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Friday, July 31, 2015

Making Mesh Pockets

I've become a big fan of mesh pockets in my totes and purses. I like them because I can see the contents of the pocket; oh, and they are really easy to make!

All you need is some mesh. I checked out JoAnn Fabrics and found some tulle. I don't particularly care for it, so I've stuck with my go-to: laundry bags! I purchased pop-up hampers from Big Lots and recently discovered these from Target. I like the ones from Target because they are big (36" x 24"), so they work perfectly for my bigger sewing projects.

Here's what you need to do:

1. Cut your pocket to the correct size. My pocket sides and bottom are sewn into the seams, so think about that. You might have to put the binding all the way around.

2. Cut and make binding. I have a tutorial if you've never made it. I prefer my method because one side is wider than the other. This should be the length of your pocket (or whatever won't be sewn into the seams).

3. Place the narrow side of the binding on top of the mesh as shown. Line up along the edges. This will be the back of the pocket.

4. Sew in the fold. I use a walking foot - it feeds more evenly.

I don't pin. I just go slowly, making sure that the edges stay lined up.

 (if you need to, sew binding where it's needed).


5. Flip over and wrap binding over to the other side (this will be the front.)

6. Sew the binding to the mesh as shown. 

7.  Attach the pocket. Sew dividers as desired!

You could make this zippered if you wanted!

Here it is!

You can purchase the pattern for this purse insert on Craftsy and Etsy.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Java Jacket: Free Pattern

I'm more of a make-your-coffee-at-home kind'a gal, but I have friends who swear by coffee shop coffee. So this one is for all of you...


2 -- 6” x 13” fabric (front/back)
1 -- 6” x 13” fusible fleece
1 -- 3½” piece hook and loop tape

Get PATTERN here. (Don't "fit" it when you print - either print Actual Size or Scale 100%). Cut pattern out. You might want to transfer the markings to cardboard - it's easier to trace. 

Here we go...

1. Fuse fusible fleece to back of front piece  (following manufacturer's directions).


2. Using pattern, cut out front and back pieces.

3.  With RST, line up along bottom (shorter edge). Using a 1/4" seam, sew together.


4. Line up other side (creating a tube). Using a 1/4" seam, sew together.

5. At one shorter end, flatten fabric as shown. Try to keep it evenly distributed.

6. Using a 1/4" seam, sew this closed.

7. Repeat for the other side..EXCEPT... leave a 2" opening.


8. Turn right side out and press flat.


9. At opening, tuck in the excess fabric and press flat.


10. Sew around the perimeter of the Java Jacket, staying close to the edge. You will sew the opening closed.

Here it is!

11. Sew one side of hook and loop tape to the back. Keep it close to the end!

12. Flip it to the front. Sew other piece of hook and loop tape to the front. Note the placement! It's about 1" from the end at the top and about 1/2" at the bottom.

If you are unsure about the circumference of the cup, wrap the Java Jacket around the cup and, using a fabric marker, draw a line at the end. 

Does your favorite coffee drinker use a loyalty card? Why not add a pocket!?

Jazz it up with a machine embroidery designs. Just head to Embroideries and search "COFFEE" - some are free, most are really inexpensive.

And here's a free pattern for an easy-to-make round zippered pouch. No, you don't have to cut circles!!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Stretchy T-Shirt Headband: Free Pattern

OK, I have short headbands and me really don't go together. But I do wear one to work out. The only problem is that some are too tight or they slide off my head. So I went online and looked around for free patterns and didn't find anything that I really liked. I ended up borrowing from Kraftie Katie and from someone else (a pattern that I saw online about six years ago...that I can't find). Here's what I ended up with:

-- 1/3 yard of knit fabric: Something like a t-shirt! I used a heavier knit and one from a shirt that I made.
-- 1 hair bands like these 

About knits...they stretch in different directions and to different lengths, so test the stretch. My thicker (ribbed) knit was really stretchy. The thinner pink wasn't. They both work fine - one just stretches more when I put it on. Learn more about knits from Tilly and the Buttons.

Here we go:

1. Cut two pieces of fabric 6" x 21" (I measured my head and used that number).

This is the heavier, ribbed knit.

 2. With RST and using a 1/4" seam, sew along the the long ends creating a tube. 

I use my walking foot so the fabric doesn't stretch.

You'll end up with two tubes. 

3. Turn them right side out.

 4. Place them seam side up as shown.

 5.  Make sure the ends look like this.

6. Then fold them like this. The seam should be on the inside.

7. Then fold the ends like this and join them together.

 8. Baste in layers together. It doesn't need to be perfect.

9. Fold over hair band and zig-zag over end - the zig zag will hide your raw edges. 

This was REALLY thick, so I had to change to my regular foot. 

Test out the length. If needed, fold over more.....

10. Make sure the band isn't twisted and then repeat for the other side.

This one is a lot heavier. Slides a bit on my short, straight hair. 

This one is thinner and works better for my hair and small head!

Time to head outside and test them out!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Cord Taco Free Sewing Pattern

Corral those earbud and cords with this cord taco! It's really easy to make because it involves very little sewing! 

2 - 4" squares of fabric
1 - 4" square of Heat n' Bond Lite
1 - Size 16 snap

It helps if you have an overlock/cast foot. You'll be using an overcast stitch and this foot is designed to help with that (it has a pin that supports the stitch as it "overcasts" the edge of the fabric).

Here we go...

1. Cut your 4" squares of fabric and Heat 'N Bond Lite.

2. Following manufacturer's directions, fuse two pieces of fabric together (wrong sides together!).

3. Cut out a 3 1/2" circle. 

I use this Olfa circle rotary cutter. You could also use a compass to draw a circle, then cut out with scissors.

 4. Using a zig-zag or overcast stitch, sew around the outside of the circle. I made my stitches close together and went around twice. This allowed the thread to fill in nicely.

And here's what it looks like!

5. On the inside of your taco, mark mid points as shown (1 3/4"). You only need one. I have no idea why I drew both!

6. On one line, mark 3/8" down from the edge.

 7. Transfer those dots to the outside fabric. I just held the circle up to the window so I could see the dots and marked the other side.

8. Using the dots as a guide, insert the prong ends from the outside.

The inside will look like this. Use the dots to make sure that your snaps are in the right spot!

 9. Attach your snaps. I use this SnapSetter. I love it. Love. I could never get pliers to work.

Here it is!

Corral those earbuds and snap it together!

Thanks for reading! Here's a bonus pattern for a free zippered coin purse!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Tech Tote

I FINALLY got this pattern done. It wasn't easy. There are a million pieces, some cut on the bias. But it's SOOO worth it! It's available in my Craftsy Pattern Store. Eventually I'll get it posted in my Etsy store!

In the meantime, here's a link for a free zippered coin purse. It's round. It's easy to make (no cutting circles!).

Cute Monogrammed Pillow!

I think she likes her pillow! A reader sent me this picture of her daughter with her monogrammed pillow - I love it! She picked out the fabric -- nice choices! Thanks for sharing Andrea!

Want to make one? Here's the free pattern - Primp My Pillow. I provide instructions, a link to the letters, and another link to help you make it zippered.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hand-Crafted Seam Ripper!

My friend Anna dropped by yesterday to pick up some zippers and hardware (to make her Bandolier Bag!) and gave me one of these beautiful seam rippers. Her uncle makes them and sells them in his Etsy store (SnowFlakeBowls) - along with some other items like bowls and pens. What a great gift! So I thought I'd share it with you.

I think these would be great to give to someone who is new to sewing. Why? A seam ripper?? I think those who are new to sewing often expect perfection. Or at least they think that those of us who've been sewing awhile are "perfect." They don't realize that even the experts mess up. It's all about experimenting and being comfortable making mistakes and seeing it as an opportunity to learn. I have several seam rippers scattered around my sewing room - and they all get used. But this one will remind me that ripping seams out is a beautiful thing!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

UpCycled Sweatshirt Purse: Overview

One of my most popular patterns is this drawstring purse made from a sweatshirt. You can purchase this pattern in my Craftsy and Etsy stores.

I've written some tutorials to help you with this pattern. 

1. Cutting the logo.
2. Making the straps.
3. The Lining.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Free Pattern: The Luggage Tag

I finally found some time to get this pattern written up. My notes were a scribbled, incomplete mess, so I had to make another one just so I could figure it out! It's a quick project, though. I use the same "turning" technique that are found in the Composition Book Cover and the Breezy Business Card Holder. So much easier to make!

Fabric for the exterior, lining, and loop
A small piece of vinyl. This can be from anything, including the package that sheets come in.
A walking foot
A buttonhole attachment

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