Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TUTORIAL: Zippered Pouch with Corners

The only way to learn something new in sewing is to try it, right? You should face that new skill head on, get out those scraps of fabric that don't mean anything and just give it a shot, right? Well last week I decided enough is enough! I'm not going to let a little zippered pouch scare me. I have sewn zippers into dresses and into skirts but that was about it. I had never tried making a zippered pouch before, so I started looking up tutorials that had TONS of pictures and then just went for it And guess what? It worked!

Since it was such an awesome feeling to use a zipper and make something for myself besides clothing, I wanted to share this tutorial with you all. You can do it, too! I've included tons of pictures for you. Try it out! Email me if you get stuck. I'm always happy to help.


The Zippered Pouch
(with boxed corner)

1. Gather materials: fabric, iron, pins, scissors, thread, sewing machine and a 9 inch zipper

2. Lay out your zipper and measure it from end to end. Mine was 10 and a half inches in length.

3. Cut out 2 pieces of your main fabric that measure: 9 inches long x 10.5 inches wide

4. Cut out 2 pices of your lining fabric that measure 9 inches long x 10.5 inches wide

 5. Lay one main fabric piece right side up. Place the zipper right side down along the top edge.

 6. Lay your lining fabric right side down on top of the fabric and zipper. Line up the top edge carefully. Pin.

7. Get your zipper foot ready.

 9. Sew along the top, pinned edge of your fabric. Keep the zipper foot as close to you can to the zipper's teeth. It should guide you along the way as you sew.

Open it up and check it out!

10. Lay down your other main piece of fabric right side up.

11. Place your sewn piece on top of it right side down. Line up the zipper to the top edge.

12. Lay your lining on top of all three layers. Line up the top edge and pin along the top edge. Make sure the zipper is lined up evenly in there.

13. Sew along the top, pinned edge again.

14. Spread out your layers and press with an iron. And it's okay to freak out a little because you just sewed a zipper! Woohoo!!!
 15. Topstitch on each side of the zipper.

16. Open your zipper a little more than halfway.

17. You will separate the four layers of fabric and match the main fabric right sides together and the lining fabrics right sides together and pin around the entire edge.

 18.  You will sew around the entire edge of your zippered pouch using a 5/8 inch seam allowance, but STOP SEWING 5 inches before your starting point. This will allow you to turn it inside out easily. **HINT: Start on the lining side when you sew.

**Just showing you the hole for turning.
19. Reach in and turn your zippered pouch inside out until it looks like this below:

 20. Use your iron to turn in the edge of the hole you previously left open. Sew along this open edge to close the hole.
 21. Push your lining inside your zippered pouch and SQUEAL with excitement!!! You did it!

Don't you LOVE the zipper!?!

Yep, you did that! Pat yourself on the back!

Want to give it some boxed corners so it can have more shape?
Go for it!

1. Turn your entire zippered pouch inside out.
 2. Lining up the side seam with the bottom seam, spread out your corner until it forms a triangle. I put two fingers inside the pouch and spread out my fabric carefully, then pin. Do this for both corners.

3. Sew one inch away from the corner. This gives your triangle a base.  Repeat for other corner.

 4. Turn it right side out again and check it out! Corners!!

5. Load that bag up with makeup, toiletries, some sewing name it...and you're ready to go! You can even make them as gifts, monogram them, make them for your kid's art supplies...the possibilities truly are endless.

I'd love to hear about it if you make one! If you send me a picture I might even post it on our Facebook page. I LOVE seeing what you make!

Happy Sewing, ladies!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Chevron Sundress Tutorial

Today I'm guest posting on the blog Melly Sews for her 30 Days of Sundresses Series. If you want to know how to sew this chevron sundress for yourself, CLICK HERE and learn how!

If you have some fabric, some elastic and a free afternoon, you could make this dress and wear it out tonight! What's stopping you, ladies? You know you want to! (Oh and what I'm excited about sewing next is for my little girl. I have some leftover chevron fabric that would be ADORABLE as a pillowcase dress with some red shoulder ties and some ruffle butt bloomers.) That's definitely on my to-do list! It would be a cute 4th of July outfit!

What are you sewing for the 4th of July?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

TUTORIAL: Beach Backpack / Drawstring Tote

TUTORIAL: The Beach Backpack

Now that Summertime is here, do you find yourself wishing you had a new beach bag? Between swimming lessons, pool parties and a beach trip coming up, I knew that I had to make a "wet bag" for the kids' swimsuits. I had not heard of a wet bag until I saw a mom putting her kids' wet swimsuits into a special waterproof bag. GENIUS, I thought! And clearly, I am the slow one because these have been around. I ran to the fabric store and bought some laminated cotton fabric by Michael Miller. I purchased mine at Crafty Shack of Louisiana fabric shop (CLICK HERE).  Looking at it, it just screams BOY, so I knew I had to make it for my son, since he's been begging me to make something for him.

Once I figured out what I wanted to make I started thinking about a design. I looked around and saw a few zippered wetbags, strapped wet bags and drawstring totes, but the designer mind of mine had to think of something I hadn't seen. My son has been enjoying carrying around a backpack to and from summer camp and I wanted it to be simple enough for him to open and close, but more exciting than just a bag. So I came up with The Beach Backpack  - a drawstring wetbag!

Tips: Sewing with laminated cotton was a little tricky, but don't let that stop you.

1. Place painter's tape on the bottom of your presser foot to help it guide across the fabric since it tends to be "sticky".
2. You can also put sewing machine oil on the bottom of your presser foot, then wipe it off the fabric after sewing.
3. Use a LONG stitch length. Mine was a 4.0 in length.
4. Practice on a scrap first.

Wet Bag Tutorial: The Beach Backpack (with a drawstring)

1. Gather Materials:

half yard laminated cotton fabric
straight edge, scissors, sewing machine, thread, pins
2 (20 inch) straps
45 inches grosgrain ribbon (or cording if you prefer)
strip of painters tape *OR* sewing machine oil

2. Cut out a piece of fabric 18 inches long x 18 inches wide
3. Fold down a 1 inch hem and pin on both pieces.  (This will be the TOP of the bag.)

4. Apply painter's tape on the bottom of your presser foot. (Or oil the presser foot with sewing machine oil.)

5. Using a long stitch length (mine was set at 4.0) sew along your pinned edges using a 1 inch seam allowance. Remove pins as you sew. You may have to "pull" the fabric gently as you sew.

6. Place each strap 2 inches below the top edge and 6 inches in from the left and right sides. Pin each strap at the top and bottom.
 7. Sew on your straps. I sewed a rectange to stabilize it. You could also sew an X that touches all corners of the rectangles more more reinforcement. Use a thread that matches your strap. I used white to show you.
**Make sure you use coordinating thread. I'm just doing this as an example.

9. Place both pieces of fabric right sides together and pin. Make sure your straps are sandwiched between the layers and not pinned along the bottom edge of the bag.

10. Starting at the bottom of your 1 inch hem sew your bag on along both sides and across the bottom. Leave the top, hemmed edge open. Do not sew your one inch hem that you previously folded, since that is going to be your drawstring casing. (In the picture I am pointing to another sewn line, which I then do as I say, not as I am doing. Hahah!!) :) Sorry for the confusion!

*Do you see the pen marks on my cutting board? My little girl likes to draw on it when I'm not looking! :)

11. Turn your backpack inside out.

 12. Insert a safety pin onto the end of your ribbon or drawstring cording. Insert it through the top casing on the front of the bag that you left open until it comes out the other end. Then insert it into the other casing on the back side of the bag until it comes out the other end. **You are making a loop of your ribbon.

13. Tie the end in a knot.

14. Bunch it up and fill it with things for the beach, the pool, swimming lessons or just to have plain old fun!
I hope you enjoy this!
Happy Summer and Happy Sewing!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Miss Mod Top sewing pattern for Women

Here are some pictures of our Miss Mod Top sewing pattern in various fabrics. I just sewed the purple one (top picture) this morning and am IN LOVE with this fabric! The fabric is from The Crafty Shack of Louisiana fabric shop and is a Jennifer Paganelli design. Her use of bold and bright colors just catch my eye as soon as I walk into the fabric store.

This fabric was made to be The Miss Mod Top!
You can get the pattern here:
All patterns are now INSTANT download.

Fabric: 100% cotton 

 Fabric: 100% polyester (very tricky to sew with in my opinion, but I like how it drapes)
Fabric: 100% cotton

I'm off to sew some beach bag totes and will be sure to post about them!
Happy Summer Sewing!