Sewing Blog

Sew a Smile: The Googly Eye Drawstring Bag Tutorial. Beginner Sewing Project

Sew a Smile: The Googly Eye Drawstring Bag Tutorial. Beginner Sewing Project

Do you want to create a unique and eye-catching? Look no further than these wiggly eyed gift bags! 

To begin, you'll need some basic supplies. This includes:

  • Cotton fabric
  • 18mm googly eyes, you'll need safety eyes because these lay nice and flat on the front of the fabric. 
  • 3mm braided cotton cord
  • Optional: some cardboard from old packaging to create a template. You can mark the dimensions straight onto the fabric.
  • You'll also need an awl for making holes in the fabric or a seam ripper or scissors to create a small hole
  • Pins
  • Matching thread

Although the bag is unlined, you can add a lining to give it more body if you'd like. 

These wiggly eyed gift bags are easy to make, customizable, and most importantly, fun and playful. Give it a try and see how creative you can get!


Fancy awl -

Googly eyes -

Prym aqua trick marker - 

These are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase on the site after using the links, I could earn a commission. Thanks for supporting my work.

 Googly eye drawstring bag sewing tutorial

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Saving a Favorite Handknit Sweater. Can I fix it? Mistakes Were Made...

Saving a Favorite Handknit Sweater. Can I fix it? Mistakes Were Made...

I have a cherished hand-knit sweater that has seen better days, just like many of us. In the video, and blogpost I want to share my experience in repairing it. I will take you through the process of what worked and what didn't, so that you too can save your favorite sweater and make it wearable again.


Fixing the worn elbows with duplicate stitch

I started with the worn-out elbows, which are a common problem for sweaters. Repairing them takes time, but it's relatively easy when the stitches are still in tact.

I was lucky enough to have the original yarn for my sweater, as I knit it myself. If you don't have the original yarn, you can use something of the same weight. Alternatively, you can use a slightly thinner yarn, which may be easier to work with. If your yarn is too thin, you can double it up. Also, consider using darning wool with nylon in it, as it will protect your sweater better in areas prone to wear.

To repair the elbows, I used the duplicate stitch technique. All you have to do is follow the original stitches. It's easier to demonstrate than explain, but it's not too difficult. Don't worry about making it perfect, as perfection is not necessary the network of stitches will be so much stronger that a missed stitch won't cause much problems.

It helps to keep the knit tensioned over something like a darning mushroom, darning egg, or even a small bowl or light bulb. This way, you can open up the knit fabric, combined with daylight or a bright light to make life easier.

I found the duplicate stitch to work great for the elbows, as it creates a tight fabric that's essential for areas subjected to a lot of wear.

Mistake no. 1

My first mistake was starting in the middle of the worn area. It would have been easier to mark the area I wanted to repair with contrasting yarn first. However, even though I learned from my mistake and marked a the area for the second elbow. I ran into some difficulties with the waste yarn constantly getting in the way, and I even ended up sewing through it. So next time I'll mark a larger area.

To finish the yarn tails, I wove the yarn through a few stitches in the back, plucked them apart, and cut off the excess after wearing or washing the sweater.

Fixing a dropped stitch

The armpit is another area that sees a lot of wear. In my case, I think the white yarn was a bit too tight, causing it to wear out faster. There were actually two stitches there, and I treated them as one since it was probably a decrease. While I was at it, I also repaired the other armpit, as I could see it was starting to wear out too. To secure the ends, I wove the yarn tail around the white yarn still in place, and since it was Icelandic wool, it's so sticky that it will felt together with wear, ensuring it stays in place.

The cuff

The cuff was a bit more challenging, but I am happy with the end result. I picked up the stitches at the bottom of the sleeve and re-knit the cuff, sort of matching to the original 1x1 rib of the cuff. I experimented by picking up both stitches at the edge of the patch and at random intervals in the row. 

Mistake no. 2 

Of course I didn't think to mark the area I wanted to knit so I ended up missing a few stitches ate the edge of the cuff. I decided to pick up a few extra stitches and create a cast of along the edge off the cuff. But at the end I decided to simply wrap the yarn around the edge for a few centimeter... in hindsight I think it will wear out faster than the cast of edge and I should've continued to using the bind off.

Mistake no. 3 

I was lazy and didn't take the time to grab the proper needles, instead I went for my Chiagoo mini's. Resulting in me struggling to knit and having sore hands afterwards... don't be like me and grab the right tools for the job ;) 

Despite the mistakes I made I had fun experimenting and the end result is a lopapeysa that is ready to be worn and loved once again with a little more character to boot! :D

In conclusion, mending a favorite sweater is a worthwhile task. Whether you're fixing worn-out elbows, armpits, or cuffs, it's a great way to bring life back to a cherished item and make it wearable once again. So grab your yarn and needle, and let's start mending!

handknit lopapeysa in lettlopi wool

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How To Make A Lined Drawstring Bag From Only One Piece of Fabric

How To Make A Lined Drawstring Bag From Only One Piece of Fabric

Easy drawstring bag from one piece of fabric - beginner sewing project

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to make a lined drawstring bag or pouch using the entire width of fabric. This beginner sewing project is perfect for storing small items, like a skein of yarn, an embroidery project, or use it as a reusable gift bag.

You'll be able to create a beautiful lined drawstring bag in no time! If you're new to sewing, or just want to learn a new sewing technique, this is the tutorial for you!

Materials you'll need for the lined drawstring bag:

- 112 X 29 cm [44"x11.4"], I used thew entire width of the fabric including the selvedge. You can easily adapt the size to your preference or to fit the fabric you have.

- 3 mm braided cotton cord

Finished size:  26.5 x 26 cm [10.4" x 10.2"]


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Sew A Simple Drawstring Bag With French Seams and a Boxed Bottom

Sew A Simple Drawstring Bag With French Seams and a Boxed Bottom

unlined drawstring bag tutorial

In this video, I'l l be sew an unlined drawstring bag with French seams and a boxed bottom. This is a beginner-friendly project that you can easily complete in just a few hours.

If you're looking for a diy project to work on during your downtime, or you want to learn how to sew, then this is the video for you! I'll teach you step-by-step how to sew an unlined drawstring bag, and by the end of the video, you'll be able to sew a bag of your own.


  • 1 piece of fabric: 74 x 42 cm [29.1 x 16.5 inch] medium to heavy weight fabric like denim, canvas, ticking or plain weave cotton. My fabric is from Ikea 235 gsm.
  • 2 x 95 cm [38.6 inch] braided cotton cord 8mm [5/16 inch]

Techniques used in the bag:

  • French seams
  • Boxed bottom

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6 Tips for Color Matching Thread to Fabric

6 Tips for Color Matching Thread to Fabric

If you just started sewing you might wonder...How do you match thread to the fabric? Do I need to buy a matching colour for every sewing project? Because it can be hard to perfectly match your sewing thread to your fabric. Luckily, in many cases you don't have to exactly match the colour of the thread to the fabric. 

I recently had an interesting conversation on Etsy about how to pick colors to match the fabric of your sewing project.There is always some experimentation involved, but here are a few tips I've picked up during my sewing journey.

  • Can't buy your thread locally and do you have to shop online? Buy a range of grey (light, medium, dark) and neutrals like beige, off-white, navy, black,etc. they blend in to many more fabrics than you'd think! If you end up using up one color faster than other colors, you can buy a bigger spool and save some money in the long run. This works for serger cones too!

    But do make an informed choice. So look into your wardrobe (if you sew clothes for yourself) and look at your favorite colors. Are they dark, light, bright, muted? For example: If you don't have anything white or black in your wardrobe you are probably not going to sew with them much.

    You can use them as a construction thread (to sew side seam) and in many cases for topstichting too especially on patterned fabrics. I find the colour of the thread is often most notable for buttonholes so you can do a test buttonhole to see if you think it's a good enough match.

  • Go for a thread that's a shade darker than your fabric, these tend to blend in better than lighter options.

  • Take a small fabric swatch when you go shopping for threads. I used to stuff a few fabric swatches into the little pocket in the back of my planner so I would have them with me if I went shopping for thread, other fabrics or notions.

  • If you have a few options in your thread stash, first pull some thread from the spool and lay it over the fabric, squint to see which on blends in best. When in doubt sew a line of stitches of each option so you can compare them.
  • Go for contrasting top stitching. This can work, but every wobble in your stitching will stand out.

  • For patterned fabrics pick a colour closest to the colour that stands out most or is the background colour. Often grey will work too. 

And remember that with most sewing projects your are moving around and people won't even notice if the match isn't perfect. ;)

A few examples

In the images below you can see that even though a spool of thread sometimes looks quite different from the fabric once you pull out a length of thread some magically disappear. So always try a few threads even if they look like they don't match while still on the spool.

Here are a few examples from my own sewing. They are not the most extreme examples, but it does show the match doesn't have to be perfect.

 tips for colormatching sewing thread

The blue fabric is made from white and blue threads, so which do you pick? I went with a grey colored thread which blends in really well.

For the patterned fabric I picked pink which doesn't match the dominant offwhite base, but I like how they look together. 

tips for colormatching sewing thread

tips for colormatching sewing thread

For the top stitching in this one I didn't really have a thread that perfectly matched any of the colors so so I picked a muted and darker red. You can see it's different up close, but when I wear it I don't notice it at all.

tips for colormatching sewing thread

Next time you are sewing and don't have a perfect match at hand, I hope you'll try a few colors that, at first, don't seem like a perfect match.

Do you do this too? Do you have any additional tips? Let me know in the comments.


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How to make a reusable giftwrap - Furoshiki Wrapping Cloth

How to make a reusable giftwrap - Furoshiki Wrapping Cloth

Every year we trash enough grift wrap to wrap around the world multiple times, and a good chunck of it is not even recyclable. What a waste! 

So why not make your own fabric gift wrap inspired by furoshiki, a traditional Japanese wrapping cloth you can use as reusable gift wrap or a bag. It's an easy sewing project for beginners.

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Can you learn to sew online? + My favorite sewing classes online

Can you learn to sew online? + My favorite sewing classes online

Can you learn to sew with online sewing classes?

Yes you can learn to sew online. However I think you will advance quicker if you are able to take at least a few in person sewing lessons or a quick demo by a sewing friend, especially when it comes to pattern making, fitting and tailoring techniques.

Let me explain this a bit better, because I think it highly depends on how you like to learn, what you want to learn and how much time you have.

Here are a few examples and my thoughts on:

  • Want to learn basic sewing skills and techniques? I'd say, yes! You can learn this online. You can learn to sew simple bags, zippered pouches, pillows, bedding, aprons, Tsuno tie bags, reusable gift wraps. There are many step by step video tutorials for all these projects. There is probably a video out there explaining how to set up your specific sewing machine. If you buy your machine at a local shop they can often do a quick demo too. To get to know your sewing machine and slowly build your skills, these projects are great. If you are up for a challenge this can be a fun challenge! 

  • Want to learn how to sew simple garments, loose fitting garments, or garments for kids? These are a wonderful step up once you've mastered the basics. You might have to learn to do some simple alterations like, lengthening or shortening a pattern for a better fit. For most of these you'll be able to find free and step by step videos out there. Grainline Studios is an indie pattern company with great video tutorials to accompany many their patterns!

  • Want to learn how to make garments from patterns fit your body perfectly? Now we are getting into the more intermediate / advanced skills. Many sewers do make it work by photographing and filming themselves to check the fit of their garments, however someone with a keen eye for fit and knowledge of pattern alterations is gold! I find this is the hardest to learn from videos, books and photos. 

  • Want to learn how to draft your own patterns with your own measurements? I would say doing an in person course or a few classes would be the way to go. This will give you a great foundation to build on. When I studied fashion we had to make a tailored jacket to with our own measurements, but you were paired up with another student to measure and do the fitting, because it's so hard to do it correctly on your own body. I still have the jacket and the pattern :)

So yes you can probably learn everything online, but in person classes can speed up the learning proces and make it less frustrating. You often work alongside people who are working on the same or similar projects so you get to see a different technique or different materials in action. You get help immediately when you run into a problem, it's fun and I think in person classes just work better for certain people. Even of you live in a small town, there's probably someone offering affordable sewing lessons so you can skip the overwhelm and just get started on the good stuff.

Personally I like to mix online and offline learning, but when it comes to sewing skills I learned the foundation of sewing and patternmaking during my time at the Willem de Kooning Academy where I studied fashion. 

Can you learn to sew for free online?

Yes, you can definitely learn basic sewing skills for free online. There is lots of fantastic content freely available on YouTube. However, it can be very time consuming to find relevant and quality classes online. Plus I often find a lot of YouTube videos will skip over details that are important for total beginners. But it is possible to piece together a complete sewing course from free content, you'll just have to invest time to find the right videos.

If you are reading this and have a tip for a channel with solid beginner videos? please leave a comment below with a link and why we should check out that channel!

What is a good place to find paid sewing classes online? 

So what if you don't have time to piece together all the information and don't mind investing some money in an online course? Online sewing courses are a great option! I've learnt so much online and I still learn something new regularly. I often take online classes because there are some great options out there. I've only had experience with Craftsy, Domestika and Skillshare.

Online courses are often project based, so you'll learn to make a bag, a dress or a jacket and pick up a few handy skills along the way for each project that you do. But there are foundational courses out there too.

If you are like me and like to do on demand classes, then I would suggest looking at Craftsy, Domestika and Skillshare. I have bought several single classes from Domestika (around $10 per class) and Craftsy. With Skillshare I pay for a yearly subscription. I'm also a teacher on Skillshare. Sadly, being a teacher doesn't earn me a free subscription, but I think it's worth the subscription fee​​​​​​​!

Domestika let's you pay per class, and then it's yours. There is a plus membership available with a monthly credit, a discount on all classes + a selection of classes you can freely watch during limited time.

Their sewing video catalogue is limited, but there are a few that look great, like this one by Elisalex from By Hand London. I haven't taken any of their sewing classes, but I've done a few fantastic embroidery classes and water color classes.

Domestika is a curated platform with classes produced by a professional team. The platform works well and they often have nice deals on single classes or bundles where you can save considerably. Many classes are in Spanish some in English, but all have subtitles. I've watched a few Spanish classes and have to rely on the subtitles, which are not always easy to follow since they seem to be automatically generated.

Craftsy has many quality classes and you can buy a single class or use their affordable membership option (in 2022 $7,99 p//m). I just saw they have a cool feature that allows you to share your subscription with 3 friends or family members.

I have only taken embroidery classes on Craftsy, but they were well produced and inspiring, so I expect the same to be true for the sewing classes. They have some classes on fitting that have gotten praise in some of the sewing groups I'm in on Facebook.

I think Craftsy is a great and affordable option if you want access to lots of online sewing classes.

Skillshare only works with an subscription fee, you can't buy single classes. Their catalogue is a mix of Skillshare Originals, Staff Picks and regular classes. Skillshare Originals are produced by Skillshare and are well produced, high quality classes.

The rest of the classes are uploaded and filmed by the teachers, so the quality can differ, however many are good quality and the best get awarded with a Staff Pick badge. Since I have a Skillshare subscription I've watched a few sewing classes and I even uploaded my own class to Skillshare. 

My favorite sewing classes on Skillshare 

To be clear the Skillshare links below are affiliate links and will give you a free 30-day trial, If you decide to sign up after the trial I receive a small commission, it doesn't cost you anything extra, but it does help me make educational content, tutorials and future classes. Plus you get to watch thousands of Skillshare classes not just the sewing classes. I hope the classes I mention will help you to decide if a Skillshare membership is worth it for you.

I've made a list of a couple of my favourite Skillshare classes.  

1. Sewing Basics: Make Your Own Clothing by Denise Bayron 

Denise is a wonderful teacher and the class is focused on total beginners. I don't think the title is completely correct for the class. The class focuses on garment making techniques, but you will not learn to sew a garment from beginning to end in this class.

However Denise breaks down the techniques in understandable chunks so it's easy to follow along as a beginner. She's also good at mentioning the tiny details that beginners need to hear and are often skipped over in random YouTube tutorials.

The sewing techniques covered in this class will give you a decent basic knowledge of techniques you'll definitely come across in garment making. Great practice if you follow along during the class.

The total class duration is 1h 55min and includes a pdf with some additional resources. ​​​​​​​Check out the Beginner sewing class by Denise Bayron.


2. Hand Sewing Basics: Work Wonders with Fabric, Needle & Thread by Bernadette Banner, Dress Historian & Filmmaker

Join dress historian and YouTube star Bernadette Banner and go back to hand sewing basics.

My first ever sewing project was a pair of pyjama pants I sewed by hand and I made sooo many mistakes. I wish I had seen Bernadette's class then, but alas my pant sewing was pre internet era. She shares a wealth of knowledge without it getting overwhelming. 

She teaches hand sewing basics for sewing fabric, how to sew on a button by hand and shares many tips and tricks along the way. Hand sewing is such a useful skill even if you have a sewing machine, sometimes you just can't get around it. 

The total class duration is 1h 9m ​​​​​​​Check out Bernadette's class and a 30-day trial.


3. Sewing Fundamentals: Your First Zippered Project Made Easy
Dylan Mierzwinski, Illustrator & Lover of Flowers

Dylan is such a fun teacher! The class covers working with the dreaded zipper, which is not as difficult as it sounds. Making a zippered pouch is the perfect place to start and Dylan will take you by the hand and keep you engaged.  

The total class duration is 1h 9m. The class includes a pdf with all the materials needed, doesn't include a PDF pattern because you'll make that in class. Click here for the class and a free 30 day trial to watch ALL Skillshare classes


4. Learn to Sew a Crossbody Bag With Cork Fabric a.k.a Cork Leather (Pattern Included) Charlotte Kan, Embroidery / Sewing 

And lastly I'm sharing my own class. In this class by  you'll learn how to sew with cork fabric to make a simple crossbody bag. If you call yourself an adventurous beginner then you should be able to handle this class, but it is more challenging because cork is different to work with compared to regular fabric. But If you are curious about how to sew with cork fabric a.k.a cork leather or vegan leather and you want to learn some basic bag making skills, this is the class for you!

When I first got interested in cork fabric, I had no idea if you could sew the material with a normal home sewing machine, what needle to use or where to find it. Turns out...yes! You can sew cork leather on a regular sewing machine and with a few handy tools it's not as hard as it looks.

 The total class duration is 1h 47m. The class includes a basic PDF pattern. Click here for the class and a 30 day trial to watch ALL Skillshare classes.

"Thanks! I made it myself."
You a year from now.

Whew! that was quite the list! And I've shared only a fraction of the classes available on Skillshare So is it worth getting Skillshare? I think it's worth to take a yearly subscription it if you can find at least 15 classes in total that you would really like to take. So if you are interested in sewing, embroidery, water color and making illustrations in procreate for example, I'm sure you'll find many fantastic classes to make it worth the investment. I've had a subscription for 5 years now and I still manage to find new classes that interest me on a monthly basis. But using the 30-day free trial to take advantage of all these sewing classes is a no brainer, totally worth it!

Would love to hear about your honest experience with Skillshare, Craftsy, Domestika when it comes to learning how to sew and do chip in if you know a good YouTube channel to follow for free beginner sewing classes.

Happy sewing :)


PS: looking for a fun and free sewing project? Sign up to the newsletter for a free copy of the smallest Tsuno Tie Bag and sew up some scraps. If you ​​​​​​​sign up you also get access to the free printable swatch library, sewing project planner and a few other handy templates. You'll receive the files in your welcome mail :)

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10 things I learned trying to stay creative and crafty during stressful times

10 things I learned trying to stay creative and crafty during stressful times

hand embroidery quote Stay Home Stay Safe

Before I dive into how I try to stay creative, let me explain why it is important to me. There is so much bad news and misinformation out there, and It’s everywhere, news sites, Facebook, Instagram, in conversations, on billboards...everywhere.

When Rona first hit I was constantly checking news sites. The first few weeks I kept going in circles. After checking a few sites I would return to the first one to see if there was something new and kept repeating that circle. But when, after a couple of weeks, things seemed to stabilize I seriously needed a (mental) break.

So I decided to set a simple rule for myself: Create and be creative every single day.

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Stash Less September 

Stash Less September 

simple house slipper temple of knit

About a year ago, I started minimizing my fabric stash currently occupying the guest bedroom that I hope to turn into an office/sewing room. I was off to a great start, but then I got off track. 

However, last month I decided to get back at it. Taking cues from Marie Kondo, and Felicia Semple at the Craft Sessions blog. First I started to imagine my ideal workspace. It's a fun, easy, and helpful step to keep me motivated, and stay on track. 

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New Skillshare Class + Giveaway: How to sew with cork and make a crossbody bag

New Skillshare Class + Giveaway: How to sew with cork and make a crossbody bag

In this class you'll learn how to sew with cork fabric to create a simple crossbody bag. 

So if you are curious about how to sew with cork fabric a.k.a cork leather or vegan leather and you want to learn some basic bag making skills, this is the class for you!

When I first got interested in cork fabric, I had no idea if you could sew the material with a normal home sewing machine, what needle to use or where to find it. Turns out...yes! You can sew cork leather on a regular sewing machine and with a few handy toolit's not as hard as it looks.

What will you learn in this class?

  • We’ll go over the specifics of working with cork fabric, like what sewing needles to use and my favorite tools for sewing cork.
  • How to shorten zippers set in exposed zippers (metal and plastic)
  • How to add zipper tabs for a refined look.
  • How to get even topstitching
  • how to sew over thick layers
  • And finally, I’ll show you how to alter the pattern to create a smaller bag with a round bottom which will hopefully inspire you to do your own tweaks and customize the design.

how to sew a cork leather bag, half moon shaped

What's included in this class?

  • The crossbody PDF sewing pattern included in the resource section, so you can sew along and make your own.
  • My support, I'll do my best to answer your questions in the discussion section.
  • A resource list including my favorite online shops that sell cork and notions
  • 20+ lessons explaining all the key techniques, step-by-step.

There is much to love about working with cork leather, but these are my main reasons


Cork leather is:

  • A great alternative for leather
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Easy to work with on a regular sewing machine
  • Available in many colors and prints


Skill level:

You’ll need to be confident using a sewing machine and have at least a few projects under your belt...however I am going to show the process step-by-step so if you are an ambitious beginner you should be able to follow along.

If you are an experienced sewer you’ll probably find that the construction of this bag is fairly straightforward and a fun project to experiment with new material.

At the end of this class, you'll know how to sew a simple bag using cork leather and you’ll be able to make a few simple tweaks to customize the design. The bag is a great addition to your me-made wardrobe and perfect as a gift.


If you are new to Skillshare, it's a subscription service like a Netflix but for learning new skills on mostly creative topics like lettering, sewing, embroidery, filmmaking, illustration, procreate, water colour painting, macrame, ceramics, interior desing, graphic desing and much more!

And if you sign up through this link you got to watch my class and thousands of other classes for free for 2 weeks! By signing up for a free trial I earn a small commission ($10) which supports my work and enables me to create more classes. So thank you if you do! And imagine me doing a tiny, awkward happy dance when you do :)



however if you are only interested in my class, you can use this link there are only 25 free spots in the class! How does it work:

- Read this before you click You'll need to make an account (simply don't fill out billing info and you'll automatically have a free account). Then make sure you are logged in, then click on the link to watch and you should be able to unlock the full class.

- First come first serve. 

By signing up through the free link, I don't earn a commission, but it does help my class get found on skillshare. More students = more visibility! so thank you for signing up and participating in the class and imagine me doing a little happy dance whilst spilling my morning coffee. 

How to sew with cork leather

Happy sewing!



PS: looking for a fun and free sewing project? Sign up to the newsletter for a free copy of the smallest Tsuno Tie Bag and sew up some scraps. If you ​​​​​​​sign up you also get access to the free printable swatch library, sewing project planner and a few other handy templates. You'll receive the files in your welcome mail :)

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