Monday, January 27, 2014

Triangle like pencil pouch Tutorial

My never ending search of trying to figure things out. I love little pencil pouches (and big ones too!) and I have always loved the ones that form a triangle on the side.  So today, I am sharing with you a mostly picture tutorial on how to make this cute zippered pouch. I obviously would change the direction of my fabric since one side is now upside down, but lesson learned!

To start, you'll need 2 pieces of fabric, interfacing (I always use this for my bags, it adds some stiffness and form) coordinating thread, 11" zipper, scissors and a sewing machine.

You will make a hexagon shape with both the interior and exterior fabrics, if you want to use my measurements be sure you overall zipper length is no shorter than 11"

Next, I divided the fabric to make the zipper installation easier

Time to attach your zipper, be sure to pin down about 1/4 of an inch at the end to make a wide opening.

Do not top stitch but definitely press the fabric and repeat on the other side, we will top stitch at the very end.  It should look something like this once you have both sides attached to the zipper. Once again, pin the zipper out of the way so it doesn't get caught up in the side stitches.

Sew up the sides of both interior and exterior fabrics and the bottom of the exterior fabric

Make sure to line up the seams, mark off the triangle and stitch across, this will form that boxy shape at the bottom of the pouch. Repeat on both corners of the exterior fabric.

Turn right side out, and finish closing up the bottom of the interior fabric.  And now it's time to top stitch around the pouch. I take off my attached table and just use the smaller throat for this part.

And to complete the look, add a little bit of fabric to the end of the zipper that is exposed.  You can fold in for a more finished looked but I like the pinking scissor cut look for this bag.  Make sure NOT to stitch over the little metal stop, it WILL break your needle and possibly damage your machine (I wont admit anything!)

And there you have it my crafty friends, a cute triangle-ish shaped pencil pouch! Because the zipper comes out from one end, the opening is larger than normal and with the dimensions I provided, you can definitely fill this bag with a lot of goodies! 

If you like how yours turned out, please share!  I am not expert at sewing, just obsessed with making cute and sometimes functional things so if you see something that needs improvement, please let me know too. I always like to learn new things. :)

Until next time, stay busy crafting!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pouches and bags

Gradually finding inspiration.  As I complete (or start) each project and it turns out, I feel another ounce of inspiration. I always find that going on a trip, having visitors or busy weeks with the kiddos really can put me into a creative rut for quite some time.  Then I get this antsy feeling to create something and if it doesn't turn out like I envision in my head, well, that just pulls me further into a rut.  I have had a few projects turn out and I just wanted to share. I know looking at other's projects fill me with inspiration and I hope to do the same for you!

I love the way my Sweet as Honey art tote turned out.  My bees are hand drawn, painted and then free motion stitched and appliqued onto my tote bag.

The tassel was inspired by a fellow IG user. Wanted to give it a try on one of my pieces and I love the added dimension and another way to bring all the colors together.

My next project was a house pouch. When I made these a few months ago they were a big hit on my facebook page so I thought i would try it again and do a little more FMS on this one.  Pretty Whimsical results.

I've been wanting to figure out how to make a pouch with one end of the zipper on the exterior of the bag and I'm happy to report I figured it out this morning! And, with this project I used up another Kokka fabric I have been hoarding for some time. 

And finally, on the subject of hoarding, I have held on to some fabrics for much too long. I decided to make a fabric basket to use up some of it and though there has been much interest in purchasing this particular basket, I love the Pink Kokka fabric so much that I just cannot part with this basket and i have decided to keep it near my crafting area to hold fabrics and inspirational books.  

Until next time, happy sewing friends!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Birthday Prep, Series 1, Part 2 Heart Garland Tutorial

I made a heart garland last year, decorated with it for my oldest daughter's birthday and then moved it to her bedroom as a whimsical touch. Both my girls have since moved into the same room, rearranged their furniture a countless number of times and the sweet garland finally fell apart.  In preparation for the birthday party, I decided to make another heart garland. This time, I used several different colors and I made the hearts all different shapes.  Sorry for my grainy pictures, Paradise does deliver it fair share of gloomy, dreary and rainy days which are never optimal for picture taking!

I used about 4 sheets for Felt, purchased a whole package (x2!!!) but I know I'll put the rest of the felt to good use eventually.  I still want to make a Happy Birthday garland and my little guy asked if I could make him a green circle garland for his bedroom.

I started cutting hearts by folding the felt sheets in half and doing it the good old elementary school way! I cut enough hearts to fill up the length (and then a small bit more) of our 108" sliding door.

You can hand stitch the hearts together in whatever pattern (or non pattern for my project) I would recommend using embroidery floss.  But, I did this the quick and easy way and just straight stitched them all together on my Bernina machine.

And your garland is complete! I'll have to keep this one safe until the birthday girl's party!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Birthday Prep, Series 1, Part 1 Tutorial for art roll

Being far away from home, moving every 2 years or so, means that my kiddos are always reestablishing themselves in a new school, with a new group of friends and a new way of life.  Birthday  parties, therefor, have never been a big to-do with us but this year, I am feeling a little more organized and the girls have been having a few more play dates than at any of our other duty stations. I decided, this year will be the year that I'll throw the girls a birthday party.  (The little guy is still going to wait a few more years until he knows better)

So, the first birthday bash is coming up next month. I figured if I do a little at a time, the task will be fun, creative and not overwhelming.  We decided on an art theme birthday party.  Miss V plans on inviting 5-6 girlfriends.  We'll have the table set up with canvases, a few options of pre-drawn art that they can transfer to their canvases (or if they want to draw/paint their own ideas, even better!). I have decided for favors, I will be making art paintbrush rolls & aprons to go along with the canvas they will paint.  The centerpiece (i hope!) will be a tiered cake stand filled up with a variety of acrylic paints.  It's all drawn out on paper, imagined in my mind.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that i can pull this off and make her 10th birthday extra special.

Because some of this stuff is simple yet fun, I thought I'd create tutorials to go along. So check back for my next installment which will probably be the aprons and then maybe another installment for decorating (I'm thinking polka dots, streamers and balloons!) Until then, I hope you enjoy this simple tutorial for an art roll!

You'll need a ribbon (approx. 30" long, 2 pieces of fabrics, sewing machine, scissors, paintbrushes)

All of my art rolls are made to my paintbrush set measurements, they are just a generic brand from my local craft store.

  • Cut 2 pieces of fabric, 12" x 10" of the main fabric, these will be used for the interior and exterior of the art roll. 1 of these pieces I used some fusible interfacing for some added form.
  • Cut 1 piece of coordinating fabric 13" x 13" which you will fold in half & iron
  • Cut 1 piece of ribbon approximately 30" and fold it in half too

I started by adding a single straight stitch along the folded edge of the 13" x 13" piece of fabric. This is the fabric that will hold the paintbrushes in place.

Attach this piece to the 12" x 10" piece of fabric, right sides facing up.  Stitch along one edge only.

Don't worry about uneven lines, these will be hidden when you attach the exterior pieces.  Next, I take the longest paintbrush and slide it carefully between the fabrics to see where the bottom stitch should be placed. I mark it and then stitch all the way across the bottom. (this stitch line will also be concealed when you attached the exterior piece)

With my paintbrushes as my guide again, I see how far apart each stitch across will need to be. I want each paintbrush to have it's own slip pocket.

Now it's time to add the ribbon which you have folded in half, I use the raw edges of the ribbon and I sew them at the center point (paintbrushes removed of course). You'll cut at the fold at the very end, stitching this way ensures, for the most part, that your ribbon will be of equal length.

Time to attach the exterior. Right sides together you will be stitching along 3 edges leaving 1 edge to turn and finish later.  

Trim excess fabric, cut the corners (but don't cut the stitch lines!) then turn and press flat.

The open side will need to be turned under, pinned and then stitched shut.

Time to trim that ribbon, I like to add a "V" shape in hopes that the ribbon wont unravel.

Now just put them paintbrushes in, roll it up and make a pretty bow and your favors are ready to be handed out!  Please share your creations, I love to see the color combinations people put together. For me, I used a Japanese fabric with little girls, flowers and whimsical mushrooms, and a heart fabric to coordinate. I switched out the ribbons so each girl got something a little different.