Of course, I had to get some material for a quilt. A quick trip to Calico and Ivy and my ideas are certainly starting to shape.
While visiting the lovely Magnolia Square markets in Paddington on the weekend I discovered (and bought) these divine prints by Printspace for Mart's room.
I've been looking for some inspiration for his room for ages. I had been considering red and navy but couldn't get enthused. These prints have certainly clarified the look I want - boyish but not too grown-up.
Of course, I had to get some material for a quilt. A quick trip to Calico and Ivy and my ideas are certainly starting to shape.
Hopefully over the next few weeks you'll start to see Mart's big boy room take place. It's so nice to be celebrating my boy!
Throughout the world of crafty blogs, everyone seems to be talking about Celebrate the Boy Month. Thank you to Dana and Rae for this wonderful concept. Boys always seem to come off second best when it comes to crafty ideas and tutorials. It is great to see these two wonderful blogs provide us with so many great ideas and encourage us all to pull up our socks when it comes to sewing for our boys.
So this post is for our two beautiful boys:
Today, I thought we would have a look at a zippered purse with a difference. I know there are dozens of tutorials for zippered purses out there and we all have our favourite, so I am going to concentrate on two parts of the purse:
What you will need:
First of all - embellish away on one piece of your outer fabric!
I used back stitch for Will's name and appliqued a cute little car on to mine using fusible webbing and running stitch.
If you would like a handle on your pencil case now's the time to make it.
Fold the handle piece in half length ways and iron to make a centre crease. Then, iron both long sides in to meet this crease. Fold in the center again. You will have made a handle of four layers of fabric with the raw edges sandwiched in the middle.
Top stitch along both edges and set your handle aside for now.
Let's move on to the inner pockets.
This is a really simple design but works well. You have to like that!
Take the larger piece of lining (29cm x 32cm). The pockets are created by folding and sewing this piece of fabric. Lay the fabric out in front of you so it lies length ways. Fold the piece of fabric up by 16cm then back on itself by 8cm so the cut edge lines up again with the bottom fold. It sounds a bit like origami doesn't it? You'll know you have got it right if this piece is now the same size as the other lining piece you have cut.
You now need to create individual pockets by sewing this flap down. Mark out your pockets with a water soluble marker. There are five in all. The ones on either end are 6cm wide and the inner 3 are 5cm.You can get an idea of what I mean by looking at this picture. In the picture I have already sewn them.
It's best to sew the pockets from the bottom to the top of the flap. Don't forget to lock off your rows of stitching with a couple of stitches in reverse or the stitching will unravel when little fingers try to fit their MatchBox cars in there.
Once you have sewn the pockets in you can use this piece of fabric like a regular lining piece for your zippered purse.
So how do I make a zippered purse?
I make zipper sandwiches.
When you use an extra long zipper, make the sandwich in the middle of the zipper. You will have a long overhang of zipper on either end, but this is good. It means when you sew the zipper in you won't have to deal with manoeuvring the sewing machine foot around the zipper pull - so much easier and you don't even need your zipper foot! It was my brilliant little sister, Caroline, who came up with this idea and it has certainly made zippered purses so much faster to make.
I take my embellished outer fabric and lay it right side up. I put the zipper on top of it facing down with the zipper pull to the left. I then place the lining piece without the pockets on it wrong side up on top of the zip. Line up the zipper edge with the raw edges of the outer and lining and pin liberally. It should look like this.
Now, sew your sandwich together. I used a 1cm seam allowance - but work out what's best for you. You will get the best finish by stitching as close to the zipper teeth as possible.
And look that zipper pull is right out of the way!
Flap those pieces back and you should have something that looks like this:
You can now attach your other outer and lining to the opposite side of the zip.
Outer right side up, zipper right side down with the pull to the right, lining piece with pockets right side down.
Pin and sew your sandwich!
Now you should have a zipper with two pieces of fabric attached to either side of it.
Open your zipper so the pull is in the middle of your purse. Trust me, you will regret it if you forget this step.
Flip the fabric around so that you have both pieces of outer fabric right sides together on one side of the zipper and both sides of lining fabric on the other side of the zipper. Sandwich the handle between your two outer layers and pin in place. Pin all the way around the edges making sure you line up the zipper carefully on either end. Try and push the zipper teeth in the direction of the lining. Sew all the way around this rectangle with a 1cm seam allowance, leaving a space so you can turn it through. You will be sewing over the zip. This is not a problem, just take it slowly. (Don't try this with a metal zipper - your sewing machine won't like it.)
It should now look like this:
Now go on, live on the edge!!! Trim your corners, seam allowances and zip ends. I always get a slight thrill when I cut those zipper ends off. (This probably reflects poorly on my life in general - but there you go!)
Turn the purse right side out, use a chopstick to push out the corners so they are nice and square. Hand slip the hole in the lining and then tuck it back in to the outer of the purse.
There you are done!
A handled, pocketed pencil case, with MatchBox car pockets for your boy!
PS. I know we are Celebrating the Boy but I just wanted to let you know - I made a make up purse for myself using the pockets in the lining technique on both sides of the lining. I made the pockets narrower so they would fit my lipsticks. It worked well and my makeup is now very organised!!!
I've begun to wonder about Green Bags. (I think that may be an Australian term. A "green bag" is basically a multi-use bag you buy to put your grocery shopping in.) They are ubiquitous and they are ugly! They were originally designed to improve on the "one use" plastic bag . The theory was - buy a few of these bags, take them on every shopping trip and use single use bags as little as possible. But everywhere I go these days someone wants to sell me a green bag. They look slightly bemused when I decline and push my purchased items into my ever so large handbag!
I worry that the green bag has become so readily available and so cheap, we have started to use them like the single use plastic bags they were designed to replace. In 2008 the Wall Street Journal reported that only 10% of people re-use their re-usable shopping bags! These bags use more energy to make and take longer to break down than single use bags but we are using them like single use bags!
So, I have decided - I am not going to buy any more of those ugly things.
Instead, I will make simple bags that I will enjoy using. I will upcycle where I can, or if not, at least make something I am happy to use over and over and over and over again. Which is the whole point of a Green Bag in the first place!
This is the first one I made:
I was quite excited about the layout of the fabric and the effect it created on the bag. I know it will be holding my shopping for a long time to come.
Right! I'll get off my very high horse now..........
PS. My apologies for not posting for a while. We had a major case of antiviral software-itis. To those of you who are as computer illiterate as I am, can I share something I have learned? If you have two pieces of anti-virus software running on your computer at the same time, your computer is so busy trying to avoid viruses it can't do anything else!
The promised zippered pencil case tutorial should be up in the next day or two.
I love, love , love buttons. Making buttonholes? Not so much. I discovered a faux placket tutorial at No Big Dill and thought I’d try it on a skirt. The result? A tutorial for the sweet faux placket skirt.
This pattern is pretty forgiving size- wise. Lizzy is a fairly average sized three year old and it fits her comfortably and I imagine that a with a little extra length in the skirt and a looser elastic in the casing it will probably fit her for a good while. If you want to make it bigger just adjust adjust the length of the skirt piece and add a little extra to the waist band. The waist ties make it pretty flexible too!
OK - enough of the rambling - let's get sewing!
What you'll need -
Finish all four sides on the skirt piece and the two short sides and one of the long sides on the waistband piece. my overlocker isn't working at the moment so I used an edging stitch that I found on my machine, but a zig zag is fine too.
Next, we'll make the waist ties. Take the two pieces that measure 55cmx 15cm and head to the ironing board. Iron them in half lengthways to create a crisp centre fold. On each piece iron one of the short ends in about 1.5cm.
Next, iron the two outer edges to the centre fold that you just created.
Iron the strip in half so that all of the raw edges are folded to the middle. It should look like this.
Finally, using a 0.5cm seam allow topstitch the two long sides and the short side with the folded end. When you've done this to both straps, they should look like this...
Next, you need to attach the straps to the waistband. Fold the waistband in half lengthwise and iron creating a centre crease.
On the centre crease that you just created pin the unfinished ends of the waist ties to the short sides of the waistband. Make sure you attach them to the right side of the fabric.
Next, lay the other waistband piece (right side down) over the one with the waist ties attached. Pin and sew the two waistband pieces together using a 1cm seam allowance.
When you have done this and turned it right sides out, it should look like this.
Now it's time to create the faux placket. You need to head over to see Katy at No Big Dill and she'll show you exactly what to do. Just make sure you make your placket right in the centre of your skirt piece. Off you go - she's expecting you! Here's the link - No Big Dill Faux placket
Musical interlude while I wait for you to come back....
Placket done? Welcome back! Using a 1cm seam allowance sew the two short sides of your skirt piece right sides together.
Now you need to sew a gathering stitch around the top of your skirt. I always do two rows because one inevitably breaks. You need to start your gathering about 4cm from one side of the placket you created and finish it about 4cm from the other side of the placket. See?
Pull up the gathering so that it fits the waistband. Instead of just gathering it evenly, I think it works best if it's flatter closer to the placket and more gathery at the back.
Pin the finished edge of the waistband to the gathered skirt and sew, using a 1cm seam allowance. Take care not to get the waist ties caught in your seam!
When you turn it right side out it should like this....
Now you've just got a little finishing off to do. First of all, create a casing for the elastic on the waistband of your skirt. The width of the casing depends on the width of the elastic you are using, but I made a 2cm casing so I folded 2cm over twice. (Does that make sense? You fold twice so that you don't have any raw edges showing. ) When you're sewing, don't forget to leave a gap so that you can thread the elastic through. (Ask me how I know!)
Thread the elastic through the casing. When you've created the right size waist, sew the two ends of the elastic together and sew up the hole in the casing. (the one that you used to thread the elastic through)
Hem the skirt. I used a 2cm hem, but of course it will depend on the length that you want the finished product to be! If you're feeling tricky, start sewing your hem just to one side of the placket and finish just on the other. Hand slip the tiny bit that you haven't sewn. I should have sewn a little closer to the placket, but it will look like this.
Finally, position and sew on the buttons. I used three buttons, but if your skirt is longer, or your buttons are smaller, you might want to use more.
You're done! Trim off the threads, give it a quick press and admire your handiwork....
Inspiration hits in strange places. Late last night I when was icing cupcakes for snack , I suddenly knew the look I wanted for Lizzy's new library bag.
After a stash raid and an hour at the sewing machine - the hundreds and thousands library bag!
Now there's another reason to love going to the library!
You know how sometimes the creative inspiration just flows? We've had a torrent of inspiration here at Sew Together and as a result we'll have not one or two, but four tutorials to share with you over the next few weeks!
1 -Shhhhhh....We'll show you how to make a zippered pencil case with a special secret (... and we'll even show you how to insert a zipper without having to change the foot on your sewing machine.)
2. A piped and lined zippered knitting needle case and guess what? You don't have to hand slip in the lining - it works like magic!
3. A hand embroidered felt morning chart so you can get kids out the door with minimal fuss.
4. A simple scalloped zippered purse. The cut and fold simple scallops will be the focus here - they look great on kids clothes, table runners and cushions and are oh so easy!
So stay tuned... It'll be busy, but fun!
Maryanne and Caroline
I love zippered purses - so simple and quick... and oh so satisfying.
I'm always appliqueing things for Lizzy and Mart, but this morning I was inspired by Kajsa Wikman's gorgeous Scandinavian Stitches to try some for me.
Now I'm craving a crunchy new season gala apple!
It's our week to provide snacks for the children at Lizzy's preschool. Eeeek... the pressure!
I thought I'd share some of the super-simple (but yummy nonetheless) treats that Lizzy and I will whip up to feed her friends.
Monday - Apple and Berry Jelly
A big handful of strawberries
A big handful of blueberries
800 ml Apple Juice
200ml boiling water
Two and a half tablespoons of powdered gelatine
Caroline and Lizzy