15 Beginner Sewing Tutorials for National Sewing Machine Day

Guys. Sewing machines are apparently SEW important (I had to) they’ve got two days dedicated to them. One is June 13th and the other is tomorrow! The first US sewing machine patent was issued to Elias Howe Jr. on September 10, 1846. Jury’s out as to why June 13th is significant. I’m celebrating by breaking out my sewing machine and tackling a few beginner projects. Here are 15 to inspire:

handmade poppy pouch - poor and pretty

1. Field Poppy Pouch via For the Makers — this tutorial uses a needle + thread, but I used my sewing machine to sew the sides. It was the first non-test project I completed on my sewing machine, so I had to include it.

fabric napkins and placemats via smile and wave

2. Cloth Napkins and Placemats via Smile and Wave. This is a great first project – you just need able to sew in a straight line!

felt coaster via whimsey box

3. Felt Coasters via Whimseybox. I do have a lot of felt lying around…

felt ipad case via cheryl style

4. Felt iPad Sleeve via Cheryl Style. These would make great gifts for friends with tablets! Make them smaller, and you’ve got an iPhone sleeve.

DIY heart tag teabags via @poorandpretty

5. Tea Bags via A Beautiful Mess. I made these — along with teacup candles — for Jordan’s wedding shower, remember?

envelope pillow covers via i heart stitching

6. Envelope Pillow Cover via I Heart Stitching. Pillow covers are an easy way to switch up your living room or bedroom style.

herbal sachet via craftypod

7. Heart Herbal Sachets via CraftyPod. How cute is this little herbal sachet? Fill them with lavender and chamomile and place them under your pillow if you’re having trouble sleeping. You can also store them in your dresser to make your clothes smell lovely.

circle garland via natty by design

8. Circle Garland via Natty By Design. Use a big craft circle punch to cut out a bunch of colorful circles and string them all together with your sewing machine. Easy!

brigitte head scarf via tilly and the buttons

9. Brigitte Scarf via Tilly and the Buttons. This adorable head scarf is from Tilly Walnes book, Love at First Stitch, filled with lots of fun clothing and accessory sewing tutorials.

cotton top via a beautiful mess

10. Simple Cotton Top via A Beautiful Mess. I love how summery and breezy this top is!

hem jeans via brit + co

11. How to Hem Your Jeans via Brit + Co. Hemming jeans is Sewing Machine 101, and comes in handy for shorties like me.

maxi skirt dress via delia creates

12. Maxi Skirt / Dress via Delia Creates. Delia calls this the “Versa Skirt” because it’s so versatile. I usually have a hard time finding maxi skirts that I’m not tripping all over (though I suppose knowing how to hem would be helpful there, too!)

paper bag skirt via simple simon + co

13. Paper Bag Skirt via Simple Simon and Company. This has got to be the cutest elastic waist skirt ever!

color inserts via BurdaStyle

14. Color Inserts via BurdaStyle. Add a pop of color to a blazer, pair of jeans, or any other article of clothing. BurdaStyle is a great resource for seamstresses of all levels.

bow belt via tilly and the buttons

15. Bow Belt via Tilly and the Buttons. I couldn’t resist including this bow belt! I want to make these in every color imaginable.


Outfit: Orange You Glad?

Outfit - orange you glad feat

Outfit - orange you glad via @poorandpretty

Orange you glad it’s Friday? I sure am. I’ve had a hectic week, and I’m ready for the weekend. And I’m obsessed with these capris! You’ve seen me wear them with a loud lime green tank, but this peasant top tones them down a bit.

Outfit - orange you glad 3 via @poorandpretty

And here’s another one of my lazy long hair tricks: leave it damp, spray it with a little homemade sea salt hairspray, twist a few strands back and lock them into place with a bobby pin. Adds a touch of Renaissance, especially with the peasant top.

Outfit - orange you glad 2 via @poorandpretty

Outfit details: Patterned Peasant Top: Target, $25. Right on Cue Capri Pants in Orange: ModCloth, $17. White Crochet TOMS: White Crochet Women’s Classics, $59. Watch: Timex Originals Classic Round, courtesy of Timex.


Friday Faves: Thrift Shop Finds

If you’ve been reading Poor & Pretty for a while, you’ll know that I’ve found a lot of great clothing, shoes, and even housewares at consignment shops and thrift stores. So in honor of National Thrift Shop Day on August 17th, I’m taking a look back at a few of my favorite finds.

Thrift Store Faves - Retro Office Pinup

Remember this Today’s Threads post from 2012? It’s my favorite collection of thrifted clothing, all in one outfit! Everything but the shoes and tights are from thrift stores. View the full outfit details here.

Thrift Store Faves - black Mary Janes - outfits numbered

My best shoe find has got to be these black Mary Janes, which I’ve worn in quite a few outfit posts: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Thrift Store Faves - red glitter flats outfits

These red flats were another great find! I jazzed them up with this glittery cap toe DIY. Here are all the ways I’ve worn them so far: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

5-4-12 hoping for spring details

My belt, capris, and scarf from this spring 2012 outfit post were thrifted!


I wore the same turquoise belt in this outfit, with a thrifted purple shirt.

A few of my favorite thrift and consignment shops for clothing are: Peonies (now closed but we made an awesome video there), Plato’s Closet, Shop Mieux, ThredUp, and Uptown Consignment.

Thrift stores aren’t just for clothes! I’ve found great housewares there, too, including a few frames I’ve remade into…

DIY Framed Jewelry Organizer by @poorandpretty

A jewelry organizer, and…


A pegboard organizer for your office.

What are your favorite thrift and consignment shops? What has been your best thrift find?


Outfit: Chevron Blues & Stitch Fix

Blue Chevron Outfit via @poorandpretty

A few months ago I signed up for the personal styling service, Stitch Fix, and I am in love! Every month, they send me five articles of clothing or accessories based on my taste, budget, and lifestyle. Both the tank top and the skinny jeans from this outfit were in one of my “fixes.”

Blue Chevron Outfit 2 via @poorandpretty

Just as with my For the Makers subscription, I love getting a box delivered to me every month with surprises inside. The stylists at Stitch Fix do their best to match me with quality pieces based on my Style Profile, a short survey about my fashion likes and dislikes, sizing information, etc. They encourage you to link to a Pinterest board that showcases your style to help them better match your Fixes with your personality. After you fill out your Style Profile, it may take a few weeks to get your first Fix to you, but when you receive it you have three days to try on everything and send back (in a pre-paid shipping bag) whatever you don’t like. If you keep everything, you get a 25% discount off of your entire order. If you send back everything, you only pay a $20 styling fee.

Purple Succulent via @poorandpretty

I’ve received only a few things I wouldn’t wear. Most of the time, I keep everything in my Fix unless it doesn’t fit. I especially love when they send me something I wouldn’t necessarily have picked out for myself and I end up really liking it. It really is like having your own personal stylist! You can change your frequency to receive them once a month, every 2-3 weeks, or once every two months. Wanna learn more or sign up? Do it.

Messy Hair Bun Flower via @poorandpretty

Side note: you know how my hair is getting really long and I’m finding myself lazily pulling it back into crazy things like “bear ears“? I’m also all about the messy bun.

Blue Chevron Outfit 3 via @poorandpretty

Outfit details: Trinidad Chevron Striped Henley Blouse: $38, Stitch Fix. Rizzo Skinny Ponte Pants: $88, Stitch Fix. Watch: Timex Originals Classic Round, courtesy of Timex. Sandals: Roxy, Famous Footwear, $20 (similar).

Full Disclosure: If you sign up for Stitch Fix using my links, I will receive a credit toward my next Fix. Yay! :)


Friday Faves: Summery Sandals & Flats Under $35

Favorite Summer Sandals + Flats Under $35 via @poorandpretty

Favorite Summer Sandals + Flats Under $35 via @poorandpretty

These Roxy sandals are my absolute favorite summer footwear, which is why they’re so well-worn. I bought them years ago, and they’ve lasted longer than any other pair of sandals I own. They’re comfortable and casual, but dressy enough to wear to work and nice events, too. Unfortunately, these aren’t available anymore, but I did find a few more sandals and flats to complement your summer wardrobe.

First, let’s talk about how awesome it is that jelly shoes are back! Yes!!! These are definitely my favorite style icon from the 90s.

Favorite Summer Jelly Shoes Under $35 via @poorandpretty

1. ASOS FUNKY Gladiator Jelly Shoes (ASOS). 2. Confetti on the Dance Floor Flat (ModCloth). 3. Juju Seven Yellow Flat Jelly Sandals (ASOS). 4. Flat Lattice Jelly Sandal (American Apparel).

Favorite Summer Flip Flops Under $35 via @poorandpretty

And what would summer be without the iconic flip-flop? 5. Roxy Firenze Flip Flop (DSW). 6. DV8 Splash (Zappos). 7. Women’s Classic Flip Flops (Old Navy). 8. O’Neill Wander ’14 Women’s Sandals (6pm).

Favorite Summer Bow Sandals + Flats list

Bows are also big this year. 9. Dizzy J-Drop Flat Sandal (DSW). 10. GUESS Tutu 2 (Zappos). 11. Mel Pop Ballet Flat (DSW). 12. Jelly Bow Thong Sandals (Prima Donna).

Favorite Summer Dressy Sandals Under $35 via @poorandpretty

These sandals are a bit dressier, so you can wear them to work or summer soirées. 13. Zen in Rome Sandal (ModCloth). 14. Billabong Tassle Me (Zappos). 15. Mootsies Tootsies Pamela Wedge Sandal (DSW). 16. Sunset in Your Ways Flat (ModCloth).

Favorite Summer Flats Under $35 via @poorandpretty

And finally, a few flirty flats! 17. Morning Amour Flat (ModCloth). 18. Lily Pad Ballet Flats (ASOS) – these would look great with DIY glittery cap toes ;) 19. White Crochet Women’s Classics (TOMS). 20. Frolic in Fresno Flat (ModCloth).