Category Archives: way back craft

Way Back Craft: Knitting Bag

The friend’s daughter that I made this for is a teenager now, so wow, it’s been a while! I’ve made several of these bags since, but have never created a pattern. It’s my favorite go-to tote bag style!

I have no idea if she still enjoys knitting. I’ll have to ask her mom!

original post, September 30, 2007:

Hot off the sewing machine for my friend’s daughter! She’ll be 11 next month and is a brand new knitter. She told her mom she’d like a knitting bag and I jumped on the chance to make something special for her.

I didn’t have a pattern, just dimensions and sketches I did before starting my project.

Made with denim for the outside. The purple fabric is something I had in my stash.  I’m not sure what it’s made of, but it’s pretty heavy and feels like it could be upholstery fabric. I used some unattractive corduroy in place of interfacing.

The straps are made as one continuous piece, like a big loop. They hold the pocket down. The pocket was sewn top and bottom, right sides together then turned. It goes all the way around, but I sewed stop lines just above the fold line for the bottom.  2 pockets on the inside, too.

I’m really pleased with the finish product. I may have to make another one!

I made the buttons for her too. They’re various manga characters she likes, as well as a personalized and knitting button.



Way Back Craft: Snape Dammit Doll

If you’re not familiar with Dammit Dolls, the idea is this: a basic soft doll with long legs to hold on to, usually accompanied by a poem that goes something like this:

When you want to kick the desk or throw the phone and shout,
Here’s a little dammit doll you cannot do without,
Just grasp it firmly by the legs, and find a place to slam it,
And as you whack it’s stuffing out, yell,
dammit, dammit, dammit!

What? Sometimes a girl has to vent her frustration! Of course, I can’t do that in an ordinary way, it has to have a fandom twist to it.

Print the Free Pattern Here

My original post on Craftster, January 27, 2007:

I’ve been feeling a bit… erm, craftipated, and decided on a simple & fun project that might help me get back on the crafty track.

I’ve seen Snape as a dammit doll before and decided to do one of my own.  I’ve left him with a, shall we say “blank” expression?   (Read: I suck at faces.)

One of my friends has suggested Voldie, Umbridge & the Malfoys as possible future candidates to be  dammit dolled.

Now I need a Snaperific poem to go along with him.

dammit doll

For the pattern, I drew out the shape I wanted then cut the hands, feet & head away from the body, cut those out of muslin and the body out of black adding seam allowance to all the pieces.  I then attached hands, feet & head, then sewed front to back.  I stuffed it & stitched up the hole I’d left for stuffing.  For the hair… I wrapped black yarn around a 6″ ruler, then stitched it down the middle, hand-stitched it to his head then gave it a trim so to achieve those “greasy black curtains” of hair.

I had some issues with the corners (under the arms, neck, etc).  I think it was more the fabric than the pattern.  The black fabric was a little too loosely woven, so the stitching was pulling out.  I think if I used a tighter fabric, I wouldn’t have the same problems.

I’m may make some shoes and a cloak for him, but I haven’t decided yet.  I kind of like him just the way he is.   Grin

ETA: No cloak or shoes, or anything else for that matter, but Dammit Snape still lives in my sewing room. He still makes me smile, even without a Snapetastic Dammit Doll poem.

Happy crafting!


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Way Back Craft: Potter Puppet Pals

You already saw Edward, now see what inspired him!

Original post on craftster, April 2006:

I had “sewing camp” with my kids over the summer and taught them both to use a sewing machine, how to hand stitch and some other basic stuff. After the basic lessons were over, the first thing they wanted to do was to make Potter Puppet Pals! We’re big fans of the videos and they thought it would be awesome to have versions of their own.

We’ve made Harry, Ron & Hermione so far. We’re hoping to make Snape, Dumbledore & Voldemort the next time they have a school holiday.

Made out of felt with recycled polyfil. Small amounts of fabric pain used for the faces. My 12 year old daughter made Hermione and my 9 year old son made Ron. I made Harry. I also painted all their faces.

Hope you like them!

Happy Crafting!



Way Back Craft: Teeny Goblet of Fire

Goblet of Fire

Once Upon A Time, I entered a Challenge. It was called The Little Tiny Challenge. I was beaten soundly by a tiny fast food meal made of real food, though I did come in second (even though second was hundreds of votes from first!).

Here’s my original post made on craftser way back in April of 2006.

The Pattern:

Sewing one of the center segments.  Man that’s small!

Individual segments ready to be pieced:

The block is pieced!  Photo from the back!

Finished block next to the original 5″ version (pattern available at )

The finished block, front & center!  All 1.5″ of it!

Happy Crafting!



Way Back Craft: Recycled Binder

In thinking about Back to School season, and the accordian file that I upcycled last week, I thought about a project I did for my daughter a couple of years ago. Then I realized, while I posted a photo of it in a collection of other upcycled/recycled projects, I’d never really talked about it here on my blog.

Here is the story the way I told in August of 2008, on craftster:

This craft starts with a story.  My 13 year old daughter’s middle school is huge.  The kids have less than 5 minutes to get from class to class and they don’t always have time to go to their lockers.  Many of them carry large binders so they can have multiple classes worth of work with them all the time.

Last year, we bought this binder for her, in an attempt to give her a place to keep all her things.  Within a few months, the rings in the binder blew out.   The handle is on the back of the rings, so the weight of the contents pulls down on them, causing them to fail.

So, time for a redesign.  How about a binder cover/bag that has the weight in the opposite direction and that can have the 3-ring binder changed when needed, without losing the rest?

I think this may be one of the coolest things I’ve made and I’m ridiculously pleased with the way it turned out!  It holds a 3″ 3-ring binder, which cost about $6 at the office supply store.  Everything else was recycled or I had on hand.

Outside back – the binding was hand stitched on the outside.  There was just too much stuff going on inside to do it the opposite way.   Cool sparkly fabric was a gift from hardhatcat.

The other side, standing up – the strap is recycled from the old binder.  The strap clicks onto a large split ring.  The bits of ribbon were from a sheet of samples someone gave me.   The denim was cut on the bias so it has give.  Oh, and the denim was leftover from a project that a friend of mine did.  She gave me her leftovers!

inside – the accordion files, back mesh pocket & zipper are all recycled

The accordion file, recycled from the old binder.  It was a bit hard to stitch around, but I managed by moving my needle over to the far left.

All that’s left of the original.  I used a razor blade to take it apart.  Razors are the friend of anyone that recons heavy duty materials, but they take a sure hand.

More photos of the binder cover/tote here.

My daughter loves it, especially the “bag” aspect, freeing up her hands and making it’ll be easier to carry her stuff.

Happy Crafting!



Way Back Craft: An Edward Just For You

I’ve been walking down memory lane and plundering my old forum posts. I don’t post much to crafty forums anymore, mostly because I like the “not having rules” part that comes with posting to my own blog. 😉

This Way Back Craft has had some of the greatest comments of both love and hate, including the dubious honor of having once been featured on Craftastrophe.  Poor Edward was referred to there as a toilet paper cover. Fortunately for me, I have pretty thick skin and a sense of humor, so I took it with a grain of salt, which is exactly the vein in which Edward Puppet Pal was made.

What I didn’t say in the following forum post is that I also included a list of Edward’s catch phrases, so he would always have the right thing to say at just the right time! See, sense of humor. 😉

You can see my original crafter post here. Edward Puppet Pal was part of the same swap as the Team Edward t-shirt that was immortalized in my first freezer paper stenciling video. You don’t know comments until you post a video on YouTube with the word “Twilight” anywhere in the tags, title or description. Viva la haters!

I made this for silverfisch for the Twilight Swap Round 2 (gallery).  It’s Edward Cullen, from Stephenie Meyers’ Twilight, inspired by The Potter Puppet Pals.

He’s made out of felt, with fabric paint details on his face.  I really just eyeballed the whole pattern, figuring it out as I went along.  I hope you like him!

I made the button on my buttonmaker, with a little help from some poly glitter!

Twilight Swap
The rest of the swap…

Happy Crafting!



Way Back Craft: Name Tees

name t-shirts

Talk about Way Back…I’m slightly embarrassed to say that it’s been almost a year since I posted a Way Back Craft!

Way Back Crafts are crafts I made ages and ages ago.  Usually, they were posted on my very first craft site, Jen’s Crochet and Crafts (1998 – 2006), but they have not been posted to the sewhooked blog or were only posted to sewhooked in a very basic way.

Today’s craft comes to you from around 2001 or 2002.  I made these cute t-shirts for holiday gifts for my nieces, daughter, and several children of my friends (that’s an original, old school pre-digital photo there!).  These were made around the same time t-shirts embellished with “Princess” were really popular.  The shirts were a huge hit with the bonus of being easy and inexpensive to make!


  • light colored t-shirt
  • Fabric Paint (Tulip Slick Glitter used in picture)
  • safety pins
  • masking tape
  • polyester glitter (optional)
  • well-lit window or light box
  1. Prepare your t-shirt by washing and drying without fabric softener.
  2. Using your word processing software, print the name you want to paint in a large, bold font. This paper will go inside the shirt as a guideline.
  3. Position the name you printed inside the shirt where you want to paint, securing with a couple of safety pins or masking tape.
  4. Using masking tape, tape the t-shirt to a clean, dry window.  If you are lucky enough to have a light box, use that instead.
  5. Trace the letters with chalk or pencil.
  6. Place a t-shirt form or box (Priority shipping box works well) inside the t-shirt to make it easier to paint.
  7. Trace the text again with the fabric paint. It is important not to touch the tip of the paint to the shirt, which can drag the paint and make it smear. Take your time, as it this can be tedious, but it’s worth it!
  8. When you’re done, find a safe place for your shirt to dry flat 24 hours.
  9. For an iridescent effect, sprinkle iridescent polyester glitter on wet paint before allowing to dry.
  10. Wait 24 hours, then shake off excess glitter.
  11. Wash & dry inside out.

If you make a Sew Awesome Craft or any pattern, craft or recipe from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo.  Email me or add it to the sewhooked flickr group.

Happy crafting!




Way Back Craft: The Fat Lady Mural

The Fat Lady

If you follow me here on sewhooked, then you’ve already heard all about my daughter’s Harry Potter bedroom.  It was  a big project with lots of little projects (and some huge ones!) mixed together.

On Friday, I posted about my son’s bedroom door, which is now graced by the TARDIS.  What I didn’t say is that it was The Fat Lady that started it all.  It was the idea of paining her that led to the idea for the HP room, and eventually, the TARDIS.

When you’re a kid (or a young-at-heart) adult, and you’re dearest desire is to go to Hogwarts and live in Gryffindor Tower, who should greet you as you clamber into your living space each day?  The Fat Lady, of course!

When designing the HP room for my daughter almost 6 1/2 years ago now, the very top of our list said “Fat Lady.”

The photos of the door do not do the mural justice.  She comes out looking much flatter and two dimensional than she does in real life.  Part of that is the awkward angle the door sits to our hallway, making it impossible to take a photo straight on.  I hope you get the idea anyway.  Just trust me when I say, she’s a beauty face to face!

And now, without further ado, The Fat Lady, originally posted on my very first crafts website, Jen’s Crochet & Craf.

What You’ll Need:

  • Level
  • Straight edge (yardstick or similar)
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Soft cloth
  • Primer (if needed)
  • Masking tape
  • Overhead projector (optional)
  • Reference image (on transparency film if using projector) from a coloring book, online image, etc.
  • Chalk or pencil
  • Acrylic craft paints
  • Paper cups or empty egg carton (for paint)
  • Artist paint brushes (multiple sizes)
  • Drop cloth or newspaper


  1. Prepare the work area by protecting with a drop cloth or newspapers.
  2. Make sure the surface you will be painting on is lightly sanded and free of dust by wiping with a soft cloth. If the surface is unpainted, paint a base coat of primer.
  3. Using the level and straight edge, measure and mark where your painting will be. When this is done, use masking tape to outline the INSIDE of the frame. You will be painting inside of this.
  4. Sketch The Fat Lady with a pencil or chalk either freehand or using an overhead projector. If neither of these options is available to you, enlarge your reference image on a copy machine to the appropriate size. Liberally rub chalk over the back of the paper. Tape the paper in the appropriate location. Being careful not to touch the image too much, outline the entire image with a pencil. The chalk will be transferred to the working surface.
  5. Once the surface has been prepared, begin painting using the reference image as a guide. Use whatever size paint brushes feel best in your hand. If you’ve never painted before, just take it slow. Start with the background and work your way in. Don’t worry about details, just get the basic shape to start with.
  6. When you’re happy with the basic shape of The Fat Lady, use slightly darker colors to go back and add details to hair, eyes, shadows, etc. Use the reference image to see where shadows and details need to be.
  7. Gently remove the masking tape. Let the painting dry overnight.
  8. Using chalk or a pencil, draw a frame around the painting. If you are not comfortable with freehand, you can also masking tape. Overlap the background of the painting. For an extra flourish, add a half circle to the top of the frame, which will become a lion’s head.
  9. Using gold craft paint, fill in the frame you’ve just drawn. Add shadows and details

This tutorial is also available on The Leaky Cauldron’s Harry Potter Crafts

MORE HP Decor:

If you make a Sew Awesome Craft or any pattern, craft or recipe from sewhooked, I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the sewhooked flickr group.

DIY: Mirror of Erised Mural

mirror of erised updateMirror of Erised Mural
edited to maintain my daughter’s privacy

This could really be called a Way Back Craft, but I’ve done so much updating, I’m going to stick with DIY.

Six years ago, when my daughter was turning 8 years old, she wanted a Harry Potter room.  All those years ago, we created the most magical room we could manage for her, and she’s loved it ever since.

On the back of her door, I created a Mirror of Erised just for her using a basic 4′ wall mirror.  It’s been one of the highlights of her the HP theme, and what girl doesn’t need a mirror in her room?

Way back then, I never imagined she’d someday be taller than me.  As she grew, it was clear that the Mirror of Erised mural I created for her was going to have to be adjusted for her lengthening height.  Just last week, I did what I needed to do to so she could see herself in her mirror.

The original tutorial has been on every variation of my website for six years now.  It’s posted on The Leaky Cauldron’s Crafts section and was mentioned, uncredited, in Entertainment Weekly in reference to Leaky Crafts.  That original tutorial is below, with edits for the updated version of the mirror.

What You’ll Need

  • Basic rectangular wall mirror, with or without frame
  • Mirror Clips, if not included with the mirror
  • Pencil or chalk
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper
  • Fine sand paper
  • Soft cloth
  • Spray paint (primer & gold)
  • Gold acrylic craft paint
  • Gold or silver paint pen or metallic Sharpies
  • paint brush of your choice (to paint mirror body)
  • Level (optional)
  • Measuring tape


Measure the mirror. Save the dimensions for later.

The Mirror

for frame-less mirror, skip to the mural instructions

Lightly sand the frame of the mirror. Wipe clean with a soft cloth. Cover mirror with newspaper, taping carefully around the edges of the mirror without covering the frame.

In a well-ventilated area, use spray primer to prime the frame. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Follow up with 2 coats of gold spray paint.

The Mural

While the mirror is drying, determine where it will hang.

Using the dimensions taken earlier, mark a space 1” smaller than the mirror dimensions on each side.

Use masking tape to tape the area where the frame will be.

Use pencil or chalk to draw the outside edge of the mirror.

This can be done freehand, or using the mirror from the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone movie as a reference. Add clawed feet to the legs.  The mirror shown was drawn freehand, as were the updates.

Paint with gold craft paint.

After the mirror is completely dry, remove newspaper and masking tape.  Mount to painted mural frame.

Using a paint pen or metallic Sharpie, write Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi across the top
of the mirror.

Using a paint pen or metallic Sharpie, ad details like swirls and stars.

Touch up if needed.

The Mirror of Erised
the original mirror, before enlarging

For more Harry Potter DIY, check out the HP Bookcase Mural, the Fat Lady Mural (pdf), and the Hogwarts House Canopies!

If you make a Sew Awesome Craft or any pattern, craft or recipe from sewhooked, I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the sewhooked flickr group.

Harry Potter Party, Revisit Part 1 – Invitations and Decorations

harry potter party diagon alley

My darling daughter turns 14 later this week.  That’s her, on the front right.  She’s next to her little brother. who himself just turned 11 this past  December and is now old enough to attend Hogwarts.  It was February of 2003; Order of the Phoenix had not yet hit book stores and there were only two HP movies so far.

While I sit and try to absorb these amazing thoughts and all the years my family has loved Harry Potter and the ways we’ve chosen to express that appreciation, it’s easy to remember when birthday parties were much more important than birthday presents.

I thought I’d take this week leading up to my daughter’s next step towards adulthood and relive a little of that young girl fandom love by sharing how we sent our kids and their friends to Hogwarts for a Very Magical Sleepover.  Maybe the next time you feel like having a little adventure, you can go to Hogwarts, too!


The invitation you use is the best way to get your party started!  Create a letter from Hogwarts to the prospective “students” using the format of Harry’s first letter.  Be sure to include party time, location, and what to bring (if it’s a sleepover, etc) and where to send reply “by owl” (email, phone number, etc.)

We printed our invitations on yellow parchment (from the local craft store) using the Lumos font and printed in, what else, emerald-green ink! These were rolled into scrolls and sealed with wax. I got the parents of the kids invited involved by hand delivering each invite so the parents could tell the kids an owl had stopped by with a letter for them!

To use the swirly and signature graphics, right-click and save!

You’ll need:

  • parchment paper
  • Lumos Font
  • image – Professor McGonnagall’s signature (from the American editions of Harry Potter)
  • image – “swirly” (also from the American eds.)

Here’s a sample letter:

Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International confed. of Wizards)

We are pleased to inform you that you are invited to [reason for party], a Very Magical Sleepover [what we called our party]!

The party will be at [location], [location address]. It will take place [day, date & time].
Please bring your sleeping bag, pillow, pjs, toiletries, and any other muggle items you may need.
Student Uniforms will be provided.

We await your owl by no later than [RSVP date] (or you can call [name, phone and/or email]).

Yours Sincerely,
Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress

harry potter party decorations potions

Decorations can be simple and inexpensive.  Be creative and use what you have on hand. Look at thrift shop and dollar stores for interesting “magical” items,  potions bottles, interesting looking props, out of season Halloween costumes and decorations.

These are some of the decorations we used for our party:
Great Hall Enchanted Ceiling

  • Navy Blue Plastic Tablecloth
  • Glow in the Dark Stars
  • Low Temp Glue Gun
  • thumbtacks or push pins

Glue stars on plastic tablecloth in a random pattern. Use thumbtacks to hang over the eating area.

Potions Bottles

  • Empty Spice Bottles
  • chopped celery (dragon claw)
  • whole nutmeg (bezoars)
  • Pop Rocks Candy (fire crystals)
  • Food coloring (colored water for various potions)

Fill the empty bottles with a variety of contents.   These are just suggestions, use what you have on hand for your own variety.

Party favors, class supplies and the feast, all add to the atmosphere.  More on that in the next Harry Potter Party revisit!

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from Sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the Sewhooked flickr group!

Happy crafting

also available on potterparties and The Leaky Cauldron – Crafts