Sew a Yo-Yo — Tutorial

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Fabric yo-yos have been around for decades. Industrious women cut apart feed sacks to make clothing for their families and the scraps turned into yo-yos. The yo-yos were then sewn together to make coverlets and toys.
Flash forward and it is easy to see why fabric yo-yos are still a popular embelishment for hair accessories, clothing, purses and home décor. They are oh-so-easy to make, it's no suprise this project has survived through the years. Learn to sew a yo-yo by following these easy steps.

Step 1

First, gather your supplies. You'll need scissors, thread, a hand-sewing needle, fabric scraps, a circular object and a pen or pencil.

Step 2

Your yo-yo pattern is probably right under your nose or hiding out in your kitchen cupboard. I used a canister lid for my template. Bare in mind you can make yo-yos as big or as little as you want. It all depends on the project and how nimble your fingers are.
Once you've found your template, use a pen or pencil to trace around it onto the wrong side of your fabric scrap.

Step 3

Use scissors to carefully cut out the circle.

Step 4

Thread your needle, but do not tie a knot in the end. With the wrong side of your fabric facing you, fold down the outside edge to create a 1/8” hem. When you take your first stitch, be sure to leave a 2-inch tail of thread. Sew a running stitch around the entire diameter of the circle. Your stitches should be between 1/16” to 1/8” long.

Step 5

Once you are done sewing, gently pull each thread tail to gather the fabric together. Take a few stitches into the hem to lock the thread in place and tie a knot, including both thread tails. Arrange the gathers and you're done!

Step 6

This tutorial was written by Emilee Gettle, a freelance writer and craft-a-holic. She has been designing craft projects for over 10 years. Emilee loves collecting (and wearing) vintage clothing, cooking up vegan recipes, gardening with her hubby and daughter and fighting over her yarn collection with her house cats. Check out her latest adventure on her blog at

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