Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tote Bag

I decided to try my hand at sewing, so I started with an easy tote bag project. Materials are two matching 14x16 inch pieces of fabric, and two 22 1/2 inch pieces of 1 inch webbing for the handles. You can improvise on the handles, and sizes. These are just the measurements I used. I found the pattern at http://www.purlbee.com/. I started by cutting a half yard of fabric into two 14x16 pieces.
Next I cut two pieces of webbing into 22 1/2 inch pieces.
The first sewing step is to sew each piece of webbing to each piece of fabric on the right side, as below, about 3 inches from each end. I did this after taking about 45 minutes to figure out how to thread the bobbin and the needle, etc. This is the first sewing project I have ever done on my own, and only about the 3rd total. I used a zig-zag stitch (please pardon my sewing terminology, I really have no idea what to call some of this stuff).
The next step is to sew across the top with the zig zag stitch. I used the same brown thread throughout the whole project because I didn't want to mess with the bobbin again (I only have one that I know of), but depending on your fabric and tastes you may want to use contrasting/matching thread in certain places.
Next, fold the edge over, like this and pin. Sew the fold down with a seam across the top. Then add another seam about 1/8 inch from the first stitch.
The bag is now hemmed. Put the two pieces of fabric, right sides, together. Pin along the sides and bottoms. Do NOT pin the top, this will obviously be the opening of the bag.
Use what I call a "regular" stitch to stitch the two pieces of fabric together, along the sides and bottom.
Then use a zig zag stitch again, close to the raw edges for reinforcement.
Turn it inside-out, and you're done...
and looking cute.
Other ideas are to make them bigger or smaller depending on your needs, using kid's fabric, using a plain fabric and adding a patch, or iron-on design, use old jeans, or t-shirts instead of fabric, eyelet pattern with ribbon for the handles. I do recommend using the pattern here. It has better pictures and clearer descriptions.

Prayer Rocks

A couple weeks before Mother's Day, my mom asked me to make some prayer rocks for a lesson she was giving in church. I looked up a couple of ideas online, but didn't find anything I really liked. I came up with these:
They're pretty self explanatory. I took some smooth rocks, and spray painted them. It took a couple coats. Because of the roundness of the rocks, it did drip a bit. Spray painting was pretty easy, and it comes out looking nice, but I did have to touch up with a brush, so you may prefer painting with a brush. Any craft paint will work.
With some scrap fabric, I cut out small hearts. I didn't use a pattern or anything, free-hand worked great. Once the rocks were dry, and paint had been touched-up, I used mod podge (probably my favorite supply ever) to glue the fabric heart onto the rock. In case you don't know, mod podge is a glue/sealer. It's nice because it doesn't matter if you get the glue on the top, because it dries clear. I used it for both in this case, so the heart would stay put. You don't have to cover the whole rock with mod podge. It looks great just over and right outside the heart.
I just wrote "pray!" with a permanent marker on the other side of the rocks to make them technically prayer rocks. It's a little difficult to write on if the rock is not very smooth, so you can use stickers, or vinyl letters to make it look nicer.
You can use small craft rocks, too, and they are cute in a bowl as a decoration. You can actually do a lot of things with this idea. You can use Christmas fabric and fill a vase for a holiday decoration. You can cut out fabric with letters to spell something in rocks. Use big rocks and just paint letters on it to put over your mantel. Paperweights, gifts, decorations. Crafty people know crafts have endless possibilities.
The finished product after the mod podge has dried.
Thanks for reading!

Just Getting Started

I love doing crafts. After my sister's mission, I made her a scrapbook. I had enough supplies at the end to start a craft box, which I put in my closet. Then I made a Christmas wreath, and it became two boxes. I got married, and all the leftover pearls, ribbon, and glass rocks were organized into a small room. My collection of glue, scrapbook paper, stickers, beads, stencils, markers, canvases, fabric, etc. has now become this:
I love my craft room. I'm very fortunate to have this small extra room in my house, but there are other cute ways to organize craft supplies, if you can spare a closet. Maybe more on that another time. My craft room grew, and soon I was making lots of stuff, but nowhere to keep all the cute stuff I made. Then came pinterest. I found lots of other great blogs through pinterest and tons of new ideas, but I realized I had my own ideas, so I started a new blog. I am not great at updating, but I'm ready to get started.