Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Puzzle Bags--mini tutorial

The Bug loves puzzles. 
We've gotten a couple of these jigsaw puzzles lately because she has grown out of her simple wooden ones.  But the cardboard boxes just aren't made to withstand an almost three year old. At least not MY almost three year old.

So I made some bags!
Forgive me, I didn't take step by step photos.
But I think the process is easy enough that you shouldn't need pictures.

What you will need:

  • Thin plastic, like from one of those zipper bags sheets and comforters come in

  • fabric

  • a button

  • an elastic hair tie

  • and the obvious--sewing machine and thread

  1. Cut your fabric.  My puzzle boxes were approximately 7" x 7" square, so that's what my measurements are based off of.  You will need two rectangles for your bag. Mine measured 8" x 14" which is the width of the puzzle box plus an inch for seam allowances by the width doubled.  Depending on how much fold over you want in the end, you could decrease the second number. 

  2. Cut an 8" x 8" square from your plastic.  Mine was really wrinkly because someone didn't fold it nicely before storing it away. Not sure WHO would have done that? Certainly couldn't have been me. Anyway, you can flatten it out a bit by pressing it with a cool iron just make sure to put some fabric between your iron and the plastic so you don't ruin the plate of your iron.

  3. Fold over the top edge of your plastic square and stitch it down to finish it.  I used an overlock stitch because I just realized my machine has that feature and I am enamoured with it right now but you could use a simple straight stitch if you prefer.

  4. Now sandwich your fabric rectangles with right sides together and the plastic square all the way at the bottom of one end.  You will be sewing the three "raw" edges of the plastic into your seams so make sure that finished edge the one you leave free.

  5. Sew around three sides.  I found it easier to sew the bottom of the bag first because I don't like to use pins if I don't have to and that held the slippery plastic in place well enough that I could stitch up the long sides sans straight pins. Oh bliss, oh inpatient seamstress bliss!

  6. Now turn your bag right side out and poke out the corners with a pen or something pointy.

  7. Iron down a quarter inch on the top raw edge, then iron down another half inch or so. I just eyeballed it. No need to be precise here, you just want it to look nice and finished.  Now stitch the folded edge down.

  8. Make a loop with your elastic hair band on the inside top middle of the side of the bag opposite the plastic pouch.  Clear as mud? Check out the photos and it will make more sense.  Sew that puppy down like mad.  I forward and back stitched over it several times.

  9. Sew your button onto the middle top of the plastic pouch.

  10. Cut the top off of your puzzle box and slip it into your clear pocket then fold the top of your bag over and slide the button through the loop!

Tada! You now have a bag to hold those puzzle pieces in ten easy steps!


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Monday, March 29, 2010

Green Gingham Skirt

Have I mentioned that I am in love with this "flippy" skirt?  It's not in my budget though.  I'm more of a don't spend more than you would at a garage sale kind of a girl. I pride myself on my clearance rack skills. But you know how love is.  I couldn't get that darn skirt and how cute it would look on the Bug out of my mind. 

So what's a thrifty Mamma to do?  I had no choice but to make it myself. And let me tell you, I am even more in love with my version.
I have a thing for green. And free fabric. Which made this piece absolutely perfect for this skirt.  I added an underskirt of non-fray nylon chiffon underneath for extra flounce, though I'm not sure I needed it.  That gingham is gathered to the max.

The droopy bow belt is my favorite part. It has that perfect casual, cool, effortless look.

Of course we also needed a shirt to go with so I made a simple little shell and added some trim around the neckline.

And here's the Bug modeling.  She untied the bow first thing so I had to double knot it. Ah well. Live and learn.  She loves the skirt though because it is perfect for spinning and dancing. And that's all you need in a skirt when you are two.

This just in. . .

Remember those Can Can skirts? Well here they are, and they couldn't be any sweeter. These girls are lucky to have a crafty momma who whipped up three matching shirts with some of the extra chiffon. I think they really just make the whole outfit don't they?
Absolutely adorable.

Happy Easter!


I'm linking up to:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Can Can Skirts

Well, March may have come in like a lamb weather-wise but it hit our family like a lion.  Sorry for the extended abscence while I've been trying to pull it together on the homefront.  I think we are finally getting into a new swing around our place and the sewing is picking up again.

The most recent project is these Can Can skirts for the daughters of a friend. Big sister is purple, middle sister is pink and baby sister is blue.

I can't wait to see them on. The skirts are cute enough on their own but all three of them together is just going to put it over the top I think.
The skirts are made by sewing layer after layer of non-fray Nylon Chiffon ruffles onto a simple skirt. It was so fun to play with the colors in order to get the gradation.  Once I got into the swing of it, it wasn't as labor intensive as it seemed it might be. Although I think the time estimate on the patter was perhaps a little ambitious.  Hard to tell since I didn't actually have two to three hours to sit down and work and had to pull them together in shorter bursts.  I think that always makes a project take longer.

Prior to the skirts I made a taggie blanket for a co-worker's baby shower and a little rag doll for a friends baby shower. And all the while I'm trying to crank out the next baby quilt for Baby Girl who is due in May and I've convinced myself that the Bug needs something (or somethings) hand made for all the upcoming Easter festivities.

Current inspiration? This Mini Boden skirt:
In a slightly smaller spring green gingham I had in my stash.  I hope to have photos soon. It's coming together quite nicely (except for the little incident where the nylon chiffon petticoat got a little too close to my mini iron. Oops! Not a pleasant odor.)