Kid’s Messenger Bag

08-messengerLooking for more back-to-school sewing ideas? Be sure to check out my latest tutorial at WeAllSew that’s featured today – A Kid’s Messenger Bag!

I found that messenger bags are hard to find in a size that’s appropriate for a child… so I decided to make my own! My version is large enough to hold 2, 1″ 3-ring binders, but still small enough that it doesn’t over-power their shorter stature. It also features a divided back pocket (to stash last minute items in as they head out the door) and an adjustable strap so just about anyone can wear it.

Simple Sashiko

08sashikoThe word “Sashiko” means “little stabs” when translated from Japanese. Traditionally, these little stabs were used to reinforce (and even darning) upcycled indigo fabrics that were then used to make heavy coats. Today, we use the same techniques to create modern quilts, accessories, and home decor. Last week I received Simple Sashiko in the mail and had the opportunity to check out the projects inside.

Let me start off by saying that hand sewing is not my forte. In fact, I’m downright horrible, but there is a good explaination of how to achieve each stitch type (and knots) for every project so I am fairly confident that I could achieve similar results if I tried. Also included are the detailed instructions to how you create each stitch pattern… this has to be the most fascinating part of the book as I never thought about the process of making continuous, intricate geometric patterns before.

Besides the instruction on sashiko itself, there are also 8 projects included in the book that showcases your work. These include wall hangings, sampler pillows, totes, and home decor items like placemats and coasters.

Up Next: The Summit Pack

Oh Instagram, you are an enabler. I recently saw someone sew up the Summit Pack by Cloudspitter Designs and decided that I had to make one too. This bag is a sling style (designed to be worn on your back) and is very reminiscent of KAVU rope bags that Taylor started using last year…. now I’m getting my own.

I headed to the store to pick up some notions and lining material for a test run of this pattern. I have to admit, I’m not wild about my zipper selection…. why can’t stores have decent zippers other than tan and black?

Pattern: Summit Pack by Cloud Splitter Designs:

Amy Butler‘s Daisy Shine from the True Colors collection:

Hot Pink Kona Cotton from Joann’s:

Floral Green quilting cotton from Joann’s:

Total Cost:

Pattern….. $6.00
Fabric……. $8.23
Notions…. $11.27 (+stash)

Total $25.50

Linky Thursday

Learn how to create a personalized binder for back to school. While you’re there, be sure to enter to win a new BERNINA 450 Serger!

Everyone loves cute clothes that are comfy to wear…. like the Salina (the easy romper).

Does your machine foot pedal constantly move around the floor? Keep it put with one of these non-slip pads.

Looking for a new bag that’s perfect for fall? Be sure to check out this Lilac Mini Messenger.

I adore these composition notebook covers – they’re a pretty way to jot down notes or sewing ideas and a perfect for taking on-the-go!

Cooking in the kitchen is even prettier when you whip up one of these vintage-style Sweetheart Aprons.

Sunglass cases don’t have to be boring. Whip up one of these heart shaped versions instead.

Learn how to change up your favorite raglan tee pattern with this fun gathered front tutorial.

These easy to make play tents make for a great reading nook area.

If you plan on packing lunches this year, then you may want to check out this tutorial for reusable snack bags.

This boho baby romper would make a great baby gift or a pretty outfit for pictures.

Learn how to stitch up a dragon stuffie (you’ll probably need to translate the site).

Give your little girl a unique bag for back to school with this fun, toddler sized cat backpack.

Summer may be winding down, but there’s still plenty of time to whip up one of these easy beach cover-ups.

Back to School

08-backtoschoolUnbelieveable. Summer is officially over. Easton started back to school this morning…. I can’t believe it’s time already.

This, of course, means several things:

  • Clean up the sewing room. Seriously, my room has been neglected. After several large projects this past few months, it is a hot mess. I am sure this is a day long endeavour.
  • Get the house back in order. It has been sadly neglected over the summer.
  • Do that selfish sewing. I have a growing list of things I want to work on…. plus a few “top secret” projects in the works.
  • Work on those Craftsy classes. I am pretty sure I say this every year and fall behind, but I really want to try to finish some of them

Once I’m done with the first two on my list, it’s time to get to work on my Girl Charlee Bolt fabrics that arrived yesterday.


Not only did I get another cute bag with my fabric, but there was a cute little ruler and a handy stretch guide on a card. I selected a wide range of prints from a pretty floral and the popular feather print to a Christmas ‘stripe’. I don’t have any specific plans for any of them at the moment, but I’m hoping to brainstorm while I’m cleaning.

Just a Peek

08-mauradersThis past week I have been working on a top secret sewing project. While I can’t show you the entire item, I can give you a glimpse at the Marauder’s Map fabric and pleather I used….

While the Marauder’s Map was beautiful to sew on, the pleather, not so much. I had a difficult time finding a leather look that worked with this color scheme so I settled on a pleather\vinyl that was in the costume section of the store. It had a good hand and a nice texture on the front, but when it came to sewing, it was a mixed bag of problems. What sort of issues? Well, you couldn’t finger press and crease the seam and ironing (even on a low temp with a press cloth) was a bit dangerous because you could feel\see it melting. No matter what size\type needle you used, the pleather wanted to scrape off around the thread when sewing (so the white backing would try to pop through or the vinyl coating would just scrape off). Since pinning would leave permanent marks, I opted to used Wonder Clips, but those too left permanent pressure marks on the material (very quick and careful ironing melted them off). Needless to say, I did find some strategies to work around the issues, but it was a curse-laden sewing session to get them figured out. The moral of the story? Skip the cheap costume pleather and go for the good stuff!


Epic Cosplay Costumes

08-cosplayGetting dressed up as your favorite superhero or gaming character isn’t just for kids on Halloween any more. With the growing popularity of comic book conventions (or ‘cons’), cosplay has become a big business. However, sewing a costume doesn’t have to be difficult. I received Epic Cosplay Costumes in the mail the other day and discovered, it can be downright easy.

Inside are 17 different elements found in many popular character costumes and the instructions on how to complete them (and even modify them for a slightly different look). These include: capes, armor, corsets, gloves, and boot covers. For a majority of these projects, you’ll be expected to draft your own pieces as patterns are not included. There are also ideas for pulling your look together (i.e. how to look like Sailor Moon or Link from Legend of Zelda), how to buy, style, and wear wigs, and what to expect at a Con (I love the tip on making sure to shower daily to avoid Con Funk – THIS is important for some folks!). As for me, I am anxious to try my hand at making the gloves and boot covers.

Overall this is a good book that introduces you to creating your own Cosplay look. Do not expect them to be elaborate designs like the ones featured on the SDCC website. However it is a good starting point for embellishment and customization of your character. Most of all, have fun with it – that’s what cosplay is all about!

Goodbye Material Girls

08-amybutlerIt’s always sad to lose a favorite fabric resource – especially when it’s local (and especially when they carry all your favorite designers). As one of my go-to quilting stores closes it’s doors this weekend, I thought that I would stop by one last time and see what they had left. While there were only a handful of bolts on the shelves, I was shocked to see that there were still a few Amy Butler prints…. so, I snagged a couple that I thought might make pretty bags.

7 yards of fabric, 4 spools of thread, and $25 later (yes, you read that right, all that for $25), I left the store forever. I’m sort of kicking myself for not buying more considering how much I spent, but I think I have plenty to keep me busy for awhile. Goodbye Material Girls, you will be missed.

Linky Thursday

Create an eye-catching purse when you sew up this fun, canteen style bag.

Whether you dress it up or down, this swing dress is easy to wear and looks great.

Early morning sun waking you up? Get a bit more shuteye with a pretty sleep mask.

Ever go to IKEA and fall in love with a set of napkins or a placemat, but don’t want to used them for dinner? Learn how to take those pretties and transform them into pillows. Tired of making pillows? Use those napkins (and a belt) to make a cute tote instead.

Even preschoolers need school supplies! Sew up a cute, toddler-sized backpack or this version that looks just like big brother\sister’s just in time for school to start.

Sew up a classic tee (currently only in a size large) just in time for weekend lounging.

Those long summer bike rides may be coming to an end, but it’s not too late to whip up one of these cute bike buckets to hold all their goodies.

Keep your jewelry in order and tangle free with this hanging jewelry organizer. (this might also work as a travel organizer, too).

Know a college student that will live in the dorm? This shower caddy will make a perfect gift before they head back to school.

There’s still plenty of time to get in those summer BBQs. These insulated koozies are the perfect way to personalize everyone’s drink and keep it cold.

Make road trips with the little ones more comfortable with one of these padded seat belt covers.

The perfect look for summer evenings, a linen, off-the-shoulder dress.

The contest for free fabric may be over, but you can still learn how to make a pencil skirt in any size (for yourself or your daughter)! Want one with pockets? Be sure to read this tutorial instead.

Wet bags are great to have over the summer to stash those wet bathing suits, but can be expensive to make. Instead of springing for the PUL, try a shower curtain instead. Want a zippered version of the bag, instead? Be sure to check out my tutorial at WeAllSew.

The cutest way to carry your back-to-school lunch money: Zippered Apple Pouches.

This video will teach you how to create your own sun visor. Now why didn’t I find this soon this summer?

When I was pregnant with Easton, I purchased a pregnancy pillow at was very expensive (around $70), but gave me the best night’s sleep. Now you can make the same pillow at home (and probably for a lot less).

Tunic to Dress to Tee

I had mentioned on Monday that I was entering a few of my June KnitFix projects into a contest (to win more fabric). I had just enough time to squeeze in one more entry – Jalie 3245. This pattern has lots of options, but I settled on a 3/4 sleeved raglan tunic (lengthened enough to make a dress). My idea was that I would make a comfy, casual dress with the neon green stripe. What I wound up with reminded me of my grandma’s housedresses (by the way, I did wind up shortening the sleeve to a cap because I had determined that there was way too much stripe going on here).


After mulling it over, I decided to rip out the pockets (you can’t see them well in the photo, but they are my favorite part, I just love their shape) and shorten it back up to a tee length. While this is a ton better, I’m still not in love with it and I’ve decided it’s just the fabric that doesn’t work for me (I’m not sure if it’s the tiny stripe or the color, or something else).

As a side note, I did win the contest and have a 1-yard Girl Charlee Bolt bundle coming my way sometime next week (I even got to select the fabrics!)! I’ll be sure to post about that when it arrives.