Neckband tutorial

Do you struggle to get your neckbands to come out perfectly? I am going to show you how I do mine and share some tips along the way. Some fabrics are definitely more difficult to work with, a tip for those is to serge or zig zag the edges before you start…this will help with the rolling! Neckbands can be done with a stretch stitch on a regular sewing machine too, but since I have a serger I will be using it!

TIP: not all fabric has the same amount of stretch, so I always calculate my neckband instead of relying completely on the pattern piece. I measure the neck opening and multiply by 80%-90%, depending on the stretch percentage of the fabric. Typically higher stretch fabrics are fine with the neckband piece included with the pattern and I usually only calculate when I am using a lower stretch fabric. Does this make sense?

Let’s get started!!! Take your neckband piece and match up the ends right sides together, stitch. You will then have a circle.

Next, start at your seam and fold the neckband in half (closing your seam inside), place a clip or pin there. Then you will find the front center and mark there. Match up those 2 marks so that you can find the 2 center points between the front and back. You have now quartered your neckband!

Tip: I find it easier if you leave your top inside out to attach the neckband.

Now you will quarter your bodice. Fold the top in half to find the back and front center points, mark those spots. Open the bodice back up, pull the front clip up to meet the back clip to find the other 2 quarter marks. Notice that the shoulder seams are not the quarter points.

Match the neckband seam up with your back center clip, then match up the other 3 spots.

You want to stretch the band evenly between the quarter marks and clip in between. You should NEVER have to stretch the bodice at all, only the band should be stretched a little.

Tip: When sewing, I like to start at the back seam because the start/stop is almost always where my mistakes happen, and they will be hidden in the back! I also like to sew with the bodice up and the neckband closest to the sewing machine/serger plate. I feel like I have the best control that way…but you have to do whatever makes your life easiest!

Starting at the back, sew all the way around your neckband making sure to go slowly and stretch evenly. Only remove your clips when you get to them. The small sections make it easier to stretch evenly!

You can topstitch if you feel the need to…I’m a pretty lazy sewist, so I usually do not!!! Turn your shirt right sides out and admire your perfect neckband!

Stay tuned for more info on this beautiful Hannah from Sonia Estep Designs! Affiliate link:

I hope this tutorial was helpful! Please ask questions if not. Happy Sewing!


How to make a key fob!

This tutorial is the way I like to make key fobs! It is most definitely not the only way, but people seem to like them so I just keep making them! Please feel free to share this tutorial with your friends…I really appreciate the visitors here!

These are such a quick sew and make the cutest gift…especially when you give it with a car trash bag! If you haven’t made a trash bag yet, check out that blog post! Here are the items you need:

  • 5″ x 10″-12″ fabric (length is personal preference)
  • interfacing the same size as your fabric
  • 1.25″ key fob hardware

Start by ironing your interfacing onto your fabric.

Fold the fabric in half and press to make a crease down the center. Open it back up and fold each side into the center.

Fold the entire thing in half, making sure to line up the edges. Topstitch down the open side first then the closed side.

Now it’s time to attach the hardware! Start by trimming each end, remove any interfacing peeking out and straighten it up.

Fold it in half~I like to use a clip to hold it while I work!

I have these pliers that work perfectly for key fob hardware However, you can use regular pliers too…just use a thin cloth so you don’t leave any grooves in the metal when you clamp! Give it a gentle clamp first, that way you can make sure it’s straight, then clamp it all the way down. Your key fob is done!!! Wasn’t that an easy project?!?!

Now let’s talk about the adorable fabric I used! This was a preorder fabric that I was asked to sew up for promotion and it is from LMB Fabric and Notions The good news about this is that the preorder has started rolling in…which means that retail will be available soon!!! You can join the Facebook group to find out when products will be available!

~Happy Sewing~

Fabric Basket Tutorial

Today I am going to show you how I make these adorable fabric baskets! They can easily be made in different sizes, but for the sake of simplicity I am just going to give you the measurements for my most used size and style…medium size with vinyl bottom! A huge bonus to these (besides being cute) is that they have a stiff base but they are also completely washable!

***This is my own pattern. It took a lot of hours and many failures to get to this point. I am happy to share this tutorial for free but I do ask that you send people to my blog to get this pattern themselves. Feel free to sell and share your baskets, but credit me or my blog whenever it is possible. Thank you so much for your support!

Now that we are through the boring stuff, let’s have fun!!!

  • Gather your supplies:
    • 2 pieces main fabric and 2 pieces interfacing 5.5″ x 12″
    • 2 pieces vinyl 4″ x 12″
    • 2 pieces lining fabric and 2 pieces interfacing 9″ x 12″
    • 1 piece of Peltex 4.75″ x 5.75″ plus interfacing that is cut a little wider (this will make more sense in the picture below)

Cut all of your fabric, vinyl, interfacing and Peltex. Iron your interfacing onto the fabric pieces and set aside. You do not need interfacing on the vinyl. For the Peltex interfacing, I cut a strip that is a little wider than the piece of Peltex, wrap it around and then iron. Cutting it wider allows you to sew it into the seams so it cannot shift.

Take your lining pieces and place them right sides together. You will sew around both sides and the bottom, but make sure to leave a hole at the bottom that’s 4ish inches for turning. I like to draw a line so I don’t accidentally forget.

Next we will make the 5″ box corners. Reach inside and press the corners out to make a triangle. I use a quilting ruler to mark a 5″ line across the triangle. Stitch right over that line. Cut the triangles off, leaving about 1/4″ to the side of your seam. Set the lining aside.

Line your vinyl up with the bottom of your main fabric, right sides together and stitch.

This is the part where I change to a teflon foot. If you don’t have one, tissue paper on top of your vinyl helps with the topstitching too! If you lengthen your stitches when topstitiching on vinyl things will go a lot smoother!

Flip your vinyl down and topstitch. When you are done, remember to change your stitch length back!

Place the outside pieces right sides together and stitch around the 3 sides. When I use vinyl, I like to start by matching up the vinyl on both sides then clip the rest of the way around. Sometimes seams don’t end up perfect and you can trim from the top or bottom if you need to and you will never notice…but you will notice if the vinyl isn’t lined up!

After you have sewn those pieces together we will make the 5″ box corners the same way we did for the lining.

Take your Peltex wrapped in interfacing and clip it onto the bottom of the outside piece you just made. You are going to stitch just to the outside of your seam…don’t go inside your seam or you will notice it once the basket is completed. Trim the ends off.

Flip your main piece right side out but leave your lining inside out. Place the outside piece inside of the lining, so that they are right sides together. Stitch all the way around the top.

Pull the entire basket through the hole you left in the bottom. After you have all of the corners pushed out, close up the hole.

Now you want to push the lining down into the main piece and topstitch around the entire top edge.

And your beautiful yet practical fabric basket is done!

Seam Reaper fabric from Backstitch Fabrics and rose gold glitter vinyl from Glitterbug Fairy

Once you get comfortable with the steps, this pattern is easy to adjust so that it suits your needs…just don’t forget to remeasure for the Peltex!!! I have made larger baskets, smaller baskets, teeny tiny baskets (I don’t recommend that!), added handles, made them with all fabric and even made them taller so you can flip the top down. Here are some of my favorites!

I hope you loved this tutorial! Thank you so much for joining me!

Let’s talk Zippers!

Do you ever get overwhelmed by zippers and what type goes with which project? I know when I first started sewing I didn’t realize that there are different zippers that should be used for different projects. There are way more types than I have time to talk about, so I will just stick to what I know…bags!!!

Metal teeth, nylon, separating, #3, #5, pulls, tape…what does it all mean? It all gets really confusing but I am here to share the info that I have gathered over the years!!!

Metal zippers are my least favorite to use because you can’t just sew over the teeth and you can’t just cut it to length. Way too much work in my opinion! LOL If you do use one, go slowly right up to the zipper teeth then hand crank a couple stitches over, being very careful to not hit the teeth. You can also pull a couple teeth off to get it to the length you need.

Before I found Facebook sewing groups, I thought the only zippers were the premade ones that you buy at your local craft store. These are fine in a pinch but they are a little pricey. There are several reputable online stores that you can purchase in bulk for a way more reasonable price. This is the way to go if you need inexpensive. You can buy these in different size teeth but standard is #3 and they come in several length options. They come with the top and bottom stops but since they are nylon, you can cut to length and sew over them!

I started seeing all of the beautiful zippers with fancy pulls but I was terrified to try zipper tape. I didn’t know which zipper to use where and it was all just really overwhelming. I decided to dive in and now I will not ever go back to the premade zippers! They come in two different sizes, #3 and #5 (this refers to the teeth size). Size #3 is perfect for small bags like zipper pouches, wristlets, cosmetic bags, etc and also for pockets on the inside of bigger bags. Size #5 are the more substantial zippers that you see as the main zippers on bags and purses. The tape is amazing because you can buy it in yardage and cut it to the length you need. Both sizes have pulls that fit only that size.

But how do you get the pull onto the tape? It looks scary and difficult, but trust me when I tell you that it is so easy to do!!!

Cut your zipper to just a little longer than the length you need. Open one end a little bit and trim one side of the tape down. Place one side of your pull onto the taller side of your tape. Tip: You can quickly run a lighter over the edge of the tape to keep it from fraying while you are putting the pull on. Slide your pull down to meet the shorter side and insert that side of the tape into the pull. Slide it down and your zipper is assembled!!! See…easy, peasy!

Here are some more beautiful zippers I have installed!

Thank you for being here and I hope this has been helpful information! If you ever have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask here or email me! Happy sewing!