Tag Archives: Tutorial

Making new things

This week got off to a great start when I decided to bite the bullet and book my first market stall.  Not content to start small and test things out I jumped straight into a two day booking at the Canberra Christmas markets in December!  Eek!!  I think I will try for a casual stall at a smaller market before then just as a practise run!  Despite worrying that I may have jumped in above my head I am quite excited about the prospect and have spent time researching different ideas for displaying goods, thinking about packaging and banners, tags, small items, and creating a cohesive display.  All so very exciting!!  That is the same weekend that the chicks’ father returns to the country, so the timing couldn’t be better in terms of them being busy catching up with him, and me being able to just enjoy being a stall holder.

With that spurt of adrenaline I decided to set myself some targets this week, instead of being distracted by social ‘stuff’, and it is paying off already!  On Monday I whipped up yet another Trojan tunic for the school performance as one of the eldest chick’s classmates has returned from holiday in time for the finals so now needs to be costumed up.  That took longer than expected while I wrestled with my overlocker tension, but I got there in the end!!

That meant that last night I was free to start on a gift for one of my staff who is about to go on maternity leave.  This achieved three things.  First I get to make something personal for her, secondly I got to try out a pattern I have been eyeing off for a while, and third, I sewed laminated cotton for the first time.

The pattern was a free tutorial on the Jordana Paige blog for a Diaper Changing Pad Clutch.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Of course, in my measuring and cutting I somehow managed to cut the laminate 3 – 4 inches shorter than I was meant to and wasn’t confident about piecing it, so the mat ended up a bit shorter than it was meant to.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I also decided to deviate from the pattern a bit (!!) so added sewn in hook and loop fasteners rather than the button and elastic in the pattern.  Then I realised that the spiky hook side would be near the baby’s head, so made a little flap to protect the head!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I also used bamboo fleece as the batting and decided to quilt it to the lining so that it doesn’t lose its shape when it is washed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Overall I am happy with it, although it is wider than I imagined it would be  (which is ridiculous when the measurements were provided and I measured and cut the fabric!  I am rolling my eyes at myself here!).  She will receive it on Friday so I hope that she likes it!  I was pleasantly surprised about how easy it was to sew the laminated cotton.  I had read a lot about how tricky it was, and I just didn’t find it tricky at all, so will now be more prepared to tackle other projects using it!

Not bad for the middle of the week!  Next on the list is a bag for a raffle at work on Friday, superhero capes, the quilt top, the long list of things bursting out of my head at the moment……..  I need more hours in the day!!!

I am struggling with the dance of life a bit at the moment.  Trying to fit in the things that I want to do (sew, design, sew, market, sew, plan), the things that I want the kids to do (sports, homework, music practice), the things that we have to do (eat, sleep, bathe, etc), work (fairly essential to pay for everything else) and time with the new (insert appropriate word here – ‘boyfriend’ seems so silly at my age, we are not yet ‘partners’, ‘flame’ is a bit dramatic, ‘man’ seems a bit pejorative, ‘lover’ takes the blog places I don’t want to go when my parents read it, ‘friend’ seems too coy, and all attempts at incorporating some reference to birds or chicks in keeping with my descriptions of myself and the kids just look majorly dodgy when I type them!!  Suggestions are welcome!)  The analogy of dancing to the rhythm to find the right path through life seems particularly appropriate at the moment.  Maybe I just need to find the right soundtrack!!

I hope that your week is going well, and that you have had small spurts of creativity energy to keep you going!

Advertisements

Friday Finds – a list of 23 free tutorials and patterns to make Messenger Bags

I have decided that today is a good day to make a list of the patterns for Messenger Bags that I have collected. I love messenger bags – they can be as informal and hippie, or formal and suitable for office attire as you like. It all depends on the fabric that you choose and the attitude with which you wear it! They are great as nappy (or diaper if you are American) bags, good for students, for travelling, and for carrying a large amount of ‘stuff’, if yours is anything like mine! They are good for slinging across your body when you are on your bike, or need to be hands free, and can have as many pockets as you like.

I also like the fact that a messenger bag lends itself beautifully to different forms of decoration. You can add applique, feature fabrics, and stand out linings. There are so many options!

Here is the first one I ever made, based on the great pattern by Larissa at mmmcraft.  It was a birthday gift for my beautiful mother, a year ago!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is the one that I currently use, and that often features in my photos as my ‘mascot’ when I travel!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   bag_waterfront

This is one that I have currently listed in my shop, made using my own pattern (which I will one day draw up a tutorial for!! Hmmmm…. how many weeks in a row do you think I will make that promise before I actually write up the tutorial??).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And here is the list of tutorials for you to try, so that you can make a great messenger bag of your own, to reflect your own style!

Basic Messenger Bag – mmmcrafts

Messenger Bag – No Time to Sew 

Mens Shirt Messenger Bag – Crafty CPA

Messenger Bag – Alida Makes 

CMB1Push the Envelope – Weekend Designer

Patternless Messenger Bag – Fabricworm 

Messenger Bag – Obsessive Crafting Disorder

Messenger Bag – All People Quilt

Laminated Messenger Bag – Sew Can Do

Sun Sea Patchwork Messenger Bag – Sew Mama Sew 

Messenger Bag – Emmi Grace and Me

Messenger Bag – Blue Bird Baby New messenger bag tutorial!!

Messenger Bag with Zip Top – Heart of Mary

Reversible Messenger Bag – Crazy Little Projects

Boxy Messenger Bag – Pick Up Some Creativity

32 Minute Messenger Bag – Diary of a Quilter 

Tote to Messenger Bag Tutorial – Betz White

A little birdie told me Messenger Bag – Mommy by Day Crafter by Night

Not so Big Messenger Bag – Sew Sweetness

Messenger Bag Tutorial – Crazy Little Projects

Kids Messenger Bag – Zaaberry

DSC_1963Messenger Bag with ipad pocket – New Green Mama

Please do let me know if you use any of the patterns, and how you go!!

Have a great weekend, wherever you are!

Friday finds – a list of 18 links to free patterns to make market bags

I have realised that if I am going to post a list of the links I have found, I should probably call them something! So here is the beginning of “Friday Finds”!! Tonight I thought I would go back to bags. Mainly because I keep finding more that I am inspired by, and that I want to make! Today’s list will be market or shopping bags. Where I live in Canberra shops are not allowed to provide free plastic bags for our shopping. We either pay between 10 and 15 cents per bag, or we carrying our own bags. I love my shopping bags. They are bright and bold and make grocery shopping a treat for the eye. But they are starting to wear out. My plan (along with all those other plans on my ever growing ‘to do’ list) is to make some new ones for myself and use fabrics that make me happy. (That will counteract the sometimes excruciating nature of grocery shopping with 3 chicks in tow!!) And that means that, without further ado, I present a list of links to free patterns for market bags that I have collected for this very purpose!

Market Tote – Bijou Lovely Designs

Simple tote for Groceries – CYA Tutorials

Market Day Tote – Quiltmag

Teeny Tiny Fold Up Shopping Tote – Instructables

17groceries

Fat Sack – Atkinson Designs

Nylon Eco Bags – Ever Kelly

Grocerybag_3_large

Charlie Reusable Grocery Bag – Burdastyle

Mini-Market Tote – Chubby Hobby

Fold Away Shopping Bag Tutorial – Crafty Ady

Tabs on bag when unfolded

Cloth Grocery Bag Tutorial – Just Crafty Enough

Reversible Grocery Bag – Splendor Falls

Vintage Market Bag Tutorial – Sew Home Grown

IMG_1451

Quick Carrier – Earth Girl Fabrics

Farmers Market Laminated Tote – Sew 4 Home

Market Tote – The Long Thread

Free market bag pattern

The Martha Market Bag – Pattern Spot

Fold up Tote – Zaaberry

Foldaway Shopping Bag – Sew 4 Home

Let me know if you use any of these patterns and how you go!!

Friday Finds – 20 beach or weekend bag free tutorials

As we settle into winter here in Canberra I thought that a reminder of the warmth and colour of summer was timely.

I love beach bags.  The ability to carry towels, hats, sunscreen, dry clothes, books, water bottles, snacks and all the others things that we need at the beach is essential.  They also need to look great.  Some of these patterns will make a giant bag to carry everything in, while others can be adapted to be a personal beach bag for the discerning and stylish beach goer (who isn’t carrying beach gear for a family of 15!)

I also love a good overnight bag – or weekender bag.  Packing up a change of clothes, a good book, and a sense of adventure and heading off for a day and night away is always special.  Some of these bags will suit both purposes.  Either way they will see you through many expeditions.  The best thing about them?  They are all free, supplied through the generosity of bloggers (and on a couple of occasions, commercial websites.)

IMG_3131             Pleated beach bag – Thimble

   Mesh bag – Martha Stewart

    Beach bag duffle – Reanna Lily Designs

  Big Weekend Bag – Guthri and Ghani

  Insulated, Laminated Summer Tote – Sewplicity

  Big Mommy Beach Bag – Put Up Your Dukes

Summertime Beach Bag Tutorial by CrazyLittleProjects.com  Summertime Beach Bag – Crazy Little Projects

  Oversize Beach Bag – Favecrafts

  Large patchwork bag – All People Quilt

Big Bucket Tote – Pellon Projects

  Carpetbagger – Weekend Designer

Charm pack tote bag – Teresa Downunder

  Large cinched tote – This Big Oak Tree

  Large Tote with Rounded Opening – Make it and Love it

  I am not your typical Jane Bag – Riley Blake Designs

Duffle bagDuffle bag – Westminster fibres

Patchy Boho Sling Bag  Boho Sling Bag – The destashification project

  Vintage Market Bag  – Sew Homegrown
Life's a Beach Tote Life’s a Beach Tote Bag – Fabric.com
And for while you are on your camping holiday
  Camping Shower Bag – Our Busy Little Bunch
I hope you find something you love in this collection!

Friday Finds – List of 30+ Free Bag Tutorials and Patterns

 

Bag tutorial images

I have learnt to make bags simply through the generosity of crafters in sharing their patterns and tutorials online.  The willingness to share with no motive other than the joy in giving never ceases to impress me!  This post has a list of some of the free tutorials on how to make bags that I have found online. I will continue adding to the post from time to time.

 

The Phoebe bag from Artsy Crafty Babe                   Reversible Bag from Very Purple Person

  

The 32 minute messenger bag by Diary of a Quilter    Handbag tutorial from Crafts Redesigned.

 

Ruby’s Party Bag – Moda Bake Shop                             Retro Travel Bag – Riley Blake Designs Blog

            

The basic messenger bag – mmmcrafts                            Reversible Shoulder bag – Lula Louise

    

Soho Slouch Tote – Weekend Designer               Free Messenger Bag Pattern – EmmiGrace and Me

             

The Olivia Bag – Dixie Mango                                 Cosmetics and Toiletries Case

             

Foldaway shopping bag – Sew 4 Home            Retro Duffle Bag Tutorial – Saltwater Kids

DSC_1825              DIY fabric wallet 6 card slots, coin pocket, bill slot, receipt slot

For Pleats Sake Tote – U Handbag                                   The Perfect Wallet – Color Me Domestic

        thebellaclutch
Cross Body backpack – CraftStaci                               Bella Clutch Tutorial – Clover and Violet

                     

Tohoku tote – I am Mumma hear me roar     Messenger Bag  – Mommy by day Crafter by night

                                 

Pleated Purse – Deliberately Domestic             Pleated Tote – The Long Thread

        

Super Easy Tote – Poppyseed Fabrics            Duffle Bag Tote – Bag’n-telle

        

Fylerion Bag – Sew Sweetness                         Toile Tote – Sew 4 Home

Triangle bag :: a tutorial         

 Triangular bag – Between the lines                                     Hexi Tote – Sleepy Owl Studio

      

Game Day Gym Bag – So you think you’re crafty                  Kid size Duffle Bag – Smally Fry & Co

      

Big Mommy Beach Bag – Put Up Your Dukes              Toddler Backpack – The Ribbon Retreat

Big weekend bag – Guthrie and Ghani

Tutorial: A Pillowcase from fat quarters – with an ipod pocket.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My eldest chick is turning 10 soon, and therefore, so are all her friends.  They seem so grown up, these double digit young people, and yet it seems like only yesterday that they were born.

The 10 year old girls are on the edges of sophistication, starting to decide what they like and don’t like, developing their own style, and identifying where the boundaries that need pushing are to be found.  Bodies are starting to change, relationships are starting to change, and yet they still retain an innocence that balances the ‘growing-up-ness’.  Whispered conversations about boys start to happen at the same time that little houses are being built for dolls, using boxes and tissue paper.   One of the minor questions that arises for parents (long after all the big ones about how to provide the right role modelling, and how to enable them to have the right balance of empowerment, respect, self worth and manners) is what to give them for birthday or Christmas presents.  This year I have hit upon the ‘designer’ pillowcase, with a pocket for an ipod, in an acknowledgement that many of them now set their own sleep time, no matter what bed time is set for them.  My daughter listens to audio books by Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton and JK Rowling (and I wonder why she has an English accent!).

So I decided to prepare a tutorial on how to make your own pillow case from fat quarters, with an optional ipod pocket, and an option to prepare it for a crocheted edge.  If you would like to make a pillow from yardage, rather than fat quarters, I have put in some notes to adapt it, but also recommend that you look at the excellent tutorial from You Go Girl,  as she does a much better job of explaining it than I do!

(Please bear with me as this is my first on-line tutorial and I am working on my photography!)

Materials

5 fat quarters of coordinating cotton fabric (or 1 yard of fabric).

Sewing thread in a coordinating colour (I prefer cotton but polyester will do the job just as well)

1 ½ inch of hook and loop fastener (if you are making the ipod pocket)

Tools

Pins, scissors, a sewing machine, a ruler.

Optional but nice to have – rotary cutter and mat, serger/overlocker, iron.

Process

  1. Throughout the tutorial I am going to assume that you are taking all the right steps like ironing seams open, and snipping threads.  (Even thought I sometimes take shortcuts on this, when I do these properly, the results are noticeably better, so I am trying to be good!)

2.  Prewash and dry all your fabric, according to the care instructions.  (NB If you accidently slip some other fabric into this wash that runs and dies the whole load another colour, say a very muddy navy colour for example, the product  Dylon Run Remover really does work to save this situation……just saying.)   Pre-washing helps to address any shrinkage before you begin to sew, and removes any sizing from the surface of the fabric. (Sizing is a product like starch that can be applied to the thread during the weaving process in making fabric.  It gives fabric an added stiffness required to prevent breakage in the manufacturing process, and can (very occasionally) cause some skin irritation, so washing it out before the fabric is used is advised…….and there endeth the sermon from the former law student who remembers cases about people getting rashes from wearing clothes before washing them!)

3.   Now, moving on to the important part – choosing the fabric combination.  This pattern gives you one large panel each on the front and back, one stripe of another colour on both front and back, a small panel with the optional pocket on the front, and a larger panel that folds to form the internal pillow pocket on the back.  I normally do a bit of layering of fabrics to decide which will be the feature fabric in the large panel on the front and back, then the stripe – which I usually make the same on the front and back, and a highlight for the smaller panels.

Image

In this tutorial I am using the same fabric (Riley Blake’s The Good Life) for the feature panel on each side of the pillow.  (Normally I use different panels on each side, but there are no rules for any of this – do what you think works with the fabric you have.)  I am using a solid purple for the stripe, aqua gingham for the back and internal pillow pocket, and aqua and green pin dots for the front and ipod pocket.  I am hoping that by using different fabrics, the instructions will be easy to follow.

4. Cut three fat quarters to measure 20” by 17.5”.   These will be the front feature panel (A) (Good Life), the back feature panel (B) (Good Life)and the piece that becomes the internal pillow pocket (C) (the gingham).  (If you are using yardage you need a piece 20″ by 30″ and another 20″ by 38.5″ and you can skip ahead to step 9).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

5.  Cut two strips of fabric from another fat quarter so that they measure 20” by 4”.  These are D and E (purple solid)

.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

6. Cut the final fat quarter to measure 20” by 10”.  This is F (the dots).  If you want to make an ipod pocket, then from the same fat quarter cut a piece 8.5” by 5”, and another 5.5” by 2.5”.

7.  With right sides facing each other pin the long edge of D to the long edge of A, and the long edge of E to the long edge of B.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

8. With right sides facing together pin the unfinished long edge of D to the long edge of F, and sew a ¼ inch seam.  This is now your front piece.  Pin the unfinished long edge of E to C.  Sew a ¼ inch seam (this now your back piece), and finish the edges on both seams with zigzag or serging.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Your piece will now look like this (and this is a good time to iron those seams open, or flat).

9.  If you are going to add a pocket for an ipod, then this is the time to do it.  Take your piece that measures 8.5″ by 5″ and fold it in half so that it now measures 4.25″ by 5″.  Fold it again and mark where the fold falls, as a the middle of the pocket.  1 inch from the edge, and centred across the fold, place the ‘soft’ or loop side of your fastener.  Stitch it in place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

10.  Then take your piece that measures 5 1/2″ by 2 1/2″ and sew the hook piece of the fastener 1/2″ from the edge (rather than the 1 inch shown in this photo, and you can avoid the unpicking that I had to do!).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

11.  With right sides together, fold the tab piece in half and stitch around the edges, leaving a space for turning it inside out.  My experience is that leaving a gap half way along the side, rather than from the folded end, gives a much better finish.  Then clip the four corners, turn it inside out and press it flat.  Then top stitch around the whole tab, closing the gap used to turn the piece inside out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

12.  The take the pocket piece. Fold it in half with the right sides together, and stitch around the edges, using a 1/4 inch seam, and leaving a gap for turning the pocket to the right side.  Clip the corners, turn the pocket inside out, and press flat.  Then topstich across the top of the pocket.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

13. The next step is to pin the pocket and tab to the pillowcase.  It is up to you whether you want to put it on the right or left side of the case.  In this tutorial it is on the left hand side (so appears on the right when looking at the screen.)  First place the tab so that the bottom edge (away from the fastener) is 4 inches from the top of piece F (the dots) and  3.5 inches from the side.  The fastener should be facing up.  Stitch across the bottom of the tab twice to secure it firmly.  (The pictures at 14 should assist in understanding this placement).

14.  The pocket piece then is laid so that the middle of the pocket aligns with the middle of the tab, but so that the top of the pocket is sitting just above the bottom of the tab.  Pin it into place, and check that the hook and loop fastener meets when the tab is folded over to the pocket.  Then stitch about 1/8 inch from the edge of the pocket on the three sides.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

15. Now you are ready to put the pillowcase together. Pin a hem on the edge of F (the dots).  I usually serge the edge, then fold it under ¼ inch, then fold it again about 3/8 inch.   Place the pins in sideways, along the fabric, as you will not want them sticking out during a later step.  You do have a little bit of room for error on the width of the hem here, so focus on making it neat rather than the exact measurement.

16. Finish the edge of C (the gingham) and fold it under about 3/8 inch and hem it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

17. Now lie, with right sides together, the shorter front piece on top of the longer back piece, matching up the seams for the stripes as much as possible.  Pin the long sides together on each side.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You will have a piece of gingham (piece C)  extended out past the front piece.  Take this piece and fold it back over the top of the front piece, so that the right side of the gingham is facing the wrong side of the dots.   Try to get the fold as close to the pinned down hem on the dot fabric as possible (hence having your pins  lying lengthways in the pinned hem.)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then pin the sides of the gingham on top of the side seams you have already pinned.  Sew each of the side seams with a ½ inch seam, and reinforce over the point where the gingham internal pocket  hem sits, as well as the beginning and end of each seam.  If you intend to add a crocheted edge, you need to ensure that the gap between the two seams is 19”.  If not, you have some room for error here.

18. Now you can sew a ½ inch seam across the bottom of the case.  Finish the seams across the bottom and sides, and snip the corners at the bottom, to help with having sharp corners when you turn it in the right way.

19. Turn your pillowcase out so that the right side of the fabric is facing outwards.  Nearly done!  You now have an option to hem just the front piece, where you have the hem pinned, or to sew around the whole case at ¼ inch.  If you are going to crochet the edges, then you need to sew around the whole case.  If you are not, then it is a matter of personal taste.  My preference is to not sew a seam across the pocket flap, as I like the way a nicely ironed case sits on a pillow, but it really does come down to what you like.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

20. Then – iron all your seams, and voila – you are finished making the case!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you want to put a crocheted edge on the case then the tutorial provided by You Go Girl on creating the foundation and then crocheting is the place to go for clear easy to follow instructions.

21. This is the most important step – sit back and admire your handiwork!