Sewing with Scraps – Sandwich Wrap

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A bit of a step back in difficulty from last week, and yet this one is slightly more annoying to make (more on that in a bit, lol). So we go thru a lot of plastic baggies for conventions and I thought this pattern would be great to help reduce on that waste! Not to mention you can claim a fabric as ‘yours’ so no more need to write a name on bags either! 😀

These are plastic sandwich wraps from the ladies at Chica and Jo. Now, right off the bat, I’m gonna admit that I changed one main aspect about this pattern. While it walks you thru the steps very nicely for how to make fused plastic from extra plastic shopping bags…none of my attempts really ended up with something I liked. We also have been using reusable shopping bags here for years so I didn’t have much to work with. Instead I just bought some plastic from Joanns for like $3 a yard. Totally worth it.

Okay, so it’s hard to see since my plastic is clear, but want to cut a 14″x14″ square of the fabric and a 12″x12″ square of the plastic. With wrong side facing you for the fabric, lay the plastic on top; centering it to give a 1″ border all around. Now the next step is hard to explain and I couldn’t be bothered to take pics of it, but basically you have to do a double fold over all around the border and pin it in place. See the Chica and Jo site for great photos to walk you thru it. I personally used my iron to hold down the first 1/2″ fold to make my pinning life easier, but you do what works for you.

With all your pins in place, you simply sew around the boarder to attach these two. I recommend sewing as close to the fold as you feel comfortable to reduce the size of the hangover for your finished piece. Once that’s done you just need to add velcro; which is used to hold your wrap in place. You’ll need 2 pieces total: a 1″ long and a 2″ long piece. Now the only velcro I have is 2″ wide, so I just did two 1″x2″ pieces. You’ll be attaching them in the corners with 2 on the inside, and 2 on the outside.

Once they’re on, that’s it! You have a finished wrap! The plastic will make it very easy to clean up as you can just wipe off and dressing/condiments or even toss the whole piece in the wash for bad stains. I wouldn’t recommend putting it in the dryer (cause plastic), but just let it air dry by laying flat instead.

Overall I give this pattern 4/5 bobbins. It seems like it can work great, and I look forward to giving it a try at C2E2 this weekend, but until I do I can’t say as to how well it performs. I may come back and give it 5/5 if it amazing, lol.


Sewing with Scraps – Earbud Pouch

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Okay, so I probably queued these out of order as this is the pattern I learned how to make a tab from which I put in the tissue pattern for last week, but I was trying to do these in increasing order of difficulty sooooo……sorry. XD

Anyway, this is the first pattern I found using the scraps and what made me dig to find more as I thought that was something useful in daily life. The pattern comes from Dog Under my Desk and it’s probably one of my favorites from how high quality it looks when you’re done.

Materials needed were about a 6″x7″ piece of fabric for both inner and outer fabrics along with the same amount for interfacing (midweight again). A keyring (or hook) and a 5″ or longer plastic zipper.

You’ll have to print out the provided template, but it prints true to form so as long as you have a printer you’re good to go. Cut your fabric per the pattern requirements while your iron warms up. Then apply interfacing to the circle and 2 half circles for the fabric you want showing. Now, I’m not even going to try and write up how to explain adding the zipper cause I’ll screw it up, lol, but that where you’ll start by layering the half circles on one side (curved ends facing the zipper with right sides of the fabric facing each other), sewing, pressing, and then repeating on the other side. You’ll end up with something like this.

Next you’ll make the tab and sew it at the top of the circle edge where the zipper pulled from. I accidentally did this at the bottom on my first one. So learn from my mistakes, lol. The tab should be laying on the zipper track towards the inside of circle when you do it.

Now, making sure you zipper is in the middle of your circle, layer the circles with right sides out -not touching- and lay it on top of the zipper (yes you’re covering the zipper. This is why it needs to be half way down so you can reach inside). The the fabric you want on the outside should be touching when you do this. So for me, zelda fabric touching zelda fabric and green on the top.

Start anywhere you like, but I did it at the tab on the top. I also recommend do a few back and forth stitches here to reinforce that tab. You’ll want a 3/8″ seam on this one, so give yourself extra room and if it starts to bunch/pucker then stop sewing, lift the foot and smooth things out before continuing. Once you’ve sewn the edge, you also want to pinking shears to trim the edge. I used scissors my first time to clip the circle and the shears work waaaay better. This is why you had to leave so much space for your seam. Once you’re done just turn it inside out and ta da! You’ve got a pouch!

I really like how this looked and part of that admittedly is cause I did fussy cutting to get the image centered just how I wanted. It’s really just a nice little case and I may even make some as gifts for my family. 🙂 Overall I’d rate this a 5/5 bobbins. Great little pattern, but take your time and follow the step by step info at Dog Under my Desk and not my general ramblings.

 


Sewing with Scraps – Tissue Pouch

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In case it wasn’t obvious with the first 2 scrap patterns I reviewed, I was looking for things I would personally make use of. This will of course vary for everyone, but I just figured I’d let you all know my mind set when I was finding projects so you have an idea of what’s to come. Today’s pattern is a travel tissue pouch that I had to dig up in a web archive as the original site long gone. You can find that archived pattern here, but I’m going to include more info since I don’t know how long that archive will last. I recommend saving the page if you want to follow the original pattern while you work. I even made into a pdf. The original credit for this pattern goes to So Sew Something.

So first you’ll need to gather your materials All you need for this is just 2 pieces of scrap fabric measuring 6″x7″ and sewing thread. I decided to use a little extra fabric and add a loop so I can hang this from a purse or something in the future. I have it pinned just to mark placement as this does not get sewn on until much later. It’s made from a 2″ wide and 3″ long piece that I folded into quarters (with edges folded to meet in the middle and then folded in half) and then sewed around the edge of it to keep it together.

Just like last week’s pattern, you’ll want to place the right (aka printed) side of the fabric together and sew a 1/4″ seam around the edge. Start on the 7″ edge and leave a 3″ gap so you can turn it inside out. Once you’ve turned it inside out, push out all the corners (use a stick to help if needed) and press it with a hot iron.

Now, with the fabric you want showing on top, fold the edges in so they meet evenly in the middle. (NOTE: If you want to add a loop like I did simply place the loop inside the pouch with the edge just visible at the top. I recommend using a pin to keep it in place until you sew it.) Yes this makes it seem like it will be inside, but it will not.

Do another 1/4″ seam on the top and bottom now. This will be hard to do on the top if you added a loop since you’re going through so many layers. You may want a jean needle if you worry about the normal one breaking. I only use jean needles cause I mainly use my machine to sew through yarn and velcro, lol. Anyway, once you’ve done your seam on both edges, turn your piece inside out once more, using your fingers to pop the corners out as you do.

And you’re done! Now you’ll see the little line on mine at the opening but if you had your opening on the 7″ side you won’t have that. I did mine on the 6″ side for this first batch like the pattern said to do, and then had to add these lines to close up the hole. Hopefully my suffering will save you trouble in the end. 🙂 I also  have my edges over lapping slightly to help cover the opening a bit since I won’t always have a pack of tissues and may just fold some up and put them in. You can add things like buttons to help keep it closed, but that’s beyond my skill right now, lol. Overall I think this is another great easy pattern. Probably on par with the cord keeper one from last week. You don’t need interfacing, but I know I messed up on the forgetting to turn something inside out again step so just go slow until you get into the groove of the pattern. I also made it hard by adding the tab (which I messed up like 3 times, lol) so don’t to that until you’ve made it once the normal way unless you’re more skilled then I am, lol. I’d give it 5/5 bobbins again. Great little pattern.


Sewing with Scraps – Cord Wraps

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So the scrap sewing pattern this week was another one that was picked cause I needed something to manage the spaghetti factory of cables I have collected, and comes from Leafy Treetop. I recently gave my sister my old laptop case since she needed one for work and mine was just being used to hold all my various charging cables as I no longer have a laptop. This left me with the issue of about 10 cables that now suddenly needed a new home and to be organized. Time to put that scrap to work!

The time for this was much faster then the mousepad last week since I had no drying time, and once I knew what I was doing, I had these setup assembly line style to sew up and save time. You’ll need 2 scraps that are about 3″x7″ and interfacing (midweight) for each cord wrap, along with a bit of velcro. I buy velcro by the giant spool for my chain chomp plush, so I just cut some off to whatever size I needed but I think anything 1″x1″ or there abouts will work.

Using the template, I cut out the fabric needed for the first few (and then more later cause I didn’t make enough, lol). I decided to frame the images on some of the fabric (known as fussy cutting) so I used more scrap then I had to as a result, but that was my choice so it didn’t bother me toooooo much. Once everything was cut, I ironed the interfacing on the back (or wrong) side of the fabric I wanted to have showing. Then I placed the 2 fabrics, right side facing together, next to my machine to sew.

I sewed around the edge without pins (cause this was so small) about 1/4″ from the edge. I have a special foot that Toni suggested to me for this exact purpose and it really helped a lot. You have to leave about a 2-3″ gap in your sewing so you can turn your piece inside out and then iron and sew around the edge once more.

Now that the body is done, you simply place and sew the velcro on as you desire. the first few I did I used vertical strips just on the ends, but I wanted to be able to tighten it more so for the second batch I had the velcro go horizontal on the body. It does mean the design is covered more, but I know the kind of jostling my cords will take and just felt like the initial batch won’t stay in the keeper as well. Time will tell if I’m wrong about this, lol.

As you can see from this picture of my first batch, I forgot to sew the right sides together on one. Opps! I just said screw it and I’m living with it, but if you were making these as gifts or for someone else, then maybe don’t work at like 10pm like I did, lol. In the end I really liked this pattern. It was very easy to follow (lots of pictures) and a great introduction to interfacing if you’ve never used it before. The pattern is simple and besides the small change in velcro placement I’m very happy with everything. I’d give it a 5/5 bobbins. Highly recommend it.


Sewing with Scraps – Mouse Pad

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As Toni can verify, I’ve had a very cautious approach to using a sewing machine. I took classes in school sure, but I was already very good at sewing by hand even then and the machines were so old that half to time they didn’t work. So while I’ve learned a few things and how newer models work, I would still default to hand sewing for years. Well I decided to change all that starting a few weekends back. My sister is a fashion major and, as my birthday gift, offer to sew me a new purse as long as I had the pattern and materials ready for her. After she was done (and it’s super cute) I had about half a yard of scraps that I didn’t want to just toss. My thriftiness wouldn’t allow it! So I scoured the internet for ideas that I could use these bits and pieces for. I found tons of ideas but only about 8 appealed to me. For the next few weeks I’m going to highlight each one I picked, how easy it was for a beginner, and how I feel the final product turned out. Today I started with what seemed to be the simplest of the lot, a mousepad.

Now I’ve been considering buying a mousepad for my desk for a few months as my mouse has worn thru some of the top finish in spots, but it’s started catching on those so the timing here was almost perfect. It would also allow my to make something that would fit the very unusual size I would need (10″ by 6″) for my small desk space. Following the instructions from How Joyful, I gathered my materials.

What you see here is my cut fabric, some dollar store shelf liner, and a paper towel. You basically sandwich these together (fabric, liner, paper towel) and pin in place before sewing – if needed. The paper towel is used to keep the needle from sticking to the rubber bottom of the non-slip liner, so you could use something like tissue paper instead if you don’t have any paper towels on hand.

After you sew around the edge, you then turn it over and slowly rip off the paper towel. Doing the edges first makes removing the middle much, much easier. Try and get as much off as you can since you’ll want the rubber of bottom mat to be able to smoothly touch the surface.

Now for the time consuming part. You flip it back over and apply Mod Podge to the fabric side in a nice even coat. You’ll want 2-3 coats of modge podge total and it’s an hour to dry between coats, so be sure to set it up on some parchment paper or surface you can easily clean. I did my first coat at night and then the second in the morning, but you do with what works for your schedule. Now if yours is anything like mine, the edges started to curl during the drying and I wasn’t having that. I recommend taking a hot dry iron once it’s fully dry (mine was set to cotton since that was my fabric), place parchment paper over the mouse pad and then iron it to fix this.

Here’s my mouse pad at it’s new home. I also trimmed the edges of extra fabric/rubber pad so it looked nice and neat after ironing it. So what did I think of it in the end? Well, there’s a few things I’d change but overall it’s a great easy pattern for a beginner. I don’t like how the surface feels for mine, but that could be on the type of modpodge I used, and it’s much thinner then a normal mouse pad so maybe adding some interfacing on the back of the fabric would fix that issue. Other then that, only time will tell if it holds up to daily use. I rate it 4/5 bobbins. Good and easy, but needs tweaking for personal preference.


Loot Carriers Made Easy

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Happy Sunday, all!

Last week I promised some DIY loot bag ideas and these will not disappoint! 3 of the 4 do involve sewing but they are all pretty easy to make, even for those new to sewing. The first one up is a very simple box bottom bag done in fun Halloween print from Almost Supermom:

Best part is making them to suit the size you want…for more loot.

I think they are super cute and will give everyone some more practice on the basics. Now you’ll have the pattern for a basic box bag! Bonus! Plus the fabric selection is completely up to you – so if your kiddos want a bag to match their costume, there is plenty of fabric out there to choose from (like those new Star Wars fabrics we mentioned?). The second has a similar tutorial but on a much cheaper scale. So if you are trying to save a little money by making your own trick or treat bags, this bandanna bag tutorial from 2 Little Hooligans is the right choice for you:

I am NOT a fan of candy corn but I do love that bandanna pattern.

I think that one is also super cool for customizing as I’ve seen all kinds of themed bandannas out there. Again, this does not have to be used solely for Halloween purposes. Super awesome bandanna bags for all occasions! The third one is interactive and kind of creepy. This “sticky” spider web loot bag from Merriment Design has just the right amount of fun for the little ones:

They also make flies and other bugs that the spiders could have “trapped”…just sayin’.

I love the innovative use of the Velcro to bump up the play factor. The fourth one I found is for those of us that either don’t know how to sew or would rather let our sewing machines have a break after rocking out some amazing costumes. This duct tape bag from Dukes and Duchesses looks simple and useful:

Plus this one is guaranteed to be fairly waterproof in case Halloween is a bit damp.

I’ve seen all kinds of cool, creepy, or even shiny types of duct tape that could be used for those. Hope you’ve enjoyed our festive romp through DIY bags this week. May your bag overfloweth this Halloween season!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Vintage Sewing Resource

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With Halloween just around the corner, I know I’m not the only one with costumes on my mind. Half the problem though is looking for what you want as not all patterns are easily available or you have to flip through endless catalogs to find what you need. Well, if you are in need of something 25+ years old, have I got a resource for you.

This Wiki is without a doubt of the best resources for quickly looking through real manufactured patterns for your vintage needs, and they just uploaded over 83,000 this summer! :O I’ll let them tell you a bit about themselves:

We are working to create one location online where people can go to browse through vintage patterns starting from the year 1992 and older and share information about them, including:

  • Links to sellers who have particular patterns in stock
  • Reviews by people who have made the patterns (share photos!)
  • Links to blog posts about particular patterns
  • Wishlist of people who want to buy or trade particular patterns
  • Searchable ‘categories’ on patterns (like ‘cocktail’, ‘wrap dress’, ‘peter pan collar’ or whatever)

So yeah, really good stuff to be found here for the period accurate costumer. The pattern will likely not be free in the end, but at least it will be official as a majority of the patterns located on it come from many long standing brands such as McCalls and Serendipity. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been thinking of making a Linkle cosplay myself and I wonder if they have anything to help me make that cape of hers…


Stained Glass Curtains

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Yes, you read that title right, but no, it’s not quite what you’re thinking.

Handmade by Koren artist Jessica Yoo, these windows are actually covered in a thin fabric paneling meant to mimic stained glass, though hers is inspired by the Koren art style rather then then western. It’s called Meem and her’s what the artist has to say about it:

More than ever, people want a nature-integrated life into their contemporary one. Despite the gross increase of technological development that has been dominating the contemporary life, it is a natural instinct for humans to desire nature. However, the way we have treated sunlight over the years has been quite dull. We shut the curtains when we didn’t like the sun, and opened it when we needed it.
Meem solves this by taking shades back to the traditional Korean concept of personalizing the atmosphere. Specifically, with the translucent quality of Jogakbo, one could incorporate nature into the interior seamlessly. This way, sunlight and nature is not blocked or exposed, it becomes a part of the interior. Jogakbo’s design aspect – the colors and texture-can also fit any mood or mentality of the user, which ultimately creates a harmony of assimilation.

It’s truly beautiful work that really captures her goal of making nature come indoors again in a beautiful way. You can see more of her work over on her etsy shop as these are really just a taste of what she’s created.


Bunnies Galore

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Happy Sunday, all!

Easter is a couple of weeks away and I’ve already been having bunny sightings! Spring has definitely sprung, so let’s get festive and add a few more buns to the mix. If you are the crochet type, you could use all kinds of colors to create these little cuties:

They don’t take that much yarn so the stash could be raided!

Or maybe you’ve already been itching to start a quick/portable hand sewing project? These cute bun buns would do the trick:

I love those widdle whiskers!

Or maybe you’ve still got the old sewing machine out to work on through some of those scrap projects? How about adding a quick bunny basket to the mix:

Just in time to fill with chocolate goodies, too.

Speaking of goodies, I just can’t pass up the opportunity to mention these deliciously cute looking bunny butt cupcakes:

I mean, look at that adorbs tail!

I seem to have become the queen of project lists in the last few months but never fear, I have some tutorials and product testimonials up my sleeve, yet. More to come!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 


Giving Thanks

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Hello Sunday readers!

This coming week includes one of my favorite US holidays, Thanksgiving! I’m quite food motivated so cooking and then eating a whole bunch of it with friends/family is just my style. Since I’m a pretty good cook as well, most folks are thankful when I bring a dish along. This got me to thinking about how to transport my tasty additions so that they would still be warm (oven space is limited at our destination) and not burn anyone’s lap in the car. Behold! The casserole carrier is a quick and easy DIY that may also make great holiday gifts in the coming month:

The best part is using fabric from the stash!

The best part is using fabric from the stash! My Legend of Zelda casserole carrier is going to rock!

I cruised a bunch of sites looking for this pattern because the others I’ve seen use dowels or the actual wooden spoons in the handle. As clumsy as I can be, I sure don’t want to wear the food if I don’t insert those just right. Cloth handles with reinforcement seem like the safest options. Now once we DO get to the cousin’s house, I want to make sure that we can get it out of the carrier without burns so how about some coordinating oven mitts, too:

I am going to have so many geeky patterned kitchen accessories!

I am going to have so many geeky patterned kitchen accessories! Should I use more LoZ fabric or the Doctor Who fabric?

I really liked that pattern because the grips or “thumbs” were on the bottom and not to the side. The link leads to a Danish site but I assure you that the pattern is in English! I would suggest using some sort of insulated lining fabric instead of regular batting (like Insul-Bright) to keep those hands safe. So since we are good guests and like to bring a host/hostess gift, what else would be quick and easy? Maybe a table runner in fun fall fabrics:

Or depending on your host/hostess we could add in some fun video game patterns, too.

Or depending on your host/hostess you could add in some fun video game patterns, too.

That one seems so simple, others may also be getting stash fabric table runners for gifts as well. Or if they are really special to you and they also like to cook a good apron is worth it’s weight in gold:

Again, the fabric possibilities are endless!

Again, the fabric possibilities are endless!

Ok so we’ve got the carrier, the mitts, and a gift but what about the most important thing about holiday meals? I’m talking LEFTOVERS. There are always leftovers and, as stated, I am a bit of a klutz so bobbling the big bowl of turkey and trimmings out of the microwave is one of my worst nightmares. What could possibly be done about this? I’m glad you asked! Behold! From the same site as the lovely carrier, a guest post containing a pattern for microwavable bowl holders:

Give the creator of these a medal, for they are my hero!

Give the creator of these a medal, for they are my hero!

What brilliance and insight! I shall be making a good dozen of these out of stash fabric in the near future.

On a last note, I would like to get a little mushy on you, folks. I must say that I am thankful for many things, not the least of which was our fearless leader taking a chance on me so that I could write about fun crafty things once a week. I’m thankful that I have money enough to own a stash of fabric. I’m thankful I have a family to fight for leftovers with. Most of all, I am thankful for the great crafting and convention communities I’ve been introduced to over the last couple of years. Without them, my life would be pretty sad and a lot less fun. So thank you to whoever may actually be reading our posts, we appreciate you!

Stay crafty!

~Laura