Friday, January 30, 2009

My really big bag

Finally, the tute for my big bag. My sister asked for a new diaper bag recently as she is pregnant with my newest nephew. Yay! Being the loving Auntie that I am I happily obliged. The bag I made for the tute is a bit different since it is for my crochet stuff and not for a baby, but I will add directions to make hers along with mine. This differences are pretty small.

This is the one I made for her.

Materials needed:

fabric and lining



sewing machine




The size of this bag is really up to you. I wanted a really big bag so I cut my fabric (2) and lining (2) pieces 17 1/2" x 11 1/4" cut on the fold. It is just easier to measure it if I cut it on the fold. To make the corners of the bag I cut out a 2 5/8" x 2 5/8" square. You do not have to make your corners like this. It is just easier for me to make them this way.

You'll also need:
4 pocket pieces- I cut mine 8 1/2" x 11 1/4 " cut on the fold. I wanted about half the height of the bag for my pockets but you can go taller if you like. My pockets did come out kinda short.

4 handle pieces- I cut mine 72" x 2". I really cut them long just because I like having the option of making them shorter if I don't like them. Again, you can cut theses however long or wide you want them.


2 zipper gussets- I cut these 22 3/4" x 2 1/2". Just make sure that they are as long as the top edge of the bag.

If your are using interfacing, now is the time to add it to the corresponding pieces.

To get them out of the way, I sew the handles first. For this bag I wanted the raw edges to show, so I just sewed them wrong sides toghether.
For regular handles, sew them right sides toghether. Once you've sewn down both sides, turn your handles right side out, press if you like, then topstitch the long edges.

For the pockets on both bags, I lined up the short edges right sides together and sewed them. I then used a zig-zag stitch over the seam allowance to minimize fraying.

Now you'll want to hem the pockets. I turn under the raw edge about 1/4" and pin in place from the other side. Then I turn the hem under again and sew as I turn, removing pins as I go. Do this for both pockets and set them aside for a moment.

I did not take pictures of this next part, but all you do is line up the short edges of your bag pieces and sew together. I did mine wrong sides together for the outer fabric and right sides together for the lining. Turn lining pieces right side out.
For the normal bag, sew both sets of bag pieces right sides together, then turn bag right side out.
With wrong side of pocket to right side of outer fabric/lining, pin pockets to bag, lining up lower raw edges and matching side seams. This is done for either version of the bag.

Now you'll add your handles to your bag. On the outer bag, I went in about 2" from the corner square and lined up the raw edges of the handle and bag. Once you pin it in place try it on and make sure you like the length. Adjust the strap until you get a fit you like and then repeat the process for the other side.

Sew your handles in place on the outer bag. I started at the bottom and worked my way up, stopping about 2" from the top of the bag. I left my needle in the fabric, lifted the presser foot, and pivoted the entire bag to sew a straight line to the other edge of the strap. Then I sewed back down.

Now make pocket lines on your lining pockets. These can be as big or as small as you need them. As this bag will be my crochet bag, I made slots for my crochet hooks to go. I made 13- 3/4" wide pockets and 6- 1" wide pockets. On the other pocket side I just sewed a straight line down the middle of the pocket. Here you can also add velcro or snaps as a way to close your pockets. The pockets on the outer bag are made automatically when you sew the handles in place.

As I mentioned earlier, you may have a different preference when it comes to making the corners of the bag. I simply find this easier.
Here you have the corner square of the bag.

You want to match the seams of each side. Think of Pacman. The raw edges are his mouth and you need to close it. Open the "mouth" and bring the seams together. You can pin this if you like. As I sew I make sure that each seam lies in a different direction. That just makes the seam less thick. Repeat for both corners on the outer bag and the lining. For both bags I did these right sides together.

fter the corners are sewn you'll put your lining inside the bag. For both bags, you'll do this wrong sides together. Stitch along the upper edge. For my bag you're all done. Sit back and admire your work. I tossed mine in the washer after I was done sewing so that I could get that frayed look.

If you would like to add the zipper gusset, baste the upper edge instead of stitching, and set it aside.
Using a zipper foot, stitch the zipper to the long edge of the zipper gusset. Do the same for the other side of the zipper using the other gusset.
Fold the gussets back away from the zipper and topstitch in place.
I decided at this point that I did not want a zipper after all on my bag so I did not take anymore pictures. I'll try to explain as good as I can.
With the zipper closed and righ sides together, fold the gusset in half along lengthwise, matching the raw edges. With the zipper edge at the top, stitch down the short edges.
open the zipper and pin raw edge along the top outside edge of the bag, matching side seams and
right sides together, and stitch.
Trim seam, flip gusset to inside of bag and topstitch along upper edge.
I hope that wasn't too confusing. Let me know if you have any questions.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gotta Love the Cowboys!

My dad is a HUGE Cowboys fan and he loves to cook out, so it seemed only fitting that I make him a hat and apron for his birthday this year. I got the pattern for the hat here. It was incredibly easy to follow. I did change it up a bit to make the hat completely reversible, although I did not take pictures of the reverse side. I winged the apron and in case you want to know, here is how I did it.

You'll need:
1.5 yds fabric
1.5 yds lining
2 D-rings
My yardage measurements are estimates and could vary based on the size of the person or how long you want the apron.
I folded my fabric lenghtwise and on the fold I drew a 6" line using a ruler, that way it would be 11.5" after (1/4" seam allowance).

I measured the length by holding the top line against my chest and marking where it hit my shins. Not very scientific, I know. Once that was marked I laid it back down and drew a 14" line so that it would be about 27.5" after.

For the under arm, I just kinda drew a curved line. I didn't really pay attention to measurments. I'm sorry. Then I just drew a straight line from arm to hem.

Once I was done drawing the pattern, I got the white fabric, folded it in half, and placed it under the blue. Now you could just pin and cut from there and be good to go. Since my dad is big on greasy BBQ, I decided to put two layers of ripstop nylon in the middle. To my knowledge it is water/moisture resistant and I didn't want anything soaking through the apron.

For the neck straps and ties I cut those about 2.5" by the width of the fabric, about 45", and I cut 3 of each fabric and lining. I sewed 1 fabric and 1 lining, right sides facing, up one long side, across the short side, and back down the other long side. Turn them all right side out and topstitch. For the neck strap, cut off about 5" from the raw end of the strap to use for the D-ring strap. Place D-rings on short strap, put raw edges of strap toghether and baste ends. To lock rings in place, push them to the top of the fold and sew just below them.

Now, on right side of fabric, pin D-ring strap and neck strap to the top of the apron, having raw edges even. I did mine about 3/8" from the edge to leave room for the seam. You can baste in place or leave pinned. Do the same for the ties. See the first picture for reference.
Lay lining on top of fabric, right sides facing, and pin in place. Sew using a 1/4" allowance, leaving a 2"-3" opening for turning, preferably along the bottom.
Turn and topstitch.

Thomas was such a good helper, he even let me take pictures of it on him. I can't wait to get pictures of my dad in it.

My First Tutorial!!!

For my sister's birthday I decided to make her two purses. I'm still working on the tute for the big purse, so while you're waiting here's a tute for the smaller one. This is the one I made for her. The size of this bag is entirely up to you and yardage depends on that. I used about 1/2 yard of fabric and lining for hers and about the same for the tute bag.
Materials you'll need:
interfacing (optional)
I put interfacing on the materials list but I did not use it in this bag.
First thing you'll wanna do is fold your fabric and lining in half lenghtwise and then again widthwise.
Now, determine how wide you want the top of your bag. I made this one about 14" total, so 7" on the fold. Then determine about how tall you want it and mark it. Then draw a curved line, or whatever kind of line makes you happy, from the bottom to the top. Remember that you are cutting your bag on the fold so you'll want the bottom to be even. Think of cutting paper snowflakes or those little paper dolls.
Now lay the fabric and lining together so that the folded edges match up, and pin toghether to keep everything from slipping while you cut.
I didn't take very good pictures of this next part so there are none.
For the handles you'll need two long rectangles. I cut mine 2" wide by 22" long but yours can be any size you want them.
Time to sew! Yay!!
Place your fabric pieces right sides together and sew along the curved edges. Repeat for the lining. You can clip the curved edges or not. I didn't and everything turned out ok.

Place strap pieces right sides together and sew . Once sewn, turn strap right side out using your favorite method. If you like to be fancy, you can press your strap and then topstitch. I am not fancy so I just fingerpress while I topstitch.

With right sides together, center the strap over the side seams of the purse. Here you can adjust the straps to your preferred length, then pin or baste in place.

Place lining inside bag, again right sides together. Pin in place and sew, leaving a 2"-3" gap for turning, preferably inbetween the straps.

Turn it all right side out through the hole you left before, press (if you like) and topstitch along upper edge of purse.

Now you're all done! Please let me know if I've left anything out or if you have any questions.

Welcome to my blog!

Ok, so I've never had a blog before and I am a little nervous. I hope to be able to use this as a way to show off the things I make and write up tutorials from time to time. It may take me a little while to get the hang of everything so thanks for being patient with me.