Pointed hood tutorial

Blue kobito Green kobito

P1190434.JPGThese hoodies were inspired by a children book, みんなのこびと (cub label)
(Minna no Kobito) by Toshitaka Nabata, or loosely translated as ‘Everyone’s Kobito’. I made them for the Once Upon a Thread event at No Big Dill. Check out my story and pictures over there!

The fabric is cotton knit, very soft and comfortable. The hoodies will be good addition for Sidra’s wardrobe in spring. The body of the T-shirt and pants are made with commercial pattern.

Disclaimer: For personal use only. Please do not pass off the pattern and tutorial as your own. Thank you!

Click to download


Note: seam allowances are NOT included. You have to add it before cutting fabric.


  • Ready made long sleeved T-shirt pattern. I use a T-shirt pattern from a Japanese pattern book, クライ・ムキの子供服―Simple+one (別冊家庭画報)
  • Knit fabric, about 1.25 meters (fabric width is 110 cm), if you want matching pants, you will need 2.25 m.
  • If you want to make matching pants, you will need a pattern. I use Nature Walk pattern from Oliver+s.
  • note: you can also use store-bought long-sleeved T-shirt and pants and unpick the seam from the neckline. Buy another T-shirt in the same color to be cut for the hood.P1190115.JPG


Making T-shirt:

  • Make T-shirt per pattern instructions, leave the neckline unfinished.
  • If you use store-bough T-shirt, unpick the seam on the neckline and leave it raw.


Preparing hoodie:

  • Measure the neckline of your T-shirt and compare it to the neckline of the hood pattern.
  • Adjust the hood pattern accordingly, using the shoulder seam placement mark as guideline.
  • Add seam allowance to the pattern.
  • Cut 4 pieces of fabric from hood pattern.P1190140.JPG

Sewing hood (without tentacle):

  • You will have two pair of hood pieces, one pair is for the inside and the other pair is for the outside.
  • Place each pair with right side together. Sew the back and top side.


  • Clip corner and curves (you don’t have to do this if using serger).
  • Turn one of the pair inside out and place in the second pair. Sew the front seam.
P1190162.JPG P1190164.JPG
P1190166.JPG P1190167.JPG
  • Clip curves and turn right side out. Topstitch about 2 cm from the edge.
  • Overlap the front of the hood on the center front placement mark. Baste in place.
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  • Pin the hood pattern on the T-shirt neckline, matching center back, shoulder seam, and center front.
  • Sew hood on T-shirt. Topstitch around neckline.


Sewing hood with tentacle:

  • You will have two pair of hood pieces and a pair of tentacle pieces. Don’t forget to add seam allowanced to pattern beforehand.
  • Sew the tentacle pieces with right sides together. Clip curves and turn right side out. If you want, insert a bit of fibre filling at the end of the tentacle, don’t stuff too much!

P1190199.JPG P1190200.JPG

  • On the outside pair of hood: place the tentacle on the placement mark near the top. Sandwich the tentacle between fabric. Baste or pin to secure.
  • Continue making hood as described for hood without tentacle. Be careful to not catch the tentacle when sewing the top of hood.




Sewing knits

Note on sewing knits:

  • Don’t worry if you don’t have a serger. I don’t have a serger either, so I only use sewing machine.
  • Use ballpoint needle for sewing knits. It has a blunt point that won’t pierce the fabric.
  • I use zigzag stitch set on 0.5-1 for width and 2.5-3 for length. You can also use stretch stitch if your sewing machine has one.
  • You can use zigzag stitch or pinking sears for finishing raw edges. However, I leave the raw edges as they are because knits don’t ravel.
  • Different knits behave differently. Test your stitches on fabric scraps before you start!

Pattern and tutorial by Novita Estiti c 2011.

Featured in Sew News!

Organizer wallets

Organizer wallets

I’m in a magazine cover! Well, at least my handmade organizers are ^_^

If you can get your hands on the newest (December 2010/January 2011) issue of Sew News magazine, you would see five organizer wallets featured in the cover. They were handmade by me! You can see the cover in the Sew News facebook page here.

I was contacted by Ellen March, the editor of Sew News, and she  invited me to contribute a tutorial for the December issue. She was interested in my wallet tutorial, and asked me to develop the wallet idea into something new. I began to brainstorm some ideas and finally came up with this organizer.

The organizer wallet is a development of my wallet, but it is bigger with more pockets on the inside and  outer side. There are 5 versions of the wallet, each with slight differences in details. My favorite is the kid’s version, it has a shoulder strap and can contain markers, crayons, and small drawing books. The other versions are for medicine and tissues, tea lovers, letters and envelopes, and a men’s version for cards and keys.

I was so happy making all the organizers, because it gave me a reason to make something with all those pretty Japanese linen fabric!

If you can’t get hold of the magazine, here’s an online version of the tutorial in Sew News website HERE.

Organizer wallets Organizer wallet Organizer wallet Organizer wallet Organizer wallet Organizer wallet

Tutorial: Side slant pocket

Checks pants: Front pocket Red pants Linen cropped pants Floral pants

A reader commented on my post ‘Three meters of black linen’ , asking about how I made the side slant pockets for my son’s pants. So this is a tutorial on how I made them. You can also use this method for adult’s clothing by simply changing the dimensions.

Making the pockets pattern

Side slant pocket

Draw pocket line.

  • Trace the front part of the pattern.
  • Draw the slanted opening line of the pocket. Make sure that it is big enough for the hand of the wearer.
  • My example here is for kid’s pants with separate waistband. If the pants has no separate  waistband (i.e: pyjama pants with elastic or drawstring), the width of the elastic/drawstring area should be added to the side length of the pocket.
  • The pocket is 6 cm at the top and 10 cm on the side. You might need to make it bigger for adult’s size.
  • You can also make a curved line instead of straight line.

Draw the pocket lining

Side slant pocket

Draw the pocket lining.

  • Make a rough shape, approximately 12×20 cm. Make it bigger if you like deeper pocket.
  • Round the corner for easier sewing.
  • Trace pattern pieces

    Side slant pocket

    Pattern pieces: front pant piece, pocket lining, and pocket pouch.

    • Mark the placement of pocket line on the pocket pouch.
    • Trace all the pattern pieces on separate pattern paper and add seam allowances to the pieces.
    • You will have three pieces: front pant piece, pocket lining, and pocket pouch.

    Sewing the pockets

    Side slant pocket

    Front pant pieces, pocket linings, and pocket pouches.

    • Use your pattern to cut fabric.
    • You can use different fabric for the pocket lining for added detail and/or to prevent bulkiness if your fabric is a bit thick.
    • Since the slant pocket lines are not cut on fabric grain, I suggest to use fusible interfacing stay along the slanted lines to prevent stretching.
    Side slant pocket

    Place pocket lining on front pant piece, right sides together.

    • Place pocket lining on front pant piece, right sides together.
    • Sew along the slanted line (or curved, if your pocket is curved).
    Side slant pocket

    Turn the pocket and press the edge.

    • Turn the pocket and press the edge. If your lines are curved, clip the seam allowance before turning the pocket.
    Side slant pocket

    Topstitch the edge of pocket.

    • Topstitch the edge of pocket to keep the lining from ‘rolling’ outside. I usually use longer stitch length to do topstitching.
    • You can also make topstitching with thicker or different colour thread for added visual interest.
    Side slant pocket

    Pin the edge of pocket and sew along the edge.

    • Take your pocket pouch piece and place it on the pocket area, matching the placement marks.
    • Pin the edge of pocket and sew along the edge.
    Side slant pocket

    Finish the raw edge with your choice of finishing.

    • Finish the raw edge with your choice of finishing. You can use a serger, but I usually just use zigzag stitches.
    Side slant pocket

    Baste the top and the sides of pocket.

    • Baste the top and the sides of pocket to the front pant piece.
    Side slant pocket

    Finish your pants as usual.

    • You have a pair of front pieces with side slant pocket! Finish your pants as usual.

    I hope my tutorial is useful! (^_^)/

    Side slant pocket Side slant pocket
    Side slant pocket Side slant pocket


    Chou-chouNot a very spectacular project, but this thing proves to be very useful in summer. I think it is also called scrunchie, but it is called chou-chou here and I like the name better.

    I found several tutorials for making chou-chou, but they always involve hand-stitching, which I’m too lazy to do for such a simple thing. Then I see another way of doing it, it is much easier, and more importantly: no hand-sewing! This project only took around 10 minutes to make, and it is also a good way to make use of all the fabric scraps.

    Here’s how to make it:


    You will need:

    • Fabric: 10×50 cm. Use non slippery fabric so the chou-chou won’t slip off your hair. My fabric here is cotton/linen mix. The measurement is not exact, you can make it longer or wider. I just snip 10 cm off my 50 cm cut fabric.
    • Elastic: 20 cm. I use ordinary hair elastic, but you can use any thin elastic strip.


    Sew the short ends together with 1 cm seam allowance.


    Fold the upper fabric inside as pictured, and hold it with one finger.


    Fold the lower fabric over, sort of wrapping the first fold of fabric inside.


    Starting with a backstitch, sew the edge with 1 cm seam allowance. Don’t catch the fold of fabric inside. When you almost reach the end, just pull the fold of fabric inside and continue sewing. It is easier done than written here!


    Stop stitching about 3 cm from the first stitch. Backstitch to secure. Now you have a sort of crumpled tube with a little opening.


    Here’s the fun part! Reach into the little opening and pull the tube out.


    Suddenly you have this!


    Using a big safety pin, thread the elastic inside.


    Tie the ends together. Pull the elastic several times to make sure that it is tight and secure. If you use thin elastic strip, you can also stitch the end together.


    Tuck the elastic inside and stitch the opening closed.


    Backstitch both ends of stitching to secure. If you want to be neater, you can also use hand-stitching to close the opening.


    Turn the stitched edge to the inner side and there’s your chou-chou.


    Then you will want to make more!


    Hope it is useful!

    Fabric button necklaces

    Fabric button necklace Fabric button necklace
    I always love colourful and big necklaces. So I got an idea of a simple necklace with big fabric-covered button as the pendant. It’s not a new idea actually, there’s already a lot of button accessories everywhere, but I love making them. I think it’s a good way of using fabric scraps that are too pretty to throw away.

    The pendants are made with Japanese kimono fabrics, the colours are so vibrant and they have some kind of coated sheen over it. I use vintage necklaces for the chain. The necklaces are pretty short, so I use two necklaces and connect them together.

    I’ve made a series of pictures to show how I made the necklaces. It is not really a tutorial, as it is very easy and simple. I think it is more like sharing ideas on making stuff.

    How I made the necklace:

    Making fabric button necklace

    • fabric-covered buttons kit.
    • scrap of fabric for front of pendant.
    • scrap of fabric for back of pendant.
    • fabric scissors and fabric marker.
    • modpodge or its alternative. I use ‘Decoupeur’s Aqua Podge’ from Japan. You can also use thinned down PVA glue.
    • small brush to use with the podge.
    • silicone glue, i.e: E600. I use a Japanese brand.
    • pendant bail, jump rings, chain.
    • pliers.

    Making fabric button necklace

    There are several types of fabric-covered buttons. The one on the left is more expensive than the one on the right. I use the one on the right because the button shank can be removed.
    Making fabric button necklace
    The kit comes with a template. Cut the template and use it to cut the scrap fabric for the front of pendant. For the back of pendant, use the button as the template.
    Making fabric button necklace
    Place fabric on the kit and place button over it.
    Making fabric button necklace
    Push the button all the way down. Arrange the fold of fabrics around the button, making sure that there’s no overlapping folds.
    Making fabric button necklace
    Place the back of button and put the pusher over it. Push until the back of button clicks into place.
    Making fabric button necklace
    A fabric-covered button!
    Making fabric button necklace
    Use a plier to pull the button shank.
    Making fabric button necklace
    Using a small brush, cover the back of button with podge.
    Making fabric button necklace
    Put back fabric on the button and smooth over it. Leave to dry around an hour.

    Making fabric button necklace

    When it is dry, use the brush again to coat the fabric with podge. Don’t forget the edge of button where the fabric frays. The podge will dry clear.
    Making fabric button necklace
    There are many types of bail. I like these kind of bail tag, but since the back of button is not flat, I have to bend the bail a bit until it fits.

    Making fabric button necklace
    I use this plier to bend the bail.
    Making fabric button necklace
    Place a small bit of silicone glue on the bail.
    Making fabric button necklace
    Place the bail on the back of button, paying attention to the direction of your fabric pattern (if there’s any). Silicone glue is fast-drying and it will dry clear. Leave it to dry for several hours.
    Making fabric button necklace
    Put jump pring on the bail.
    Making fabric button necklace
    And a chain over the ring. I use chains from vintage necklaces. They are short, so I use two necklaces and put them together. You can also put clasp on the chain if you like.
    Making fabric button necklace
    A necklace!
    Making fabric button necklace

    Now make more!

    Making reversible bag

    Reversible bag

    Bag dimensions in approximate:

    • from top of straps to bottom of bag: 50 cm / 20 inches
    • height: 28 cm / 11 inches
    • width: 40 cm / 16 inches

    Fabric needed:

    I don’t know because I used leftover fabric for my bag. You can print the pattern and place it on your fabric to make an approximation. It is only one piece of pattern.

    Fort similar bag, you can check Charlie bag by Burdastyle ($1.99). It is a bit bigger and has squared bottom.

    Please go to the bottom of this post to download the PDF pattern and tutorial.

    Disclaimer: You may use the finished products for both personal and commercial use (craft shops or markets only – no mass production). Please do not pass off the pattern and tutorial as your own. Thank you!

    The Tutorial

    1. Here is 4 pieces of fabrics after being cut. We’re gonna refer them as set A and set B. If you want pockets, sew them before going to the next step.
    Making reversible bag

    2. Sew the bottom and sides of each set. My bag has a rounded bottom and a dart, Charlie bag has straight edges.

    If you use my pattern, sew the darts before sewing the bottom and sides of bag. My apology for not showing how to sew the darts, please do a google search if you don’t know.
    Making reversible bag

    3. Put set B in set A, right sides together, and sew around the straps. Stop stitching about 20 cm before the tops of the straps. If your machine has reverse stitch, use it on each end of stitchings to secure it.
    Making reversible bag

    4. Clip rounded corners.
    Making reversible bag

    5. Turn the right sides out through one of the straps. It will be a bit difficult at first and you’re gonna wonder if you’re doing it right, but just keep doing it. You will feel a thug and after that the bag will turn right sides out smoothly.
    Making reversible bag Making reversible bag

    Pull out each of the remaining straps.
    Making reversible bag

    6. Look! You almost have a bag!
    Making reversible bag

    7. Sew the straps of each set together. I often sew the straps absent-mindedly and then found out that I’ve attached them wrong! So please make sure that you sew each strap to the strap beside it, NOT the strap that is in front of it.
    Making reversible bag Making reversible bag

    8. Press the seams open. Fold seam allowances on straps and press. Also press edges of bag to make it easier for topstitching.
    Making reversible bag Making reversible bag

    9. Match the tops seams together and pin all open edges of straps. You can also use fusible tapes to make sure it is neat. But I will use pins here.
    Making reversible bag

    10. Topstitch all edges of bag. I use different colour thread for the bobbin.
    Making reversible bag A reversible bag!

    A reversible bag!
    A reversible bag! A reversible bag!

    Thank you for reading and I hope this post is useful for you!

    Click to download:




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