The big eclipse is over, summer travel and events are winding down and I've heard talk of pumpkin spice already. It looks like Summer '17 is almost a wrap, and I feel ready for autumn. It was way too hot for me this year, and my boots are calling. The funny thing is, I'm sure I talked about being excited for summer when spring was ending. I guess I know why I live somewhere with clearly defined seasons - I need them all...Read More
April is nearly over. Can you believe it? That means we're about to get smacked in the head by May, which has always been a crazy month in our house. I used to think it was because the kids had so much going on with the end of the school year, but even after they grew up and moved out it stayed a little nuts. Maybe it's the transition into better weather so there's more to do. If that's the case, I'm in. Bring on the crazy.
This post contains affiliate links.
If you have a kid who likes to carry around a little buddy, and all of said buddy's stuff, this backpack from Crazy Little Projects would be a great gift. Just make sure that backpack is comfortable for you to carry as well, because you know you're gonna.
These bag handles from So Sew Easy are pretty, and a great way to use up some fabric scraps.
What I like the most about these kitchen printables from The Happy Housie is that the background on each makes it look a bit like cross-stitch or embroidery, without the long hours of stitching.
I know it hasn't been very long since I featured a peanut butter dessert here, but just look at these stuffed cookies from Delish. Who could say no to those?
You really have to see the whole line of word jewelry from vanessahandmade on Etsy, but the cheerful orange of this one was my favorite.
You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!
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.
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.
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.
I started with the baby version on the right. It’s just big enough for a tube of lip balm or hand sanitizer.
Since I have two bags to share here today, and it will help keep this post from getting too long, I’ve typed up the instructions and included them with the bag pattern. Just click the photo above to get to that.
Now for the larger bag. 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.
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.
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.
Turn the facing to the inside and press on both the outside and lining.
Lay the lining piece right side down. Center the zipper over the opening, face up.
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.
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.
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.
Trim the seam.
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.
Turn the bag right side out through the opening. Press, turning the opening in 1/4”.
Hand stitch the opening closed. Use carabineers or jump rings to attach your strap of choice to the loops.
This isn’t a big bag, but it will certainly hold the basic necessities. You know, like your phone and lipstick.
Or the baby Kiss Bag. Nom nom.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day!
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!
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!
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…
…you’ll also receive this One Yard Wonder Smart Girl’s Set Phone Case…
…a One Yard Wonder Jet Set Travel Tissue Pack…
…a zippered, lined cosmetic bag (which I’ll show you how to make on Wednesday!)…
…and a reversible coffee cup sleeve. Surprised?
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!
I don’t make many crafts for little girls, because I don’t have any mini models readily available. But when I was planning this project, 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Place the black eye center in the appropriate place over the white and stitch.
Slightly overlap the eye with the top and bottom eyelids. Stitch in place.
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.
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.
Turn the upper edge of the bag to the inside 1” on both the front and back. Stitch near the edge of the felt.
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”.
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.
Fold the front of the bag up over the top of the ribbon and ears. The top edges should be even.
Stitch 3/8” from the edge, then again just over 1/8” from the edge.
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?
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:
I love how the flower turned out with the stripes!
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.
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!
My thanks to Vanessa and everyone else who entered. I’m already looking forward to doing it again next year!
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. Not a very pretty thought, is 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.
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
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.
The heat shrink tubing is sold in small packages like this. Be sure your tube is slightly larger than your wire.
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.
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.
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.
Slide the hook onto the end. Fold the webbing over 2” so it covers the edge of the shorter piece.
Stitch down both sides of the webbing, close to the edge, and across near the clip.
More secure, and still looks like it belongs with my purse!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stitch around edge. Turn by pulling everything through the opening in the lining side seam.
It should look like this:
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.
I liked the pattern so much, I made one for a friend for Christmas also. Both sides are shown here.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Fold the 2” sides of the small piece of leather under 1/4” and stitch.
Slip into the D-ring and fold, wrong sides together.
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.
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.
Stitch around, 1/4” from the edge.
Turn right side out through the opening in the bottom of the lining. Stitch the opening closed by hand or machine.
Push the lining to the inside. Roll the seam with your fingers until it is completely turned. Stitch around close to the upper edge.
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.
Stitch onto the webbing through the button.
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.
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.
I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for my project in the challenge. I appreciate the support!
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.
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.
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.
Cut the same shape from the lining fabric.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Make sure it’s laying flat on the back and press well from the front. It should look like this from the front.
And this from the back.
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.
From the back, fold the pocket up so the top edges meet. Press the fold.
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.
Your pocket should look like this.
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.
Press the seams open. Flatten the corners together so the raw edges meet and the seams touch. Stitch 1/4” from the edge.
Repeat with the two leather pieces. Be sure to use binder clips rather than pins to hold the leather.
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.
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.
Top stitch around the top 1/4” from the edge of the leather.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By keeping both leather pieces on the handle together, this can be a shoulder bag.
But you can also pull one strap up so one leather piece is on the back of the bag…
…and you can wear it as a cross-body bag. Cool, huh?
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!
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.
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?
There has been a lot of purse and handbag sewing going on around here lately. My daughter made her first Ninja Monkey Bag, and we have fabric waiting for a couple more to be given as gifts to her friends. I also just finished my first kiss-lock clutch, but I’ll tell you more about that another day. What I want to talk about today is what to put in those bags.
I don’t care what anyone says, until we do away with coins as currency, there is a place for a coin purse. Especially one as fun as this Triangle Coin Purse from Craft Passion.
This Snappy Coin Purse from Sew Timeless looks simple and unassuming when it’s closed, but it opens up in a unique way, making it good for so much more than coins.
I need to add this Tea Wallet from Is It Naptime Yet to my list of things to make for Christmas. My little tea-drinking daughter would love it.
This felt version from Martha Stewart could be made in about five minutes, perfect if you need a quick, little gift.
To go along with that tissue holder, how about a Hand Sanitizer Holder from A Lemon Squeezy Home? I’m always sucked in by all the new flavors these come in, so a cute holder would give me another excuse to collect them.
Last week I showed you how I made a Fabric Wrist Strap and promised to reveal what it would be attached to this week. The suspense is over – it’s this little wristlet, inspired by a take-out box!
I’m heading to Las Vegas in a couple of weeks with my husband and kids. We visit once every year or two and always have a ball. I do have one major problem though…sunglasses. We do a lot of walking in and out of buildings, which means putting them on and taking them off. I can’t put them on top of my head because, thanks to my fine hair, they slide right off. I don’t like to carry a full-on purse because, well, I just don’t like to. That leaves me carrying them in my hand, likely to lose them somewhere when I lay them down to put money in a slot machine…I mean…nope, we both know that’s the truth.
Given the fact that we’re here with no sun to speak of and are likely to spontaneously combust when we reach 100-degree Vegas, I should probably also have sunscreen handy. So, what I ended up needing was something small, but semi-roomy.
To make this little bag, you’ll need this pattern. Quantities and instructions are printed on each piece. You’ll notice there are two different sizes for the sides – you’ll need two of each size for the outside and the same for the lining. In addition to the fabric pieces, you’ll also need a metal ring (like you’d use on a key ring) and a 3/8” snap.
Apply the iron-on interfacing to the back of each piece. Fold the pocket right sides together. Stitch, leaving an opening to turn.
Turn and press, turning in the opening. Pin to one of the taller outside pieces, 1/2” from bottom edge and centered side to side. Stitch down both sides and across bottom, close to pocket edge.
Lay one short side on top of a tall side, right sides together, and stitch down right side, stopping 1/4” from bottom edge. Repeat with other two outside pieces and all lining pieces.
Press seams open. Lay the two outside pieces right sides together. Stitch the remaining two sides, stopping 1/4” from the bottom edge. Repeat with lining. Press seams open.
Match one lower edge to one side of square bottom. Stitch from side seam to side seam.
Turn and match the next side to the corresponding square side. Repeat until all four sides are sewn. Do the same to the lining.
Clip the corners and press the seams up. A pressing ham works great for this, just slide the smaller end inside. If you do much sewing and don’t have a pressing ham, you might want to consider getting one. Mine was only about $10, and works great for pressing oddly shaped items. I use mine to press the curves on the Ninja Monkey Bag. Secret’s out.
Turn the outside so it’s right side out. Stuff it into the lining. Match up the seams and edges. Pin. Stitch around the upper edge, leaving a 2” opening to turn.
You can ignore that bit of fabric on the right. You can also ignore any red Velcro you may see in other photos. It was a fastener plan gone wrong. When you’re inventing something as you’re assembling, it happens.
Clip the corners. Turn both the outside and lining right side out through the opening. Push the corners out with something pointy.
Push the lining down into the bag. Press the edge. Top stitch around the top, close to the edge. Stitch across each flap at the bottom from seam to seam.
Press the flaps in along the stitching line. Stitch the 3/8” snap on the shorter flaps near the point so the two points will overlap each other slightly when snapped.
Overlap the points on the taller sides by 1”. Stitch across, about 1/8” from the point on each side. Stitch again, 1/8” away from first stitching. Thread the metal ring on between the two points.
Add the Fabric Wrist Strap and you’ve got a wristlet!
This bag definitely holds it’s shape better when it’s full, so I’ll be doing my very best to take care of that while I’m on vacation. Some shopping might be in order. It’ll be rough, but I’ll try to manage.
The whirlwind that was Giveaway Day is over. After reading all 297 entries, I let random.org pull a number out of the hat for me. The lucky winner is number 159, Dedee!
I’ve sent Dedee an e-mail and as soon as I get her address I’ll be sending her Ninja Monkey Bag!
Thanks to everyone for the funny, kind and entertaining comments. They were definitely fun to read. To address one that came up a few times, yes, there is a place called Boring, Oregon and I do live there. It’s a location, not a state of mind, and not nearly as bad as it sounds.
Congratulations to Dedee and I hope you’ll all join me for Giveaway Day again next year!
As promised last week, I’m participating in Sew, Mama, Sew’s May Giveaway Day today. I’m posting this before they have the list of participants up, but it sounds like there are hundreds…so get comfy. If you’re visiting me for the first time because you found me on that list, welcome! If this whole Giveaway Day thing is news to you, enter to win here, then visit Sew, Mama, Sew’s blog and enter a bunch of others too!
Now for the important part – the giveaway. I had a tough time choosing what it would be, but finally landed on a Ninja Monkey Bag. I hadn’t made one in a while and had a summery piece of Michael Miller fabric that was perfect for it.
I used another Michael Miller, black with white polka dots, for the inside, because you just can’t go wrong with polka dots. Or black and white. Or Michael Miller.
I made a fabric flower for the outside, rounding the points of the petals so they matched the print.
Because I was limited by the amount of fabric I had, the handles are a bit shorter than usual. The entire purse, as shown, measures about 27” from the knot in the handle to the bottom of the bag.
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post. That’s it. Saying something nice won’t improve your chances of winning, but it will make my day better. I will ship anywhere, so feel free to enter whether or not you’re in the U.S. You have until 11:59 pm, Pacific time, on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 to enter. On Thursday morning I will randomly draw a winner from the comments and notify that person via email.
Thanks for visiting, good luck on this entry and all your others, and enjoy Giveaway Day!
My daughter attended her first prom this weekend. She decided she wanted a yellow dress, which proved to be tricky, but she found one she loved. She set out to buy flat shoes to go with it, but instead fell under the spell of a pair of heels that make her tower over me by about half a foot. She borrowed some jewelry from me, which only left her needing some sort of bag to hold her phone, lipstick and car keys. That’s where I jumped in.
Codi falls into the category of women who carry a purse only when it’s necessary. I’m there with her. But as long as you have to, it might as well be cute. And as small as possible.
I apologize for the photos. I was in a hurry and didn’t realize the fabric made it a little difficult to see my stitching. Hopefully you can make out all the important parts.
I used a metallic brocade for the outside of this and satin for the inside, but just about any fabric would work. Mine unraveled almost faster than I could get it sewn up, but paid off in the end because it looked great with her dress. You’ll need to cut the following:
9” by 12” rectangle of the outer fabric
12” by 1 1/2” strip of the outside fabric
8” by 12” rectangle of the lining fabric
On the larger outer piece, measure 1 1/4” from the long edge and 2 7/8” from each edge. Iron a small piece of interfacing to the back and stitch a 1/2” vertical button hole on each side. Cut the buttonholes open.
Fold the narrow outer strip, right sides together and stitch the long edge. Turn.
Cut a piece of narrow elastic 2” longer than your wrist. Attach a safety pin to one end and feed it through the tube you just made. When the opposite end is even with the end of the tube, stitch through both to hold it. Continue until the end with the pin is even with the other end, remove the pin and stitch that end as well. This is the wrist strap.
Lay on top of the large outer piece so the ends are even with the short edge on one side. The top edge of the strap should be even with the top of the buttonhole. Fold the other side of the outer piece over the top, short edges even. Stitch down short edge, backstitching over strap.
Stitch a couple of rows of long basting stitches near the bottom edge of the bag. Pull the stitches to gather and knot the thread. Flatten the bottom of the bag with the seam centered on top. Stitch across 5/8” from the bottom edge.
Stitch the lining the same way, leaving out the wrist strap and leaving a 2” opening in the side seam for turning.
Turn the lining right side out. Put it inside the outer bag. Match seams and raw edges. Stitch around the top edge. Turn right side out through the opening in lining. Hand stitch the opening closed.
Push the lining inside the bag, folding the outer bag to the inside 1/2”. Sew a row of stitching 1/2” from the top edge, where the bag and lining meet, and another 1/2” below that. Your buttonholes should be centered between.
Cut two pieces of ribbon, 20” each. Feed a piece of ribbon into one buttonhole, all the way around the purse, and back out through the same hole. Repeat on the other side.
String a bead on both sides and knot the ribbon below it. We found it needed to be double-knotted to keep our bead on. Trim away excess ribbon.
Pull both sides to close.
This was the perfect prom accessory for her and looked great with her dress.
I think I might need a more rugged version of this to hold my stuff at track meets!
My daughter saved up some money a few months ago and bought herself a notebook computer. So far, it’s saved us all some grief. She can do her homework and keep up with what’s happening on Facebook without anyone in the house losing my mind. I mean, their minds. She wanted to be able to take it to school once in a while, but was afraid to try to carry it in any of the bags she has because none of them are padded. I’ve been wanting to try a messenger bag idea I’ve been carrying around in my head, so we gave it a go.
This project is a little more complicated and has a lot more pieces than most I post here, but you start out with nothing but rectangles and if you read through the directions before you start you’ll get thought it just fine. I’m going to refer to the pieces by a letter and number to make it easier to follow. This is also my most photo-heavy tutorial yet.
You’ll need outer fabric, lining fabric, medium weight interfacing and cotton batting or other thin padding. Here’s the pieces you’ll need to cut from your fabric:
A – bag – 20” wide x 15” tall
A1 – cut two from outer fabric
A2 – cut two from lining fabric
A3 – cut two from interfacing
A4 – cut four from cotton batting
B – top flap – 20” wide x 7 1/2” tall
B1 – cut one from outer fabric
B2 – cut one from lining fabric
B3 – cut one from interfacing
C – closure tab – 3 1/2” wide x 11” tall
C1 – cut two from lining fabric
C2 – cut one from interfacing
D- closure loop – 4” wide x 1” tall
D1 – cut one from outer fabric
E – tab for strap hardware – 4” wide x 5” tall
E1 – cut two from outer fabric
E2 – cut two from interfacing
F – outside pocket – 12” wide x 12” tall
F1 – cut one from lining fabric
F2 – cut two 2” square pieces of interfacing
G – outside pocket flap – 12” wide by 5” tall
G1 – cut one from lining fabric
G2 – cut one from interfacing
H – inside pocket – 7” wide by 11” tall
H1 – cut one from outer fabric
That’s a lot of pieces, so keep the list handy as you go through the instructions so you know which piece I’m referring to. Everything is sewn using a 1/2” seam unless otherwise noted. Also, if I tell you to turn and press something, always trim the seam and clip the corners first.
You’ll also need two 1 1/2” D rings, a 1 1/2” button, two 1 1/2” by 3/4” pieces of Velcro and about 1 to 1 1/2 yards of webbing for the strap.
Iron the interfacing onto the back of pieces A1 (the one you intend to use on the back), A2 (the one at the front of the bag), B1, C1 (either one), E2 (both) and G2.
Fold D1 lengthwise with right sides together. Stitch down long side with a 1/8” seam. Don’t trim seam. Turn and press.
Lay out B1, right side up. Pin ends of D1 8 3/4” in from each end. It should measure 2 1/2” between the ends when you’re finished. Lay B2 on top, right side down. Stitch sides and bottom (the side where you pinned D1). Double stitch over D1 ends. Turn and press. Top stitch close to edge.
Fold H1 in half lengthwise. Stitch all sides except fold, leaving an opening to turn. Turn and press.
Measure 7” in on each side and 4” from top on A2 (the one with interfacing) and pin H1 with fold on the top edge. Stitch close to side and bottom edges. Stitch a row from top to bottom of pocket 1 1/2” from one side.
Fold G1 in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Press fold. Open, right side up. Position a 1 1/2” x 3/4” piece of Velcro 1” from edge at side and 1/4” from crease on both sides. Stitch both pieces on securely.
Fold G1 with right sides together. Stitch around all edges, leaving an opening for turning. Turn and press. Top stitch sides and creased edge.
Fold F1 in half lengthwise with right sides together. Press fold. Unfold and turn wrong side up. Iron a 2” square of interfacing 3/4” from edge and even with fold on both sides.
Turn F1 right side up. Pin remaining Velcro 1” from edge and 1/2” from fold on both sides. Stitch securely in place.
Fold F1, right sides together. Stitch around all sides except fold, leaving an opening for turning. Turn and press. Top stitch edge near Velcro.
Lay A1 (with interfacing) right side up. Place F1 4 1/2” from edges on sides and 4 1/2” from top edge. Make sure Velcro is on the outside and near the upper edge. Stitch sides and bottom close to edge.
Pin G1, Velcro down, 4” from upper edge. Velcro and sides should match up with F1. Stitch close to top edge of G1.
Pin both C pieces right sides together. Stitch sides and bottom end. Turn and press. Top stitch sewn sides.
Stitch a buttonhole the width appropriate to your button (mine is 1 1/2” but you could go smaller) 1 1/4” from stitched bottom end of C.
Fold E in half widthwise with right sides together. Stitch long (5”) edge. Turn and press with seam centered. Repeat with second piece. Top stitch both long sides on each.
Layer these pieces: A4 (one); A1 (with pocket) right side up; C1 centered, even with top edge and buttonhole end away from edge; A1 right side down; A4 (other one). Stitch sides and bottom. Backstitch over C1. Trim seam. Press side seams open.
Flatten bottom corners so bottom and side seam meet. Draw a line at the point that measures 2 1/2” across (a little over 1” from the corner).
Stitch along that line. Trim off the corner below stitching.
Repeat the entire process from layering with lining pieces A2 and remaining two A4 pieces, excluding piece C1. Leave a 6” opening in the bottom for turning.
Thread a D ring onto each E1 piece. Fold in half and stitch close to edge to hold.
Turn outer bag, A1, right side out. Pin each E1 piece onto A1 (on the back - side with the pocket) 1 1/2” from the side seams.
Pin top flap, B, on top, sides matching bag side seams, raw edges even and outer side (B1) down. Stitch around top 1/4” from edge.
Stitch around bag lining, A2, 1/4” from edge. Stuff outer bag, A1, inside lining, A2, with inner pocket facing the front of the outer bag. Pin edges, matching seams. Stitch 1/2” from the edge. Trim seam. Zigzag edge for added strength.
Turn the bag right side through the hole in the lining. Push out the corners. Stitch the opening closed.
Push the lining into the bag. Press the upper edge. Topstitch close to edge.
Feed the closure tab, C1, through the closure loop, D1, and make a mark in the center of the buttonhole. Sew button at mark, so button faces out when tab is fed through loop.
Feed one end of the webbing through the hardware tab, E1. Fold the end under about 1 1/2”, then under again about 3”. Stitch securely through 1 1/2” section in several directions.
I made the strap adjustable using the necessary hardware but it broke the first time she used it because it was plastic. I recommend adjusting the strap to the desired length, feeding the remaining end through the other D ring and sewing it in place, which is what I’ll be doing with her bag now.
I’m pretty sure it took me a lot longer to write this tutorial than it did to actually make this bag, so don’t be intimidated by the length of these instructions. One step at a time, and you’ll be carrying your notebook in style.
Last Friday I listed the top 10 most popular posts from this blog in the past year. This week, as we’re nearing the end of my First Anniversary celebration, I wanted to share some of my personal favorites. There would be some duplicates, like the whole list, so I won’t go over those again. These are a few that didn’t make the last cut, but still hold a special place in my heart.
For some reason, I just really love making these pillowcases. When you turn the whole thing out of the tube and you can see what the three fabrics are actually going to look like together...that’s my favorite moment in any project.
I wish my photography had been better on these, because they are so much cuter in person than they came off here. I need to make more of them soon.
I was happy this purse fulfilled my girl’s pineapple wishes for her birthday, but I also love it just because it turned out the way it looked in my head. That doesn’t always happen.
These were fun and a little dangerous, a thrill for my internal adrenaline junkie.
Any craft I can do with my kids, put Wonder Woman on, use crayons for and wear later is ok with me.
I just made these again for Valentine’s Day and they are still ridiculously delicious. I mean they were.
When I look back at my projects from the past year, there isn’t one I wouldn’t do again. I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve learned a lot. That’s why we’re all here, right?
Don’t forget, you can enter my First Anniversary Giveaway until midnight tonight! You could win your choice of any of my tutorials…made by me just for you!
We interrupt your regularly scheduled Friday Favorites to bring you…the one-year anniversary of Crafty Staci! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year already. Time really does fly when you’re having fun!
Because it’s Friday, I’m still going to share some favorites, but instead of linking to others, they’re all right here. These are the top ten most popular posts from my blog during the past year.
#10 – Forever Fabric Flowers
I knew when the barely-twenty-something guy at FedEx asked me if I made these and responded to my answer with “Wow!” I was doing ok with the crafting thing. These were shipped off as a get well gift to my niece Laura in Minnesota, who is making a miraculous recovery.
Sometimes I make things just to see if I can. This fortune teller turned out better than I expected, as it actually works. We gave this one to our son as a card to go with his 8th grade graduation gift.
When you have something that looks like this attached to the handle of your luggage, you don’t have to look very hard for it. These have made it through the airport and cruise ship terminal so far and are holding up well.
I have these little pockets to thank for getting my Etsy store off the ground. And I’m making some progress toward learning to use that camera.
#6 – Felt and Wire Angel
I tend to make things that are fairly simple. It has to do with my complete lack of patience and my need to finish something in the same session I started it. I am apparently not alone in my love for quick, easy projects. Thanks for validating my impatience.
This one was a surprise to me, because I felt like everyone had probably already learned how to make these before I came along. I’ve never been happier to be wrong.
#4 – Ninja Monkey Bag
I made this one for my daughter and I’ve made several since, including another for her that has Batman all over it. This was one of my first attempts at creating a purse pattern from scratch, and I’m pretty happy with the results.
#3 – More Fabric Flowers
This is the flower I used on the Ninja Monkey Bags. I’ve been eyeing it again lately for use on a headband or hair clip.
#2 – Robin Hood Hats
If you would have told me a year ago, when I started this blog, that one of my most popular posts would end up being Robin Hood hats, I would have laughed my head off. Seriously, barely a day goes by when some version of Robin Hood hats doesn’t come up in the search terms that people have used to find my blog. And I never stop being amazed by it.
#1 – Passport Wallet
Some of my favorite projects have been those born out of necessity. There is a good feeling that goes along with making something you need. This baby is safely tucked away, waiting for our next adventure. This was also my first and, thus far, only giveaway. Until tomorrow…