Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Tutorial ~ Book Lady's Library Bag

There are many things I love to do. Besides spending my time with my family, I love to design, sew, cook, create and read. I always liked to read while growing up and read several books every day to my children. I know many people love their books in digital form now a days, but I still love the actual books on my shelf.

I love the soft muted color of the new fabric line "Once Upon A Rhyme" from Riley Blake designs. Then, when I saw the book shelf fabric I immediately fell in love with it! There are a couple other color themes I had hard time choosing from, but I decided to go with blue. I thought it would be so fun and fitting to make a library bag with this fabric for my daughter.

*Material and cutting

1/2 yard of Once Upon A Rhyme Books Blue fabric --- Cut 2 pieces of 14"x 16" for the outer bag, 2 pieces of 3"x 20" for the handles, 1 piece of 6"x 9" for the pocket

1/2 yard of Once Upon A Rhyme Toss Blue --- Cut 2 pieces of 14"x 16" for the inner bag

1/2 yard of Pellon fusible interfacing (Heavy weight)--- Cut 2 pieces of 14"x 16", 2 pieces of 1"x 20" strips

1 1/2" x 8" of thin fusible interfacing

7" zipper

Matching thread>

*How to
1.Fuse the thin interfacing to the back of the pocket, 1/2" from the edge of the top of the pocket piece. Draw a 7" line in the middle of the interfacing and from the tip of the line draw short (a little shy of 1/4") diagonal lines to the left and right.

2. Cut on the lines. Then, fold the edges about 1/4" and press with the iron. Be careful not to melt the interfacing.

3. Pin the zipper, switch the presser foot on your machine and sew it on. Trim the excess material from the zipper on the sides and press 1/4" around the edges on the pocket. Set aside.

4. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and fuse the interfacing on the wrong side of the 14"x 16" fabrics to make the inner bag.

5. Sew the pocket piece from step 3 onto one of the inner fabric from step 4. Make sure that the center of the pocket and the center of the fabric matches and place the top edge of the pocket 3" from the edge of the inner bag fabric.

6. Put together the inner fabrics right sides together and sew.

7. To make the boxed bottom, pinch the bottom and side seam together. Make sure the seams line up perfectly. Pin and measure 3" (1 1/2" from each side of the center line) and draw a line and sew. Cut off the excess. Do the same to the other side.

8. Sew the outer bag in the same manner as steps 6 and 7.

9. Make handles. Fold the 3" x 20" strips in half horizontally and fuse the interfacing along the folded line. Sew and turn it inside out. It will make the job easier to use a tube turner. Press with the iron and sew both sides with 1/8" seam.

10. Put together the outer bag and inner bag right sides together. Insert the handles between both layers where the picture is showing, and pin. I left 1/2" out from the edge, so when you turn the fabric inside out and do the top stitches, you will go over the handles again. This way, the handles are more securely sewn.

11. Leaving a few inches for opening, sew the top edge.

12. Turn it inside out. Press the opening, pin and do the top stitches around the edge. Then, sew another top stitch 1/2" from the first top stitches.

I am pretty happy with how the inner pocket turned out. This will be convenient for a library card and some cash.

It is finished! I added tassels I made last week to add a touch of detail. If you are interested in how to make them, you can find the tutorial here.

This book shelf fabric is such a brilliant design. You can make so many fun things (skirt, pouch, book cover, pillows for your reading nook and more!) for yourself or your book lover friends. Can you imagine making some Christmas gifts for your book group friends? My daughter, who finally got into reading last year, loves her new library bag and this was a perfect gift for her!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tutorial ~ Plump Yarn Tassel

I have been cleaning and organizing my studio over the last few weeks. It was a long haul to say the least, but I found many things that I had forgotten about or some projects that I meant to start and never did. "Out of sight out of mind" is so true. One of the projects I wanted to do is to make tassels. I bet many of you have some ball of left over yarn somewhere in your house perfect for this project. I know there are different ways to make tassel, but I am sharing the way that works for me the best.

1. I made a 3" board from cardboard and wrapped medium size yarn 120 times. This is just a random number. If you want your tassel to be fuller, you can always do more.

2. Cut long yarn(mine is 12" long) and put it through yarn needle. Put the needle through in the middle of one side of the card board and tie it in the middle.

3. Flip the cardboard over and cut the middle.

4. Set the cardboard on the side and fold the yarn in half. Pull the yarn tied on top away from the rest. Take long yarn (12" to 15") and wrap it around the folded yarn about 3/4" from the top.

5.Thread the yarn ends from step 4 to yarn needle and stab it behind where you tied a knot and pull it through towards the middle and the bottom to hide the knot.

6. Trim the yarn.

7. I put a wooden bead through the top and made the knot so it will stay in place. You can skip this step, it is just an option.

I haven't decided what I am going to use this for, but I added them to my chair in the studio for now. LOVE THEM!

Are you going to give it a try?

Sunday, February 11, 2018

baby lock Sewing Machine "Aria" is in the House!

A while ago, I was contacted by baby lock and had a brief interview... long story short, I was given the opportunity to work with their company and their fabulous sewing machine as one of their influencers. This is like a dream come true for me and I am still pinching myself!

Many many years ago in our humble beginning, my husband bought me a simple Singer sewing machine and that served me well for a while. When the time came to shop for a new sewing machine, I did all the research that I could and decided to go with Baby Lock. I REALLY LOVE my Espire; it is durable, dependable, has many nice features and I never had any issues with it. When people asked my advice about sewing machines, without skipping a beat I always recommended baby lock. When I had an interview over the phone with someone from baby lock, she asked me what kind of sewing I do. I told her I do both, I mean sewing garments and making quilts. Reading the instruction booklet and other's reviews, seems like Aria is a perfect machine for both worlds.

I finally cleaned up my studio and my Aria is sitting pretty on my table. I just started playing with it, I only did a couple miner bit of sewing so far. I added ruffles to my daughter"s dress that is getting a little short.

Since I have been using my Espire many things are similar, but I know I have a lot to learn to take advantage of this amazing machine to take my sewing adventures to the next level. There are a few things I will share with you.

Color LED touch screen is super nice! When I first started using the machine, I set the clock and language. I am capable of many things, BUT anything to do with technology flies over my head, but it was simple enough that I was able to figure things out quickly. I was amazed at how many thing are designed so user friendly and among many languages, it had Japanese!

I am so thrilled about 11.25" throat space as well. I can't wait to machine quilt my next quilt.

As I was organizing and cleaning my studio, I found lots of clothing patterns and fabrics I bought with the intention of making them. I am looking forward to learning different features on Aria while I sew a lot more this year!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

New Year, New Attitude ~ Getting Organized

In January many of us make new year resolutions. One of the things on my list this year is to get better organized and simplify my life. When I say "Organized", that included many things. My house all the nooks and carnies, but also my schedule too. When I think about it, it is a bit over whelming, but I decided to start small and keep working at it. This is one of the small(and CHEAP!) organization project that I started a while ago, but made such a difference for me, so I will share it with you today.

I like finding inexpensive cute earrings. Not only do I take good care of things, I don't lose them and also I thought I could always give them to my daughter when she is older, I kept them and my collection grew and grew... If you are like me, one of the challenges to collecting things is to find the best way to organize them. I tried a couple different methods, but they didn't really work out for me. They look kind of organized, but it is still hard to find the ones that I want to wear for the day.

I still need to look for the other matching earring!

For this project, I bought several foam sheets. 33 cents a sheet at Walmart! Cut them to strips. I cut mine for various widths. 1" for smaller earrings and 1 3/4" to 2" for bigger earrings.

Then, made holes with an awl. It is so easy to put an awl through the foam and you can just make an indent. You could easily push the earrings through the foam, but this step will create more even placement for the holes and it looks much more organized and pretty when it's all set and done.

For the smaller earrings, I organized them like: gold, silver, rose gold, pearls and unique. This allowed me to find the earrings I want to wear for that day much faster.

For the bigger earrings, I had fun categorizing and grouping them by theme and color. I store those strips in the shallow drawers.

I used three sheets of foam which is around a dollar. This is the best way that I have organized my earrings and I love it so much! I hope you will give it a try!
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