Category Archives: Sewing

Wristlet

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Don't Just Pin It - DO it!
I’m joining Katie from Boasting in my Weakness in a weekly link-up of  acting on Pinterest ideas and inspiration. 

I’ve been needing something in which to stash my stuff when I get to leave the ginormous diaper bag that I usually lug around. A friend of mine showed up one day carrying a wristlet with a phone pocket. Ta da! Exactly what I need! Since I don’t like to buy stuff, I decided to make one. I found  this tutorial from the perfect pictures of Pinterest, which was totally excellent! It’s clear and fun, and I really like the gather detail on the front.
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If you want to make one, make sure you visit the Noodlehead blog for the full tutorial, but I’d like to share how I made a few adjustments to make this wristlet work better for me. I’m wanting to use it as my regular wallet, so I needed a few additional features.

The first component I added is an extra layer of pockets on the inside, so that all my cards, chapstick, and papers could be organized. I just followed her excellent instructions for the first pocket, but made the second one a little shorter. I also made three pockets across by putting in two lines of vertical stitching instead of one. If you do this, make sure to leave a little extra room on the edges, for the seam allowance when you sew the bag together.

IMG_4632Being a mom of three little ones, I need a strap so that I can hang this bag off my wrist. Chasing kiddos with a clutch in my hand just does not sound like a fun idea, actually it sounds like a good way to loose my important junk.

So, there are a couple of ways to add a strap. One way is to just sew a strap into one of the side seams (you can use the same measurements for the wristlet loop, just skip some of the steps). The way I chose to go was to make a a detachable strap.

The first step is to make a small loop to hook the strap into.

  • You start with a rectangle of fabric measuring 3″ x 4″. Fold the fabric in half long ways, with wrong sides together, and press.
  • Take the two long outside (raw) edges and fold into the middle, press. You should have a skinny strip of cloth, with no raw edges and only right sides showing.
  • Topstitch along the edge opposite the fold, pretty close to the edge.
  • When you assemble the bag, line up your short, raw edges, with the raw edges of the bag, in between the sides of the bag. Make sure to sew over the strap when you sew around the edge of the bag, maybe even back stitching over that part to make sure it’s secure.

Then to make the wrist loop, cut a strip of fabric 3 inches wide and anywhere from 10 to 14 inches long. I made mine 14 inches long, and it’s a little to long for me, and I think about 10 inches would have been better. Follow the same procedure for folding and pressing as you did with the loop.

  • Slide a swivel hook (I found mine at Joann’s, in the area with the purse handles) onto the strap.
  • Open out the ends, and pin with the right sides together. Sew with a small seam allowance.
  • Turn it back in so that the strap is folded in the lines you previously pressed.
  • Topstitch along the open edge, like you did with the loop above. Just slide your hook out of the way as you sew around.
  • Fold the strap around the hook and sew close to the edge of the hook. This is just to keep your hook from sliding around on the strap.

If you want to just attach a permanent loop to your wristlet, follow the steps to make the small loop, only with the larger size fabric. Super easy!

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I also added a pocket on the back for my phone. Since, you know, one can’t survive without a phone for a few hours. So to add a phone pocket, cut an extra piece of fabric that is 14 x 5.5. Cut a piece of interfacing to 7 x 5.5. Then, I just followed the tutorial’s instructions for prepping the pocket. Once that was taken care of, I basted the pocket to the outside back piece with the right sides together. Make sure your basting is very close to the edge, so it won’t show when you finally assemble the bag.

Finally, the flap is a fabric piece 4 x 4.5. Mine is only that size because I had a scrap and it worked. This is not an exact science. The only important details are that it be long enough to overlap with the pocket, and thin enough not to get caught in the sides when you sew it up at the end. So it needs to be about half an inch smaller than the width of your bag pieces.

  • Fold this piece in half width-wise, with the wrong sides together.
  • Sew around the sides and across the folded edge. I like to make the corners curve, but that’s not important. Turn inside out and topstitch close to the edge.
  • Baste onto the top edge of the back panel of the clutch.
  • Add some kind of closure. I recently discovered how easy it is to punch in snaps, so that’s what I did. You could also use velcro or a cute button.

IMG_4637And there you go, a functional, cute wallet! And it was so quick to make, I’m itching to make a bunch more. Really, the Noodlehead tutorial is fabulous, and so easy to understand which I think made the process so very fun.

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I’ve Been Making Stuff {1}

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All kinds of fun projects have (somehow) been appearing around my house. I’ve been having a trial trying to find clothes that I like and that are appropriate without spending a ton of time and money. So, I tried making some. And I’ve loved it! I don’t have a lot of time (obviously), so I don’t know how long this will continue. But I am enjoying it right now. My skills are pretty limited, but it’s really fun to try, and most of my mistakes can be fixed if I’m patient enough. I made a high-low skirt that I think is super fun! I used some of the instructions from this blog post, but made it a little less full and poofy. I really love this fabric, it’s light and airy and colorful!

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I also tried some more sewing with knits, and made a yoga-waistband skirt. Y’all, this is the easiest, and most comfy skirt. There are tons of tutorials all over the internet, but here’s the one I used.

An exciting facet of sewing clothes is that I can make MATCHING mama and girlie clothes! So baby girl got a super simple shift dress. I just kind of made the pattern for her dress up, using a onsie for the sizing around the neck. We wore our skirt and dress to church on Mother’s Day, and I had so much fun with my matching baby girl.

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For me, making stuff is so refreshing and satisfying, and then getting to wear and enjoy them is even better! I love that the Lord made me to be creative, and gives me opportunities to produce things that are useful and pretty.

Helping Mama Sew

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Earlier this week, I got to spend some time sewing on a fall top for myself. I really like the pattern, and everything went really well until it was time to put in the sleeves. They didn’t fit in quite right, and after quite a bit of “creative” sewing, I think I’ll be able to make them at least wearable. The best part of sewing, though, was this:

DSCN4150 by you.

He’s concentrating very hard on helping Mama sew! He’s such a joy and a great blessing; so many times each day I thank the Lord for the unique, glad son He has given me.

Boy Pajamas

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I’ve been wanting to make some pajamas for Luke, just some little cotton shorts and maybe some applique’d shirts to match. So far, I’ve made one pair of shorts. It seems like getting set up to sew takes more time and space than I’ve had recently. Here are the shorts, on a very handsome model:

DSCN4091 by you.

The fabric has little teddy bears with letters on it, and I’m planning to applique a letter on the little white shirt. Bret’s Granny gave the fabric to me so that I could make Luke some pajamas. I used this free tutorial. I just took Luke’s measurements, and drew right on the fabric with a water-soluble marker, so much easier than making a paper pattern. 

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how these turned out. There are a few things I will change in the future:
In the tutorial she says that the front and the back can be the same for kids under about 7, but I think with diaper booty, you need some extra room back there.
Also, there needs to be some more ease around his hips, and the inseam needs to be longer, especially if I want him to be able to wear these for a while.

I really like making things for Luke, because its special to me to see him wearing something I made just for him. What a sweet way to show my little man that I love him and want to take good care of him.

Ruthie’s Wedding Apron

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I sewed an apron as part of Ruthie’s wedding present. My sister has such a fun, bright personality, I wanted her to have something to cook in that was fun and bright, too. Besides, every cook needs an apron, right?

DSCN3937 by you.

The pattern is Simplicity 2932 and the fabric is from Hobby Lobby. The fabric-cutter-ladies weren’t too impressed with my fabric choices, but Ruthie seems to like it, so that’s all that matters.

I really am glad with how well this turned out! You can’t even see one of my favorite parts. I took the time to make French seams on all the seams, and I love how neat and tidy it makes the back look, as well as knowing that my sister has something that is well-made and should last a long time.

DSCN3938 by you.

Doesn’t she look cute in it?

When Mama Sews…

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DSCN3826 by you.

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…the little man gets to make a huge mess of the offi-sery! I didn’t try to contain him, really. It was fun to watch and not that hard to clean up. He had the best time pulling fabric out of the bin.

 I apologize for the lack of posts recently. My camera was lost in a black hole, and I have only just rescued it today.

Fun with Friends

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Yesterday, I got to spend the afternoon sewing with a friend. She has a little boy just a month older than Luke, and it was so fun to watch them play together. In fact, we may have spent more time enjoying our boys than actually sewing. 🙂 It was good for both of us to get out and get to invest in other people.

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I did get to finish a skirt I started sewing this weekend. The pattern is free here. I like how the skirt turned out, but there are a few things in the pattern that I don’t particularly like. I did not do the darts, and the hip shape is a little funny on me. I made this out of two thrifted sheets, so the cost of all the fabric (and there’s *tons* leftover) was about two bucks. The two sheets was so that I could have a lining under the patterned cloth. I just used the sheet because it was cute and inexpensive, but a very cozy side effect is that sheets are very soft and comfy, so my skirt is very, very nice to wear.

DSCN3585 by you.