31 of Our Favorite Sewing Projects
After sewing by hand, you'll be in awe of the sewing machine. It makes quick and effortless work of your projects, and can even expand your capabilities. The details may vary a little depending on the make and model of your machine—so we suggest that you get familiar with the mechanics of your machine—but the fundamentals are the same.
How to Sew a Button
You will use this skill time and time again. Use an all-purpose, cotton-wrapped polyester thread to attach a button; it's durable enough for most fabrics.
Stuffed Paper Hearts
Sewing isn't exclusive to fabrics. Try paper! These pretty-in-pink heart pouches are stuffed with tokens of love, then quickly stitched along the edge on a machine. Make a batch of them for holidays, birthday parties, baby showers, or any occasion worthy of heartfelt sentiment.
How to Sew a Pillowcase
You can add a personal touch to your pillowcase by sewing your own. Use any textile you like in any print.
Now here's a treat for tired eyes: Use our template to cut out each of the three layers that make up the mask, then pick soft fabrics in patterns that will suit the recipients' tastes, put them together, and sew it all up. And because the bias tape serves as the trim, sewing is straightforward and foolproof.
Good duvets are expensive and, therefore, need to be protected. If you have two sheets (old or new), it's simple to make your own duvet cover. Simply pair them up, and straight-line sew the tops and sides together. For extra ease, forgo the usual button closures at the bottom and add ribbon ties. Less laundry, and an easier time to make the bed? That's a Good Thing, indeed.
Rolled Hem Napkins
Elegant cloth napkins aren't just for special occasions. Your family deserves them too, and you can whip up a table's worth with a yard of any fabric and a sewing machine, no serger required. The quick and easy alternative? The zigzag stitch, a back-and-forth stitch typically used in fabrics to join two pieces edge-to-edge.
Quilted Jewelry Roll
This luxurious travel case keeps all your bits and baubles organized and tangle-free—and at just 20 by 10 inches, it's an unintimidating project for those with entry-level sewing skills.
Drawstring Jewelry Pouch
To match your quilted jewelry roll: use contrasting fabrics to fashion a miniature pouch—perfect for stashing rings, hair pins, and smaller accessories.
Dress & Blouse
Which style will you wear? This versatile sewing pattern allows you to choose from four different lengths of a blouse or dress. Use a lightweight cotton or linen that drapes well, and stitch up your own wardrobe.
Striped-Trim Applique Pants
Leftovers are the bane of a sewing room, but a little creativity can save odd lengths of fabric from ragbag ignominy. One idea: Give your comfiest chinos a speedy refresh by applying contrasting trim à la track and tuxedo pants.
Zippered Fabric Pouches
After buttons and basic knots, learn how to sew a zipper. In this beginner project, stitch a simple cotton-lined accessory. Just remember: The zipper you use will determine the width of your completed pouch.
Reversible Linen Curtain
Looking to create a new living space? Instantly refresh your window with this dual-colored linen curtain, thanks to the small loops tacked onto its lower corners.
Drawstring Flower Bag
Free up your hands and protect your blooms while you shop the farmers' market by turning a basic drawstring bag (like the one that came with your last pair of dress shoes) into a bouquet carrier.
Transform small and inexpensive area rugs (these are only $4) into a full-length runner. All you need is a needle and thread. Using a whipstitch, hand-sew four 22-by-33-inch carpets together along their horizontal sides, then knot the thread securely at the end of each seam.
Baby Quilt with Knots
For a beautiful keepsake that helps to keep baby warm: stitch up a quilted blanket. In addition to being very sweet, the tassel-like ties hold the quilt together in lieu of stitches—in fact, they're called "quilt knots."
Felted Stuffed Animals
These petite stuffed animals—a Fair Isle lamb, a cable-knit chicken, and an argyle pig—are so cuddly and simple to make, you'll want a whole menagerie of them.
Beach Cover-Ups (for Almost Anything)
Stitch pouches in just the sizes you need to protect beach reads, your phone, and other gear from splashes and sunblock splatters.
Sashiko, which originated as a technique in Japan, was said to easily mend clothes, kitchen towels, and bedding. And it happens to result in the most charming geometric patterns. If you want to try your hand at this technique (and happen to be an avid reader) craft a keepsake that'll easily keep your place in a book.
Knotted Seat Cushions
Give basic tufted cushions a pop of color and touch of bohemian texture with fluffy accents. Our trick? Merino needlepoint yarn is wound around the handle of a wooden spoon, tied off in the center, fluffed on the ends, then sewn onto the cushion's buttons.
Travel Cushion for Pets
Any pet will love the comfort of this soft bed made from towels; you'll love the convenience. It's lightweight, easy to roll up and pack, and even machine-washable.
Water-Resistant Dog Coat
Your canine companion deserves to be well dressed, especially on outdoor (read: messy) adventures. Use our templates to layer laminated linen and fleece into a charming dog coat. (Your furry friend will enjoy the extra warmth.)
Smocked Gingham Curtains
Put a twist on the classic cafe curtain by smocking the upper edge. Use the gingham's pattern as your grid.