How To Create “Fabric” From Trash Bags.

My college roommate learned this technique in an art class, after which we used to “borrow” garbage bags from the maitenance closet and make rain covers for our bikes and portable hampers/laundry baskets.

I saw an article in a book that recommended using newspaper bags, but that produces a small piece after folding, which means ALOT of sewing to piece it together. Plastic bags from the grocery store would work as well.


   Plastic garbage bags


    Ironing board

    Wax or Parchment paper


1. Continue Reading

Make A Plastic Bag Storage Sack: Sewing for Dudes [and Ladies], No. 4.

Despite your attempts to utilize canvas grocery bags, somehow you always end up with plastic bags, and you need a place to store 'em for proper recycling. You could check out these directions for a hard-surface unit; or you can give your burgeoning sewing skills a workout with the instructions below. (Plus, the soft surfaces and light weight make it ideal for a substitute pillow, or hitting your friends upon their making ridiculous comments.)

Remnant or scraps of fabric measuring:
     18” x 21” (alternatively, consider an old dishtowel, placemat, or pant leg.) Continue Reading

Make a Custom Pair of Shorts – Sewing For Dudes (and Ladies) No. 3.

It's hot outside. Don't let your fear of showing off your knees prevent you from dressing for the weather. Sew your own pair of shorts, and they'll be as long or short as you please.

A pair of pants
Sewing machine and thread
Combination square

1. Take off your pants. Put on the trousers that will become you shorts, and determine where you’d like the length of your shorts to fall. Continue Reading

Sewing Machine 101- Sewing For Dudes (and Ladies) No. 2: Stitches and Seams

Check out Sewing for Dudes (and Ladies) No. 1: Gathering your Gear

The best way to learn to use your specific sewing machine is to READ THE MANUAL. If you fall into the male stereotype of one whom doesn’t ask for directions, and won’t read the instructions… get over it. 

Anatomy of a Sewing Machine

1) Bobbin winder
2) Spool pin
3) Thread guide
4) Tension Knob
5) Foot and needle
6) Bobbin housing
7) Reverse stitch button
8) Stitch length adjustment
9) Stitch selection knob
10) Manual knob
11) Bobbin winding fence

Step One: Winding the Bobbin

    A sewing machine is cool, because it’s sorta like two machines: a stitch maker, and a bobbin winder. Continue Reading

How To Buy Your First Sewing Machine – Sewing for Dudes (and Ladies) No. 1: Gathering Your Gear

How to buy your first sewing machine
So, I’m a guy, and a bit ago, I bought a sewing machine.

No one in my family of origin sews, nor does my wife, and I went to an all male high school with no home ec courses, so I was starting from scratch.
I went to the bookstores, the fabric stores, the craft stores, and the library, and was blown away by the available literature, or, by how useless it was to me. It seemed that nothing had been published in the last ten years, and everything was:

1) Designed for women and their unique body shapes, and 2) Covered with flowers.

Continue Reading

DIY Coin Buttons

I was cruising around a local rock and roll boutique, and I found a set of buttons made from pennies: $1.99 for 3. Cool, I thought, but a penny should cost 1¢, not 67. A DIY project for sure.




    Handful of coins

    Small bowl

    White vinegar



    Electric drill or drill press

    1/16” drill bit

    Scrap hard wood

    Small clamps (optional)

    Needle and thread

1. Grab a handful of coins. Scour the bottom of your coin jar for subway tokens, foreign coins, or arcade tokens. Continue Reading