I’m constantly fascinated by the influence technology has on our everyday lives, especially when it comes to social media subcultures and connecting diverse people who have similar interests. When friends ask me how I learned to sew “on my own,” I’m always quick to remind them that I don’t believe I could have done it without the internet — and specifically, social media — by my side. Printable patterns, blog tutorials, YouTube demonstrations, Instagram inspiration and a supportive, virtual sewing community all played (and still play!) a key role in my learning to sew.

I’m similarly fascinated by internet and social media trends – the exponential growth of a great (or sometimes, a not-so-great) idea. Hashtags, memes, Throwback Thursday, the ice bucket challenge, whatever. What makes an idea catchy, and why does it stick around?

You’re probably thinking… who cares? Let’s talk about sewing! Well, this is all connected, I promise. Remember when I participated in a blog hop and introduced you to my friend Leasa? She introduced a sewing-related hashtag in late December – and it stuck around – and it’s pretty spectacular.


The brainchild of Leasa at ProjectLeasa.com!

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One Hundred ‘No Pressure’ Projects

So this is it — my one hundredth post! Woohoo! In honor of this milestone, I’ve come up with a list of 100 projects I’d like to complete. It’s sort of like a sewing bucket list. I’m posting the list here and as I complete a project on the list, I’ll add the link to the completed project. Award Some notes about the list:

  • Project diversity: Some things on the list are specific projects I’ve always wanted to complete. Others are more open-ended and scavenger-hunt-esque (e.g., something inspired by my hometown).
  • I’m a weirdo: Some things on the list may seem kind of strange without explanation — but I promise to explain the background in full detail when each project is completed and I get the chance to write about it.
  • Bunting = love: One of the categories is all about monthly bunting — I want a bunting for every single month! Even though I’ve already completed a few month’s worth in previous blog posts, I’ve left them on this list and marked them as completed. So technically I have a bit of a head start on this list. But I get to make the rules and I say that’s okay. 😉
  • I’m repeating some previous goals: There are some things on this list I’ve already done. Like gifts for certain family members. Or projects inspired by Disney characters. But I’ve left these on the list because I have more ideas and I intend on tackling these goals once again!
  • Patterns I own: I’ve listed a bunch of commercial patterns I already own (thanks a lot, 5 for $5 sales!) — my goal is to make at least one project from each pattern listed so I can justify the purchase of the pattern. But no pressure to make every single project listed in the pattern! And speaking of no pressure…
  • No pressure: There’s no timeline for this list. I may get through one project next weekend — and another project a year from now. This list is just for fun — not to fulfill some crazy “project a day” challenge or something. I work full time and have a life unrelated to sewing and blogging, y’all (shocking, I know) — so this shouldn’t be something that keeps me awake at night.
  • There will still be side projects – lots of side projects! My future sewing projects won’t be limited to this list. If something else pops up, I’ll still sew it and blog about it and all that. But it just won’t be a part of THIS challenge! I have a feeling tackling this list will really slow down as my gift-giving ramps up around Christmas time. This list won’t change, but my priorities might!
  • Shout it out: If there’s something on this list you really want to see me tackle, let me know — maybe I’ll make it next. Similarly, if there’s something on this list you’ve already made and you have helpful tips or tricks — please share!

So without further ado — here’s the list (in no particular order) …

Family Gifts

  1. Something for my dad
  2. Something for my mom (COMPLETED 12/2014: Mom’s Zip & Go… previous posts about projects for my mom included a nail polish caddy and a jewelry roll)
  3. Something for my brother, Jason
  4. Something for my future sister-in-law, Sarah (COMPLETED 11/2015 – Zip and GO BADGERS)
  5. Something for my roommate, Katie (COMPLETED 12/2014 – DONUT underestimate the power of paper piecing)
  6. Something for Katie’s dog, Winnie
  7. Something for my brother’s dog, Gizmo

Selfish Sewing – aka, stuff for me!

  1. Something for my car
  2. A collection of juggling supplies to keep at work
  3. Shoe bag(s) for traveling
  4. A duvet cover (I’ve previously written about this goal)
  5. Pillow shams
  6. A padfolio for work
  7. A towel that slips over the back of a pool chair
  8. A passport cover
  9. An accessory for my DSLR camera
  10. An insulated case for a hot hair straightener while traveling
  11. A completed cross-stitch project to frame (Read about my first ever cross-stitch project here!)

Bunting — for every month of the year!

  1. January
  2. February (COMPLETED 1/23/2015 – I Heart Valentine’s Day)
  3. March
  4. April (COMPLETED 4/5/2014 – Easter Peeps Bunny Bunting)
  5. May
  6. June (COMPLETED 7/11/2014 – Summertime Watermelon Bunting)
  7. July
  8. August
  9. September
  10. October (COMPLETED 10/2013 – No blog post, just this photo!)
  11. November
  12. December
  13. Generic birthday bunting

Around the house

  1. Covers for the decorative pillows on the couch
  2. A table runner
  3. Placemats
  4. An ironing board cover
  5. Dish towel toppers (sewn or crocheted)
  6. Fabric baskets / bins
  7. Insulted wine bottle tote
  8. Hanging laundry bag (COMPLETED 9/21/14 – Just airing some dirty laundry. Shhh!)
  9. Apron (I have my eye on the hot pad apron in One Yard Wonders)
  10. Christmas tree skirt
  11. A “pixel” quilt (sewn or crocheted) – (Here are some examples)

Really specific projects

  1. Little Bow Clutch (COMPLETED 9/13/14 – My friend furoshiki)
  2. Embroidery Hoop Clock (Here’s the tutorial)
  3. Birthday countdown calendar (COMPLETED 12/2014 – It’s your birthday, baby!)
  4. Floral baby blanket (crochet) (Here’s the pattern)
  5. Mega card holder wallet (COMPLETED 9/2015 – Chris’s (Mega) Birthday)
  6. Egg shaped potholders (they’re just the right size for your hand!) (Here’s the tutorial)
  7. A rag quilt using long strips vs. squares (Here’s an example)

Techniques to try

  1. Reverse applique (Here’s an example)
  2. Properly hem something (COMPLETED 1/26/2015 – The Skinny on Alterations)
  3. Use a serger (COMPLETED 1/23/2015 – I Heart Valentine’s Day)
  4. Ruffles
  5. Buttonholes
  6. Paper piece a quilt block (COMPLETED 10/2014 – Paper Piecing Time Machine)
  7. Piping


  1. Something I can wear to work
  2. Refashion an oversized hoodie
  3. Lace belts (here’s the tutorial)
  4. Swimsuit cover-up
  5. Dress made using a tank top for the top half
  6. Cardigan, bolero or jacket
  7. A dress that feels retro (maybe for Dapper Day at a Disney Park!)
  8. A replica of Liesl’s gazebo dress from the Sound of Music — I have a feeling this will be the last project I ever complete on this list, LOL… dream big! I have yet to conquer garments, let alone fancy movie replica garments! (here’s the pattern)
  9. Some sort of hat / headband / headwear (COMPLETED 01/2016 – I made a hat)

Using stuff I already have

  1. Something using the Marimekko fabric I got in Finland (!!!)
  2. Simplicity 2685 (COMPLETED 4/2016 – Simplicity 2685, aka, the six-year-project)
  3. Simplicity 2493 (Three different rag quilts – caterpillar, turtle or dinosaur)
  4. Simplicity 3956 (Six different tank tops / shirts)
  5. Simplicity 4127 (Six different tank tops)
  6. McCall’s M5778 (Christmas crafts)
  7. McCall’s M5949 (Halloween crafts)
  8. McCall’s M6353 (Infinity dress)
  9. Butterick B5432 (Pajamas)
  10. Upcycle an old shower curtain or bedding and turn it into something else (COMPLETED 9/21/14 – Just airing some dirty laundry. Shhh! and 1/23/2015 – I Heart Valentine’s Day)


  1. Something for an 18″ doll (COMPLETED 2/14/15 – In defense of making doll clothes)
  2. A Disney Princess inspired apron for dress-up (Here’s an example)
  3. Something wearable to gift to a child
  4. A toy-car roll-up (like a crayon roll, but for toy cars)
  5. A crayon tote (a crayon roll / tote bag combo)
  6. A fleece “lovey” (blanket/stuffed animal combo)
  7. Plush playhouse (from One Yard Wonders)

Open-ended projects

  1. Something inspired by a Disney theme park attraction
  2. Something inspired by a Disney character
  3. Something inspired by a children’s book
  4. Something inspired by Russia (to pay homage to my international trip!)
  5. Something inspired by my alma mater, Miami University
  6. Something inspired by my hometown, Chicago
  7. Something inspired by my personality type
  8. Something inspired by scuba diving / the ocean
  9. Something for a charitable cause
  10. Something for my friend Joe’s classroom
  11. Something inspired by the north woods of Wisconsin (a family favorite vacation destination)
  12. Something inspired by safety
  13. Something inspired by exercise / working out
  14. Something I teach a group of friends to make during a sewing party! (COMPLETED 9/4/2017 – Sewing with friends)
  15. Something inspired by dentistry (gotta love my family of dentists)
  16. Something inspired by childhood nostalgia — the 80’s/90’s
  17. Something inspired by my favorite animals – sheep!
  18. A zipper pouch that is an odd shape (similar to the tea cup pouch, but something I come up with on my own)

So there you go! I had a hard time splitting the list into categories and having the numbered bullets actually list the numbers 1 through 100, but I promise there are 100 projects listed there. One Hundred Projects on the horizon, guys! Plus a whole bunch of miscellaneous projects that are sure to pop up throughout the journey. Like I said before, these aren’t the ONLY projects I’ll be working on — after all, this doesn’t include any of the top secret stuff. 😉 Thanks for following along and supporting me through the first 100 blog posts! LindsaySignature

Ninety-Nine and a Half

Remember when I told you the last post was number 99, and the next post would be my hundredth blog post? Well, apparently I lied. When I published the last post, I got a pop-up thanking me for contributing my NINETY-EIGHTH post. What! How did I mess that up? I thought I had this all figured out. Apparently not. I’m fairly certain I could have gotten away with this lie and just said the next post was number 100 anyway. But I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. So here’s a mini-update I’ll call Ninety-Nine and a Half… which would make my next post the hundredth. Sigh.

Anyway, this is perfect timing because I have a mini-update. Remember the Pencil Bunting 101 tutorial from my friend Joe a few weeks ago? Well, now that school is officially in full swing, he’s sent some photos of his banners in action!

On the Sew Lindsay Sew blog: how to create pencil bunting banners for your classroom

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Inspiration from up north: Jill’s denim quilt

As I write this post, I’m sitting in a sparkling sunroom surrounded by windows on three sides and admiring the majestic greatness of a northern summer. I spent this past weekend in a small town near Madison, Wisconsin, visiting my brother Jason and future sister-in-law, Sarah. We spent the weekend celebrating Jason and Sarah’s recent engagement and new house in addition to my dad’s retirement from dentistry. I also visited the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the first time!


Wisconsin as seen via my iPhone — A new “You Are Here” Starbucks mug, the infamous
terrace chairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Belgian Red cherry ale.

While I love my “Florida life,” spending time up north during the summer is always special. Everything feels just a little different outside of Florida – the grass is softer, the breezes cooler and the sounds reminiscent of my childhood summers in the Chicago suburbs. And of course, a change of scenery is always inspirational for a creative soul. I first realized this a few years ago when I wrote about some regional differences I noticed when visiting a fabric store in Northern Wisconsin.

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Ten Easter sewing projects: free tutorial roundup!

Spring is here! I wish I could say that I’m spending time outside today, but the pollen count is so high in Florida right now that I’m stuck inside taking allergy meds. Yuck.

But this springtime weather has me feeling inspired, so I’ve raided my Pinterest boards and pulled out ten of my favorite Easter-inspired projects for this free tutorial roundup! Scroll down for links to all of the projects shown below.

10 Easter Sewing Projects: Free Tutorial Roundup on the SewLindsaySew blog.

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Why I love hardware stores (and you should too)

Let me start off by saying that, in my opinion, craft stores trump all other stores. The amount of potential in a craft store is overwhelming. I can look at the most minuscule little item and think of a zillion and one ways to turn it into something fun… which is why I go in for one item, and leave three hours later with a cartful.

But that’s to be expected, right? I write a sewing blog, I’m pretty open about my love for crayons and I had to pick my roommate up off the floor when she first saw my colossal sticker collection. Of course I love craft stores.

But I don’t exactly fall into the typical “hardware store” demographic.

Tim Al Home Improvement

I don’t wear a tool belt. Or plaid.

I’m not sure when my opinion about hardware stores changed. I remember being dragged to the hardware store throughout my childhood and thinking it was the worst shopping trip ever. My brother and I found solace in the doorbell section… lots of buttons to push, both literally and figuratively.

The other day, I went to the hardware store for a mop (they have the best section of cleaning supplies!) and I was reminded how much I’ve grown to love hardware stores. They’re just intensified versions of craft stores. The difference is that the floor is a lot dirtier, the merchandise is pretty heavy and the tools and chemicals in there might kill you if used improperly (whereas the hot glue gun at the craft store? Just a minor burn, people).

But really, the differences aren’t important. The bottom line is that both stores are exploding with potential. A bunch of people might buy the exact same item and use it in a different way, for a different reason or with different results.

See what I mean?

Pattern Weights from bolts and washers

Toni at Sugar Tart Crafts uses washers and bolts wrapped in ribbon as pattern weights! Brilliant.

Paint chip gift box and bow

Crafters go cuckoo for paint chips… check out this amazing paint chip gift box and bow from Style with a Smile TV.

PVC Pipe Playhouse

Of course, every great playhouse starts with PVC pipes… including this playhouse from PVCplans.com.

Whenever I walk into  a hardware store, I wish I had the ability to build something amazing.  Remember Amy Wynn Pastor on Trading Spaces, circa early-2000’s? She was an awesome example of girl-power, and always executed the most brilliant ideas.

Amy Wynn Pastor

Amy Wynn Pastor

So if I woke up with magical carpentry skills, what would be the first thing I’d want to build?

I think I’d like to start with this treehouse. What do you think? 🙂

New Treehouses of the World by Pete Nelson

Coming soon to my backyard: from the book New Treehouses of the World by Pete Nelson.

Countdown to (sewing) fun!

A big thank you to all of my family, friends and blogosphere buddies who reached out to make my birthday magical this week. From Tinker Bell cupcakes  by day to an artsy-crafty painting party by night, it was a truly wonderful birthday and I wouldn’t change a thing! I’m being completely truthful when I say it’s the best birthday I’ve had in years.

I finally got a chance to open some gifts last night, and I have two exciting sewing books to add to my collection! I talked about one book, Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders, in a blog post a few weeks back. The second book is called Countdown Calendars and just came out last July.

Countdown Calendars sewing book

Countdown Calendars: 24 stitched projects to celebrate any date!

I first discovered the project shown on the cover  – a birthday countdown calendar – about two years ago when I was thinking about buying a sewing machine. It was a finished project listed for sale on Etsy, not a pattern, so I saved a photo for inspiration.

It’s such a fun concept – just add a fabric candle to the birthday cake on the wall hanging each day leading up to your birthday! Advent calendars were always a big deal in my house around Christmastime, and I know I would have loved this birthday calendar if we’d had one in our family.

I can already imagine an infinite number of color combinations in my head and can’t wait to give this a try. It would make a great gift for all of my friends who are exploding my social media newsfeeds with photos of their new babies! Plus – the book has lots of other fun countdown calendar ideas too, including a Christmas advent calendar.

Happy counting! Not gonna lie – all of this talk about countdowns and I can’t get the Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun Parade music from Disney’s Hollywood Studios out of my head… Five, four, three, two, FUN! 🙂

Do the sewing touchdown dance

Even though it still feels like summer here in Florida, football season has officially arrived! Although I’m not a die-hard football fan, I grew up hearing my dad’s Chicago Bears games in the background every Sunday and the sound of a football game on TV still makes me feel incredibly nostalgic.

Family Circus Football Comic Strip

When I see Chicago Bears fabric stocked on store shelf here in Central Florida, I can’t help but stop in my tracks. Living across the country from my hometown, it’s a rarity to see my team of choice! But licensed fabric is expensive and I’ve never had any specific NFL-ish projects in mind, so I’ve always passed it up.

That is, until recently, when I saw a treasure trove of Chicago Bears fleece in the remnants bin… two remnants that were each just one inch short of a full yard. I almost did a touchdown dance right there in the fabric store. I couldn’t pass up these Chicago Bears gems for 50 percent off!

Chicago Bears fleece remnants


But what are the most relevant uses for NFL fabric? Other than the typical scarf/gloves/hat combos (this Floridian doesn’t need any of those) …

After some Google searching fun, here are some free tutorials for projects that might shine even brighter with some licensed team fabric – both fleece and non-fleece projects!

Never lose your remote again with this handy couch caddyClick here for the free couch caddy tutorial at Sew4Home(Note: this tutorial technically calls for home decor weight fabrics. Since most licensed fabrics aren’t home decor weight, you may have to get creative with heavy interfacing.)

Couch Caddy Sewing Tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of Sew4Home.com

Follow along: Football games on Sunday afternoons >> Sunday afternoons are lazy >> lazy Sunday afternoons call for pajama pants. Enough said. Click here for the free comfy PJ pants tutorial at Sew4Home!

Free pajama pants sewing tutorial from Sew4Home

Photo and tutorial courtesy of Sew4Home.com

If pajama pants just aren’t lazy enough, how about a tutorial for a knock-off Snuggie – a.k.a. “Snuglet?” Yes, please! Click here for a free “Snuglet” tutorial from SissonFamily.com!

Snuggie Slanket Snuglet free sewing pattern

Snuggie, Slanket, Snuglet… whatever! Photo and tutorial courtesy of SissonFamily.com.

I’ve had fabric pendants on my sewing to-do list for awhile, but I only had celebratory birthday pendants in mind. A fabric pendant made with team fabrics (mixed with color coordinating calico prints) would be really fun for Super Bowl parties, etc! Click here for the free fabric pendant tutorial at Your Homebased Mom.

Fabric pennant sewing tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of Your Homebased Mom.

This tutorial is so amazing it’s ridiculous – a stadium blanket that can be toted around in a bag that doubles as a bleacher cushion – and can be made using old t-shirts. BRILLIANT. Click here for the free stadium blanket and cushion bag tutorial from Sew Mama Sew and Fishsticks Designs!

Free stadium blanket and bleacher cushion sewing tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of Sew Mama Sew and Fishsticks Designs.

Well, I’m off to TACKLE some studying… ha ha ha. 🙂

Any other fun ideas for using NFL fabric?

Go Bears!


SEW you want to go to school?

Tis the season of PB&J, new shoes and a fresh box of crayons – back-to-school! And while shopping for brand new school supplies is one of my favorite things in the world, I have not be able to personally celebrate the back-to-school season in many years. I tend to live vicariously through my friends who are teachers until summertime rolls around – and then I want nothing to do with my teacher-friends since they don’t have to work and I don’t want to hear about it!

Recently, Joe, a dear friend and fifth grade teacher, sent me this photo from the One Stitch Two Stitch blog and said, “If you were a teacher, this is what your bulletin board would look like!”

Sewing Bulletin Board

Click the photo to read more about this bulletin board at the One Stitch Two Stitch blog!

Oh, Joe. You know me SEW well! 🙂

Since I’m not a teacher, there is no bulletin-board decorating in my future. However, I’m happy to report that I personally celebrated the back-to-school season this year as I recently started the journey towards my MBA. Sadly, I didn’t need to buy any school supplies for my first day – apparently, there is no need for a box of crayons in grad school.

Regardless, I am appreciative that I am officially a part of the back-to-school season at all this year. I hope that this magical sewing bulletin board inspires my teacher pals. I’d love to see photos if you create a sewing theme on your boards!

Happy 2011-2012 school year! Let the learning begin. 🙂

Sunny Summer Sewing Projects: Tutorial Roundup

It’s summer! And unlike most people, I love summers here in Florida. I love spending scorching sunny days poolside with a good book and a LOT of sunblock! Lucky for me, the Florida summer lasts about six months instead of the standard three, so I don’t feel guilty spending some time inside crafting even when the sun is shining. 🙂

Of course, I plan on keeping my project list bright and summery. No plans for heavy quilts or winter projects! Check out some of these FREE (!!!) tutorials I’ve recently added to my summer project inspiration list.

Summer Sewing: Free Project Tutorial Roundup

This adorable strawberry bag folds up into a tiny take-along strawberry when you’re not using it. Hello, Farmer’s Market! Click here for the free strawberry bag tutorial at ikatbag!

Strawberry Bag Sewing Project

Photos & tutorial courtesy of http://www.ikatbag.com

What’s a day at the pool without a hooded towel? And these aren’t just for kids — I’m 27 and may or may not have hooded towels with Mickey ears folded up in my bathroom closet. Click here for the free hooded towel tutorial at Obsessively Stitching!

Hooded Towel Sewing Project

Photo and tutorial courtesy of obsessivelystitching.blogspot.com

Although these are usually advertised for carrying cloth diapers, wet bags are perfect for carrying damp swimsuits! Click here for the free wet bag tutorial at A Lemon Squeezy.

Wet Bag Sewing Tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of alemonsqueezyhome.blogspot.com

This insulated picnic tote is perfect for keeping groceries cold on a sweltering summertime car ride home. I desperately need one of these! Click here for the free insulated tote tutorial at Punkin Patterns.

Insulted Tote Sewing Tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of punkinpattern.blogspot.com

Check out this quaint little bike bag for that special cyclist in your life. Click here for a free bike bag tutorial from noodlehead. 

Bike Bag Sewing Tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of noodle-head.com

Any picnic blanket is a nice-to-have item – but a tote bag picnic blanket is a must-have! Click here for a free picnic blanket tote tutorial at Craft Buds.

Picnic tote sewing tutorial

Photos and tutorial courtesy of CraftBuds.com

This garden apron is so cute that I don’t think I could bear to get it dirty! Click here for a free garden apron tutorial at Make it Do. 

Garden apron sewing tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of make-it-do.com

Just look at these giant strawberry pillows. Honestly. Have you ever seen anything more magical? I’m in awe. I just love these. Click here for the free strawberry pillow sewing tutorial from The Purl Bee. 

Strawberry pillow sewing tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of purlbee.com

Believe it or not, these projects are just the tip of the iceberg. I found tons of inspirational summer sewing tutorials out floating around the internet – it was really hard to narrow down my favorites!

What’s on your craft list this summer?