Author Archives: jessica

4 Days to Decorate Your Thanksgiving Table – Table Runner

By Sewing Contributor Jessica, from the blog Life Sew Good. 

Day 3:  The Table Runner or Banner

You have table cloths, so why not just use what you already have and make it more special with a handmade runner? You don’t need a sewing machine for this one; all sewing is done by hand.

You Need:

If you want, google “leaf templates” and you will have plenty of options to print for this project. You will need a bigger leaf and then littler football-shaped leaves. I used a Wilton leaf cookie cutter for my template.

Cut leaves out of felt. I used 10 “big” leaves and 6 “little” leaves. However, you can make as many as you want to make it longer, shorter, or fuller.

If desired, you can hand embroider words that represent what you are thankful for (i.e., family, friends, faith). If may be easiest to use a pencil to draw the word you want, then hand stitch over the top.

Lay out leaves in the order you like and pin together.

Using a running stitch, sew leaves together. It’s helpful to occasionally lay it out to make sure it’s straight!

If you want to make it a banner instead of a table runner, stitch a piece of hemp cord onto the ends and hang.

Project 3: Complete!

4 Days to Decorate Your Thanksgiving Table – Holiday Votives

By Sewing Contributor Jessica, from the blog Life Sew Good. 

Day 2:  The Votive Holder

I think it’s really pretty when each setting has its own small candle. There are 2 ways you can make a simple candle really pretty for your table. The first involves a small amount of sewing; the other does not. Choose your favorite, or judge how much time you have a go for it!

You need:

Option 1: Sewing option

Measure your votive holder.

Cut a piece of burlap that will fit around the holder, just barely overlapping. Cut for as many votive holder as you have or will need for each place setting

Cut a long piece of gauze that is the same height as the burlap you cut. Cut the number you need for each votive holder.

Using a basting stitch (long stitch), sew down the middle of your long pieces of gauze. It should gather easily. If you need more gathers, pull on the bobbin thread to create more gathers. Repeat for each piece.

Place the gauze on top of the burlap, centering it, making sure they are the same length. Sew a regular-length stitch through the middle to attach the gauze to the burlap.

Using your crafter’s glue, attach your burlap pieces to the votive holder.

Option #2: No-sew option

Measure your votive holder.

Cut a piece of burlap that will fit around the holder, just barely overlapping. Cut for as many votive holder as you have or will need for each place setting

Using the same measurements, cut the same number of pieces of gauze. Fold top of gauze over ½ way down.

Using your crafter’s glue, attach the burlap to the candle holder. After it dries, place the gauze on top of the burlap. To make it stick, use glue sparingly.

For Both Options:

Use the tutorial from the wine glass charms to finish the votive holders. The only difference will be that you will need a little long hemp cords to tie around the votive holders. After you’ve tied your leaf charm on the holders, you’ve completed Day 2!

4 Days to Decorate Your Thanksgiving Table – Wine Glass Charm

By Sewing Contributor Jessica, from the blog Life Sew Good. 

Day 1: The Wine Glass Charm

Let’s be honest: we love crafting. Finding the time to do it all is a challenge. My goal was to create a few simple pieces that would work together to make a cohesive, warm & cozy Thanksgiving table. If you have an hour a day for four days, you should be able to complete them all!

You’ll need:

Cut “football shaped” leaves out of felt. (I just made my own by “eyeing” it. You can also google “Leaf Templates” and there are plenty of options you can print!) You’ll need 2 for each wine charm, so if you want to make 8, then you need 16 leaves. Also, another project will use the leaves, so cut more if you have time!

Cut 6″ pieces of hemp cord, 1 for each glass.

Put 2 leaves together, one over lapping the other. Using your threaded needle, hand stitch the hemp cord onto the back of the leaves. Basically, you only need to make a tight loop around it, and put your need through it a couple of times. This should hold it steady.

Repeat for as many glasses as you will need.

Project #1: Complete!

Super Easy & Fast: Leg or Arm Warmers

By Sewing Contributor Jessica, from the blog Life Sew Good. 

It’s time to start warming up those extremities.  I made these warmers for my daughter, but you can use the same steps to make them adult sized. This retro cold-weather accessory is a hot trend this fall. Accessorize with these cute warmers!

You Need:

Take your long socks and cut the feet off the socks.

Turn sock inside-out. Fold unfinished ends ½”, then another 1″. Sew a ¼” seam around, leaving about 1″ opening to insert elastic.

Measure the circumference of the top of the sock, and cut a piece of elastic that measures the same. Insert the elastic through the opening using a safety pin to help thread it through the enclosure. Sew the elastic ends together. Sew the opening closed.

Embellish, if desired. I made bows and tacked them on in three places.

How to Make Easy Animal Ears

By Sewing Contributor Jessica, from the blog Life Sew Good. 

My daughter recently had a Hello Kitty birthday party, so I made all the little girls kitty ears. This tutorial can easily be modified for monkeys, bears, puppies, or whatever fits your costume!

You need:

1. Cut ears from fleece. CUT 4. To get the right ratio, if making kitty, bear, or monkey ears, the base should be about 3 ½” wide. Make a mark 2 ½” high and free hand draw a curved line, either pointy for a kitty or rounded like a bear or monkey. If making a dog or other animal, you may want taller ears.

2. Cut band from fleece—CUT 1. Cut a 12 ½” x 1 ½” rectangle.

3. Sew Ears. Stack 2 ears, right sides together. Simply sew a seam close to the edge on the 2 sides—or on the rounded part. Do not sew the base. Repeat to make 2nd ear.

4. Take your fleece band and fold in half, bringing short sides together. Measure ½” from the middle on each side. Make a mark. Make slits for the ears that measure ½” from the center of the band and 2 ½” to 3″ down.


5. With right sides together, insert ears into the slits you have made.

6. Sew seam close to edge. Trim the extra fabric.

7. Fold band over, matching all edges, wrong sides together. Sew a wide zig-zag stitch across the long edge. Also enclose one edge.

8. Insert head band through open edge. Close end with seam.

Decorate as desired!!

Amy Butler & Her Bags

By Sewing Contributor Jessica, from the blog Life Sew Good. 

Who doesn’t love Ms. Amy Butler? She’s a crafter and seamstress, pattern-maker extraordinaire, fabric designer and inspiration to us all. Yes, she is brilliant. Maybe we could think of the things that she does, but the brilliance of it all is that we don’t have to. The hard work has already been done. For a relatively reasonable price, a trip to the fabric store (oh, darn . . . ), and a few hours cutting and sewing, we reap the fruit of her labor. And love it.

My first Amy Butler “product” was given to me by another craft junkie (who, sometimes, perhaps goes by the alias “Mable Crafts-A-Lot”). It was a diaper bag she made based on Amy Butler’s: “Nappy Bag” pattern. I fell in love with this bag—HUGE, in a good way, with room for lots of baby stuff (and mommy stuff too)—and best of all, it was made out of beautiful fabric. I liked that it is relatively shallow, so things don’t get lost as easily. The downside: Because it’s “easy-access”, there is no button, snap, or other closure.

I became pregnant with my 2nd daughter and decided to try my hand at making my own diaper bag, only this time, it was going to be Amy Butler’s “Birdie Sling”. I made two, actually. The first was out of amazing Michael Miller fabric, and the second I finished out of Amy Butler fabric that my friend had given me as a gift. I love the bag because it looks good, feels good on the shoulder and stores lots of stuff. The downside: it’s a deeper bag, so sometimes things could get lost in the depths.

When I was looking for links to the patterns mentioned above, I saw that Amy Butler has several FREE patterns on her site. It’s so worth checking out!

Knit Skirt or Dress

By Sewing Contributor Jessica, from the blog “Life Sew Good”. 

Knit fabric is great! At first I was afraid of it, but once I learned cool tricks, I fell in love. I had this great knit fabric sitting in my stash for 2 years so I decided it was time to pull it out and make something I would love.

So, I know this is kind of cheating, but I didn’t want to go through the process of making (or buying) a pattern. Instead, I simply copied a skirt I already knew I loved and fit me. So grab your favorite knit skirt—or technically, it could be any skirt—and get some newsprint or grab paper off your kids’ easel and let’s make a cute skirt/dress. Your skirt will have a roll-down waist. The dress option will be like a tube-top dress.

You need:

1. Trace the skirt onto your paper, minus the waistband.

2. Cut it out, then pin the pattern onto your fabric. Remember to add seam allowances: ½” on sides and bottom, and ¾” on the top.

3. Place right sides together and sew and/or serge side seams.

4. Make the waistband. To figure out the waistband, take your fabric, fold it in ½, and stretch it around your waist. Measure and cut a piece of fabric the width you want by about 20″.

5. Take your waistband fabric and fold the WIDTH in ½. Sew side seam.

6. Now, turn the fabric down so that you have a double thick circle. Only right sides should be showing.

You can see the skirt and the waistband in the following picture. The top of our skirt will have a wider circumference than your waistband. IT’S OKAY! It should be that way. You don’t want your skirt to fall off now, do you?!

Next, you are going to pin the unfinished end of your waistband to the top of your skirt by pinning the waistband INSIDE the right side of your skirt. It will look like this:

8. Sew and/or serge 3/4″ seam.

9. Now you have a skirt that with a roll-down waistband. If you want, hem the bottom. I left mine raw. Just because I could!

To Make it into a Dress:

Pull the waistband all the way up over your bust. It should stretch and feel comfortable. I added some ½” elastic around the top to add some extra support!