50 Sewing Projects to Tackle This Spring
There’s just something so fresh about the spring season that makes you want to *sew* something. Maybe it’s the colorful gardens, the nice weather or all those fab spring brunches. Or maybe it’s the refreshing feeling of a full-on spring cleaning sesh. Whatever it is, your home interiors are just begging for a fresh sewing project. Don’t be intimidated by the end results of some of these DIYs — most don’t even require any major stitching skillz. So dust off that sewing machine and get some of these springtime projects rolling!
1. Junk Food Cat Toys DIY: Finally, junk food for your furry friends to enjoy. With some simple stitching and a pinch of catnip you’ll produce the cutest little cat toys in no time. (via A Beautiful Mess)
3. Rope Coaster DIY: Get your space ready for springtime company with this quick project. Customize these coasters with your favorite accent color, and keep all of those surfaces stylishly ring-free. (via A Beautiful Mess)
4. Statement Ottoman DIY: New furniture can be pretty pricey, but a trip to the thrift store can result in some serious treasures. Give an old ottoman a new life with this fun weekend project. (via Brit + Co)
5. Coiled Raffia Basket DIY: These baskets are great for adding a little texture and color to interiors. Make a few of these and gift them to everyone in your girl gang to bring spring color to their spaces. (via We Are Scout)
6. Passport Cover DIY: Prep for that summer vacay with a little passport personalization. Metallic goes with just about any pattern, so don’t be afraid to get a little crazy at the fabric store! (via Brit + Co)
7. Upcycled Pouf DIY: Poufs are perfect for propping your feet up after a long day, providing extra seating for your guests or tucking away in a corner when you need extra space. Upcycle a piece like this to complement your existing look and add a tray for a makeshift table. The options are endless with this DIY. (via OHOH Blog)
8. Slouchy Clutch DIY: Show your purse collection a little geometric love with this oversized slouchy clutch. Just a word of warning: You’ll probably be commissioned by your gal pals to make one for each of them too! (via Brit + Co)
9. Maxi Bag DIY: This project is perfect for those impromptu trips to the market or just heading off to the pool. Pick out a solid color or fabric that’ll go with any outfit, or have fun with a statement pattern that catches your eye. (via Canal Blog)
10. Patterned Canvas Pouf DIY: This versatile piece is pretty much unstoppable when you add a bit of pattern and color. Personalize your paints to suit your space and you’ll have some seating that you’ll be using year-round. (via Brit + Co)
11. Boho Lumbar Pillow DIY: You’ve probably seen a million of these boho lumbar beauties on Pinterest already. Save yourself a pretty penny and sew one yourself! Having complete control over your decorative accents can feel pretty empowering — just in time for turning over a new spring leaf. (via Francois et Moi)
12. Kate Spade-Inspired Heart Tote DIY: We know you died a little when Kate Spade’s heart tote came out last February. And since it’s vanished into thin air, it’s time to dust off the sewing machine and recreate the love for yourself. (via Riva La Diva)
15. Zipped Lips Pouch DIY: It’s okay if you maybe can’t leave a beauty aisle without a new shade of lipstick or gloss, but all of those gorgeous lip colors have to go somewhere. Customize this bag to match your favorite shade. (via A Beautiful Mess)
17. Two Piece Outfit DIY: A trip to your local thrift store can result in some seriously cute threads for spring/summer. Empty that online cart and save a few bucks with this handy DIY. (via Brit + Co)
20. Bathroom Storage Bags DIY: No one likes a lost beauty product meltdown in the AM. These cute and easy organizers will help keep all of your fave products right where you can find ’em. (via The Lovely Drawer)
21. Pink Travel Bag DIY: Small bags are such a genius way to keep your life in order while traveling. These go-bags will keep your stuff looking good and organized while you’re out galavanting. (via Brit + Co)
22. Fabric Pots DIY: Add a little texture to those spring blooms with this quick project. No worries if you weren’t blessed with a green thumb — the fabric slides off easily in case it needs a replacement. (via Pretty Quirky Pants)
25. Fried Egg Zipper Pouch DIY: That mimosa money needs an appropriate place to call home before the weekend arrives. Stash your cash in this adorable eggy pouch and you’ll be counting compliments before you even get to your table. (via Damask Love)
26. Kimono DIY: This money-saving project costs less than $10 and won’t even take you 30 minutes to make. Sewing novices, rejoice! Your Coachelle-inspired boho look is just minutes away. (via Brit + Co)
27. Circus Animal Cookie Pillow DIY: Pay tribute to your favorite childhood snack with this adorable how-to. If you’re uncomfortable with the sewing machine, no-sew glue will also work. (via Studio DIY)
29. Felt Palm Leaf Pillow DIY: Tropical prints are always hot during the spring/summer months, but this project saves you some cash and looks just as good. Pair it with bright solid pillows to add contrast, or animal prints to really ramp up that jungle fever. (via A Beautiful Mess)
31. Emoji Dog Bed DIY: Who wouldn’t want to take a nap on top of their favorite Emoji? Your pooch will appreciate the extra fluff, and hey, there’s totally nothing wrong with making a human-sized version for Netflix nights in front of the AC. (via Studio DIY)
32. Crop Top DIY: Everyone’s favorite summer staple will be everywhere soon. Head to the fabric store for some new patterns and get going on this adorable top before the weather really heats up. (via Brit + Co)
33. Travel Makeup Brush Holder DIY: Keep those brushes from getting your clothes dirty in your suitcase with this handy project. You’ll love picking out fabrics to suit your taste just as much as unrolling them to get ready while you’re away on vacation. (via Revamperate)
39. Hammock Chair DIY: You’re going to need a chair to lounge in the sunshine pretty soon. This vintage-inspired project gives you a great place to soak up some rays and add some ’70s vibes to your crib. (via A Beautiful Mess)
42. Modular Blocks Quilt DIY: This ain’t your grandma’s quilting, but this bright, punchy number is too gorgeous not to share with the other quilters in the family. The tough part will be deciding on your color scheme first — you just might have to make a few and hand them out as gifts. (via Purl Soho)
43. Serape Summer Essentials DIY: These bright blankets are amazingly versatile. Spend a couple bucks on your favorite color combination and you’ll have the fabric for most of your summer essentials. (via Brit + Co)
44. Knot Pillow DIY: These metallic knot pillows look just as great alone as when they’re adding a little texture play to a collection on the couch. As if you needed another excuse to add more metallic love to your apartments… (via Little Inspiration)
45. Embellished Skirt DIY: Sometimes hitting the refresh button on a seasonal wardrobe just means updating something you already own! You don’t have to be a pro to nail this embellished skirt DIY — just grab an old favorite piece and get to decorating. (via Brit + Co)
48. Squash Blossom Block DIY: Wall hangings are all the rage right now. If you’re not quite ready to quilt just yet, try your hand at this traditional square and show your wall some love instead. (via Holly Gets Quilty)
50. Linen Potholder DIY: Your kitchen could use a little sewing DIY love too! These little potholders are minimal enough for just about any cooking space, and if you find out the host’s color scheme in advance, they’d make great *housewarming* gifts. (via The Merrythought)
Looking for more projects to tackle this weekend? Follow us on Pinterest for more DIY ideas and inspo!
Artist Dev Heyrana On How Bravery, Resilience and Sunshine Influence Her Work
Ever meet someone who you feel immediate kinship with on a deep almost spiritual level? That is legit every person's experience upon meeting Dev Heyrana, the star of this edition of Creative Crushin'. A fine artist, hip hop dance teacher and constant collaborator, Dev's particular brand of creativity is one-of-a-kind. She manages to be warm, welcoming and woke, with a focus on inclusivity, social justice and motherhood that comes through in every piece of art she creates.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and one of many humans who has benefitted from Dev's boundless generosity and kindness. We first connected at a launch event, then I asked her if she and her family would like to model for a B+C shoot (they did!), then months later, I asked the IG universe if anyone would be down to co-parent with me for a day so I could speak at a conference. Dev said yes! And for those that know her, none of these serendipitous moments are surprising.
Now it's time to delve more into Dev's story, her creative inspiration, her thoughtful approach to parenting and what makes her more passionate than ever about bringing her point of view and artistic voice into the universe.
Anjelika Temple: First, foundations. Where did you grow up? What is your heritage? What did you study in school? Where do you live now?
Dev Heyrana: Born in The Philippines and immigrated to the U.S. when I was 9 years old. Me and my family are from the island of Cebu and I'm a proud Cebuana. My childhood in the Philippines felt like freedom. I had my swimsuit in my backpack for whenever we decided to swim and I biked everywhere.
Immigrating here at 9 yrs old was a transition, to say the least. My parents had big dreams but the move was heavy on them. It wasn't easy. I had to grow up fast. I took care of my sisters while my parents worked night shifts. By the age of 12 I would cook dinner and get my sisters ready for bed. Something I didn't realize was that kids my age didn't do those things until I got older. We would play these make-believe games to make, in hindsight, our hard situation brighter.
I think this is really when art played a big role in my life. It was something I could escape in and always felt healing.
I witnessed racism towards my family and didn't know how to make sense of it. These events left a mark. I was a quiet kid and observed everything and everyone around me. I think about my grandparents, Lolo Jose and Lola Rita, a lot as I walk through life. When I make decisions. As hard as it feels, you have two choices, do you let it take you down or take it one step at a time forward. I kept going and it really shaped me as to why I am the way I am today.
I studied Fine Arts at The Corcoran in DC. I owe that decision to my art teacher, Mr Giles, in High School. He was retiring and wore a Hawaiian shirt every day during my senior year. He was a curmudgeon and I felt incredibly special since out of everyone in the school he really believed in me. As grumpy as he seemed to the class, he would tell me things like "Go into the other studio and break some glass, then put it on a canvas." He's the reason why my abstract pieces have elements like clay and sand in them.
I've had incredible mentors and all were teachers. Mr. Giles in High School and Christine George in College. Christine was the one who told me to go either to New York or San Francisco because "D.C. is no place for an artist like you." She told me to not listen to anyone, how I can still paint, be a graphic designer, and, if I choose to, have a family. I've never had anyone tell me anything like that before.
I took a chance because of her. Moved and went to Design School in 2006 and I've stayed in the Bay Area ever since, raising two girls with the love of my life.
Anj: You are one of those magical human beings that has figured out how to be a full-time artist. What was your career path like before you were able to dive fully into your creative passions?
Dev: The most radical thing I could have done in my family, I did, I went to college for Fine Arts. A mix of being so young and having to do it on my own, I went with the school that gave me more scholarships. Even then I worked three jobs to be able to get through it. Hard work is ingrained in me.
With my sculpture background, I fell in love with Print and Packaging and why I came out here to San Francisco. I appreciated the security of having a career in Graphic Design. I also learned how to work with clients and the business side of things. Even then, I never stopped painting.
A few years ago I went through a pretty hard time with my health. I dealt with six surgeries in one year and I still have to do some follow-up ones. That experience almost broke me and what got me through was my family and painting in bed while I recovered.
When I finally got back on my feet, my heart just wasn't in Graphic Design anymore. So I made a two year plan. With a toddler and a mortgage, I wanted to make sure my steps were thought out. I put myself out there as an Artist while I still worked in Design. After a year I worked part time as a Graphic Designer and stepped down from my Creative Director position. I loved it, to be creative as an Artist and as a Designer. I looked at 2018 as my year to make the jump. If my work as an Artist balances out with my salary then I would quit in the Summer of 2019. And so here we are. I also am sharing a studio with my good friend, Naomi PQ, and I feel like my creative drive is just beginning.
Anj: What do you love about painting? How do you feel when you're in a creative flow state?
Dev: Like every part of me is free. Free to express myself through the stroke of my hand. How all of it leads back to my heart. These elements I use to paint have a mind of their own and how I need to respect the process.
It centers me and reminds me that the process is just like the life we lead. I know I still have so much more to learn but while I'm painting no matter how it's going, I'll embrace this moment.
Anj: You reference your roots quite a bit in your work. Talk to me more about how your roots inspire your work.
Dev: One of my earliest memories is of my Lolo Jose teaching me how to water mango saplings. He converted to Buddhism when my mother was young, so he viewed the world with love and kindness. I didn't realize it then but watering those mango trees were life lessons. We need to take the time to nurture, practice patience, and respect all living things. I still imagine him walking beside me often, carrying his teachings as I find my way in this world.
Nature and the Sun drive my pieces. My abstract works are fragments of moments. Like the sunset I grew up with when I was seven years old in the Philippines, like how I saw the water in Cebu when I dove in as a young adult, and like when I saw the redwoods with my children for the first time.
I see earth in our skin and especially when I paint people. How our mango trees grew and blossomed because the dark earth was rich with nutrients. I imagine the Sun piercing through these women I depict. I paint their love and bravery because their resilience cannot be contained. I want to celebrate all of it.
This is the beauty of Art, I am able to paint exactly how I see it.
Anj: Motherhood and your daughters are also central themes in your work. How has motherhood changed your approach to creating artwork?
Dev: Everything. I was still deep in my Design Career and I would paint at home. One day Quinn, who was 3 years old at the time introduced me at the park to a mom. "This is my mom, she's an Artist." It struck me that my toddler knew who I was more than I knew myself. That's really when I really owned it. I am more fearless because of my girls.
I own my body, I thank people when they compliment me, and I am selective but fearless when I use my voice. I am more in tune how I speak about myself because of them. When I paint these women I want to celebrate them. I notice how I embrace myself is translated in my paintings.
Anj: What advice can you give to parents who are trying to tap into their kiddos' innate creativity?
Dev: I don't have a lot of guidelines set up. I'll say "Let's draw the biggest fish we can draw" or "how many silly lines can we make" and I let them lead me. They ask me questions, show me things, and I sit there with my coffee watching their eyes wide with excitement. Watching them in their creative process is pure joy for me. Those silly lines can turn into a dragon or waves and next thing we know, we're drawing a big beach scene. My advice would be that you can suggest something to start it off but be open to how they take it. It is such a beautiful window into their minds.
Anj: Shifting gears to HIP HOP DANCE! Talk to us about his component of your creative expression.
Dev: I loved the Hip Hop scene in DC and discovered how much fun the clubs were in college. My friends told me about this Hip Hop Crew I should try out for, I was so scared because I've never taken a dance class in my life. I got in and it was like having another family. We competed all over the East Coast, it was a blast!
I found hipline when I started my first Design Job and needed an outlet. It was exactly what I needed and one of the owners asked if I was interested to teach. I've been teaching there since 2009 and am still going strong. It's a wonderful community of women. Now we're virtual and reaching clients all over.
Anj: What does a typical [pandemic] day look like for you? How does it differ from your rhythm before COVID?
Dev: I've been practicing being kinder to myself lately. Both me and my husband work full time and so having the girls at home is a challenge. Some days we are amazed by how smooth it went and then there are others where if the girls are clean and bellies are full, it's a total win.
Now that we're on month 8 our rhythm before covid felt more chaotic to be honest. I felt like we were always rushing out the door while carrying so many bags. Now my husband and I try to have coffee together, if he has a break from his meeting, and we sit with Quinn before school to see what she has to do for the day. Rowan's preschool closed down but we were able to find a wonderful speech therapist for her and she has an Adventure Pod we go to two times a week.
The one thing we really try to do is go outside once a day. Have some magic in their childhood no matter how small. It could be just going up for a hike by our home and picking up leaves, riding our bikes, or watching the sunset from our window. Seeing how the girls' react to these adventures we have is pure magic.
Anj: When you get creatively blocked or burnt out, how do you reset? Do you have tips you can share?
Dev: I go outside. I go out for a hike or go to the beach. Even if it's 15 minutes, something about grounding yourself in Nature is really healing. I also do exercise where I doodle for two minutes because it feels doable. Judgment-free doodles, always opens the doorway to more.
Anj: I know firsthand that community-building is huge for you. Tell us more about what your support system and creative community looks like.
Dev: I feel a lot of love and strength when I think of my community. My relationship with my sister led the way what women supporting women looks like. It's listening, asking questions, remembering, cheering for all the wins, being there even if it's hard, and taking time to invest in them. The way me and my sister show up for each other is why I have these amazing women in my life. I can talk to them about my family, motherhood, and we're all trying to balance it all while sharing my most recent project. I feel really blessed especially looking back in my college years where I don't know where Art would take me.
Anj: When you need to give yourself a pep talk, what does it sound like?
Dev: I usually take a deep breath then say or think "One step forward". Most of the time, I'm scared (as shit) but the thought of not trying scares me more. That one step forward can be hard as hell and maybe even heartbreaking, but I have to try.