It’s just insane the number of cards we have to keep track of. None of these are credit cards, they’re just the loyalty cards that retailers offer to give you discounts and cash back on purchases. Oh, and my library card. My friend Melinda had a great idea to tame them, which I’ve been using for years…Read more
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!
As I promised a couple of days ago, I’m here to tell you the story of my red leather coat. It’s a tale of love, disappointment and rebirth. You’ll love the ending – it’s a happy one.
Years ago, I was a loan officer at a credit union. Those were my skirts and heels days. At the time, there was a clothing chain called Lerner’s. This was also before the internet, so I used to get their catalogs in the mail. One day, one of those catalogs landed at my house with a long, red leather coat inside. I was in love.
I ordered the coat and waited anxiously for it to arrive. When it finally did, I was pretty disappointed. The coat was so stiff, it could stand up by itself. When I put it on, I couldn’t even move. But I loved the color and just didn’t want to admit I’d made a mistake. I hung it in the closet.
About 18 years later (not kidding!) it still hung there. I pulled it out every couple of years or so, tried it on, remembered why it was there, and put it back. A few months ago, I moved it to my craft room. I decided you can’t really ruin something that’s been with you for that long and NEVER, EVER worn.
I decided to start by shortening it to a jacket. I cut a large chunk off the bottom, then hung it back up for a few more months. Ok, maybe I was still a tiny bit intimidated.
I did a little research on altering leather, but in the end I cowboy-ed it. Big time. I pulled the stitching out of the lining enough so I could fold the bottom up an inch.
I clipped it up with binder clips. I stitched from one side to the other, overlapping the top of the leather with the folded-under edge of the lining. I didn’t take photos of any of that, probably because even I was afraid of what I was doing.
I’ve never sewn leather before, but my little sewing machine was a beast. Even the parts so thick I could barely fit it under the foot.
I don’t know why, but my crazy attempt actually worked. Close inspection of the inside gives me away, but I love the way it turned out!
Because of the cut of the original coat, the jacket ended up with a bit of a peplum effect in the back, which I really like.
Cutting off all that extra leather really helped with the flexibility of it. This, I will wear! See, I told you there would be a happy ending.
Now, you may be asking, what happened to all that leather you cut off the bottom? Here’s a sneak peek:
I’ll show you that, and one or two other reincarnations of my red leather coat, next week!
Today is my daughter’s birthday, so it only seems appropriate to talk about her. And she’s not here to stop me at the moment.
A few months ago, we talked about making a quilt for her. She was going to design it based on Sudoku, with each different fabric representing a number. We gathered black, white and yellow fabrics, and I bought a large piece of bright yellow super-soft, Minkee-like stuff for the backing.
I kept asking her when she was going to give me the pattern for the top. “Oh, yeah, I’m going to start on that.” Uh-huh.
I finally asked her if she really wanted a quilt. “No. Can you just make me a blanket out of the fuzzy part?” Yes. Yes, I can.
The only difficult thing about making this is working with the large size. Other than that, it’s a piece of cake. She didn’t even want binding around the edge, because she said that made it look like a baby blanket. Not sure about that, but it’s hers.
I started with about 3 1/2 yards of fabric. It’s 60” wide, so that gave me a piece about 60” by 126”.
Unfold the fabric and refold with right sides together as shown here:
Pin the selvage edges together and stitch with a 5/8” seam. I used a narrow zigzag so the fabric could still stretch.
Make sure the blanket is completely flat, then trim the cut edge so it’s straight and even. Lots of fuzz will come off that edge, so be prepared. When I was working on this one it looked like I was the sole witness to a horrible Tweety accident.
Pin the cut edges together.
Stitch with a 5/8” seam, leaving a few inches open in the middle for turning. My opening was about 13”, but I think I could have gone a bit smaller. I mark the opening with extra pins so I don’t forget to stop and start again while I’m sewing.
After you’re done stitching, pull the blanket through the opening to turn.
Push the corners out with your fingers. The nice thing about this fabric is that the seams turn nicely without a lot of coaxing.
Stitch around the outside edge, 1/4” away, turning in the opening 5/8”. That’s it. This finished blanket measures 58 x 63” and is nice and soft on both sides.
The two sides aren’t connected in the center, but I don’t think that’s going to be a problem for her, especially with the edge sewn. If you’re bothered by that, you could always do a little quilting to hold it all together. Check out this post on Minkee Baby Quilts for some great ideas on working with this fun fabric.
Happy Birthday Codi!
I found a couple of boxes of dye in my sewing room recently. I also came across a couple of clothing items I had held onto with the intention of refashioning them into something else. On top of all that, I managed to get some unidentified blue spot on my khaki shorts. Needless to say, I went a little crazy with the dye. Several of my husband’s white t-shirts that he never wore, everything I mentioned already, another pair of shorts and a jacket went into it. I’ve only tried it a couple of times before, but I was mostly happy with the results.
One of the shirts I threw in my daughter bought a few years ago in Las Vegas. It was during her very brief period of actually liking pink, so it was voted out of her closet a while ago. It has an AC/DC graphic on the front though, so the sixth grader in me wouldn’t actually get rid of it. Unfortunately, in my hurry to toss it into the dye bath, I didn’t get a before photo. Think Pepto-Bismol. However, apparently pink and black make purple.
One of her favorite things to wear around the house lately is a shirt she and her friends altered for homecoming last spring. She was wearing it every day, so clearly she needed another one. I decided to try one with gathered shoulders, using only fabric from the shirt itself.
Lay the shirt out flat and carefully fold in half. It’s probably a good idea to try it on first to see where you want the arm hole to stop. Make a mark there.
Cut from just inside the shoulder seam to the mark on the side.
Cut a small piece from under the sleeve that measures the distance from the neck seam to edge of shoulder in length and about 1 1/4” wide.
Pin to the shoulder, centering over the shoulder seam. Stitch down the center and close to the two long edges using your favorite knit stitch (mine is a narrow zigzag) to create two channels. Repeat on opposite side.
Cut away the top seam and bottom hem from each sleeve.
Starting with the arch at the top, cut a 1/2” strip, spiraling into the center of the sleeve as shown. I cut away some of the outside points and sharp curves to maintain the shape. Compare this to the photo above.
Cut the strip to about 30” long. Shorter is fine too – we ended up cutting some off – but this gives you some wiggle room.
Attach a safety pin to one end of the strip and feed it into one channel from the neck.
Once it reaches the end, pull it through a few inches. Go back to the other end of the strip, attach the pin, then feed it into the other channel, also from the neck.
Pull both ends though evenly until the loop is gone.
Carefully gather the shoulder by pushing the channels up the strip.
Tie the strips to secure.
Channel your inner rocker chick, get out your air guitar and you’re ready to go!
I seem to be on a quilting kick lately. I don’t usually like to work on stuff like that when it’s hot because, well, it’s hot. All that fabric in your lap is like wearing an unnecessary blanket. But sometimes things have to get done.
I actually made this little mat to include in my daughter’s Map Memory Box to take to college. The dorm she’s moving into is only a couple of years old, so I thought the furniture deserved a little protection from her tea cups.
To make this little mat, you’ll need this pattern. Cut the pattern pieces apart.
Cut 9 small squares from cotton fabric, 9 strips from cotton fabric, one large rectangle from cotton fabric for backing and two large rectangles from cotton batting. You can use just one layer of batting if you prefer it a bit thinner. You’ll also need about a yard of bias tape to fit around the outside edge.
Sew the strips together as shown. Sew the squares into three rows of three, then stitch those together to make a square.
Stitch the strips and square together.
Layer the backing wrong side up, the cotton batting, then the strips and squares right side up.
Stitch through all layers in whatever pattern you’d like. I went with a diagonal through the squares, but stitched Codi’s name over the strips. Don’t look too close at that. I also did a zigzag stitch around the outer edge.
Open one edge of the bias tape and pin the edge to the edge of the mat. Fold the beginning end under about 1/4” and overlap that with the finishing end. Stitch in the opened fold, all the way around.
Fold the bias over the edge to the back.
I intentionally used wide bias which would fold deeper onto the back. I thought it fit with the Batman fabric.
I also stitched it in place by hand…which I almost never do, but it was worth it.
Now, I’ll just keep deluding myself into believing she’s actually going to use it, rather than create rings on that poor furniture.
We have friends who are bringing a brand new little girl into the world today. We’re waiting on pins and needles for the announcement!
You might remember her older brother’s quilt from a while back. His mom had his first birthday photos taken with it. Yeah, I might have blushed a little over that.
There was no way I wasn’t making a quilt for his new sister too. I happened to see her mom the day I was going to the fabric store and found out the baby’s room would be pink and brown. I already had a design in mind, and the color scheme worked with it perfectly.
To make the chevron pattern, I cut 6 1/2” squares (15 pink, 18 floral, 15 brown), then cut each of those in half diagonally.
I sewed them together following this pattern:
I used a soft Minkee-like fabric for the back, with a layer of cotton batting between.
Because I loved the backing so much (I mean, have you FELT this stuff?!?) I used a cheater method with it to bind the quilt. Simply cut the backing larger than the top, fold it over the edge of the top and stitch. To make it wider, I cut the batting a bit larger than the quilt top as well.
I love how it came out a little girly, but modern. Now I can’t wait to meet the little girl who’ll be using it!
This project was inspired by some buttons and the fact that I’ve forgotten to plant sunflowers for the tenth year in a row.
One of the craft blogs I read is Totally Tutorials. She has a great Exchange Program, where she links suppliers with bloggers. The blogger then creates a tutorial using the supplier’s items. When I saw Lots of Buttons come up last month, I was all over it.
Lots of Buttons is, clearly, a button supplier. They have a great selection…in fact, almost too good, because it took me forever to decide what to order!
This is almost like making two projects – the “quilt” base and the flower decorations, so let’s get to it. To make the quilt base, you’ll need:
Fabric A (the green strips on my project):
8 strips – 1 1/2” x 16”
2 strips – 1 1/2” x 22 1/2”
4 strips – 1 1/2” x 12 1/2”
Fabric B (green dots on mine):
9 strips – 1 1/2” x 16”
Backing fabric (I used the green dots):
25” x 16”
Batting (I used Warm and Natural cotton):
25” x 16”
Make sure to press the seams after each step. Starting with a B strip, sew 17 strips together, alternating B and A and ending with B.
Cut to 12 1/2” tall (so in the picture above, cut off the top). From the smaller section you cut off, cut two pieces, each 1 1/2” tall and 12 1/2” wide.
Sew a 12 1/2” strip of fabric A to each side of small strips.
Sew one to each side of the large section.
Sew the 23 1/2” pieces of fabric to the top and bottom.
Layer with the backing piece right side down, the batting, then the pieced section right side up. The pieced section will be smaller than the others, so try to center it. It doesn’t need to be perfect.
Make sure all layers are smooth, then use lots of safety pins to hold everything together.
Quilt through all layers, either by hand or machine, in whatever pattern you choose. I also like to stitch very close around the outer edge to hold that in place.
Carefully cut only the batting even with the edge of the top. Cut the backing to 5/8” from the edge. Fold the edge of the backing in 1/4” and press.
Fold in 1/4” again, so the edge is covered.
Pin in place and stitch near the inner fold.
To make the flowers, you’ll need this pattern.
Cut leaves from green felt:
Flower centers from brown felt:
Petals from yellow or gold felt:
14 - 17 petals
Position one large and two small flower centers where you’d like them on the runner. Pin in place. Add the leaves on top, also pinning. Using three strands of embroidery floss, stitch down the center and across the flat end of each leaf. Remove pins.
Fold the corners of each petal in to overlap each other about 1/2” in the center. Pin.
Place flowers near the outer edge of the center, making sure the entire flat edge is inside. The number you use may vary slightly, depending on how close you put them together. Stitch in place, either by hand or machine.
Place the remaining flower centers on top, stitching around the outer edge with embroidery floss through all layers.
Group a few buttons in the center of each and stitch with embroidery floss.
If you’re looking for a quicker version of this, you can glue the flowers and buttons in place with hot glue.
I had some tiny green buttons I had originally planned to sew onto the leaves, but didn’t like the look once I laid it out, so instead I added a little monogram in one corner.
Somehow, I don’t feel so bad about not planting those sunflowers anymore.
We decided about a year ago that we would go to Disneyland this summer to celebrate our daughter’s graduation from high school. What we didn’t know at the time was that they would be unveiling their new Cars Land just one week before our arrival.
We were a little worried, but it ended up being a mostly good thing. They did an amazing job designing it, and because everyone was in California Adventure, Disneyland was pretty empty for June. If you go before the crowds die down, I have three words for you for the Radiator Springs Racers ride: Single rider line.
I made luggage tags a couple of years ago, but we lost one in transit last summer. Since my daughter was also bringing a friend on our trip, I decided it was time for a new set. Nothing says “I’m going to Disneyland” like that iconic Mickey head silhouette, so that was my inspiration.
I also wanted them to suggest different Disney characters, so I used colors and fabrics. Any guesses who these are?
It’s not exactly difficult to find a Mickey head shape, but here’s the pattern I used, with seam allowance added. For each tag, you’ll need to cut four pieces of iron-on interfacing and three from black fabric (or whatever you choose). You’ll also need a small piece of clear vinyl, 2 1/2” of bias tape and fabric strips as described below.
For the front, cut three strips of fabric, each about 7” long and 2 1/2” wide. You can vary the widths, as I did with some of mine, you just want them to add up to at least 6” once they’re sewn together.
Sew the three pieces together with a 1/4” seam and press seams to one side.
Lay your pattern on top and cut out.
Iron interfacing onto the back of each of the four pieces.
Cut a piece of clear vinyl 2 1/2” square. Sandwich one edge into the fold of the bias tape and stitch in place.
Center on one black piece, 5/8” from the top edge, with the bias tape at the bottom of the mouse. Zigzag stitch over the bare edges, leaving the bias tape edge open.
Pin the piece with the vinyl and one of the black pieces, right sides together and stitch around the edge, leaving a 1 1/2” opening at the bottom. Repeat with the colorful front piece and remaining black piece.
Clip all corners. Turn both right side out and press, turning in the openings. Use caution when pressing around the vinyl window. Stitch around the outside, close to the edge.
Place the vinyl window facing up, then pin the remaining piece on top of it with the colorful side up. Don’t pin through the vinyl. Stitch 3” at the bottom (between corners of the vinyl window) through all layers, where you previously topstitched. Now you should be able to flip it open.
Sew a 1/2” button hole on the front centered between the ears and close to the top edge.
And separately on the back. You could also apply a grommet on each side instead.
Cut a 2” square of paper and write your personal information on it to slip into the window. The opening points to the bottom of the tag to keep your info from falling out.
Feed your attaching device of choice (ball chain, ribbon, buckle pirated from another tag, etc.) through both buttonholes and it’s ready to travel.
It probably isn’t immediately obvious which character I’m channeling with each of these, but I kind of like that. But just so you’re not left wondering…
This one is Simba. It’s for my daughter, the graduate and life-long Lion King fan.
My daughter’s friend Kate happens to be the granddaughter of the actor who gave the voice to King Triton in The Little Mermaid movie. Even after knowing her family all these years we’re still a little star-struck. Needless to say, I went with Ariel for her.
I asked my son which character he wanted and he chose Buzz Lightyear. However, I decided that was too much white to survive traveling, so I went with his second favorite, Stitch from Lilo and Stitch.
I had to have Minnie Mouse, but attached it to my purse since it turned out we didn’t actually need five suitcases to visit southern California in June. Go figure.
We had to have Mickey, and I really wanted to sew a couple of white buttons on it but I don’t think they would have survived the airport.
Our luggage tags are eagerly awaiting our next trip. Our boy graduates in two years and I’m pretty sure Disneyland will be seeing us again!
You might have caught my tutorial last week for the Spring Apron I made for my sister. If you made one, or even read through the instructions, you probably noticed there’s a good-sized piece of scrap left over. I’m not one to let fabric go to waste, so I HAD to come up with a project to use it. What better accessory to a cute, ruffley apron than cute, ruffley oven mitts?
To make one of these (you’ll probably want two, so just do everything twice) you’ll need this pattern. Everything is sewn together using 1/4” seams.
one (on the fold) from the outer fabric
one (on the fold) from the lining fabric
one (on the fold) from Insul-Brite
one (on the fold) from cotton batting
one 2 1/2” x 18” piece of contrasting fabric (for the ruffle)
one 1 1/2” x 16” (cut on the bias) from the lining fabric for binding the bottom edge
Fold the ruffle in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Press. Baste the raw edge. On a side note, yes, I have scorched the heck out of my ironing board cover. I have the world’s hottest iron, which is both a blessing and a curse.
Layer the pieces opened up with the lining right side down, the cotton batting, the Insul-Brite (with the shinier side up) and then the outer piece right side up. Pin together using lots of pins.
You can quilt these together by stitching through all the layers in a few lines if you’d like. It’s not required, but it will make everything a little easier to handle, and you can remove the pins.
Leave the piece laid out flat. Find the center of the ruffle and pin it to the center of the mitt with the raw edges even. Pin the ends of the ruffle to the outer edges of the mitt. Pull the threads from each end to gather. Pin the ruffle in place. Baste in place if desired.
Fold the bias piece in half, wrong sides together and press. Press edge under 1/4”. Cut to fit the edge of the mitt, setting the remaining piece of bias aside. Pin over the ruffle with the raw edge of the mitt even with the unfolded edge of the bias. Stitch 1/4” from edge.
Pull the bias down toward the seam and wrap the folded edge to the back, just covering the stitch line.
Pin in place. Stitch from the front near the edge of the bias closest to the ruffle.
Cut 3” from the remaining bias. Fold both raw edges under 1/4”, the fold in half. Stitch near the edge. This will be your hanging loop.
Fold the mitt right sides together. Fold the hanging loop in half and put between the two layers near the wrist with the loop to the inside. Stitch around the edge of the mitt, tapering your stitching to meet the fold and keep a smooth curve. Clip the seam where the thumb meets the hand. Zigzag over the seam all the way around.
Turn right side out and go make some cookies.
Of all the tutorials I’ve done, this apron took the most time and work on my part to develop, so I’m kinda proud of it. Now to find time to make one for myself!
To make this apron with a main fabric and contrast, as shown above, you’ll need
1 2/3 yards of the main fabric (skirt, top and waist ties)
1 1/2 yards of the contrast (ruffle, waistband, neck tie and pockets)
Wash and dry both fabrics before cutting so your apron can be washed later with little to no shrinkage.
You’ll also need this pattern. It’s a big one – 25 pages – but for this project we’re dealing with large pieces. You’ll have to piece them together by printing out the pages and matching the X’s. The pieces overlap, so just look for matching letters next to the X. It’s also printed on a grid, which should make it easier.
Fold the main fabric with the selvages together. If you’re not familiar with the term, the selvage is the long finished edge on both sides of the fabric perpendicular to the cut edge. Cut top and skirt as shown. Mark dots on bottom edge of skirt and for pocket placement.
Unfold remaining fabric and fold with selvages apart, just enough to fit waist ties. If the waist tie piece is too long to fit the width of your fabric, simply shorten it. It won’t be noticeable on the finished apron because the ties are very long.
Fold the contrast fabric with the selvages on the same side, but only wide enough to accommodate the waistband, since it’s the tallest piece. After cutting the other pieces, fold smaller for the pocket, as shown. This will keep all your scrap fabric in a larger piece. Fold the necktie and ruffle pattern pieces and cut on the fold. Add the point to one end of the necktie. Mark the dot on the waistband.
Use a 1/2” seam allowance for all stitching on the apron.
Fold the pocket, right sides together. Stitch around edge, leaving a 1 1/2” opening on one side for turning. Trim seam. I leave the seam a bit wider at the opening to make it easier to turn in. Turn right side out. Press, turning in opening. Repeat with remaining pocket.
Match top corners of pockets to dots on skirt. Pin in place and stitch near edge, leaving top open.
Turn sides of top under 1/2”, then turn edge in to fold to create a 1/4” rolled seam. Press. Trim off ends of seam even with lower edge of top. Stitch.
Fold upper edge of top under 1 1/2”. Press. Fold edge under 1/4”. Stitch near inner fold to create casing at neck.
Pin waistband to lower edge of top, right sides together, matching tip of lower edge of top to dot on waistband. Stitch, slightly stretching waistband if necessary to match edge of top.
Lay waistband, with top attached, right side up. Pin upper edge of skirt to raw edge with right sides together. Stitch. Press seam toward waistband.
Fold waist tie right sides together. Stitch, leaving straight end open. Clip corners. Turn. Press. Topstitch. Repeat with remaining waist tie. No, the end is not symmetrical. Yes, it was an accident. I decided I like it, but if it bugs you, feel free to fix it on your pattern before cutting.
Match raw end of waist tie to edge of waistband, with the edge next to the skirt seam, right sides together. Stitch.
Fold short ends of remaining waistband piece under 1/2”. Press. Fold top down over skirt.
With right side facing top, pin second waistband to first, sandwiching top between, and matching folded edge to stitching line where waist ties were attached.
Sew along previous stitching line. Press waistbands down toward skirt.
Sew short ends of ruffle pieces right sides together to create one long strip. Zigzag stitch over edges of seams to finish. Press seams to one side.
Turn one long edge under 1/2” and then turn the edge into the fold for a 1/4” rolled hem. Stitch. Do the same on both short ends.
Stitch a long basting stitch 5/8” from raw edge, then 1/4” from that. Stop and restart stitching at each seam, leaving long threads. Mark center on edge of skirt.
Pin ruffle to bottom edge of skirt, right sides together, matching center and dots on skirt to seams on ruffle. Ends of ruffle should be next to waistband seams.
Gather each section of ruffle by tying long threads together at one end and pulling threads from the other. Even out gathers and pin.
Stitch. Remove basting threads. Zigzag stitch over edge of seam. Press seam up toward skirt. Top stitch near the edge of skirt through seam and again 1/4” away.
Turn remaining raw edge of waistband under 1/2”. Press.
Pin over first waistband, covering raw seams on upper edge of skirt and at sides where waist ties were sewn on. Topstitch.
Stitch short ends of neck tie pieces right sides together to create one long piece. Press seam open. Fold right sides together. Stitch, leaving an opening near the middle. Trim seam. Turn. Press, turning in opening. Top stitch.
Feed neck tie though casing at upper edge of top. Make sure neck tie is flat and centered. Stitch through casing at center to hold neck tie in place. Push sides of casing toward center while holding neck ties to gather.
Ready for the kitchen! Hang onto those leftover fabric scraps – I’ve got another cute kitchen project coming next week.
If you happen to make one of these yourself, I’d love to see a photo. Just tag me @craftystaci!
I noticed late last week that a few daffodils had bloomed in front of the house. Not unusual most places, even up the hill from my house, but where I live they tend to be later. It’s especially strange since it hasn’t been very warm. I thought about cutting them and bringing them inside, but I liked the pop of color outside. Yesterday morning I woke up to find them buried in snow. This one is trying to come back now that it’s melted a bit.
We only see snow on the ground a few times a year, so it was even weirder than the blooming daffodils. It made me REALLY wish I had cut the poor things. I decided to make some out of fabric for the indoors, sure to be safe from this crazy weather.
I’m going to walk you through my three experiments, saving my favorite for last. I like all of them for different reasons, so I’ll let you choose for yourself.
To make one of these, you’ll need five 4” squares and one 1 1/2 x 20” strip of fabric and a small circle of felt, about 1” across. For this first version, you’ll also need a 2” square of fabric. In the photo above, the first one is on the far right.
Fold a square in half with wrong sides together. The fold is at the top.
Fold one upper corner down to the center bottom.
Fold the other upper corner down to the center to create a triangle.
Pin in place. Repeat with the other four squares. Fold the long strip in half and lay on top of the triangle with the raw edges together. With knotted thread and needle, start on one end and take long stitches near the edge through all layers.
Add the next triangle and continue stitching, repeating until all triangles are attached to the strip.
If the strip is longer than your triangles, cut off the excess. Gather tightly. Stitch ends together and knot thread.
Holding the petals, pull up on the gathered strip in the center so it stands up from the flower.
Turn the flower over and glue a felt circle on the bottom with hot glue.
Stitch large stitches around the 2” square. Gather and knot. Glue into center of flower with the gathered side down.
For the second version, far left in the photo above, you’ll need the same cuts of fabric, excluding the 2” square. Prepare the triangles the same way, but instead of sewing the triangles and strip together, just sew the triangles together by themselves. Stitch a long running stitch near the raw edge of the folded strip. Gather.
Stitch the ends together. Stitch through some of the folds on the outside to keep them standing upright.
Prepare flower with the felt circle on the back, then sew or stitch the center to the flower.
For the last, and my favorite, prepare the flower the same way as the second one above, including gluing the felt circle to the back. For the center, cut the strip down to 12”. Stitch the ends with right sides together.
Fold in half with wrong sides together and stitch near edge.
Pull the thread to gather. Knot thread.
Glue into the center of the flower.
You can glue a ribbon loop to the back to hang these. I knew I wanted to put them in a little vase, so I covered a wood skewer with floral tape and glued it to the back.
It’s amazing how a few bright flowers can make March snow a little more bearable.
If you’re keeping score at home, you know I have two fat quarters left out of the bunch I received from my New Zealand fabric swap partner. They’re my favorites, so I wanted to make sure I used them for something I could keep. I’ve been working on a full apron pattern I’ll be sharing with you soon, but sometimes all you need is a half. Since I don’t own an apron at all, that settled it.
To make this apron, you’ll need two fat quarters and this pocket pattern.
From the first fabric, cut:
Apron skirt – 21” x 19”
From the second fabric, cut:
Bottom edge trim – 21” x 4”
Waistband – 21” x 4”
Ties (cut two) – 21” x 2 1/2”
Pockets (cut two) - from pattern
Sew the two pockets, right sides together, leaving a 2” opening at the bottom to turn. Clip the corners.
Turn the pocket right side out and press, turning in the opening. Place the pocket, centered on the skirt, 6 1/2” from the top edge. Stitch around the straight edges of the pocket, leaving the two curved sides open.
Fold the bottom edge trim in half with wrong sides together. Press the fold. Open back up and line up one edge with the bottom edge of the apron skirt, right sides together. Stitch. Press seam toward the trim.
Repeat the same process with the waistband, stitching it to the top of the skirt and pressing the seam toward the waistband.
Create a 1/4” rolled hem on each side by folding the edge under 1/2”, then folding the raw edge in 1/4”. Stitch.
Fold tie the long way, right sides together. Stitch near edge, angling at the end if desired and leaving the opposite end open. Turn and press.
Turn the raw edge of the waistband under 1/4” and press. Fold in along the previously pressed center line, so the folded edge covers the seam on the back. Tuck the raw end of the tie into the end of the waistband. Stitch near the bottom edge and down the sides of the waistband.
Repeat with the bottom trim, leaving out the ties.
This is quick and easy to make and takes very few supplies. You could even change up the shape of the pocket.
I’m not only the proud owner of a new apron, but a new apron with a story behind it. The very best kind.
Bet you can’t guess what my Friday Favorites theme is tomorrow!
Last month, I was in the middle of cleaning out my fabric when I stopped to catch up on some email. I subscribe to a blog called Ninth Street Notions, which caught my eye a while back because she’s a fellow Oregonian. She was organizing a Fat Quarter Swap and asked that interested readers sign up. It seemed like good timing, what with me sitting in the middle of all that fabric…Read more
If you happen to follow me on Facebook, you may have caught a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with a young bachelor I know (ugh, that made me sound old!) about how to keep his brand new pans from scratching each other up while they’re stored. After I had a little laugh about the fact that my own pans are separated by paper towels, I got to work on a solution to our problem.
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He suggested a fabric circle, which is perfect, but I wanted to take it a step further than just protecting the pans. It would only take one additional layer to turn it into a pan protector that could also be used as a hot pad, so it was almost a no-brainer.
To make these, you’ll need fabric for each side, cotton batting and Insul-Brite. I made these with home dec fabric, which is a bit heavier, but I also made one using regular quilting cotton and it worked out fine. I recommend using a different color or print for each side because the Insul-Brite works best when the metallic side is facing the hot pan and that will make it easier to tell which that is. Whatever you use, you should pre-wash the fabric and the cotton batting you’ll use inside so these can be washed later without shrinking.
Find a circle that’s 1/2” larger than you want the pan protector to be. I rifled through my cabinets measuring bowls and plates until my daughter asked what size I was looking for. I told her, and she grabbed a plastic lid and said “About like this?” No, EXACTLY like that. These kids did not get their crazy math skills from me.
Trace your circle onto the back of your fabric. Trace the same circle onto the Insulbrite and cotton batting. Cut an additional piece 1” by 2 1/2” from whichever fabric you prefer for the hanging loop.
To make hanging loop, fold 1” by 2 1/2” piece in half lengthwise. Press fold. Open out and fold both edges in to meet fold. Press again. Fold in half at original fold and press once more. Stitch near the 2-fold edge.
Layer pieces, starting with the cotton batting.
Followed by the bottom fabric, right side up.
Fold the loop in half and pin to edge.
Lay the top fabric over that, right side down.
Follow with the Insul-Brite with the shiny side down.
Pin all layers together. Start sewing on the edge opposite the loop, stitching in 1/4” straight from edge, pivot and stitch a 1/4” seam around, backstitching over the loop and stopping about 3” from where you started. Pivot and stitch out to the edge.
Turn right side out. Turn in the opening and press. I wish I had a fantastic trick for turning in a curved edge, but I don’t. If you have one, please share it in the comments, as I would LOVE to know a great way to do this. I did find it worked better if I turned and pressed one side at a time.
Top stitch around edge.
Trace a smaller circle in the center. I found my travel coffee mug to be a good size.
Stitch along the line.
I finished the set for our friend and liked them so much I made some for our house and a couple for a kitchen-warming/get-well gift.
These only look about a thousand times better in the drawer than the wad of paper towels I had there before.
If only everything in my kitchen was this easy to organize. Thanks for the great idea, Kyle!
You probably know by now that I have an Etsy shop. Last November it was slowly becoming clear I was going to have a pretty busy holiday season. Through the rest of the year, most days had looked about like this.
By November, more days were looking like this.
The problem was, I needed something to carry the mail to the post office in. I didn’t want a big bag, because on those slower days I’d lose the envelopes in it, but some days I needed the extra room. I decided what I needed was a bag that could be adjusted to meet my needs on any given day. Turns out, it’s pretty handy for shopping trips too!
To make this bag, you’ll need to choose a fabric for the outside, and another for the inside and pocket.
From the outside, cut the following pieces:
A - two 16 x 12 1/2”
B - two 16 x 7 1/2”
C - two 32 x 4”
D - one 10 1/2 x 12 1/2”
E - two 6 1/2 x 4”
From the lining fabric, cut:
F - two 16 x 12 1/2”
G - two 16 x 7 1/2”
H - one 10 1/2 x 12 1/2”
You’ll also need 5/8” wide Velcro, cut:
one 4” (you’ll only use the soft side)
one 1 1/2”
And one 1/2 to 1” button.
We’ll start by making the outside front pocket. Lay piece D and H right sides together. Stitch both 12 1/2” edges with a 1/4” seam (all seams throughout the pattern are 1/4”, unless otherwise noted). Turn and press. Fold in half with the seams touching and the side you want to be the outside of the pocket to the outside (I used the lining). Press the fold.
Open the pocket back out. Place the back of the pocket on the front of piece A, 4” from the upper edge. Stitch the pocket 1/8” from the top edge.
Stitch the 4” soft side of the Velcro onto piece A, centered side to side and 3” from the top edge. If your fabric is very lightweight, you may want to iron a small piece of interfacing onto the back before sewing the Velcro to add stability. Fold pocket up and pin in place.
To make the Velcro tabs, fold piece E the long way and press the fold. Open and turn both edges inside to the fold. Press. Fold one end 1/4” to the inside. Press.
Flip over. Sew the hard side of the 2” piece of Velcro 1/4” from the short, turned under end and centered between the center fold and the left edge. Repeat all steps with remaining piece E, centering the Velcro between the center fold and right edge.
Fold at the center fold with the Velcro to the outside. Stitch across the short end near the Velcro and down the long edge.
Stitch the soft side of the 2” Velcro to piece B, 3” from the upper edge and 1 1/2” from the right side. Repeat with remaining piece B, with Velcro 3” from the upper edge and 1 1/2” from the left side.
Stitch pieces B to front A (with the pocket), right sides together with Velcro on B closest to the front.
Lay out remaining piece A, right side up. Place Velcro tabs, Velcro up, with top edge of Velcro 3” from the top edge of A. Either pin with the pins sticking out the sides so they can be easily removing while stitching or baste in place.
Lay front and sides that you already stitched together (A and B) on top. Match remaining B edges with back A edges. Stitch, backstitching over tabs for strength.
Press seams to one side. Flatten the bag with the front centered and side seams matching. Stitch the bottom edge. Press folds into sides (in center of side panel B).
Open out side panel, flattening corner at bottom. Keep center fold and seam underneath even with each other. Press corner flat.
Turn over and stitch horizontally across the corner along stitching line. Repeat on opposite corner.
Trim corners to 1/4”.
To make lining, repeat steps above using pieces F, G and H, beginning with ***** and ignoring Velcro, pocket and tabs.
To make handles, fold piece C in half the long way, press, then open and fold edges into center. Fold in half again. Press. Stitch 1/8” from the long edge.
Turn back right side out. Pin or baste straps in place to front (A), extending 1” beyond upper edge and 2” from seam on each side. Repeat on back (A).
Lining should still be inside out. Stuff bag inside so bag and lining are right sides together. Match the upper edge and seams. Pin and stitch around upper edge, leaving a 4” opening on one side for turning.
Turn bag and lining through opening. Push lining into the bag. Press the edge, turning in the edge of the opening. Topstitch all the way around top edge.
Box stitch at base of handles by sewing a square with an X through it.
Press bottom of bag flat like a grocery sack, making sure lining is pushed all the way in. Stitch 1/8” from the edge across the front and the back.
Lay bag flat, front up. Flip out Velcro tabs. Fold bag up and press well. For ease of folding, turning back inside out. Pinch each fold of lining and outside and stitch 1/8” from fold.
Stitch soft side of 2” Velcro to bottom of bag, centered and near front edge.
Fold up bottom and push underneath pocket. Use pins to mark the corners of the Velcro on the bottom piece. Pull pocket up and mark with pencil. Stitch hard side of Velcro to underside of pocket at marks.
Make a button hole to fit your button in the center of the outside pocket and 3/4” from the top edge. Sew button behind it onto the bag.
Your bag is finished! To fold it up for use with smaller items, lay flat on it’s back. Fold up the bottom and slip it under the pocket, making sure the Velcro attaches.
Flip the tabs across the front, attaching to the center Velcro on the front of the bag.
Perfect for a few smaller letters or envelopes.
For larger packages, pull out bottom and remove Velcro tabs from front and stick to sides. The front pocket is great for carrying customs forms.
I’d love to embroider my logo on the front pocket. Maybe one of these days when the mail bag isn’t so full I’ll have time to tackle that project!
I spent a day last weekend gathering, organizing and calculating in preparation for our meeting with our tax accountant this week. I love being self employed, but when the new year comes and I realize I have to make sense of the file I threw everything into all year, I start to wonder if I don’t need a better boss…Read more