convertible clutch/2 in 1 bag pattern giveaway!!!

September 28, 2011

this giveaway is now closed, sorry!  :(

I was so excited when Vanessa sent me her convertible clutch pattern to test out!!  I had seen sneak peaks of it while she was working on it and kept bugging her to finish it so that I could make one for myself!  :)

It does not disappoint!!!  The shape is fantastic!!  It's modern in a way that's both fashion forward and classic at the same time.

I made mine out of  two prints from Anna Maria Horner's Loulouthi line.  The exterior print is very large scale but I really love how it worked on this bag.

Each side looks so different and I love both.  You can then fold the bag down and you have a clutch!!!  The handle opening is large enough that you can slip it over your wrist too if you need both hands.

Genius!!  The size is great, large enough to hold all of the necessities but not so big that it will be heavy or hard to hold.  The pattern includes a patch pocket to keep a few items separate.  It was really easy to follow and well written.  She includes so many photos which always helps too!

I LOVE the handle!!!  It's a great way to add a second print onto your bag and is totally different from any other handle that I've ever put on.  If you make the bag, I would totally recommend that you follow Vanessa's suggestion and add the extra rows of topstitching.  It really makes the bag look so much more professional.

SO...  Vanessa has graciously offered to give away a copy of her convertible clutch pattern to one of my lucky readers!!!  Woo hoo!!!

In order to enter, please leave a comment on this post letting me know what fabric you would make your convertible clutch / 2 in 1 bag out of if you win!!!  PLEASE make sure that I can get in touch with you if you win!!!!  I will choose a winner randomly on Monday morning.  Good luck!!!!

fussy cut zipper pouch tutorial

September 20, 2011

I LOVE a good zipper pouch!!  I know there a ton of zipper pouch tutorials out there but I was asked by a very special person to do one, so here it is!  :)

Here is your list of needed materials.  Some of them do not specify measurements because everyones measurements will be different depending on the image you choose to fussy cut.  Don't worry!!  I will show you exactly how to figure out what to cut!

materials needed:

  • small piece of fabric to fussy cut (nothing too large scale)
  • scraps at least 1" wide to use as sashing for the fussy cut image (the length will depend on the size of your fussy cut piece)
  • scraps of osnaburg, linen, or other background fabric for exterior of pouch and zipper ends (a fat quarter would be plenty)
  • lining fabric (a fat quarter would be plenty)
  • 9" zipper
  • 2 pieces of fusible interfacing (I prefer Pellon SF101) measuring 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" each
  • thread
  • iron
  • zipper foot 
  • rotary cutter and quilter's ruler.  One that measures 6" wide is super useful here!!!
Let's cut our other pieces and then we can make the fussy cut exterior piece!  Here are the measurements that you will need to cut:
  • out of the osnaburg or linen you will cut one piece that measures 6" x 9" for the back of the pouch. You also need to cut 2 zipper end pieces that measure 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" each.
  • cut your 2 lining pieces to 6" x 9"
  • I gave the measurement for the interfacing above (2 pieces that each measure 5 1/2" x 8 1/2")

*** all seam allowances are 1/4"***

Now let's make your fussy cut exterior piece!!!

Take your cute image and lay it on your cutting mat.  Make sure it is pressed very well, you will always get a nicer cut if there are no wrinkles!  Using your gridded quilting ruler line up the image so that the edge of the image you want to fussy cut is 1/2" away from the edge of your ruler.  You could do each side separately but I always do 2 sides at a time.  I feel like I am sure to get a good square edge that way. 

See how in the above photo the top of the hanger and the left hand corner of the dress (I know you can't really see because it's under the 3 but trust me) are both 1/2" away from your cutting edge.  That's what you want!  Now cut carefully along those two sides and then do the same with the other two edges so that you end up with something like this.

Now we need to start adding some sashing around the image.  You can use a different fabric for each side for a scrappy look or use the same fabric all the way around like I did here.  Since I was using one print for my sashing, I cut one strip that measured 1" x WOF.  You just want your strips to be 1" wide so that you end up with 1/2" sashing all the way around your image.  

I always start at the bottom but you can start on whatever side you like.  Line up the raw edges of your fussy cut piece and your sashing strip, right sides together.

Sew these together and then trim the sashing even with your fussy cut image.

Now press your seam.  I always press my seams open but if you prefer to press them to one side go for it!  :)

Now continue the same process working around your fussy cut piece in a counter clockwise direction until there is sashing on all 4 sides.  You should then have something that looks like this.

Now we need to add the osnaburg or linen.  Decide where you want your fussy cut piece on the front of your pouch and go from there.  I always place mine left of center for some reason.  I need to branch out a little!  :)

You want your final piece to measure 6" tall and 9" wide.  I generally place a strip on the top and bottom and then on the left and the right so that I end up with something like this.  I am aways generous with the osnaburg too so that I can tweak the placement a little if I want.

In general, I try to leave at least 1" of osnaburg on each side (1 1/2" if possible).  Now you want to cut this piece down so that it measures 6" x 9".

Now with all of your pieces cut, you will have this!

If you want to add any hand stitching, this would be the time!!

Fuse the interfacing to the wrong sides of your two exterior pieces.  Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of that step.

To make your zipper ends, take your two pieces and iron them in half along the width (short side).  Open it up and fold each end in up toward the crease and press.

 Fold it all back up and press again.  You will end up with two zipper ends that look like this.

Take your zipper and get the end with the zipper pull on it.  It will have 2 small metal stops.  Trim that end of the zipper just a tad so that when you sandwich the zipper end over the zipper those tiny metal parts just peek out.  You just want to make sure you don't hit them with your needle when you sew on the zipper end.   Pin on the zipper end to hold it in place.

You are going to now trim the other side of the zipper.  You want the zipper, with the ends attached, to measure exactly 8 1/2" from one zipper end to the other.  Trim the zipper and pin on your other zipper end.

Stitch the zipper ends very close to the edge and then trim them to the same width as the zipper.

Now we are ready to assemble our pouch!!!

Take your fussy cut exterior piece and place it right side up on your work surface.  Center your zipper, wrong side up, on your exterior piece with the zipper pull on the left.  I always open mine but you don't have to, just one of my quirky things.  :)  Align the raw edge of the exterior piece with the long edge of the zipper.

Now take one of your lining pieces and place it wrong side up on top of your zipper lining up the raw edges.  Pin in place.

Put the zipper foot on your machine.  You will, obviously, not be able to see the zipper but you will be able to feel it through the lining.  You want to sew as close to the zipper teeth as possible without hitting them.  You will need to stop, with your needle down, and lift your presser foot so that you can wiggle the zipper pull out of the way when you get to it.  Then continue sewing, making sure that you backstitch at the beginning and end.

Flip the lining over so that now the wrongs sides of the exterior and lining are touching and the other side of the zipper is exposed.

We are now going to repeat the same process with the other exterior and lining pieces.  Lay the other exterior piece face up on your work surface then your zipper wrong side up, this time with the zipper pull on the right, and then your lining piece wrong side up.  See the photo below for a visual!  Pin well.  You will now have something that looks like this.

Sew along the zipper just as you did before making sure you stop with the needle down to move the zipper pull out of the way.

Flip the pieces so that the wrong sides are together and press well.

I like to leave my zipper foot on to topstitch on either side of the zipper.  I use the edge of my zipper foot as a guide but you could also put your all purpose foot back on at this point if you like.

Topstitch on either side of the zipper stopping with the needle down and lifting up your presser foot to move your zipper pull out of the way.

Almost finished!  We are going to sew the pouch together now.  First, OPEN UP YOUR ZIPPER!!!!  It is such a pain if you forget!  :)  If you didn't change back to your all purpose foot in the last step, do so now.  Flip the layers so that the two exterior pieces are right sides together and the two lining pieces are right sides together.  I always start pinning at the zipper ends and then match all of the sides and corners.  When you pin by the zipper ends push the zipper end toward the lining.  Pin around the whole pouch well.

 Make sure you mark about 3" at the bottom of the lining to leave open so that you can turn your pouch right side out.

Sew all around the pouch starting and stopping at the marks you made above.

To make your zipper ends look as nice as possible, you want to sew as close to them as possible WITHOUT actually catching them.  In the picture below you can see what I mean.  You want your needle to go right next to that folded zipper end but not catch it.

Clip your corners and turn your pouch right side out through the opening in your lining. Gently push out your corners and then stitch the opening in the lining closed.

Add a cute ribbon to your zipper tab and you are all finished!!  :)

As always, please let me know if anything is unclear or you notice an error!!  And PLEASE add your pouches to the flickr group!!!

***Please note that this tutorial is for personal use only!  I am always happy for you to make as many as you want for gifts or charity but please do not use this tutorial to make pouches to sell, thank you!***

ironing board facelift

September 15, 2011

I know I've been missing for a few days, sorry!  Penelope started back to preschool this week and we have been running around like crazy!

So, I am a total impulse pattern buyer, fabric too sometimes though that is usually a little more thought out! :)  I bought this ironing board cover pattern because I loved the patchwork sections.  There are lots of free tutorials on how to make a new ironing board cover but I have to admit that it was really nice to have full size pattern pieces and all of the measurements worked out.  Crazy, I know, I warned you that it was an impulse buy!

I LOVE my new cover!!

It's fun and colorful and makes ironing a little more enjoyable!  There are 3 layout options in the pattern and I chose the flying geese.

They look a little wonky in this picture but it's just because I didn't straighten out the cover properly.  Oops!  It came together really easily, the only thing I changed was that I made the ribbons (you tie the ribbons underneath to cinch up the cover) a little longer so that they didn't get lost in the casing.  The hardest part was getting the sucker on my ironing board.

I also made another little fussy cut pencil pouch.  These are so fun to make!

Yes, more hand stitches!  They are totally addictive and I think the little extra effort really makes it special.

The fabulous Jeannie has requested a tutorial for these pouches.  I know there are tons of zipper pouch tutes out there but a request from Jeannie just can't be ignored!  :) I will try and have it up sometime next week.

more sewing kits and some fun resources

September 6, 2011

When I get an idea or a project in my head, it often times becomes somewhat of an obsession.  I know I am not the only one this happens to since I read similar stories on lots of sewing blogs.  This has been one of those projects!!

I have had so much fun making these sewing kits and I still have a few more to make before I can really move on.

I was so excited when the happy mochi yum yum fabric showed up on my doorstep!!  It is so fun!  The colors are vibrant and the designs are so great!  I swear, Monica can't make anything ugly!!  Everything she designs or sews is dreamy!  I knew a sewing kit from her fabric would be yummy!  Har de har har, I know. :)

I used fabrics from this bundle for this kit but there are lots of other colors to choose from too!  The orange colorway is amazing!  A patchwork of all of the prints would be fun too.

Speaking of patchwork, that is what I did with the last one I made.

I used Annie's farm stand fabrics that I got from Kerri.  I made the exterior by patchworking all of the prints together.  I wanted to continue the patchy look on the inside, so I used different fabrics for each pocket.

That space to the right of the needle book had been bothering me.  Not that space is a bad thing but I kept thinking that it would be fun to put something purely decorative there.  Some hand sewing for a hand sewing kit seemed appropriate!

I found this adorable collection of strawberry embroidery patterns on etsy.   I used the pattern to make appliques for the strawberry part and then stitched the flower.  I attached the little patch with steam a seam lite before adding the aqua running stitch around the edge.

I've always loved hand embroidery, there is something so slow and homey about it.  I am so glad that it is getting more popular again.

I have found some really great etsy shops lately that have the most adorable hand embroidery patterns.  I thought some of you might enjoy them too.

I know there are so many more!!  If you have any that you love or want to share please link to them in your comment!!!

I don't want you to think that these sewing kits are just for those of us that like hand embroidery though!  If you like to sew bags you often have to hand stitch an opening closed.  If you quilt, you have to stitch on those bindings!  I think it would also make a great gift for a youngster that wants to try sewing or as a repair sewing kit for someone off to college or getting their first apartment.

I hope this has helped and that it inspires some of you to stitch a little!  :)

travel sewing kit tutorial

September 5, 2011


I have really loved making these!!  They are so fun and a really useful little kit to have in your purse or car so that you can always work on a project no matter where you are.  :)

I just want to be clear that I cannot claim this idea as my own!  All of the credit goes to the fabulous Tamiko of Patchwork Notes!  She is fantastic and so talented and graciously gave me the go ahead to make up this little tutorial.  I was so inspired when I saw her hexagon sewing kit and really wanted one of my own.  So, thank you Tamiko!!  :)

***update:  if you want to make the patchwork version, here is the tutorial for that version***

I will warn you that this tutorial is VERY long!!!  Please do not be discouraged by it's length!!  This kit is not difficult to make but has lots of parts and steps and I wanted to be as thorough as possible so that you could all create one too!  :)

Ok!  So as for materials, the majority of the kit can be made with scraps but you will need three strips that are WOF (width of fabric) for the binding and the closure strap and thread strap.

materials needed:

  • fabric scraps for the exterior, interior panels, and pockets (2 fat quarters would be plenty and you would have lots left over)
  • cotton batting measuring 16" x 7"
  • 4 to 4 1/2" x WOF for the binding (I will explain below why the measurement can vary)
  • 1 1/2" x WOF for the closure strap and thread strap
  • small scrap of velcro measuring 1/2" x 3/8"
  • small piece of wool or wool blend felt for needle book 
  • scissor case pattern (this pattern was made to hold my gingher embroidery scissors that measure 4 1/2" long and 2" wide at the widest part of the handle, please measure your scissors to make sure they will fit)
  • thread
  • rotary cutter and mat
  • iron
  • pins
*** a note about binding***  Since this is a long tutorial already, I am not giving instructions on binding but here is a great tutorial on how to bind if you have never done it or need a refresher!  :)
I prefer a narrow binding on small items and I also prefer it to be tight up against the edge of the piece, that is why I have cut my binding at 2".  Having said that, if you are a new sewer or have not attempted anything with a bound edge or if you plan on machine sewing your binding on I would highly recommend that you cut your binding at 2 1/4", it will be a lot easier to sew down on the inside.  I hope this makes sense!  :)

cut your pieces as follows:
  • exterior - 15" x 6"
  • cotton batting - cut to 16" x 7"
  • inside panel pieces - cut two (2) at 5 1/4" x 6" and one (1) at 5 1/2" x 6"
  • pockets - cut one (1) at  4" x 5 1/4" and one (1) at 3 1/2" x 6"
  • scissor case - cut your fabric piece for the scissor case using the pattern that you downloaded above.  The inside lines are your folding lines, don't worry about those now. 
  • binding - cut two (2) strips measuring 2" x WOF  *please see above note on binding*
  • closure strap and thread strap - cut one (1) strip measuring 1 1/2" x WOF
  • needle book - cut your wool felt piece to 4 1/2" x 2 3/4"
you should now have these pieces

Now you are going to need to quilt your exterior piece.  I quilted all of mine with somewhat random straight lines running the height of the piece.  I varied the lines between 1/4" and 1/2" apart.  I did this so that later on when you join your exterior and interior pieces those stitches will be somewhat hidden along with your quilting lines.  But feel free to quilt yours however you like! 

I marked my exterior with a disappearing pen about every 1 1/2" just to keep my quilting lines somewhat straight. 

Then quilt away! 

If you haven't already, join your two binding strips and press them in half along the length wrong sides together.  Now take your two pocket pieces and we are going to bind the top edges.  On the left hand pocket you are going to want to bind one of the edges that measures 5 1/4".  On the right pocket we are going to bind the edge that measures 6".

Sew on the binding with the raw edges aligned and right sides together, use a 1/4" seam allowance.  You will then have this.

Fold the binding up and press so that you have a nice edge and can see clearly where the pocket and binding are joined.

Fold the binding toward the back of the pocket, make sure that you fold the edge past the stitching line that you made when you sewed on the binding.  Pin well from the front placing your pins right in the seam line.

Now sew right up against the seam trying not to catch the binding on the front but making sure you do catch it on the back.  Repeat this process with the second pocket.

Place your bound pockets on the two side panel pieces lining up the bottom edges.  Make sure that you have the two panels that measure 5 1/4" x 6" (the middle panel is slightly larger, make sure you don't sew a pocket on to this panel).  Pin and baste the pockets onto the panels.

Now we will join the three panels together.  Sew them right sides together using a 1/4" seam allowance and then press your seams open.  You will now have this!

Now we will divide the right pocket into two sections by marking a line down the middle and sewing right along that line from just below the binding to the raw edge.

To make the scissor case, take the piece that you cut using my pattern piece and iron the wide edge over 1/4".
 Then do the same to each side and then the bottom. Finally, fold the top edge over 1/4" again.  

Topstitch the top edge, I stitched two lines at about 1/8" and 1/4".  

 Then fold your piece of wool felt in half to create the needle book.  Give it a quick press with your iron to make a nice crease so that you have a stitch line.  I would NOT recommend that you use your water soluble marker, I find it takes forever for it to come out of felt.  

Now you are going to pin both the needle book and the scissor case onto the center panel.  the scissor case needs to be 1/2" from the top and 1/8" from the left seam.  Place the folded edge of the needle book 1/4" from the left seam and 1/2" from the bottom edge.  See the below picture !

Sew down the fold line of the needle book and very close to the edge of the three sides of the scissor case to attach both. 
Take your strap piece and iron it in half along the length with the wrong sides together.  Open it back up and press each edge in to meet the center crease.  

Press each end in 1/4" and then refold the whole strip back up.  It should now measure approx. 43" x 3/8".  Do NOT sew it yet.  You need to cut 6 1/4" off this strip to make the thread strap.  Only one short end needs to be folded in on the short strap but you will need to fold in both short edges of the long piece so that all of the edges will be encased. Now sew down each of the long sides and the ends to close up the straps.

Pull apart your tiny piece of velcro and place one side on the finished end of the short strap and pin in place.  Sew on the velcro.  
 Take the other half of the velcro and place it along the left seam of the interior piece.  You want it to be 3/8" from the bottom edge.  Pin in place and sew!

Put the two pieces of velcro together to hold the strap in place and pin the other side in place.  The raw edge of the strap is going to hang over the edge.  You will need to make the strap somewhat slack so that there is enough room for your thread spools to slide on and still be secured with the velcro.  It may help to put two spools on so that you can judge how slack to make the strap.  Then sew down the strap very close to the top edge and cut off the excess.

Now we want to attach the exterior and the interior along the seam lines on the interior.  Place your exterior face down on your table making sure that it is oriented the way you want it and then place your interior piece face up aligning the edges so that your corners and edges are all matched.  Pin enough to keep it all aligned.  

Sew down the two seam lines in the ditch to attach the exterior and interior.  You will have to move the strap out of the way on the left seam. 

Almost done!!!  Now you need to bind your sewing kit with the rest of the 2" binding that you made in the beginning.  Sew your binding on the outside of the piece and then hand stitch the binding onto the inside.  Don't forget that I linked to a great binding tutorial at the top of this post too!!

You now have something that hopefully looks like this!  :)

All we have left is to sew on the tie!  Take your tie piece and mark 12" from one end.  Then take your sewing kit and place it face up on your table.  You are going to need to find the stitch line on the exterior of the piece that corresponds to the left side seam line on the inside.  I know this sounds confusing!  Simply, you are going to stitch your tie to the exterior but you want the stitches to be disguised by the seam on the inside.

Find that seam on the exterior and mark the middle.  It will be 3" from the top and bottom and approx. 5" from the right edge when the piece is laying exterior side up on your mat.  Match the two marks, the one on your tie and the one on your strap.  Pin in place and sew on your strap from the inside so that you can make sure your stitches are masked by the seam.

You are all done!!!  Woo hoo!!  Now fill it up with goodies!!!

I hope you all will love making these fun sewing kits!!  I would LOVE to see yours and please make sure you add it to the lots of pink here tutorials flickr page!!!

If something is unclear, PLEASE let me know.  You can email me at or leave me a comment on this post.  If you leave a comment make sure that I have an email address for you so that I can respond!!

Don't forget to stop by Tamiko's blog too and say hi!!!  Thanks again Tamiko for the inspiration!!!

Stop by tomorrow and I will share some other sewing kits that I made and I will have lots of links to some great embroidery resources that I have found.

***Please note that this tutorial is for personal use only!!!  Please do not make items to sell using this tutorial!  I am happy for you to make as many as you like for gifts or for charity!***

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