Sunday, 28 October 2012

Pouch with measuring tape closure

That's right.. This nifty little pouch is kept closed with a couple pieces of metal measuring tape.

uses this

I can't remember where I read about this a while back, but I was intrigued and tried it out then.   Very quick and easy to make.. I hammered out a few to hold some of my son's little toys.  I didn't bother with a lining.  The opening snaps closed with a nice little click.  This one holds 9 wooden robots about 5" tall.

 Here are the quick steps to make one.

Cut 2 pieces of fabric that will make up the front and back of your pouch.  Make them about 1.5" taller than you want the final pouch.

Open up the casing of the measuring tape, be careful, you don't want the entire roll of tape to unwind.   I use a rubber band to keep it together.

Cut 2 pieces a bit smaller than the width of your fabric. About 1/2" less, if you use 1/4" seam allowance.

Curve the ends of the measure tape pieces to avoid corners poking through fabric. Again, be careful of the pieces of metal you cut off, they can be sharp.

Sew a casing on the top of the fabric that would fit the measuring tape.  I usually will fold in the raw edges so it looks a bit neater.

Insert the measuring tape in each casing with the concave (or number) side in the direction of what will be the inside of the pouch.

Put the two pieces of fabric, with tape inserted, right sides together.  Sew down a side, across the bottom and up the other side, making sure not to sew over the measuring tape.

Clip the corners and turn right side out.  It feels a bit awkward to turn over the tape but it will flip over.

 And that's it.   Fill 'er up:

This is filled with little plastic cars.  I could hold it upside down and give it some good shakes and the opening remained tightly shut.

If you're going to use it for heavier things, just double up the measure tape for more strength at the opening.

Pretty cool, how it snaps closed huh? No?  Guess I'm easily impressed. :) 

Linking up to parties on my Party Page

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Wacky Hat

I made this hat back in July. My son's school had "Wacky Hat Day". He loves the colours orange and yellow and recently got obessessed with the movie Cars.  I thought I would share as it goes with the current halloween season full of carmel corn goodness. It's bit crushed from being thrown in the back of the closet.

It was very simple to make..

After measuring his head I cut a circle for the top and two rings for the bottom with the hole the same circumference.

Sew the two rings together along the outer circle, right sides together.  Clip seam and turn right side, press

Cut 3 strips of orange, white and yellow flannel where the length was equal to the circumference of the top circle plus seam allowance.  Sewed the strips together to get a recangle. 

Ironed on some double sided heat and bond (photo below) to my Cars fabric. (I actually used recieving blankets that had traffic signs).  Cut the shapes out and then fused again to the retangular piece. 

I used some heavy weight iron fusible interfacing on the back of the rectangle and then sewed the short ends together to make a column. 

Sewed the column to the circle  and then to the inside part of the ring.

My sewing was no where near pefect but it was good enough for a day at school.. My soon loooooved it and refused to take it off..

And here's one more shot (taken by my son) with a model:

ETA I woke the day after I posted realizing I forgot a few details.  I have modified my post a bit, but here is a tutorial for much better steps.  I didn't use it, but basically the same thing.

Aaand my Diaper Bag with removable clutch was featured

I love Mine for the Making's Thursday linky party as it's focus is fashion items. Check it out.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Linking up and Feature

Quick post to share a newer linky party over at Sew at Home Mummy. Check it out, she has a great tip on a very useful sewing notion up. And browse around for some other great tips she's posted before.

Also, so excited that my diaper bag was featured at Our Delightful Home!
Our Delightful Home

A few favourite bag features

So I think it's established that I like making purses. I also like buying purses as many other ladies do. However my collection is modest. There are certain types of bags that I'm drawn to, here are a few.

Shape wise I like the bowling bag shape and have for a while now. Like this shape:

See I like it so much I made it part of my logo

I have bought a couple bags with this shape and have also made a few:

Created my own pattern for this based on a store bought bagOut of print McCalls pattern 3136
I am sure I'll be making more of this style.  I am still trying to figure out the best way to do the bottom corners of this style.

The other thing that catches my eye in a bag is quilted material.  I really like Lug bags, for many reasons, one is their use of quilted fabric.   I have this bag in two sizes.  Notice the shape is similiar to a bowling bag.

Lug Puddlejumper
Everytime I see a quilted fabric, I try and imagine if/how it can become a bag.  (And some of that fabric has made it's way into my stash.)

The third thing I love in a bag is compartments.  Not just pockets, but when the bag's exterior is divided into sections.  Like this one.

Nine West bag with 3 compartments
I'm hoping to figure out how to make some variation of this.. maybe with a quilted material and bowling bag shape.. or maybe not..

Saturday, 20 October 2012


As I near one month of blogging, I realize what a timesuck a blog can be. Yesterday my plan was to do some housekeeping after work (I work very flexible part-time hours).

What did I do you ask?

 I re-organized my Finished Project page (thanks to a suggestion from the lovely voice behind Sew Fearless ). 

Then I setup a Facebook page and added some links from the blog to it.

I also registered and setup the domain name!

Somewhere  between there my son and I made some orange chocolate patties (Sidetrack - supposed to be mint chocoalate patties, but I only had orange extract).

Both  the Facebook and domain name setup took quite a bit of time as I had google and research how to do certain things.  So yeah, housework was neglected.  Ah well, I'll catch up next week.. hopefully.. I have a feeling halloween costumes will take priority.

And I'm still figuring out this Facebook thing.  I really created the facebook page so I can use that to "like" other blogs instead of using my personal profile.  I'll probably share my posts on the page, but I've noticed the excerpt it takes is from the comments.  So I've got to figure out the fix for that... after I wrap my head around how to convert a metre of orange fleece into this guy..

Dinosaur Train - InterAction Buddy

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Purse Hardware

While hardware isn't always necessary in a bag, it can add to the look and sometimes function of a bag. Here some items I use.

Rings - These come in a varierty of shapes. O rings, D rings, retangular rings.  Here's what I have in my "tool"  box right now.  Ah, looks like I'm out of O rings..

They have various uses. One common use would be as part of strap attachment as in the left photo below. I usually like O rings or oval rings for this. 

The rings can placed so that removable pieces can be clipped onto them. i.e.  a removable strap or keychain.  When I have a removable strap, I attach two small D-rings to either side of the bag.  The straps will have a clasp that clips on to them.

Sliders - This rings are used to give make your strap adjustable.  One side of your strap needs to be threaded through a plain rectangular ring (or any ring), so usually you'll see sliders sold with a matchining ring. I keep 1" and 1.5" sets, if a bag is bigger I'll use make a wider strap and need wider rings.

Clips/clasps/snap hooks - These are used to make removable straps. The small ones can be used for keychains or wristlet straps, while the large ones can be used for wider straps. 

Zippers - These are extremely handy to have on hand when making bags,  They can be used for bag closures or for pockets.  I have some long pull zippers where the zipper is a bit wider and pull is larger making it easier to grab.  I have zippers in various sizes, but a zipper can be shortened easily by sewing across the teeth at the length you want

Long pull zipper on the left, it is wider and has a much bigger pull
Magnetic snaps - easy closure to install. I have two kinds - one with prongs that you insert through a slit in your fabric and then bend the prongs. The other is a hidden version where the magnets are encased in a plastic casing which you sew between between your lining and exterior. I haven't had a need for the hidden ones yet, but have a few in my stash.   Magnetic snaps come in different sizes and strengths so consider your fabric when choosing.  Too strong a magnet can pull at fabric and tear.

Magnetic snaps

Snaps - ok, I'm scared of snaps.. Last time I tried to install them I messed up and the snap was not functional and couldn't be removed.  So practice installing these before applying to your project. I have since purchased a snap plier, but still need to try it out. 

Heavey duty snaps on left, normal snaps on right.
Bag feet are just a nice finishing touch to a bag. These ones are so easy to  install with bendable prongs.

Rivets are my new favourite hardware.  They are a nice cosmetic touch but also can add some strength to your strap attachments. The ones I have are double cap so they have a finished cap on both sides and are easy to install.    Just snap the two pieces together and them give a quick hammer using a special anvil.  Other rivets have only one finished end, so typically they would be used where the unfinsihed end would be hidden.  You can go through rivets quickly, so I have bought packs of 100.  Rivets come in different sizes. When using rivets make sure you use the right size to get the best fit that will hold your fabric together.

Grommets/Eyelets - another item I haven't used but am looking forward to trying them.  They come in different sizes.   The small ones can be uses as a decorative embellisment, or they can be a way of hooking a strap clip onto the bag.  In the picture below the large ones have prongs that bend for installation. The small ones need to be installed with a the corresponding tools.

So that's the hardware I have in my stash..  There's so much more out there.  Different finishes, metals etc. .I really like the flat rings but need to deplete my inventory before purchasing more.  (Or so I say :) )  I buy most of my hardware online as it's substanially more expensive at the local craft and fabric stores.  Many times hardware is optional, but they do add a nice touch to the finished product.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Bucket for Scraps

I don't know about you, but when I sew things can get a little bit messy.. Threads and pieces of cut material end up all over the place. What better to contain the mess, than a fabric container..


This little bucket sits on my table as I cut, sew and snip. All my little scraps go in there.  Easy and fun to sew up, I followed this tutorial. 

Just a little tip for:

 Sew at Home Mummy

Friday, 12 October 2012

Tutorial - zipper closure

I wanted a zipper closure for the diaper bag I just made.   Specifically I wanted it sitting at the top of the bag (as opposed to a recessed zipper which sits a inch or two inside the bag) and attached to only the long sides of the bag.  Ie like this:

I thought I would do a tutorial on how I did this so took pictures along the way.  One of my main concerns was thickness when sewing the exterior and lining together since I used vinyl on exterior, so my method was based on having the fewest layers possible.

Now I think this would work with any bag contruction where you contruct the exterior and lining seperately so I'm not going to detail how my bag was constructed.   Before you build your exterior, fold down and press your seam allowance on the top edge of the bag.  (The part where you'd usually sew your lining and exterior together). Then construct your exterior as normal.

Don't cut your lining fabric yet as we will modify the pattern a bit.  You will need a zipper that is a few inches longer than the width of your bag.

We'll start by cutting out the fabric for the zipper panels, ie the two pieces of exterior fabric that are attached to the zipper.  The length of the two strips should be the length of  the front of the bag plus seam allowance.  The other side of the strip was about 1/2 the width of the bag gusset PLUS another 2 inches.  By bag was 18" wide with a gusset of 7", so my two strips were 19"x 5.5" (I was using 1/2" seam allowance).    Cut these strips and put aside.  If you are wondering the zipper will be attached directly to the lining, so that's why we are only cutting exterior fabric.

Let's get the zipper ready.  Cut a piece of fabric that is 2" inches by 4 ". 

I used a 22" zipper
Fold the strip of fabric right sides together and sew along the two long sides, keep the short end open. Turn right side out

Pin to the end of the zip with the open end at the zipper end, sew across the zipper
Flip the piece of fabric over the seam you just did, hiding the raw edge, sew across again.

You should now have something like this, put aside.

Now for your lining.  When cutting your lining fabric, make your front and back pieces taller by half the width of your gusset + seam allowance.  So in my case I made the front and the back taller by 4 inches since my gusset was 7" and my seam allowance was 1/2".  And this is only for the front and back, keep your gusset piece the orginal size. Assemble the lining as usual.  You don't need to keep a hole in the lining for turning over.  When done you shold have something that looks like this.

Lining assembled, front and back is longer that the sides or gusset. (The white is interfacing as I was trying to stiffen up the bag a bit, I didn't interface the top part of the bag because the exterior had a vinyl collar on top)
Lining assembled - front and back with extra fabric folded over
Now we will sew the lining, zipper and zipper panels together.  This is very similiar to sewing the zipper in a lined zipper pouch so if you have done that, you'll find this easy peasey..

Take your lining right side up, place your zipper right side up on that, and  then place your zipper panel right side down. All top edges should be lined up, your zipper tail hanging at the end.  Fold back the seam allowance of the short edges (the edges perpindicular to the zipper) of your panel and your lining.

lining, zipper, fabric panel
Lined up at top, end tail of zipper hanging out, edges folded over
  Sew along the zipper with your zipper foot, catching the folded ends.
Sewing along the zipper who is hiding under.
 Flip the fabric wrong side together and then sew down the the folded edge of your panel and lining  (perpindicular to the zipper)

Pin the two pieces of fabric together and top stitch  along the zipper to keep fabric in place.  This will make sure the lining doesn't get caught in the zipper.  (As an aside, as mentioned I don't use pins much anymore but in this case, clips won't help in keeping the middle fabric together, so I used pins.. and I pricked myself.. twice, once of each side of the bag.. )

Pin and topstitch
Now do the same for the other side.. When down you should have something that looks like this.

Nearly done now! Just need to put the lining and the exterior together.  Take your exterior which shold have the top seam allowance pressed down.   My edge was vinyl, so I used a glue to hold the seam allowance down
Exterior with seam allowance turned down.

Place the lining inside the exteror. Your zipper panels should start and end where your gussets begin. If you are putting handles between the lining and exterior do so now. Neaten so the zipper panels are even and edges tucked in.  I used clips where I could. Since I had no edge along the zipper panel for the clips I used double sided tape to hold in place. I taped below the folded seam allowance so I didn't have to sew through the tape.  (Pins wouldn't work as it would leave holes in the vinyl.)

Pin and sew around the exterior's top edge. Make sure you keep close to the edge, so you catch the folded seam allowance. In my case I sewed across the top edge of the white band. 

And... that's it!  I'm sure there are different and better ways of doing it, but this worked for me with just four layers (exterior, exterior seam allowance, zipper panel, lining) when sewing the exterior and lining together.   With the vinyl I was already have a few issues sewing this, so even one more layer may have caused major problems. 
  Hope it can be helpful to others!
Linking up to these parties

You might like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...