sewing

DIY Waterproof Oilcloth Bike Seat Cover

DIY bike seat cover tutorial oilcloth

Last year, as a birthday gift to myself, I bought a vintage women’s bicycle. A green, 3-speed, Raleigh Sport, made in England in the 1970’s. It’s crowning glory is it’s leather Brooks saddle seat!

My bike is a prized possession, but it’s also a functional one! What good is a cool retro bike to anyone if it’s just sitting in a garage gathering dust? Since I do ride my bike around, I try my best to keep it protected and in the best condition possible. So, I decided to craft up a cute and fitting waterproof cover for my seat, to keep it protected from the rain and sun.

I used a fabric called oilcloth, which is waterproof, inexpensive, and comes in tons of cute patterns! If you’re making one yourself, you will also need some nylon cord, a sewing machine, and some plastic cord stops (optional).

bike seat cover materials

Trace around the top of your bike seat and cut out a piece in a matching shape. Then, using a piece of yarn or string, find the length around the outer edge of the piece you’ve just cut. Cut out a long strip of oilcloth measuring that length by about four inches wide. Cut that strip in half lengthwise.

how to stich a bike seat cover

Working with one strip at a time, pin the edge piece to the top piece with right sides together and stitch around. Join at each end with a straight stitch. This can be a bit tricky since the oilcloth is somewhat stiff, but just take your time!

how to sew a waterproof bike seat cover

Turn right-side out, then fold down about three inches of the edge strips all the way around, pinning down as you go. I did this based on the shape and size of my own bike seat, so you may want to slip the cover over your own seat at this point to double check how much to fold over. Stitch around where you’ve placed the pins, creating an open canal for the drawstring to thread through.

making a drawstring bike seat cover

Cut two slits in the back end of the cover, on either side of the back seam. Then, using a safety pin as your guide, thread the cord all the way through.

oilcloth seat cover with drawstring

Use a lighter to melt the ends of the cord slightly so that they don’t fray. Here you can add two small or one large cord stop if you like, or you can simply tie the cords together.

DIY waterproof bike seat cover

Slip the cover over your seat, pull the drawstring until snug, and off you go! Rain or shine, you and your bike will be happy and looking fly!

DIY drawstring bike seat cover

I have some extra oilcloth leftover, so maybe I’ll make a matching storage pouch to attach to my handle bars!

Floral PomPom Pillowcase DIY

pom pom trim pillow cases

Pompom trim is probably the cutest crafting supply ever. Especially when it’s pink and attached to dainty floral. I have a whole stash of the stuff, so this past weekend I decided to put it to use and make some girly, springy pillow cases. I love the look of mixed florals, especially when the prints are small.

DIY pom pom and lace trim pillow case

Simple pillow cases are a really easy sewing project if you’re a beginner, since you only have to sew in straight lines. For one standard-sized pillow case, you will need about 1 1/4 yards of fabric, and roughly the same length of trim.

With your fabric folded in half (so that the fold is the long edge of the pillowcase) cut a piece that is about 20″ x 30″. To make it really easy, just trace around a regular pillowcase that you already have, but be sure to leave roughly 4 1/2 inches extra in length to create the “hem” around the pillow opening.

iron edge in

Open the folded fabric (it will be ~ 40″ x 34″ opened up) and iron a 1/2 inch fold along the edge where the pillow opening will be.

making pillow case hem

Then fold over another 4 inches, iron, and pin along the inside edge. With a straight stitch, sew along the inside edge, through all 3 layers of fabric.

Fold the the fabric back in half, with right sides of the fabric together, so that you have the standard pillowcase shape. Sew along the two open edges with about a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Trim off the excess fabric and turn right-side-out. (At this point, you can test the size of your pillowcase based on the pillows you will be using, and if you need to, adjust the seams a bit if the case is too large).

stitching pom pom trim onto pillow

Pin your chosen trim along the hem of the open end of the pillowcase. Carefully stitch all the way around. Depending on which trim you chose, you can use a straight or zigzag stitch here. The purple pompom trim shown in the above picture was quite flat, so I used a straight stitch, but the pink pompom trim was a bit more three dimensional, so I used a zigzag stitch over the edge for that one.

Pretty floral pillow DIY

I love having lots of different pillow cases around to mix up my bedding and make things feel fresh. Plus, who doesn’t like something customized!? Use them for yourself, or impress your guests with something that feels unique and special. Who’s ready for a summer sleepover!?

trimmed floral pillow cases
Show us your favorite fabric patterns and trimmings on Instagram with the hashtag #WTDWLemons ! Happy Spring!

DIY Running Stitch Throw Pillow

DIY running stitch pillow

I have really been loving the look of hand embroidery lately, and when I saw this cool throw pillow at Anthropologie I knew I wanted to make my own version for our house. Gotta love a good Anthro hack!

The DIY version takes a bit of time (think a good Netflix binge amount of time) but it couldn’t be easier! You really don’t need any embroidery or sewing experience to try this one, I even started with a ready-made pillow sham.

hand embroidered pillow

Start with a basic white or other solid colored pillow sham, some embroidery floss in cool colors and an embroidery needle. These kinds of needles are a little bit bigger than your typical sewing needle and have a larger eye.

running stitch

Start out by threading your needle and tying a double knot on the opposite end. Working from the inside of the pillow sham first, poke the needle up through the fabric near the seam.

You only need to learn one type of stitch for this project. It’s called the running stitch. Basically, you are just going down through the fabric and then coming back up again a short distance further. You can even make several stitches in a row and pull them all through at once as shown in the photo above. If you’ve never done this stitch before, you will get the hang of it really fast! Trust me.

running stitch embroidery

Continue with your running stitch until you reach the seam on the opposite end of your pillow sham, ending on the inside. Then cut about a 3 inch tail, separate the threads in the floss into two halves and tie a knot to secure. Trim off the excess.

Keep on stitching lines in the same fashion, changing colors and spacing as you like until you have covered the whole front of your sham. You can finish here or add some extra embellishment by tying on some yarn tassels or pompoms to the corners! I went with oversized blue tassels made in the same way as we showed you in this past post.

DIY tassel pillow

I stuffed my stitched sham with a down pillow insert to make it extra comfy. I love it on my favorite vintage pink chair!

Washable Pet Travel Mat

flannel pet travel mats

We have been traveling a bit lately for the holidays, which means my two fur babies have had to book a stay in the kitty hotel. To make their trip a little bit cozier, I made them some warm flannel mats for their carriers. Since it’s been a while since we shared our last project for pets on What to do with Lemons, I thought I would share this easy DIY – in case anyone is looking for a way to show their favorite cat or dog some love this holiday season!

flannel pet sleeping mat
These travel mats have three layers quilted together: two sides of flannel with a towel in between, making them soft, warm, and completely machine washable! They are modeled here by my cat Lu, but they’re perfect for cats OR dogs (or rabbits or ferrets or whatever kind of companion animal you call your best friend)!
DIY washable pet mat
You will need: a large piece of flannel fabric (twice the size you want your finished mat to be), an old towel, and a sewing machine.

Start by cutting two pieces of flannel and one piece of towel to the size you would like your mat to be, plus about a half an inch on each edge. I cut mine into rectangles that fit nicely into a cat carrier.

DIY pet carrier blanket
Arrange the layers so that the two flannel pieces face right-sides-together, then lay the towel on top. Pin and stitch around three sides, leaving one of the shorter ends open. Next, flip right-side-out so that the towel is inside the two pieces of flannel and the pattern faces outward.

layered pet mat

sew a flannel mat for your pet carrier
Fold the raw edges under and pin in place, then top stitch along this edge to close.

Finally, stitch some quilting lines across the top to hold the layers in place. I sewed one line down the middle and two perpendicular lines going width wise, dividing the pad into six squares.
cat carrier blanket

These washable mats are great for inside a crate, on the floor, or laid over your pet’s favorite spot to sit (like the back of the couch!). Flannel fabric comes in so many fun colors and patterns it will be hard not to make a whole stack! They make a great gift for pets, pet lovers, or your local shelter!

DIY Wool Felt Laptop Sleeve

DIY Wool Felt Laptop Sleeve 3

I recently got a new Macbook (yay!) and realized that I needed a case for it ASAP. When you have a shiny new device, its only natural to want to avoid bumps and scratches for as long as possible! I loved the look of some wool laptop sleeves that I saw online, but being the thrifty crafter that I am, decided I could totally make one myself for much cheaper. (Are you sensing a trend with me yet?)

DIY wool felt laptop sleeve supplies

You won’t need a lot of supplies to make one of these, just a half a yard of nice wool felt in your color of choice, a fun colored thread (since your stitches will be visible) about 2 feet of nylon webbing, and a couple pieces of velcro or snaps if you prefer. You will also need a sewing machine and the accompanying tools, a ruler, and some glue.

Felt Laptop Sleeve 2

Step 1) Place your laptop down on the felt and fold the fabric over it so that one edge comes just to the end of your computer. You will want to have a good amount of excess fabric at the top, this will be the fold-over flap.
Step 2) Cut the excess felt to be twice the length you would like your flap to be, and then fold it down so that the edge meets the top of your laptop, creating a double-thick layer for the flap.
Step 3) This is where I chose to dock the corners of the flap. If you like that look, then measure one inch from the corner on each edge, and make a dot with a marker. Then, using a ruler, mark a line connecting these two dots, and cut along the line. You will be cutting a small triangle from both corners of the flap, through both folds of fabric.
Step 4) Stitch around three sides of the flap (picture 1 above).
Step 5) Measure and cut two 10 inch pieces of webbing, and melt the ends slightly with a lighter to avoid fraying.
Step 6) Pin them to the back of your case so that they overhang the edge of the flap by two to three inches, then stitch in place (picture 2 above).

Felt Laptop Sleeve 3

Step 7) Measure and cut a second piece of felt slightly smaller than the top of your laptop, and lay it on top. This will be the front pocket.
Step 8) Fold the flap down to see where the ends of the webbing meets the front pocket, and pin two pieces of velcro there. Lift off the pocket piece and sew these in place.
Step 9) Lay the pocket piece back down onto the front of the case, pin down, and then sew around three edges (picture 3 above).
Step 10) Place your laptop into the main fold, and pin snugly on both sides. Stitch both sides closed, then trim off the excess.
Step 11) Attach the opposite velcro pieces to the ones you already stitched down, and put some glue on the back of each (picture 4 above).
Step 12) Fold down the flap and press the end of each webbing strap onto the glue. This will assure that your velcro is perfectly placed. After pressing down firmly, gently peel the velcro apart and place some clothespins or bulldog clips to hold the velcro tightly to the webbing until the glue dries (give it a couple hours to be on the safe side).
Note: you can just as easily stitch these pieces on rather than gluing them, I just preferred not to have visible stitches for this part!

DIY felt laptop sleeve 8
Once the glue is dry, you’re ready to go! Go hit up your local Starbucks and bask in the glory of how cool and original your new gear is. I’m feeling more productive already…

DIY wool felt laptop sleeve 2