Category Archives: machine sewing- crafts

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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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.

Tic Tac Toe anyone?

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tic tac toe!

tic tac toe!

My sister and I love playing tic tac toe. It’s a fun game when you’re sitting at the doctors office, waiting for your violin lesson or on a camping trip.

My mom and I decided to make this little portable tic tac toe set. This would be a great birthday gift for a friend or just something to make for yourself.

It’s really easy! Here’s how you do it.

The supplies for this project are two pieces of fabric 10 inches by 11 inches]

ric rac or ribbon (although you could just use a zig zag stitch in a coordinating color  to make the lines if you don’t have any ric rac)

10 buttons- 5 of one color and 5 of a different color (you could also use little colored tiles, painted rocks, little pencil erasers, plastic checkers, really anything but they need to be different colors.

supplies

supplies

Start by cutting two pieces of fabric 10 inches by 11. Make the 10 inch side the width and the 11 inch side the height. (you need that 1 extra inch to make the casing on the top to close up the bag)

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Iron your fabric and then lay out the ric rac in a tic tac toe position on one piece of the fabric.

laying out the design

laying out the design

pin on the ric rac and sew on the bottom two pieces carefully.

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Now pin and stitch on the other two pieces of ric rac.

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trim off the extra ric rac and then lay the right sides together of your second piece of fabric.

trim off excess

trim off excess

right sides together
right sides together

Now measure 1.5 inches from the top and draw a line with a pencil. This will be the casing so when you sew the bag together you want to start below this line.

1.5 inches down from the top

1.5 inches down from the top

Stitch around the three sides. We used a 1/4 seam allowance. Don’t’ forget to backstitch at the beginning and end. It will keep your bag from tearing open.

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Once you have the bag stitched together it’s time to make the casing, or tube for the drawstring. Using your iron fold the top over just a little bit (about a 1/4 inch) and press, then fold it over and press again but this time fold it over about an inch. You need your casing to be big enough to fit your cord (or in our case we used extra ric rac as our drawstring)

first fold over

first fold over

second fold over

second fold over

Stitch very close to the edge to leave plenty of room for your cord.

stitching on the casing.

stitching on the casing.

Time to feed in the drawstring. This can be tricky but is MUCH easier if you use a little safety pin to help you feed the ric rac through the casing.

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Now tie off the ric rac so it doesn’t slip back into the casing and you’re ready to play!

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Ohh and for an easier version of this craft we found this fun tutorial for a hand sewn felt version. Check it out here!

Superhero Capes!

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My sister loves to pretend she’s a superhero and so do I. She made up a name for herself called “Super Turtle Marin” because she loves turtles. I call myself “Wonder Woman” or “Wonder Tenney”. We decided it would be fun to make our own capes and it was SUPER easy. My mom helped us to decorate them a little using the same appliqué technique we learned in the Hawaiian Inspired Applique pillow tutorial we posted a while back.

For this project you need

1/2 a yard of your favorite fabric.

Scraps of coordinating fabric if you choose to decorate it.

Pellon Fusible Webbing – lightweight (if you’re decorating your cape)

Begin by cutting your cape fabric.

For a smaller cape like the one we made for my sister you want to cut the fabric 11 inches across at the neck, 18 inches at the bottom and 18 inches long. We measured 3.5 inches in from the edge of our rectangle of fabric and lined up our ruler to the bottom. Once you cut it you have a really clean diagonal line. Do it on both sides to create the triangle shape. For a longer cape we suggest 24 inches long but really you can make this fit your body so any length is great.

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measuring in 3.5 inches

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cape after cutting

Now we have to hem the edges. For this part you need to use an iron. Get a grown-ups help. On the sides and bottom you need to fold over the fabric 1/4 inch and iron it down. Then do the same thing and iron it again. You won’t see any raw edges on your project this way. You can use this technique (called hemming) on tons of projects. On the top of the cape you’re going to basically do the same thing by folding over 1/4 inch and ironing down, but the second time you fold over you should fold it down 1 inch so that you make what’s called a casing. It’s just a long tube that you can insert your tie or neck strap into later.

regular hemmed edge- folded over twice.

regular hemmed edge- folded over twice.

casing edge

casing edge- folded over twice

Once you have everything folded over and ironed you need to stitch all around the cape.

preparing to stitch the casing edge.

preparing to stitch the casing edge.

Once you have your cape stitched you need to make a neck strap so you can wear it. You could use just a bit of ribbon or a shoelace but we decided to make our own  so we could show you how to make your own binding tape.

We cut a piece of fabric 2 inches wide and 25 inches long. We used the extra bit of our fabric to make this so it just happened to be 25 inches, if yours is a bit shorter or longer that’s no big deal.

binding tape

binding tape

Now using your iron fold one side half way up and iron it down, then fold the other side to match the first and hem down.

folded halfway up

folded halfway up

Once you have both sides folded in then you fold both sides together. It hides all the raw edges inside the binding tape. All you need to do it to press it down and stitch it down the edge.

stitching binding tape

stitching binding tape

Once that’s done you need to feed it through your casing on the cape and try it on!

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We used the techniques of using appliqué to place pellon fusible web on some scrap fabric and then ironed it on to my sisters cape. I told you she’s obsessed with turtles. My mom made a turtle to put on her cape.

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my sister “super turtle”photo 4       photome "flying" with my capeme “flying” with my cape

Valentines Placemats- quilt as you go!

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So today’s post is really exciting because I want to teach you a technique called “quilt as you go.” In our example we made a placemat but you could use this technique to make a table runner or a baby blanket, really whatever you want. It’s super easy and really fun.  We also did the binding (the finishing edge around the placemat) with a fun and easy technique so with these little tips you can make TONS of stuff!

The materials you need for this project are

fabric for the back of the placemat 10.5 inches by 17.5 inches

strips of fabric for the top cut 10 inches long by various widths. (we bought 6 different fabrics for the top and bought 1/4 yard of each and were able to make 6 placemats)

batting to place in-between – 10 inches by 17 inches

Let’s get started!

First cut your back fabric 10.5 inches by 17.5 inches

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Then lay your batting on top with the right side (colored side) down on the table. There should be a 1 inch border all around the batting.

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Now you get to have some fun and be creative!

Chose a strip to start with and place it at the edge of the batting and pin all three layers together.

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Sew the first strip on (sewing all three layers together) 1/4 inch in from the edge.

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Now take your second strip and lay it down right sides together on the left edge of the first strip and pin.

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Sew down the edge 1/4 inch (sewing through all layers) and then press open.

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Continue the same way sewing on your strips until you get all the way across to the end of the batting.

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Once you have your strips on it’s time to finish the edge.

This is a super simple way to bind your placemat. You will need a grownups help for this because you need the iron. Iron the raw edge of your back fabric up 1/4 inch and then fold it over and iron it again. (it will now be coming over the edge of the placemat)

IMG_9025 IMG_9026 IMG_9027 the picture on the left shows the first fold over-

Once you have the edges ironed you need to stitch them down. Start in the middle of one of the sides of the placemat and stitch down your binding next to the edge. When you get close to the corner stop and get ready to make the turn. You want a nice mitered edge (which means it looks like a diamond) so you take the fabric, pull it to the side into a triangle and fold it up. Then fold over the right edge and fold up the bottom edge.

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now you can finish stitching down to the end and very carefully turn the corner.

Do the same thing on all four corners and you’re done!!!

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You can use these techniques for all kinds of things. Make something and send me a picture for our creation gallery!

Love Letters- Felt envelopes filled with love!

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To celebrate the beginning of February we’re going to share a few fun Valentines themed projects. This first one is a love letter. You can make these for your parents, sister, brother, classmates, bff, teachers or anyone you love. My little sister loves to play mail carrier and we made a bunch of these for her play mail set. You can fill them with a valentines card, a picture, a heart cut out of felt, candy… the options are kind of endless.

Here’s how to make them. It’s SUPER simple.

The materials for this project are a sheet of felt, extra little scraps of felt in a contrasting color for stamp and velcro sticky dots for  the closure.

Print out the pattern.

We made our pattern so that you can get 2 envelopes from one sheet (8.5X11 inch piece) of felt.

click on pattern to enlarge and print.

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Cut out the pattern.

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Lay it on your felt, pin it and cut it out very carefully. We used a rotary cutter to get the cleanest lines but you can totally use scissors too.

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Fold your envelope in thirds to get a sense of where to put the “address”. We drew on ours with a marker so that you can see but you don’t have to do that if you don’t like the way the ink looks on the felt.

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Next cut out your stamp. You don’t have to be super precise with the stamp. Just a nice curvy square works. We cut a heart for the middle but you could cut a star or any other shape that suits the person you’re going to “send” it to.

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Now it’s time to sew! We used a zig zag stitch to sew on the address. Make sure the envelope is NOT folded when you do this!

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also stitch on the stamp. Use either a straight or zig zag stitch. Whichever you like better.

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Now it’s time to sew it up.

Fold your envelope in thirds and line up the edges. Now open the top of the envelope and just sew down the sides.

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Get out your sticky little velcro dots and place them on the envelope to make a closure.

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ta da!!! That’s it. Simple and so cool.

Make a bunch of them! Send me a picture for our creation gallery!

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Happy sewing,

Tenney

Make a Pillowcase!

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On our trip to Hawaii we visited an awesome Fabric Mart

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They had so much Hawaiian fabric it was almost impossible to choose. I wanted it all!

My mom let my sister and I pick out something and we decided we would figure out what to make with it later. Funny thing is that out of the 1000’s of fabrics there we chose the same one, just different colors of the same pattern.

Once we got home we were trying to think of what to make and after I made my Hawaiian Applique Pillow for my bed I realized that we should make a new pillowcase to go with it too!

We found the best tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Company on how to make a really awesome but super simple pillowcase and we tried it out!

Here’s our attempt.

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We love the tutorials at Missouri Star Quilt Company. They’re so easy to follow so instead of posting our own directions we think you should use theirs.