Saturday, April 18, 2015

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 got the idea for the oil holder insert here. 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.