Red Leather Coat, Round Two

About a year and a half ago, I cut into a long red leather coat that I’d had for almost two decades but had never worn.  I ended up with a shortened jacket, a purse, a phone case, a loyalty card holder and, of course, a coffee cup sleeve

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 1

My friend Patty, whose office I volunteer for at my son’s high school, saw all of the transformed items first hand.  It got her thinking about a red leather coat that had been passed on to her from another friend.  That coat turned up at school one day a few months ago in a plastic bag with my name on it. 

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 2

I decided two things when I saw this coat.  The first was that whatever I made from it was going right back to Patty.  The second was that I was going to try to keep those slash pockets.  The logical choice to reform the coat was a into bag, but rather than draw up a pattern, I decided to let the coat’s shape speak to me as I went.  Very Zen.  I started out by removing the lining and interfacing.  If you ever want to learn a thing or two about clothing construction, try some deconstruction.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 3

After I’d gutted it, I started cutting.  I originally thought I would keep the button placket but noticed there was some damage around the buttons, so I cut it off.  I also cut across just below the arm holes and just above the fold for the bottom seam.  At that point I was just aiming for the largest piece of leather I could get, but I liked the shape of it, so I stitched the middle together to create the basic bag shape.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 4

The next step was to cut out the lining, so I used the leather piece as a guide and added a seam allowance.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 5

I sewed patch pockets onto one side of the lining and added a zipped pocket to the other.  I wanted some reinforcement for the magnetic closure, so I also added an extra strip of fabric to the area where they would be applied.  It also gave the top of the purse a little more body.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 6

I realized my purse still had a waist, so I gave it some belt loops.  This would also solve the problem of my seams not matching up perfectly in the front because I could cover the area with a belt.  I considered using the original collar as an accent at the top of the bag, but decided even my beast of a sewing machine wouldn’t survive that many layers of leather.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 7

I finished stitching up the lining and added it to the inside of the bag.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 8

Rather than make the strap entirely from leather, I used one of the lining fabrics instead and added a strip of leather down the middle as an accent.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 9

I couldn’t have been happier with the way this bag turned out.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 10

Of course, I added a couple of little accessories for the inside.  All that remains of the coat at this point is one sleeve.

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 11

This is Patty.  Does this photo give you some idea of how she felt about it?

Red Leather Coat Refashion - Crafty Staci 12

Easy Lined Zippered Bag

As I promised on my 4th Anniversary Giveaway post from Monday, I’m here today to show you how to make these lined, zippered bags.  Crazy easy.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 1

These are so simple, in fact, I actually had to look back through my projects to make sure I hadn’t already covered them.  I can’t believe I haven’t, but let’s fix that, shall we?

To make one, all you need is fabric and a zipper.  For a typical purse size, your zipper should be in the 7 – 9” range.  Cut your fabric into rectangles the width of the zipper (or slightly smaller) and the height you’d like your bag, plus 1/2”.  My zipper was just over 8” from end to end, so I cut my fabric 8” by 6 1/2”.  You’ll need two pieces for the outside and two pieces for the lining.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 2

Lay one of the lining pieces right side up.  Line up the edge of the zipper with the edge of the fabric with the zipper also right side up.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 3

Add one of the outside pieces on top with the right size down.  Using a zipper foot on your sewing machine, stitch 1/4” from the edge.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 4

I don’t know about you, but even with a zipper foot I always end up with wonky stitching when I pass the zipper pull.  To avoid that, unzip the zipper a few inches before you begin stitching.  Just before you’re about to stitch past the pull, make sure your needle is fully down in the fabric and lift the presser foot.  Zip the zipper back up past your needle.  Lower the presser foot again and continue stitching.  Nice, straight seam!

Press both fabrics away from zipper.  Topstitch close to the fold.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 5

Repeat steps with the remaining outside and lining pieces on the other side of the zipper.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 6

Unzip the zipper halfway.  This step is important, because if you forget you won’t be able to turn your bag right side out.  Open out both sides.  Pin the two outside pieces to each other with right sides together, same with the lining.  The zipper should fold with the teeth facing the lining side.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 7

Stitch all the way around 1/4” from the edge, leaving 3” open at the bottom of the lining.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 8

Clip the corners.  Turn the entire bag right side out through the opening.  Push out the corners.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 9

Press the bottom seam of the lining, turning in the opening.  Stitch across the bottom close to the edge.  You could also hand stitch the opening closed if you prefer.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 10

Push the lining into the bag, iron out the wrinkles and you’re done.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 11

If you want to get a little fancier, you can make your bag so it will stand up.  You can also add a loop if you’d like to clip it to a bigger bag or use it as a wristlet.

Cut all your pieces the same, except add 1” to the height on all pieces.  Cut two pieces of iron-on interfacing the same size.  For the loop, cut fabric and interfacing 2 by 4 1/2”.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 12

Apply the interfacing to the outside pieces and the back of the loop piece.  Fold the loop in half with wrong sides together and press.  Fold both edges in to meet the middle.  Press.  Stitch close to both folds.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 13

Continue making the bag and shown above.  When you reach the point where you’re pinning the outsides and lining together, fold the loop in half and slip into the seam allowance of the outer pieces, about 1” down from the zipper.  Double stitch over the loop for added security.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 14

Once you’ve sewn the seam all the way around, stop before turning it right side out.  Flatten the corners so the seams touch and pin.  Stitch across each corner 1 1/4” from the point.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 15

Cut off the excess from each corner.  Turn right side out and finish as shown above.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 16

These are great for so many uses, take very few supplies and are quick to whip up.

Easy Lined Zippered Bag - Crafty Staci 17

Be sure to visit THIS POST before midnight on Saturday, February 15, 2014 to enter to win my anniversary giveaway, which includes one of these little bags!

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Yogurt Tub and Denim Drawstring Bag

When I was asked by Earth 911 if I had any good recycled crafts they could share for Earth Day, I didn’t think I’d have any problem digging one up.  I was surprised to find most of my projects that fit the bill were seasonal, and not appropriate for spring.  I really wanted something that was mostly repurposed, didn’t take a lot of materials and was a little unusual.    I think this bag fits.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 0

To make this, you’ll need a clean yogurt tub (about 24 oz size), a piece of denim (a leg cut off to make shorts will work) and two shoe laces.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 1

Ok, so I know that’s technically not just yogurt, but have you tried this stuff?  Yum.

Measure around the top edge of your tub.  Add 1/2” to determine the width to cut your denim.  Measure the height of the tub, multiply by 1 1/2 and add 3” to determine the height.  Mine came out to 14 1/8 by 9”.

You can leave a decorative seam if your sewing machine can handle sewing over it doubled.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 2

Fold the denim with the short sides together.  Subtracting the 1/4” seam you’ll sew in the next step, find and mark the center on both sides.  Unfold.  Measure 2 1/4” down from the top edge at the mark.  Draw a 1/4” line from 2 1/4 to 2 1/2”.  Stitch a 1/4” buttonhole at the line and carefully cut it open.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 3

Fold the denim right sides touching and short ends together.  Stitch a 1/4” seam down the side.  Press the seam open.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 4

Stitch over the edge at the top and bottom with a zigzag stitch or serger to reduce fraying.  Fold the upper edge toward the wrong side 1 1/2” and press.  Stitch 1/2” from the edge and 1/2” from the fold.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 5

Using scissors or a razor knife, cut the lip off the tub.  Slip the fabric tube over the tub, wrong side of the fabric toward the tub and the top edge of the fabric and tub even with each other.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 6

Using a long stitch and a large needle, stitch 1/4” from the edge through the plastic and denim.  Add a pleat to the denim if you need to make it fit.  If you have any doubt at all about whether your sewing machine can survive this, punch holes in the plastic with an awl and sew by hand.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 7

Pull the denim up over the tub, turning right side out.  Feed a shoelace into one of the buttonholes, all the way around through the casing, and back out through the same hole.  Repeat on the opposite side with the other shoelace.  Tie the laces together near the buttonhole and again at the ends.  Pull both sides to draw closed.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 8

I thought I was done at this point, but when I turned around the lid was laying there.  I cut a small flower from it, which I stitched on with a button on top.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 9

I keep imagining taking this to the beach with my sunglasses, bottle of water and sunscreen in it.

Yogurt Tub and Jeans Drawstring Bag - Crafty Staci 10

If this wasn’t Oregon.  In April.  Maybe a snack instead?

Ruffled Tote Bag

My grandma lives in Wyoming, which is very far from Oregon, so I don’t get to see her often, but I make sure to send her something on her birthday so she knows I’m thinking of her.  Last year I found a piece of fabric that completely reminded me of her, so I bought it without having any idea what I would make from it. 

As her birthday drew closer, it came to me.  I know she likes to go shopping sometimes, and she’s also a reader, so a bag to carry a book and a few other small things would be perfect.  I wanted the fabric print to be the star, so I kept the bag simple, but added a little ruffle at the top to up the girliness a bit.  This tote is also reversible, although I guarantee my grandma will only use it with the girl print facing out.

Ruffled Tote Bag - Crafty Staci

To make this bag, you’ll need 2/3 yard of the outer fabric, 2/3 yard of the inner fabric and 1/2 – 1 yard of iron-on interfacing, depending on your fabric weight and whether you want your bag to be reversible.

From the outer fabric, cut 2 pieces 14 x 14” for the bag, one piece 6 x 13” for the inside pocket and two pieces 3 1/2 x 24” for the handles.

From the lining fabric, cut 2 pieces 14 x 14” for the inside of the bag, one piece 6 x 13” for the outer pocket and two pieces 2 1/2 x 42” for the ruffle.

Cut 2 pieces of interfacing 14 x 14” if your fabric is lightweight and 4 pieces if you plan to make it reversible.

Ruffled Tote Bag 2

Iron the interfacing onto the back of the outer bag pieces.  To make the outer pocket, fold the piece right sides together.  Stitch 1/4” from the edge, leaving 2” open on one side to turn.  Clip the corners, turn and press.  Repeat with the other pocket piece to make the inner pocket.

Ruffled Tote Bag 3

Pin the front pocket to the outer bag piece 3 1/2” from the top edge and centered side to side.  Stitch close to the edge.  Repeat with the inside pocket and the bag lining.

Ruffled Tote Bag 4

Pin the two outer bag pieces right sides together.  Stitch sides and bottom, leaving top open.  Repeat with the lining pieces, leaving 5” open in the side seam for turning later.  Clip the corners.  To make the boxed bottom in the bag, flatten the corner with the seams touching.  Measure 2” from the corner and draw a line across.  Stitch along the line.

Ruffled Tote Bag 5

Trim off the corners.  Repeat with lining.  Turn the lining right side out.

To make the handles, fold in half and stitch, leaving the ends open.  Turn and press.  Top stitch near the seam edge.  Set aside.

Ruffled Tote Bag 6

To make the ruffle, fold wrong sides together and press.  Fold the ends back out and stitch to each other with right sides together and ends even.

Ruffled Tote Bag 7

Fold again and press.  Stitch a long basting stitch near the raw edge through both layers, starting and stopping at the seam.  Find the center opposite the seam and mark it with a pin.

Ruffled Tote Bag 8

Pin the ruffle to the lining, matching the seam to one side seam and the pinned center to the other.  Raw edges should be even. 

Ruffled Tote Bag 9

Carefully pull the basting thread to gather the ruffle.  Stop at the pin and gather from the other side.  Even out the gathers and pin in place.

Ruffled Tote Bag 10

Stitch, less than 1/4” from the edge so you don’t have to remove any stitching later.  Otherwise, use a basting stitch so it will be easier to remove.

Ruffled Tote Bag 11

Stuff the lining inside the bag so they are right sides together.  Match seams and upper edges.  Slip the handles in between, 4” away from the seam on each side.  Pin. 

Ruffled Tote Bag 12

Stitch around edge.  Turn by pulling everything through the opening in the lining side seam.

Ruffled Tote Bag 13

It should look like this:

Ruffled Tote Bag 14

Turn the edges of the lining opening in, press and stitch to close.  If your bag will be reversible, sew it by hand using an invisible stitch.  Push the lining into the bag.  Press the upper edge, avoiding the ruffle, and stitch near the edge.

Ruffled Tote Bag 15

Finished!

Ruffled Tote Bag 16

I liked the pattern so much, I made one for a friend for Christmas also.  Both sides are shown here.

Ruffled Tote Bag 17

I got a sweet note in the mail from my grandma telling me how much she loves her bag, which makes me happy.  Now I think I’ll make one for myself!

Leather Cell Phone Wristlet

The Protect Your Tech Challenge is over, so now I can share my project with you.  Every time I think I’m done using the leather I cut off to refashion this coat, I find something new to do with it.  Believe it or not, I still have a little bit left, so I can’t guarantee you’ve seen the last of it.

Red Leather Jacket Projects - Crafty Staci

When I was asked to create a holder for a cell phone or tablet using recycled materials, it was important to me that as many of the materials were reused from something else as possible.  The only thing I ended up using that was brand new was the thread.  Seriously, I draw the line at trying to reuse thread…just, no.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 1 - Crafty Staci

This is what I used:

  • leather – from refashioned coat
  • hook and loop – from a duffle bag
  • D ring – from a bag
  • clip-on wrist strap – from an old point and shoot camera bag
  • lining fabric – scraps left from my Pan Protector and Hot Pad project
  • webbing – from a belt

Recycled Leather Phone Case 2

To create my pattern, I drew a rectangle that measured 3/4” larger than my phone on all sides.  My phone is pretty thin (Samsung Galaxy SIII) so be sure to take the thickness of your phone into account when drawing your pattern.  I used something with a rounded edge to round the two bottom corners.  If I could remember what that was, I’d tell you, but it was probably a jar or something similar.

After you’ve drawn your pattern, cut two pieces from the leather (or whatever fabric you’re using) for the outside and two from the lining fabric.  You’ll also need a 1 1/4 by 2” piece of leather for the side loop.  Cut the 5/8 to 3/4” wide hook and loop 1 1/2” long.  The webbing I used was 1 3/4” wide and had a finished end, so I cut it 3 3/4” long.  If you’ll have to finish the end, cut it 1/2” longer, fold it under 1/4” twice and stitch.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 3

Sew the loop piece of the hook and loop to the front leather piece, centered side to side and 2 1/4” from the top edge.  Sew the hook piece to the webbing, 1/4” from the finished end.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 4

Fold the 2” sides of the small piece of leather under 1/4” and stitch.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 5

Slip into the D-ring and fold, wrong sides together.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 6

Use binder clips to clip the two remaining pieces of leather right sides together.  Slip the D-ring loop into one side with the ring inside, 1” from the top.  Stitch 1/4” from the edge, leaving top open.  Do the same with the lining, without the D-ring loop, and leave a 4” opening at the bottom.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 7

Turn the lining right side out.  Stuff it into the leather piece.  Clip the top edges of both together.  Slip the webbing between the layers , opposite the front hook and loop (the loop part) with the hook and loop on the webbing facing the lining.  In the photo you’ll see my webbing sticking up above the edge, which is only because I started out with it too long.  Yours should be even with the edge.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 8

Stitch around, 1/4” from the edge.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 9

Turn right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining.  Stitch the opening closed by hand or machine.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 10

Push the lining to the inside.  Roll the seam with your fingers until it is completely turned.  Stitch around close to the upper edge.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 11

For the flower embellishment, cut your favorite shape from the leather.  I also cut a smaller starburst shape for the center to add a little more texture.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 12

Stitch onto the webbing through the button.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 13

Clip the wrist strap onto the D-ring and it’s finished.  If you don’t have a wrist strap, some narrow webbing stitched together and a carabiner of some kind will do the trick.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 15

My phone fits in the case perfectly without my phone cover, however I’d make it larger if you want your cover to stay on.

Recycled Leather Phone Case 14

I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for my project in the challenge.  I appreciate the support!

 

 

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Leather Grommet Bag

It’s not every day that I chop into a leather coat.  In fact, I don’t remember ever sewing with leather before.  But my bravery was rewarded last week with a new short jacket and a big chunk of red leather.  I think I was more excited about what I could do with the part I cut off, but I do love my new jacket.

Red Coat Before and After

The first thing that came to mind for my extra leather was, maybe obviously, a bag.  I decided to work with the bottom hem of the coat as the top of the purse, but this pattern could also be made using regular fabric.  I’m big on pockets, so you’ll find lots of those inside.  I also like to wear my purse across my body when I’m shopping, so I’ll show you how these straps can be adjusted at the end.

Grommet bag 2

To make this bag, you’ll need a piece of leather or 1/3 yard of medium weight fabric for the outside, 2/3 yard of medium weight fabric for the lining and pockets, an 8” or larger zipper, interfacing, one magnetic purse snap, two sets of large metal grommets and 66 inches of 1” wide webbing.

Cut two pieces from the leather, each measuring 14” across the top, 12” across the bottom and 11” down each side.  The sides should angle in 1” on each side from the top to bottom.  Measure in 2” from each side and 2” from the bottom at each bottom corner and cut that square away.  It should be slightly angled to match the side.

Grommet bag 3

Cut the same shape from the lining fabric.

Grommet bag 4

Also from the lining fabric, cut one piece 9” wide by 8 1/2” tall for the cell phone pocket, one piece 4 1/2” wide by 6 1/2” tall for the lipstick pocket and one piece 8 1/2” wide by 11” tall for the inside of the zipper pocket.  I chose to cut the last one from a contrasting fabric, shown in black below.

Grommet bag 5

Fold the small lipstick pocket right sides together.  Stitch around all raw edges (using a 1/4” seam, as throughout unless indicated otherwise) leaving 2” open on one side to turn.  Clip corners, turn right side out and press.  Repeat with the cell phone pocket.

Grommet bag 6

Pin the cell phone pocket 3 1/2” from the top and 2 1/2” from each side on one lining piece.  Stitch down both sides and across bottom 1/8” from the edge.  Stitch through all layers from top of pocket to bottom 4 1/4” from right side to create two pockets.

Grommet bag 7

Pin the lipstick pocket on the other lining piece, 4/12” from the top and centered between the sides.  Stitch the sides and bottom 1/8” from the edge.

Grommet bag 8

Draw a rectangle on the wrong side of the zipper pocket 1/2” from the top, 1/2” from each side and 1/2” wide.  Pin above lipstick pocket so the top of the drawn rectangle is 3 1/2” from the top and 3” from each side of the lining piece.  Stitch around the rectangle, following the line you drew.

Grommet bag 9

Carefully clip through both layers in the center of the rectangle.  Cut through to within 1/4” of each end.  From there, clip to each corner as shown by the red lines in the photo below.  Do not clip through the stitching.

Grommet bag 10

Grab the bottom edge of the pocket and stuff it through the slit you just cut.  Pull it from the back until the entire pocket is behind the lining.

Grommet bag 11

Make sure it’s laying flat on the back and press well from the front.  It should look like this from the front.

Grommet bag 12

And this from the back.

Grommet bag 13

Shorten zipper, if necessary, but sewing over teeth and cutting off below.  Make sure zipper still extends beyond the opening you just created by at least 1/4”.  Pin zipper behind opening, centering the teeth and making sure the pull is accessible from the front.  Stitch around the opening, close to the edge, using a zipper foot.

Grommet bag 14

From the back, fold the pocket up so the top edges meet.  Press the fold.

Grommet bag 15

Stitch the sides and top of the pocket together, 1/4” from the edges, making sure to move the lining piece out of the way and using caution near the ends of the zipper.

Grommet bag 16

Your pocket should look like this.

Grommet bag 17

Now that all of the pockets are completed, pin both of the lining pieces right sides together.  Stitch 1/4” from the sides and bottom, leaving the squares at the corners open.

Grommet bag 18

Press the seams open.  Flatten the corners together so the raw edges meet and the seams touch.  Stitch 1/4” from the edge.

Grommet bag 19

Repeat with the two leather pieces.  Be sure to use binder clips rather than pins to hold the leather.

Grommet bag 20

Turn the leather right side out.  Find the center of each side of the lining.  Apply a 2” square of heavy interfacing to the wrong side of each side.  Mark a dot at the center 1 1/2” from the top edge.  Apply the magnetic snap over the dot, following the manufacturer’s instructions, on each side.  For mine, that meant cutting a small slit on either side of the dot, pushing the tabs through from the front, adding the back and bending the tabs.

Grommet bag 21

Press the upper edge of the lining toward the wrong side 1/2”.  Slip the lining into the leather bag, wrong sides together.  Using binder clips, clip the lining to the bag 1/8” from the bag edge.

Grommet bag 22

Top stitch around the top 1/4” from the edge of the leather.

Grommet bag 23

Mark your desired spot for the grommets.  Mine are 2 1/2” from the side seam and 1” from the top (to the edge of the hole).  Carefully cut the hole through both layers.

Grommet bag 24

Apply the grommets according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  I can’t recommend the ones I used because they were without instructions, even on the website they directed me to on the package.  As far as I can tell, you put a ring on the front with tabs through the hole, one on the back and bend the tabs over to hold it in place.  I like how they turned out, but the lack of instructions was disappointing.

Grommet bag 25

For the strap, cut two pieces of leather, each 4” by 3”.  Fold the short sides under 1/2”.  Fold right sides together and stitch the long edge.

Grommet bag 26

Turn right side out, which is a bit of work.  Center the seam.  Slide onto the 66” long piece of webbing to the center.  Stitch near each end and 1” in from each side.

Grommet bag 27

Slide the webbing through the grommets on the bag.  Push both ends of the webbing into the second leather tube and stitch like the first one.

Grommet bag 28

By keeping both leather pieces on the handle together, this can be a shoulder bag.

Grommet bag 29

But you can also pull one strap up so one leather piece is on the back of the bag…

Grommet bag 30

…and you can wear it as a cross-body bag.  Cool, huh?

Grommet bag 31

I chose not to add a bottom to this bag on the inside because I wanted it to stay a little more flexible for cross-body wear, but you could certainly cover a piece of cardboard or plastic and add it if you want it a bit stiffer.

Whew, that’s a lot, right?  Well, I’m not done…tune in on Wednesday for another project!

 

 

 

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Friday Favorites–My Birthday

I would swear I just had one, but according to the calendar today is my birthday.  My oldest child is graduating from high school soon, so my husband is taking me shopping for a dress.  I feel like I need a button to wear that says “Call me ma’am and suffer the consequences.”  But they’re welcome to ask for my ID, should I choose to order a beverage containing alcohol.  Wait until you see how cranky I’ll get when I have really big birthdays.

I came across a few things that made me much less cranky though.  For starters, how could I, being a crafter, not smile at this little beauty?  It can be found at Joann, and I just can’t get over what a great job Singer did combining the old and new.

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When I was a kid, in the olden days before computers, I actually loved to type.  My husband gave me a tablet for my birthday last year, so this USB Typewriter from Uncommon Goods just seems like a perfect fit.

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Speaking of my little tablet, the reason I wanted one in the first place was to read books on it.  I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I think my next one will be Imagine:  How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer.  I always find it fascinating to hear a scientist try to explain why we do what we do.

book-articleInline

If you understand the references on this t-shirt, you know why it’s one of my all-time favorite movies.  If you don’t, go find The Princess Bride and watch it.  Right now.  But don’t read the book – it’s truly awful.  Inconceivable.

The_Princess_Bride_As_You_With_Cap_and_Cross_Swords-T

I have ridiculously sensitive teeth.  Not because I’m getting older – they’ve always been that way.  I rarely even bother trying to drink something cold without a straw, so I’m pretty sure I need these Bent Glass Straws from Etsy seller ManyMinis.

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I already got a fabulous coffee cup for my birthday from my sister.  It came from Amazon in a GIANT blue velvet bag, which made it extra fun to open.  In case you’re new here, I’m a big Wonder Woman fan.

Wonder Woman

I’ve been on a search for some cute red heels.  I don’t know where I’m going to wear them, it just seems like something that should be available in my closet when I figure it out.  This pair from DSW might be The One.

DSW red shoes

As a graduation gift, we’re taking our daughter and her friend to Disneyland.  This cute Dooney & Bourke bag might not be in the budget (after high school comes college), but I will have to find it there, just so I can see it in person.  No really, I just want to look at it.  Really.

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When my husband and I got married, almost 21 years ago, we decided we didn’t need or want formal china.  A few years ago, I found my “china” in Fiesta ware.  I have quite a bit of it now, but there’s always a new piece or color on my radar.  Right now, it’s this chip and dip set.  Love.

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Do you remember the brownie/cookie dough/cake dessert from last year?  It was heavenly.  This year, I’m leaning toward these Salted Caramel Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars from Made with Pink.  Tell me your mouth is not watering right now.

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I’m off to do some celebrating.  Have a great Mother’s Day this weekend!

Fat Quarter Cosmetic Bag

I had quite a bit of fabric left after making my daughter a dopp kit yesterday, so I moved on to searching for tutorials for cosmetic bags.  I found several, all with great qualities, like this beautifully lined bag from Flossie Teacakes.

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I also liked this quilted version from Terri’s Notebook.

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But I ultimately settled on this cute bag from Sew Like My Mom.  I liked the unusual shape and side zipper.

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This little bag was pretty easy to make, nicely lined and didn’t require much fabric.  And, like the dopp kit yesterday, Codi has already added it to her travel gear.

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I actually still have some of these fabrics left, so I might have to find another project to use them on.  Tomorrow, however, I’m moving on to my last two fat quarters and a new tutorial!

Expandable Mail Bag

You probably know by now that I have an Etsy shop.  Last November it was slowly becoming clear I was going to have a pretty busy holiday season.  Through the rest of the year, most days had looked about like this.

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By November, more days were looking like this.

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The problem was, I needed something to carry the mail to the post office in.  I didn’t want a big bag, because on those slower days I’d lose the envelopes in it, but some days I needed the extra room.  I decided what I needed was a bag that could be adjusted to meet my needs on any given day.  Turns out, it’s pretty handy for shopping trips too!

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To make this bag, you’ll need to choose a fabric for the outside, and another for the inside and pocket.

From the outside, cut the following pieces:

  • A – two 16 x 12 1/2”
  • B – two 16 x 7 1/2”
  • C – two 32 x 4”
  • D – one 10 1/2 x 12 1/2”
  • E – two 6 1/2 x 4”

From the lining fabric, cut:

  • F – two 16 x 12 1/2”
  • G – two 16 x 7 1/2”
  • H – one 10 1/2 x 12 1/2”

You’ll also need 5/8” wide Velcro, cut:

  • one 4” (you’ll only use the soft side)
  • two 2”
  • one 1 1/2”

And one 1/2 to 1” button.

We’ll start by making the outside front pocket.  Lay piece D and H right sides together.  Stitch both 12 1/2” edges with a 1/4” seam (all seams throughout the pattern are 1/4”, unless otherwise noted).  Turn and press.  Fold in half with the seams touching and the side you want to be the outside of the pocket to the outside (I used the lining).  Press the fold.

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Open the pocket back out.  Place the back of the pocket on the front of piece A, 4” from the upper edge.  Stitch the pocket 1/8” from the top edge.

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Stitch the 4” soft side of the Velcro onto piece A, centered side to side  and 3” from the top edge.  If your fabric is very lightweight, you may want to iron a small piece of interfacing onto the back before sewing the Velcro to add stability.  Fold pocket up and pin in place.

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To make the Velcro tabs, fold piece E the long way and press the fold.  Open and turn both edges inside to the fold.  Press.  Fold one end 1/4” to the inside.  Press.

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Flip over.  Sew the hard side of the 2” piece of Velcro 1/4” from the short, turned under end and centered between the center fold and the left edge.  Repeat all steps with remaining piece E, centering the Velcro between the center fold and right edge.

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Fold at the center fold with the Velcro to the outside.  Stitch across the short end near the Velcro and down the long edge.

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Stitch the soft side of the 2” Velcro to piece B, 3” from the upper edge and 1 1/2” from the right side.  Repeat with remaining piece B, with Velcro 3” from the upper edge and 1 1/2” from the left side.

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Stitch pieces B to front A (with the pocket), right sides together with Velcro on B closest to the front. 

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Lay out remaining piece A, right side up.  Place Velcro tabs, Velcro up, with top edge of Velcro 3” from the top edge of A.  Either pin with the pins sticking out the sides so they can be easily removing while stitching or baste in place.

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Lay front and sides that you already stitched together (A and B) on top.  Match remaining B edges with back A edges.  Stitch, backstitching over tabs for strength.

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Press seams to one side.  Flatten the bag with the front centered and side seams matching.  Stitch the bottom edge.  Press folds into sides (in center of side panel B).

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Open out side panel, flattening corner at bottom.  Keep center fold and seam underneath even with each other.  Press corner flat. 

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Turn over and stitch horizontally across the corner along stitching line.  Repeat on opposite corner.

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Trim corners to 1/4”. 

To make lining, repeat steps above using pieces F, G and H, beginning with *****  and ignoring Velcro, pocket and tabs.

To make handles, fold piece C in half the long way, press, then open and fold edges into center.   Fold in half again. Press.  Stitch 1/8” from the long edge.

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Turn back right side out.  Pin or baste straps in place to front (A), extending 1” beyond upper edge and 2” from seam on each side.  Repeat on back (A).

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Lining should still be inside out.  Stuff bag inside so bag and lining are right sides together.  Match the upper edge and seams.  Pin and stitch around upper edge, leaving a 4” opening on one side for turning.

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Turn bag and lining through opening.  Push lining into the bag.  Press the edge, turning in the edge of the opening.  Topstitch all the way around top edge.

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Box stitch at base of handles by sewing a square with an X through it.

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Press bottom of bag flat like a grocery sack, making sure lining is pushed all the way in.  Stitch 1/8” from the edge across the front and the back.

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Lay bag flat, front up.  Flip out Velcro tabs.  Fold bag up and press well.  For ease of folding, turning back inside out.  Pinch each fold of lining and outside and stitch 1/8” from fold.

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Stitch soft side of 2” Velcro to bottom of bag, centered and near front edge.

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Fold up bottom and push underneath pocket.  Use pins to mark the corners of the Velcro on the bottom piece.  Pull pocket up and mark with pencil.  Stitch hard side of Velcro to underside of pocket at marks.

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Make a button hole to fit your button in the center of the outside pocket and 3/4” from the top edge.  Sew button behind it onto the bag.

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Your bag is finished!  To fold it up for use with smaller items, lay flat on it’s back.  Fold up the bottom and slip it under the pocket, making sure the Velcro attaches.

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Flip the tabs across the front, attaching to the center Velcro on the front of the bag.

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Perfect for a few smaller letters or envelopes.

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For larger packages, pull out bottom and remove Velcro tabs from front and stick to sides.  The front pocket is great for carrying customs forms.

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I’d love to embroider my logo on the front pocket.  Maybe one of these days when the mail bag isn’t so full I’ll have time to tackle that project!

Kisslock Clutch

I had a small kisslock purse when I was a little girl. I loved it. It was black vinyl and it made me feel grown-up. I’ve wanted one as an adult for a long time, but I was a little intimidated. I had no idea how the purse went into the frame.

I was in Joann’s recently, with a really good coupon burning a hole in my pocket, and not only did they have the frames, but they were a little unique and perfect for the fabric I was buying for my daughter’s bag. Fabric that I knew I would have a good chunk of left when she was done. Kismet.

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I will not be calling this a tutorial.  I made this, but I’m still not sure what I’m doing so I am not qualified to teach you.  Those who can’t don’t teach – they refer you to people who can.

If you’re interested in how these go together, I’d recommend this tutorial at uHandbag for frames requiring glue,

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this one at Moda Bake Shop, also glued,

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or this tutorial at Craft Passion if your frame is for sewing. 

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How do you tell the difference?  If your frame has little holes in it, it’s meant to be stitched.  No holes means glue.

I won’t cover the basics of how you get to inserting it into the frame here.  That’s covered well in the tutorials above.  What I will tell you is how I stitched mine to the frame. 

I failed to open my frame and look at it before I started making the bag, so I thought those little stitching holes went through to the inside.  They didn’t.  I couldn’t figure out how I was going to sew through one side of metal.  I ended up sewing at an angle. 

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I pushed the needle through the hole, then out just under the edge in the back.  I don’t know if that’s the right way to do it, but it mostly worked for me.  You can see some of my stitches on the inside that didn’t pull up under the edge, but it’s not very noticeable.

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I just reversed the process to stitch from the inside.  By the end, I was using pliers to pull the needle through.

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I’m pretty happy with the way this turned out.  The frame was inexpensive, and it feels that way, but this isn’t a clutch I’m going to take to the grocery store or track meets, so I think it will survive just fine.  It does feel securely attached to the frame.

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And it’s the perfect size for my phone and lipstick.  I used red satin for the lining and I love it!

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Next time I make one of these, I want to use a frame like this one from yeahshop on Etsy.

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Which should turn out looking something like this bag from allisajacobs, also on Etsy.

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My little clutch and I had a wonderful time at a fundraiser for TIP last night, and I think just because I have a cute kisslock bag now, I need to find more excuses to use it.  Did you hear that, honey?