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Elastic Waist Tank Dress Tutorial

Elastic Waist Tank Dress: Do-able step-by-step tutorial over at thinkingcloset.com. On my to-make list!

In the words of Monty Python’s King Arthur, “Victory is mine!” I finally finished a project that has been on my “to make” list for a year now: an Elastic Waist Tank Dress. I mean, there’s really no good reason for why it took me so long.  I had the elastic.  The tank.  The fabric.  I even made a flower embellishment for this very dress last May!  So, what was the problem? Still considering myself a beginner sewist, I suppose {read more…}

Felt Fish Pillow Tutorial for the Nautically-Inclined

Nautical Felt Fish Pillow Tutorial by thinkingcloset.com

Happy Friday, friends!  So, the Rustic Nautical Master Bedroom Makeover series continues, but we’re going to take a little break from this talk of building and staining and pallet-ing (yes, it’s a verb now) to get a little crafty today.  This should be a fun tutorial for ye lovers of felt and all things nautical! So, as you may have noticed from our “before” and “after” photos, a significant part of the transformation involved our {read more…}

Paper Bag Gratitude Garland

Paper Bag Gratitude Garland!

Some of my favorite movies growing up were the old classics, and White Christmas was high up on that list.  My sister and I must have performed our own rendition of the “Sisters, Sisters” song a thousand times, pretending our paper fans were voluminous blue feather ones just like the Haynes sisters had.  And who better to sweep the sisters of their feet than a crooner like Bing Crosby and a comedian like Danny Kaye? Well, this {read more…}

Amy Butler Origami Bags: Story of a Crafternoon

Amy Butler Origami Bags | Tips, Tricks, and Inspiration from thinkingcloset.com

Do you ever get together with your friends just to craft?  Tackle DIY projects with your better half?  Bake cookies with your kids? If you answered yes to any one of those questions, high five! If you answered no, then I urge you to try it sometime.  You see, not only is it fun, but I find I am so much more creative when I can glean inspiration from the people around me.  And just {read more…}

Filing Fabric & A Fabric Organization Round-Up

Filing Fabric & Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

In case you missed it, here’s my fabric organization solution that I shared at Made with Hugs & Kisses a few weeks ago…plus 15 other ideas to suit your fancy. When Hannah generously invited me to be a part of her “Spring Clean Your Sewing Space” series, I leapt at the opportunity to join in on the fun.  In fact, it was just the motivation I needed to come up with a new organization system {read more…}

Fabric Applique Onesie Tutorial & Free Cut File

Fabric Applique Onesie Tutorial & Free Cut File | The Thinking Closet

“Rubber ducky, you’re the one.  You make sewing appliques lots of fun!  Rubber ducky I’m awfully fond of you.  Bo-bo-bo-di-o.” Yes, I was a child of the 80s, and yes, I grew up learning my letters and numbers with Big Bird and The Count on Sesame Street.  So, inevitably, when one works on one’s first applique project involving a cute rubber ducky shape, one inevitably hums Ernie’s bath song.  It’s just what one does. As promised yesterday, {read more…}

Yes, I Filed my Fabric

Filing Fabric & Fabric Organization Round-Up | The Thinking Closet

None of us wake up and decide, “I’m going to be a disorganized slob today!”  Most of us start off with the best of intentions; but as the second law of thermodynamics tells us: There is a universal tendency for all systems to go from order to disorder. My fabric stash was no exception to that rule.  What began as a neat, nice stack quickly turned into the leaning tower of Pisa…three leaning towers, in fact. {read more…}

Burp Cloth Tutorial for the Beginner Sewist

Burp Cloth Tutorial for the Beginner Sewist by The Thinking Closet

With my friends having babies left and right, you didn’t think I would stop at the rhinestone and heat-transfer vinyl onesies, now, did you? No siree, Bob!  Time to bust out the sewing machine for some super cute, super easy burp cloths: I have to credit my M.I.L. for inspiring me with this one (and she credits her friend, Robyn!).  Last year, she made some burp cloths for expectant mothers, including my two sisters-in-law, so, {read more…}

Sewing 101: Fastenings

Sewing 101: Fastenings - The Thinking Closet

Yesterday, my Brother and I navigated uncharted waters with fastenings of all kinds: buttons, zippers, snaps, and elastic.  It was quite the educational experience.  I even got to change my J foot for the first time and swap it out for three different feet a.k.a. “robot claws.”  I felt really proud of myself when I got in the groove of poppin’ ‘em off, and poppin’ on new ones.  (Oh, the small delights of a beginner!) Buttons: {read more…}

Sewing 101: Shirring

Sewing 101: Shirring by The Thinking Closet

My poor sewing machine was totally and utterly neglected over the holidays.  My crafty projects just seemed to call for a hammer and nail or glue gun instead.  I even thought I heard my “Brother” crying during those eight hours of working on my No-Sew Christmas tree skirt. Let’s just say I had some making up to do. Yesterday, I pulled my Bro out of the closet, sat him on the table, asked for forgiveness, {read more…}

Romantic Rose Headband

I want to extend a huge welcome to Robyn, my first guest blogger here at The Thinking Closet!  She has an awesome tutorial to share with you all that has me swooning.  Take it away, Robyn. Hi everyone! My name is Robyn, from Ruffly Ribbons & Ramblings, and I am super excited to be guest blogging on Lauren’s amazing blog! I met Lauren through one of her posts (check it out here) and she has {read more…}

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt

D.I.Y. No-Sew Ruffle Christmas Tree Skirt by The Thinking Closet

I like ruffles…A LOT.  And my new obsession is burlap. So, when I saw Ashley Johnston’s tutorial for a ruffle Christmas tree skirt, I knew it was my next d.i.y. project.  Here’s my completed skirt: I’m in love with how it turned out, however, let me shoot straight: this project is not for the faint of heart. It’s time-consuming.  Although a few bloggers mentioned this only taking two hours, it took me closer to eight!  {read more…}

Sewing 101: Tucks

Sewing 101: Tucks via The Thinking Closet

It has been over a month since I last tackled Raechel Myers’s Sewing 101 course…but it felt good to dust off the ole new machine and get back into the trenches today. I never knew what the term “tuck” meant in the sewing world…until now.  And I’m proud to say that I have conquered three different types!  Spaced tucks, blind tucks, and pin tucks: Apparently, tucks are well above Sewing 101 level, but once they’re {read more…}

Nifty Item #3: It’s a Fabric Bonanza!

It's a Fabric Bonanza via The Thinking Closet

bonanza [bəˈnænzə] n 1. a source, usually sudden and unexpected, of luck or wealth. I’m one of those people who never wins things.  Raffles?  Stopped bothering buying tickets.  Contests?  Not since the seventh grade poetry contest.  Giveaways?  Please. Until now!  This past September, by a wild act of God, I won the September Sponsor Giveaway on one of my favorite blogs, Lil Blue Boo.  I was shocked – – floored – – when I heard {read more…}

Denim Skirt Reveal

Denim Skirt Reveal via The Thinking Closet

Remember the denim skirt I made for my sister, Lisbeth?  The one from my Easy Denim Skirt Tutorial for the Beginner Sewist? Well, I promised pictures, and here they are.  Brace yourself for amazingness: I think I literally gasped when I saw these for the first time.  She has just taken my simple denim skirt and turned it into something fantasmagorical.  And I love that she tucked in her shirt in the second photo for {read more…}

Craft Mash-Up: DIY Clothing Labels with Personalized Font

DIY Clothing Labels with Personalized Font via The Thinking Closet

Although I don’t keep up with Glee anymore, I always loved the “mash-ups” of two different songs like “Halo” & “Walking On Sunshine.” So, in that vain, this is a craft mash-up – – two different DIY projects mashed up into one to create something divine: clothing labels with a personalized font in your own handwriting. Pretty cool, huh? The back-story: I knew I wanted to add a little personalization to my sister’s denim skirt {read more…}

Bird Pincushion & Needle-Keep a.k.a. “Just Leave It”

Quilt by Robin - via The Thinking Closet

This past Wednesday, my M.I.L. and I got together for a sewing party.  She had a project she had been saving up to work on that was recommended by her dear friend, Robin, who is amazing quilter and sewist.  [Aside: Robin made Mark and I a beautiful quilt for our wedding that combines so many unusual fabrics.  For color ideas, she looked at our registry, and used her genius to create this beauty: Anyway, Robin {read more…}

Easy Denim Skirt Tutorial for the Beginner Sewist

Easy Denim Skirt Tutorial for the Beginner Sewist via The Thinking Closet

They say the best way to learn something…is to teach it.  Right? So, I’m going to attempt to teach what I just learned in my beginner sewing class at my local Jo-Ann’s Fabric store last Monday: how to sew a denim skirt. There is no pattern involved, and it’s a very do-able project for novices – – I can attest.  Our instructor, Jeanette, has been teaching at Jo-Ann’s for fourteen years, and this project is {read more…}

Sewing 101: Darts & Marking

Tracing Paper - Sewing 101 - via The Thinking Closet

I’m back to Raechel Myers’s Sewing 101 course online.  This time, we’re practicing darts & marking.  And apparently, darts aren’t just things you throw at a target.  And marking…well, let’s have a quick heart to heart about marking. So, I sort of lol’d at myself because when Raechel said we needed tracing paper for this project, I went out and bought what I thought was tracing paper – – the clearish thin paper of my {read more…}

Pre-Washing Fabric: An Experiment

Chevron & Owl Fabric from Hobby Lobby; preparing for pre-wash.

Do you ever just hop online to run a “quick” internet search, planning on investing 30 seconds max, when suddenly you find yourself tumbling down a rabbit hole of endless information…for an hour!? Such was my experience when google-searching “pre-washing fabric.”  There are A LOT of opinions out there on what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to pre-washing. Truthfully, it’s a bit overwhelming. Then, I happed upon a helpful post from Ashley at {read more…}

Sewing 101: Seams of All Kinds

Sewing Practice. Inside curve, notching, outside curve, clipping.

That moment they mention French seams on Project Runway and not only do you know what they’re talking about, but you just did one….  Ah, the sweetness.  It made the beginner sewer in me sit a little taller at my machine yesterday. So, I’m making progress in Raechel Myers’ Sewing 101 course: seams of all kinds.  I’m using white muslin and black thread for the most part through these exercises for contrast purposes (so if my edges {read more…}

Sewing 101: First Stitches

Straight stitch examples from Sewing 101

Yesterday, my Brother sewing machine and I shared a lot of bonding time.  I carefully unwrapped him from his box, gave him the ‘ole once over (about twelve times over), and even put him to work! I’m working my way through a free online Sewing 101 course by the amazing Raechel Myers from Finding my Feet, a punny blog that covers everything from design to family life to sewing tutorials.  In her course, Raechel shares with {read more…}

The Brother I Never Had

My new brother CS-6000i sewing machine

If I had emerged into this world with a Y chromosome instead of a second X, my name would certainly not have been Lauren; according to my parents, it would have been Luke.  So, logic follows, that if I had had an older brother, his name would have been Luke.  Luke, Lauren, and Lisbeth.  It has a sort of ring to it, doesn’t it?  And the alliteration makes the English major in me swoon. Growing {read more…}