Wednesday, January 7, 2015

guest interview and tutorial / / sophie

We have a guest blogger over for an interview and tutorial--Sophie! She is so creative and I love her blog! So let's start--

1. Tell us about yourself.
Hi, I'm Sophie! I'm 14 years old, and I'm pretty new to the teen blogging community. I started iDesigns (my blog) in March 2014, and I'm so glad that I did! I'm on the varsity cheer team at my high school, and I'm currently working on costumes for my schools Spring musical. When I'm not blogging, I love reading, scrolling through Pinterest for hours on end, and of course, sewing! Oh, and I'm a bit of a neat freak... I reorganize my bedroom and sewing space practically every other week!

2. What made you start blogging?
I actually created iDesigns in 2012, but I didn't write a single post! After kind of forgetting about it, I came back to it almost two years later and really started blogging. I've always been interested in interior design, and more recently, sewing, and I couldn't think of a better way of sharing my passion than blogging! I love writing and graphic design too, so blogging seemed like a perfect thing for me! And now after exploring the teen blogging community, I'm so glad to be part of it :)

3. What are your hobbies?
Interior design is definitely my biggest hobby, and I'm almost 100% sure it's what I want to do as a career! Managing my business, Designs by Sophie, is also so much fun for me, as is sewing for fun. And I must confess, I'm a bit of a shopaholic, which make sit difficult to save up money to invest in my blog! I also love cheerleading, creative writing, and photography.

4. What products do you offer?
Designs by Sophie offers a variety of handsewn products! I would have to say the most popular is the decorative pillow... You can't go wrong with piling pillows on your bed or a comfy chair! I also sell different accessories like hair bows, scarves, and bookmarks, and a few no-sew products such as canvases. Designs by Sophie is also an interior design business, but sadly, it's pretty difficult to convince people to hire a teenager to design their space :(

5. How does being responsible for a blog, website, or online shop impact overall life and school?
Between all three of those, it's definitely difficult to to manage my time, especially now that I've started high school! I admit it, I cannot skip doing homework; if I do, I feel really guilty! So on nights where I have a lot of homework, plus cheerleading practice, the only time to blog is in the middle of the night! On weekends, I usually spend my extra time catching up on Designs by Sophie orders, so instead of going out with friends on Saturday nights, I'm wholed up in my sewing corner!

6. What do you like best about blogging?
I think my favorite part would have to be the fact that blogging helps me get out my ideas and sort of "hone my craft." That, and the amazing community I'm starting to get involved with, makes blogging my new favorite thing!

7. Any tips for current or future bloggers on being successful?
I would have to say that the biggest tip I have is to write your posts in batches. By that, I mean to take a long weekend off from school or a few vacation days and writing posts for the next month or so. I keep a journal all the time where I write down post ideas as I come up with them, so I already have the basic ideas down before it comes time to write the actual posts. Another super helpful practice is to use social media! I put this off for so long, and I'm finally starting to get into it. I'm already noticing a spike in my blog stats! And finally, get involved in the blogging community. The other bloggers I have talked with are so amazing and so inspiring!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ on to the tutorial!

Hey everyone, my name is Sophie, and I run the sewing and interior design blog, iDesigns by Sophie! I'm so excited to be here doing a guest post on Little Panda Crafts, so let's get started! The first thing I sewed by myself was a pillow cover, so that's what I'll be sharing with you today.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Pillow insert (for this tutorial, I used a 12 x 16 inch insert)
  • 1/4-1/2 yard of fabric, depending on your pillow size
  • Thread 
  • Sewing scissors
  • Rotary cutter (optional)
  • Thread snips (optional)
  • Pins
  • Needle

Step 1: Wash and iron the fabric. It's important to wash the fabric because it softens it a little but, and also rinses off whatever weird coating or chemicals that could be on it from the manufacturer. I would recommend running a quick zig-zag stitch around the edges before doing this so that the fabric doesn't fray.

Step 2: Cut the fabric to size, taking a 5/8 seam allowance into consideration on every side. So, since I was using a 12 inch x 16 inch pillow insert, I cut the fabric into two 13.25 inch x 17.25 inch pieces.

Step 3: Lay the fabric pieces on top of each other with the right sides touching each other in the middle. Then pin 3 of the 4 sides. I don't usually use too many pins; just use as many as you need!

Step 4: You've probably thinking, what about the 4th side? Since we have to insert the pillow into the cover, we can't sew all the way around. First, find the center (for this size, it was at 8.625 inches) and mark it with a pin or light pencil mark. Then, measure 5 or 6 inches out on either side of that mark, and mark those with two pins right next to each other. This is to remind you when to stop sewing!

Step 5: Sew around the cover using your sewing machine! Make sure not to use a basting stitch, it won't hold together well. When you're finished, use the thread snips to cut off the excess thread. If you don't have thread snips, scissors will work too!

Step 6: Snip the corners so that they will be sharper when you turn the cover it right side out. Then, go ahead and turn it right side out! Next, carefully insert the pillow form into the cover.

Step 7: The last step is to hand-stitch the open end using thread that matches your fabric. For this fabric, I chose white, so it wouldn't stand out. Tie it off and use the thread snips or scissors to cut off the excess thread. 

And that's it! I did this project for the first time without any sewing experience, so you can too!

Connect with me on social media: Facebook // Pinterest // Website // Blog // Etsy 


  1. What a lovely tutorial and interview! The pillow is adorable ♥
    Amy xx

    Perfect Imperfections

  2. Sophie's pillow case turned out great... what a great ability it is to be able to sew, it has probably been 20 years since I sewed and I highly doubt it would turn out this nice... xox

    MJ, I cannot possibly thank you enough for all the kind and sweet comments you give me, you are so thoughtful ... it touches me each time I receive a comment from you... I hope you are having a great January... with a lot of fun times... xox <3

  3. How cute! I really need to make some pillows for my living room. The ones I have are awful haha!

    xo Link

  4. Ahhh so adorable! Love the tutorial! I've probably made 5 or 6 of these in the last hour!

    A Little Bit Of Sunshine

  5. Interior designing is my frustration. I love cute stuff such as these but I can't create one. Or have ideas of my own. I just love to look at them. You're talented! :)

  6. Lovely interview and tutorial I hope your business expands Sophie and you find a way of balancing your busy blog life with school :)
    Another Teen On The Web

  7. You are so talented. love this tutorial :) !

  8. Love this tutorial and interview, and the finished cushion product is really pretty!

    Little Moon Elephant


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