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Sewing Binges. . .

29 Sep

I was cleaning our extra room for the final home study, and I looked around and realized all that I’ve sewn in the last few months. . .

An Amish Puzzle Ball (which makes me VERY excited), some fabric blocks, a chair cover and Zippy the Zebra.



The new quilt (on the bed), a quilt (in the crib), a bed skirt (on the crib), fitted sheets (for the crib), and the fun sunshine pillow. . .  The whole room is like a visual review of my last year in sewing!



Bag Tutorial Part Three

29 Sep

So, you know how I mentioned that quilting was next? I was anxious to finish up the inside zipper pocket, so I skipped ahead. I’ve never done one before, though, so I did a quick internet search, and I followed this one by Vanilla Joy. It worked like a dream!

Now, on to quilting. . . Grab your front panel and lay it on top of a piece of batting.  You can get all fancy and do some free motion quilting or a pretty design.


I kept things simple and sewed diagonal lines.  As you can see, I wasn’t exactly precise. . . whatever.  Most of the front panel is covered by the front pocket, and who notices the back?  Right, so after you quilt the front panel, you’ll want to do the same thing on the back.


Next, it’s time to work on the inside pocket panels.  On the top end of each panel, sew a casing.  Take one of your large pieces of elastic and run it through the casing, sewing the casing closed and catching the elastic at each end.  Baste with long stitches across the bottom and gather.


Baste the pocket panel to the inside front and back panels.  Next, I divided the pocket panel into three pockets. . . divide it into however many pockets work for you.



Next, it’s time to make the side pockets.  Lay a pocket and a lining, front sides together, and sew along the top.  Flip the lining over, so the fabric is wrong sides together.  Topstitch along the seam, and then a bit lower to make a casing for the top of the pocket.  Run elastic through the casing, and secure it on each side of the pocket.


Next, flip the fabric back around, so the right sides are together.  Sew along the bottom, so the pocket makes a tube.  Flip it back right side out.  The bottom and top are finished edges, but the sides are still raw edges.


Next, lay the long strip next to your bag and decide on where you will place your pockets.  When you have the placement figured out, sew the pockets on the long strip of fabric.  (Two are for the outside of the purse, and one is for the inside.)


This is where the tutorial REALLY dissolves.  Sigh.  It’s a cool picture though, right?  Okay, so after the pockets are sewn onto the fabric strip, sew the strip onto the front panel and the back panel.  Do the same thing with the lining.


We’re almost done!  Next, tuck the outside of the purse into the inside of the purse, right sides together and pin.  Don’t forget to pin the flap closure in between the two.  I planned it extra long, so there should be a bit sticking out.



Sew around the edges, leaving about a 6 inch gap.  (Important to note. . . when you get to the fabric strips that make up the middle of the bag, you’ll round off the edge.)  Turn the bag right side out and sew that bit up.  I always just top stitch all the way around.  After that’s all done, you just add your grommets.  Follow the directions included in your package.


Next, sew both sides of the strap and invert.  This time, the fabric was stiffer, so I didn’t add the webbing.  Umm, I’m bad with figuring out how to attach the strap with the slide adjuster, so I always have to just look at another bag and figure it out. . . Ha ha ha ha. . . I know that’s no help.  But, yeah, attach your strap, and you’re done!



The Purse Tutorial (Part Two)

26 Sep

Okay, now that we’ve finally cut out those pieces (isn’t cutting out fabric the most annoying part of sewing?) it’s time to start crafting!

We’ll start with some prep work. . .

1.  Take the fabric piece that will be your loop (2″ x 8″), fold it in half, right side together, and sew down the 8″ side of the fabric. Turn this piece right side out, and stitch along the piece like so.  After it’s done, set it aside for later.


2.  Next, take apart your sewing machine and curse. . . just for fun!


3.  Seriously, though, the next step is to attach either your Velcro or your magnetic snap to your purse.  One side needs to be attached to the front flap lining, and the other to the front pocket.  I dislike magnetic snaps, so I decided to use Velcro, and I meant to buy some without an adhesive back, so I could sew them on, but I accidentally got some WITH an adhesive back, and I tried to sew them on, but then I had to take apart the sewing machine, and, well, I resorted to the stapler.  Ha ha ha ha. . . I’m not too proud to admit it.  I stapled the Velcro on.  It’s not going anywhere.


4.  Sew your decorative button onto the front flap.


5.  Sew the front flap to the front flap lining, right sides together, leaving the short end open.  If you’d like, you can use some contrasting piping to make the strap POP!  These directions really are horrible.  Ask questions. . . I’d be happy to answer them.  Invert the flap, so it is right side out.


6. Next, place the front pocket panel and its lining, right sides together and sew the two swoopy sides.  If you want, you can use piping here two.  After that’s sewn, you can invert it as well.  I added some  top stitching along the swoops for a little extra durability.  Then, velcro your pieces together and imagine what the finished bag will look like!


Next up?  Quilting the front and back panels. . .

A Not So Horribly Difficult Bag to Sew

23 Sep

Back in March, I designed a purse, created a pattern and sewed it right up.  I mentioned at the time that I would use it for a while and then do a tutorial.  I’ve decided to make it bigger and add a couple of small, easy features.  Are you ready?? The time has finally come for the WORST tutorial in the world!  (Technically, I think it unbecomes a tutorial around the third post.)  I’ll begin by NOT giving you pattern pieces.  Ha ha ha. . . but here are some sketches of the bag and its pieces, and the measurements, along with a list of everything that you’ll need to cut out.  I’ve designed it to use three coordinating fabrics, A, B, and C.  You could do it with more (or less) though.  It’s all up to you.  I just drew my pattern pieces onto freezer paper.  It works well enough.  I’m not exactly OCD when it comes to sewing projects.

Bag 1

Bag 2

Now, for your checklist of pattern pieces:

Fabric A (I used a light green and white plaid.):
Cut one 6″ x 52″ strip
Cut three front/back panel pieces

Fabric B (I used the polka dot fabric.):
Cut one 6″ x 52″ strip
Cut four pocket pieces
Cut two 3″ x 7″ strips Create a curve on one side. This is the flap on the front.
Cut two front pocket panel pieces
Cut one front/back panel piece
Cut two 3″ x 60″ strips

Fabric C (I used a floral print.):
Cut two pocket pieces
Cut two inside pocket panels (27″ x 10″)
Cut one 8″ x 2″ strip for a loop (This is new and hopefully will be super awesome! I’m placing the loop inside, so I can hook my keys onto it!!)

Cotton Batting (optional)
Do you want to add a quilted look to your bag? If so, cut out two front/back panels, and we’ll go over that step as well!

Some other notions that you’ll need:
7″ zipper
1 large button (decorative)
magnetic snap or Velcro
coordinating piping
large grommets like these
Possibly a slide adjuster like this, if you want an adjustable strap
Also optional, is a webbing strap, if you want your strap to have some extra stability. I didn’t use it the first time, and my strap smooshed together. . .Umm, but I chose NOT to use it again.
Elastic – two 21″ pieces and three 6″ pieces

Okay. . . that’s it. . . just cut those pieces out, and then we’ll move on to sewing up the bag next!


The quilt – not covered by a pile of laundry

21 Sep

IMGP1175And, for good measure. . . some street “art” that we came across in Baton Rouge the other day. . .