I thought it would be a good idea to give the instructions a test run before handing everyone materials at retreat. These little bags are a great way to practice free motion quilting – and as you can see, I clearly need more practice!
The blue one was first, and making it was a learning experience. First, I didn’t make the tabs on the zipper come up far enough. See how the zip is all crazy at the end?
I decided to run the side seam through the serger, but that resulted in the thread pulling and being more visible than I liked when I turned the bag right side out.
(And check out my quilting – you’re feeling better about your occasional wonky stitch length now, aren’t you?)
So, when I made the red bag, I sewed the seam on the sewing machine and then just used the serger to finish the edges. I used a narrower 3-thread overlock stitch for the finishing, especially on the zipper where there just wasn’t enough space to get in there nicely with the serger foot.
Also, because reading directions is not always my strong suit, I forgot to topstitch the first side by the zip before I had attached the other side. This meant topstitching both sides while it the bag was in a tube shape, which was not fun. It probably would have been faster to just rip out one side to at least topstitch the first side more easily. But where’s the challenge in that? Ha.
See how the top of the zip looks so much cleaner when I placed the zipper tab in the right spot? Directions. Crazy how much reading them helps! One note, though – as long as you have a rectangle, the dimensions can be whatever size you want. You just need a zipper that is long enough for your bag.
Don’t you love these cute little charms attached to the zipper pull? It took way too long to connect the pile of charms to split rings, but they are such a fun addition. Definitely worth it!
My daughter requested a couple of these. I told her she can have the one with the flowers, I’ll keep the slightly wonky blue one. She wants one for her basketball bag, one for her school locker, one for her backpack… I see zipper sewing in her future. :)
Pop over to the Moda blog, read the instructions better than I did, and have fun making some of these!
There has been quite a bit of sewing going on here, believe it or not!
This is a well-loved pattern around here. My notes on this one include that I added 3.25″ to it the last time I made the size 10. Without processing the date I wrote on there, I added the same this time in making them for Jack, who is 8. Or eight and a half, as he would probably say. Closer to eight and three quarters, really, but who’s counting?
Anyway, now that my brain has had time to actually think about the date, I realize that the last time I used this pattern, I was sewing for Jack’s older brother, who was 11 at the time. So, I guess I will hope that this kid likes robots for a couple more years, because these are definitely going to be too long. Ooops.
Maybe Jack will be so impressed with the really cool drawstring elastic waist that he won’t notice the fact that they are too long? Most likely he will notice, but won’t care because he is, after all, an 8 year old boy. And that’s okay. Plus, too long is much better than the too short pair he has been wearing from the pile of last year’s winter jammies.
I was able to catch Bonnie from Fishsticks Designs for a few minutes, and I have to tell you, she was so nice!
Here are some of the cute patterns from her Market exhibit.
This is the new SeeSaw Dress, isn’t it cute?
In the center of this photo is the Playhouse Dress and the model on the table is showing off the Buttons and Buckles Overalls. See the Katie J. Jumper by the chair? And did you notice the table? It is a wooden ironing board. What a great display idea!
Here’s the Everyday Camp Shirt, The Sunshine and Sandals Shirtdress in the middle, and The Sand and Sidewalk Boardshorts on the right. Those last two are brand new designs, they are listed as coming soon on The Fishsticks website, so you will want to check back later to get those!
I must show you the Monaluna booth with their yummy organics, too, because check out the little dress in the bottom left!
It’s the SeeSaw Dress!
Monaluna recently released a bunch of great new fabrics and they have their own pattern line as well.
I just finished hosting a quilt square swap. If you haven’t participated in one before, here’s how it works.
Each swap has 30 spots in it. Each participant signs up for one or more spots. For each spot, one yard of fabric is sent in. For each yard, 30 different 6.5″ squares are returned, including one from the yard sent in by the participant.
In the past, each participant has sent in their squares already cut. For this swap, participants sent in uncut fabric and I ran it through my Accuquilt Studio cutter to make the squares.
This worked really well. However, there were a couple things I didn’t consider.
1) Fabric sent through the mail needs to be ironed before it can be cut into squares.
2) I can cut one yard of fabric pretty quickly to make 30 squares. However, doing this 30 times takes a while!
While ironing, cutting and sorting, I played through an entire season of Mad Men on Netflix and made my teen sit through Sneakers!
In this case, two swaps ran at the same time to make shipping costs more economical for participants. So, those piles each contain 900 squares. 1800 squares total from 60 yards of fabric.
Once cut, the fabrics are sorted into piles containing one of each print. Here are the dots:
Then I stacked them just to get them out of the way so there was room to pack them!
Once sorted and packed by destination, they just need postage!
One waiting for an address, but the rest are ready to ship! I will drop them off at the post office since I try not to leave big piles of mail for the mail carrier without giving him advance warning.
I am looking forward to seeing what all these squares become!
This tutorial was created for Sewing Mamas by Kelley, who is Chrisnkelley in our forums. Thanks Kelley!
This is what we are making:
This is a Bible cover for my daughter. The cover has 2 ribbon straps to hold the Bible in place, pockets on the front and back for papers, and a spot for 2 pens on the spine.
You will need about ⅓ yards of fabric, fusible fleece, interfacing, and ribbon. Also, you might choose to add snaps, buttons, magnetic snaps, or something else for a closure. The pieces are all rectangular and are based on the size of the Bible (or other book) that you are making the cover for.
The first thing you’ll do is cut 2 pieces for the outside and inside of your Bible cover. This will be based on your Bible’s dimensions. As you can see in the photo below, I laid my daughter’s Bible down open so that the covers and spine were all spread out, then I measured 2 inches out widthwise on each side and 1 inch out top and bottom. The Bible I used is a children’s Bible. My personal Bible is larger, so these dimensions won’t be correct for all Bibles. The pieces I cut were 10-½ inches high and 16 inches wide. Cut 2 of these pieces.
The next thing I did, which you can see in the photo above, is to cut 2 pieces for the pockets. These pieces should be the entire width of the cover pieces, but about 3 inches shorter. My pocket pieces are 16 wide by 7-½ inches high. This is not critical if you go a bit higher or lower, it will just affect pocket depth. You can see this if you look closely above, especially on the right side. I laid the pocket pieces on top of the cover pieces.
Next (not shown), the same size as your cover pieces, cut 1 piece of fusible fleece and 1 piece of interfacing. You can use 2 fusible fleece if you want a puffier case or 2 interfacing if you want it thinner, but I personally would want at least 1 layer of fusible fleece in there.
Then, cut 1 piece of interfacing the size of your pocket pieces. You could interface both pocket pieces for a stiffer pocket if you’d like, or even use fleece. I did 1 piece of interfacing and I think it turned out great.
Next, in the pic above, I cut 4 strap pieces. I cut them 10 inches long by 2 inches wide. You can adjust your strap size/width to your liking. I didn’t interface these, but you certainly could use interfacing or fleece. Alternatively, you could use something else for your straps such as grosgrain ribbon. You also don’t have to make straps. You could just sew in ribbon on each side that you could use as an attachment to tie a bow to keep your Bible in place. Also, you could make a tiny strap with a buttonhole and sew into only the back of the cover, and then pop a button on the front. Its up to you! But the instructions are for what I did, which is a carrying handle strap on each side. :)
Here’s what you should have by now:
(2 cover pieces, 1 fleece cover piece, 1 interfacing cover piece, 2 pocket pieces, 1 interfacing pocket piece, 4 strap pieces)
Now, sew 2 strap pieces together along the long sides, then turn right side out and press. Topstitch the long edges. The short edges can remain raw since they’ll be sandwiched in the seam of the Bible cover.
Now, fuse your fleece to the wrong side of 1 cover piece and the interfacing to the other cover piece. Then fuse the pocket interfacing to one of the pocket pieces.
Now, put your pocket pieces right sides together and sew along 1 long edge for the top of the pockets. Then turn it wrong sides together and press the pocket edge and topstitch as pictured above.
Now, we will make a sandwich. Start with your front cover (the fleece fused one) right side up. Then place the pocket on that, also right side up. This will be the outside of your cover. Make sure to align the raw bottom edges of the pocket piece with the bottom of the front cover.
Then place the handles. They go in the center of each side of the cover, facing in so that just the raw edges get sewed in the seam. Pin the heck out of these so they stay in place and don’t get caught in the seam funny. I also placed a few pins along the pocket while I was at it.
Next, place the inside cover piece right side down on top of it all. Put a few pins in there to hold it all together. I also decided to add a seam tag, so I pinned that in – that’s why I have the corner pulled up here:
Now, time to sew. Sew around the Bible cover making sure to catch everything in your seam. Leave about a 3-4 inch opening in one side. I left mine on the bottom edge.
Now, take out the pins and turn it inside out. Be careful, as you do this you’ll run into all the pins on the inside. I kind of felt around a bit and tried to remove as many as I could prior to turning. Turn it all the way out, poke the corners so they pop out nicely, then press flat. Make sure when pressing to fold in your opening nicely also.
Then go ahead and topstitch all the way around making sure to use care at the opening where you pressed the edges in. Mine got wonky in that area because I tend to go too fast, so be warned! Use caution in that area if you don’t want a wonky bump on the bottom of your cover!
Next, I drew 3 lines for my pen pockets. 1 line right down the center (top to bottom), and another line 1 inch on each side of the center line. I couldn’t find any marking pencil other than my white one conveniently, so as you can imagine that worked great with this fabric (not so much!) You might want to choose a pencil that contrasts your fabric. Just sayin! Then stitch down the lines.
Next, I cut 2 pieces of ribbon the height of the Bible cover for the inside Bible straps. You could also use FOE if you’d like. Fold over a tiny bit at the top and bottom and stitch down to the top and bottom of the cover, right in the center of each side, like so.
Insert your Bible to make sure all is well. These don’t keep it super tight, but they keep it from slipping out.
You are now finished unless you’d like to add some sort of attachment to the straps so the Bible stays in place if its in a bag or something. If you chose to just do ribbons instead of straps, you won’t need an attachment since you’ll just tie cute little bows. I chose to add snaps. You could do magnetic closures, buttons, velcro…
Enjoy your new Bible cover!
Hey, that looks great, doesn’t it? Thanks so much to Kelley for taking the time to take all those pictures and write out all the instructions!
If you make one of these, be sure to post it in our Runway!