Sewing, Refashioning, Repurposing & Thrifting Through Life

Clothespin Apron Tutorial

I absolutely love hanging laundry out to dry. Ever since I was a little kid I have loved doing this. Long before it was considered green and the right thing to do. Unfortunately, living in a cold climate, I’m forced to use the dryer for most of the year but when warm weather comes I am out there hanging wash.

This post is a tutorial for making a clothespin apron. Before I came up with this rather BRILLIANT idea I had a simple method for storing clothespins.


Yes, it looks like a regular old plastic container to some. To me it was an upcycled clothespins store-all that kept the pins dry on rainy days. Problem was that I was constantly bending up and down to grab clothespins.

Step by step here’s what I devised to make this apron.


  1. Measure from hip to hip so that the apron will fit nicely. That turned out to be 18″ and I figured about 12″ should do it for the apron height. I used some fabric I had leftover from my ironing board cover project and cut 2 pieces about 20″x14.” These 2 pieces will be sewn together right sides together and then turned right side out so that the inside and the outside of the apron are the same. To me this is easier than just using one piece and folding, pinning and sewing the edges. For the second piece (the part with the pockets) I cut that 20″x7.”

Cut 2 pieces, one 20″x14″, the other 20″x7″

2. Taking the smaller piece (the 20×7), fold over the raw edge along one of the longer sides and press and pin. This part is a little difficult to see as the ironing board cover is the same fabric as my project.


Fold over one of the longer edges, press and pin


Sew the raw edge you just folded over. This will be the top of the apron pockets.

3. Using chalk or fabric marker, draw a line along the centre of the small piece. I did this because I wanted my apron to have 2 pockets but it’s not necessary. You can still see the chalk line on mine but it’s not a garment so it doesn’t bother me that it’s still visible.


Draw a line along the centre of the small piece.

4. Pin the pocket piece to one of the larger pieces lining up the bottom and side edges and stitch along the marked line to form the pockets.


Sew along line to form pockets.

5. Next, pin the remaining larger piece to the piece you just made pockets on right sides together and sew all around leaving a gap in stitching at the top so you can turn it right side out. I do clip my corners a bit before turning right side out so I get a crisper corner. Don’t worry about the gap in stitching. It will be covered up later when you attach the ties to the apron.


Pin and stitch the pieces together.

6. Turn right side out and it should look like this.


Next, you’ll want to make ties. For this part, depending on how much fabric you have, you may need to cut and attach strips. You’ll want to measure how long your ties should be to comfortably go around the top of the apron and give you the ability to make ties at the back. I didn’t have a ton of fabric left over so I did end up connecting 2 strips. I didn’t bother cutting on the bias but you can do it that way if you want to. There are great tutorials on the internet on how to do them. This is just an apron so I wasn’t too worried about doing it the proper way.

7. To make the ties, I measure around 4″ or so. This project is a lot of eyeballing on the fly. Just make them the size you like, remembering that the ties will end up being half the width you cut once everything is stitched together. Place one strip vertically over the other (horizontal), right sides facing. Make sure the vertical strip is a little higher than the horizontal piece otherwise once it’s stitched together it won’t line up properly. Using a ruler, draw a diagonal line from the top of the horizontal strip to the corner of the vertical strip and pin in place. 20170514_172516

8. You’ll stitch along this line. Just like this:20170514_172603

See what I mean? When you turn it right side out, it does line up when you leave room at the top like I did in step 7.20170514_172628

9. Trim off the excess fabric along the triangle.


10. Line up the top edge of the apron with the edge of apron ties making sure to centre so that your ties are even lengths on both sides of the apron. Pin in place.20170514_173035

11. Sew along top edge.20170514_173150

12. Now that you have the top edges sewn together, you’ll fold the tie over to cover the raw edge and stitches you just made.

raw edge

13. As you fold the tie over the stitches you just made, also fold the raw edge under and pin in place.


Fold over stitching and fold raw edge.

14. Stitch in place.


15. You’ll keep folding the edges in and stitching. I just eyeballed it at this point, trying to keep an even width but you could press the edges in as you fold and pin.


16. When you get to the end of the tie, you can cut them on an angle, fold, pin and stitch. Do this for both tie ends.


17. Try your apron on and go hang laundry. Yay!20170514_175849

Now my clothespins are within arm’s reach. No more bending!


When I’m finished, I put everything back in my handy bucket so that it’s ready to go next time and so that it all stays dry.


This project isn’t limited to clothespin aprons. You can use this method for regular aprons, aprons to hold tools, art and gardening supplies, you name it. This is a great way to use up old sheets or smaller pieces of fabric that you have lying around.

Let me know if hanging clothes outside is hip where you are or whether it’s considered old fashioned or even if it’s legal! I know some places have bylaws forbidding clotheslines. I can’t imagine…

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How to Embellish Plain Sheets

Hello everyone! It has been quite some time. Let me tell you what’s been going on. I’ve been dealing with some health issues the past few months and recently discovered through biopsy that I have Celiac Disease. 😦 I needed to hit pause and really focus on dealing with this change in lifestyle, my symptoms and just adjusting overall to the change in my diet and what it all means. Not to go into too much detail but for the last several months I’ve been dealing with nausea and vomiting in the mornings and major migraine headaches. I thought these were all symptoms of getting older and so was completely shocked when I received the diagnosis of celiac AND gastritis. Oh joy! Anyway, I’m dealing with it and it’s all good. On the upside, I’ve lost 10 pounds and I’m eating so much healthier now. Yay!

There have been a few projects completed around here so I’ll post those to catch up. We are just starting our master bedroom reno and one thing I wanted to do was fancy up some plain old white sheets. I LOVE vintage sheet sets with lace or any type of embroidery so here’s what I did.

Simply purchased some trim and sewed it onto the top sheet and pillowcases. Really makes a huge difference!


Super quick and easy!


Here’s a close up.


I’ve also taken up a new hobby-crochet! I’m loving it. Years ago I took a stab at knitting and just couldn’t get it right. I find this a relaxing way to spend a couple of hours in the evenings. I’ve also purchased some embroidery floss and plan to embellish more bedding with embroidery. I used to do needlepoint and cross stitch a long time ago so we’ll see how that goes.

There are other projects we’ve wrapped up recently and so much more to come so check back as I’m feeling better and ready to go!

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Pinterest-Inspired DIY Cat Bed From an Old Sweater

Happy New Year! Wishing you all a year full of happiness, good health and plenty of restyling!

I am one of those people who loves Pinterest for all of the wonderful ideas and creativity. I think it’s one of the best inventions out there for inspiration and learning. Although there are plenty of Pinterest “fails,” there are an overwhelming number of things that turn out just right.

This is one of them. My daughter recently adopted a kitten and brought it home over the holidays. I thought it’d be cute to make a little cat bed for her and I found this amazingly easy tutorial from You can find the original inspiration post here.

Start with a small, old sweater. I had this Polo Ralph Lauren that was a little small for me and simply followed the directions for sewing across the top close to the collar to make a casing for the stuffing, inserting the batting and pillow and sewing the sleeves together.



The result? A cute little DIY cat bed. Lana seems to like it. Now if only we could get our dog and her cat to get along life would be so wonderful!





How to Make an Ironing Board Cover

Picked up a second hand ironing board for Miss Restyle but the cover was dirty and the corresponding padding was just too flimsy. Rather than go out and buy a brand new pad and cover (which never quite fit properly), I decided it would be fun to make my own. I found a great tutorial from a blogger named Crazy Mom Quilts. You can find it here. I basically followed her directions with a few variations.

I found some cute, inexpensive sunflower patterned fabric to use for the cover and luckily, had an old wool blanket that we weren’t using. I thought the blanket would be good for the padding. You could also use cotton batting for the pad.

I wanted the padding to be fairly thick so I double layered it and lay the ironing board on top.


With some tailor’s chalk, I drew the outline and pinned the 2 layers together as I cut.


I ended up with this.


Next, I stitched the 2 layers together so that they wouldn’t shift around. Just quickly stitched this using my machine.

For the cover, I decided to outline the board the same way i did with the padding material. Next, I measured 2 1/2″ all the way around the outline. If I had to do this again (and I probably will as I have enough fabric to make a new cover for my own board) I think I will add 2 3/4″ instead of 2 1/2.” It was a bit of a guessing game the first time around because I was worried I’d have too much bulk at the end. You can see that I have the portion of the board that the iron sits on and there’s a small gap in which to insert the fabric. I didn’t want it bunching up in this spot.


Next, I cut a few long strips 2 1/2″ wide that I would use as a binding on the edge. The binding would also act as a casing for the elastic. I just joined them together the same way you would make bias binding. There are lots of tutorials on the internet on how to make bias binding. It comes in so handy and it’s so easy to make!


After the strips were joined together, I folded them in half wrong sides together and pressed them down. Next, with the binding still folded together, I stitched the raw wedge to the edge of the cover piece all the way around in the same manner as the other blogger and followed her instructions to make the casing. The only thing I did differently is omit the topstitching step. I needed to get this done. My daughter is away at school and I haven’t seen her in a couple of months. We are visiting this weekend and I want to bring this new board and cover over to her!

The last step is to insert the elastic into the casing, lay the cover on your board and adjust it to make sure it’s as nice and snug as you like it. I like mine to be pretty snug. Here is the end result.



This was super simple to do and much more tailored than buying new. You control the exact size and snugness. Don’t settle for board covers that don’t fit right or covers that have seen better days. Toss that dirty cover away and make a new one!



How I Rescued a Pair of Steve Maddens

When I spotted these Steve Madden wedges at the thrift store recently I tried them on. They fit. I paid. I went home. Then I noticed that the elastic on both sandals was disintegrating and could come apart any time.
















There were only 2 options: 1. Forget about them and toss ’em. 2. Take them to the shoe repair shop. Well, I couldn’t toss them. They were in really good shape and wedges are perfect for summer. I love them for work as they’re so comfy and they look great. The shoe repair guy? Meh, how hard could it be to fix this?

















I’m going to play cobbler for a day. How could I NOT see this problem when I tried them on? I need to start carrying my reading glasses around EVERYWHERE!

Step One: Cut that offender out!

You're going down!

You’re going down!



















Not bad Ms. Cobbler. Not bad.

Step Two: Cut a new piece of elastic for each shoe. I didn’t even measure anything. Just eyeballed it and started hand sewing the new elastic in place making sure to poke the little spike through the elastic in the middle (OK, I actually had to google the word for that part, the spike. I was going to say that sticking up thing that goes in the hole). However did we survive without google?


Light Bulb Moment: Now that I think of it, I’ve got a pair of gorgeous red heels where one of the slingbacks is too loose. I don’t know if one foot is bigger than the other or what but I’ve had the shoes for years and don’t wear them because one keeps sliding off. I could do the same thing for those.

Lesson learned: dont’ toss! You can figure it out!


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