Wednesday, June 24, 2009

tote bag


Lauren and I actually started working on these last Christmas. Again, I had a basic pattern but ended up not liking the results so she and my mom helped create this version. Over Christmas break we made at least 10 in a variety of colors (yellow, green, red, blue). I have loved them. I use the tote to carry just about anything - baby supplies (diapers/wipes), toys, snacks, books etc. To make the tote a little more unique and fun, I added an applique to the front (watch for a future tutorial on how to use your QuicKutz Silhouette, vinyl and digital design to easily make applique patterns.) Be sure to make a comment here for a chance to win one of 4 items including this tote!

What you'll need:
- canvas
- lining fabric
- coordinating thread
- sewing machine
- appliques

Step 1: Cut out a 14 1/2" x 25 1/2" rectangle from the outer fabric and lining fabric. Also, cut 2 8" x 17" strips for the handles.

Step 2: Fold the rectangle in half and sew along the sides. Do this with both the inner and outer fabric, however, with the lining fabric, leave a 4" gap in the middle of a side seam.

Step 3: Flatten the corners and mark where it is 4" across. Sew across this line and cut off the excess. Set aside the lining for later.

Step 4: Turn right side out and iron the sides of the bag starting from the corners made. Once all are ironed, topstitch each side and bottom crease.

Step 5: Create handles: Iron the strips in half then re-open. Fold each side into the center crease and iron. Fold and in half and press. Topstitch both sides of the handle. Repeat with second strip.

Step 6: Attach handles: From the outer edge measure in 2" and attach one end of the handle. Do the same on the other side. Repeat with second handle.

Step 7: Attach lining. Turn lining inside out and place outer bag inside of lining. Pin around upper edges and sew in place.

Step 8: Turn bag right side out through the hole in the lining. Topstitch the lining to close the hole.

Step 9: Topstitch the upper edge of bag.

Step 10: Add embellishments such as embroidery or an applique to make your bag your own!

diaper clutch

A diaper clutch was the one project I knew I wanted to create with Lauren.  We tried 2 versions (diaper clutch 1 and diaper clutch 2 below) before designing our own pattern (diaper clutch 3).  Then with our design, we created two versions: a simple clutch to hold a diaper wipe case and a few diapers as well as a clutch that also folds out into a changing pad.  Be sure to leave a comment here to be eligible to win the simple diaper clutch shown above!

Diaper Clutch 1:

For this clutch, I used the pattern found on Make It and Love It.  After making it, I thought it was a little too big. I wanted the diapers and wipes to fit snugly into the case.  Next time I would make it slightly smaller.

Diaper Clutch 2:

The idea for this clutch cam from Melissa Esplin's blog.  She used a business card pattern from Martha Stewart and made it bigger.  The business card project was actually an idea I posted several months ago so I loved her twist on the idea.  After making it, I felt it was too small.  I will definitely try making this clutch again.

Diaper Clutch 3:

After making the first two, we decided to come up with our own pattern.  We created two versions.  This tutorial features the simple clutch that fits a diaper wipe case and a few diapers.  To create the changing pad version, simply add enough length so the flap can wrap around once before closing.

What you'll need:
- faux leather (or an outer material)
- lining fabric
- magnetic clasp
- thread
- sewing machine

Step 1:  From your leather and lining fabric, cut 12" x 18" pieces.  From these, mark on the sides 4" down from the top and also the center point of the upper edge.  Draw a line from the side marks to the center point then cut.  This will create the "V" shape for the flap.

Step 2:  Attach magnets:  One will be placed 1 1/2" down from top of lining fabric and the other 3" up from the bottom of lining fabric.  Take what you have left of your leather and cut a one inch strip for top magnet.  Sew across top and bottom of strip securing the magnet into place.  For the bottom magnet, use about a 1 1/2" x 2" square and sew around edges to secure magnet.  You can adjust these measurements based on the type and size of magnet that you are using.

Step 3:  With right sides together, sew a 5/8" seam leaving approx. 4" at the bottom edge.  Clip the corners and turn right side out.  Topstitch the entire bottom edge to close hole. 

Step 4:  Pin the bottom edge up 6" then topstitch around entire clutch.  

Step 5:  Fill with wipes and approx. 2 diapers, close tight and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

1/2 pleated skirt

The skirt featured here is a result of not enough fabric (what originally started out as a pleated skirt turned into the 1/2 pleated skirt).  However, we loved the result and kept making more.  The skirt features an elastic waistband with fabric sash and a flat front with pleated back.  It looks especially cute on little baby girls. To win this pink 1/2 pleated skirt for a baby girl, make a comment here.

Versatility is a great aspect of this skirt patten.  The first skirt Lauren made she layered strips of fabric to create more interest and dimension.  The flat front design also creates a place to add appliques or embroidery.  You can really customize the basic pattern to a variety of looks and styles.


Here's what you need:
- fabric
- thread
- elastic
- sewing machine
- iron

Here's how to create the skirt:

Step 1: Cut a rectangle piece of fabric to the desired dimensions. Dimensions for the skirt can be determined based on the desired end size.  

To determine dimensions for your skirt:
Length: measure desired length from waist add 4" 
Width: measure waist multiply by 2 then add 2"-4" (I added 2" to the 0-3 months size and 4" to the 3T size).

Step 2:  Take the rectangle piece of fabric and fold it in half - right sides together .  Sew down the side seam.

Step 3:  Create hem: Measure 1/2" from bottom edge fold and press.  Fold the edge up once more 1/2" and press.  Sew 1/8" from the hem edge.

Step 4:  Create pleats:  Take your child's waist measurement, divide it in half, and then place pins in the very front of the skirt this distance apart.  This will be the area of the skirt that will not have the pleats.  Begin on one of the marked pins and start ironing 1/2" pleats until you reach the other pin.  Once the pleats are complete, stay stitch the upper edge of the skirt to keep the pleats in place.

Step 5:  Create waistband:  Iron the upper edge down 1 1/2".  This is to help put the elastic in.  Sew your elastic together making it a complete circle.  Slide the elastic underneath the pressed fabric and then fold down once more.  Take time to pin the elastic into place and to make sure that the pleats stay in place.  This part may take some time but it will be worth it!  Once you have completely pinned the elastic into place,  sew around the bottom edge of the fold with your sewing machine set to a stitch line of approx. 4.  

Step 6:  Create sash: For the sash, you can either use ribbon, or make your own from coordinating fabric.  Once you have your sash, stitch it to the back and sides of the skirt.

Monday, June 22, 2009

aunt lauren giveaway

Elle (as a chubby baby), Lauren and I at her volleyball game last year.

I've been lucky to have my sister Lauren live with me for the past month. Unfortunately, she leaves this week to go back to school. I keep trying to convince her to stay, but it's time for her to go back to her life as a volleyball player at Auburn University in Alabama and student studying fashion design.   It has been so nice and fun to have her here with us.  I'm pretty sure Elle is going to go into a deep depression when she's gone.  Her Aunt Lauren has been her sidekick (or slave as my Dad says).

Lauren has a great talent for sewing.  She can make just about anything and creates and designs patterns on her own.  She's also very artistic.  We've had a lot of fun coming up with ideas and creating them.  To celebrate Lauren's last week with me, I'm featuring 4 of the projects we've created together on the blog this week:

Tuesday:  1/2 pleated skirt

Wednesday:  diaper clutch

Thursday: tote bag

Friday: paper doll coloring book

Watch for tips and tricks, patterns, downloads and photos on each of the projects.  In addition, I'm giving away one of each of the projects!  Just leave a comment on this post and at the end of the week, I'll randomly select 4 winners.  You don't want to miss out!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

happy father's day

Remember how I thought it would be fun to make a tie that matched outfits for Elle and Liv?  Well, it pays to have your sister (a fashion design major at Auburn) living with you.  We made a tie, two skirts and an applique/embroidery onesie yesterday as a gift for Adam.  I thought it would be fun to get some pictures of him with his girls on Father's Day.  Unfortunately, the picture taking didn't go so well (the one below is the only one with Elle smiling and looking at the camera - she looks like she is choking Liv in at least 1/2 of them).  I also made a card to coordinate.

The card is letterpressed with QuicKutz die cuts embellished with Glossy Accents.

father's day toolbox

I attempted to make this tiny toolbox on Alpha Mom as a gift card enclosure for Adam for Father's Day.  I bought Altoid tins and even painted them red.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find the handle (metal eye straps) anywhere.  I even sent Adam looking for them using the excuse I needed them for a work project.  I still think it is such a cute project, and I'll keep looking for the handles or buy them online.