Sunday, April 28, 2013

Connectors and Cords Pouch Set

I have been making a lot of pouches lately.  I love making different shapes and styles and trying new patterns for them.

Last week, I  actually made myself a set of pouches.  I had acquired a tangled pile , which included my I Phone usb cord,  ear buds,  camera usb cord , flash drives,  and a spare I Phone  power cord. It was time to get that  all organized .

Fabrics Selected:  various  Denyse Schmidt  DSQuilts   
My favorite is the gray and cream dots!  But I can't walk away from a turquoise zipper!!

Large Pouch:     I decided on the large size of the Open Wide Zippered Pouch,  by Anna of Noodlehead.  I used this tutorial for sizing the large pouch. 
My Open Wide Zippered Pouch    large size

Ear buds:     I used the tutorial by   Erin, of Dog Under My Desk  for my Circle Zip  Earbud  Pouch.  These are so dog-gone cute!   I made a loop in the lining of my big zippered pouch, to attach the earbud pouch to.
Zip drives:   A perfect way to use my  "uh -oh,  this pouch is too small for my I Phone with its protective case" , that I made last week.   It was good  practice for putting a snap onto the flap.
I added a circle zip pouch for my earbuds.    Zip drives go in the snapped pouch

Pouches for cords:   Lastly, I  made 3 more smaller  pouches, with zippers , in my coordinated fabrics.  I like to mix and match. 
Three more basic pouches in coordinating fabrics

Mixing up the fabrics
Filling up the pouches

All nestled into the  one big pouch

' Do these dots  make me look fat?.....'

I keep my pouch set right beside my laptop now.  It is easy to find the right cord, and to grab the whole pouch for when I travel!   I can't help but smile when I see these bright colors and some dots!!
I'm off to my sewing room!

I am linked over at  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop!  @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict  
and  Sew Cute Tuesday @Better Off Thread

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Learning to make Hexies

What do you do when you get sick and really don't feel well enough to sew up  a big project ?    You find some hand sewing to work on!

I looked up several tutorials on Hexies and decided to try sewing a few.  When I started out, I didn't have a specific project in mind.   Echinops and Aster  has quite a few projects and tutorials on making hexies. After reading her blog,  I sort of lost my fear of making a hexie, and decided to make a few and see where it led me.

I found some great free hexi patterns at Echinops and Aster, and decided to print out the   1 1/4 " size on computer paper .

My fabric pieces tended to be about 3 1/2 "  x 3 1/4 "  , to wrap around my little hexagon paper template.  I enjoyed basting them by hand , while watching tv.  They only took a few minutes to starch and press into shape.

After I made 8 hexies, I started playing around with them, to see what shape to put them in.  I ended up liking the straight line.  I realized that if I put three in a row, that would fit on the front of an eyeglasses case.

Last week, I made a simple  eyeglasses case , for little "A"....

Pouch set   including an eyeglasses case
I had attempted to make a more tapered pattern....  from a pattern found at  Sewing.    But it had a part in the directions that I couldn't figure out  messed up... and so I ended up adapting this making it 2- toned on the outer fabric, and straight across the open, top side.

I decided to try this glasses case again, and then decorate the front and back sections with a row of 3 hexies.

So, I whip stitched the hexies, 3 in a row.  I fused them on the back with HeatnBond.
I ironed them onto the front and back of the outer fabric, and stitched them along their outer edge to the fabric.  I then simply stitched the outline of the hexi string, a scant quarter of an inch from the outer edge.

I had some problems again, finishing the case, at  the junction  where the the lining  and outer meet  (step 5), and sewing up the lining-to-lining and cover-to- cover edges.  (step 6 in directions).  (the pivot area she refers to in the directions)
After several attempts at trying "something different", I finally figured out what I was doing wrong. I didn't look at the pictures in the instructions.  I used "common sense".
And it worked! 
So I WROTE IT down quickly, so I wouldn't forget what I did! And took a few pictures.
 I went to my computer and began to study the online tutorial. I  realized it was from the early 2000, and it was not as detailed  as we make our tutorials today.  I then found a "related" link below, and it mentioned "printer friendly" eyeglasses case.  It was actually the same directions, but had DIFFERENT PICTURES to show the steps, and was all on one page , for printing.  USE THIS ONE: Sewing  Make an eye glass case

If you make the pattern,   use this link  Make an eye glass case , and these pictures will make sense.  (And a more experienced sewer would probably know this already!)
The other directions showed sewing the 1 inch seam on the right sides of the fabrics in step 5.  I finally figured out that it needed to be wrong sides
Step 6    

My hexies glasses case  
I like this pattern, because the right corner (seen on left upper corner in my picture), is shorter and shows the lining peeking through. (This is the hard part I had in the pattern. )

The back side

Simple stitching along the outside

My "hex-cellent" eye glass case      (sorry for that one)

I want to make some more things with hexies now.

Have you made anything?  Any fun suggestions for me? Let me know!
I'm off to my sewing room!

Linked at:

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fun Spring Colors

Trees are in bloom, colors and  leaves are popping out all around, and I got to make some fun gifts with lots of colors.  So now , I feel that Spring has officially arrived and is sticking around!

My first project is a Mini Bow Tucks tote

I love this bag  pattern, by Penny Sturges, at 
It is a practical bag and with just a few changes it can become a  bit more contemporary in shape.  Plus,  it comes in 2 sizes.  This mini size is approx.  9 " tall x 16" wide x 4 " deep (with no bow ties).  

 I made the basic bag pattern,with a few modifications:

The Mini Bow Tuck Tote  with  no side ties 
                My changes:

  •          28 inch handles length
  •          no bow ties on the sides (for gathering in sides)
  •         added zippered pocket inside
  •          magnetic snap closure

Inside row of slip pockets .  I added some main lilac fabric to piece the top edge of the pockets
Inside zippered pocket on one side

I really like the black and lilac colors in this fabric

The next project was a cute and wild-colored Pouch set .... for my sweet little grand niece. "A" had  her First Holy Communion this weekend.  I wanted to make her a little pouch set to go along with some money.

So what else should I add to the zippered pouch?  Little "A" wears glasses, so I made her a simple glasses case. And most kids have a set of ear plugs  to listen to some music.  So a small zipped pouch would be fun as an addition to my set.

I chose one of  my favorite Pouch patterns....Noodlehead's   Open Wide Zippered Pouch,  by Anna Graham. These pouches are adorable , and they do open wide!  
I made the medium size , which is 12" wide x 9 " tall.  Check here for the different sizes tutorial .  

Earbud pouch:  Circle Zip Earbud Pouch Tutorial  by Erin at  Dog Under My Desk
I used her free tutorial, but she has a pattern in her shop available for sale, also.
This is fun and is a great first zipper project!  (I didn't even use a zipper foot!)

Eyeglasses case:  I basically winged it... I cut a lining and an outer piece, each 7" x 7" square. Cut one piece of Pellon FF 987   7 " x 7 ".  Fuse it onto the outer piece. Sewed the top edge of the lining and outer fabric right-sides-together  (this is open edge of the glasses case at the end).  Then I  folded the lining remaining raw edges together (leaving a 3 " wide hole for turning it through) , and folded the outer fabricraw edges together, sewing it all the way around.  I pulled the case through the hole in the lining, and sewed the gap hole up. I  tucked it the lining back inside the outer cover.  I pressed it well and actually spray- starched it.  (This is not a hard protective case, but suitable for my grand  niece.)

Fabrics:   I found out she just picked out an orange outfit recently, with orange sneakers.   Her bedroom is lavender.   

My Zipper Pouch Set for "A" 
I used some tie-dyed fabric for the lining and a  loop inside, so she can hook up her circle zip to it and not lose it!
I think she likes it!
The only thing that was more fun than making this pouch set gift, was seeing little "A"  stash some little gifts into her pouch!

Now, onto some more projects on my list...
I'm off to my sewing room!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

April's And Sew On Block

It's the beginning of a new month, and I was able to make my latest And Sew On BoM!

A fun, fun Block of the month!

Kristy, the host and designer of  this And Sew On BoM, has made another super -cute pattern for April!
It is available for FREE during April,  at her Craftsy site! {Link here}

Kristy's April Block   called  “Snip It Real Good”

You can still make the other blocks in the sew along ... they are available for sale on Craftsy.  She has quite a collection of beautiful and fun paper pieced patterns now!  I just LOVE her designs!  And....She even has a complete alphabet ( upper and lower case letters) and numbers & punctuation!

Susie's "Snip it Real Good"  block

The handles have the pins fabric

The thread   with fussy cut

And Sew On...Here are the 4 blocks so far....  

I am going to make a mini quilt for my sewing room, the sunroom, with these BoM's.
But, I also love using these patterns and incorporating them as a center block for special  projects. 

Here is a block that I started with:
Snip it Real Good    to be used ....

.... As a feature block in this tote bag

I made a scrappy wonky star for the back block

I used my quarter foot for quilting lines around the star

The inside had pockets (I pieced some owls into the pockets front)

There's a zippered pocket inside, too

The back side , with a scrappy wonky star

The finished Sewing Tote Bag
Next, I am going to make a few more journal covers.  Have you checked out the Flickr Group page yet or added your pictures if you have made one already? Come on....join in with us!

I'm off to my sewing room!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Winner of The Satchel Bag Pattern

Winner of The Satchel Bag Pattern !

It is time to announce  the lucky winner of a  beautiful Satchel Bag Pattern!

# 5     Gill

What a great pattern - I'd love to maker one!
I belong to a group of women who meet fortnightly to sew and chat - mostly chat!

Yay, Gill !!    I will emailing you to tell you that YOU are the winner!
And then  Samantha, of At Home With Mrs H blog, will be emailing you the pattern file!
Thank you so much, Samantha!!

The Satchel Bag  pattern designed by Sewing Patterns by Mrs H
Go on over to her blog and see what her latest project is ! And then visit her  etsy shop , to see her other beautiful bag patterns and hardware for purses!  You can see how different each Satchel Bag can be made at this post:  Their Satchel Bags

Has anyone made a journal cover yet?  You can get pattern ideas  at Amy Made That!  , The Patchsmith,   Susie's Sunroom,  and in our Across The Pond Sew Along Flickr Group!

Amy's journal cover    Amy Made That!
Amanda's journal cover      The Patchsmith
Susie's journal covers    Susie's Sunroom
I'd love to see any that you make!  Join in... it's never too late to hop in with us and make a project or two!

I'm off to my sewing room!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Showers bring Journal Covers....

April  Across The Pond Sew Along Project !

April showers bring May flowers.... and Journal Covers!
I have been noticing a lot of cute journal covers on blog posts lately.  I never made one before, and decided that April is the month to make a few!  Would you like to make one with me?  
I'll be making a couple of journal covers during this month.   Amanda, The Patchsmith, and Amy, at  Amy Made That!, will also be making their own journal covers and sharing on their blogs.  You really have to check out their talent and style and imagination!
You can put your own journal cover into the Across The Pond Sew Along Flickr group to share with everyone! 

I discovered that there are lots of sizes of journals , with and without sprirals. Amanda,  our  ATPSA partner from England, told me that Art Diaries, in sizes A4 and A5, are readily available there.

Composition Book:   7 1/2" wide x 9 3/4 " tall  (no spiral)
Little spiral bound book (from JoAnn fabric ... for under a buck ):  5 " wide x 7 " tall
A4 :    8 1/2" wide x 12 " tall      
A5:   6 1/4 " wide x 8 1/4 " tall

If you are like me, and need a few pointers,  here are some great  tutorials and blogs that gave me inspiration and a place to begin:

Rachel  at Stitched In Color

By Rachel at Stitched In Color

And a second tutorial from Rachel   at Stitched in Color

Another pattern for the cover by  Rachel at Stitched in Color
Rachel's tutorials are made to cover the composition book  size....   7 1/2" wide x 9 3/4" tall.   I just love her style and the fun way she uses fabric colors!  I didn't make the zipzag pattern yet, but want to try to make one soon.
Urban Threads  actually makes a cover for the small 5 " x 7" spiral notebook, found at JoAnn fabric.  This tutorial gave me the idea of how to sew the lining to the cover (in a familiar technique.)

Journal made by Urban Threads  for a small spiral notebook

 Moda Bakeshop has a beautiful tutorial , by Roslyn Mirrington of Bloom    at                                           Roslyn Mirrington Moda Bakeshop.  
Journal Covers by Roslyn Mirrington at Moda Bake Shop

I love how she used linen  and ribbon with her fabric strips.

This gave me an idea to use up some fabric strips and scraps that I had.  And to coordinate my journal with a tote bag that I made, back in Nov 2012, as our very first Across The Pond Sew Along project.  My sister, Amy, of Amy Made That!  designed this  sophisticated bag , the Anita Vacation tote bag.
My Anita Vacation Tote Bag
I picked my composition book as the journal to cover first.   Rachel's  tutorials are this size..... Stitched In Color tutorials,
I measured my book and made a few notes with the dimensions.   The  fabric cover needed to be about   29 1/2 " wide x 12 " tall.  Lining-  same size
** Note, Rachel 's tutorial pictures  show making a cover with no lining.**  It is not hard to adapt this...

The fabrics - leftovers from DS Quilts and DS Quilters Quarters, 
                                     Brussels Washer Linen Blend White (55% Linen/45% Rayon.)
                                       ( I fused Pellon SF101 interfacing to the back of the linen, to stabilize the linen . (It is not as transparent , either.)

I  figured out that there are basically 4 sections to  the cover , with the flaps being the left and right end pieces:
7 1/2 " + 7 1/2 " + 7 1/2 " + 7  1/2"   at 12" tall

(flap)      (back)   (front)      (flap)
I pieced the fabric  cover top with strips that were 1 1/2 " wide. 
The lining was totally scrappy, and it was  fun... to  use up as much of the scrap pile  that I could.

** Note: For a little bookmark:
I made a  basic little skinny strap ,two-toned:  by sewing together 2-   2 1/4 " x 15 "  pieces, and 
folding and ironing  the short ends in,
 then folding each side twice toward the center crease , so no raw edges remaining.   (2 inches  wide gets folded into 1/2 inch wide.)   Top stitch all the way around on all 4 sides.

I pinned the right sides together of the cover and the lining, and sewed 1/4 " seam all the way around.... leaving a 3 inch gap to pull the right side out through.  After pulling the right side through the gap, top stitch it closed.  Iron the cover for crisp edges.  It might be  a bit bumpy/bulky in the corners due to the lining.

** Note: I didn't need to finish up the sides of the cover,  or the bottom and top edges, as she  does in her step 2, as they are done already.

Step 3:  Lay cover RIGHT side up... place journal so you can pin each side to create the side flaps.   You will be folding  each side of the cover toward the center, and  sewing along the top and bottom of each flap.  The very center of the cover doesn't get stitched.
Make sure there is room to sew along the  top and bottom edges, and you can slip the book cover into these new flaps you are making.
FLASHBACK!!!  This is like covering books for your children with brown paper bags....anybody else do that for their children?

**  I had to make a little adjustment  at this point.  My back flap was too long (I think to 'fussy place' where I wanted the front cover to show, my back side had more fabric than it needed.)  I just folded it  back onto itself, and sewed the flap as normal.  The adjustment worked.

Now, turn the cover right side out now... and press again.   Rachel recommends starching it for a crispiness.

Lastly, I sewed my bookmark under the top folded-over edge, in the center.

Inserting the bookmark strap

Sewing the bookmark in
My journal-  back side

Anita Vacation Tote Bag and coordinating journal cover

A bookmark is handy!

This journal cover was so much fun , that I decided to make one to cover my little journal notebook, 5" wide x 7 " tall, with a spiral back. (My deal of the week!  Just  $0.75 )

I read over the tutorial at Urban Threads,  but chose not to use a lining.  I  treated the edges as  Rachel described in her tutorials above.

I made a template from a brown paper bag.  It was 19 1/2" wide x 10 1/2 " tall.
Idea for front:   2 little paper pieced blocks to be the center of the front and the back.
I got the patterns from a book, "50 Little Paper-Pieced Blocks", by Carol Doak.
***Note: confession:  I actually wanted to the bird to be on the front cover.
But, the way the bookcover works.... the block on the left shows up as the back cover.   I should've placed the bird on the right, and the birdhouse on the left, to make the bird be  the front cover!  Good lesson   ***

Next, I sashed around the 3 1/2" unfinished blocks, with the mini gingham, 
 to make the block 5 " x 5 ".  
Bluebird and Birdhouse paper pieced blocks,  sewn to gingham and linen  
Fabrics:  Brussels Washer Linen Blend Natural (55% Linen/45% Rayon.)
            Michael Miller  - Mini Mikes Tiny Gingham  Tan   (this is to make Amanda smile!)

The bird and birdhouse blocks were very light, and you could see the cover through the fabric.  So I just ironed on some Pellon SF 101 (ShapeFlex) onto the back of the block. The notebook did not show through my fabric any longer.  yay!

I added linen sashes to make the front and back panels 5 " wide x 7 " tall, and  then joined the blocks.   I added the tiny tan gingham to the sides , and top and bottom, to get the 19 1/2 " wide x 10 1/2 " tall size.

Now it was time to prepare the edges.
  The 10 1/2 " sides :  fold over 3/4",   Topstich the edge,  and overcast the raw edges ( this is in the Stiched In Color tutorial.)

 The top and bottom edges:   fold over 1/4 " and sew . Then,  I folded the corners in 45 degrees (to look like a mitered edge when it is folded down another 1/2 " in next step )
Preparing the edges
Top and Bottom edges;  fold over 1/2 " and sew down.  See the nice mitred-like edges?

Make sure this is 1/2" at the top edge and the bottom edge, for sewing the flap

Both long edges are sewn down. (No raw edges.) I added some hand  embroidery to the blocks, and a tiny heart button for the birdhouse roof. Now it is ready to turn over and make flaps.

Place the cover front side up
Fold the sides in toward the center, to make the flap. Pin it and  BASTE it first, to test the positioning, to see it is where you want your feature block to be positioned!

Test where you place your notebook cover , to see that your block is centered on the front. I baste stitched it first! ( Easier to rip out!!)
* it is easier to use stripes and varying shapes in your cover ! lol  *

After both sides are sewn, turn your cover right side out and Iron it 

My front of the little journal.  See the tiny little heart button?

The back side

Go Gingham!!

I am ready for the new day  , with my coffee and my idea book!

My Journals...  just waiting for some ideas 

Watch out... I found out the journal covers are just a littttttle addicting, too!  ;)

Join in with us, and show us what you have made at the ATPSA Flickr Page!

And ,today is the last day to enter my  giveaway for a free pattern ... the stylish
Satchel Bag , designed  by Samantha at At Home With Mrs H !

This pattern makes a really cute and functional  updated Satchel bag!

I'm off to my sewing room!