Craft Remix: Kiss Bags

This month marks the fifth anniversary of my blog.  I have all kinds of fun and exciting events coming up to celebrate, but today I want to talk about a project I did way back in the beginning.  In fact, it was one of the first tutorials I wrote.  Don’t just me too harshly here, but it was this Lip Shaped Bag.

Lip Shaped Bag - Crafty Staci

Gotta love the combination of the dark wood banquet table and flash.  I’m no photographer, but I like to think I’ve improved some since then.  Since this was a project I shared back when I had fewer people reading this than were in the coffee shop I was at this morning, I never felt like this cute little thing got the attention it deserved.

Lip Makeup Bag by Crafty Staci

I was planning to sew this again and take better photos.  But rather than a remake, I decided on more of an inspired-by.  The original was a makeup bag, and now it’s the mama bear in this family.

Set of three Lip Bags by Crafty Staci

I started with the baby version on the right.  It’s just big enough for a tube of lip balm or hand sanitizer. 

Lip Mini Bag Pattern by Crafty Staci

In a first for me, I somehow lost every single photo I took during the process.  I guess the fact that I made it five years before that happened is something to be happy about.  So, since I have two to share here and it will help keep this post from getting too long, I’ve typed up the instructions and included them with the pattern.

Mini Kiss Bag - Crafty Staci

Fortunately, I made the handbag a different day, so all my photos from that one survived.  Hurray!

Kiss Handbag Free Pattern from Crafty Staci

While I made the smaller bags from ordinary cotton, I wanted the handbag to be more durable so it could survive the everyday beating they tend to get.  Not just mine, right?  I happened to have some red duck cloth on hand, but you could also use denim or a heavy home dec fabric.  I kinda wished I had some of that red leather left for this.  You’ll also need fabric for the lining, which can be a little lighter weight.  I used a medium weight home dec.  I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t be floppy, so I added a layer of iron-on heavy craft interfacing, but that would be optional and probably unnecessary if your fabric is stiff enough on its own.  The last item on the supply list is a white 9” zipper.

Cut out the pattern and piece it together, matching the dotted lines.  Cut out two of the lip shape from the outer fabric and two from the lining.  Cut one of the zipper facing from the outer fabric and one from the lining.  Cut two of the loop from the outer fabric.

Pieces for Kiss Bag - Crafty Staci

Iron the interfacing to the back of the fabric if you’re using it.  Draw the rectangle shown on the zipper facing onto back of the fabric pieces.

Zipper Facing - Crafty Staci

Pin the zipper facing to the bag with right sides together where it’s shown on the bag pattern.  Stitch around the rectangle you drew on previously.  Do the same with the lining.  Cut along the lines shown on pattern – down the center of the rectangle with a clip to each corner.

Applying zipper facing to kiss bag - Crafty Staci

Turn the facing to the inside and press on both the outside and lining.

Turning facing - Crafty Staci

Lay the lining piece right side down.  Center the zipper over the opening, face up. 

Zipper step one - Crafty Staci

Add the outer piece on top, right side up.  I’m not usually a fan of basting, just because I hate to have to remove it later, but you really want all three layers to stay in place while you’re sewing and this is a little thick for pins.  Some large hand stitches will do the trick.

Zipper step two - Crafty Staci

Stitch around the zipper, close to the fold.  When I flipped mine over a small section of the lining didn’t get caught in the stitching, so I added a second row about 1/8” from the first.  Remove the basting.

Zipper step three - Crafty Staci

Lay the remaining lining piece face up.  Pin the lining piece attached to the zipper on top with right sides together.  Keeping the outer piece out of the way, stitch around the lining pieces with a 3/8” seam.  Clip the corners.  The larger seam is to make sure the lining is a bit smaller and will fit easily inside the bag.

Sewing lining - Crafty Staci

Trim the seam. 

Trimming seam - Crafty Staci

Fold the loop pieces in half and press.  Turn both edges in to meet the fold and press again.  Stitch close to the side with two folds.  Fold with the two raw ends together and stitch very close to that edge to make a loop.

Lay the remaining outer piece face up and pin the outer piece with the zipper attached to it with right sides together.  Slip one loop between the two layers on both sides where the pattern indicates with the raw edges even and the loop to the inside.  Stitch with a 1/4” seam, keeping the lining out of the seam and leaving at least 3” open for turning.  You may want to leave an even larger open if your fabric is very stiff.  Stitch again over the loop ends for reinforcement.

Stitching the outer bag - Crafty Staci

Turn the bag right side out through the opening.  Press, turning the opening in 1/4”. 

Press turning in opening - Crafty Staci

Hand stitch the opening closed.  Use carabineers or jump rings to attach your strap of choice to the loops.

Attaching strap - Crafty Staci

This isn’t a big bag, but it will certainly hold the basic necessities.  You know, like your phone and lipstick.

Kiss Bag from Crafty Staci

Or the baby Kiss Bag.  Nom nom.

Kiss Handbag and Lip Mini Bag - Crafty Staci

Just in time for Valentine’s Day!

Kiss Handbag by Crafty Staci

It was fun to go back and reimagine something from the early days, so this might not be the last craft remix you see from me!

4th Annual Crafty Staci Anniversary Giveaway

Four years ago today, I sat down at this computer (well, not THIS exact computer, but stay with me here) to start writing this blog.  I didn’t really know what I was doing.  At. All.  That first month, I stumbled through some sketchy posts, trying to get my bearings and figure out what I was doing.  A total of 42 people read what I wrote that month, and I think I probably didn’t even know some of them in real life. 

It’s been an amazing ride so far.  I had my first print magazine project published last year and I’ve had the opportunity to appear on some other blogs I admire.  My Etsy shop is thriving, and I’ve branched out to Zibbet and Meylah.  I’ve been the recipient of some amazing opportunities, and I couldn’t be more grateful.  But what I’m most thankful for is you.

Without all of you out there reading this, I’d be talking to myself.  Which I would do, but I’m glad I don’t have to.  All of your comments, likes, links and silent passing through are what keeps this interesting.  To show my thanks, let’s get to this year’s anniversary giveaway!

4th Anniversary Giveaway - Crafty Staci 1

Remember my project for Craft Warehouse last month?  They sent my this springy fabric and when I was finished with it I thought it would make a perfect anniversary giveaway!  The pictures don’t really do it justice.  You’d think after four years I’d be a better photographer, but I’m still working on it.  In addition to the One Yard Wonder Retro Bag…

4th Anniversary Giveaway - Crafty Staci 2 

…you’ll also receive this One Yard Wonder Smart Girl’s Set Phone Case…

4th Anniversary Giveaway - Crafty Staci 3

…a One Yard Wonder Jet Set Travel Tissue Pack…

4th Anniversary Giveaway - Crafty Staci 4

…a zippered, lined cosmetic bag (which I’ll show you how to make on Wednesday!)…

4th Anniversary Giveaway - Crafty Staci 5

…and a reversible coffee cup sleeve.  Surprised?

4th Anniversary Giveaway - Crafty Staci 6

How to Enter

To enter to win this entire set, just leave a comment here.  Whatever you’d like to talk about.  I’ll give you a second entry if you leave a comment here letting my know where you follow me outside of my blog (Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy, Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin’). 

This drawing is open to anyone, worldwide, except my daughter who REALLY wants this bag.  Maximum of two entries per person.  The contest will be open until midnight Pacific time on Saturday, February 15, 2014.  I will choose a winner by random drawing on the 16th.  Please make sure your email address is linked to your name when you comment, or include it within your comment.  If I don’t hear back from the winner by February 23rd, I will choose a new winner. 

I can’t wait to find out who I’ll be sending this to!

Yoda Purse

I don’t make many crafts for little girls, because I don’t have any mini models readily available. But when Undercover Tourist asked me to make something to celebrate Star Wars Weekends at Disney World, I knew two things:  it was going to involve Yoda and it was going to be for a girl. 

I grew up with Star Wars.  Back before all that Jar-Jar nonsense, everyone wanted to be Princess Leia, marry Han Solo and have Luke Skywalker as a brother.  But my absolute favorite character was always Yoda.  There’s just something about that little green guy.  “Do or do not.  There is no try.” Words to live by.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 1

To make Master Yoda, you’ll need:

  • one black felt scrap
  • one white felt scrap
  • one green felt 9 x 12” rectangle
  • 3/8 – 1/2” wide grosgrain ribbon, 60 inches or less
  • black embroidery floss
  • you may also want green and white floss or thread if you’re sewing your bag
  • this Yoda Bag pattern

I chose to sew my bag together, but you also have the option of using craft or hot glue. Everywhere it mentions sewing, just run a bead of glue instead. Just be sure to let it dry or cool completely between each step. This small bag is not meant for large or heavy items, especially if you use glue.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 2

To cut the purse shape, fold the green felt in half and place the bottom edge of the pattern on the fold.  Cut four eyelids and two ears from the green as well.  From the white felt, cut two eye whites.  Cut two eye centers from the black.  Decide where you’d like the bag to hang on your body or the body you’re making it for, measure the ribbon to that length and add 6 inches.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 3

Place the eye whites on the front of the bag as indicated on the pattern.  Sew in place.  I used white thread and hand-sewed.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 4

Place the black eye center in the appropriate place over the white and stitch.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 5

Slightly overlap the eye with the top and bottom eyelids.  Stitch in place.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 6

Stitch a mouth using the black embroidery floss.  If you’re gluing your bag, you could carefully draw the mouth on with a black Sharpie to keep this a true no-sew project.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 7

To form the ears, fold at the line shown on the pattern.  Use a few stitches or a bit of glue to hold the fold in place.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 8

Turn the upper edge of the bag to the inside 1” on both the front and back.  Stitch near the edge of the felt.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 9

Lay the bag out with the face closest to you and the inside up.  Pin the ribbon next to the edge of the back on the right and left, extended down 3”.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 10

Place the ears as indicated on the pattern, on top of the ribbon and sticking out on each side. Make sure the edge of each ear extends about 1/2” into the bag.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 11

Fold the front of the bag up over the top of the ribbon and ears.  The top edges should be even. 

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 12

Stitch 3/8” from the edge, then again just over 1/8” from the edge.

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 12.5

Because I have no little girls, this bag is hanging in my sewing room.  I’m seriously considering using it myself when we go to Disneyland next summer.  According to Yoda “Size matters not.”  Well, I think in Disneyland, age matters not.  Right?

Yoda Bag - Crafty Staci 13

3rd Anniversary Winner’s Bag

I thought you might like to see what Vanessa B., the winner drawn in my 3rd anniversary giveaway, received.  This was her comment when she entered:

I Love the Sling Bag and my fav fabric is is 131 Grey Hometowns, luvvv that fabric :-) Thank You and Happy Anniversary on your Blog!

I only had a very small piece left of the fabric she mentioned, so after finding out that she likes purple, green and brown, I found some cute options and made this:

3rd Anniversary Winner - Crafty Staci 1

I love how the flower turned out with the stripes!

3rd Anniversary Winner - Crafty Staci 2

Since I already had the fabric out on my table, and they’re one of my favorite things to make, I decided she needed a bonus matching coffee cup sleeve.

3rd Anniversary Winner - Crafty Staci 3

I shipped it off to Vanessa, and this is her response:

OMGoodness Staci, I LOVE It!!! Absolutely Beautiful Bag and how did you know, I’m a coffee fanatic that struggled (hard!) to pick between the bag and the coffee sleeve when I was leaving the original comment for your Giveaway :-) I can’t Thank You enough….Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

Vanessa also shared with me that her daughter already tried to swipe it! Smile

My thanks to Vanessa and everyone else who entered.  I’m already looking forward to doing it again next year!

Theft-Resistant Purse Strap

Not a very pretty thought, is it?  You’re out shopping and some guy who probably didn’t get enough time-outs as a kid rips your purse right off your shoulder, out of your hand or from your shopping cart and runs away with it.  Maybe you’ve already realized bad guys are out there, and wear your purse across your body.  Did you know they will sometimes cut the strap and steal it anyway?  That’s just not okay with me, so today I’m showing you what I’m doing about it.

Keep in mind, the thief is expecting to rip through your purse strap and take off.  If you choose to use a theft-resistant strap you need to be prepared for the reaction when things don’t go as he planned.  I strongly believe that all women should have even a small amount of self-defense training.  I’ve just heard too many of the stories my husband has come home with to take personal safety lightly.  Just ask our children, the black belts.

Theft-Resistant Purse Strap - Crafty Staci 1

To make this strap, you’ll need:

  • 8 feet of 1” wide nylon webbing
  • two clip-style hooks for the ends, as shown in the photo (sometimes called “dog leash”)
  • 4 feet of 1/16” vinyl coated wire rope
  • one tube of heat shrink tubing, cut in half

Theft Resistant Purse Strap - Crafty Staci 4

I bought the wire rope and heat shrink tubing at Home Depot.  The wire rope is sold by the foot and is coated in green vinyl.

Theft Resistant Purse Strap - Crafty Staci 2

The heat shrink tubing is sold in small packages like this.  Be sure your tube is slightly larger than your wire.

Theft Resistant Purse Strap - Crafty Staci 3

Measure to determine how long you want your finished strap to be.  I wanted mine to be 48”, including the hardware.  Cut the webbing the length you want your strap to be, minus the length of the hooks.  For me, that was 43”.  Run the ends briefly over an open flame to prevent unraveling.

Cut the wire the same length.  You’ll need some good, solid wire cutters for this – the little craft version isn’t going to cut it.  Literally.  If you determine the length ahead of time, you might be able to get them to cut it in the store.

Slide the heat shrink tubing onto the ends.  Shrink to fit with a heat gun.  I used my old embossing tool from back when rubber stamping was a thing.  The tubing is precautionary, to help keep the wire from pushing through the end of the webbing, but it isn’t a huge concern so if you don’t have access to a heat gun I wouldn’t stress over it.

Theft Resistant Purse Strap - Crafty Staci 5

Cut a second piece of webbing, adding 2 1/2” to each end.  Mine was 48”.  Lay the wire in the center, 2 1/2” from the end.  Lay the shorter piece of webbing on top with the end even with the wire.  Secure with binder clips.

Theft Resistant Purse Strap - Crafty Staci 6

Using a large needle (like the kind meant for sewing denim) VERY CAREFULLY AND SLOWLY zigzag stitch down the center though both layers of the webbing with the wire centered under the stitching.  Do not stitch the wire.  I found as long as I didn’t try to rush it and held everything on both sides with my fingers as I went, the wire stayed in place.

Theft Resistant Purse Strap - Crafty Staci 7

Slide the hook onto the end.  Fold the webbing over 2” so it covers the edge of the shorter piece.

Theft Resistant Purse Strap - Crafty Staci 8

Stitch down both sides of the webbing, close to the edge, and across near the clip.

Theft Resistant Purse Strap - Crafty Staci 9

More secure, and still looks like it belongs with my purse!

Theft Resistant Purse Strap 10

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


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!



The 36th AVENUE- A creative DIY blog. Sharing tons of recipes, gift ideas, crafts, home décor and home improvement easy to follow tutorials. Come visit to make the ordinary EXTRAORDINARY on a budget! www.the36thavenue Follow on Pinterest #crafts #decor     my craftgawker gallery    that diy link party    125  HookingupwithHoH

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!




Making    Skip To My Lou     sumo's Sweet Stuff          Creating Really Awesome Free Things     The Girl Creative     

Another One Bites the Dust

My daughter just discovered she likes to sew.  She’s made a few attempts over the years, but as soon as her project was finished (sometimes before), she would move on.  I don’t really know what changed, but she’s one of us now.


She made a coffee cup sleeve for her dad a few months ago, but the project that really won her over?  The Ninja Monkey Bag.  She wanted a new one, something more mature than her karate monkeys and Batman versions.  I told her I wasn’t sure if I could squeeze it in between making new items for my Etsy shop and Christmas gifts.  She offered to make it herself, and it turned out beautifully.


Instead of the fabric flower I usually make and attach to these, we thought this fabric called for a zipper flower.  I visited the fabric store to buy a zipper, but found pre-made flowers that were much less expensive.


Since this one went well, she also made one for a friend’s birthday.


There’s also another one, cut out and waiting, that she told me not to sew even if I have time because she wants to do it herself.

What really drove home the fact that she is actually enjoying this happened yesterday.  I just drew up a pattern for a lined Christmas stocking (that I’ll be sharing with you soon!).  She picked it up and said “Wow, this actually looks pretty easy.”

I said “It should be.  Do you want to make yours?”

When she replied with an emphatic “Yes!” I knew the sewing bug really had her.  That, and she has developed my fabric-cutting face.


Join me in welcoming another fabric-addicted seamstress to the fold.

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.


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,


this one at Moda Bake Shop, also glued,


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


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. 


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


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?