Friday, December 30, 2011

{a little birdie told me} Messenger Bag + Tutorial

My baby sister turns 20 today... She is headed off to college in a couple months so I decided to make her a messenger bag to carry her books and laptop in. 
I found this fabric (Alexander Henry: Beverly Glen and Heath) and fell in love with it. I love the birds, the colors, and love that it's different... It was the perfect fabric for my little sis.

So here is how I made it....

Supplies needed:
1 yard main fabric
1 yard coordinating fabric
(I used home decor weight for both fabrics)
1 yard fusible fleece
2 d-rings (1 1/4 inches)
6 inches of poly pro belting (you can buy this by the yard. I found it in the notions section of joann's by the elastic by the yard, velcro, and d-rings)
coordinating thread

To cut your fabric:

Main Fabric:
3 pieces 15x20 inches
1 piece 5x44 inches

Fusible Fleece: 
3 pieces 15x20 inches
1 piece 6x11 inches

Coordinating Fabric:
3 pieces 15x20 inches
2 pieces 7x9 inches
1 piece 6x11 inches

Step 1: Iron the fusible fleece to the 3 15x20 inch pieces of the main fabric.

Step 2: Create the pocket on the front of the bag...Take the 2 pieces of coordinating fabric that are 7x9 inches and put them right sides together and sew all the way around but leave a gap that is big enough for you to turn the fabric right side out. Turn it right side out and tuck the unfinished edges in and press with an iron.
 Step 3: Pin the pocket to front of one of the main pieces of fabric. Center it wherever you would like. I put mine in the center towards the bottom of the bag so that you could see it peeking out from under the flap. When placing, be sure to leave enough room underneath and on the sides of the pocket to allow for you to turn it into the bag. (make sure that you place the pocket so that the unfinished part is on the side or bottom so that the little place that is not sewn will get sewn shut) Once it is pinned in place, sew around the sides and bottom of the pocket.
I wanted my pocket to have two sections so I also sewed a line vertically down the middle of the pocket to separate it into two sections. The back of it looked like this-

Step 4: Take 2 of the 15x20 inch pieces (main fabric), and put them right sides together. (make sure that one of them is the one that you sewed the pocket onto) Pin and sew around 3 of the edges (leaving one of the 20 inch sides unsewn).

Step 5: Create box corners. If you need a good tutorial on how to do this- click here.

Turn the bag right side out. The corners should look like this.

Step 6: Take 2 of the 15x20 inch pieces of the coordinating fabric and pin them right sides together and sew around 3 edges, and then create box corners as well. Once done with this step you do not need to turn the bag right side out. 

Step 7: Create the flap. Take the remaining 15x20 inch pieces of fabric (you should have one of the main fabrics and one of the coordinating fabrics) Put them right side together and sew around 3 of the edges, leaving the top (20 inch side) unsewn. Turn right side out, press,  and sew along the 3 edges to give it more of a finished look.

Step 8: Create the handle. Take the 5x44 inch piece of main fabric and fold and press it in half, and then open up and fold edges into the center and press. Once the edges are in the center, fold back over. All of the raw edges should now be tucked into the inside and you should have a strap that is the thickness of 4 pieces of fabric.

 Step 9: Sew along both edges of the strap.
Step 10: Take the piece of coordinating fabric that is 6x11 inches and iron the fusible fleece onto it. Then fold the edges in 1/4 inch on both sides that are 11 inches long and sew. 
 Step 11: Fold in half and press, and then open up and fold the edges in and press them towards the center (exactly like you did with the strap). Once it is folded back up, measure and sew along the edges on each side. Be sure to leave a space in the center that is 1 1/2 inches wide so that you can slide the strap through. (when sewing this part, my machine had a heck of a time getting through the 4 thicknesses of fusible fleece and fabric, so I ended up having to put a new sharp needle in to make it work. Once there was a new needle in- it sewed like a charm)
 When it is finished and the strap is through it, it should look like this.
Step 12: Put your liner bag into the main bag and tuck the top unfinished edges into the bag between the outside bag and liner. Pin in place all the way around except the back top edge of the bag. Slide the flap in between the liner and outside bag and pin in place evenly.

Next you will need your d rings. These are the kind I used. I got them at a cute little sewing shop near my house, but Joann's carries the plain silver or gold kind too. Make sure you get the 1 1/4 inch ones.
Step 13: Take your 6 inch piece of poly pro belting and cut it in half so you have two 3 inch pieces. Take each piece and slide a d ring on each one.
Step 14: Take your piece of belting with the d ring on it and pin one on each side of the bag.
Step 14: Sew all the way around the top of the bag. (Again- this will be tricky at parts since it is so thick- if you machine has a hard time, try putting in a new sharp needle)

Step 15: Now it is time to sew the handle to the bag. Slide the handle into the d ring on one side and fold the unfinished edge over 1/4 inch and then up an inch or 2 and sew to the handle. I sewed 3 lines to make sure it was secure. Then repeat with the other side. Make sure that when you do the other side that the handle is not twisted at all. 

Now you are done! Enjoy!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ta-Da Tuesday Link Party #18

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!! 
For those of you that showed up last Tuesday to link up and found that there wasn't a party up and running- I am so sorry! I was out of town and out of reach of wifi and wasn't able to get it up in time, so we are scratching last week's party and starting new this week! 
Can't wait to see what ya'll have been up to!


I would love for you to:
1. Become a follower of Mommy by day... Crafter by night and or like us on FB.
2. Link back to my blog, or put the Ta-Da Tuesday Button anywhere on your blog to share the link party love!

Please remember to link to a specific post, and no links to giveaways or etsy shops. Thanks!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Stocking Tutorial

Supplies needed:
3-5 different fabrics for outside(if you have scraps leftover from other projects, this is the perfect time to use them since you don't need much for each piece of the front side)
fabric for back piece and liner
fusible fleece
4-6 inches of ribbon
(yardage for fabric and fusible fleece depend on how big your stocking are)

Step 1: Trace or freehand a stocking onto paper. (if you are tracing, be sure to add a little for seam allowances)
 Step 2: Cut your stocking pattern into the design you would like. I cut 4 pieces, but you could do more or less pieces! It's up to you:)
 Step 3: Cut out your fabric (I used a different fabric for each of my 4 pieces) and then piece together your stocking by putting each piece right side together with the piece that it lines up with. After you are done piecing it together, press open the seams.
Step 5: Lay your stocking onto the fusible fleece and cut out a piece exactly the size of your stocking. (Make sure that when you do this step that you are laying the stocking on the correct side of the fleece so that the fusible side will fuse to the back side of the stocking) Iron the fusible fleece to the back side of the stocking.

Step 6: Now for the quilted part. I just sewed straight lines because I have never quilted anything before, but you could get really creative with this step if you are experienced or braver than I am!:) For mine, I just placed the needle as far to the left side as my machine would allow and then just lined up the right side of my presser foot to the line I previously sewed. Super easy and since it is such a small piece it isn't too hard to get your lines straight! :)
Step 7: Trace the stocking onto a piece of paper to create a pattern for the back of the stocking and the liner pieces.
Step 8: Use the stocking pattern to cut out a piece of fabric for the back of the stocking as well as a piece of fusible fleece. (make sure when you do this step that you have the pattern flipped the right way so your pieces match up and you don't create two fronts instead of a back) Iron the fusible fleece to the back piece. Once the fleece is ironed on, you can quilt the back piece if you would like. (I chose not to just because of time.)
 Step 9: Use pattern and cut out the liner fabric. One front and one back.
Now- if you have ever made a zipper pouch, the rest of the tutorial pretty much follows how you would make a zipper pouch (minus the zipper of course)
 Step 10: Take the front piece of the stocking and the front piece of the liner and put them right sides together and sew along the top of the stocking. When you open it up, it should look like this.
Step 11: Take your piece of ribbon (I used about 4 inches of grosgrain ribbon) and create a loop and sew along the bottom edge of the ribbon to secure it.
 Step 12: Take your back piece of the stocking and the back piece of the liner and put them right sides together, but pin your ribbon loop face down on the liner piece in the corner. (make sure to pin it on the side of the stocking that has the heel on it- not the toe side) Sew along the top edge of the stocking
When you open it up it should look like this.
Step 13: Pin your front and back piece of the stockings opened up right side together. (quilted pieces together right sides together and then liner pieces right sides together.) Sew all the way around the stocking but leave an opening big enough to fit your hand in on the side of the liner pieces. (This will be used to turn the stocking right side out.)
Step 14: Once you have sewn all the way around (except your side opening) turn the stocking right side out and then stitch the side opening closed by tucking the raw edges in and stitching as close to the edge as you can. Then tuck your liner down into the stocking.
That's it! You are done! Ready to hang your homemade quilted stocking over the fireplace- or in a tree if you want a cool picture:)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Guest Post: The Petite Sewist- Pleated Christmas Tree Skirt

Hello, Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night readers!  I am very excited to be here today.   My name is Stephanie, from The Petite Sewist.   A big thank you to, Ashley, for letting me be here today.  My love of sewing has grown out of the desire to wear things that fit me.  Any of you ladies who are not an off-the-rack size understand how frustrating it is to have curves, or the lack of curves, in different places.  I believe that the ill-fitting garment - not the woman - is the problem.  I love to blog about petite-size sewing, style, and home decor.  

Today I am here to share with you my latest Christmas craft, a pleated tree skirt.  My husband and I are newlyweds and we don't have a lot of Christmas decor.  I wanted my tree skirt to be inexpensive, stylish and fun, but still give the main emphasis to the tree.

You will need:
3 7/8 yards muslin fabric
1/6 yard red fabric or 2- 2"x20" strips
4 yards red trim
1 yard red 1/2" double fold bias tape

To draft the pattern you will need:
tracing paper
long ruler

This finished tree skirt radius is 23".  If you want your skirt to be bigger or smaller, you will need to adjust your pattern accordingly. 

To make the tree skirt piece, take your tracing paper and draw a right angle 21.5" tall and 21.5" long.  Now, connect the far edges of the two lines together with a curve.  Each part of the curve needs to be 21.5" distance from the corner.  I did this by lining up my ruler at the corner at 0" and move it at different angles, marking the distance at 21.5" on the paper.

Now, mark another curve, this time 2.5" away from the right angle.  Cut out your pattern.  Discard the 'donut hole'.  Essentially, this is 1/4 of the circle tree skirt. 

To cut out your pattern, first lay out the muslin, folded.  Place your pattern on the fold so the donut hole is facing the fold.  Cut out the outer and inner curved lines but DO NOT cut out the straight line that is perpendicular to the fold line.  Instead, flip the pattern over like a mirror-image and cut on the curved lines again.  Now, holding only the top layer of fabric, cut on the straight line.  

When you unfold your tree skirt, you should have an entire circle with a donut hole, and a slit on one side.  Cut a second tree skirt piece the same way.

Next, cut out your fabric strips.  They will become your pleats.  Place the muslin on the cutting mat and cut strips 5" tall from selvage to selvage (on the crosswise grain).  You will need 6 and 1/2 strips for 42" wide fabric.

Sew the strips, right sides together, into a long chain and press open with iron.
Fold the strip in half, lengthwise, with wrong sides together.  Press.

Mark every 2" along the folded strip. Pinch the fabric at the second line from the right and match it up with the first line. Pin. Continue down the line to the end.

Iron the pleats in place.

Baste the pleat strip together  3/8" inch from raw edge. 

Pin your tree skirt pieces right sides together at the inner circle.  Stitch 1/2" from edge, then clip up to seam allowance around the curve.

Place your pleats between the outer curved edge of the two layers of the tree skirt (which are still right sides together) so that all of the raw edges match up.  As you can see, the pleats are pointing inward.  Stitch all the way around the edge 1/2" from the edge.

Turn your tree skirt right sides out and iron the inner curve flat.  Topstitch the inner curve 1/8" from the edge.  At the outer curve, pull the pleats away from the seam as you iron.
Sew the trim.

Using your rotary cutter, cut 2- 2"x20" strips of red fabric.  I used red twill, leftover from a skirt project.  Using the iron, press the strips in half, lengthwise.  Open them up and fold the edges in 3/8".  This is your binding.

Fit your binding to each of the tree skirt slit edges.  Make sure you fold the edges of the binding in at each edge.  Sew in a 'U', as shown below, to finish all the edges of the binding.

Cut your red bias tape in half.  Fold one edge of each piece inside, about 1/2". 

Stitch near the folded edge, then turn the corner and stitch all the way down to the end.  
Secure the unfinished end to the top of the tree skirt opening: place the unfinished bias tape edge to the top of the bottom side of the tree skirt and sew a square on top.

Place your finished tree skirt around the tree and secure with ties at the base.  Stand back and admire your hard work!

I would love it if you stopped by The Petite Sewist to say 'hello' and let me know if you make your own version of my tree skirt.
Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy!