Thursday, June 21, 2012

Purse Palooza Entry #1: Chevron Pleated tote

Sew Sweetness is running a purse-making contest this month called Purse Palooza.  I plan on having a few entries.  Here is my first!  It's a pleated tote based on this pattern at U-Handbag.  I followed the basic pattern but made my tote slightly narrower (because that's all I had enough fabric for!).  I also added two inside slip pockets and a magnetic snap. The straps were also my own design and attach with nickel D-rings.  It is super roomy and very stylish!  The pleats let the red peek out just enough to not be overpowering, and the whole effect is very summery.

The dimensions are:
13" tall
10" wide at top
16" wide at bottom
3.5" deep at bottom
9" strap drop
Made with home-decor weight fabric and a cotton lining.  Fully interfaced with Decor Bond.

I think this will eventually end up in my Etsy shop, unless someone claims it here or on Facebook first!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pinterest Craft Wednesday- Stuffed Animal Sleeping Bags: My First Tutorial

This week, my kids are really into camping.  We went on our first tent camping expedition last weekend, and they are already planning our next trip.  I have several camping-themed ideas saved on my summer activities Pinterest board, and I have been wanting to try out making this stuffed animal sleeping bag idea for awhile now.  While it's not a craft that the kids can make completely themselves, they can help choose fabric and measure their camping buddies, and older kids may be ale to help with the sewing, too.  When I clicked back through the pin to the original source of the photo, I found that it leads to a pattern from Flossie Teacakes.  Since this is something we wanted to make today while it was raining, I thought I'd try my hand at making it up as I went along.  Here's a little tutorial, inspired by the photo on Pinterest, if you'd like to make one (or several!) of your own.

1/2 yard total fabric (I used scraps)
1/4 yard batting
(these measurements are very generous and will vary depending on the buddy you are sewing for)

Measure the length and width of the stuffed animal you are sewing a sleeping bag for.  Add two inches to the length and two to four inches to the width (more or less depending on how big and fluffy your buddy is) to give the finished measurements.  You want it to fit snugly but still lay flat when occupied!

-  Cut two rectangles of the finished length and width as determined above for the back of the sleeping bag.
-  Cut another two rectangles of the same width but three inches shorter in length for the front of the sleeping bag. (If your back rectangle is 10"x8", cut your front one 7"x8")

I used two different prints for each sleeping bag, so I cut one back and one front rectangle from each fabric.
Test out your width before proceeding to make sure your animal has some wiggle room.

-  Cut a 10" square for the binding. Cut it once on the diagonal, and then cut it diagonally into 1.5" strips.

-  Cut one rectangle of batting the same size as the sleeping bag back, and another rectangle the same size as the sleeping bag front.

All the pieces for one sleeping bag: two fronts, two backs, two battings, and binding strips

-  Sandwich the batting between the backs and fronts.  Pin if you'd like.
-  Sew vertical lines about 3/4" apart to quilt the back pieces together.  Repeat with the front.  I used my walking foot with the little guide foot.  It made it super easy!

Quilting the pieces together

A quilted front

-  If you used two different prints, decide which you want to be showing on the front side.  I mixed mine up for some contrast.

-Sew the binding strips end-to-end to create one long piece.

-Cut a piece of binding the width of the front of the sleeping bag.

-Sew the binding onto the front (the shorter piece), rights sides together, using a quarter inch seam allowance.  Then hand stitch the back of the binding, just as you would single-fold binding on a quilt.

-Trim the edges of the binding flush with the rest of the sleeping bag.  Line up the front piece with the bottom of the back piece and pin in place.

-Using a small cup, trace a curve on each corner and trim.

After the corners are trimmed...almost done!

-Pin binding to sleeping bag front, right sides together.  Trim off excess binding.

-Sew binding to front of sleeping bag with a quarter inch seam allowance.

Binding sewn on front

 - Hand stitch binding to back of the sleeping bag, as you would when binding a quilt.

Ta-Da!  You are finished!

I now have two happy campers.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hexies and Target Dollar Finds

First up, some photos of this week's Zakka Style Sew-Along project!  It was a cute zip pouch, but the real stars are the hexagons appliqued onto it.  I have been wanting to try making hexies since I saw Rachael over at imagine gnats make some awhile back, but I had no idea how.  This project got me started, and now I can't seem to stop.  I usually despise hand sewing, but these are so much fun, and can be done while riding in the car or watching TV.  I may have even ordered some charm packs of cute fabric just so I can make more...and I'm not quite sure what they will become!

Linen blend body with cotton hexagons.  Outfoxed, Fly a Kite, and something else from my stash...

I do love a good contrasting zipper.

Lining is some cute hedgehogs from Outfoxed.

I wasn't sure if I was going to keep or sell the pouch...and then I realized it is perfect for keeping my hexie-making supplies together!
I was in the "big city" last week and went to Target.  Those bins of dollar items at the entry always suck my kids in...and they got me this time, too.  I found these cute little containers that I am using to further organize my sewing space.  Great for scraps, thread, trash, or transporting my hand-sewing supplies between desk and couch.

Slipped on my sewing desk drawer as a trash collector

Corralling my thread

Project transportation

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kids Craft Wednesday

This week's craft is not from Pinterest, nor was it even planned, thanks to us trying to catch up from our trip last week. While I was cutting out a few projects, my kids hopped up at the counter and got out paper, crayons, scissors, and glue. On their own! Then they spent quite awhile on their scrap creations. Just goes to show that unplanned art is often the best!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pinterest Kids Craft Wednesday

With school out for the summer, I have been collecting craft ideas on Pinterest to make with my kids.  Here's my board.  I thought I'd try something new and post each Wednesday of the summer about the previous week's craft.

Last week, we made sun catchers from plastic made from gelatin.  It was definitely a weeklong project, and turned into a family affair when the using the drill tempted my husband to join in the fun...and make a Suncatcherschristy of his own!  I followed the original pin to the directions from dilly-dali art.  Then I followed the link there back to the original directions for making the plastic from Family Fun Magazine.  In the end, we used the directions from dilly-dali art and improvised as we went along.

Warning: this stuff smells terrible!

The kids were able to to the pouring.  We used plastic plates to ensure the gelatin wouldn't stick.

Swirl it to cover the plate

Using less gelatin per plate creates great drips and holes.

Stack the plates to dry at least overnight, longer for thicker layers.  When it is dry, you will hear it crackle and release from the plates.

It comes off in one big piece, and feels just like plastic.  I don't know that I'll ever eat gelatin again!  Eek!

Cut it up.

Everyone can help.

This can turn into a rainbow lesson, or color mixing.

We took the idea a step further and went to the beach for driftwood.  Dad drilled holes for us, and we strung them through with fishing line.

Each mobile resembles its maker's personality!  My daughter, ordered and even.

My son's, short, mixed-up, and a little crazy