center front and center back and placed some alignment dots across the onesie’s front and back so I’d be able to pin the skirt in place and sew without too much fuss.

Can you see the placement dots?

To sew the skirt to the onesie, I turned the skirt inside out and inserted the onesie into the skirt so that center fronts, center backs, and side seams were aligned and fabrics were right sides together.  Then I pinned it to death and sewed all the way around.

       My friend’s Beautiful Daughter, Marian! I get to be Auntie Jenny! Yay!!!!

I know I didn’t share a complete step by step tutorial for this project this time, but I am sharing a link to a pattern by Vanilla House that is very similar to what I have done here.  See?  Just click the images to go to the Vanilla House website and order your pattern!


P163 One-zee conversions162frontcoveronly

That’s all for now!

Let’s get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Introducing our 1st Quarterly “Sew Along”

Hi Ladies!

I don’t know about you but, sometimes, I just need a little fire under my rear to get me going….

So, I thought it would be fun to offer a quarterly SEW ALONG for the followers of this blog.

What is a Sew Along?

I’ve been researching this, and honestly, it seems that a “sew along” is an extended tutorial for one particular project.  That way, if I want to take you from start to finish on fitting, altering, and constructing something more extensive like a garment, I can break it down into several manageable posts.

These posts can be published daily or weekly and will include help with each step of the project and can include tutorials for the variations and options for a particular skill, etc.

Participating in a Sew Along is kind of neat because you are “sewing along” on the same project, at the same time as your fellow blog friends possibly from all over the world AND at the end, we get to post our pictures of what we made!  It’s a shared experience and a good way to try new things and connect with others who love what you love, too!

The quarterly Sew Alongs will be posted in addition to the tips and tutorials etc. that you can find here.


Well, since one of my goals is to keep you happy and informed, our very first SEW ALONG project is going to be the one that gets the most votes from you!

So, here is a list of suggested sew alongs.  Vote by sharing a comment at the end of this blog post.  You could help me out by saying which one would be your 1st, 2nd, and third choice and even a “not interested” choice is ok, too.

If I’ve totally missed it, and you have some Sew Along suggestions, you can share those here as well.

I’ll post the winning sew along on Feb. 3rd.  That announcement will also include our official “Start Date”!

T-Shirt Quilt

Classic Pencil Skirt

Make this Simplicity skirt Pattern #2906, View B and learn to sew darts & your choice of a lapped zipper -or- an invisible zipper!

PJ Ensemble 

 Over a series of posts, we’d be making the refashioned t-shirt, altering/modifying the pj pants, and going step by step to make the slippers.  This could be in child sizes or adult sizes.  I used Simplicity patterns:  2278 for the slippers & 2503 for the pants.

Amy Butler Hooded Rain Coat

Child Size

Adult Size

These links are to Amazon.  If they are out of stock, you’d just need to google to find where else to order them.

Well, I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Have a beautiful day!

Let’s get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny