It’s a Cinch!

I’ve got a problem with buying fabric remnants. You know, those leftover bits at the end of the bolt that fabric stores conveniently wrap up and put on deep discount to clear up shelf space. I really shouldn’t let myself go near those racks. Or let my mother go near them either. I think it’s a hereditary thing.

Anyway, this has led to us having quite the stash of fabrics that are less than a yard long. I wanted to trim this down, so I came up with the perfect solution: drawstring bags.

I had followed a Craftsy tutorial many years back to make a drawstring bag that I use for projects, so I thought this would be a great use of those remnants. I mapped up in illustrator how many bags I could get out of a single yard of fabric (it is two at this 9×9 size for all pieces, including the drawstring), and created myself some pattern pieces out of plain paper. Then I set about cutting as many of each piece as I could out of each fabric. 

Once I had all the fabrics I had gathered cut, I had to figure out how to match them up since there weren’t always enough to make each one the same combination. I matched everything up that I could and sewed all the pieces assembly-line style, because that is my favorite way to do anything.

I’ve only got four combinations up right now at my Etsy shop, but I am working to get more put up in the coming weeks.

I also started experimenting with some heat-transfer vinyl, but I have to perfect that method before I’m ready to do any personalization since I don’t have a cutting machine and am just using an exacto knife.

Countdown to Christmas

Technically doesn’t start until a week from Friday, but that means you’ve still got just enough time to make an advent calendar. This one only took me parts of two days last week. And then waiting for the numbers to be delivered.

I started by figuring out the placement of the pockets, which are 4 inches by 4 inches, and then I created strips for each line. I folded the top edge down half an inch and stitched it with a zig-zag stitch. Next I centered the strips on the green felt and stitched along the bottom of each row before flipping the whole thing over and drawing the Christmas tree outline with a Sharpie. Then I cut the tree out to make it easier to fit through the sewing machine to sew the side of the pockets.

I sewed the lines in between and on the ends of the strips that ended inside the tree outline. I left the ones that go over the edge free until after attaching the tree to the background fabric.

Next I sewed the trunk of the tree to the background, so it would be behind the bottom of the tree.

After pinning the outside pockets out of the way, I sewed the entire outline of the tree down. Everything is sewed with a zig-zag stitch to flatten the edges.

I sewed the remaining pocket edges down and added a star for the top.

I finished the whole project off with a backing (of purple muslin because it was the only plain woven fabric I had that was large enough to cover the whole back) and a wooden dowel for hanging that was slightly too short.

I added a screw to each side, which worked out well anyway for attaching the string to hang it. I had ordered stick-on felt numbers, so all that was left was to stick them on when they arrived. Now we just have to figure out a way to hang it for December 1.


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So Many Projects

So last week I ordered some fabric. It arrived the other day, and my little helper was very excited to help me open it. And then he asked, “Who is all those people?” Which lets me know I need to bust out the special episode tapes as we enter the holiday season.

I’ve drawn a quick flat, mostly to make sure it will look good to cut all the pieces on the bias, since it is quilting fabric and I want it to have some stretch. I like comfy clothes. I think it should turn out well:

Then, there is the issue of Halloween being a month away. One of the boys already has a Harry Potter costume, and now the other big brother has decided he also wants to be Harry Potter. The littles are a little more challenging. One wants to be a “vampire giant tarantula” and the other wants to be “mighty eagle from Angry Birds,” but I think I have those figured out. Just have to actually write a list of what I need to make them.

And, with Halloween only a month away, that means Inktober starts on Saturday. That is my 30 page notebook, which I have gouached the cover of to make 31 pages. Saturday will be creating a cover for it. I’m obviously going to be posting pictures to Instagram every day, but I’m also going to post a round-up here every Friday.

There is one more project that I am also working on. Actually, a few, but this is the first of a mini-series of Christmas presents. And, not meaning to cause panic to anyone making presents for Christmas, there are only 88 days left until Christmas. So I need to get moving on this. Or these. Not panicking. Yet.