Friday, January 29, 2010

Blue Strip Handbag

Just finished making this beautiful handbag out of blue fabrics.  I start by sewing strips of fabric on top of a foundation.  Then I constructed the bag in the usual manner.  The bags are always fully lined with a large inside pocket.  Although it is very time consuming to sew all the strips together, I do love the way these bags come out.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fabric Postcard Mania

I had some time between projects and I wanted to give this fabric postcard tutorial by Needled Mom a try.  I made two for Valentines Day and then decided to make a "Thinking of you" one.  It was fun, easy, and came out fabulous.

Now back to sewing some handbags.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Small Decorator Handbag Tutorial

I have written these instructions and had them tested by a friend. After checking the instructions, I added the pictures to create this tutorial. I am sure it would have been easier for her with the pictures, but she did fine without them. If you make this handbag, please let me know or send me a picture, I would love to see them. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

I also sell these decorator handbags at craft shows and on my etsy site.

Small Decorator Bag (finished size approximately 10”h x 10”w x 5”d)

Assorted decorator fabric, totaling ½ yard, for exterior of bag
      Or 14 7” squares from scraps
½ yard fabric for lining, inside pocket, and handle tabs
1 yd fusible interfacing
10” x 5” hard plastic/firm stabilizer for bottom of bag
Purchased handles

*** Read all instructions first. ****** All seams are ½” unless otherwise noted. ***
*** Always backstitch when sewing two fabrics together. ***
*** Add interfacing to those decorator fabrics that are flimsy. ***

Exterior of Bag:
1. Cut 14 6” squares from decorator fabrics.

2. Zigzag around all raw four edges of 6” squares to prevent the blocks from unraveling.

3. Sew 2 blocks, right sides together, for bag bottom.  Set aside.

4. Sew 6 blocks, right sides together, to form one row of 6 blocks across. Finger press all seams open.

5. Repeat previous step with the remaining 6 blocks. You should now have 2 rows of 6 blocks.

6. Pin and sew the 2 rows, right sides together, making sure seams are aligned. You should now have one piece, 2 rows of 6 blocks which is the bag top.

7. Sew a decorative/zig-zag stitch over every sewn seam on the right side of fabric of both the bag top and bag bottom.

8. Take the bag top and fold in half widthwise, right sides together (you should be looking at 2 rows of 3 blocks across).

9. Pin and sew down the two blocks (side seam). If done correctly, you will now have a circle of fabric.

10. Finger press seams open and sew a decorative/zig-zag stitch over this seam on the right side of fabric. This can be a bit tricky.
11. Turn bag, wrong side out.
12. Center and pin bag bottom from step 3 to bag top, right sides together.

13. Sew in place, starting and stopping ½” from edge.

14. Turn bag, wrong side out.
15. Finger press seams open and sew a decorative/zig-zag stitch on right side of fabric.
16. Turn bag wrong side out.
17. Sew the other side of bag bottom, starting and stopping ½” from edges.

18. Finger press seams open and sew a decorative/zig-zag stitch. Again this will be tricky, but can be done.
19. Create a 5” box bottom by sewing the short sides of bag bottom to the sides of bag top, right sides together. You may need to clip the corners, no more than ½”, of the bag top so that it lays flat against bag bottom.  Do not clip the corners of the bag bottom.

20. Zigzag stitch bag top and bottom seam allowances together.

21. Insert the hard plastic and glue/tack in place.

22. Turn the bag right side out and set aside.

Inside Pockets:
1. Cut 2 6” x 7” (h x w) pieces of lining fabric.

2. Pin both pieces, right sides together.
3. Sew around all four sides, leaving a 2” opening for turning, using a ¼” seam allowance.
4. Clip corners.

5. Turn right-side out and press (finger or iron).
6. Slipstitch the 2” opening closed.

7. Sew a straight or decorative stitch along one of the 7” sides; this will be the top of the pocket.
8. Set aside.

1. Cut 2 16" x 11" (lining top) and 6” x 11” (lining bottom) from lining fabric and interfacing.

2. Iron interfacing pieces to wrong side of all three lining pieces.

3. Set aside one of the lining tops and the lining bottom.
4. Place pocket on the right side of the other lining top, 3 ½” down from top and 5” from side.
5. Sew the left, bottom, and right sides of pocket to lining top (leave the top of pocket open).

6. Pin the lining pieces, right sides together.
7. Sew down the 11” sides.

8. Iron seams open.
9. Center lining bottom to lining top, with right sides together. This can be achieved by folding the lining bottom widthwise and lengthwise and marking the midpoints. The lining top midpoints are 8” from raw edges and seams.
10. Pin in place. Make sure that the pocket is facing up.

11. Sew the long side (11” side) of the lining bottom to lining top, starting and stopping ½” from edge. Repeat on other side.

12. Pin and sew the short side (6” side) of lining bottom to lining top. You may need to clip the corners, no more than ½”, of lining top so that it lays flat against lining bottom. Repeat on other side.  Do not clip the lining bottom.

13. Set aside.

Tabs for Handles (with ½” hinge opening):1. Cut 4 3” x 2” (alter these measurement depending on handle hinge opening) out of lining material.

2. Fold this piece in half lengthwise and iron to form a crease.
3. Unfold and refold raw edges of fabric toward the center crease.
4. Fold again towards center so that raw edges are hidden.
5. Pin and sew as close to the folded edge as possible.

6. Center purchased handles to top of bag, marking hinge placements.

7. Fold two of the handle tab and place over markings, so that all raw edges are together. Pin in place.

8. Baste in place ¼” from top raw edges. If the handle cannot be attached later, attach them now through the tabs.
9. Repeat with the other handle on the other side of bag.

1. Place outside of bag into lining, making sure that right sides are together. The handles/handle tabs should be sandwiched between the exterior of bag and lining.

2. Sew around top leaving a 5” or larger (depending on the size of the handle) for turning.
3. Turn right side out.

4. Push lining into exterior of bag.
5.Topstitch the top of bag 1/8” down from top, making sure to close the 5” opening used for turning.
6. Sew a decorative stitch along top edge (optional, but highly recommended) ¼” from top.
7. Attach handles if you have not done so already.

8. Congratulations, you are done.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Pin Cushions and a Bag Tutorial to Come

I was browsing for a few pin cushion patterns, when I came across Marie Browning's Get Creative Dress Form. I tried to use stuff that I had around the house, so I had to revise things a bit. DD#2 tried taking it when I wasn't looking, but I caught her in time. Of course, that was after she had walked away with my fur covered hedgehog pin cushion. I walked in to find her back to me. She was in the process of taking out all the pins I had just finished putting in it. I wish I had taken a picture of it earlier, oh well.

On another note, I have been busy the last few days taking pictures for a tutorial I will be posting soon. It is of the decorator bags I sew/sell on my etsy shop. Hope to have it in a few days...we shall see.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A new girl in town

I have so much fun making dolls. Each one develops its own personality as I add embellishments. Of course it all begins with color. I pick out the fabric I will use for the arms, upper legs, lower legs, and body. Then as I create the face and add on her hair, the personality begins to come through. Then I add necklaces, scarves, rings, bracelets, leg ribbons, etc… I love the process! Every time I look at them, they bring a smile to my face. Each one is unique to me. I had started this doll in December and finally finished all the embellishments.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Crazy Log Cabin Quilt

This Crazy Log Cabin quilt was one of my unfinished projects that I finally completed last night. I used up all my scraps with weird shapes. You know the ones... I usually have them when I have squared up the fabric and cut all the strips that I need. I also have a lot left over after I have made a lining for one of my handbags. I took all these leftovers and created about 25 crazy log cabin blocks. I call them crazy log cabin blocks because that is what they look like to me. When it was time to sash the blocks, I decided to add stars in the center of the sashes. Once the top was done, I sent it out to be quilted. I finished the binding last night during and after the football games.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy New Year to All

First let me start off by saying Happy New Year. I have been busy with the holidays and trying very hard to get some time to sew. I was not lucky until yesterday. It was quilting day at the firehouse. It was fun talking and sewing all day long. I can't say I completed anything, but I was able to accomplish a lot.
And since I do not like to post without pictures...Here is a picture of a very small quilt I made for my college age daughter. It is not very large (all 4 sides are less than 12"). I transferred a childhood picture of her and appliqued it on a pieced backing. I added butterfly appliques, buttons, and beads. I gave it to my daughter for Christmas and she seemed to like it (which made me very happy).

Now I have posted a few pictures of gifts I have given to others, but I wanted also to post a picture of the little angel I made for myself. I have yet to name her. Her body is loosely based on Patti Medaris Culea's Joyful Angel doll. Her head is molded out of polymer clay and painted. The hair is made from yarn and ribbon and she is adorned with beads. She hangs on my door handle.