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quilted coasters

I needed to make a quick wedding gift for one of my husband’s students. I thought some coasters would be a nice, useful gift. Since I don’t know what her home looks like, I chose red and black. This might not seem like a logical choice but those are the University colors and she’s from China so the red signifies good luck. I made six coasters from 2 coordinating fat quarters.

Quilted Coaster Set

This is to show you why I still pay other people to sew for me most of the time. This isn’t even the worst one. Oh well. On the other side, you can hardly tell. They are reversible!

Quilted Coaster Set

I based these loosely on the pattern found in the book, Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts.
I just cut out 5 X 5 squares, seamed them up right sides together with a piece of low loft batting, turned them right side out and started stitching around to quilt it. All total they probably took just over an hour to do.

Feel like making some yourself? Post pictures of your finished project at my flickr group.

three tier skirt

I realized last week that my daughter was getting too tall for most of her dresses. I looked at a few stores and couldn’t find any dresses! So, I decided to get down with my crafty self and make some. Sewing is a skill I’m working on. I wouldn’t say I’m proficient by any means. But, I get by. I’m not scared to try new things.

Last week I bought the Simplicity Pattern 4206. They were on sale for $.99 and it is a Simplicity Sewing Pattern for Dummies. Each item takes less than 1 yard of fabric and I knew I had some stash I could use.

The pattern for the three tiered skirt was super simple to follow. I’m sure that sewers more intuitive and experienced than I probably could have made this skirt without a pattern. I was glad to have the guidance.

Including the cost of the pattern, this outfit cost under $6. Trying to convince my daughter that she needs to take off her new favorite outfit to go to bed? Priceless.

Tomorrow I’ll post the information for doing the fusible letter on the shirt.

simplicity 8331 purse

Completing this purse marked a new point in my sewing career. I finished my first (usable) project using a Simplicity pattern. I have several patterns and found them to be confusing. My brain just doesn’t quite work that way. To their credit, I used to have this same problem with knitting patterns but have since gathered enough experience that I now understand the basic construction of most knitted garments. I think I’m starting to be a little more experienced with sewing and can now follow basic instructions.

Simplicity Pattern 8331 Bag D

This purse is now in the hands of my sister. She asked me for a purse for Christmas and who am I to disappoint? I followed the pattern exactly until the end. The pattern calls for stitching down the sides of the bag to make it more of a square shape. I liked it too much the way it was so I skipped that part.

Simplicity Pattern 8331 Bag D

My favorite part of the whole bag is the lining. It has a 2 inch panel of the main fabric before switching to the lining fabric. The pocket is also just the right size for my sister’s camera. Bonus.

I will definitely use this pattern again. I miss this purse already and would love to make one for myself. The only thing I might change is the flap. The flap attaches to the inside of the bag instead of the outside. I think I might prefer it if it attached to the outside of the bag. I might add another pocket on the other side, too.

Next time you’re at your local fabric store and patterns are on sale for $.99, you won’t regret picking up Simplicity Pattern 8331 (I made bag D).

crayon tote
Coloring Book and Crayon Tote Bag Tutorial

This is one of the gifts I made for my kids for Christmas. It is a lined tote bag just big enough for a coloring book and it has the crayon holder on the outside. I didn’t use a pattern, although a tote bag is pretty straight forward. HOWEVER…just a few months ago I remember struggling with the construction of a simple tote bag so I shouldn’t say that it is straight forward. I should say that, after making one successful tote bag, it gets easier and easier.

Here is my tutorial for the tote bag that I made.

Gather your supplies.

Coordinating fabric (I had a yard of each fabric and that was enough to make 2+ bags)
thread

Coloring Book and Crayon Tote Bag Tutorial

Main fabric: Two 10″ X 12″ panels (or size that will comfortably fit your coloring book)
Lining fabric: Two 10″ X 12″ panels, one 4″ X 11″ (for crayon holder), two 4″ X 20″ for handles

Coloring Book and Crayon Tote Bag Tutorial

I worked on the crayon pouch first. I folded around 1/4″ and ironed it down. I folded the top over twice so I wouldn’t have a raw seam edge where I would put the crayons in. I then pinned the pouch about 3 1/2″ up from the bottom of the main fabric. Then I stitched three sides, leaving the top alone.

Coloring Book and Crayon Tote Bag Tutorial

I marked the middle of my 4″ X 11″ fabric (now smaller because of the hemming) and then worked my way out to the sides marking every 3/4″. This size fits regular size crayons perfectly. I had jumbo crayons and they fit those as well, just a little snugly. If I did it over, I would mark every 1″ for the jumbo crayons.

Coloring Book and Crayon Tote Bag Tutorial

Starting at the bottom of the crayon pouch, stitch a straight line following the marks you made earlier. Stitch all the way to the top and be sure to reinforce your stitches at the top. Trim all your loose threads.

I don’t have a picture for this part, but you’ll want to sew up main fabric. Place right sides together and stitch the sides and the bottoms. All of the seams I made were 1/4″. You’ll want to do the same thing for your lining fabric but make sure to leave a 2″ gap in the bottom. You’ll need that hole later.

Coloring Book and Crayon Tote Bag Tutorial

Next, you’ll make your handles. Fold down 1/2 inch on each side lengthwise and iron. Then, fold that piece in half and iron. It will look like the picture above. Stitch along all the edges.

Coloring Book and Crayon Tote Bag Tutorial

Take your finished handles and pin them to your tote bag where you’d like them. Be careful not to twist your handles. Do this on both sides.

Coloring Book and Crayon Tote Bag Tutorial

With right sides together, pin your lining to your tote bag. Make sure you keep those handles inside. Matching side seams, you’ll want to stitch all along the top of the bag. Trim the seam (and your handles).

Coloring Book and Crayon Tote Bag Tutorial

Now is the part where that hole in the bottom of the lining becomes necessary. Carefully pull your bag right side out through the opening.

Coloring Book and Crayon Tote Bag Tutorial

It will look like this. Give it a quick iron and then stitch up the hole you left on the bottom of the lining. Put the lining inside the bag and iron the seam along the top. You can topstitch it if you like. I was so tired that I just left it. I don’t think my kids will care.

Now it is ready for crayons and your favorite coloring book!

If you decide to make one of these tote bags, I’d love to see it! Share your creation at my flickr group.

camera strap

An hour before I was supposed to be at a holiday party, I decided that I had to have a slipcover for my camera strap. It was one of those compulsions that I could not deny. Luckily, I had bookmarked a tutorial for a clever strap slipcover so I didn’t have to worry about figuring out how to do it on my own. You can find the camera strap slipcover tutorial that I used at Made by Petchy.

This slip cover took about 10 minutes to make, tops. It took me almost that long to put the camera strap back on the camera. That was really the most difficult part of this whole project.

This is one of those great projects that, with the right fabric choice, could work for anyone with a camera. I used an Amy Butler fabric for mine. It is a great print and uses my favorite color–green!

If you decide to take the 10 minutes out of your day to make this project, please share it with me!