How to sew bathing suit fabric – 10 best tips & tricks

There are a few things that tend to terrify sewists. When they start out, sewing stretchy fabrics seems outright impossible. (If this is your case, make sure you read my post on how to sew knits and other stretch fabrics perfectly.) For the more ecologically-minded who want to start sewing cloth diapers or cloth menstrual […]

Homemade wild fennel liqueur recipe (finocchietto digestif)

As my readers know, I was born and raised in the United States, but moved to Italy years ago and married into a Neapolitan family. Which means that I’ve learned a lot of my husband’s family’s culinary recipes and secrets, lucky me! It would be really hard to choose one favorite hand-me-down recipe, but the […]

Tutorial: Handmade felt cactus party favor with cards & box

Whenever there is a special event in your life, it’s natural to want to celebrate it with the people who matter the most to you. And this is why we have party favors, to thank the people who celebrated with you and to give them something to remember the day by. As there are so […]

Five DIY cactus party favors: free templates and printables!

There are so many reasons to celebrate life’s milestones with the people that we love the most. And this is why party favors are so important, to help remember those important moments spent with important people. Today I’m sharing a special project that I participated in with other four Italian creative bloggers as part of […]

Foolproof Basil Pesto Recipe and 15 Ways to Use it!

I live in southern Italy, aka the capital of Basil-land. Nearly every home has at least one basil plant and those plants can easily grow into thick masses of fragrant green leaves. I am no exception to the rule. Every year I have two or three pots with forests of basil and over the years […]

Refashion shorts into a DIY skirt with godets

I love skirts so much! They are fun to mix and match with different tops, I feel free to move around without any leg restriction, and even very casual skirts look nicer than jeans. They are SO FAST to sew and often even faster to refashion from other unused garments! Take the above DIY skirt […]

Refashioning for kids: turn old pants into shorts

Kids grow so quickly. Sometimes it feels like I’ve just sewn or otherwise procured a garment for my kids and it is already small for them. Or stained. Or ripped. That’s why I love quick refashioning sewing hacks to make clothes for children as quickly as possible. Oh yeah, I also love saving money that […]

DIY books and notepads: Reuse leftover notebook paper

What is it that’s so appealing about a nice, new and never-before-touched blank book or notebook? I suppose it’s the anticipation and excitement about all the things that it can become. You can write a book in it. Draw pictures. Study plants or animals or anything else that you love and keep your notes in […]

Tutorial: Refashion a sweater into a cardigan in 10 minutes!

I really love cotton sweaters. I do some knitting, so I should love wool like most knitters do, but I just love the way a cotton sweater feels (that is, not itchy), and also how much easier it is to wash them (that is, toss it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with […]

How to grow basil year after year (without spending!)

I live in Italy, and everyone knows how much Italians love their basil. Even in the families with the worse black thumb imaginable, there is at least one pot of basil sitting on a balcony or windowsill. It gets thrown on top of plates of steaming spaghetti, made into pesto (check out my foolproof recipe […]

Super quick upcycled DIY tulle flowers

I love flowers. Heck, who doesn’t? I think pretty much every lady does. I love how they smell. I love the colors. I love the beauty and joy a vase of fresh cut flowers gives a home. What I don’t love is when they start to wilt. And turn brown. And I feel guilty having […]

What is a free arm on a sewing machine (and how to use it!)

Nearly three years ago, I published my first lesson in the Learn to Machine Sew course for beginners here on Cucicucicoo, which was about the anatomy of a sewing machine. In this lesson I mentioned the free arm, though I didn’t actually explain what it is and how to use it. However it’s one of […]

Use up Leftover Easter Chocolate: Chocolate Banana Bread

As you know, Easter was this past weekend. And, if you have kids (or perhaps even if you don’t), you probably have ridiculous amounts of chocolate sitting around in your kitchen. And dining room. And living room. Hopefully not in your bathroom. And if you’re in the northern hemisphere, it will start getting pretty warm […]

Newborn and toddler bib pattern with pocket and other variations

Do you have a young child? Sick of him or her making a mess everywhere? Sick of going out just to realize that your shirt is all dirty? Yeah, I hear your pain. I went through that, too. Or perhaps a good friend or loved relative is having a baby and you just don’t know […]

Free bib and burp cloth pattern (with/without bias tape)

Welcome back to the bias tape series here on Cucicucicoo! I took a little break from bias tutorials and projects to work on some other things, and I never ended up publishing a tutorial to practice binding with bias tape! (You can find my lesson on how to bind edges with double fold bias tape […]

How to print on freezer paper with a laser or inkjet printer

Are you freezer paper addicted? Yeah, I am too. I use freezer paper ALL the time to stencil on clothing, costumes and all other fabric items. It’s a really simple way to paint designs onto fabric, even if you are far from being an artist. I really love how perfectly crisp and clean the lines […]

How to print on Heat N Bond for fast and easy appliqué!

I love embellishing clothing and other fabric items. And one of the ways I love the most is with appliqué. I’ve written a lot about how to machine appliqué, including a trick to appliqué perfectly on stretchy fabric. I sometimes freehand draw my designs, but usually I either copy them from images found on Google […]

How to make a 30 second infinity scarf and headband!

I am a total infinity scarf junkie. I am also a junkie of upcycling old T-shirts. And, even if I know perfectly well how to sew, I also love super quick projects that require no sewing. Last year I published a great tutorial on making infinity scarves from T-shirts by sewing together strips of the […]

The easy way to hem a circle skirt in 15 min. with bias tape!

How many circle skirts do you have in your wardrobe? If you have only one or- gasp!- none, it’s time to start sewing them! As I showed last year in my tutorial on how to sew a circle skirt (with free pattern!), it’s actually very easy to sew them and they are so much fun […]

How to hem with bias tape – Easy and fast!

I don’t know about you, but my least favorite part of a sewing project is usually hemming. I’m not sure why, because it’s really not difficult (and I even shared a great trick for sewing perfect hems here). But I know that I’m not alone here because I’ve heard lots of other sewists say the […]

New pattern! Field of Flowers costume for kids & adults

I’m super excited to announce that my first costume pattern is ready for the world! Come meet the Field of Flowers costume for both kids AND adults! Back in 2008, when my daughter was two years old, my husband had the idea to dress her up for Carnival as a bunch of flowers or some […]

How to sew bias tape on curves or straight edges

Welcome back to Bias Month here on Cucicucicoo! This month I’m writing a bunch of lessons and tutorials on how to use bias for better sewing. Besides this lesson, be sure to also check out these other posts: What is bias? How to make bias tape with a bias tape maker How to sew a […]

How to make bias tape with a bias tape maker

Welcome back to Bias Month here on Cucicucicoo! This month I’m writing a bunch of lessons and tutorials on how to use bias for better sewing. Besides this lesson, be sure to also check out these other posts: What is bias? How to sew bias tape to an edge (coming soon) How to sew a […]

What is bias? Fabric bias vs. grain

Welcome to February 2017, which I am unofficially dubbing “Bias Month”! I was inspired to create a whole series of lessons and tutorials all about bias for my Learn to Machine Sew course by my newest sewing pattern in the works, which uses bias strips in two different ways. Besides this lesson on fabric bias […]

Free Pattern! Valentine’s Day bag tutorial

The day that some people absolutely love and others absolutely despise is coming up. Yep. I’m talking about Valentine’s Day! I’ve always fallen into the second category because I am ideologically against the consumerism of this day and I don’t like the idea of being told when I need to celebrate my love for the […]

Rotten Banana: a fun early reading game

My little boy just turned six and is in first grade this year, which means that he’s learning to read and write. While my daughter had no problems learning written Italian in school and didn’t really need any outside help to pick up written English on her own, it hasn’t been quite as easy for […]

Last minute gift: pancake mix in a jar (with label!)

I was born and raised in the United States, but have been living in Italy for the past 15 years, where I started my own family. Having a bi-cultural family is really enriching because you get twice as many traditions for holidays, traditions, languages and… food! While my American friends and family always say how […]

The best sewing tools for happy sewing (part 2)

This is part two of the Best Sewing Tools post in the Cucicucicoo Recommends series. To read why I created this series and all about measuring, marking, cutting and pinning tools, please read the first part here. Please note that many of the items are affiliate links, meaning that I earn a small commission on […]

The best sewing tools for happy sewing (part 1)

My readers frequently ask me for recommendations about sewing machines, fabric and sewing tools. I could talk on and on, day after day, about my favorite products, but alas, that’s not very practical. So instead I’ve decided to create a series of posts called Cucicucicoo Recommends to answer these questions. Be sure to check out […]

Refashion Tutorial: Make a T-shirt Infinity Scarf

Some people are obsessed with clothes and have overflowing closets. Other people obsessively buy shoes and have dozens and dozens of them. I, myself, have a thing for neckwear. Except for the hottest, most humid summer months, when I can’t bear to have anything on my skin, I love the feeling of having something around […]

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