Category Archives: Tutorial

DIY Survivor Buff

I’m popping in today with a quick tutorial for my favorite summer or just really-need-a-shower hair accessory and the fastest sewing project you will ever undertake.  Introducing, the DIY Survivor Buff:

Creative Counselor: DIY Survivor Buff

Yeah, I didn’t know they were called Survivor Buffs either until someone mentioned it on Facebook one time.  I just knew that my friend had this awesome lightweight jersey headpiece that REI was selling for about $20.  I looked at it, realized it was just an unhemmed tube of cotton jersey fabric, and said, “Dude, I can totally make that.”

Now usually when I say that, it’s much easier said than done and sometimes it happens, and sometimes it doesn’t.  But this project really was that easy!  One square of fabric, a single seam, and BOOM, your very own DIY survivor buff.  Make one in about 5 minutes.  In an hour, you get a dozen!

Creative Counselor: DIY Survivor Buff

So if you want to make 1 or 1 for every day of the summer, I’m going to tell you how!

How to Make a DIY Buff:

  1.  Choose your fabric.  For this, I like a lightweight jersey with NO spandex in it.  That’s right, I said NO spandex.  So if you have a 100% cotton or rayon jersey sitting around that, this is the perfect project to break it out.  I say no spandex because the circumference of the buff should be a little smaller than your head so that it won’t fall off.  If the fabric has spandex, it will constantly want to recover and pull back to its original shape, which gets tight and uncomfortable after a while.  A jersey without spandex should stretch out nicely to fit your head comfortably.
  2. Cut your fabric.  For this project, you will need a single square of fabric that is 21″ wide and 18″ tall.  The stretch goes width-wise.  So your fabric square looks like this:
  3. Creative Counselor: DIY Survivor BuffFold the short ends of your fabric, right sides together:Creative Counselor: DIY Survivor Buff
  4. Sew along the short (18″) side of your fabric.  There’s no need to serge this seam, but I do think it’s faster.  Secure the ends:
  5. Creative Counselor: DIY Survivor BuffTurn it right side out and put it on!  See, I told you it was the fastest sewing project ever!

Creative Counselor: DIY Survivor Buff

Creative Counselor: DIY Survivor Buff


Tutorial: How to remove a back pleat and do a swayback adjustment

Welcome to Part 3 of my Archer adjustments.  This post is “coming home” from the Sew the Show blog.


Creative Counselor: How to remove a back pleat and do a swayback adjustment

Thanks for joining me for part 3 of my Archer adjustments!  You can find Part 1 (the FBA on a dartless pattern) here, and Part 2 (the sloping shoulder adjustment) here.

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Tutorial: How to do forward sloping shoulder adjustment

Part 2 of my Archer fitting series focused on the sloping shoulder adjustment — very common one!


Creative Counselor: Sloping Shoulder Adjustment

Let’s review where we are, shall we? I cut and muslined the size 4, which confirmed my suspicion that I needed an FBA.  I successfully did an FBA, which added 1″ of width to the bust of my size 4 Archer while leaving the waist and hip unchanged.  Muslin #2 looked like this:

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Tutorial: How to do a full bust adjustment (FBA) on a dartless pattern

I’m going to be “bringing home” a few of the tutorials that I did over on the Sew the Show blog.  Becca and I have discussed a lot and decided to shut down the STS blog in the near future.  Don’t worry, Sew the Show will still be around, just in the Facebook group, and housed on our individual blogs.  The pressure of trying to maintain yet another blog was getting to be too much for both of us, and it just seemed superfluous.  But these tutorials took me a long time, so I wasn’t about to just let them disappear into cyberspace!


Creative Counselor: How to do an FBA on a dartless pattern

Well, I gave it a good college try, but I just couldn’t get in to The Walking Dead.  But even though not every theme show is fitted to everyone (me included), I still knew there were elements of TWD fashion that I could easily incorporate into my own closet. 

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How to know if you need an FBA

Creative Counselor: How to know if you need an FBA from pattern measurements

Happy Monday peeps!  I have been buried neck-deep in Archer sewing these last couple of weeks because I decided to finally make sure that I properly fitted the pattern.  And let me tell you, that can take a while!

I am blessed with a body that is pretty “standard.”  It’s not particularly tall or particularly thin, but my proportions are such that I’m pretty close to the standard pattern block and most patterns fit me fairly well straight out of the envelope.  I’m not saying that to make anyone feel jealous, but simply to illustrate that even a mostly-standard body still needs pattern adjustments to get a perfectly fitting garment!

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KCWC Day 3-4 — How to line a pair of kids’ pants (and GREEN pants!)

I finished J’s second pair of pants on Tuesday night and stayed up so late to finish them that I was zonked and went to bed early last night. So pair #3 is sitting in my sewing room almost half done. Oh well, I’ll finish them tonight!

I took Albert’s suggestion and added some more “boy” details to this pair even though that meant they took longer than the purple pair. And they did turn out really cute:


Preemptively patching the knees was probably a good idea. I don’t think J owns a single pair of pants that hasn’t ended up with knee patches. It’s WAY easier to do that on the front end!

I mentioned before that all of the pants I’m making for J this week are lined. The weather is getting chilly here and while we in Kansas rarely get the arctic-like winter that I grew up with in Iowa, it is proving to be unseasonably cold this fall. I guess this will be a year of extremes! I figured that lining these pants couldn’t hurt.

It is so easy to line a basic pair of kids’ pants (since there usually aren’t zip flies etc to worry about). I love the lined look because in addition to warmth, it hides all of the interior seam allowances!

I lined these green twill pants with a gray flannel that was sitting around in my stash. I picked it up in the remnants bin at Joann’s ages ago and it was just the right amount of fabric for a lining! Since the purple pants were corduroy, which is already a slightly heavier fabric, I used jersey to line those. Even quilting cotton would work if you wanted a pop of pattern inside the pants, but I like the softness of knits or flannel.

So here is a mini-tutorial on how I lined these pants for J. I’m sure there are several ways to line a pair of pants, and I don’t claim that mine is the only, or even the best, way. It’s just the way that made sense to me when I sat down to puzzle this out. Also, this is the first time I’ve ever put together a tutorial of any kind, so I’m very open to any constructive criticism you may have! (Please keep it constructive though, this is my happy place).

How to line a basic pair of kids pants:

Step 1: Sew the crotch seams, side seams and inseams on the pants in both your outer fabric and lining fabric. I won’t go through the steps on how to do this. I used the MADE basic kids pants pattern for J’s pants, and Dana has detailed instructions on how to assemble the pants here. (Dana also did a tutorial on lining pants. I didn’t use that tutorial, so I’m doing my own, but hers can be found here).

Creative Counselor: How to line kids pants

Step 1: Construct your pants. I did the patches and pocket on my outer pants at this stage so all the interior stitching would be hidden.

The basic kids pants pattern doesn’t have any pockets or a separate waistband piece. You could easily line pants that have pockets, though, and all of the interior pocket pieces would be sandwiched between the outer fabric and the lining, maintaining that nice, smooth, soft interior! To do that, you would assemble the outside pieces, including the pockets, to the point where you were going to add waistband and hems. Assemble the inside pieces without any pockets, and continue from there.

Step 2: Turn the outer pants piece inside out and iron under your hems and waistband on the outer piece only. For my waistbands, I ironed them under 1/2 inch, and then again about 1 1/4 inches all around. I wanted to maintain length in the legs, so I ironed under 1/2 inch then another 1/2 inch.

Creative Counselor: How to line kids pants

Step 2: Iron the waistband and hems on the outer piece

Step 3: Stuff the outer pants piece inside the lining piece, wrong sides together. Keep the waistband and hems folded under when you stuff the outer piece into the lining piece.

Creative Counselor: How to line kids pants

Step 3: Stuff the outer pants inside the lining piece.

Step 4: Trim the lining pieces at the waistband and legs so that they are about 1/4 inch shorter than the outer piece with the waistband and hems folded.

Creative Counselor: How to line kids pants

Step 4: Trim the lining.

Creative Counselor: How to line kids pants

Step 4: Trimming the lining — see how the lining is just a tad shorter than the folded waistband?

Step 5: Tuck the top and bottom of the lining piece underneath the folded waistband and hems and pin in place. Be sure to smooth everything out and line up your seams here. This is the time to insert a back tag, if you have one, or a piece of ribbon or twill tape. I used a scrap of twill tape so we’d know which side is the back.

Creative Counselor: How to line kids pants

Step 5: Tuck the lining inside the waistband and hems.

Step 6: Sew the waistband casing and hems, leaving a 2-inch gap on one side of the waistband casing.

Creative Counselor: How to line kids pants

Step 6: Sew the waistband casing and hems.

Step 7: Insert your elasic at the gap you left and pull it through the casing. Attach the ends. For J’s pants, I cut a 20″ piece of elastic and counted on a 1/2-inch of overlap when I sewed it together for a final waist circumference of 19″.

Creative Counselor: How to line kids pants

Step 7: Insert elastic into the waistband.

Step 8: Sew the waistband casing shut.

And you’re done! Comfy, cozy lined pants with no exposed interior seam allowances! Now go try them on your little guy or gal (or leave them on the sofa until morning because it’s 11:30 pm and the little guy or gal has been in bed for 4 hours and you should be sleeping too. I’ve never done that, though. Ahem. Really.).

Here’s my finished interior:

Creative Counselor: Lined green pants

And my patches and pockets:

Creative Counselor: Green pants patches

J was a fan! He loved the cars all over his pants, and informed me that they were nice and soft!