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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Candy wrapper pouches

 I just finished making my first candy wrapper pouch. I tried before on a pretzel bag and while it looked good, just turning it inside out caused the bag to tear. That was disappointing! I also used tape on the bag like I saw in a video.

So, I tried it again only this time I bought some thin vinyl (which was less than $1 for a quarter of a yard!) and lightly ironed it on top of the candy wrapper. I sewed it with a basting stitch and while I still need to practice more, I like how it turned out.




The zipper was taken off a purse from the thrift shop. I was able to get several bag style zippers from one purse for less than $1. Not bad! They are great for practicing bags with.

I was hoping to find some iron on vinyl, but no store here sells any. I was wondering if heat transfer laminating sheets would work. Thoughts anyone? Still, the vinyl here seems to do the trick. I hope to sell some of these pouches someday in my Etsy shop, but I want to get better at them first. Work out all the errors and such...

Handmade items I sell in my shop have always been tried and tested first.

Oh, and by the way, the candy wrapper used was sent to me as a RAK on Ravelry. A kind crafter sent it my way as it was on my wish list. Thank you again!


Notion pouches

I couldn't seem to get myself into a mood to sew more boxy pouches, so I gathered up these pieces that I had set aside for when my zippers came in and sewed these notion pouches. These are what I call my N.P.P's aka No Pattern Pouches. These are fun to make as I don't measure anything and just sew. I never know what size they will turn out to be.

I've listed them up as a set in my Etsy shop. If they don't sell that way, I'll list them separately. Shipping has gone up and now that I'm using the bubble wrap envelopes to ship them in, it's actually cheaper to get them as the set. You can keep one and give the others away as gifts. :-)








I had fun making them!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Cracker recipe

The other day my beloved was saying how he wanted to have crackers with our evening cheese snack. So of course I had to Google a recipe for some crackers. I was thinking of wheat thins that night so I looked for a similar recipe and found this.

I made it and they turned out delicious. I had trouble getting all the pieces to come out the same size though and since we count our calories I wanted them uniform in size.

So I went to the local kitchen shop and purchased this. I've had my eye on it for at least a year and thought it was time to buy it. So glad I did! They make the perfect sized crackers. If you're near Nevada, MO, be sure to buy it from Kitchen Essentials. I paid around $14 for mine.

Anyways, here are the crackers I made-


The tiny crackers should have been baked separately because they were done so much faster. I just need to practice getting them rolled the same thickness. 

Mason jar lunch bag


I love birds so naturally this fabric caught my eye! I know it's sort of a fall colored print, but I like it.



The padded sleeves are non removable, but they can be folded to the side when not in use. They hold 2 pint sized jars. I've seen so many creative ideas you can pack in jars for meals on the go. This bag is perfect to take to work! 

I found the pattern here. I've also got the patterns to make a single jar holder, 2 quart jar bag and 4 pint jar bags. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Scrubbers galore!

What a busy weekend it was! My goal was to finish 12 scrubbers to refill in the shops. I cut out my new netting material and worked hard all weekend.


I'm happy that I was able to get 30 done! Now I can rest all week and not make anymore until next weekend. My hands need a break anyways. 

My goal is to make up another 30 next weekend and hopefully be able to list at least a dozen in the Etsy shop in March. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Wonder clip bowl pouches

Well I got my zipper order in yesterday and planned to sew boxy bags last night. Then I realized how tired I was of sewing boxy bags. So, I decided to finish my wonder clip bowl pouches. I had cut all the pieces out awhile back but needed the zipper pull to finish it. I wanted to time myself to see how long it would take.

I started at 7 pm. I love sewing things in assembly line fashion. So I pressed all the right pieces and started sewing the parts together. The bag itself goes together fairly quickly. At 7:30, my needle broke while sewing over the zipper part and I spent nearly 30 minutes or longer searching for the missing pieces. That's right, one piece flew forward. The other still attached to the machine and the tip was missing. I hoped it was attached to the fabric, but it was not. I got up slowly in case it was on me (it wasn't) and went to get a flashlight and magnet. I had a needle once hit me above my eye, but thankfully this time I was only hit with a face full of fuzz. I turned off the machine and took apart the bottom half looking for the tip. I didn't realize how much fuzz was in the bobbin case area. I tried to take the needle out that was still attached to the machine and it fell into the bottom area. So I picked up the machine and gave it a gentle shake. I could hear things rattling inside but nothing fell out.

I got on my hands and knees and searched for the tip. Brushing my hand along the carpet very slowly looking everywhere. I was not very happy. I thought I'd just vacuum the area, but not knowing for sure was getting to me. I would only be satisfied if I found the tip.

While on my hands and knees, I said a little prayer asking God to help me find the tip. Only He knew where it was! I asked him to show me where it was.  I sat back up and cleaned out the machine as best as I could. It's good the needle broke because it forced me to clean out the machine. I found the top piece that had fallen through while giving the machine another shake. Even found another piece that broke off. Just when I felt the most helpless, I looked behind the machine and saw something glistening under a box that I had sitting there. It was the needle tip! Praise God! I've never been so happy! I knew that I could now enjoy the rest of my sewing night knowing that I would not be stepping on the tip.

I put the machine back together and sewed these pouches-



I spent more time fiddling with the zipper pull than I did sewing the actual pouches. I found this very helpful video which made my life so much easier. The trick is to pull both ends at the same time.

And here is the needle pieces-





Friday, February 24, 2017

Projects in progress

The local quilt shop has started a thing called projects in progress or PIPS. It's once a month and you just bring whatever project you are working on that needs to be finished. It's a fun way to fellowship with other like minded people.

I went in this morning and worked on my binding on my quilt. The owner had said I could use her machine since I don't have a walking foot for mine.

I got it nearly done before I had to leave for lunch. When I got back, I finished up the last piece and then started to hand sew it. It's coming along nicely, I think. It is so relaxing to me to hand stitch it.

Here's a sneak peek of the binding.


I had no idea putting binding on could be so easy. 

Years ago I bought a kit from the quilt shop for a table runner. I really had no idea what I doing, but finished it. The binding was the trickiest part. I winged it. Almost too embarrassed to show this picture but here is how I did it. 



See how bad this is? 

Well now that I know the proper way to do binding, I'm going to take out the old binding and put in some better binding. I've been hiding my table runner on the drawer all these years. 

There are hundreds of ways to do binding (I'm sure!) but thought I'd show in a later post how I learned to do mine. 

Stay tuned! 



One last horrifying picture. 

Here is the finished table runner with new improved binding. I love it!







Two more cat boxy bags

I sewed these last night with my last two zippers. And good news my zipper order arrived today. Looks like I'll be sewing three more boxy bags tonight.

Sewing has really been a good form of therapy for me lately. I've been struggling with depression and making these bags has helped lift my spirits. The evenings are so long and drawn out sometimes that I find myself counting down the hours until my beloved is home again.

Here are the bags I made-






The first one sold before I could even list it in my shop, but the second one is available in my Etsy shop. 

And good news, I plan to sew another blue one time since my zippers have arrived. 

The liner material reminds me of scratch marks or fur flying. You'll have to check back to see a pic! 




Wednesday, February 22, 2017

More boxy bags on the way

Sewed this one last night and it already sold.



I've got five more boxy bags in the works. I'm hoping my zippers arrive soon so I can start sewing them.

Here's the fabric I got today.



I've got one more sheep print cut out too.


It will look like this one. 

If all goes well, I'll have 5 more boxy bags listed in my Etsy shop soon. When I run out of zippers, I'm going to work on drawstring style ones. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Boxy bags done

I couldn't wait any longer to sew up my boxy bags so I cut out and sewed these last week. I made the mistake and cut the pattern piece out on the 18 inch side rather than the 22 inch side so now I've got a lot of pieces that are too short for a boxy bag but will make excellent notion pouches!

With the material leftover, I'm thinking of making a drawstring style bag with a zipper pocket on the outside. But I haven't decided yet...









I've got these bags up for sale in my etsy shop if you want to take a look.

I will have other notion pouches for sale coming soon, but this one above will go with the matching boxy bag.




Friday, February 3, 2017

So long ago.

I started blogging in 2005. Seems like such a long time ago. Hubby and I had a blog together at first. Some of the older posts are from those times. I used to have two blogs. One for crafts and one for personal stuff. Many years ago, I combined the two. I try to keep this blog balanced but I tend to write more about crafts as they are a big part of my life. But I hope to write more this year on other subjects.

Sometimes it seems like we have taken many steps backwards because we don't live as simple as we used to. I don't regret where we are now and I don't regret the experiences we endured back then. I'm thankful for each adventure we shared.

I do hope this year to return to some of my simple living principles but it's going to take awhile to get to that point. I've gotten spoiled and set in some of my ways.

One of the things I have gotten into this week is growing microgreens. I had such a failed attempt at growing anything edible last year and it was a huge disappointment to me. But I have hope.



More later!

Crayon bag part 2

Ok. I'm very disappointed with the pattern I tried. Granted I used interfacing instead of felt or batting, but I was not expecting this-

This is with a book inside. The pockets are way too floppy. I should have made it double thick. And added interfacing. That would have driven up my cost though.

I had great plans for this material and ended up using almost all of it on this bag. Now it's useless. I'm cutting it up tomorrow to salvage as much as I can. :/

And next time I will just make the smaller version.

Even without the coloring book inside, it flops over.

This is the orange one.

I'm torn on thing to figure out which way I want the coloring book pocket to be. This way on the orange one it doesn't allow the book to fall out hanging up, but it slides out when the bag is put together. It doesn't fall out though. Maybe I should make a flap of some sort. 

Back to the drawing board...

Crayon bags

I love this pattern I found on Etsy. 





The shop seems to have disappeared but I hope it's coming back so I can share the link. I've seen several free tutorials out there but they don't compare to this pattern. One thing they have in common is that the crayon slots bunch in the middle. I don't have that problem with this pattern. 

In fact, I wanted to sew another style crayon bag. The style that opens up and saw a few tutorials and they too pinched in the center. So, I took some material and sewed this- 



No bunching. 

But curiosity got the better of me and I found this pattern. I had to try it. Only I put the pockets in my own way and did the straps differently and like how it came out. Sort of. I almost like my design better. (The orange one) It's smaller and more compact. 

I'll blog my changes later. In case anyone wants to try it. 

More later!




Fabric boxes

Found a cool pattern on Pinterest the other day. Had to make one!


I liked it so much I made another.


 I've got a bunch of material cut out to sew more!

Here is the pattern. Here is a YouTube version.

Be sure to check out the French seam version from the pattern website. I tried it with the second one and loved the idea! It makes the box reversible.

How I add a handle to my boxy bags with new UPDATE

Someone asked me the other day what pattern I used for my boxy bags. And how I did my handles. I'm sure there is an easier way, but this is how I do it.

First of all, I use this pattern to make the boxy bag. It was the first pattern I used to sew a zipper. I have seen many patterns for boxy bags and this is by far my favorite one.  I like to use a fat quarter for my bags.

I'm not going to go into detail on how I sew the boxy bag because I think her tutorial is great! But I did sew the tabs a little differently and will show how I add a handle to it. I will add that I have taken the handle before and placed it where the tab goes and sewed it that way, but I prefer the handles the way I'll show today.

Here we go...


I like to cut the material this way so the picture pieces still connect. 


This is my handle piece. It is 4 inches by 11. I put interfacing on the wrong side and press it in half.


Then I fold the edges toward the center. And fold in half again and sew down the sides. For the tabs, the pieces are 4 by 8 inches. After the sides are sewn, they come to 1x8 inches and I cut it in half to equal 1x4 each. The handle is now 1x11 inches.


Sew down on each side like shown.


Set aside and ready to go.


When you get to this part of the tutorial... This is where I put in the handles. I usually would trim the zipper ends by now but find it's easier to know which way is up if you wait to trim it.

Now, I know I do this a little backwards but this is how I make the handles and it works for me.

I go ahead and sew the flaps down then rip open a little bit in the middle and insert the handle in and resew it down. You only take out the middle stitches on the outer pieces on the top.


And make sure you have already trimmed about 1/4 inch off before you rip out the seams.


After you sew the first side in. Insert your hands into the pouch- to make sure the strap isn't twisted. 



It's easier to keep the handle centered when you only remove a few stitches.

Turn inside out. Sew up lining opening and you are done!

Let me know if you have any questions. Or need to see it on a video.

Update- So the other day I was curious to know how big my squares would be if I cut them out first and then sewed them up.

I sewed one like the tutorial showed and when I cut the tip off I measured it. And it came to:


Make sure that the 1 3/4 is shown in the exact spot like this, not the other way around. If you count where the seam line is it is also 1 3/4 inches.

I actually ended up forgetting and sewing it shut (out of habit) and then had to rip it open to put the handle in! Talk about annoying especially since I double backstitched several times.  In the end, I found that I could sew the seam closed, but leave a gap in the middle.


Then trim off 1/4 inch away from seam.

Insert handle in opening and then sew it shut.

This way is easier than having to rip out anything.

And the finished bag--