Friday, October 11, 2013

Vinyl zig zaggy zip pouch - on the cheap!

Bought this great strawberry print vinyl in LA the other day for just $2 a yard.  I needed a little something to go in a secret sister gift for Rebekah's volleyball game today, so this is what I made.

A strawberry zip pouch.  Fold the vinyl and cut it at 6" x 10".  The fold is at the bottom of the bag. 

 Sew the zipper in at the top by folding under a bit of the edge of the vinyl and zig zagging in onto the zipper.  I had to trim the end of the zipper off a bit.  Tuck the ends of the zipper under as you sew, but point them towards the bottom of the bag just a bit so the zipper can zip all the way open and closed without getting caught on the folded under ends.  Zig zag up both sides, and you're done.

 I think what I like most about this project is that it took less than 10 minutes to make and it costs about .35 cents.  The vinyl was only $2.00 and the zipper was .25 cents.  Since I only used a tiny bit of the vinyl, I'm coming in at only .35 cents!!  Love it.

Super cute for a pencil pouch so you can see all that's inside!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Knit baby blankets with matching beanies

This knit blankie/beanie set is super easy and fast, and super duper cute.  Long ago, I had 2 knit blankies for my little ones and they were my favorite.  

The beanie pattern I printed from Zaaberry.  I did think it was a bit too small so I enlarged it a bit by adding some to the seam allowance.

These are the two sizes.

Serge around the edges of the blanket.  No hems.  Don't forget to pull the serger tails through the serged edge to hide them.  You could also dab with some fray check so they don't come out.

See - all hidden.

This set is a must try!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Baby blanket sew along - steps 4 & 5 finished

 Step 4:  Gather the ruffle by either tightening the upper tension or holding onto the spool of thread up top to create more tension.  You can see this method here.

 Lay the ruffle out along the edge of the blanket to see if it fits.  Mine is a bit too short so I will have to spread the ruffles out so it fits.

 Pin the ruffle on using your 9 year olds new super cute mouse pin cushion and pins that she just got for her birthday :)

 Step 5:  Sew the ruffle on.  I used a zigzag stitch.  Leave part of it un-sewn so you can stitch the ends of the ruffle together and arrange the last little bit.

 All done.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Baby blanket sew along - steps 3 & 4

Step 3:  Cut the strips for the ruffle.  I used a 3" strip and I cut 7 of them.

 Step 4:  Serge everything.  Serge all the strips together and do it at right angles so you get rid of this crooked edge.

 Now serge along the long edges of this very very long strip, making sure to have the seams pushed in the same direction as you go along.

 All done.  That was noisy.

Now serge the blanket edge.  Go slow around the corners!

Baby blanket sew along - steps 1 & 2

Today I'm sewing along with my daughter Rachel.  I'm in SoCal and she's in Utah.  We both need to have a supply of gifts for baby showers, so we decided to make some baby blankets.  Flannel is nice for the fall, so that's what I'm working on today.

This is the fabric I chose.

Step 1:  Pre-wash the flannel.  It changes its shape after you wash and dry it, and you wouldn't want that to happen to the finished blanket.  I'm kind of picky and I like my blankets to fold up nice and straight, and not with the sides all ski-wampus.  So---pre-wash.

 Step 2:  Cut the fabric.  I want my blanket to be square so I folded it like this.

 Then fold again by bringing the lower left corner up to the top right corner.

Then fold again by bringing the lower right corner up to the top right corner.

Now cut, but be sure to cut at a right angle.  I used my square ruler for this because it has the right markings.  I also cut in far enough to cut off the selvage.  If you don't have this exact ruler, you could use a right angle from the husbands' tool shed, or just use the lines on you table.  Get it straight though!!

I want my corners slightly rounded.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fall napkins with mitered corners - tutorial

Yesterday there was talk of Thanksgiving and what our plans will be.  My mind immediately went to these fall napkins that I made about 4 years ago as a gift.  (please excuse my crummy photos from years ago)

This is the fabric I used.

The first thing to do is cut the fabric into exact squares.  I chose to make 20" napkins, so my squares need to be 21 1/4".  You can cut 2 napkin squares out of 1 width of fabric.  You will need to decide how many napkins you want, and buy yardage accordingly.  I made 12 napkins so I needed enough yardage to fit 6 napkins (127 1/2").  That means that I need to buy 3 2/3 yards (132" - there will be a bit extra).  The fabric is folded in half so I will really have enough for all 12 napkins.

Fold 1/4" in on all four sides and press.

Fold the napkin at a diagonal like this.

 Make a triangle pattern out of card stock.  The width of the short side of the triangle will be the width of the hem.  I want my hem to be 1" so my triangle measures 1" on the short side.
Match up the triangle pattern to the folded corner of the napkin and mark with a pencil.

Stitch on the pencil line.

Trim the seam at 1/4".  To avoid the tread tails from coming out exactly in the corners, I started and stopped my stitching off of this inside corner.  That way when I topstitch the hem in place, the tails will be neatly tucked inside the hem.

Mass production time.  Do this 47 more times.  You will be a pro!

 Turn each corner inside out.

 Then top stitch.

Beautiful perfect mitered corners

 Stack them all up, and wait for Thanksgiving to arrive.

 Don't forget to make a matching table topper.

Enjoy your holidays!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Full access zip bag - tutorial

I saw a tablet computer bag a couple of years ago that had a tab on both ends.  I've wanted to make one ever since.

This is my version.

When it's unzipped, you have full access.  The bag that I saw was flat (no flat bottom), and the tablet computer could slide right in because there was no restriction by the zipper.

This is how I made it.

This is what you'll need:  Outside fabric, batting (if you want it quilted), lining, a zipper, and a scrap for the tab.  The larger bag is 9"x 11" and the smaller bag is 7"x 9".

The first step is to quilt the batting to the outside fabric.

Now for the zipper.  make a mark on the back of the zipper that shows on both sides when the zipper is open.

Place the zipper face down and curve it like this, with the pencil mark hitting the edge of the fabric 1/2" from the end.

Pin the layers like this

and sew with your zipper foot.  I try to sew down the middle of the zipper tape because I like the zipper to show on the finished side.  If you sew right next to the zipper teeth, then there isn't much of the colorful zipper that shows except for the teeth.

When you get 1 1/2" from the end, put your needle down,

and pull the zipper to the left.

Continue sewing through to the end.

When you turn it right side out, it will look like this.

Layer the other side like this.

See the pencil mark?  Now sew the same way as the first side.  I chose to sew on the other side of the zipper foot on the second side because I wanted to start on the same end of the zipper.  I think this makes the zipper line up better.

Check your end result.  If you're not happy with how the two sides match up, you can unpick and try again.

I unpicked and was happy with my second effort.  It's like anything.  It just takes practice, and this is my first try at putting in a zipper like this.

Lay the bag out like this.  Outside fabric on one side and the lining on the other side.

Pin this intersection so it will match up perfectly.  Fold the seam allowance toward the lining.

Sew all the way around leaving an opening in the lining.  Don't forget to open the zipper first otherwise you won't be able to turn the bag inside out.

Cut all four corners off.  I measured 1 1/2" square.  This makes the bottom seams straight.

Fold the corners like this and stitch.

The bag now looks like this.

Turn the bag inside out through the hole that you left in the lining.

Pull the zipper out and push the lining in.

Trim off the zipper.

Add a fabric tab.

Pin the tab on and sew carefully.  This really shows on the finished product.

Topstitch all the way around.

Stitch up the hole in the lining, and you're all done!


Try one for yourself and let me know how it turns out!

Fabric details in case you're interested:
Outside fabric is Kaffe Fassett, Paperweight, by Westminster Fabrics.
Lining is Kona Cotton, Sage, by Robert Kaufman.
Batting is Warm & Natural.
The zippers were purchased in LA's fabric district for .25 cents each.