Whip Up Tutorials

Katie grew up in Ohio and now lives in Boston, so she knows the value of a good double-layer mitten. She has been known to draw diagrams to illustrate her point. To read more about her creations, visit her blog: Foxflat

How to make Convection Mittens

Convection Mittens are serious handwarmers for serious wind and cold! They’re for when whimsical winter accessories just don’t cut it, and for all the times your hands can’t be shoved into coat pockets (carrying grocery bags home, pulling a sled, holding a dog leash).

When I saw how much fleece-lined wool mittens cost in stores, I tinkered with a pattern that could be made quickly and cheaply. Convection Mittens are sewn from felted wool with a fleece lining. They can be made in a couple of hours using repurposed thrifted clothing, and the pattern can be enlarged or shrunk on a copier to fit your whole family’s hands. Give them a try – I’d love to see how they turn out!

DOWNLOAD PDF: includes illustrated instructions and a printable pattern for making your own pair of Convection Mittens.

Sewing machine, shears, needle, thread :: 1/2 yard (metre) each of felted wool and thin polyester fleece

Felted wool and polyester fleece can both be purchased new, but they’re easy to find at a thriftstore. For the fleece, pick out a thinner weight pullover or a pair of pajama pants. Black fleece is always classy for adults, but for kids you could pick out something in a fun color or pattern.

For the felted wool, find a lightweight, 100% wool sweater with a care tag that says “dry clean only”. It’s going to thicken significantly when it shrinks, so it’s important to start with something lightweight or the felted version won’t be pliable enough to go through your sewing machine. I chose a tweedy solid, but you could also pick out a fun pattern like snowflakes or fair isle. Felt the sweater at home in your washing machine. If you haven’t felted a sweater on purpose before, The Magic Onions has a nice photo tutorial. The one thing I would add is that I always shave the final product with a disposable razor to remove extra fuzz.


Back to school lunch kit

This washable and re-usable lunch sack is perfect for school or work or even picnics.


  • 2 cotton tea towels or other sturdy washable cotton/linen fabric
  • (For the large bag: 4 pieces 35x40cm;  for the small bag: 4 pieces 25x35cm)
  • Stiff iron-on interfacing (optional)
  • Small length of elastic (elastic hair tie is perfect) + a cute button


  • Sewing machine
  • scissors, pencil
  • Ruler and pins

Step 1

  • – Cut your fabric 2 pieces each for the outside + 2 for the lining (35 x 40 cm / 14 x 16 inches for the large bag or 25 x 35 cm / 10 x 14 inches for the small bag)
  • – OPTIONAL: Cut out 2 pieces of interfacing the same size as your bag pieces (this is to stabilise and strengthen the fabric). Iron this onto the wrong side of 2 of your pieces of fabric. This will become the lining.

Step 2

  • – Sew, with rights sides together, your 2 pieces of fabric for the outside of the bag. Only sew the sides and bottom seams, leave the top open.
  • – Then turn the bag so that the seam are aligned and the base makes a diamond shape. Mark 5cm in from the corner tips and draw a line across (see the photograph). Then sew across this line. And trim off the excess fabric.
  • – Repeat these steps for the lining and turn it right sides out.

Step 3

  • – Place the lining and outer bags one inside the other, with right sides facing and seams aligned. Then sew around the top of the bag, leave a 5cm gap in which to turn the bag right side out. Pull out the lining through the gap and then push the lining back into the bag, so that you have right sides facing outwards. Sew a top seam around the top edge, which will also sew the gap shut.

Step 4

  • – Press the bag so that it resembles a gusseted paper bag. Sew on a button onto the front of the bag and an elastic tie onto the top, to close the bag. Alternatively you could attach velcro.


How to make a Chef’s Hat

Kids and adults and everyone in between will love wearing this chef’s hat in the kitchen, it can be made in all kinds of fabric combinations and sizes and it is practical for keeping your hair out of the food too.


  1. Strip of fun fabric for band – approx 20 x 60cm / 8 x 25 inches
  2. Square of white fabric for top – approx 60 x 60cm / 8 x 25 inches


  1. Sewing machine and thread
  2. Scissors, pins, pencil and measuring tape
  3. Iron

Step 1: Making the band

  • – Measure the chef’s head circumference (approx 54-56 cm / 21-22 inches for child, or 60-64 cm / 24-25 inches for adult).
  • – Cut the band fabric to this length and 20 cm / 8 inches wide. Press it in half lengthways with wrong sides together.
  • – Open it back up and place the short ends right sides together, pin and sew. Then press this seam open.
  • – Fold it back along the pressing line to form a ring with the wrong sides together. Put this aside.

Step 2. Making the top

  • – Cut your square of fabric into a circle, to help with this fold your square of fabric on the diagonal – first in half, then quarters then eighths. Mark the corners as shown with a pencil and cut off these corners to form your circle.
  • – Sew a line of stitches around the perimeter of the circle with a large loose straight stitch, don’t backstitch at the beginning or end. Pull the threads gently to gather the stitches until the circle circumference is the same as the band.

Step 3. Putting the chef’s hat together

  • – Pin the raw edges of the band and the top of the hat together – rights sides facing. Adjust the gathers if you need it to be bigger or smaller to fit the band properly.
  • – Sew together with a straight stitch, then sew the edges with a zigzag stitch to tidy the raw edges. And hey presto you are done!


Seat sack tutorial by Liz Noonan

Liz Noonan is an artist and crafter working north of Boston.  You can read about her on her blog, and see what she’s crafting lately in her Etsy Shop, here [Liz is offering whipup.net readers a 10% discount off their total purchase in her shop use this discount coupon code: WhipUp10

Thank you for having me over on Whip Up today! My second graders classroom has very little space, so we came up with this idea for making a bag that hangs over the chair, for each student. Each “Seat Sack” has a large pocket for notebooks and other large items, as well as a smaller pocket, on the front, for pens, pencils, markers or other smaller supplies. I made about 50 of these total, since I made some for my other daughters’ kindergarten class as well.  The tricky part was figuring out how to do this in as few steps as possible. I’m offering this tutorial today to show others how to make them as well.

Supplies needed for each “Seat Sack”:

  • 1/2 yard (45 cm) heavy weight fabric, cotton twill or canvas
  • 9–11 inch (22–29 cm) piece of heavy fabric for a pen pocket on the front, optional.
  • Thread
  • Each finished sack will be approx 15 inches wide by 14 inches long (38 x 35 cm)
What you need to do:
  1. Start with your 1/2 yard of fabric, press and finish top and bottom edges.
  2. Stitch your front pocket about 2 inches (5 cm) from the top of the front pocket, and center it.
  3. Press your 1/2 yard into approx thirds: the pen pocket section should be about 12 inches (30 cm), and the other two thirds will be about 14 inches (35 cm) each, these measurements will vary depending on the width of the fabric you buy and includes a half inch seam allowance.
  4. Fold your front pocket up, so that it measures 12 inches (30 cm) and press the bottom.
  5. For the rest of the fabric, the middle is half the distance of the rest of the fabric, so measure up halfway (about 14 inches) and press so that the end of the fabric covers the front pocket. It will look like a kind of sandwich – it should cover the pocket.
  6. Sew this side seam with a small straight stitch or serge so that it is strong. I reinforced the bottom seams for good measure.
  7. Turn your “Seat Sack” inside out and you’re finished!


Mid-season quilt

This super simple quilt pattern uses a pack of pre-cut layer cakes and is perfect for boys or girls and with a few short cut methods you can make it in a weekend.


  • 42 squares of 25 x 25 cm fabric / 10 inch square (pre-washed if you are worried colours might run) (use a pack of pre-cut layer cakes if you have one)
  • Cotton batting (1.5 x 1.7 metres / 60 x 67 inches)
  • Backing fabric (Feel free to recycle something from your linen closet that you don’t use very often) (1.5 x 1.7 metres / 60 x 67 inches)
  • Neutral coloured cotton thread for sewing and quilting
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter, cutting mat and quilt ruler (or scissors)
  • Basting spray


  • – Use 1/4 inch seam allowances throughout
  • – Ensure your backing is 10 cm / 4 inches larger than your quilt top all the way around – don’t cut it until after your quilt top is finished.
  • – Cut your batting to the same size as your quilt top – again after you have finished sewing it.
  • – Only use basting spray in a well ventilated space and read the manufacturer instructions before using.
  • – When machine quilting on your sewing machine – remember to take regular breaks and stretch your back.
  • – If using all cotton you can wash this quilt in the washing machine.

Step 1. Sewing

  • – Lay out your fabric squares and arrange into 6 rows of 7 squares, then sew the rows together. Press seams in one direction.
  • – Pin your rows together, matching up your seams and sew your rows together. Press the entire quilt top.
  • – Now measure it – and cut your batting 5 cm / 2 inches larger on all sides, then cut your quilt backing 10 cm / 4 inches larger on all sides.

Step 2. Basting the quilt

  • – Lay your quilt backing right side down onto your surface in a well ventilated space, and tape down the corners with masking tape – ensuring it is evenly taught all around.
  • – Lay your batting centred on top and lay your quilt top right side up centred on the top, tape down the backing and quilt top at one end.
  • – Have your basting spray ready and roll or fold back your quilt top carefully from the non-taped end to the taped end. Spray your batting evenly all over, then carefully roll your quilt top back, a little bit at a time, smoothing as you go. Repeat for the batting+quilt top so that all three layers are stuck together with the basting spray.
  • – Remove the masking tape and turn your quilt over and starting from the middle smooth the wrinkles out of the back. You are now ready to quilt.

 Step 3. Quilting the quilt

  • – Get comfortable, this is going to take about 2-3 hours to stipple quilt, ensure you have good lighting, music, a comfortable chair, plenty of filled bobbins and a new needle in your machine. Choose a big stipple design and practice with pencil and paper first.
  • – Lower the feed dogs on your sewing machine and an use an embroidery foot.
  • – Start stipple quilting in a random design from one corner of the quilt, gradually making your way over the entire surface, bunching or folding or rolling (whatever works for you) the quilt under your machine as you go. 2-3 hours later you have finished quilting your quilt. Take a break and have a cup of tea (or a slug of the stipple of your choice – you deserve it).

Step 4. Binding the quilt

  • – Lay out your quilt and check the quilt top and backing are even – you may need to measure and trim so that your quilt backing overhang is an even 4-5 cm / about 2 inches all around. You will use this to self bind the quilt.
  • – Fold the edge of the backing over to the quilt top edge and then fold the backing over again so it cover the quilt top and folds over to the front of the quilt. Pin around the entire quilt edge. When it comes to the corners you can make a neat mitred corner or square it off. Take this to your sewing machine and machine sew this down using a straight stitch or zigzag stitch. Now you are done – congratulations! Wash and use.