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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

10 tips for sewing knits perfectly

When a person learns to sew, the first projects are always with woven fabric. When you go to a fabric shop, you’ll notice that most fabrics are woven. And when you browse sewing projects on Pinterest, nearly all of them use woven fabric. But take a look at your own wardrobe, or that of your […]

Refashion tutorial: make pants from sleeves

It’s fall again and I’m having the same problem I have every. Single. Year. My kids have no pants that fit them correctly. Both of my children are average height, but are very thin. This doesn’t create many problems in the summer because shorts and skirts don’t have to be long. However, when it’s time […]

Attach elastic to a waistband – no casing or twisting!

Can you imagine what it must’ve been like to wear clothes long ago, before there was any elastic? Sure, there were buttons and laces to tie up, but my favorite garment fasteners, elastic and zippers, are relatively new inventions. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it must’ve been to get children dressed… and […]

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 […]

The best sewing machine for beginners – 10 things to know

Have you decided to learn to sew? Congratulations! Sewing is an amazingly versatile art that can be used in loads of different ways! Unless you plan on exclusively sewing by hand, you will probably be asking yourself what the best sewing machine for beginners is. A lot of my readers, especially those following my Learn […]

How to sew a circle skirt – free pattern!

Welcome back to the Learn to Machine Sew series on Cucicucicoo! I promised a cool practical tutorial to go along with my last lesson on how to sew an exposed elastic waistband, and boy, is it cool! Too often people think that you need fancy patterns and techniques to sew your own beautiful clothing, but […]

Why fabric drape is so important in your sewing

One of the most visited artistic tourist attractions in Naples, my adopted city, is the Veiled Christ in the Sansevero Chapel. This statue represented a life-sized Jesus after his death, covered in a death shroud, and is celebrated for its realistic and masterful sculpting of the body as seen beneath the fabric. But this masterpiece […]

How to Sew an Exposed Elastic Waistband in 5 steps

Sure, you may know how to sew an elastic casing or how to install a zipper, but do you WANT to? Sometimes you just want to do things the fastest and easiest way. And sometimes you just don’t have enough fabric to do so. This is when you can resort to the easiest waistband method […]

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 […]

How to ladder stitch (invisible stitch)

Today’s sewing lesson for the Cucicucicoo Learn to Machine Sew series a little exception because it’s actually hand sewing, not machine sewing. I wasn’t sure whether or not to include it in the course, but in the end decided to because it’s one of those skills that you really do need to know because it’s […]

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 […]

How to cut mirrored pattern pieces

When cutting pattern pieces out, it’s very important to read the instructions to find out how many of each to cut out of what fabric and in what way. And in some cases pattern instructions tell you to cut out mirrored pieces. As the name suggests, mirrored pieces are pieces of the same exact shape, […]

How to reuse existing hems with a pattern

Everyone knows that I’m an eco-friendly geek and that I love taking previously used items and giving them a new lease on life. And being a sewing geek as well means that I refashion and in general repurpose sewn items as much as I can. This is great because by doing this I save money […]

Sewing lesson: How to sew a buttonhole

A few months ago I published a sewing lesson for the Learn to Machine Sew series on one of the techniques that scares a lot of beginner sewers: sewing zippers. I got a lot of comments at the time along the lines of “I’d much rather sew a zipper than sew buttonholes!” It’s true– buttonholes […]

How to lengthen or shorten a sewing pattern

Guess what, folks? My online pattern shop is open! It is not all perfect-looking quite yet, however it is perfectly functional! Right now there are four patterns available, and my first multi-sized clothing pattern is also all ready, however I will add it next week because there are still a couple of tutorials on techniques […]

Refashion tutorial: Turn a dress into a skirt

Earlier this week, as part of the Learn to Machine Sew series, I taught how to sew a casing for an elastic waistband, and also how to calculate the seam allowance for the casing and the elastic length. So for today’s practice tutorial, I’m going to show you one of the most common refashioning techniques: […]

How to sew an elastic waistband casing

It’s been a long eventful and vacation-ful summer for me, so I didn’t post as frequently as usual and also didn’t publish much in the way of sewing tutorials. But I’m really excited because I have a whole bunch of new sewing lessons and tutorials for the Learn to Machine Sew series! And we’re going […]

How to Hide Sizes in PDF Patterns

About six months ago I posted a tutorial on how to print and assemble PDF patterns as extra material for the Learn to Machine Sew course. Today I want to show you an easy little trick that is one of the things that I just love about PDF patterns: how to hide sizes that you […]

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