Friday Favorites No. 328

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!

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…

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

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…a One Yard Wonder Jet Set Travel Tissue Pack…

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

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…and a reversible coffee cup sleeve.  Surprised?

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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!

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:

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I love how the flower turned out with the stripes!

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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.

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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

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.

Theft-Resistant Purse Strap - Crafty Staci 1

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

Theft Resistant Purse Strap - Crafty Staci 8

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

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Theft Resistant Purse Strap - Crafty Staci 9

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

Theft Resistant Purse Strap 10

Theft Resistant Purse Strap 10

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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this one at Moda Bake Shop, also glued,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday Favorites–Purse Accessories

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.

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Craft Passion also shares how to make this Zip-Itself Coin Purse.

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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.

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I usually try to spread the love around and not feature the same blog more than once or twice in one week, but Craft Passion was a triple threat with this adorable Pear Coin Purse.

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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.

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Travel tissue holder tutorials can be found pretty easily, but I like the fact that Some Art Talk overlapped the edges to keep the tissues clean inside.

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This felt version from Martha Stewart could be made in about five minutes, perfect if you need a quick, little gift.

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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.

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The Giveaway Day Winner

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! 

Random

I’ve sent Dedee an e-mail and as soon as I get her address I’ll be sending her Ninja Monkey Bag!

May Giveaway Day 1

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!

It’s Giveaway Day!

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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.

May Giveaway Day 1

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.

May Giveaway Day 3

I made a fabric flower for the outside, rounding the points of the petals so they matched the print.

May Giveaway Day 2

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!

Messenger Bag

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.

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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.

Friday Favorites–My Favorites

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.

 

Pillowcases 101

Pillowcase 15

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.

 

Lip-Shaped Bag

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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.

 

Pineapple Purse

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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. 

 

Bleach-Sprayed T-Shirts

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These were fun and a little dangerous, a thrill for my internal adrenaline junkie.

 

Crayon T-Shirts

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Any craft I can do with my kids, put Wonder Woman on, use crayons for and wear later is ok with me.

 

Microwave Homemade Caramels

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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!