My newest pattern, the Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, is now available! This is a twist on the classic box pouch – Annex has two separate zippered compartments, perfect for keeping your essentials separated! The pouch is also available in 3 different sizes – small, medium, and large. The pattern is available as both pdf and paper patterns, and new to my patterns, I’ve also included metric as well as imperial measurements in the instructions.

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch sewing pattern

My cover samples were made in Tula Pink ‘Slow and Steady’ fabrics, which will be available Fall 2016. These fabrics are from the Raspberry colorway from the line, and I’m particularly excited about the royal blues and hot pinks that make an appearance in the fabrics. What a great way to round out the rest of my Tula Pink stash! My favorite print is definitely the tortoise print (which, in true Tula nature, takes a minute to appear, like a hide and seek), but the snails are a close second.

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch sewing pattern

This pattern is fat quarter-friendly, which will give you an opportunity to use up some pieces from a fat quarter bundle that you might have lingering in your stash. In the pattern, I suggest using 2 different colored zippers, so you can remember what you put in each compartment. I also used 2 different fat quarters for each pouch’s lining.

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch sewing pattern

Finished Size:

  • small – 8” long x 3” tall x 2-1/4” deep                             (20.3cm x 7.6cm x 5.7cm)
  • medium – 11-1/4” long x 3-1/4” tall x 3-3/4” deep       (28.5cm x 8.2cm x 9.5cm)
  • large – 9-3/4” long x 3-1/2” tall x 4-1/4” deep              (24.75cm x 8.9cm x 10.8cm)

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch sewing pattern

SUPPLIES (will make 1 pouch)

  • fat quarter -OR- 1/4 yard (0.2 metre) of exterior fabric
  • fat quarter -OR- 1/4 yard (0.2 metre) of lining fabric #1
  • fat quarter -OR- 1/4 yard (0.2 metre) of lining fabric #2
  • 18” x 18” (45.7cm) piece of foam interfacing (By Annie’s Soft and Stable, Pellon Flex Foam, or Bosal In-R-Form)
  • 4” x 7” (10cm x 18cm) piece of Pellon SF-101 Shape Flex fusible woven interfacing
  • 2 zippers, I suggest two different colors (small – 12”; medium/large – 16”) (30cm – 40cm) *regular (#3 skirt/dress) zippers should be used – zipper tape should be slightly more than 7/8” wide (0.9cm)

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch sewing pattern

I also made the pouches in cork fabric (the Natural Cork only is now available in my shop). Cork is really easy to work with, looks nice and smooth in the finished product, and I think the natural inparticular makes a really unique pouch and something leaning toward masculine-looking. Fun!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch sewing pattern

Some of my testers remarked that this was a 1-hour project, so the Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch would make a great last minute gift, beautiful teacher gift, or something sweet for yourself!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch sewing pattern

Thank you once again to all of my pattern testers who turned in some beautiful work! I hope you like their pouches!


Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Pouch, sewn by KimKim made this brilliant full set; I love each of her pouches, great bright fabrics and she took the time to press the box shape when she was done. All of the hard work definitely paid off, they’re gorgeous!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouches, sewn by LisaLisa made this joyously-jewel-toned in the large size, in Tula Pink ‘Eden’ fabrics. I love the perfect fabric matching that continues the ikat print across the top! Great job Lisa!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by Stephanie of Thread Ov MetalStephanie made this school-appropriate pouch with laminate fabric (the light blue and gold were actually my high school’s colors, lol – oh high school :-P). Really sweet pouch Stephanie!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Pouches, sewn by BarbaraBarbara very enthusiastically made all 3 size pouches, presented here in oilcloth. Barbara suggests using double-sided tape to make and attach the handles. So lovely!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by ElenaElena used her pouch for holding her knitting supplies – she said that it fits the sock and skein in one compartment and the pattern and knitting tools in the other! I just noticed that the zipper color matches the yarn color, so great way to remember which compartment has what! What a fantastic idea.

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by AprilApril was a true pattern-tester warrior, making her pouch in the middle of a move! This one is pressed to perfection, and the pouch looks beautiful April!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by RenukaRenuka made the size small pouch, and said that the foam interfacing was lovely to sew through with a microtex needle. Great work Renuka!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by BernieBernie made a lovely pouch with decorator-weight fabric and a vinyl handle (a great way to throw a bit of faux leather into your project!) and added some beautiful tassels on the zipper pulls!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by MimsMims used a great linen weave fabric with bright zippers. Linen is the perfect neutral and goes with everything! Great job Mims!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by Cyndi of the Nosy PepperCyndi of the Nosy Pepper made her pouch in great Frances Newcombe fabrics. Love it Cyndi, nice work!!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by ChloeChloe of Deadly Craft made the small size pouch, and this little dear of a pouch is so adorable! Beautiful work as always Chloe!


Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by SandieSandie of Crazy ’bout Quilts made this large-sized red and blue stunner. Sandie’s got a lot of beautiful bags and quilted projects on her blog, if you’d like to pop over and check it out!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zipper Box Pouch, sewn by LeighLeigh used Cotton+Steel fabric by Melody Miller to make her pouch. I really love the fabric choice here, as the long arrows mimics the long shape of the box.

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by CourtneyCourtney’s pouch is pretty in pink, featuring this large floral, proving that large prints work great on this pouch too!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by MadelynMadelyn made all 3 sizes of the pouch, from Tula’s ‘True Colors’ ladybugs. What a beautiful set; a primary-colored set would be a great end of the year teacher’s gift! Wonderful work as always, Madelyn!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by BeckiBecki made these super-cute and kid-friendly pouches in size small. Great idea to use them for storing Legos – I know we certainly have them all over the place here too!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by Anne MarieAnne Marie (Instagram – @rookandhook) made hers in new Tula Pink ‘Chipper’ fabrics. She made the large size pouch and said that it took her about an hour to make. Beautiful!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zipper Box Pouch, sewn by JenniferJennifer made a lovely camera-fabric pouch for storing pens and other desktop supplies. She used fusible Thermolam for her pouch! Nice job Jennifer!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by SallySally made this funky floral version, and I’m really digging the pink/purple with the bright neon colors! Great job finishing and pressing too!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by KathrynKathryn made hers in two denim fabrics. The handle is placed in the pattern near where the zippers start to make for easy open and close. Great job Kathryn!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by ColleenColleen used Mendocino fabrics to make her pouch, and some curved quilting to simulate waves. I think this pattern is a great option to use up some fat quarters that you have on hand from a fabric line. Great job Colleen!
Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by KelleenKelleen quilted the fabric before assembling her pouch, and the quilting mimicked the large print in the fabric. Quilting can not only add a bit of beauty to the pouch, but also adds some stability.

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouches, sewn by Bree of My Crafty CrapPhotoGrid_1461786110632PhotoGrid_1461787522355Bree (follow her on IG!) made a bunch of these box pouches, as she’s about to head on a family trip to DisneyWorld! So fun that these pouches will in a small way be part of her family trip! And what a great idea to travel handmade!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by MindyMindy made a matching pair and used fusible applique to adorn the larger! These pouches are great for quilting or adding trim like Mindy’s done here. Nice job Mindy!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by TiffanyTiffany (here on Instagram!) made the large and the medium-sized pouches. This is Tiffany’s last test before her new little one arrives!! So exciting!!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by EllaElla made size small and featured some machine embroidery on her pouch. She’s a beginning bagmaker and I think she’s turned in some beautiful work here! Congratulations Ella!

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by AlyssaAlyssa

Sew Sweetness Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch, sewn by FionaFiona made her pouch in texty fabric and with unisex colors, this would be a great toiletries storage for anyone! And you know I’m a huge fan of text fabrics! Beautiful!


Thank you so much everyone! If you’re interested in the Annex Double-Zip Box Pouches sewing pattern, you can find it right here in my pattern shop!

This is a pattern hack of the Sew Sweetness Honeymooner Suitcase sewing pattern, from the book Big-City Bags. The modification to the pattern is for luggage straps and a mesh zippered pocket! While this tutorial is free, you’ll need to pick up Big-City Bags for the pattern in order to complete the rest of the bag.

DEFINITION – Pattern Hack [pat-ern hack]: to modify or write a sewing pattern in a skillful or clever way.

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This post is part of an ongoing series from my Pattern Hack Posse, and was written by Terry.  You can find her on Instagram as tooheycohen.

Honeymooner Suitcase pattern hack, original pattern from Big-City Bags book

This project started with Tula Pink hexies.  I went looking for a fun bag to show them off.  The HoneymoonerSuitcase from Sara’s first book, Big City Bags, is perfect for that.  The exterior main panels are large enough to show off your favorite large-scale print or focal fabric.  This case is a great size for overnight or weekend, but I wanted to add a few features to help organize the inside.  I chose to add a zippered, netted pocket and luggage straps.

I love this grey woodgrain fabric from Joel Dewberry for the exterior gusset and lining because it makes the bright colors of the Tula Pink fabrics stand out! I also used Pellon double-sided, fusible Flex Foam instead of fusible fleece to give the case more structure.  The extra supplies I needed for my additions were a zipper and netting for the pocket, and two parachute buckles for the luggage straps.

To start, I used the pattern dimensions to sew hexies together, making one large piece of fabric.  After cutting both the hexie fabric and Flex Foam to size according to the pattern instructions, I fusedmy hexie panels directly to the Flex Foam.  (Hint:  If you use double-sided fusible foam, put parchment paper underneath or you might fuse the panel to your ironing board.  Guess how I know that!)

Honeymooner Suitcase pattern hack, original pattern from Big-City Bags book

Zippered, Netted Pocket Tutorial:  My first addition to the pattern was the netted, zippered pocket.  Because of the way this case opens and is carried, I put the zipper on the side of the pocket, and not the top or bottom.

The materials for this pocket are:  one zipper cut to exactly 10-1/2”; strips cut as follows: (A) one at 2-1/2” x 10-1/2”, (B) two at 1-1/4” x 10-1/2”, and (C) two at 1-1/4” x 15-1/5”; one piece of netting 10-1/2” x 13”.

Fold all strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and press.  With your zipper facing right side up, place the raw edges of strip A lined up with the top edge of the zipper.  Stitch, using ¼” seam.  Fold up, press and top-stitch (1).

Place the raw edges of one strip B lined up with the bottom edge of the zipper.  Stitch, using ¼” seam (2).  Press down, then tuck the 10-1/2” side of the netting between the strip and zipper.  Pin and topstitch, making sure to catch the netting in the seam (3)(4).

Place the raw edges of the other strip B lined up with the opposite 10-1/2” side of the netting (5).  Stitch using ¼” seam, fold down and press (do not topstitch).  Repeat for both long sides, using the C strips, letting them hang over the top and bottom edges by ½” (6).  Fold the sides out and press.  Then, fold the edges that are hanging over so they are even with the edges of each top and bottom strip.  Pin (7).

Place the entire pocket onone lining main panel with the zipper on one side, pin, and top-stitch around all four sides using 1/8” seam.Top-stitch again about ¼” from the first top-stitching (8).

Tute 1Tute 2

Luggage Straps Tutorial:  I also wanted a way to keep things from moving around inside the case, so I added luggage straps.   The materials for the straps are two strips at 2” x 9”, two strips at 2” x 16” and two ¾” parachute buckles.

Fold each strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew the long side with ¼” seam.  Turn right side out and press.  Leave one end of each strap raw, and turn the other end over by ½”, twice, then sew to finish.  Attach each 9” strip to the half of the buckles without the adjustment, by threading one end through, top to bottom.  Sew the finished end as close to the buckle as possible to secure the strap.  Attach each 16” strip to the adjustable half of thebuckles by threading the strip through from the bottom up through the top, over the bar, and down through to the bottom again.

The raw edges of the four pieces are added to the inside seam where the main panel and gusset are sewn together.

Strap tute

Here is a quick tip for adding the bias-binding to the inside seams:  After all your pieces are sewn together, trim the inside seam allowances to 1/4 inch.  Then sew around the edges using a large zig-zag stitch to hold all the layers together.  This makes adding your bias binding so much easier, especially when using a foam interfacing.

Pic 6

I hope you like my Tula Pink hexie version of Sara’s Honeymooner Suitcase.  These hacks have addedsome nice organization to the inside of this great case.   Thanks for reading all the way to the end! Happy Sewing!

Terry (tooheycohen)

Honeymooner Suitcase pattern hack, original pattern from Big-City Bags book

Pattern Hack: Sew Sweetness Crimson and Clover Train Cases

This is a pattern hack of the Sew Sweetness Crimson and Clover Train Case sewing pattern. The modification to the pattern is that instead of the lining pockets, elastic will be inserted instead to hold essential oils, nail polish, or other items! While this tutorial is free, you’ll need to pick up the Crimson and Clover Train Case sewing pattern in order to complete the rest of the case.

DEFINITION – Pattern Hack [pat-ern hack]: to modify or write a sewing pattern in a skillful or clever way.

6a00e551ad4cae8833019aff576dba970c-400wiThis pattern hack was written by Amber of Roar House. Amber is amazing at bag custom orders, and I hope you’ll check out her shop or follow her on Instagram to see all of her creations!

Hi everyone! Today I am going to show you how to easily add elastic pockets to the inside of your Crimson & Clover Train Case to safely and securely store and carry your essential oils or nail polish. The Small case is shown in the demo.

Sew Sweetness Crimson and Clover Train Cases pattern hack

You will need:

Crimson & Clover Pattern

All items specified in the pattern supplies (omitting the Lining Pocket piece)

1 inch elastic – You will need the following length depending on bag size:

  • Small – 80 inches
  • Medium – 95 inches
  • Large –122 Inches

Start by marking a line (with an air soluble pen) lengthwise across Lining Panel B– 1 inch from the top (draw mark 2” down on medium; 2.5” on Large)


Next, mark where you will be stitching your elastic. First, mark ½” in from which ever end you will be starting from. This tells you where your seam allowance starts and where you will start attaching your elastic.

Markings also depend on what diameter your bottles are. Here is a quick guide to some popular sizes:

  • 5ml Essential Oil Bottle – Mark every ¾” inch
  • 10ml Essential Oi Bottle – Mark every 3/4” inch
  • 15ml Essential Oil Bottle– Mark every 1” inch
  • Nail Polish – Mark every 1” inch


Remember this is just a guide for best result lay the elastic over the bottles and measure from where the elastic meets the fabric on each side then subtract 1/8” to allow for snugness.

Now mark your Elastic. Start by marking your ½” seam allowance from one end then from there measure every:

  • 5ml Essential Oil Bottle – Mark every1 3/4” inches
  • 10ml Essential Oi Bottle – Mark every 2” inches
  • 15ml Essential Oil Bottle – Mark every 2” inches
  • Nail Polish – Mark every 2” inches


Now you are ready to start stitching! Start by aligning the top of the elastic to the line we drew 1 inch from the top (2” down on medium; 2.5” on Large). Match up the short sides of both the elastic AND the lining piece and baste in place. Now you can begin the process of attaching the long length of elastic!


Start by stitching down at the ½” mark you made on both the elastic and the lining. Start stitching at the top of the elastic and then when you reach the end of the elastic, backstitch all the way back up to ensure the stitches are strong. This is your first starting point. Up till now the elastic is lying FLAT against the lining.

Now, use the marks you made on the elastic and line them up with the marks on the lining.When you do this, it should create a little loop. Keep an eye on the line we drew across the top, keeping the top of the elastic even with it. Push the loop over while stitching to help with your view.



Continue down until you have reached the end of the lining piece. I stopped my loops about 3/4” away from the end to allow for seam allowance when we assemble.


Feel free to remove any excess elastic that may be hanging over the edge of your lining piece. Your finished lining piece should look like this:


Now go ahead and assemble as normal per the instructions! Remember to keep the 1” (2” on medium; 2.5” on Large) side as your TOP when assembling.


Your final product will look amazing and hold a TON of bottles!


9 (1)

foldable cosmetic bag 003This post is part of Craftsy Review Month on Sew Sweetness. To see schedule of all posts, click here! This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here. Today’s post is from Joanna of Tutinella. Please check out Joanna on her blog!

Hey Guys! Welcome to my review of Annie Unrein’s ‘Sew Sturdy Travel Organizers‘ class available on Craftsy. Sara – thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of Craftsy Month on your blog.

Craftsy review of Sew Sturdy Travel Organizers

Let me jump right in! The class has two projects to make, and as with all Craftsy classes, you have access to downloadable materials with sewing instructions, and full list of supplies needed for each project.

Whilst I understand that these PDF files are merely an accompaniment to the whole class, I’d love to see something more pleasing to an eye. There is only text and minimalistic diagrams on how to cut pieces of fabric from main/lining fabric. I just think I got lazy (I hope there or more of us like that) and I am simply used to typical PDF patterns with pictures, and was just expecting something else.  Having said that, I appreciate that the aim of Craftsy platform is to focus more on the video aspect, so the document works perfectly if you pair it with videos.

Since I love making lists, I will use this format to explain how I worked with the class:

  • read all documents available under ‘Materials’ tab first and print them – both documents have handy tick boxes to cross out the piece you have already cut out from main fabric, lining, etc
  • cut labels from the last page of each document if you wish – I opted for post-its instead – I just have too many of them, and since I love stationery I had to use them up to buy new ones! 🙂
  • watch all lessons first, for both projects!
  • make notes while watching each lesson – it is very simple, and a very useful tool, you simply have to start typing the comment and click on ‘Add note’ button; each note will be then visible on the progress bar, and indicated by N in a white oval shape, just as you see on Google Maps when you are tracing distance between place A and B:


You can also view comments from the main menu, by clicking on ‘Notes’ section. Here are some of mine:


  • prepare all fabrics, cut them, fuse with interfacing, quilt, iron etc
  • play video as you are working on each step of the project, and stop when necessary – I think it is the perfect method for your first bag you make, and then you should be able to handle the project with PDFs only

I was wondering what the difficulty level of this class is, and I would say it is somewhere around intermediate, or for beginners who like challenges. There is no instruction how to sew in the final bit of binding which is OK with me, but I think it would be useful for beginners.

When considering which project to make, I asked myself two questions: do I have enough Soft&Stable (it is not that popular in the UK, and I’ve never seen it in Northern Ireland where I live, so because of the price, I think twice before using it) and is there something I have not done before in any of them? I did work with zippered vinyl pockets before, and made my own bias tape on many occasions, but I never attached zipper on a curve so I decided to challenge myself with the hanging cosmetic bag first!


Annie is explaining everything very clearly, taking time to show each step. I must say that I skipped through certain elements, and just fast forwarded to the bit I was interested in and I had to go back (more on that later on), so do not be like me and watch everything, just adding notes as you go. I think it is better to take your time with sewing rather than regret that we did not pay enough attention, and screw up a lovely project!


What is like very much about the class is that you have access to it forever – it never expires, and you can access it on many various devices – tablet, mobile, and laptop. You can also interact with your virtual classmates and the instructor, posting pictures, or leaving comments when you are stuck at some point, and people will give you guidance – is not that amazing?! I also learned a couple of tricks with making handles, and as you guys may know, I am really into sewing bags, so these will come in handy!I just won’t tell you exactly what they were, as I think it is telling too much. I also know now how to attach zipper on a curve, and something in my guts is telling me I will be using and abusing this method!


One thing that I thought could have been improved would be to create one lesson with common hints/instructions that are used in both projects. To give you an example – initially I only wanted to make the hanging cosmetic bag, so I watched Lesson 1 (Introduction) and then skipped to Lesson 5. I quickly realised that a few elements needed in the bag were also needed for the first bag, and all instructions were covered in Lesson 2 to 4, e.g. bias binding or working with vinyl pockets and attaching zippers to them. Therefore Annie often mentioned that ‘it was explained previously’, so I had to go back and watch all classes first, to feel comfortable working on the hanging bag. As I mentioned, I theoretically knew how to do these but I did not want to take any chances, so decided to go back and watch everything from A to Z.

I opted for girly fabric and paired it with red polka dot pattern to make the bag. I am making it for a friend who will be house sitting when we go on holidays, and as she travels a lot I thought she could use a new practical cosmetic bag no one else has! I will be also using gold d-rings and sliders, and I am hoping the final product will look very professional.



For all of you who are considering making the bag, but are not sure if Soft&Stable can be substituted with something else – the short answer is yes. I do it all the time, using a lot of 505 fabric adhesive, fusible interfacing and fleece + stiff fabric. I also use headboard foam from time to time, but both of these options won’t give you the same effect. They are heavier, and have different density.


Quilting is taking me a lot of time, but I did not want to rush the process. I decided to use simple straight lines at 45 degrees, as free motion quilting was too risky for me – if I have to correct anything, needle marks are clearly visible on red polka dot fabric, so I am sticking with the safe option this time.

foldable cosmetic bag 002

foldable cosmetic bag 007

I must say that I really like the class, and I cannot wait until my bag is finished so that I can make the ‘Everything in its Place’ bag with small adjustments – I want to use it for storing finished quilt blocks.

foldable cosmetic bag 005

foldable cosmetic bag 008

I hope you find this review helpful!

Quilting with Rulers 5This post is part of Craftsy Review Month on Sew Sweetness. To see schedule of all posts, click here! This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here. Today’s post is from Aylin of AylinNilya. Check out her blog and follow her on Instagram!

Glad to be here with you on Saras – Sew Sweetness Craftsy Review Month. When she asked me to test a tutorial on craftsy I knew from the beginning what theme I would chose. This was a great chance to try a tutorial on free motion quilting. I looove sewing and piecing, but quilting my finished project always make me panic. I am always afraid to ruin it at the end ;-). Well, so this was a great opportunity to check a new technique of quilting – Quilting with Rulers on a Home Machine with Amy Johnson.

Quilting with Rulers 1

After making my first own quilting video for a German craft platform last December, I was watching this video much more carefully. Amy is a great host of the tutorial. She talks and explains very clear and I enjoyed watching her technique. She shows this technique looking so easy and smooth and gives great tips.

Quilting with Rulers 2

To try her technique you really need a Ruler Foot. This is a special foot that makes it possible to lead a ruler next to the foot without slipping under or over the foot while quilting. Unfortunately I was not able to find a foot like this for my machine, because my machine dealer was not really ambitious to help me – Amy gives a lot of hints to find the foot for your machine, but I will not give up to find a proper foot that fits to my machine., because I really want to try this.

Quilting with Rulers 4

Also you need thicker rulers than the usual quilting rulers – straight and with curves or special shapes, but when you have seen the video you really want to try all these pattern with different rulers. To begin without buying new rulers she also explains how to make your own do-it-yourself templates to start with. I tried to glue some sliding pads under my ruler to get it higher and held it to my normal quilting foot, but this didn´t work well because my foot a plastic foot and I didn´t dare to press the ruler against the plastic to not break it.

Quilting with Rulers 3

She begins with stitching in the ditch lines holding a straight ruler on every side of the foot and ends up with a combination of straight lines and curves with a ruler and some free motion quilting without in the free spaces. She starts easy and gives you homework to improve your technique from one lesson to the next.

I was almost angry that I could not try her technique at once, just because I didn´t have the right foot, but I was really inspired to try new things on my next project. Just give it a try and see the possibilities in Free-Motion with Rulers. I am sure you will see projects of me with great quiltings on it as soon as I got my foot!

Quilting with Rulers 5

IMG_4095-smallThis post is part of Craftsy Review Month on Sew Sweetness. To see schedule of all posts, click here! This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here. Today’s post is from Leslie of 50 sq ft Studios. Check out Leslie’s blog and follow her on Instagram!

To begin, I’d like to say thank you to Sara for hosting Craftsy Review Month.  I’m a Craftsy fan, so I’m thrilled to participate.

My name is Leslie, and I consider myself to be a quilter, bag maker, and very occasional garment sewist.  I wanted to review Sewing Notions Workshop:  Solutions for Savvy Sewing with Linda Lee because I believe there is a wealth of knowledge to be gained (and lots of cool products for a self-professed notions addict to acquire) by watching how people use their tools.  As the class is focused on notions for garment makers, I thought this would be a great place to start.


The two hours of instruction are broken into 7 different lessons that vary from 14-22 minutes in length.  Each lesson begins with a brief overview of the type of tools that Linda will cover before shifting to the actual demonstration.

Unlike many Craftsy classes, this course does not have a specific set of associated projects, but the amount of content within the class didn’t leave me feeling like I was missing out by not having them.

Putting the Lessons into Practice

As I moved through the lessons, I saw a mix of familiar and unfamiliar notions.  Even though I use some of them on a regular basis, I learned some tricks that will improve my effectiveness and efficiency.  This is critical for me because who doesn’t want to have better results in less time?  Here is a little bit about what is covered in each section and how I use one of the featured products for my bag or quilt making projects.

Lesson 1:  Better Marking

Proper marking is essential for success, and choosing the wrong tools can create a recipe for disaster.  In Better Marking, Linda covers a variety of options that include different types of chalk, pens, and tracing wheels.  As a frequent bag maker, this is familiar territory.  There is no single solution that will work for every fabric all of the time, so I love that Linda stressed that you need to test your marking method for each fabric on each project.


The Chakoner Chalk Wheel is great for marking placement lines for a strap on a bag’s exterior.

The Chakoner wheel is my favorite chalk tool.  It creates a fine line that doesn’t leave an excess amount of chalk on your fabric.

Lesson 2:  Joining Fabrics

The second lesson is all about joining fabrics.  Linda explains a variety of methods for joining fabrics that range from temporary solutions like pins or fabric clips to fusible tapes and glues.


Clover Wonder Clips holding layers of duck cloth, interfacing, and quilting cotton together on the bottom of a bag before it is stitched together.

Wonder Clips are one of my all-time favorite notions for holding fabric together in a non-permanent way.  I use them in place of pins on fabrics that are thick, fabrics that would incur permanent damage from pin holes, and they are fantastic for holding quilt binding in place while it is hand stitched.

Lesson 3:  Stitching Solutions

The Stitching Solutions lesson covers a handful of tools that are used while sewing.  Notions covered in this class include the stiletto, seam jumper, and the magnetic seam guide.

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Want to adjust your seam allowance?  No problem!  It’s easy to measure and re-position the guide.

I love how easy the magnetic seam guide is to use with my Singer Featherweight machine from the 1960s.  Unlike a zig zag machine where you can move the position of the needle, my Featherweight’s needle is fixed in one position.  With fewer markings on the needle plate, the magnetic seam guide can help you to maintain a consistent seam allowance without the need to apply an adhesive backed tape to the machine.

Lesson 4:  Turning Tools

I suspect that lesson 4 will probably be the lesson that I will refer back to most frequently.  If you’ve ever needed to turn an open ended tube or a tube with one open end by hand and the mere thought makes you cringe, you will love this lesson as much as I do!  Linda explains how to use bodkins, cylindrical turners, and point pressers.


The Fasturn set is great for turning short to medium length tubes in a variety of widths.

Most of the fabric tubes that I make are for bag handles, so the Fasturn set is my most used turning tool.  I love that the set includes tubes of varying widths, and it’s a quick process.

Lesson 5:  Pressing Essentials

While it is probably my least favorite sewing related activity, I cannot deny its importance to the process.  Linda covers tips in this lesson that can help you choose between the many different available irons, starch and starch alternative sprays, protect your fingers, and some tips on how to create a custom pressing surface.


Flatter smoothing spray and Dritz Thermal Thimbles are two of my must haves.

I love using steam right up until the point where I give myself steam burns on my fingers.  The Thermal Thimbles serve double duty by protecting my fingertips from steam and the little grippy dots help to keep the fabric in place while I press.

Lesson 6:  Advanced Pressing

Well, I haven’t been using some of my notions to their full potential, so this was really an eye opening lesson for me.  Linda demonstrates tools that will help you shape (and even re-shape) your fabric.


Pressing a dart in a bag lining is a piece of cake with a tailor’s ham.

Of the notions covered in Advanced Pressing, a tailor’s ham is my most used.  Darts are used to create shapes in fabric.  Whether they are long or short, wide or narrow, a dart that isn’t properly pressed can easily become distorted and unattractive/unflattering.  A ham provides a curved surface that helps the dart to hold its shape while being pressed.  This isn’t the only way to use this handy tool, but it is why I won’t press a dart without it.

Lesson 7:  Fast Fixes & Solutions

In the final section of the class, Linda walks you through a couple of tools that should be in any sewing basket and what she keeps in her grab-and-go essentials kit.  From how to properly use a seam ripper (yes, there is a right way) to mini vacuum attachments, Sewing Notions Workshop is packed with information from the beginning to the end.

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This thread pick has been a life saver for fixing snagged sweaters, machine embroidery, or for grabbing an errant dark thread that is visible behind white background fabric on a quilt.

This picture doesn’t do the thread pick any justice.  While it isn’t my most frequently used tool (it’s pretty infrequently used to be honest), I am always thankful to have it when I need it.


I really enjoyed this class!  While there were a few items that look like they were pulled right out of a medieval castle dungeon rather than a 21st century person’s sewing basket, the notions presented can help you take your sewing to the next level.  Several of the notions were new to me, but I also learned a few tricks and tips that will help me make better use some of the tools that I already have.

With so many notions covered in the class, knowing that I could post a question or access the class at any time to return to a section and re-watch a demonstration on how to use the notions.  The materials for the class include a full list of references and resources details all 50+ products shown in the class.

Overall, there were quite a few a-ha moments for me, and there were a couple of notions that I decided that I should pick up on my next trip to a fabric store.  I have watched quite a few Craftsy classes over the last several years, and I feel like I gained a lot of knowledge from watching Linda Lee’s Sewing Notions Workshop.

To wrap up, I’d like to thank you for spending some time with me today by reading my review (I hope you enjoyed it), Sara for being the hostess with the most-est, and team of staff and instructors at Craftsy that work hard to bring a large variety of classes to those of us that are passionate about learning.

Craftsy review of Sewing with Knits
This post is part of Craftsy Review Month on Sew Sweetness. To see a schedule of all posts, click here! This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here. Today’s post is from Natalie of Hungry Hippie. Natalie stitches an array of quilts, bags, and clothing! Check out her blog and follow her on Instagram!
Hi all! Have you heard of Meg McElwee of Sew Liberated? I would guess a resounding “YES” as she is ultra well known for her super cute books Sew Liberated and Growing Up Sew Liberated. Meg is a master of sewing, and her creativity and skill show through in this really useful class on Sewing with Knits. I think this is probably the most useful class I’ve ever taken on Craftsy. Usually I lose interest pretty quickly and go off on my own path, but this class is different. Each pattern and project was SO sew good I had to keep going. I jotted some notes along the way to help you decide if it’s for you.
A HUGE thank YOU to Sara of Sew Sweetness for including me in this Craftsy Review blog tour she’s hosting. There are loads of other bloggers reviewing all sorts of classes so you can get an inside view on a class you may be interested in. I love that!
In this class there are five  main projects that also morph into an additional three or four more:
(1) fleece hoodie, (2) basic scoop neck t shirt,  (3) v neck t-shirt, (4) swingy knee length skirt,
(5) shorts, (6) flow-y yoga pants, (7) surplice dress at the knee or (8)surplice dress at maxi length- you could also make this into a lovely (9) tunic.
As you can see, the patterns alone make this class an amazing value.
I opted to make the hoodie, skirt, scoop t-shirt, and surplice dress. After I find some knit suitable for pants I’m going to make those too- and of course a maxi surplice dress (I live in maxi dresses in the summer).
Each pattern comes with basic step directions and the PDF print out. You have to join the PDF pattern pieces together to make your pattern-I know this confuses a lot of people, but it’s so easy. Here is a good tutorial on how to do your PDF print out pieces.  You can Google it too if you need another viewpoint.  I almost always buy PDF patterns now because it’s instant-when I’m “in the mood to sew” I can buy/print/make all in one session.
I like to highlight my size before I cut my pattern out. For these makes, I made a size Medium. I was happy with the fit and feel, as I’m not into super body skimming in any way. (LOL)
I’m 5″4 and on most days somewhere between 120 and 135 pounds if you’re wondering on what size to make. Meg’s patterns are XXS through XXL = super nice!!
Meg walks you through each pattern, step by step in the videos. They are varying in length, but around 30-45 min is average depending on the complexity of the garment. NOTE–none of these garments are difficult- each one has very basic construction techniques so don’t worry about having to know special sewing skills. If you can sew a straight line, you can make these clothes.
I really like how the camera zooms in on techniques that I’m not familiar with, like the clear elastic trick around neckline and shoulder seams. I placed my laptop right beside my machine as you can see here, and sewed right along with her. I paused when needed. (Especially for M&M breaks.)
Or raw brownie dough breaks.
Don’t judge, you know you do it too.
The Projects
Fleece Hoodie
The hoodie was really fast. This stretch fleece is a bargain at Joann Fabrics, and the pink of course calls me – every time. The only thing I would change next time is to make my sleeves longer, because I like them to hit half way up my hand. I’d probably add thumb holes too, but that’s personal preference. It was a cinch to add the hood which I would never venture into normally. A kangaroo pocket would be easy to add on the front as well, if you desire.
Special materials: I used a thicker needle than I normally do (90/14). That’s it.
Scoop Neck T-Shirt
Who knew how easy a t-shirt is to sew?! I didn’t… or I wouldn’t have paid $20 for one at Banana Republic. Those days are over! This expanded my skill set with the neck band, the last tee I made was a hot freakin’ mess and I never went back to figure it out.
No figuring here–Meg walked me through it and it ended up perfect. I am so pleased with this, and doubly so when my husband saw me taking photos of it and said “you didn’t make that, did you? Wow.”
Yes I did make it.
And you can too!
I used stretch bamboo knit in dark Heather grey at – it has a lovely feel and washes and dries normally.
Special equipment: stretch needles (You can buy them at Joann Fabrics or online.) Use stretch needles for the remainder of the projects.
While I don’t personally notice a difference, the experts say it punches through the fabric differently and won’t make holes. Who am I to argue? I’ll do as told. Been there, done that.
Swing-y Skirt
This skirt has a comfy yoga style waistband (my favorite)- so of course I wore it to work the very next day. I love how it swings a little and hits right at the middle knee. The yoga waistband is so comfortable- nothing compares.
Now I have Sinead in my head.
Moving on.
Surplice Dress
This was my favorite make, maybe EVER.
In the history of the world.
Comfy, swishy, pretty, flattering to most body types, and passable for a day at the office, an art premier, or a lunch date with a famous socialite. I mean, you never know…
(Who am I kidding- you know I mean lunch date with the kids and art premiers at Kindergarten…)
The elastic trick at the waist is brilliant, you ‘ll have to take the course to learn it.  😉  Let’s just say it doesn’t touch your belly skin.  (Ewwe that would be gross — on a hot summer day, can you imagine?) Don’t worry, Meg teaches what to do.
Keep in mind:
1. I listened to Meg’s talky on different knit fabrics and her intro on double speed. Yes-you can do that on Craftsy! Isn’t that cool? There is a button at the bottom of the screen you click and it has options like double speed, slower speed, etc. I am not good at sitting and listening to somebody talk, so this is totally my problem.
Meg seems nervous in her introduction (30+ minutes) so I didn’t hang around long. She’s a Southerner (slow talker like most of my family- and I run on warp speed.) What I like is I can go back to sections like the discussion on different fabrics when I need to. That’s really nice.
2. Don’t be a judgmental beotch. This class was filmed in 2012, one of the first Craftsy offered. Keep that in mind when watching it- yes, it looks aesthetically a little “1998” but get over yourself okay?
3. The value of the techniques learned and the patterns provided is well over $30! You would pay at least $80+ for a day class to learn this stuff, and I’m betting they would only provide ONE pattern, not five.
4. Have your fabric ready because you are going to want to start sewing immediately. Wash and dry the knit fabric before beginning. I always buy 2 yards of 56″ knit rolls for each project, that way I don’t run out. Online lots of shops offer quality knit fabric, I like bamboo stretch or a rayon jersey blend depending on the look I’m going for. Transparency can be an issue, so ask before you buy if need be. None of the bamboo knits have been see-through for me.
5. Have FUN. That is the main point–learn, sew, try and try again. No matter what happens. Frustration is normal- but I do have to say I never felt frustrated because I “had Meg there with me” so to speak.
Money back guarantee.
10 HD videoes
Class support online
Bonus Cloth dyeing video
5000 students have taken this class!
What are you waiting for?

Finished ClutchesThis post is part of Craftsy Review Month on Sew Sweetness. To see a schedule of all posts, click here!  This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here. Today’s post is from Christine of Stitch All the Things. Please check out Christine’s blog and follow her on Facebook and Instagram!

Hello, Sew Sweetness readers! I’m Christine and I’ve been a quilter for almost 5 years and a bag maker for about 2 years. I was thrilled when Sara asked if I would write a Craftsy review and I chose a class I had been wanting to watch since it’s release: Mix and Match Clutch Bag Techniques by Janelle MacKay. When I started bag making, I found Janelle’s website selling hardware, and most importantly, bag bling! I fell head over heels in love with her metal tags for bags and I use them on bags I make. Before this class I had not made a clutch bag, so I was excited to get all of the bag trim and hardware ordered from Emmaline Bags and get started.

Mix and Match Clutch Bag Techniques

Mix and Match Clutch Bag Techniques is about two hours and twenty minutes, broken into 7 lessons, each lesson being 14 to 22 minutes long. I usually have a lot of things I am getting done in the evenings, but the way the lessons were broken up I was able to watch the entire class over the course of two evenings while waiting for the hardware I ordered to arrive. One thing I noticed is that Janelle has a very kind tone and it never felt like she was talking above my level nor dumbing things down for me. She explains things fully, never assuming that the viewer already knows certain steps throughout the process of bag making.

Janelle MacKay

Lesson 1 is over 14 minutes long and is the class introduction. She succinctly covers a lot of information so you’ll be able to make decisions about what kind of bag you want to make. She spends time explaining the many bag variations and options you have when creating your bag. She discusses fabric choices, flap designs, options for the front of the bag, closure styles, and strap types. Several different bags are shown to help you visualize all of the possibilities for different bag styles. Janelle encourages the viewer to try and use formal fabrics. She helps understand the types of formal fabrics to look for, as well as those to avoid. A great tip is given for how to cut those slippery fabrics. Janelle also covers the different interfacings to use for this bag and why specific types are preferred over others to help you create a beautiful bag.

Since I live in Lake Havasu City in Arizona, it’s safe to say that our town is very casual and I would not have a lot of use for evening bags. We even wear shorts and flip flops to church (I’m sure there was a collective gasp and a “noooo!” from the church-going readers). Yep, it’s true. It’s a vacation destination, and I don’t have an occasion for the fancier fabrics. I chose to make clutches that can be used during the day, and converted to a casual evening bag should I find an event that requires more than me sitting in front of the TV in my pj’s after 8:00 PM. For my first bag I chose to use a home decor canvas fabric in natural that had silver strands running throughout and I used Mirror Ball Dot in silver for the interior. For my second bag, I chose quilting cottons and used the glittery skull on black with a solid red interior.

Clutch Bags Collage

Lesson 2 is just over 21 minutes, and in it Janelle teaches you how to create a slip pocket with credit card slots and a lipstick pocket. Her use of a pleat board template is genius. It made making my second bag so much quicker having the pleat board already made and ready to use. This was the first Craftsy class that I have watched while actually making a project, and I found that I really enjoyed being able to work along side Janelle, uh… the video, and being able to pause it while I finish a step and then continue on with the class.

Lesson 2 Pleat Board

Lesson 3 is about 20 minutes long and it is all about making the zippered pocket. If you haven’t made one before, do not worry! Janelle walks you right through it and makes it so easy. I conquered my fear of zippered pockets a while ago, but her method was different for me and is now my favorite way of inserting a zippered pocket into a bag.

Lesson 3 Zipper Facing

Lesson 4 is almost 21 minutes and in this lesson you will prepare all of your pieces. You will finish the lining (including adding anchor straps and a magnetic snap). Janelle shared an amazing tip here to keep you from damaging your fabric when inserting a snap that I will always use from now on! You’ll sew the side pieces, and while they look like you’ll be sewing on a curve you are actually sewing straight lines. The end of this lesson shows you how to make the front pieced panel if you choose that option. She notes that she made that option specifically for quilters, because we like to piece. She wasn’t wrong; I chose that option for one of my bags!

Lesson 4 Magnetic Snap Markings
Lesson 5 is making the bag body and it is about 19 minutes long. I learned a new technique on how to add a foam sew-in stabilizer without sewing it to attach it to the fabric piece. This is a fantastic method and one I will be using in the future. You will also add the lining to the bag body, do some top stitching here and add the side pieces.

Lesson 5 Foam Stabilizer

Lesson 6 is almost 23 minutes and is all about bag hardware. My favorite part! Janelle shows you how to add the other half of the magnetic snap. I’d highly recommend paying attention to her advice about how to not poke a hole through your lining. Yeah… Moving on, the lesson also covers bag locks. If you haven’t inserted a bag lock before, Janelle takes the time to show you how to do so successfully. Metal edge trims are also covered in this lesson, as well as how to adjust your pattern if you buy metal trim that does not match up with the pattern piece.
Lesson 6 Edge Trim

Lesson 7 is about 22 minutes and is about putting the finishing touches on your bag. The different strap options are discussed, and I chose to make both the adjustable strap and the wrist strap. I also purchased a chain to bring either of my bags from day to evening. Janelle also shows you how to make a ruched front flap and gives you a great tip on how to turn the ruched front into any of the flap designs; rounded, pointed or even asymmetrical.

Lesson 7 Ruching

In conclusion, one of the things I enjoyed most about this Craftsy class were the funny little comments Janelle makes along the way. My favorite was when she was identifying which side of the magnetic snap (the male side) to use during one of the steps: “You can tell it’s the male because it has the sticky-outy part.” I burst into laughter at that, and felt like Janelle was actually in the room with me while I was sewing. Every lesson had a great tip to help you succeed in that particular step, and I will use many of them in future projects. If I had a question, I’d go to the question and answer section and find the question already asked by a viewer and answered by Janelle. The course materials are excellent, and I appreciate that they include a fabric cutting diagram. Craftsy classes are a great way to learn a new skill or complete a project, and I like that I am able to view them from my computer or my cell phone app any time I want… Forever! Thank you, Sara, for the opportunity to review such a great class!

Pic7_DressThis post is part of Craftsy Review Month on Sew Sweetness. To see a schedule of all posts, click here! This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here. Today’s post is from Wendy of W.D. Handbags. Check out all of Wendy’s bags and other projects here!

When I was approached by Sara to review a Craftsy class I jumped at the opportunity.  I had just recently completed Janelle’s “Mix & Match Clutch Techniques” (reviewed by Sheri from Lil’ Monkey Designs) and loved it and was excited to try another.

If anyone knows me knows I sew bags and wallets and that’s about it. I do a few other things for gifts occasionally but I’ve never tackled clothes before, so I thought this was a good opportunity to change that.  I decided to try “Learn to Sew a Shift Dress” by Nicole Vasbinder.

Craftsty review of Learn to Sew a Shift Dress
Nicole’s class is broken into 7 lessons, the shortest one lasting 12 minutes and the longest being 28 minutes; definitely something you can watch in between activities. The lessons cover everything you need to know, and are broken down as follows:
Lesson 1: Getting started
Lesson 2: Working with the pattern
Lesson 3: Marking & Cutting your fabric
Lesson 4: Fusing Fabric & Sewing Darts
Lesson 5: Shoulders, Side Seams & Facings
Lesson 6: Sleeves
Lesson 7: Contrast Band & Other Finishes

Now, generally I’m the type of person who wants to just jump in and go, I don’t read ahead into my patterns despite what the pattern creators say (sorry ladies!) this time I watched all of the lessons first. There were 2 reasons for this, 1) Since I never made a dress before, I wanted to be sure I was clear in what I was doing… and 2) the pattern Nicole uses in her lesson is from the McCall’s company and unlike most patterns from Craftsy you don’t download and print it yourself; they mail it to you directly from McCall’s. I’m located in Canada and it took (I want to say forever and a day to arrive) a little over a month to arrive, 32 days. Lots of time to mentally prepare for the challenge!

I liked some of the tips Nicole mentioned about working with the pattern, for example, if you know it’s a pattern you’re going to use frequently you can iron on interfacing to the back of the tissue paper to give it some body and make it easier to work with. (That weird brown tissue paper stuff is crazy sometimes!) She covers the types of fabrics that would work well if you’re not sure about what to use, explaining the drape of different fabrics.

In the first lesson, Nicole talks about measuring to get the right fit for your dress. Ugh. I hate measuring. Maybe this is why I sew bags not clothes? When I buy clothing in stores I’m generally a size 18/XXL. With McCall’s measurements I didn’t even fit into their 24W (plus size) measurements. I had to use the 24W as a template as it was the biggest they had and add to the pattern so the dress would fit! I’ve bought clothing patterns before and have had others (mainly my mom-Thanks Mama!) make me clothes and never ran into this problem so perhaps it’s just this pattern I don’t know. If you decide to try this class/pattern, you’re going to want to measure.

She also showed how to do “stay stitching” around the collar – it’s not mentioned in the pattern but is apparently a seamstress trick for making sure your neckline doesn’t stretch out as you work with the fabric. Smarty pants.


 Nicole shows different ways to finish the seams in your garment which was good, because I don’t think it’s mentioned in the pattern and not something I would think/know to do.

Pic2_finishseamallowance Pic3_finishseamallowance Pic4_finishseamallowance

She also goes over the ‘Art of the Dart’ and why darts are important and how to get them to disappear on your dress.

Also another trick she mentions is hand tacking the inside collar to the seam allowance so it’s not loose and will stay put when you’re wearing your creation.

I like that if I had any questions through the lessons, you can pause and ask your question. I asked something to see how long it would take for a response and I believe the answer was there the next day (it was late in the day when I posted my question).

Overall, I felt like I learned some tricks about sewing garments that I wouldn’t have learned if I just went and bought the pattern and sewed from their instructions. I really like my completed dress, although I haven’t had a chance to wear it yet! I do think I will make another or 2 as they’ll be great to wear for Spring/Summer.

Pic7_Dress Pic8_Dress

Thank you Sara for the opportunity to try out something new! I am looking forward to sewing more garments in the future! And thank you for reading!

-Wendy xo

breeThis post is part of Craftsy Review Month on Sew Sweetness. To see schedule of all posts, click here! Today’s post is from Bree of My Crafty Crap! Please visit Bree on Instagram to see what else she is making!

Hey there!  Bree here from MyCraftyCrap on Instagram.  I’m so excited to be a part of this fantastic Craftsy series.  Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the Sew Sturdy Home Organizers by Annie Unrein. The projects in this class are a set of nesting baskets in three sizes and the Catch All Caddy.

Craftsy class review - Sew Sturdy Home Organizers

01 - opening

Before this, I’ve checked out a few of the free classes on Craftsy, but honestly never made the time to sit down & watch them all the way through.  I find it hard to find the time to sew some days, let alone watch someone else sew before I can do it myself.  I wasn’t sure if it would be worth it to me, but I’m so glad I was able to try out a pattern class and find that it was absolutely worth my time.  I learned a lot of little tips & tricks throughout the class that I have already started using in some of my other projects. The class has a total of 8 lessons, two for the Nesting Baskets and six for the Catch All Caddy.  I like the way the class was broken down into multiple steps even within the lessons which made it easier to find what I needed when I had a question I knew had been answered in the video.  It was easy to jump right to the correct place so I didn’t have to waste too much time rewatching info that I didn’t need at the time. The first lesson includes an introduction to the class, general info on both projects, and some background information about Annie.  Annie suggests different uses for the nesting baskets, but my favorite by far is this snowman set.  Isn’t it adorable?!

02 - snowman baskets
One of the best things in the first lesson is that Annie goes over how different types of stabilizers will work in the nesting baskets.  She shows examples of how each will (or won’t) work in the pattern so you don’t waste time with something that won’t work out.
04 - comparing stabilizers


The second lesson finishes up the nesting baskets.  One thing that really stood out to me was how much Annie uses a stiletto while sewing.  I have never used one, but am thinking about trying it out after watching how helpful it was for her.  I’m sure there’s a learning curve involved, I have a feeling I would stab myself with it a time or two before getting the hang of it!

05 - stiletto
The final six lessons are for the Catch All Caddy project.  This caddy has so many uses and is a very practical project. Once again, Annie shows a comparison of how different stabilizers will work with the caddy.  If you have any question about whether or not foam interfacing (Pellon Flex Foam or byAnnie’s Soft & Stable) is for you, this shows how it compares to other types of batting you might think about using.
07 - comparing stabilizers


One thing I noticed in the video that I hadn’t noticed in all the photos I’ve drooled over on Instagram is the way the final binding creates “grab handles” at each end of the caddy rather than starting & stopping on the top corners.  I really love this feature!

06 - grab handles
My favorite part of the caddy is the bellowed dividers.  Unlike pockets that would be attached at the bottom & limit the size of the items that can be stored in them, the bellowed dividers expand way out & keep things better organized.  Annie’s instructions for creating these bellows are fantastic, and I definitely want to incorporate this detail in future projects.
09 - bellowed dividers

  As I mentioned, the class includes a lot of general sewing tips and recommendations that will be very useful in other areas of sewing, I especially like the way Annie does the binding (although I can’t get a nice finish when sewing it all on by machine, but finished mine by hand). When I finished up my caddy, someone on Instagram asked if I would be making another.  I knew that I would, it will make great gifts for a lot of people & really doesn’t take all that much time to sew up.  It does take some time & muscle to do the final round of binding, so I’ll take a little break before the next one, but will definitely make more.

Here’s my caddy.  The only change I made was to make my handles from glitter vinyl rather than coordinating cotton because I have been wanting to try something out with these glitter handles.  I did stop my handle connectors about 3/4″ from the bottom so I wouldn’t have to worry about the vinyl in the final binding stage, and because of the pockets you can’t even tell.
Catch All Caddy
Catch All Caddy
Catch All Caddy
Catch All Caddy


And here it is already loaded up with all the odds & ends that have been scattered all over my sewing table.  It’s nice to have everything a bit more organized.

Catch All Caddy
All in all, I definitely recommend this class.  It’s nice to see someone walk through the steps of the pattern, especially if you are a visual learner.  It’s like having your own private sewing lesson, and I love that Annie is so quick to answer any questions that other users have.  My only complaint is that while the class comes with some written instructions, it’s not a full pattern as you might be used to using.  I would have preferred having a regular copy of the pattern for the Catch All Caddy so that when I needed clarification on a step, I didn’t need to take the time to rewatch part of the class.  As I said before, the class is broken down so that it’s not necessarily hard to find, it just takes a bit more time to rewatch than it would to read a step in a pattern.  I definitely think I’ll be more likely to get more Craftsy classes & patterns going forward.

Thanks again for having me Sara!

blogpic1This post is part of Craftsy Review Month on Sew Sweetness. To see schedule of all posts, click here! Today’s post is from Maryanna of Marvelous Auntie M. Please check out Maryanna’s blog!

I chose the Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine by Ann Petersen class to review for you all. I love to make bags and clothing but quilts are my passion. I currently have six quilt tops that are ready to be quilted, three of them are pictured above. I also moved on to a boat 7 months ago so I don’t have room for a long arm machine and these quilts have been begging to be finished for a couple of years (the black and white one has been finished for over three years!)

Craftsy class review - Quilting Big Projects on a Small Machine

I learned many new techniques in this class and love the flexibility that video classes offer. If you only have five minutes at a time, then you can watch five minutes at a time and it saves your place too! This feature was super helpful to me as my four legged baby recently had major surgery and requires lots of extra love and attention. I was able to pause when I heard him stirring and then go right back to it once he was comfortable again. Even if you have to turn the computer off, when you log back in to your Craftsy account, it takes you right back to where you were previously. You can also take notes right in the video down at the bottom of the screen and go right back to that spot!


This class has 8 lessons that are divided in to shorter chapters. Lesson 1 is the introduction and an overview of the techniques that will be discussed. Lesson 2 is about 21 minutes long and dives right in to choosing the design of the quilting, the theme and also goes over thread selection. She uses fabric samples to show how different weights and colors of thread can change how the quilt appears from a distance and up close.


Lesson 3 is 25 minutes long and is all about getting ready to quilt. You’ve already chosen your design, theme and thread so now it is time to baste the quilt, grab your needles and check your tensions. I always like to practice on a mug rug or smaller project before starting on a quilt so that I can get my arms warmed up and ready for the motions. Similar to how you would warm up before exercising because trust me, even a twin size quilt on a small machine really works your arms. I highly recommend using gloves such as Machingers to help you keep your grip on the fabric.


Lessons 4 through 8 go over the five different techniques she mentions in the introduction including whole quilt, split batting, splitting the top, block by block (also known as quilt as you go) and medallion quilts. I had never thought of splitting the batting to reduce bulk under the arm of the machine. That tip alone is worth the cost of the class and I wish I had learned that technique sooner!


The classes also have different camera angles so that you can see close ups of the different steps as she is showing them. I have a Tula Pink Elizabeth Layer Cake that I think I will do a block by block quilt with now. I have read tutorials but nothing beats being able to watch the construction of this style quilt. All of the word tutorials were confusing to me but they make sense after being able to watch one being constructed. I can not wait to take some more of these classes. Each one is full of tips and tricks that are super useful and there is something for everyone from the novice to the expert to learn.

freemotion2This post is part of Craftsy Review Month on Sew Sweetness. To see full schedule of posts, click here! Today’s post is from Emily of Mommy’s Naptime! Emily really loves quilting small-scale; check out her blog and Instagram!

Hello! I’m here today with a review of the Fearless Free Motion Quilting class by Robbi Eklow. Some of the more modern quilters may not be aware of Robbi’s work, she has made a name for herself over the years as an award winning quilter and teacher. You might know her as “The Goddess of the Last Minute” for her articles seen for years in the Quilting Arts magazine. She does fantastic work, and happens to be a friend of mine from my local quilt guild. Robbi has been a great influence in my quilting, and she gives her advice freely without fear. She’s like a quilt mom, she’ll give you great advice, and she won’t get mad if you don’t follow it. I’m lucky to have that quilting advice. As a participant in her Craftsy class you’ll get Robbi’s excellent advice too.

Craftsy class review - Fearless Free-Motion Quilting
The class is broken up into seven lessons that are about 15 minutes each. These lessons cover several free motion quilt motifs including basket weave, fans, spirals, leaves, s-curves, and flowers. Each lesson gives various tips and suggestions for ways to use each motif. At the end of each lesson the class participants are urged to do their homework  — and try these for themselves!
Here is my first practice sample. It’s a little rough, but I learned a lot!

I consider myself fairly proficient at free motion quilting, but I rarely take the time to really practice new designs. Doing the homework for each lesson really helped me build a level of comfort with those motifs. Some of them came easily to me (spirals, leaves, s-curves), but others were much more challenging to me since they were very different than my normal go-to motifs. I left several questions throughout the lessons, and Robbi answered very quickly with helpful replies. In reading her replies to the other participants’ questions I learned even more. This is really helpful since a question may come up while you’re practicing. Also – Robbi did encourage me to push myself past the motifs that were comfortable to me, pushing me to grow.

This is my second sample. The following a stem motif is easier for me,
and a curved edge basket weave feels more natural.
In all, I feel a lot more comfortable using various new-to-me quilt motifs. I spent some time this weekend practicing the two of the motifs from the class, the “following a stem” (from lesson 4), and the “basket weave” (from lesson 1). Following a stem comes very easily to me – it’s just one step away from one of my go-to motifs, but the basket weave is very challenging for me – I know if I were to slow down a bit I’d be better at it, but I really like going fast. As a result I tended to get a little bit of a thread knot at the corners where my hands hesitated. I’m sure I’ll get more proficient at this as I practice a bit more. I combined these two motifs to quilt this pillow. That basket weave, while challenging, is a really great filler behind other motifs!
My final sample. This quilting on this pillow was fun, and a little challenging.
Robbi is an excellent teacher, and I’d encourage you to take this class if you’re hoping to learn additional quilt motifs to up your free motion quilting game.