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Sewing again

After more than a year of barely looking at my sewing machine, I finally started planning, cutting fabric and sewing again. I have missed my favorite hobby so much. Of course, there are 3 awesome reasons that I don't have much time for sewing...

In a flurry of stitching, I have whipped up several items lately.

Fat Quarter Tote Bags - these are quick, easy and fun to make!

A 241 Tote... I think this is the 6th one I've made. It's a well-written pattern that works up pretty quickly. I really like the size/shape/functionality of these totes.

Flannel pillowcases for my big boys. My boys picked out the fabrics and so they LOVE their new one-of-a-kind pillowcases. These are enjoyable to make and are really quick.

Weighted pincushion and organizer (and thread catcher). I should have made this years ago. This is SO handy! In addition to being free standing, the thread catcher bag also attaches to the organizer.

Check out this cute Bella Clutch. I used the free pattern from Clover and Violet. (Wow, they have some amazing free patterns and tutorials. Go check them out!) It was nice to use up some of my favorite scraps for this project. I have plans to make several more of these.

This Mini Messenger Bag was made from a pattern by Quilts Illustrated. I purchased the pattern a few years ago from a cute little quilt shop (Nana's Quilt Cottage) in Old Colorado City. This is a nice and easy pattern. I like the weight of the bag - the fusible fleece makes it look great. I would only change one thing, which would be to add a magnetic snap closure on the flap.

2 Little Bike Messenger Bags for my boys. What a fun and quick project! (As you can see, they've already been used for wrapper storage.) 

Trail Tote (another great noodle-head pattern!) This is the large version of the bag. I really like the simplicity of the design and was happy to have a use for this lovely bird fabric. I'm planning a second bag in the smaller version. ((And hopefully I won't forget the important step of adding interfacing to the interior pocket this time.))

I was in need of a place to store my essential oils. I used the Open Wide Zipper Pouch tutorial for the basic construction of the bag, but changed a few things. I have a few dimensions to tweak and then will create another bag. (And hope to share the dimensions and notes here for anyone else wanting to make their own essential oil bag!)

Cosmetic bag / boxy pouch for my husband. I didn't use fusible vinyl, but instead a layer of lightweight interfacing and fusible fleece to give the bag body. It turned out just how I envisioned.

Another Lego bag. We already have one, but needed another. I didn't use a pattern - they are so simple to make.
You'll need 1 1/4 yard each of exterior and interior fabric and approx. 4 1/4 yards of cording/rope/etc (I used 1/8" diameter nylon cord, cotton doesn't slide through the opening as easily). Measure from selvege to selvege on both pieces and use the smallest # as the diameter of the circles you'll need. Draw a circle on the wrong side of one of your fabrics. (I folded the fabric in half one direction and then again the other direction to make -almost- a square. Then I cut a string half the length I measured above - at the folded corner I hold one each of the string. At the other end I hold a pen and mark along the fabric using the string to create a quarter circle. Then I cut along that line, open up the fabric and there's a circle!) Place fabrics RS together, with circle fabric on top. Sew around the circle with a 1/4" seam allowance, but leave a 5" opening. Trim larger fabric 1/4" from stitch line, so it'll be a circle like the precut piece. Pull fabrics through the opening and smooth out. Press around edges. Topstitch near edge. Then topstitch again about 1 1/2" from edge (this will be the casing for your drawstring). I used my seam ripper to make a 1" slit in between the two rows of topstitching (This will fray, but hasn't been a big problem. You could always do a buttonhole stitch, etc. BEFORE sewing the 2 layers together if you're worried.) and use a large safety pin to guide 1 end of my cording through to the other end. Tie the ends of the cording together with a knot to keep them together. Done.

We are no longer living in Colorado and I miss it... and the beautiful backdrops I had for my pictures.



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Tutorial: Crayon Tote

Month of bag making project 10 & tutorial
Gather your materials:
* 12 1/2" x 29" piece of cotton fabric for the OUTSIDE of the bag
* 12 1/2" x 29" piece of matching canvas for the LINING of the bag (or you can use regular cotton & iron on some lightweight interfacing to give it a bit of structure)
* 6 1/2" x 12 1/2" piece of fabric (same as you used for the lining) for the crayon pocket
* 2 - 4" x 20" pieces of fabric (same as you used for the outside of the bag) for the STRAPS
* 3 1/2" x 12 1/2" piece of lightweight interfacing
Coordinating thread
Sewing machine
Fabric pencil/pen (chalk based or disappearing ink - whichever you prefer)
~Seam allowances are 1/4"unless otherwise noted~
NOTE: The width used for the crayon slots is 3/4" which is very tight.  It may be difficult for younger children to insert the crayons.  If designing for a younger child, make the slots 7/8" wide.  You'll need to c…

GIVEAWAY DAY - 241 Totes


Today begins Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day... which actually lasts all week! You will find some amazing handcrafted items as well as crafting supplies, so what are you waiting for? Go check it out!

I am offering THREE FOUR 241 Totes. I really love making these bags (pattern) as well as using the one I made for myself. It's a cute design featuring 2 outside pockets, 2 inside pockets and a magnetic closure.

I am blown away by all of the kind comments I've received here... so I found a little time this week to whip up another 241 Tote for the giveaway!
Heirloom TO ENTER:
Simply leave a comment telling me which of the bags that you'd like to win AND your favorite quilt pattern/tutorial. Only ONE comment per person please. MAKE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS (either through blogger or in your comment). If I can't contact you I will have to chose another winner. And I'd love it i…

Tutorial: Child's Tote

Lately, I have been making several child sized tote bags & matching crayon rolls.  Here is how I made the totes.  Enjoy!

Gather your materials:
* 13" x 29" piece of cotton fabric for the OUTSIDE of the bag
* 13" x 29" piece of matching canvas for the INSIDE of the bag (or you can use regular cotton & iron on some lightweight interfacing to give it a bit of structure)
* 2 - 4" x 20" pieces of fabric (same as you used for the outside of the bag) for the STRAPS
Coordinating thread
Sewing machine
~Seam allowances are 1/4" (for my machine that's the width of the presser foot) unless otherwise noted~

Throughout the tutorial and at the end I will have some helpful hints enclosed in *.  If you're a beginner sewer, it may be helpful to read through all of them before beginning this project.  I hope they help! 

Let's start with making the STRAPS.  Take 1 piece of the strap fabric and fold it in half lengthwise and iro…