Tag Archives: free

Fly Tutorial with Photos for Jalie Stretch Jeans 2908

Remember these jeans?

These are  my jeans using Jalie Stretch Jeans 2908.  (If you want to read the post, please click here)

In that post I stated that I would write a tutorial on the fly front zipper.  Since then I’ve sewn many more garments, but I hadn’t forgotten.  Just lately I helped my friend Suzanne work through the fly front, step by step, and realized that the tutorial might have helped her.

I cut out a pair of fronts in the smallest size, and the fly shield, which I made longer by about 3/4 inch.  On my jeans they seemed to have gotten smaller as I sewed, so from now on I’ll add a bit. 

I used a cream coloured twill, an orange zipper and dark green thread.  It’s not pretty, but it worked.  I took pictures of each step and put a tutorial together as a 2 page PDF download.Please click here for the tutorial.  Fly Tutorial Jalie 2908

Have you sewn a fly front?  Did you have any problems with it?

And please, if you have any questions about the tutorial, please let me know.














Sew a Bag for Fluffy Microwaved Potatoes


Yes, these are sew fast to make up that you still have time to whip up a few before Christmas,      IF      you have the right scrim-free batting.

This is the one I use, and one package will make 6.  Your local quilt shop might carry it, if not,

I get mine here; at Amazon.ca







To make one bag, you’ll need 2 pieces of quilters cotton, 12 inches by 22 inches, and one piece of scrim-free batting 12″ x 22″

If you open out the batting like this diagram, you can cut 6 from one piece with very little waste.

Place your 2 pieces of quilters cotton with right sides together, then smooth the batting on top with all edges even.  Turn it over so the batting is on the bottom, and using 100% cotton thread and 1/4″ seam allowance, sew the 2 short ends through all layers.  I found it fed better with the batting down, and my Dual Feed foot was my best friend.

Trim the seam allowance to 1/8th ” , then turn right sides out so the batting is in between the fabric.  Press with iron to flatten, then top-stitch along each short end.

I quilted this  flat piece about 5 inches apart using cotton thread.  I suspect these will end up in the laundry, and I don’t want the batting to bunch up.

With right side up, fold one short end in toward the middle by 2 inches.  Bring the other short end over so it’s 1/4″ from the fold and pin or clip to hold.

Sew up the sides, using a generous 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Trim close to the stitching, then turn right side out.  Poke out the corners carefully, then press well with the iron to flatten.  Top-stitch 1/4 inch from each side to hide the raw edges.

To use:  Wash and dry baking potatoes.  No need to poke holes in them.  Wrap in a dry paper towel and insert into the bag.  Microwave for the correct length of time according to your oven.

I use a piece of clean cotton muslin instead of the paper towel to save garbage.

This bag is large enough for corn, too.

Here’s a PDF of the instructions, as well as a page with 4 sets of cooking instructions.   If you don’t want to print them, only print page 1.

baked potato bag







Let’s Sew a Mug Tote

A Mug Tote! 

What a great idea!  How great is this idea?

  • I love to sew
  • It’s fun and easy to sew
  • It uses scraps
  • It makes a great gift
  • It protects my mug when I take it somewhere
  • It makes a great blog post

Many thanks to my friend Joyce; she brought one to Sewing Social in Trenton last week and a lot of us got excited to sew one.  I offered to write a pattern, and here’s the result.

Here’s the supply list in case you want to get started, BUT, I’m not going to post the instructions here until December 13th.  If you’re a subscriber, you’ll receive a notice by email, if you’re not a subscriber, you can do so by filling in your email addy at the top left of this page.

Outer layer, 1 piece 10 inches x 14 1/2 inches and a 5 inch circle for the bottom.

1 piece of batting or fusible fleece 14 inches x 6 1/2 inches.

For lining, 1 piece 10 inches x 14 1/2 inches and a 5 inch circle for the bottom.

25 inches of narrow ribbon for the tie.

2 strips of 1/4 inch wide paper backed fusible web 14 1/2 inches long. 

One 4 1/2 inch diameter sour cream container lid

Matching sewing thread.

And here are the instructions, happy stitching!

Free Pattern for Mug Tote

Jalie 3461 Pull on Jeans, Adding Functional Pockets

I’m sure you’ve seen these before.  I’ve written about them here at sewwhatyvette many times.

Here jeans




Here  front details




and here 

close up front




In those posts I described the changes that I made to the pattern so that it suited my mature figure, and the fact that I changed the front to include real, functional pockets.

functional pockets

I get many emails asking for the PDF of my pocket pattern, and how I drafted it, so here it is!


Leggings for Barbie, a Free Pattern

navy leggings

 Every well dressed Barbie needs leggings, and the more the merrier.  If you cut out a few pairs of these in colours that are “family” you could sew them without changing your thread colours.  Just saying.

This pattern has been designed for a 4-way stretch, in other words, it stretches in all directions.  These fabrics can be a bit challenging, and I have included some sewing tips on my pattern sheet.  Download it at the bottom of this page.

Are you making any of these?   I’d love to see your creations, just email them to me at yvettechilcott(at)yahoo(dot)ca

here’s the link to the pattern:


Barbie Boutique

Just for the record, I have no grandchildren.  So I rather enjoy other people’s grandchildren.  One of my friends has a daughter who had a beautiful baby girl 5 years ago.  !!!  Really?  5 years?  yes. 

Although she now lives far away, through the magic of face-book I have kept up some of the “moments” of her life. 

Enter; her first Barbie.

OMG, my “grandmotherly instincts” have me designing and sewing Barbie clothes.  Insane.  But loads of fun.

So, first, I bought myself a Barbie. I didn’t want to spend too much money, (I’m retired you know, and on a pension) so I chose the lowest priced one at Walmart.  Her bathing suit is painted on so her straps sometimes show.

blue dress


I’ve had sew much fun making 2-hour tunics for me that I knew Barbie would like some, too.    This one’s dress length.



blue hi low top




Here’s a shorter one with a pair of navy leggings.





And a red one, with red pants , too.  Click the links below for the patterns.red pants and top

loose pants for barbie

knit pants 

denim dress

simple fleece jacket




coat outfit dress

A couple of strapless dresses, and an evening coat.

coat outfit front
coat outfit
coat outfit side

I found a piece of sequined trim, and here’s where that ended up.

dress with sequins

And of course I had to crochet something.

crochet sweater and long skirt

A few partially assembled garments ended up in the garbage.  You sure don’t sew Barbie clothes in the same sequence as human clothes.

Some tips:

  • Use a new needle
  • Use the smallest needle you can thread
  • I used a stretch 75/11 (and the needle threader on my machine wouldn’t thread it.)
  • Keep it simple.  Pants do not need side seams.
  • Sew the front seam, then make a casing for the elastic.
  • Add the elastic, anchor it at both ends, then sew the back seam.
  • Clear elastic is wonderful, I used the 1/4″ wide stuff.
  • Hem the pants before you sew the inseam.
  • Hem the sleeves before you sew the side-seams.
  • Some knit fabrics are too stretchy.  In the garbage.
  • Add a center front seam if you want a V-neck. 
  • Finish the neck first, then sew up the center front seam.
  • Velcro comes in lots of colours.  I used 3/4 inch and cut it in half length-ways.
  • You’ll never look at your fabric scraps the same way again.
  • Wonder Tape is a lifesaver.
  • Fine glass headed pins are a lifesaver.
  • Twizzers are a lifesaver.
  • One of my cats drove me insane.  He kept running away with the new clothes.  And tried running away with Barbie.  He was dragging her by her hair!!!!!! Rock.
  • If your sewing machine wants to eat your fabric, slide a piece of tissue paper underneath your seam.

Have I inspired you?  I’m going to put the patterns up in PDF’s.  Want them?

Have you made Barbie clothes?

Are you going to? 

I’d love to hear from you.




Microwave Cozy for your Dinner Plate

No more burnt fingers!

Don’t you just dread taking a plate of reheated food from the microwave?  Oven mitts can be so bulky and awkward.

Here’s my solution; a plate cozy.  Click to open a PDF, then save it if you’d like.

plate cozy

I also have an instructable for a bowl cozy, click to open it.soup bowl cozy

Soup bowl cozy

Easy Machine Knit Mittens with Thumb Gusset Free Pattern

IMG_2178More discovery for me, a pattern I wrote years ago for beginning machine knitters, making something useful for the entire family, MITTENS!

I’ve fine tuned it, added a smaller size for tots, and a couple of pictures. 

I wrote this as a “Fill in the Blank” pattern, so print it out and circle the info for the size you want to knit. 

These are quick to knit, so if your gauge is a bit off, make another, or two more for a pair and a spare.  Then give them away.  Someone’s cold hands will thank you.  Please let me know if you make these, and if my instructions are clear.

mittens with gusset in worsted weight click for a printable PDF

Hexagon Pattern, any Size

I admit, I LOVE hexagons!  I sew them and I even designed an afghan pattern made with hexies.  I’ll fine tune it and put it up here, too.

In the meantime, I designed a “quilt-as-you-go” Hexie hot-pad and needed a starting hexie pattern.  I looked all over the internet, and couldn’t find one in the size I wanted.  🙁

What I did find, though, were the instructions on how to draft your own pattern.  Here is my version:

I needed a 5″ hexagon (measured from point to point). 

Begin by drawing a circle the same size as your desired hexagon.  I couldn’t find a compass anywhere!  Sew, I improvised. A piece of ribbon, a tack and a pen! ribbon compass (My final circle was better than the picture, but you get the point, right?)

Cut out the circle and fold it twice, as shown.quarter fold

final fold hexagon

Fold the top and the bottom to the center fold as shown.6 point hexagon

hexagon cutting lines

Make a mark at all the folds except the middle ones.  Join the dots with straight lines and cut on those lines.

What remains is a hexagon. 

How easy is that?

Let me know if you use this method to draw your own hexagon pattern.