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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Make homemade pick up sticks (with carry bag)

Toys are too complicated these days. I sometimes hear parents saying that their kids get bored if their toys don’t make sounds or light up, or aren’t animated or interactive games. And of course all these electronic toys and games cost more and break really easily. I sometimes feel like an old fogey, but seriously, […]

Free Pattern! Pencil-shaped pencil case tutorial

Well, it’s fall again. Back to school. Back to work. Back to the gazillion activities each family member has. To celebrate this exciting time of year of beginnings, I’ve decided to offer my readers another FREE sewing pattern! Hooray! And even better, it’s part of my Learn to Machine Sew series, as the practice tutorial […]

Sewing concave and convex curves together

Summer’s over and it’s back to school time, which means it’s also back to sewing school time! (Did you know that I have a FREE beginner’s sewing course?) Last week I mentioned that I have a new free pattern for a pencil-shaped pencil case to share with you (update: here’s the info on the pencil […]

DIY wine bottle vases with colored twine

I love having a drop or two of wine, a beer or perhaps a nice cocktail while preparing dinner. Heck, who doesn’t? Sometimes the bottles have such a nice shape that it seems such a shame to just throw them out in the recycling. Or perhaps you drank a bottle of champagne to celebrate a […]

Easy no-sew T-shirt bracelets tutorial

In the years that I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve collaborated with lots of other blogs and websites. And today I’m so pleased to announce that I’m starting a new collaboration with the Italian handmade learning website Make It Land! I will contribute an eco-friendly refashioning tutorial every month for my special column of sorts […]

Wine bottle crafts: 2 upcycled vases with materials you already have

Mother’s Day is creeping up and will be here before you know it. Have you started preparing gifts for the most important women in your life? Most mothers (at least the ones I know) are happiest to receive something small, but from the heart, and what could be more from the heart than personalized homemade […]

How to Sew an Infinity Scarf in one or two fabrics

I get sort of obsessive every so often with certain projects of mine, and just can’t stop making them. And this is definitely one of those situations, because ever since May 30, 2015, when I made three springtime infinity scarves from refashioned clothes as part of my Me-Made-May challenge, I haven’t been able to stop […]

DIY Paper Poinsettias from Upcycled Egg Cartons

When my daughter’s teacher invited me to come into the class to make crafts with the kids that could be sold at the school’s charity Christmas market (a couple of years ago I did the same thing with these yarn Hopi Eye ornaments), I was thrilled to find out that this year’s theme was “recycling”—my […]

Tutorial: Crochet Carry Bags from Fruit Nets

It all started with this. My son found some fruit nets in my collection of recycling-for-crafting and decided to use one to hang up his toys. Total genius right? And so, I came up with these: Oh yes! I took those fruit and onion nets and crocheted around their edges, creating a comfy shoulder strap […]

How to sew reusable produce bags

I hate plastic bags. I really do. I hate the smell of them, how hard they are to open up the first time you use them, how easily they rip. I hate knowing what they’re made of and how long it takes for them to decompose. I hate how quickly they accumulate and I hate […]

Glove animal tutorial: Upcycled Glovosaurs

Today I’m so happy to back with my Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewing series with the one and only Allison from Sweater Doll! Allison is a US expat, like me, living in Australia and creates the best fabric dolls and softies ever. Seriously, next time you’re considering buying a Barbie or other doll, check out […]

Evening Primrose Pajama Pants Pattern (for women)

I am thrilled to present to you my very first multi-size clothing sewing pattern: the Evening Primrose Pajama Pants for women! Yah! I’m so thrilled, that I’m offering a discount on all of my patterns! (But more about that in a moment…!) (update 05/02/16: this pattern was originally called “Oenothera Biennis Pajama Pants,” which is […]

How to sew a Felted Wool Pillow with leaf appliqué

Today I finally have the new Learn to Machine Sew tutorial to go along with the lesson on felting wool sweaters! We’ll be making a variation on one of my favorite things to make: pillow covers! But this tutorial is very special because it puts together the skills learned in several of my sewing lessons […]

How to sew a clutch bag from repurposed jeans

Today’s guest for the Cucicucicoo’s Eco Crafters and Sewers series is the lovely Laura from Le Pecionate! I love the tireless spirit and sense of humor with with she approaches her projects, which, as the name in Roman dialect (from pecione, meaning “bungler”) says, don’t always come out perfectly. But in this age of Pinterest […]

Practice tutorial: How to sew a zippered pouch

A few days ago I published the latest lesson for the Learn to Machine Sew series on how to sew a simple exposed zipper. A lot of people are afraid of sewing zippers, but they’re actually really easy to insert once you know how to do it properly! Nobody likes to waste a zipper, so […]

Ball & Chain: a free crochet necklace pattern

Last fall I posted this picture on Instagram. What was it? My very first crochet pattern, which I’m now ready to share with you! Here it is: the Ball & Chain crochet necklace pattern! (Suggested musical accompaniment: They Might Be Giants’ song “Lucky Ball and Chain”) I’m a beginner crocheter and knitter, so it’s a […]

DIY felt bowtie pasta tutorial…WITH BOX!

A couple of months ago, I wrote on my Facebook page that I was working on a project that just made me laugh… over and over again, the whole time I was making it. I’m certainly not the first person to make felt bowtie pasta (farfalle, in Italian), but throw in an authentic-looking pasta box, […]

Baby Changing Mat Tutorial (PUL or Oilcloth)

Earlier this week I published a nice, long post for my Learn to Machine Sew series all about PUL fabric: how to prepare it and tips for sewing it without going totally bonkers! So now that you know everything there is to know about PUL (well, more or less….), let’s sew something useful with it: […]

Sew a bathroom rug… from towels and sheets!

I just love making my own bathroom rugs! They’re small so they’re generally fast to make and I just love the feeling of a squishy bathmat under my feet when I get out of the shower! So we have quite the collection of bathroom mats that I’ve made over the years. Ages ago I showed […]

Easy DIY Gift Bags with boxed corners

Remember when I said that we would use our practice pieces from the boxed corners lesson earlier this week for something useful for Christmas? I guess it wasn’t particularly difficult to figure out what I was getting at: DIY gift bags! I have come to really hate disposable gift wrapping, so I am trying to […]

How to sew an envelope pillow cover (tutorial)

G’day, folks! In my Learn to Machine Sew series for beginners, I pair up a practical tutorial with every techinical lesson. Earlier this week we covered hemming, so today I’ll show you how to sew an envelope pillow cover! These covers (or shams) are wonderfully versatile and don’t require a zipper closure, so they’re super […]

Easy Pot Holder Pattern (Turn and Topstitch)

Welcome back to the Learn to Machine Sew series here on Cucicucicoo! As promised, today we have the practice tutorial for last week’s lesson on how to turn and topstitch. If you need to brush up on that technique or if you want to learn some little tricks to topstitching with small seam allowances, read […]

Tutorial: How to make easy letter magnets with kids

My kids, like pretty much every other kid I know, just love drawing and coloring. We just got back the other day from a fantastic visit with family and friends in the United States. Before we left, a friend of mine requested some of my children’s artwork to hang on her refrigerator as a gift. […]

Seam Allowance Practice Tutorial: Simple Felt Coasters DIY

A few days ago I showed you how to sew while considering seam allowances. I’d say that most things are actually sewn inside out and then turned right side out in different ways. We still haven’t gotten to those techniques, though, and I want to make sure that the practice tutorials for the Learn to […]

How to make Lemon Rosemary flavored salt: an easy recipe

I know we here in the northern hemisphere are thrilled that winter is on its way out, but before it’s completely gone, let’s use the last of this season’s lemons. Last month I wrote about how to make salt-preserved lemons, which is a great way to be able to get that fantastic citrus taste after […]

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