Tie Dye Tips: Summer Camp Series with SWB

It’s summer time! And you know what that means…

Long, lazy days where the kids spend all their time in the sun, the pool, the yard…and then you hear it. The song of summer: “Moooooom! I’m booooored!”

Never fear! Sewing With Boys is kicking off our Summer Camp Series, and will be featuring fun tips and tutorials from some of your favorite bloggers to help you spark creativity all summer long!

It seems like one of the most popular projects for the summer is tie dying! Since my two and I recently tie dyed our own shirts to prepare for the 4th of July, I thought I’d share a brief run-down of our process…and our results! 

To start with, with a 7 year old and a 4 year old, I chose the easiest tie dye kit I could find: pre-made, pre-bottled. The kit came with rubber bands, but I recommend splurging for an extra bag at the dollar store. 

We followed the packaged instructions, and left our shirts to set for about 10 hours. 

When rinsing the shirts, I used cold water on one, and hot water on the other. With the cold water rinse, the whites stayed truer. However, I released more of the extra dye off the tee with the hot water rinse. 

I put each shirt onto a cookie pan after I rinsed it, to keep any stray dye contained. It also made it very easy to carry the shirts to the washer, without worrying about excess dripping. 

My biggest hassle with this project was not, surprisingly, keeping the kids dye-free. It was keeping myself dye free. The gloves provided were bulky and large, and made it hard to work on the project. (You can see spots on the shirts where blue dye touched red dye. I blame the gloves.) So I did what seemed rational at the time. I took off the gloves. 

Yeah. Not my finest moment. I briefly looked like I was turning Smurf, and I tried a couple of remedies to get dye off my fingers. What worked out the best for me (besides time) was a mixture of Dawn dish soap and baking soda. 

Also, I should mention that I washed our shirts in cold water, not the hot the package recommended. I added an extra rinse, too. (Just for those who worry about staining their washer, I ran an empty rinse cycle just to be sure before washing a regular load, and have had no problems with the following loads.) 

So there you have it! Our tie-dying tips!

Stay tuned for more Summer fun with the Sewing With Boys Summer Camp Series! 

*This post was previously featured over at Bluebird & the Boy


Rebel Alliance Pouch Tutorial and Free Printable

May The 4th Be With You! It is Star Wars Day and oh boy, we have something fun for you. We showed you how to turn your boys pants into shorts for the summer and now we have a project to use up all those pants legs. Check out our Rebel Alliance Pouch tutorial and then make sure to download your very own Rebel Alliance Printable.

Upcycled Pouch Tutorial and Star Wars Printable by Sewing With Boys

Upcycled Pouch Tutorial and Star Wars Printable by Sewing With BoysI used the printable to make this really cool Rebel Alliance patch. I printed it out on transfer paper following the packages directions and ironed it onto some white muslin.


Upcycled Pouch Tutorial and Star Wars Printable by Sewing With Boys Grab one of those leftover pants legs and let’s get to work.




Upcycled Pouch Tutorial and Star Wars Printable by Sewing With BoysTurn the pant leg inside out and stitch along the open end.

Upcycled Pouch Tutorial and Star Wars Printable by Sewing With BoysFinish off the edge so it won’t unravel. I used my serger, but you could also use a zig-zag stitch.

Upcycled Pouch Tutorial and Star Wars Printable by Sewing With BoysAttach your patch if you made one, or you could make a freezer paper stencil to add the logo.

Upcycled Pouch Tutorial and Star Wars Printable by Sewing With BoysRight under the hemline stitching you will either add buttonholes or grommets (like I did) to thread your cord through.

Upcycled Pouch Tutorial and Star Wars Printable by Sewing With BoysFold the hemline to the inside and press, stitch right under your buttonholes or grommets to form your casing. Using a safety pin, thread your cord through the casing.



Upcycled Pouch Tutorial and Star Wars Printable by Sewing With Boys

Make sure to DOWNLOAD your very own Rebel Alliance Printable to make a pouch for your very own little Jedi. There are two sizes in the PDF file for your convenience.
We would love to see anything you make using the tutorial or the printables. Tag us with #sewingwithboys on social media.



Junior Tool Belt Tutorial

If there’s one thing my boy likes to do, it’s to help out! (In as many ways as possible!) Recently, we put together a new play set in our yard, and my little man was all about Daddy’s tools!

With that in mind, I’d like to share with you a tutorial for a Junior Tool Belt…perfect for the little handyboy in your house! 

I created this easy-on belt for my son, who has recently taken an interest in all things TOOL. I wanted him to have his own special place to store his gear, and I wanted him to have complete control over all of it…from loading it up, to putting it on and taking it off again. This tool belt fits the bill with an elastic waist in the back, and a removable tool pocket in the front. 

Sounds ideal, right? Not having to stop what you’re doing to fasten/unfasten little dress up parts at the whim of your preschooler (or even, if we’re being honest, your grade schooler)? Yeah it does! Let’s get started! 

We’re going to begin by gathering measurements and materials. 

What you’ll need:

1/2 yard material for belt 

(this is a generous estimate to encompass all junior sizes)

1/4 yard of 2″ elastic 

3″ of velcro

fusible interfacing (for lighter weight fabrics)

regular sewing supplies/notions

Begin by measuring your child’s waist.

*Tip: When measuring your child’s waist, remember that this belt will be worn over clothing. I recommend you measure over the waistband of his bulkiest pants. 

Now, there’s a little math involved to figure out cutting lengths, but trust me…if I can do it, you can do it! 

In my example, we will use a starting waist measurement of 24 inches, and plan for a 1/2″ seam allowance throughout. Also, I have decided I want 5 inches of elastic in the back of my belt (before seam allowances.) 

24″ (waist) – 5″ (elastic) = 19″ (belt material) 

Based on these measurements:

cut 2 pieces of main material, 19″w x 3″l

cut 2 pieces of fusible interfacing, 19″w x 3″l (if needed) 

cut 1 piece of 2″ elastic, 6″w

cut 2 pieces of main material 2″w x 5″l (for loops)

*Tip: Note that an inch has been added on to the elastic cut to accommodate the seam allowance, but not onto the main material cut. Losing an inch to seam allowance on the material will give the belt a snug fit, and keep it from slipping down. Feel free to remove another inch, if you’ve got a junior with an extra slim build.

When the belt pieces have been cut, apply the fusible interfacing as needed.

Before we put our belt together, let’s create some tool holding loops.

Begin by ironing the 2″ x 5″ pieces in half, wrong sides together, to create a crease in the middle (1).  

Open the pieces back up, and refold each edge piece in (wrong sides together) to meet at the crease in the middle (2). 

Fold the piece in half again on the middle crease (3) and (4). 

Edge stitch from top to bottom to hold in place (5). 

Now, let’s place them on the belt. 

A quick way to find the middle of your belt piece is to fold it in half, and pinch it to make a crease. Using that as a marker, measure outward the desired distance (4″ in this example) on either side of the middle, and pin your loop in place on the back layer. Make sure the loop is facing towards the belt so that it will be sandwiched in between the upper and back belt layers. Pin the upper layer to the back layer, and stitch across the length of both the top and bottom widths. Trim seam allowances, and use the open ends to turn the belt right side out. Press the belt. 

Fold back the open edges and clip the corners of the seam allowances. This will make it easier to place the elastic. Turn the edges of the belt in, wrong sides together. This makes a nice folded edge in which to slide your elastic. Push the elastic in 1/2″. You may have to wiggle it just so, but it will fit! Sew it into place using 1/4″ seam allowance, and repeat on the opposite side. 

Top stitch the belt main fabric. 

Ta da! You are finished with the belt! On to the removable pocket!

The space between my loops measured 6″. In this example, I wanted my pocket to be 5.5″ wide x 6″ long. 

Based on these measurements:

cut 2 pieces 6.5″ w x 7″ l (pocket back pieces)

-repeat with interfacing, if needed

cut 2 pieces 6.5″ w x 5″ l (pocket front pieces)

-repeat with interfacing, if needed

Once the interfacing has been applied, lay the back pocket pieces on top of each other, right sides together. Using a 1/2″ seam allowance, stitch around the four edges, leaving about a 2″ gap to turn. Clip corners and trim seam allowances. Turn right side out and press. Repeat with the front pocket pieces, then add top stitching on the top of the pocket front piece.

Lay the pocket front piece on top of the pocket back piece. Make sure the gap on the pocket back piece is at the bottom of the pocket. Pin into place. 

Stitch around the three outer sides, beginning at the top of one side, and ending at the top of the other side. 

All that’s left now is to place the velcro! 

Cut two pieces, each 1.5″ long. 

Using the back side of the pocket, place the hook velcro 1/2″ in from the side edges, pin, and sew into place. 

I used those pieces to help me line up the loop pieces on the front of the belt. Pin into place and sew. 

And there you have it! Your very own (I-Can-Do-It-Mom!) Junior Tool Belt! 

Now, your little man can walk around wearing this sweet tool belt and singing Weird Al’s “I’m So Handy” all the livelong day, too!

Happy Sewing!

(This post was previously featured over at Sew McCool.)

St. Patrick’s and Pi Day Tees

These past few weeks, I feel like I’ve been running around like crazy, just barely keeping up! If you’re anything like me, you may need some last minute tees for St. Patrick’s Day and Pi Day. Well, I have some free printables to help you (and me) out! I honestly can’t even call this a tutorial – literally all you do is print one out on transfer paper (this is what I use) and follow the directions to put it on a shirt.

I Blame the Leprechauns PDF file


What a ham. He totally would blame the leprechauns for stealing all that gold – and with that face, most people would believe him 😉

Pi Day PDF file (this includes the graphics for both tees)


I think Pi Day is hilarious. Such a ridiculous “holiday”, but such a nerdy one! And it is Albert Einstein’s birthday after all, so why not celebrate it? I figured a silly holiday needed a silly shirt – this one is inspired by Weeble and Bob and the fact that 3.14 (pi) backwards looks like “pie”.


This one is a little more serious, but still fun. The “π” symbol is surrounded by (some of) the infinite numbers that make up pi.

Have fun celebrating this month!

Too Short Pants into Cool Shorts Tutorial

 Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts


It’s hard to believe with all the Winter weather we have been having, but Spring is just right around the corner. Now is the perfect time to go through your boys wardrobe and decide what is going to go and what is going to stay. Before you toss those pants that are just a little to short in the GO pile, turn them into a pair of shorts for your boy. It is super simple when you follow our tutorial. This would also be a great project to sew WITH your boy. Then he would always know how to turn pants into shorts.

Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts
Grab a pair of pants that fit in the waist, but are too short.

Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts
Mark your pants the new length you want them plus your seam allowance. (I used a ½” seam allowance)



Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts
Draw a line straight across using a ruler


Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts
Cut pants off along line.
Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts
Fold your seam allowance up 1/4″, press, fold your seam allowance up 1/4″ again and press.

Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts
Using a ¼” seam allowance stitch down your new hem

Sewing With Boys, Transform Your Boys too Short Pants into Shorts



Boy’s Tote-A-Treasure Pouch Tutorial

Sewing With Boys Tote-a-treasure pouch tutorial



If your boy is anything like mine I am sure that they have lots of “treasures” they want to take everywhere with them. To solve this problem I made this little pouch with a handle so my little dude had all his stuff in one place. Plus with the handle it makes it easier from him to carry around.

Sewing With Boys Tote-a-treasure pouch tutorial


  • 8.5” x 3”  contrast exterior stripe – Cut 2
  • 8.5” x 5” – exterior bottom – Cut 2
  • If you don’t want a contrast stripe cut (2)8.5″x7.5″ exterior pieces
  • 8.5” x 7.5” – interfacing – Cut 2
  • 8.5” x 7.5” interior – Cut 2
  • 3.5” x 14.5″ handle
  • 7” blue jeans zipper
    – If adding an applique you will also need a small piece of fusible webbing and a small piece of scrap fabric or felt.

Sewing With Boys Tote-a-treasure pouch tutorial

  1. Place exterior bottom and exterior contrast right sides together and stitch with 1/4″  seam allowance
  2. Press seam open on exterior pieces and fuse interfacing to each exterior piece.
  3. If you want to add any applique or embroidery, do that now. Make sure to leave the bottom  2 inches blank.
  4. If you want to add zipper tabs to your zipper do that now. (Here is a tutorial for adding zipper tabs over on Knot Sew Normal)

Sewing With Boys Tote-a-treasure pouch tutorial

  1. Place one interior fabric right side up, zipper right side up and one exterior fabric right side down.
  2. Stitch using your zipper foot, 1/8th of an inch away from zipper.
  3. Your stitching should look like this.
  4. Press exterior and lining away from zipper and top stitch, repeat with other exterior and interior pieces.

Sewing With Boys Tote-a-treasure pouch tutorial

  1. Making your strap,
  2. Press your strap fabric in ½ lengthwise.
  3. Press each long edge in ¼”.
  4. Topstitch along each long edge.

Sewing With Boys Tote-a-treasure pouch tutorial

  1. I like to baste my strap to my exterior piece, you want it to be on the same side as your zipper pull, when the zip  is closed. Baste with 1/8″ seam allowance.
  2. Open your zip at least 1/2 way and pin your strap in the center of exterior.
  3. Make sure your zipper is folded in towards your lining. Kind of like a zipper, taco.
  4. Stitch around pouch using 1/4″ seam allowance, making sure to leave a gap in the lining to turn pouch.

Sewing With Boys Tote-a-treasure pouch tutorial

  1. Next you are going to box the corner of your pouch. Fold your corner so the bottom seam allowance and the side seam allowances meet, mark a line across at 1”.
  2. Stitch along your 1” marking line.
  3. Trim your extra fabric off.
  4. Turn your pouch right side out through the opening in the lining.

Sewing With Boys Tote-a-treasure pouch tutorial

  1. Stitch your opening in the lining closed.
  2. Push lining back down into bag.
  3. Hand to a boy and let them stuff it with treasure.Sewing With Boys Tote-a-treasure pouch tutorial

Reverse Applique Valentine Tee

We love to love on our boys…and now that Valentine’s Day is near, it’s time to let them wear that love on their sleeve (or their chest!)

Enter this reverse applique tutorial! It comes together quickly (make use of a store bought tee) and is perfect for customization (or use the design provided!)

Let’s get started!

Supplies Needed:


Small piece of fabric (9″ x 10″ used here)

Design or design template — Vday Template here

Lay out the tee and fabric. Determine how large you want the area of your design to be. (I chose a 9″ x 10″ area for a size 6 tee.) Cut the applique fabric to the desired measurements.  Trace (or print out) a design onto card stock, and cut the design out.

**TIP: Remember to reverse your design before you trace it onto your applique fabric…especially if it has letters or other writing on it! 

Lay out the design template on the wrong side of the fabric, and trace with a washable marker. This will be the guide for stitching the image.

Now it’s time to attach the right side of the applique fabric to the wrong side of the shirt. While pins are certainly an option, I used thin strips of fusible webbing to hold my piece in place. Once the applique fabric is in place, right side to the wrong side (or inside) of the tee, use the tracing marks as a stitching guide, and stitch the whole design.

Now the best part! Turn the shirt back to right side out. Pinch the tee fabric gently to separate it from the applique fabric…and carefully begin to cut out the fabric from the design. I cut pretty close to the stitch, as you can see. It’s personal preference though, so do what looks good to you! When you’ve finished cutting, add a little pop to the design by outlining it with an embroidery stitch!

**TIP: Carefully trim away the excess applique fabric inside the shirt if needed to reduce bulk.

 Put it on your little Valentine, and get ready to catch all the kisses he blows your way!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial! Happy Valentine’s Day!