Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On Its Way

My grandma's everyday bag is finally on its way to her.

She always leaves the specifics to me, but just wanted a smaller bag she could hook over her wrist for her essentials, and she loves things that are colorful. I think this fits the bill! It's a lot like the auction bag but I cut each square to 3 3/4" instead of the 5" charm pack squares to make it smaller.

Lining is fun green polka dots. Outer fabric is Eden by Kathy Hall - I haven't been able to find it online anywhere, sorry to those who asked!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Break In

A little break in not on my September goals list - the annual United Way auction donation deadline at work snuck up on me so I made this little patchwork handbag.

Outer fabric is a charm pack, my first time using precuts. I love it! It's a practice version of one I plan to make for my grandma. It's too big for what she wants, but with a few tweaks I think it will be perfect for her!

There's a little vintage lace trim on the pockets and the straps and lining are fabric I got at last year's quilt show - salvaged and washed from an adorable quilt shop ravaged by Hurricane Ike.

Inspired by this bag on true up. I might be tempted to bid on this one myself!

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Project Tote

My mother-in-law often brings sewing projects with her when she visits friends or comes to our house for dinner. So when I saw the Quilted Garden Tote on Sew, Mama, Sew I knew that I needed to make it for her. But not for gardening, for sewing projects!

Project Tote

I used some of my hoarded reproduction print fat quarters for the patchwork and some canvas I've had in my stash for a while. I quilted the outer pieces to some scrap fleece - I chickened out and did a little wavy pattern with my walking foot instead of trying free motion quilting again.

Project Tote

I'm loving the little fussy cut westie pocket. I knew when I picked up that westie print at the Quilt Market that I would find a special use for it!

Not doing too well on my S2F2:
1. QBB Quilt Tops (x3)
2. Quilted Pillows
3. Baby Blankies (x2)
4. Flutterby Quilt
5. Wedding Quilt
6. Mother's Day Gifts one two

Comments will be closing on the May Day Giveaway tonight at midnight, CST. Don't miss your chance to enter!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Goal Substitution!

I was reminded fairly last-minute that the annual church auction was this past Sunday.

Now you see where those scraps yesterday came from!

I had planned on crossing off a Spring to Finish goal by finishing my Flutterby Quilt Sunday but I worked on my auction contribution instead.

I also donated the pleated bag I made when I was working out the pattern. They both did quite well!

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Pleated Pouch Directions

Thanks for all the interest in the little pleated pouch I made for Miya! A lot of you asked for a tutorial, but it's really constructed just like my organizer pouch with just a slight change to the outer fabric:

- Instead of upholstery weight fabric for the outer pieces, I used cotton and didn't interface it or anything.
- Cut the lining fabric and interfacing to 11.5"x7" still but cut the outer fabric 12"x7" (you can make the top edge wider if you want deeper pleats, but keep the bottom edge 12" - it will be a trapezoid).
- Do the pockets/lining/strap same as in the original tutorial.
- Before installing the zipper -->

Mark your 12x7" outer piece at the center and 3" in from either side.

Fold from left to right at each mark, pinch a scant 1/4" and fold back from right to left.

Pin and move on to assembling the pouch.

- Install the zipper. Trim the lining as shown in the original tutorial but don't trim the outer fabric. Finish assembly as usual, adding the strap, including the mitred corners, turning right side out, etc.

Hopefully that's enough detail! Let me know if you have any questions.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Better Late?

Hopefully by now Miya has received her package from me for the Maker Swap!

Make Swap

Pleated Pouch

I sent her a zipper pouch with a slightly new design (I'm hooked on pleats) and a pair of earrings. I can't believe I've had this Park Slope fabric since last summer without using it! I also filled the pouch with some goodies I hope she'll enjoy. And only 2+ weeks late!

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pleated Purse Pattern

I received such a great response to my pleated spring bag and so many requests for a pattern, I thought I'd give it a try. I tried to keep it a little shorter this time, so please let me know how you like it! Do you like my zillion-pictures method better? Constructive criticism always appreciated.

TERMS OF USE: This pattern is for personal use only. You may not sell this pattern, bags made from this pattern, or bags made from modifications to this pattern (example: enlargements, wider/longer strap, etc). Please do not distribute copies of this pattern to others; instead, please refer others who are interested in this pattern to my blog. Feel free to contact me if you have questions - I will happily make exceptions for charity and educational purposes, but please ask first.

Click here to download the instructions. (pdf format)
Updated: Slight correction to fabric requirements: You will need 3/4 yard of outer fabric, or (2) 10x10 scraps for the pockets.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009


Ages ago my sister asked for a zipper pouch.

Same fabric as this bag.

As "payment" she said she would pick something for me from etsy and you all know I love etsy. But despite that motivation, I just got around to her pouch last night!

Pretty sage green lining.

I procrastinated on a few other projects to sew this up... I love it but I'm not sure it's her style - having bad luck with sister-projects these days. We'll see what she says!

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Spring Bag

As much as I love crossing things off my projects list, sometimes I get an idea in my head and just have to go make it. The gorgeous weather gave me thoughts of spring and I decided I needed a new bag.

This fabric seemed like the perfect transition from winter to spring, with the grey and bright blue.

Now I think I'll get to work clearing off my floor by sewing together that quilt top...

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tiny Sewing

I played around a little this weekend with tiny pouches, great for lip gloss, coins, or whatever other little things usually float around in the bottom of your bag. These are only about 4" long. I have a few improvements to make when I try again!

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Saturday, November 15, 2008


I finished the black/white/red bag and I love it! It's basically become a standby pattern for me but these fabrics look so good together.

I was literally hand-sewing the final opening on the way to deliver it, but we'll just say I work better under pressure.

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Almost Twenty

I am getting quite quick at these little pouches, and they are so useful! These three are for a coworker's custom order.

For those of you keeping track (ha!) I think this is about 19 of the upholstery samples used now. I haven't even made a dent.

(Today is November 1st. Yikes! Should I even pretend I'm going to try NaBloPoMo? You can see my record has been pretty poor. Maybe if I do Simple Pleasures posts when I can't get a "real" post together... It's worth a try!)

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Last Day...

I finally have to go back to work tomorrow. I would have worked all week and more if it meant others would be spared the devastation of the hurricane, but I did try to make the most of my time off! My house is very clean (for the moment) and we took care of a lot of to-do's that have been on our list for ages.

On the craft front, I finished another zipper pouch - this one using upholstery samples picked out by my mother-in-law again.

I also made some progress with some of this fabric. In fact, it is now a finished quilt top.

Going back to work is the last step in life getting back to normal. We are so lucky to have it be so easy - a lot of families with children are struggling with childcare because many of the schools are still closed, not to mention all the people that haven't even been able to get to their houses! We were so blessed to make it through Ike, and be able to move on.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Zipper Organizer

I have really been enjoying my zipper pouch. It holds all the essentials and keeps them organized, so I can toss it in a larger bag or just grab it for a quick errand. I thought you might enjoy a how-to. This is really long, like all my how-to's, but trust me, after a little practice, these go together really quickly from start to finish!

You Will Need:

Main Body --> 6 pieces of fabric 11.5" x 7" (2 upholstery/home dec weight, 2 cotton for lining, 2 fusible interfacing)

Pockets -->
2 pieces of fabric 11.5" x 5" (cotton for lining)
2 pieces of fabric 11.5" x 2" (upholstery/home dec weight)

Strap --> 1 piece of fabric 9" x 2.5" (upholstery/home dec weight)

9" zipper

* If you're using scraps like me, you can get all this from ~2 12" x 12" upholstery samples! Lining was from my stash.

Prep the Pieces:

Iron the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your 11.5" x 7" lining pieces.

Take your 9" x 2.5" strap piece, iron in 1/4" on both long edges, then iron in half. Top stitch both long sides, about 1/8" or less from the edge.

To make the pocket, place one 11.5" x 2" piece of upholstery weight fabric right side down on one 11.5" x 5" piece of lining fabric. Using 1/4" seam allowances, sew along the long edge.

Then sew the 2nd long edge of the upholstery piece to the second long edge of the lining piece to form a tube.

Turn right sides out and press so that the upholstery forms the top of the pocket.

Top stitch if desired. This is what I usually do:

Repeat with the other pocket pieces.

Begin Assembly:

Line up one pocket 1.5" from bottom of one lining piece. Mark the center with a small line, and 3" on either side of the center (adjust this dimension if you are making a pocket for a specific item, like a cell).

Stitch carefully along the bottom edge of the pocket, close to the edge. When you reach the marks, leave the needle down and pivot your work 90° and sew towards the top edge of the pocket. When you reach the top edge, leave the needle down and pivot 180° and stitch back to the bottom edge.

Your pocket will look like this:

Repeat with the second pocket and second lining piece:

Install the Zipper:

Center the zipper face up along one lining edge. Place one upholstery piece right side down to create a sandwich.

Using the zipper foot on your machine, sew in the zipper. Start and stop your stitches at the zipper stops, not the edges of the fabric. You'll also have to stop sewing halfway, remove your work from the machine, get the zipper pull out of the way, and finish sewing. Overlap your stitches a little when you start again for security.

Pin the lining and upholstery layers away from the zipper and topstitch. Again, start and stop with the zipper stops.

Create a second zipper sandwich with the remaining lining and upholstery pieces.

Sew as you did for the first side of the zipper. Pin away and topstitch. Your pouch should now look like this:

Final Trimming:

Now that the zipper is installed, square up the fabric by trimming the upholstery layer and the lining layer to be the same dimensions.

Make a mark 1/2" in from each edge by the zipper:

Trim diagonally from this mark to each lower corner, making sure not to cut the webbing of the zipper.


Position the strap and pin, catching the upholstery weight fabric only.

Pin the outer pieces and the lining, right sides together. Make sure the zipper is at least half way open so you can turn.

Using 1/2" seam allowance, sew as shown in the diagram, leaving an opening in the lining for turning (1) and overlapping your stitches on the outer fabric for security (2). Back stitch as close as you can to the zipper, making sure the open zipper ends stay aligned.

Box the corners, feeling to make sure the side and bottom seams are lining up; mark a line where the corner is an inch wide. Repeat with all four corners. Sew back and forth a couple times on this line and then trim off the corner.

Deep breath, we're almost there! Turn the bag right side out. I've found this is easiest if I tuck the outside and inside together first, then start pulling through the hole I left in the lining.

Close up the opening in the lining with either hand stitching or a neat machine stitch. Tuck everything back together with lots of smoothing and stretching. This is where I like the interfaced lining.

And voila!!

I hope you stuck with me through to the end and this all makes sense! Good luck, and let me know if you try it!

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