Man's Tote Bag

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Yay I did it! Here is the last and final tutorial for the month of September. A bit of a mission but possibly the motivation that I needed to get some projects finished.

Well, I finished the project but my camera memory card is dead so I can't take any more photos of it - cry!

I am linking to La Maison Reid's blog again as I used the basis of her tutorial to get me started, changing a few things on the way to make it a bit more manly and practical.

I started off with two rectangles of fabric for the outer layer (45x40cm) and three for the inner layer (2 at 45x40cm, and the other one for the pocket will be 50cm wide at the top, 45cm wide at the bottom and then 35cm high-isosceles triangle shape). Omit the third layer of the inner fabric if you are not wanting a pocket put in or if you are wanting a real simple project to start off with.

To cut out the inner layer fabric, I used a ruler, protractor and fabric marker but feel free to use another method to cut out your fabric! The outer layer was easy as it had lines in the pattern.

To make the tote have a flat bottom, rather than going straight down we are going to square the corners.

Cut a square 5cm by 5cm out of the bottom right and left corners of all layers.

Next step was to make the pocket.
Take the shorter piece of the fabric for the inner layer, fold down and hem just a bit bigger than what your elastic is to make a casing for it.

Thread one end of the elastic through the casing hole using a safety pin. Pin one end and sew it in place. Now with the end still attached to the roll of elastic, stretch it out so that your pocket is now the same width as the other piece of inner fabric and stitch in place.

Fold both sides of your pocket under and sew to your other layer of fabric.

Now sew a line through all of the single layers of fabric before you sew them together and finish off squaring your corners (with the exception of the layer of the pocket, which you will have already sewn together. For the pocket layer, sew the line through both layers.

Also, if you are wanting two pockets on the inside instead of just one massive one, sew a line down the middle of your pocket (through both layers).

Pin all three inner layers together so that the pocket is facing the inside.

Sew sides and bottom.

Do the same for the outer layers.

I didn't have photos for the part where you square the corners because my camera had died so I have borrowed ones from La Maison Reid's blog.

Take the corners and open them up.

Match the side and bottom seams together and then stitch across.

This will form the bottom of your tote. I popped a bit of cardboard in between the lining and the outer fabric for a bit more sturdiness in the bottom. Turn right sides out.

Now onto the straps. My finished straps were about 145cm long and 5cm wide to fit a man (going over the head and shoulder rather than just hanging off one shoulder). In most other cases you wouldn't need to make them this long. So it's completely up to you.

I simply take two pieces of material the same size - at least 4 or 5cm wider than the finished width. I stitch one side together and press it open. then I press the other sides under with right sides facing out and simply top stitch down either side. Probably not the proper way but works for me. Or you can always just stitch them together with the right sides together and turn inside out. Then topstitch for durability.

Pin your straps (here is a tutorial for proper ones) between the lining and the outer fabric. My straps attached to both ends of the tote. Pin the hem of the lining and outer fabric. If you can, (it's quite tricky) stitch through the lining and the outside fabric from top to bottom in each corner then sew the top hem.

You're done!

Hopefully I can put up the rest of the pictures once my camera is up and running again.

Burp Cloth Tutorial

The pattern I made up looks a little bit like this. It is similar to Homemade by Jill's pattern but the curve goes in quite a bit more to follow the curve of the neckline and is closer to the top to give more length at the bottom.

First off choose your material. I used three layers for this tutorial. It really doesn't matter too much what you use as long as there is an absorbent layer in the middle (such as hemp or microfibre) and you may want to use flannel for the bottom as it tends to stick to your clothes which will help it not to fall off your shoulder during use! You could even just find an old trifold/prefold cloth nappy, which as you can see in the picture below has 3 parts and the middle part is extra absorbent.

I used an old stretchy skirt for the top layer, but you may want to use a nice soft material so baby is more comfortable.

I also used some ribbon to decorate my burp cloth but obviously this is optional. If you are in a hurry, just leave it off.

If you are putting the ribbon on, do it first as it will make it easier to sew.

I just sewed the top of the ribbon very close to the edge so that it almost had a ruffled effect on the bottom part.

Next put your three layers in this order and pin together:
top layer-fabric with ribbon (right side up)
bottom layer (right side down)
middle layer-absorbent fabric

Sew all three layers together remembering to leave a gap to turn right side out.
Trim the middle absorbent layer back so it's as close to the stitching as you can get it. This will eliminate some of the bulk.
Turn right side out.

Top stitch all around the edges. I used a fancy stitch in a contrasting colour, but a standard straight stitch will do the job just as well.

If you wanted to skip some steps, and you have an overlocker/serger, you can always just put the fabric together as it should be and sew the edges. This would save a lot of time.

And it's finished! Easy as that.

Baby Change Pad 'Clutch' Tutorial

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ok so to make the "clutch" Changing pad for baby, you will need:

* Fabric for outer layer *
(eg, silks, satins, cotton, polyester, etc)

* Fabric for inner layer *
(eg, waterproof pul, cotton, winceyette, flannelette, bamboo fleece, sherpa, velour, etc)

* wadding/padding *

* Embellishments *
(optional-eg, ribbon, mini belt buckles, buttons)

* Snaps, magnetic closure or velcro strip *

First I printed out my pattern, then cut out my material accordingly. You will need 1 piece cut out of wadding/padding from the pattern below. If you are wanting a copy, just email me and I can get it to you.

Then if you print the pattern again along with the 2nd part, cut it out and tape it all together you can cut out the rest of your material (the pocket part is optional).

You will need one piece of the outer layer and 1 piece of the inner (then an extra bit of just the pocket part cut from the inner layer).

The inner layer can be either a soft plush fabric (such as bamboo fleece, sherpa, velour, winceyette, flannelette, etc) or else a bit more practical and waterproof. There is also the option (if you can find it) of getting a pretty cotton fabric for the inside and then a see-through waterproof fabric for the outside. Spotlight in NZ and Australia sells it I think. It would be a little bit more work obviously but worth the extra effort I'm sure.

The outer layer can be whatever fabric you think would be suitable for a clutch/purse. Ie. Silk, satins, polyester, cotton, bearing in mind that the more heavy, thin or stretchy fabrics will be a lot more difficult to sew.

If you are wanting any ribbon or embellishments on the the part that will fold down and become the outside/front of your clutch, then sew this on now. I sewed a fancy piece of ricrac on and added a shell. A simple piece of ribbon or velvet would look just as nice.

If you are wanting a strap on your clutch/change pad, then I would do this part next as it makes the finished product just that whole lot neater. My finished strap measured about 30cm long and 2cm wide but you can change the dimensions depending on how big your hand is, personal preference, etc.

You will want to put your hemmed strap with the right side against the wrong side of the outer layer and sew it on. Once everything else has been sewn together and it is turned right side out it will hopefully look like this:

I didn't have any better pictures than this sorry but hopefully you will be able to visualise it.

The next step is to sew the wadding to only the outer layer using a plain straight stitch.

Now you want to sew everything together. If you want to, then now would be the time to put the pocket in. The first time I did this, I sewed a casing for the elastic and this is what it looked like:

It made it really hard to sew and became quite scrunched, so next time I would probably just hem the top of it (folding over twice or three times for a bit of thickness) making it look similar to the picture below. You could add a snap or velcro to keep it shut if you wanted.

Pin everything together in this order:
outer layer on bottom (right side up)
inner layer next (right side down)

Start stitching from a third of the way near the top of one of the pockets remembering to leave a space of about 8 cm so you can turn everything right way out when done.
Turn right way out.

Now you can either just handstitch the opening closed, or what I did is to use a decorative stitch and go around the outsides again for durability (and prettiness).

Fold up and either add a strip of velcro to hold the flap closed or else I simply use snaps. If you want to get fancy, you could put in a magnetic closure.

If you do use snaps and don't really like the look of them, you could always disguise them with lace like this:

And you're done! Hopefully that was explained ok.

Here's another one I did...



Things I'm loving...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I love that...
It's our one year Anniversary coming up really soon.
I can't believe it's been a year already. So much has happened and I'm looking forward to all of the years ahead of us.

AND we might get to stay here:

or here:

I love that...

I finally found some new shoes after months of searching that fit my long skinny feet and now I can work all day and not come home all sore! Pure leather so a wee bit pricey but at this stage of my pregnancy, definitely worth it :)

I love that...
I can still see my new shoes and my belly hasn't quite exploded that far

I love...
Getting projects finished in record time

The tutorial for this one is coming soon. A changing pad for on the go, but made so it looks like a clutch.


AND practical

What can you do?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 helping out

For those who have been wanting to help out those impacted in the Christchurch Quake, but are unsure of how to go about it, here is a great way to do so and get some great bargains/goodies at the same time!

Check out the feltaid store and see if there is anything you would like to purchase.
you can donate items to sell here.

I will be putting up my girl's clutch/purse to sell sometime soon helping out

Home made Baby Wipes

How to make your own baby wipes...

You will need:

*scraps of fabric
(I used some pieces of fleece and organic cotton that I had leftover from another project)
Some other fabrics that are great to use for wipes are combos of:
cotton flannel and bamboo fleece
velour and hemp
hemp and bamboo or cotton fleece
or you could upcycle old receiving blankets/wraps or t-shirts

*wipes case
(I couldn't find a proper one, so bought a $2 oversized glasses case and used that)

*Sewing machine or serger/overlocker
*Measuring tape
*Cardboard/greaseproof paper (or something to make your pattern with)

Measure the size of your wipes case and trace a pattern with the long side as the fold line. Mine looked a little something like the pattern below with the top side cut on the fold.
Cut out one piece of each material on fold line.
Put pieces wrong sides together and either overlock/serge the edges or else sew a straight stitch as close as you can get to the outside of the edge, then do your widest zigzag stitch to seal the edges.

Decorate the outside of your wipes case if you like by gluing material/ribbons/etc. on or else leave plain like I did.

Make up a solution of baby wipes cleaner to spray on to your wipes before using, pop into a small spray bottle and you're done. So easy!

How to sew a cute girls purse

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Seeing it's September and sewing month, I've decided to try and enter the Sew5 challenge. It might motivate me to actually finish some projects I've had on the go for awhile...

I am crediting La Maison Reid's blog: but I did change a couple of things when I was making the purse. The size is a lot smaller as I wanted to make a little one as a tester. Also, the material used wasn't burlap or hessian as suggested in the pattern, just some scrap fabric that I had lying around. When I get around to making a full size one, I will use a gorgeous purple hessian cloth that I found at Fabric Barn with a nice matching pretty fabric for the lining too.

For the bottom of the purse:
Cut two of: outside fabric 25cmx13cm
lining fabric 25cmx13cm
I think in hindsight, I would have made this 30cm x 9 or 10cm for a nicer cut

Make 4 pleats along the top (front of fabric facing towards you) then pin and baste. Measure the top of the curve and make sure all pieces of material are the same width across! Do this for the lining and outside fabrics, front and back pieces.

I originally made 6 pleats in total but it ended up making the top opening part too small for my liking so the next one I make will only be two pleats on each side of the middle.

Using the measurements you made earlier (top of curve), cut two more pieces of each of the outside and lining fabrics. Mine measured 14cm wide and then you want the height to be 6cm. Pin your top piece to the bottom piece (right sides facing in towards each other) and sew following the curve at the top and easing it into place. Do this for the front and the back pieces then pin the front to the back (right sides together) and sew the edge seams. You should now have an outside piece and a lining to go inside.

This is the finished lining. Turn it inside out and place inside the outside piece.

Pin both top hems so they are the same height and make the straps ready to go inside.

I made my straps by cutting 2x pieces each of the outer and inner fabrics at 4cm x 24cm. Or you could make them all of the outer fabric. I put the right sides together, sewed down one edge, pressed then pressed the other edge to match and top stitched down both sides to make it even. but you can sew both sides (with right sides together) and simply turn right way out if you prefer doing it that way.

Put the straps between the lining and the outside and then sew all three layers together along the top of the purse.

Add a rosette (Click here or here to see how to make these) - I just inserted a layer of the lining material inside it before making and then glued it on with a glue gun.

And you're done!

Don't forget to check out La Maison Reid's blog for more info if you get stuck following the tutorial.

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