I've gone and done it. I've headed further towards the dark side (and I'm not talking about Candy Crush :) I've gone and made a wee Facebook page for this here blog. It's very rudimentary right now, but you've gotta start somewhere, right? I figure it'll come in handy for those random crafty thoughts that don't warrant a blog post but you still must express. I'm hoping that it'll be a spot where we can all interact a little more than a blog allows. But for that to happen you guys have to like me :) Won't you please give a little clickety-click on this here link and like the page? I'll try not to be bothersome. The real challenge will actually be remembering that I've set this up :)
Get it? Huh? Huh? Do ya?
And if you're one of those folks who wishes that Facebook would just go away, I assure you that now that I have done this it will. You're welcome :)
Are we having fun with zippers yet, or are you all still terrified nervous? This week's tutorial is for a front-zip pouch (kind of like last week's double-zip but with just the one zipper across the front instead of across the top). I had to figure this one out as it's new to me too, and I'm pleased to say I got it on the first try. That leaves me quite certain that you'll do just fine. Ready?
As with any of the pouches in this series you'll need to decide what size you want this to be. I wanted something a little smaller, but not teeny, so I chose a size that would finish in the four by six inches area. You need less than a fat quarter of each fabric (more like half of a fat quarter of each) and some scraps of interfacing (I interfaced my lining and exterior and it's way sturdy; if you want something a little softer to the touch only interface the exterior). You'll need a zipper to fit whatever size you're making, and a swivel hook (though this can be optional). In addition to regular sewing gear, you'll also need something to mark with.
From your exterior, lining, and interfacing cut one each of the following:
5 inch by 7 inch piece
4 inch by 7 inch piece
1 1/2 by 7 inch piece
From the exterior cut one of each:
1 1/2 by 14 inch piece (strap)
1 1/2 by 2 1/2 inch piece (strap tab--omit if you're skipping the swivel hook).
A few things to keep in mind: we're using a 3/8 inch seam allowance throughout, back-stitching at the beginning and end of each seam. I recommend giving a read through the instructions before you get started. Finally, be mindful of your fabric if you're using directional fabrics so you don't end up with an unintentionally upside-down pouch. Let's go, then.
On the wrong side of each piece, mark a line that is 3/8 inch from each shorter edge.
Make sure you get both edges, though the photo shows one. You'll be drawing twelve lines total (6 pieces, 2 edges per piece).
Let's get that zipper on the front. Take the lining and exterior pieces that are 1 1/2 by 7 inches and your zipper. Make a sandwich: your exterior fabric is face up, the zipper is face down, and the lining is face down. Line everything up nice and neat and pin/clip along the top.
If you use a zipper foot put that on. I don't--I use my regular foot butted up against the teeth and my needle moved as much towards the left as it will go. This next part is very key to the success of this project--sew from line to line, NOT from edge to edge.
See where my needle is? Right on the purple line.
Sewing from line to line will leave you with a few unsewn bits at the ends--no worries, we'll get there later.
Now take the two four by seven inch pieces and make the same sandwich with the other edge of the zipper: exterior face up, zipper face down, lining face down. Line up the sides as best as you can with the sides of the pieces you just sewed. Sew again from line to line.
Take this over to your iron and press the pieces away from the zipper, being careful not to melt the teeth. Then head back to your machine and do some top-stitching. DO NOT TOP STITCH THE LITTLE FLAPS--ONLY TOP STITCH TO MATCH WHAT YOU'VE ALREADY SEWN. I made a little mark so I would know just where to start and stop.
Now we're going to make our strap pieces. If you're skipping the hook you can skip the tab; you'll just be pressing and stitching the long piece you cut for the strap in the same way. Take that little rectangle you cut--press it in half with the longer sides touching. Fold each raw edge towards the center seam and press. Then fold it in half again and press. Do the same for the long piece.
If you're making the swivel hook version, top-stitch only the short tab piece. If you're skipping the hook, you can go ahead and top-stitch the strap. I stitch along each edge as I enjoy symmetry :)
Fold that piece in half (or fold the strap in half) and place it as shown below, pinning it only to the exterior piece. I placed mine so that the bottom edge lined up with my top-stitching. Sew that down with a 1/4 inch seam allowance (these stitches won't show as they're within our regular seam allowance and will thus be hidden. I go over it a few times for security--wherever the straps are connected in any bag you also introduce a stress point.
If you look closely you can see where my top-stitching stops along the zipper, as well as my little reminder marks.
So far not too hard, right? Ok. Now we're going to make this into a pouch, but stick with me as the construction is different than a standard zipper pouch. Place your pouch face up. Take your remaining exterior piece and lay it face down. Pin the top edges together, but ONLY PIN THE EXTERIOR. Your lining is going to try to get involved, but just push it out of the way.
My finger is shoving that intrusive lining out of the way so I can pin together the exterior.
Stitch along the top from edge to edge. Open your zipper a little more than halfway. Pin the sides together, but only the exterior pieces. Keep that lining out of the way :) I want you to feed this into your machine with the lining facing up--it's easier to keep it out of the way if you can get to it. Now stitch along the lines you drew, keeping the lining out of the way. When you get to the zipper sew over it--don't move it out of the way.
Repeat for the other side of the exterior, pulling the lining out of the way and all that jazz. Finally, pin together the bottom edges (just the exterior) and sew that. Now we get to do it one more time. Yippeeeee!!!
Place your project with the lining side facing up. Take your remaining lining piece and lay it face down on top of that.
You know where this is headed, right? Pin along the top, just the lining pieces, and stitch, keeping the exterior out of the way (it's already had it's turn :) Pin the sides, place into your machine with the exterior facing up so you can shove it out of the way and stitch down the side. When you get to the zipper, don't move it out of the way--just sew right on over it. Other tutorials have you move it, but it creates a gap,as well as the extra bulk being difficult to sew around. Keep it in place and sew right on over it, but feel free to add some extra stitches for security.
Almost done :) Pin along the bottom pieces of the lining and stitch, leaving a gap of a few inches in the center (as shown below by my pins):
Clip the corners, but don't cut your stitches.
Reach into the gap in the lining, and then feel your way to where the opened zipper is (this is why we left it open--we couldn't turn our pouch otherwise!). Gently work everything back out through the lining gap. Reach into the gap again and gently poke out the corners of the exterior (use a point turner, a knitting needle, a chopstick--just be gentle so you don't bust through).
Tuck the raw edges of the gap into the lining and pin. Stitch the gap shut, either by machine or by hand.
Tuck everything into place and press nice and neat. If you're not using a hook you're finished! If you are we've got a little more work to do. Take your hook and your remaining piece for the strap (which should be folded and pressed). Put the hook on your strap piece--
Now, unfold the strap along the short edges, and pin them together, wrong sides together (be careful your strap doesn't get twisted!). Sew the short edges together. Press the seam open. Repress your folds if you need to. Then refold your strap along your original creases and pin/clip into place.
Topstitch along each edge of the strap, sliding the hook out of the way as you near it.
A free arm comes in handy here but isn't necessary.
Once you're back around, slide the hook down until it's near the seam--
Position it as above (you'll be able to feel where the bulk of the seam is and how it won't really won't to go through the hook). Pin the strap layers together there and stitch across, thereby securing the hook down at the end.
Give it a quick press, clip it on your bag, and you're all set!! Good job!
Nice neat lining--no raw edges--woot!
Obligatory hardware close-up :)
That wasn't so bad, was it? A bit of a different construction method for a zip pouch, but necessary because of where the zipper is located. You could vary the look of this one in several ways: try it in patchwork; leave off the strap; make it narrower and wider, move the zip to the center and make a pencil case. The great thing about the humble zippered pouch is how many ways it can be modified for different looks and uses.
As ever, let me know if you have any questions (and also if you think I've lost my mind and wrote something utterly mind-boggling). If you make a few I'd love it if you popped them in my woefully underpopulated Flickr group (link in the sidebar). Ta for now, and happy sewing!
I think I have a problem. Like an addiction kind of problem. It's Candy Crush, you guys. I am stupid, beyond-all-sanity addicted to it. I've been sitting here going back and forth between playing it on my computer and on my phone since they don't seem to sync up so I get double the lives for double the devices. It's a problem. I even deleted it once, around level 120. Then I got curious if I clicked on it again if it would remember my levels or if I would have to start over. It remembered. I'm on level 201 now.
I did stop swapping digital candy to take a few pictures this week, though :)
My granny stripe is zooming along nicely, considering the limited time I've had to work on it. I've even got the ends worked in. Can't wait until it's finished--after two restarts I'm ready for different colors.
One of the teachers at the school my mom works at gave the ladies in the office some roses. Aren't they purdy?
I can't go a week it seems without showing you a dietary indulgence. A guy at work is retiring after a gazillion years, so they had a small office party. One of the girls made these cupcakes. Maybe the best cupcake I've ever eaten, no lie. Good thing I got the last one because I'd have surely taken more.
My mother's hydrangeas have exploded this week. There are so many blooms on this bush. Did you know that if you put a nail in the soil near the bush it turns them blue? And if you don't they turn out some other color (I believe pink)? Something about iron. My dad explained it, my eyes glazed over, he probably mentioned ions or something.
This is not a black and white photo. This was the sky for the most part of today. They were calling for wild thunderstorms that never really happened, but the skies sure were scary looking.
And that's pretty much it. My projects this week all seemed to have some delays so I don't have a single finish to show you. But I will soon. I took a day off from work tomorrow to cross a variety of things off my to-do list. We'll see how I do. Have a good weekend!
I've put myself on a fabric buying moratorium. I know I say that a lot but I mean it this time. Or, meant it. I have been quite well-behaved about only buying fabric for specific orders, or if I have a specific project in mind to make right away so it doesn't just sit and sit. I've really knocked a nice chunk out of my stash, so I think I'll be at a point soon where I won't feel guilty buying some new stuff. Of course there's the question--do I stash-build with basics or splurge on fun stuff? Decisions, decisions. To see what tickles my fancy I always head to the Fat Quarter Shop and just browse. Tonight I clicked on 'Novelty' and had a grand old time. I don't know what I'd use most of these for but they're fun to drool over :)
If you want to feel old mention cassettes to your nephew or some other kid. You'll be rewarded with a blank stare. When you describe what it is/was, you'll be informed that it doesn't sound efficient. I always had a blank in my stereo so I could record off the radio. And how many of us made mix tapes for our friends? Of course it took one screechy scrunchy sound in your tape deck and you knew you needed to find a pen to get your tape back to functioning.
Every week my aunt would take my brother and I to Woodhaven Mall. It was the best mall ever, we've agreed (since gone, of course--replaced with a Home Depot and a movie theater). They had a record store there, and I remember racks and racks of vinyl. Cassettes were kind of coming in then for their brief hey-dey before the CD took over. My grade school used to put on a lip-syncing talent show, and they actually requested that your music be in record form. Good thing record stores sold actual records still :)
I want to live there. I'm not kidding.
I was born way after I was meant to, according to my old soul. The kitschy fun of Route 66 appealed to me even as a kid. When I found out most of the road is now closed and kind of a ghost town tourist attraction kind of thing I was severely disappointed. I would definitely say if I had to pick a decade I was meant to exist in it would have to be the fifties.
This one looks a bit Scandinavian yet is distinctly British. I wonder if they made an American version of this fabric what icons would make it into the mix.
There are some nifty fabrics in this one--the pebbles and shingles in particular. I'm pretty sure I'd want to live in this cute little town--quilts on wash lines and antique shops? Who wouldn't live there? Other than my brother, and one of my sisters, and maybe the other sister, and probably a lot of other people. OTHER than them, who wouldn't?
I went to nursing school for two semesters. Then I had to leave because I'm super-squeamish with that stuff, and didn't know about it until I thought I was going to puke on the guy who was my patient for the day because I don't do smells and hospitals are smelly so it's best that I left and went to school to be a teacher so I could leave that, too, and work in the corporate world doing safety training.
This reminds me of a story...Every summer we go visit my grandma in western PA during the week of their town carnival (which is a few games set up in tents in a parking lot). One of them is bingo (and the markers are pieces of dried corn). My sisters and I decided to drink too much Iron City Light and Zima one year (don't judge--it's all that was available) and play bingo. My sister Rachel bellowed--and I do mean bellowed--"BINGO!" Since it's hard to mistake a bingo everyone cleared their cards. But then she said just as loud "Oh, sorry, no bingo." If you ever want to see daggers and lasers come from little old ladies' eyes in small town America, yell a false bingo when there's about six dollars at stake (it's a quarter a card).
If you have an hour to kill go ahead and peruse the pages at FQS. But first give someone your wallet and tell them not to give it to you no matter what.
Hello again! Ready to sew up a fabulous little clutch? I promise--no pattern drawing this week. Just straightforward cutting. We're going to be making this delightful little bit:
General notes: Give a read-through the instructions first--you may have questions that will be answered and you'll be familiar with the order of operations. I'm using a 3/8 inch seam allowance, but if your want to go 1/4 inch that'll work fine too--just be consistent. Backstitch at the beginning and end of every seam. If you're using directional fabrics pay attention to your layout. And finally--I don't use a zipper foot. You can if you like yours, but mine isn't speaking to me at the moment :) I use my regular foot and adjust my needle position, as you'll see further on.
I used two prints for my purse--I had a little more than a fat quarter of each and it worked out just right. You'll also need two zippers (I like longer zippers so mine were twelve inches each). I am using a 1/4 inch swivel hook to attach my strap, but that's optional if you can't get your mitts on one. You'll also need fusible interfacing and fusible fleece.
Cut out the following:
From the lining, fusible fleece, and fusible interfacing: 2 pieces each that each measure 6 inches by 9 inches
From the fabric you're using for your strap (it can match or contrast): one piece that is 1.5 inches by 14 inches, and one piece that is 1.5 inches by 2.5 inches (if you're not using a hook you can omit that last piece)
From the exterior fabric: cut 2 pieces that each measure 6 inches by 9 inches; two pieces that each measure 3 inches by 9 inches; two pieces that each measure 5 inches by 9 inches. NOTE: one of each of those pieces will come together to be the lining of the outside pocket, so if you want to use your lining print or other fabrics for it go ahead.
Take your 6 by 9 inch exterior pieces, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side, and then fuse the fleece to that. Set aside for the adhesive to cool and set.
So many bits for one wristlet, but it'll be quite simple once we get started.
First we're going to make up the panel that has the outside zipper going across it, starting with the top part. So take your 3 by 9 inch pieces. Make a sandwich like so: exterior right side up, zipper face down, lining right side down. Align everything across the top, and clip/pin in place.
Zipper sandwich. Yummyyyyyy.
Stitch across the top taking care not to catch the zipper teeth in your stitching. It should look like this when you're done:
Now you're going to repeat this with the 5 by 9 inch pieces on the other side of the zipper. Make the same sandwich: exterior piece face up, zipper face down, lining face down. Align, clip, stitch. You should have this when you're done:
We'll take care of that zipper overhang later.
Carefully (so you don't melt the zipper) press those fabrics away from the zipper. Then do a line of top-stitching. This will keep the fabric from getting stuck in the zipper.
You should now have this (you can barely see my top-stitching but it's there):
As everyone stitches their zippers a little differently, I made these pieces a little larger than necessary to accommodate that--now we trim so that this whole piece measures six inches high. I lined up my ruler (see below) and trimmed so there was two inches from the top edge of the zipper to the edge of the fabric. Trim the bottom however much you need to. Don't take anything off the sides.
Now we make the little tab for the hook to snap into. If you're skipping the hook take your skinny strip of fabric and follow the same steps--your piece will just be longer. Press your strip in half longways. Then unfold, and press each raw edge in towards that center fold. Then fold it in half again and press.
Top-stitch this piece on both edges (unless you hate symmetry and then just do it on the one edge to close it up :) Fold it in half and place it like so:
It's 5/8 inch down from the top edge with a little bit of overhang to make sure it's caught in the seam.
Stitch that in place.
I go over it a few times as straps and things like this tend to be stress points. If you skipped the hook you'll have a strap instead of a tab.
Now we assemble this as though it were a basic zipper pouch. We're going to treat one of the exterior pieces and that zipper piece we made as one layer, so just read along carefully and you'll be fine.
Take an exterior panel and lay it right side up. Take the zipper panel you just made and put that on top of it, also right side up (make sure the narrower piece is at the top).
Treat these two pieces as one layer.
Lay your zipper face down (make sure the side where the pull will be matches up with where the pull is on the other zipper). Then take a lining piece and put that face down. Line up the top edges nice and neat. Pin/clip in place.
It's a bit layer-tastic on this side but it's not too bad.
Sew those layers together.
See how my foot is lined up at the edge of the zipper teeth, and how my needle is moved over?My zipper foot doesn't seem to work for me so I don't use it for bags--this method works fine for me. I take my time and feel for the raised edge of the teeth under the fleece to keep things lined up.
Now you've got this:
Now do the same thing to the other side. You'll have something that looks like this if you hold it from the top with the front facing you:
As we did before, press the seams flat up near the zipper. Then topstitch.
Unzip both zippers about halfway (one so we can turn the bag later, and the other to get it out of the way of the presser foot). Now take the exteriors and arrange them so the right sides are facing each other. Take the lining and arrange the same way.
Pin/clip in place.
When you get to the zipper that cuts across the front leave that flat. The zipper at the top needs to be pinned so that the teeth are heading towards the lining:
Leaving about a five inch gap in the center of the bottom of the lining, stitch alllllll the way around. I like to go over the zipper area a few times for strength. Then clip your corners to get rid of some bulk--don't cut your stitching.
The zipper running across the top is going to be quite bulky in the corners unless we trim that too. Carefully cut away some of that bulk.
Reach through the gap you left in the lining (this is why we unzipped the top zipper) and pull everything through, right side out. Poke out your corners with a knitting needle or a chopstick or another pokey device (careful you don't bust your stitching!). Use your fingers to poke out the top corners where the zippers are. Then tuck the raw edges into the gap you left in the lining, pin, and stitch shut either by machine or by hand.
Tuck the lining down inside and press. You may need to work the side and bottom seams to flatten them a bit as they're a little bulky. If you're not using the swivel hook you're all done. If you are, you've got a few more steps.
Take your one remaining piece (that fourteen inch strip) and fold and press as we did above for the tab.
Slide your hook onto this (it might be a little tight as we haven't sewn it yet, but it'll work. Make sure it's not twisted, and pin the short edges, right sides together. Sew, and then press that seam open. You may need to repress the folds you made before, but you want this part to be neat so do it if you need to.
Now you have a long messy loop with a hook on it. Let's tidy that up. Pin along the open edges so you have a neater looking loop.
Topstitch along the edges, sliding the hook out of the way as you near it. When finished, position the hook so that it's near the seam. Sew the layers together--this keeps the hook snug in it's own tiny loop, and leaves the rest of the loop to slip around your wrist.
Clip it to your tab and that's it! A cute little double zip wristlet--plenty of room for everything you need without lugging your heavy handbag everywhere (because sometimes that's just tiring :)
Now that wasn't too bad, was it? You could have a lot of fun with fabrics for this one--patchwork, mix and match, some clever fussy cutting, or even make it in corduroy for cooler weather. And if you used just the right fabric I bet you could make a nifty evening bag. That's why bags are such fun--endless possibilities!
I gave this one to my mom and she filled it right away. While this looks like it might be large, it actually comes out to be quite a nice size. I'd love it if you added your creations to the Flickr group!
As ever, let me know if you have any questions. Happy sewing!