Author Archives: tenney

Snack Time!

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reusable snack bags

reusable snack bags

Well I don’t know about you but my sister and I are ALWAYS hungry for snacks. Today we decided to make our own snack bags so we don’t have to throw away those plastic ones anymore!

This was really easy so make a bunch and give some away to friends.

The materials for this project are

some fabric scraps for outside of bag

large bag- 16 inch by 7 inch

medium bag- 12 inch by 6 inch

small bag- 7 inch by 6 inch

ripstop fabric for the inside- cut to same sizes as outside fabric

velcro

 

Let’s get started.

Cut your fabric to size.

large bag

outside fabric and ripstop cut and ready to go.

place the two pieces of fabric together with the right sides (pretty sides) facing each other.

Sew around the edge leaving a space open to turn it around.

leave an opening

leave an opening

sew around outside

sew around outside

Turn it inside out. Fold the raw fabric in the opening inside and press down.

Cut your velcro just a bit narrower than the width of the bag and stitch it down on the top. (do one side at a time)

velcro ready to stitch on

velcro ready to stitch on

Now fold the bag in half with the ripstop on the inside and topstitch the edges.

That’s it! You’re done! Time for a snack!

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Super springtime shorts!

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Springtime’s coming and it’s time for some new shorts/pants! We made these out of bandanas and they’re both comfy and cool.

This was SUPER simple.

Here’s how to do it.

First you need 2 identical bandanas of the same color and some elastic for the waist band. We used 1.5 inch elastic to have a pretty stable and thick waistband but you could use something smaller if you like.

Take your bandanas and lay them on top of each other so that they exactly match.

laying out bandanas

laying out bandanas

Now fold them in half (both layers together) and place the fold on the left.

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You’re going to measure down 10 inches and in 2 inches from the top right side and cut a “J” shape through all 4 layers.

It should look like this.

J shape cut in fabric.

J shape cut in fabric.

Now open up the bandanas and lay them flat like this.

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Now sew the two layers together on the J shape on both the left and right sides. We used a zig zag stitch for extra strength. This will be the crotch of the pants so it should be strong.

J shape stitched

J shape stitched

Once you have the two “J” shapes stitched then open up the fabric and line it up with the crotch in the middle.

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Now it’s time to stitch the inside of the legs. Start at one end go up to the crotch and turn down to the other leg.

pants with sewn legs

pants with sewn legs

Now we need to add the waistband. Since the bandana comes with a finished edge you can just turn the top waist down about a half inch wider than the elastic you’re using. This will be your casing so it’s important that it’s not too small or the elastic won’t fit inside.

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Stitch the waistband down and  leave a space to feed in your elastic.

Measure your waist and cut your elastic about 1 inch longer. Feed your elastic into the casing using a safety pin in the end to help you.

Once you have your elastic in the casing stitch the elastic pieces together and let them slip back into the casing.

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Now stitch up the rest of the casing and try those shorts on!

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My sister and I are making these in 6 different colors!

They’re super comfy.

Make some and send us a picture!

Zippered pouches to hold your stuff!

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I have so many tiny little things that my mom is always telling me to “find a home” for. Today I decided to make some little zippered bags to put some of those things in. I was so lucky recently to get a gift from a friend of my parents. She gave me a bunch of her grandmothers sewing supplies. In the box she gave me there was tons of fabric, ribbon, lace and lots of buttons and other things. It was an amazing gift so today I decided to use some of the supplies and see what I could make.

To make a zippered pouch you need to have some fabric and a zipper and if you want to decorate the bag you can use ribbon, lace, ric rac, or just leave it plain.

ribbon to decorate

ribbon to decorate

supplies

supplies

For this bag we decided to make it 9 inches by 5 inches. We cut two pieces of fabric 9.5 by 5.5 inches that will give you enough fabric for your seam allowance (1/4 inch)

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Once you have your pieces cut you can decorate. I picked some pretty ribbon and sewed it on.

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If you want both sides of your bag to be the same make sure you measure how far down you sew your ribbon and do it exactly the same on both pieces so that it will line up when you’re done.

Once you have the pieces decorated, you are ready to sew on the zipper.

Our machine has a zipper foot but we didn’t use it for this project. We just sewed slowly and our regular foot was fine.

Place the right side of one piece of your bag up against the right side (zipper facing up) of the zipper and sew down the line. (we opened up the zipper so the zipper didn’t get in the way)

zipper lined up with edge of bag, zipper unzipped.

zipper lined up with edge of bag, zipper unzipped.

sewing first side of zipper on

sewing first side of zipper on

Now do the same thing on the other side and make sure you line up your zipper so that it’s not all wonky. Again we kept the zipper open to make it easier.

Don’t worry if your zipper is longer than the bag, you will cut off the excess in a minute.

Once you have the zipper sewn on, zip it up most of the way and then line up the two sides (right sides) of the bag and stitch around. Make sure the zipper is on the inside of the bag!

lined up

lined up

sewing around the bag.
sewing around the bag.

stitched up. ready to trim off the zipper excess.
stitched up. ready to trim off the zipper excess.

Trim off the zipper excess and flip your bag right side out!

flipping it out

flipping it out

You’d did it. Now fill it full of your stuff. I made one for when we go camping. I’m going to put my toothbrush in it. We made another one to hold sewing supplies and a third one to put my sisters little matchbox cars in.

Make a bunch. They’re super handy.

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Field Trip! Sewing Show!

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Today we visited a sewing and quilting festival. It was AWESOME!

I got to try out this amazing sewing machine called a long arm quilting machine. It was huge and incredible!

longarm quilting

longarm quilting

I also tried out some new crafts including Japanese Braiding called Kumihimo. I think I’ll try and post a  tutorial on it later once I practice it a bit. It’s really cool.

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japanese braiding

japanese braiding

I also got to make a glass beaded bracelet and spent some time chatting with a bead artist from Washington.

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showing my finished bracelet with the awesome bead artist I met.

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I’m so full of new ideas now, I just can’t wait to have some time to make all these new things!

Make a mistake work for you!

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stuffed violin pillow with strings!

stuffed violin pillow with strings!

So I play the violin and really love it. I just graduated to the next size violin and got to go to the violin shop to pick out a new one. It’s so beautiful and sounds awesome. My mom and I thought it would be fun to sew a cover for my new violin the way real professional musicians use. We traced around my violin and sewed a little “pillowcase” but once we got it all sewn up we realized that we made a mistake! The neck was too narrow and the scroll wouldn’t fit through it.

tracing around violin

tracing around violin

all sewn up but too narrow! Ohh no!

all sewn up but too narrow! Ohh NO!

At first we were disappointed with our mistake and thought about throwing the fabric into the scrap bin but then I had the idea to turn this mistake into something really fun. We flipped it inside out, sewed on some little bits to make it look like an awesome violin, sewed it up, stuffed it and then sewed on “strings”. It’s the coolest little violin pillow ever! You could make one like a guitar, a cello, or really anything. Next I’m going to make a bow and case out of fabric. I think that would be the best.

this is awesome!

this is awesome!

stuffed violin pillow with strings!

stuffed violin pillow with strings!

Ohh and we tried again and made a new cover for my violin too!

violin snug as a bug in it's case.

violin snug as a bug in it’s case.

Sewing class! Make a skirt with pockets!

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I was so excited when one of my friends Grace asked me if I would teach her how to make “something with pockets”. We decided to have a sewing class at her house and I taught some of my friends how to make a super simple skirt with patch pockets.

This is the easiest skirt EVER to make and took us less than an hour. This is the tutorial we followed to make it and then we just added little patch pockets. We all decided on heart shaped pockets except for my sister who always has to be different. She wanted squares.

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Make a skirt and send us a picture! We want to see your creations!

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Upcycled Dress! Design your own clothes!

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So I’m really interested in making my own clothes and have made a few skirts and tank tops but want to make things that are fancier. My mom said it might be fun to make some new clothes using old clothes. It’s called upcycling! We had so much fun with every part of this project and I’m making tons of stuff so I’ll definitely be posting more projects using this technique soon.

So for this dress we used a women’s size medium tank top. We went to the thrift store and bought a bunch of shirts and tank tops that I liked. My mom’s advice in picking out a good shirt to do this with is that the neck line shouldn’t be too low cut or it will be much harder to modify. Basically no V neck shirts and boat neck shirts should  be discouraged in your first attempt. Just find something you like (even a basic t-shirt is awesome) the fabric of. I liked this one because of the buttons on the front.

Here’s what it looked like when we started.

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The first step was to try it on. My mom helped me to pin the straps temporarily just to make them a little shorter and then pull the sides in and pin them close to my body right under the arms. If you don’t have someone to help you with this you can always take a dress or shirt that fits you really well and lay it flat on top of your project shirt and then use it as a template to pin the sides how you want the new shape to be.

pinned straps and sides

pinned straps and sides

pinned straps

pinned straps

Then I took off the dress and layed it flat on my cutting board. I took my seam ripper which is a little sharp tool that you can use to take the stitches out of clothes. It’s a lifesaver for a project like this. I opened up the seam where the straps were just on the front of the dress and took them off. (you may not have to do this if your shirt doesn’t have straps or if the straps aren’t so far off to the edge of your body)

strap removed with seam ripper

strap removed with seam ripper

Now it’s time to cut the sides of your shirt. We started on the outside of the pin and just gently cut down at an angle so that it eventually met up with the edge of the “skirt”

Hopefully this picture will help you to see what we mean.

dress layed out ready to cut.

dress layed out ready to cut

dress cut from the top down the side.

dress cut from the top down the side.

Now we folded the dress in half and cut the other side to match.

folded over

folded over

cut to match

cut to match

Now it’s time to sew! Turn the shirt inside out and match up the front and back along the new cut lines.

Sew down the sides.

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Now try on the dress and pin the straps on where you would like them. We decided to crisscross the straps in the back on ours. It looks really cool. Once you have your straps on stitch them very carefully back onto the top.

You’re done!

Try it on and enjoy your work. It was SO easy and it’s a great way to make your own clothes without having to start from scratch! This dress cost us $2.00 and I love it!

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Now it’s your turn! Make something and send us a picture. We want to see your creations!

Here’s one my mom made me out of a women’s size large tank top. She didn’t have to take any straps off this one she just pinned it under my arms and sewed the sides. It took her about 10 minutes.

before- tank top

before- tank top

after- tank top dress!

after- tank top dress!

I love it!

I love it!