Friday, December 22, 2017

Pretend Play Diaper Bag Tutorial

Friday, December 22, 2017
This post originally appeared on the Riley Blake Designs blog.  The fabric was provided by Riley Blake Designs, but the pattern is my original design.

My two year old daughter loves to play with her baby dolls.  She rocks them and feeds them and is always changing their diapers.  So, I decided that this Christmas, she needed a diaper bag under the tree, to hold all her baby's things and really help her feel like the mommy.  And if you have a little girl on your list who loves playing at being the mommy too, you'll love today's tutorial for this Pretend play diaper bag.  But even if you don't have a girl, this bag would be a wonderful tote for any boy to haul all his goodies around, or even to bring over to Grandma's for a sleepover.

Let's get to making one.

** Please read all directions before beginning.

The fabric used in this tutorial is from the Snapshots line.
You will need 1/2 yard fabric for the exterior of the bag- it is best if you use a non- directional fabric.
1/2 yard fabric for interior and flaps
1-2 fat quarters (optional) for pockets
1/2 yard fusible fleece (40" wide)
1/2 yard of 1/4" or 1/2" elastic
sewing supplies

Cutting the Fabric:
From your exterior fabric you will need:
1- 14" X 18" (exterior of bag)
1- 6" X 28" (strap)
1- 14" X 13" (interior pocket) *
From your interior fabric you will need:
1- 14" X 18" (interior of bag)
2- 11" X 10" (flap)
1- 7" X 10" (side pocket) *

*unless you purchased additional fat quarters for interest, then cut the pocket pieces out of them.

Cutting Fusible Fleece:

Cut in order:
2- 14" X 18"
1- 11" X 10"
1 1/4" X 27"- when you cut your fleece, you will not have a piece that is 27" in length, so just cut 2 pieces at 1 1/4" and over lap them when you fuse them into the strap.

Cut your elastic into 1- 10" piece and 1- 3" piece

Go to your ironing board. :)

Following the manufacturers instructions fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the exterior and interior bag pieces.  Fuse fleece to the wrong side of one of the flap pieces.  Take your strap piece, fold in half along the length and press.  Open up the strap and bring the sides into the newly pressed center crease- press.  Open up one side and lay the fleece along one side of the center crease, overlapping the pieces in the center, with the fusible side of the fleece (the bumpy side) toward the fabric.  Fold the side back down and refold the piece along the center crease- press to fuse the fleece to the fabric.

Preparing the pieces:
 *all seam allowances are 1/2"

On the wrong side of the flap piece without the fleece, use a lid or mug to round the two bottom corners.  Pin the piece to the second flap piece, wrong sides together.  Cut along the marked lines to round both pieces.  Sew around the three sides touching the rounded corners.  Clip around the rounded corners. *one tip is to use pinking shears on the curves, just be sure to not clip your threads.  Turn right side out and press.
Top stitch around the three sewn sides of the flap and along both sides of the strap.  Set these two pieces aside.

1. Press your pocket pieces in half wrong sides together- for the outside pocket, fold in half along the 10" side to create a piece that is 5" X 7", for the interior pocket fold along the 13" side to create a piece that is 14" X 6 1/2".  Starting 1/2" from the folded edge sew around all three raw sides, leaving and opening for turning- note the arrows in the picture- and stopping 1/2" from the folded edge on the opposite side.  Clip the two corners opposite the folded edge.
2.  Turn right side out and press.  Sew along the top of the pocket at 1/2" to create a channel for the elastic.  Use a safety pin to thread the elastic into the channel.
3.  Pull the elastic until the free end is barely inside the channel (see picture) sew across this end of elastic so it doesn't pull out of the pocket- back stitch to secure the elastic.
4.  Pull the safety pin end of the elastic out of the channel, gathering the fabric at the top of the pocket.  Remove the safety pin and carefully pull the elastic back into the channel until the end is barely inside the channel as in Step 3.  Sew across the second side of the elastic to secure it into place.  Do this for both the side pocket and the inside pocket.

Bag Assembly:
1.  Take your exterior bag piece and fold in half along the length to create a piece that is 9" X 14".  Make a mark 1 1/2" from the fold that is 2" long, finish the rectangle by drawing a line that is 1 1/2" long 2" in from the side.  Repeat on the second side of the folded edge.  Cut out the rectangles.  Sew up one side.
2.  Turn the exterior bag piece right side out.  Center the side pocket over the seam you just sewed, 2" from the top of the bag.  Pin the top of the pocket in place.  Create pleats in the bottom of the pocket so the sides are perpendicular to the top of the pocket- pin in place.  Sew around all three sides of the pocket.  Turn the bag wrong side out again and sew up the second side.
3.  We are going to create the boxed bottom of the bag.  Line up the side seam with the bottom crease.  This will create a straight line out of the rectangle we cut out earlier.  Sew along this line.  Repeat for both sides.
4.  Turn bag right side out, pull on the side seams to create a flat piece on top.  Center the flap along the back of the bag- it should be about 1 1/2" from the side seam to the edge of the flap.  Baste stitch in place.  Center the ends of the strap on each side seam, pin in place making sure the strap is not twisted.  Baste into place.

Create inside pocket:
Line up the sides of the pocket 1 1/2" down from the top of the lining piece and 2" in from the sides- pin into place.  Create pleats in the bottom of the pockets to gather the extra material, making sure the sides are perpendicular to the top of the pocket- use the picture as a guide.  The pleats will be approx. 1/4" deep.  Sew around the three sides of the pocket.  Mark the center of the pocket- 5" in from the side- sew along this line to create two pockets.
Repeat steps 1. and 3. from the exterior bag assembly to cut out the rectangle and box the bottom of the bag.
Place the exterior of the bag inside the interior of the bag.  Make sure the flap of the bag is on the same side as the inside pocket.  You can see from the picture that you will have to fold and scrunch the fabric to get the tops of the bag pieces to line up.  (you will also see from this picture that I did not  baste the flap or straps into place- what can I say, I'm a rebel)  Start at the side seams and line them up and begin to pin the tops of the bag together- keeping everything lined up.  Sew around the top of the bag- leaving an opening for turning- it's easier if the opening is NOT on the side with the flap.  Turn the bag right side out through the opening.  Push all of the corners out well.  Push the inside of the bag into the exterior of the bag.  Press the top seam, folding over the opening left for turning.  Top stitch the top seam of the bag, making sure to close the opening.  Press the bag to remove any creases from turning the bag.
 Step back and watch your little one enjoy their new tote!
I purposely left the bag pretty simple, it is for a 2 year old after all, but if you want to add extra embellishments- like this fun scrunched flower- or buttons or ric rac- go right ahead- just do so before you sew the two flap pieces together.  I hope you, and your little ones, enjoy your new diaper bags.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sewing Machine Mini Quilt

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
mini quilt featuring sewing machine
The fabric for this project was provided to me by Riley Blake Designs. The project and opinions are my own.

You probably don't know this, but I have been pulled out of depression twice in the last two years by sewing. Through being creative, putting things together in a unique fun way, and taking time to do something just for me, I have found my happiness any joy renewed. So creating, and specifically sewing, have a very special place in my heart and in my life. When I was given the opportunity to participate in the blog tour for this new Happiness is Handmade line by Lori Whitlock, I jumped at the chance. The colors, theme and feel of this line just speaks right to my heart. I've been wanting to make some new mini quilts for a while now and this seemed like the perfect time to start.
I started with this sewing machine block from The Fat Quarter shop. It was a good size and I loved the shape. I had a blast putting it together. *Now, before we go any further, I need to add a disclaimer that I am a novice quilter. I have not done many quilts and my technique is sketchy at best. But, I'm learning, I forgive myself as I go for not being great at it, and I enjoy the process enough to do it anyway. So, don't zoom in- okay?
I added a small border under the sewing machine and then added two rows of hearts to the top and bottom. I purposely offset the two rows of hearts to give the quilt just a bit of movement. I really love how it turned out.
If you are interested in making this exact mini yourself, this heart tutorial by Cluck Cluck, Sew is the process I used to create my hearts. I cut the color rectangles at 2 1/4" X 3 1/2", the tops of the hearts were created with 1" squares and the bottom of the heart used 2 1/4" squares. They are a bit shorter than the ones in the tutorial, but I like this shape a little better. The border between the sewing machine and the heart row is 1 1/2" X 16 1/2" and the borders on the heart row were 1 1/2" X 3 1/2" and 2" X 3 1/2". If there are any questions, please let me know and I can write it up a bit clearer. :)
Happiness for me is indeed creating handmade and I'm so happy I will have a bit of this line hanging out with me for a long time in my sewing space.
Happy creating everyone!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Shine Bright Tote tutorial

Monday, December 4, 2017
Shine Bright fabric tote
The fabric for this post was provided by Riley Blake Designs, the project and opinions are my own.

I absolutely loved this fabric and the message the ladies from Simple Simon and Company incorporated into it. They dedicated this line to their daughters and wanted them to know what they hope for and think of the sweet girls in their lives. I want my girls to know that I think the same things about them, so I knew I wanted to make something they would see and use often. I decided on a tote bag that they could use to hold their coloring supplies, or even use for library books if they want. It's a simple bag, made a bit more fun with the addition of a pleated ruffle on the front.
Shine Bright fabric totes
I made two totes for a couple of my daughters, so in the tutorial I will be alternating between them.

Shine Bright Tote Tutorial
This pattern is fat quarter friendly. You will need one for the exterior and one for the lining. If you want to add additional interest or colors, you will want a few more fabrics.

  • from lining fabric cut 2- 11" X 13" rectangles
  • from exterior fabric cut 1- 11" X 13" rectangle
  • from exterior fabric cut 1- 3" X 11" rectangle
  • from exterior fabric cut 1- 10 1/2" X 11" rectangle
  • cut one 3 1/2" X 20" strip for ruffle
  • cut one 4" X WOF strip for handles (if using Fat Quarters, cut 2 4"X 21" strips)
  • Cut 2-  3 1/2" X 11" strips for accent pieces on bottom of tote (optional- skip if using a dark color for main exterior fabric)
  • From Fusible Fleece cut 2- 10 1/2" X 12 1/2" rectangles
  • from Fusible Fleece cut 1- 7/8" X 42" strip (or 2- 7/8" X 21" strips if using fat quarters)
 Take the 3 1/2" X 20" ruffle piece and press in half along the length.
Attach strip to the top of the 10 1/2" X 11" main exterior piece, creating pleats as you go. Use a scant 1/4" seam allowance. *tip: if you are concerned about the pleats being evenly distributed along the tote, use pins to put the pleats in first.
Then add the 3" X 11" piece on top of the ruffle- this time use a full 1/4" seam allowance.
Press small piece up and away from ruffle.
Fuse the fleece to the exterior front and back pieces.
Measure 3" up from bottom of each of the exterior pieces and pin the 3 1/2" X 11" accent piece in place.
Stitch down using 1/4" s.a.
Press the accent piece down toward the bottom of the exterior pieces.
Add top stitching above the ruffle, at the top of the ruffle and on the top of both bottom accent pieces.
Take the lining pieces and place them right sides together.
Sew around the two sides and bottom using 1/4" s.a.- Leave a 3-4" opening on bottom seam!!
Mark a 3/4" square on the two bottom corners and cut out using scissors.
Repeat all steps for the exterior of the bag except DO NOT leave an opening on the bottom seam.
Line up the side and bottom seams, pulling the cut out square into a straight line. Pin the seams together.
Sew along the straight line you created using a 1/4" s.a.
Repeat for both lining and exterior of the bag.
Turn the exterior of the bag right side out.
Take your handle strip and press in half along the length.
Open up that seam and press the outer edges of the strip so they line up with the center pressed line.
Place the fusible fleece along the center pressed line to one side or the other.
Fold the outsides back into the center and then fold again along the center fold- this should capture the long raw edges inside the strap.
Press to fuse the fleece to the fabric.
Top stitch along both sides of the strip to create the handles
Cut long strip in half (if using a WOF cut)
Pin handles to front and back of bag exterior.
Line up the outer edge of the handles 2 1/4" in from the side seams.
Pin or baste in place
Slide the exterior of the bag inside of the lining.
Make sure side seams nestle- that they are going in opposite directions.
Line up the side seams and top raw edge of the lining and exterior of bag.
Pin around the entire top opening of bag.
Sew around top of bag using 1/4" seam allowance.
Pull the exterior of the bag through the opening in the bottom of the lining, turn entire bag right side out.
Stitch the opening of lining closed.
Push the lining into the exterior of the bag.
Press the top seam and top stitch around the opening of the tote.
Now your tote is finished! All that is left is to fill it with goodies- like coloring books, pencils and a matching zipper pouch and you have a delightful gift perfect for birthdays, Christmas or any occasion!
As always, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!
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