Make Fast & Easy Drawstring Cords from a T-shirt

If you need a fabulous soft drawstring for small to mid-size projects, this could be just the ticket for you!

When I designed my Got Sudz Soap Scrubby Bags, I wrote the pattern to include instructions for making a woven fabric drawstring. This year, when I was making a bunch for gifts, I decided to give the t-shirt yarn method a try and it is AAAAAMMMAAAZING!!!

I have posted a quick Facebook video that you can watch on facebook by clicking here.

If you’re not on Facebook or you’d just prefer the written tutorial, here it is:

You can use virtually any cotton or cotton/poly t-shirt, even if it has a side seam. The t-shirt can be new, used, a thrift store find, swiped from your spouse’s/partner’s/kid’s closet or drawer…whatever works for you.

Lay the t-shirt out on your cutting mat and smooth it out well, lining up shoulder and arm hole seams. Make it as wrinkle free and smooth as possible and cut off the bottom, hemmed edge.
After removing the bottom hemmed edge, measure and cut a 1 inch strip, making sure you have nice clean edges on both sides of the strip. NOTE: You can make wider strips if you need a thicker drawstring.
Pick up the strip and separate the t-shirt layers to see the large loop of fabric you now have.
Insert both hands into the loop. Using both hands, grasp each end and pull outward, stretching the loop. You have now formed a rolled, knit cord loop.

Now all you need to do is cut the length of cord you need for your project.

Since the t-shirt fabric won’t fray, once the drawstring is inserted into your project, simply tie off the ends, as was done with this Got Sudz bag.

Have you ever used this method for making a drawstring? If you have needs for a drawstring in your future, I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know what you think!

I’d love to hear your thoughts below.

I’m Coming Clean — FREE New Year’s Day Got Sudz Sew-Along

Are you interested in joining a New Year’s Day 2021 Virtual Sew-Along with me?

This coming Friday, 1/1/2021, I’ll be “Coming Clean” with my first ever FREE Sew-along via Facebook Live Video. You’re invited! You can easily find out more and RSVP to this Facebook event by clicking here.

Around 3PM Eastern Time on New Year’s Day, I’ll be sewing up another Got Sudz Soap Saver & Scrubby Bag with you. I’ll also be sharing some modifications I’ve made to the pattern that make it even easier and more fun to work with.

One of the fantastic modifications is the method and type of drawstring. You can use a t-shirt (new or old) to create drawstrings. Find the video how-to on our facebook page by clicking here.

These little soap bags make great gifts all year round and they’re so easy to customize to any recipient. After all, who do you know that doesn’t use soap and wouldn’t like to make their favorite soaps last longer?

The Sew-Along itself will be FREE, but you’ll need to purchase the pattern and supplies ahead of time. If you don’t have the pattern already, you can grab a download now while it’s on SALE.

In addition to having your sewing machine threaded and ready, you’ll need your Got Sudz pattern and the following items, as shown in the picture above:
1. Drawstring
2. Drawstring casing, cut, sewn and turned per pattern directions
3. Soft Poly Mesh cut to size and marked per pattern
4. Cord Lock

Ready, Set…SEW! Let’s get ‘er done. This sew-along is designed to be short and sweet. The plan is to show you how to whip one out in under 15 minutes. We may stay online and have some fun chatting a wee bit longer, but the sew-along portion should be fast and fun which means you’ll need to have your pattern and materials prepped in advance (and do a tiny bit of pre-event sewing) so that you’re ready to go. If you don’t have the pattern already, you can grab a download now while it’s on SALE.

Why do you sew?

Utility, gifting/making, personal joy, creativity, purpose, passion, expression, art, mental health, self care, or some other reason. Why do you sew?

I have been thinking a lot about this lately.

Clearly, there is no single correct answer for everyone. There’s just the right answer for you–for each of us individually–at any given point in time. How we answer today might be different from our answer in 2 days or 5 years.

For me? I guess I sew for all those reasons and because it seems to be one of the main outlets for the “maker, gifter and problem solver” in me. Also because it connects me to the past, present and future all at the same time. The past: I can not walk into my sewing room or pick up a project and not think of my sweet Grams who taught me how to sew. The present: During this time of Covid-19, sewing helps keep me grounded each day in doing something positive…even if it’s only thinking about sewing and mentally working on the next project. The future: Making gifts for children or grandchildren; stitching love for them and pouring out my heart of hope for their future gives me hope for the future. Sewing. It’s part of who I am. It’s just what I do.

I’d love it if you would chime in and share your thoughts with me in the comments below.

Note: to protect our readers from spam and spambots, I have to approve each comment before it will appear. I am not able to sit at the computer 24/7, so there may be a delay in seeing your comment. Please don’t let that stop you from posting and sharing.

This Quilter Eats Pumpkin Pie for Breakfast! Plus…my recipe.

On Friday I prepared a homemade pie crust. I’m neither the best nor worst crust maker. Truthfully, I could use more practice making pie crusts. But I’m afraid. You see, I love pie so much that if I practiced more that means I’d be baking more pies. And eating more of them. Probably for breakfast! Once in a while is fine, but at 55 years old, my metabolism isn’t what it once was and I’d like to not have to buy or sew a whole larger size wardrobe due to an out of control pie habit.

OK. Sew. Don’t judge.

This was the last piece. And it was DEEEEEElicious! Plus, pumpkin pie has way more nutrition than most commercial cereals! And technically, this isn’t even “pumpkin”. It’s an heirloom Spanish Squash called Buen Gusto de Horno which means, “good taste from the oven”. I just couldn’t help myself when I saw the gorgeous warty green “pumpkin” picture in the seed catalog listing, but I digress.

So…squash pie. This breakfast is actually pretty darn healthy, don’t you think? You knew all pumpkins are squash but not all squash are pumpkins, right?

I planted just a couple of this variety in my garden this year. Squirrels took one of the plants, but I still managed to get a few 7+ pound beautiful warty fruits from the remaining plant before the early freeze and snow came.

Buen Gusto de Horno Squash

Baker Creek (the seed company from which I purchased my seeds) says this in their description of this pumpkin…er…I mean, squash, “The dense, firm, medium yellow-orange flesh is sweet and fine-grained, and definitely excellent for baking. Add excellent keeping quality, and you’ve got a real winner that everyone is sure to love!

Here’s what it looks like when it’s cut open and the seeds have been scraped:

Now, maybe you’re thinking the inside flesh and thin green rind reminds you a little bit of cantaloupe? Well, I was surprised to discover it also smelled very sweet and quite a lot like cantaloupe. I wondered how this was going to work out for making a pie, but I charged ahead using the roasting and pureeing techniques I used for my New England Sugar Pie Pumpkins.

I was surprised again when I pulled the roasted squash out of the oven and the flesh had turned the most gorgeous deep gold. And the most heavenly, rich pumpkin aroma (no more cantaloupe smell).

OK…on to my recipe. This recipe is inspired by the one I used for YEARS (it came from the back of the can of a famous brand of commercially canned pumpkin). Yes, I did change it up. I don’t like my pumpkin pie too sweet so I cut the sugar a little bit. I also don’t care for quite so much ground cloves. I feel cloves are very strong and overtake the delicious pumpkin flavor; so, I use about 1/2 as much as the original recipe called for.

SewThankful Pumpkin Pie Ingredients:

  • Slightly less than 3/4 cup Granulated natural/unbleached Sugar (I remove about a tablespoon +/- from the 3/4 cup measure)
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon Ground ginger
  • Scant 1/8 Teaspoon Ground cloves (if you don’t have a 1/8 teaspoon, just eyeball about half of a 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin (or winter squash) puree (or one 15 oz. can of commercial pumpkin puree)
  • 1 12 fl oz Can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch deep-dish pie shell (4-cup volume)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk together the dry ingredients: sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Mix well, making sure all ingredients are evenly distributed.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Then add puree and sugar/spice mixture. Next, slowly stir in the evaporated milk. Stir thoroughly, making sure everything is well mixed and evenly distributed.

Pour pumpkin filling into pie shell.

Bake pie at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes.

Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for an additional 40 – 55 minutes or so. Test for done-ness by inserting a knife straight down near the center of the pie. The pie is done when the knife comes out clean.

Cool on wire rack for at least 2 hours, then chill in the refrigerator at least another 2 hours to over night before serving.

Optional Serving Suggestion: Top slices with a dollop of your favorite whipped cream, ice cream or other topping.

SewThankful Pumpkin Granola

When you’ve grown lots of baking/cooking pumpkins, you find lots of ways to use the flesh…and the seeds. I love this recipe because it uses both the pumpkin flesh and the seeds.

This pumpkin granola is soooo flipping delicious. It never lasts more than a couple of days in our house and the house smells absolutely wonderful as it’s baking. It’s fantastic to snack on plain, eat as cereal or sprinkle on yogurt or ice cream.

If you are using your own pumpkin puree and haven’t seen my post on how to puree fresh pumpkin, you can find it here.

If you’re using your own fresh pumpkin seeds, be sure to check out my post on brining pumpkin seeds and the one on toasting pumpkin seeds.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (“quick” variety is NOT recommended for this recipe)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) Butter OR 4 tablespoons Butter + ¼ cup Coconut Oil OR ½ cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup Nuts, coarsely chopped. Suggested: pecans, walnuts, almonds, pinons or blend recommended
  • 1 cup plain, lightly toasted seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, etc. or a blend)
  • 1/2 cup Maple Syrup OR Honey
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ginger (optional—if you don’t like ginger leave it out)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground Cloves (optional—if you don’t like cloves leave it out)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Combine all dry ingredients (oats, nuts, seeds), Cinnamon, Ginger, Ground Cloves and Sea Salt in an X-large mixing bowl. Stir and mix well until all dry ingredients are evenly distributed. Set aside.

Melt butter (or butter/coconut combo or coconut oil) until just melted and pour into small mixing bowl. Add remaining wet ingredients (maple syrup or honey and pumpkin) and mix well making sure the mixture is evenly combined and smooth.

Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients. Stir and mix well, making sure wet ingredients are evenly distributed and coating all the dry ingredients.

Divide mixture evenly between two regular size baking sheets (or one extra large baking sheet if you have it).

Bake in 250 degree oven for approximately 2 hours, stirring every 20 – 30 minutes. If you prefer chunkier granola, be more gentle and leave larger chunks when stirring.  

When time is up, remove from oven.

Cool completely, stirring periodically.

Once completely cooled, this granola should store quite well in an air tight container for up to a couple weeks (not entirely sure as it never lasts that long in our house).