Sunday, July 29, 2012

DIY Project: Multi-pocket Zipper Pouch

I made these multi-pocket zipper pouches this weekend, because this girl cannot have to many zipper pouches, nor can a zipper pouch have too many pockets. Duh. Everyone knows that.

I used a modified version of my waterproof bikini bag tutorial to make the zipper pouches, closed the zippers the same way I figured out while making the circle earbud pouches , and improvised the process of adding the lining pocket as I went along. As always when cluelessly crafting, at times it was pretty frustrating. For example, when I had finally, FINALLY completed my 1st lining pocket, only to realize I had forgotten to seal its lining, leaving me with a zipped opening to the unfinished guts of the bag. After several tries, multiple seam ripping sessions, and one or two f-bombs, I finally got it right.

I used two different linings in each bag; purple polka dots for the outside pocket and the main lining of the pouch; solid purple for the lining of the inner pocket, and I love the overall look of the contrasting fabrics. For the smaller, matching pouches, I flipped the chevron direction, as well as the lining fabrics.

The larger pouch is 7 by 5 inches, the smaller is 5 by 3 inches. Both have one main compartment, and two zipper pockets each, one on the outside, and one in the main lining. Both have a loop to attach a split ring.

The smallest zipper pouch has polka dots in the inner lining pocket, and purple solid inside the pouch and lining the outer pocket.  The larger pouch has the reverse.

I'm actually really happy with these little pouches, and they will be perfect to keep my purse, and all its little tidbits, perfectly organized. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

DIY Project: Circle Zip Earbud Pouch

After finally getting sick of my earbuds always ending up in a knotted ball at the bottom of my purse, I went online in search of earbud-keeping DIYs. I found this super awesome tutorial from Dog Under My Desk, and decided to try to make a few of these cute little earbud pouches.

Circle Zip Earbud Pouches

I was happily surprised with how quick & easy these were to make, and how cute they turned out.

All the zippers I had in my supplies were a different color, so I matched the lining fabric to each zipper.

This is the perfect project to make out of scrap fabric, and I even made a dent in my ridiculously large supply of zippers. What's even better? Each one of these little pouches took less than 10 minutes from start to finish! They would make great little gifts too.

Add a key ring to the little tab, and they are ready to use.

Update:After having that unclosed zipper edge chafing my sense of order all day, I finally broke down and decided to figure out how to enclose it. I ended up altering Erin's original tutorial design, to add the tab at the end of the zipper (see photo below). I much prefer the neater look, and I'm glad I took the time to figure it out.

Here you can clearly see the enclosed zipper edge on the pouch in the bottom right corner.

This project is well suited for beginners as it's very easy, the tutorial has clear instructions and great photos showing each step, and its super quick, so give it a try!

They really remind me of Christmas ornaments when the ring has been added.

Thanks Erin, for a great tutorial!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Update: Tradewinds Quilt

Update: I did end up adding a top binding to my Tradewinds Quilt, and here it is:

Two layers of binding - photo from my Instagram

I feel like it really changes the look of the quilt, so I decided to show you guys the update. The purple binding really bring out the subtle purple in the main fabric, and it ties together the colors of the quilt top nicely as well. And I really love, love, LOVE the look of the backing fabric peeking out under the binding edge. 

DIY Project: Waterproof Bikini Bag Tutorial

I first saw these Bikini Bags at a department store ages ago (find some here). I loved the idea, and through it was perfect for a DIY. This past weekend I decided to finally give it a try. The end result? These small-but-fabulous, waterproof, wristlet-style Bikini Bags. I love, love, LOVE them! They are the perfect solution to the classic summertime wet-bikini-in-your-beach-bag problem. You see, these little zipper pouches are lined with oil cloth, to keep the wet stuff away from the not-so-wet-stuff. So no more waterlogged paperbacks/e-reader in my beach bag!

What's even better? This project is super easy!

DIY Project: Waterproof Bikini Bag

What You'll Need:
2 10x8 inch pieces of exterior fabric (interfaced)
2 10x8 inch pieces of waterproof/water resistant lining fabric - I used oil cloth
1 3x22 inch piece of exterior fabric for ring loop and wristlet strap
1 ring loop
1 strap clasp
1 10 inch zipper

iron-on letters or DIY appliqué letters (optional)

1. If you want to add any lettering, do that before you start constructing the bag. Same thing if you're adding a label.

2. Start with your exterior fabric, right side up, and place your zipper on top, teeth side down, lining up the edge. Lay one piece of lining fabric (oil cloth) on top, right side down. Pin if you want to. Using your zipper foot, sew seam with a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn over and stitch over where exterior material meets zipper, right by the edge.

Exterior fabric facing up, zipper teeth facing down, and lining facing down

3. Lay your remaining exterior fabric right side up, and place your zipper, teeth side down. Add remaining lining oil cloth, right side down, on top of the zipper. Sew. Turn over and stitch over where exterior material meets zipper, right by the edge.

 Exterior fabric facing up, zipper teeth facing down, lining facing up

Now you will have 2 pieces of fabric, exterior plus lining, attached to each side of your zipper 

4. To make the strap, fold the long strip of exterior fabric, right sides together, and sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn right side out, and press strap, with the seam in the middle. Sew the entire strap again and again, at a 1/4" seam allowance.

You will end up with one long strap, just like this one

5. Cut off a 3 inch piece of the strap, this is your ring tab.  If you're using a ring that does not open, tuck it into the tab now. Close with a seam to secure ring.

Ring loop

6. Open the zipper halfway (!!!), and fold rights sides together. Tuck ring tab between the exterior pieces of fabric, with the tab's raw edge pointing out.

Make sure the tab is oriented with the raw edge pointing out

7. Sew around the entire perimeter, leaving a gap in the lining for turning the bag. Miter the corners, on both on the exterior fabric and the lining. Cut of excess corner fabric, turn right side out, and push out  the corners.

Inside out - here you can see the raw edge of the ring tab poking out

8. Close the gap you left in the lining, and tuck lining pouch into exterior pouch.

Your zipper pouch is completed, and should look a little something like this

9. To make the strap, fold one end of the strap around the ring in your ring loop, making sure to tuck in the raw edge. Stitch a box onto on top of fold, several times, until it is secured.

With the strap attached

10. Here you can finish the bag off either with a simple wristlet loop, or you can add a clasp, like I did. Measure out how long you want your strap, adding an inch for the fold, and cut.

Measure what strap drop length you would like, 4-5 inches is typical. 

11. Attach the clasp, at the remaining end of your strap, the same way you attached the strap to the loop ring above. If you're not using a clasp, attach the end of the strap at the same place as you attached the first end, using the same method.

I wanted to be able to secure the wristlet strap around the strap in my beach bag, so I added the clasp.

12. Bikini Bag is done!!!! Enjoy coming home from the beach with your WET bikini and a DRY bag, a DRY book, and a DRY phone, forever (or, you know, every time you actually remember to bring this thing...).

Completed Bikini Bags

I made a bunch of these at the same time, in a few different sizes. Some small for a single bikini, some large to fit multiple bikinis, a swimsuit, or rashguard. The big one is 12x10 inches, the smaller one is 8x9 inches. Adjust size of the pouch to your liking.

Bikini bag can hold more than bikinis...

Bikini bag in action, wet bikini inside - I did try my bag already, and I'm happy to report that it worked perfectly!

After having had this idea for ages, and I'm glad I finally pulled the trigger. The bags are quick and easy to make, especially if you make a few of them at a time, like I did.  I can already think of a gazillion different occasions to use these, from the beach, the pool, to vacay. Of course, they also make a nice gift, that can be personalized as well (bridesmaids' gift at destination wedding, anyone?).

The bag made in this tutorial is the actually 3rd version of this bag. It's not very different from the first one I made, but since the starting point was pure improvisation, with each one I find some place to improve the design. Let me know if you give these a try, especially what changes/improvements you would make. I'd love to see what you come up with!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

DIY Project in action: Yard Panel Baby Blanket & Month to Month Onesies

My friend sent me this picture yesterday, showing her baby with the gifts I send them a couple of weeks ago. SO fun to see that they are getting use out of the things I've made for them. 

My friends baby, wearing onesie I've made, on the quilt I made.
Image via my friend, edited via my Instagram.

Here are the links to both the projects:
Quicky Yard Panel Baby Blanket
Month to Month Onesies

I just had to share the cuteness.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

DIY Project: Tradewinds Quilt

Update: I added a double binding on this quilt. See the updated project here!

I'm sure nobody missed how much I loved the backing fabric on my last big quilt.

Tradewinds South Pacific Empress Yardage Lily Ashbury for Moda Fabrics

The rich colors, the exotic, vintage travel inspired print... all of it was perfect. In fact, I loved it so much, that I decided to make another quilt using this, and the other prints in the same series.

My 5th quilt - big thanks to the husband for playing quilt hanger.

This time I tried to not put a single print into the quilt that I didn't love on its own. I also wanted to try charms packs, so I decided to go with a simple square patchwork for the quilt top, and placed an order for a few charms packs containing the entire Tradewinds line. In each pack I got 42 ready-cut 5x5 inch squares, and I kept that size in the quilt. I mixed in some jewel tone solids, and as I had some of the backing fabric left over from the last quilt, I threw that in as well.

By the time I realized that I didn't really like the look of just the squares, I was pretty far into piecing the quilt top. I split a few seams and added the white stripes on a whim, and I'm glad I did, because I like it so much more this way. In fact, I LOVE it!

I was going to lay the quilt out on my lawn to take pics, but the though of all the neighborhood dogs constantly warring to be the last canine to mark my front yard kind of killed that idea. So, awkward tree branch it is. Rest assured, I will not actually be using the quilt in a tree.

This time, the process was not even close to as much of a PITA as the first time I made a quilt this size on my little sewing machine. The square patchwork invited a much simpler quilting pattern, which saved me loads of blood, sweat and tears. I went with a double grid, with gaps for the white lines, which was really easy. I was stoked it allowed for me to roll the quilt while working. It made getting this much fabric through my small machine infinitely easier. I also used lighter batting, which helped a lot as well. I really like the feel of the lighter batting, so I'll definitely be using a similar batting again.

The backside looks really similar to the last quilt, but sadly without the gorgeous diamond lattice quilt pattern!

Just as my last non-baby quilt, this one is queen-size. While the smaller blocks took longer to piece, I saved so much time on the quilting, the whole thing was faster. When it came to the binding, I decided to try an idea I had the other night. Instead of cutting all 3 layers to the same dimensions, I left an extra 1.5" on the backing fabric, and an extra .5" on the batting, compared to the quilt top.  Then to close the raw edge, I just rolled the backing fabric over the batting, and top stitched it to the frontside of the quilt. I did this for durability, and I'm planning on adding a bias-cut tape binding on top of this fake binding, having the bottom layer peek below the top one, but I haven't gotten to it yet. I'll update the post as soon as that's done.

 I'm still loving my new project labels!

Even though this technique involved binding the quilt twice, I will definitely use it again. The first binding, using the backing fabric, was super easy, and it made applying the top binding much easier as well. Hopefully the bottom layer will improve the durability of the top binding. And even if it does not, I would still do it this way again, because I absolutely LOVE the way it looks!

Now that both these quilts are done, I feel like I've made two sister quilts;  similar enough to be family, but each one unique enough to be beautiful in its own right.

Top: Busy Diamonds Quilt
Bottom: Tradewinds Quilt


Quilt top:
Tradewinds Empress Yardage, in South Pacific, Malabar Green, Tea Rose

Tradewinds Palace Garden Yardage, in Vanilla, Macaw Blue, Persian Rose, South Pacific, Malabar Green

Tradewinds Jaipur Yardage, in Tonal Macaw Blue, South Pacific, Tea Rose, Lemon Grass, Macaw Blue

Tradewinds Cambay Yardage, in South Pacific, Persian Rose, Malabar Green, Moroccan Red

Tradewinds Star Flower Yardage, in Macaw Blue, South Pacific, Malabar Green

Tradewinds Ornament Yardage, in Macaw Blue, South Pacific, Persian Rose, Malabar Green, Tea Rose

Tradewinds Kimmei Yardage, in South Pacific, Persian Rose, Tea Rose, Macaw Blue, Malabar Green

1 fat quarter Cotton Couture by Robert Kaufmann, Jewel tones

1 yard Cotton Couture by Robert Kaufmann, white

8 yards x Tradewinds South Pacific Empress Yardage Lily Ashbury for Moda Fabrics


bottom binding: from backing fabric
top binding: bias-cut binding strip

Monday, July 2, 2012

DIY Project: Yoga Mat Bag

I loath going on a trip without certain essentials, my yoga mat & travel foam roller being two of the most critical items that I've long since vowed never to travel without again. Of course, this morning, as I started packing for our next trip, I realized I have somehow lost the bag for my yoga mat. If you've every tried to bring a "naked" yoga mat anywhere without a bag to keep it manageable, you know what a total PITA it is. So, instead of doing that again, I whipped up this little mat bag, using some scraps of my favorite quilting print.

 Yoga mat bag

It is just a simple drawstring bag, measured to fit my particular mat. I added a double folded shoulder strap and closed the bag with a drawstring, for which I made a ribbon using bias cut tape also leftover from my last quilt. The bag is loose enough to not have to wrestle the mat into it, without looking like a completely shapeless sack. And, of course, I love, love, LOVE that print!

Yoga mat bag & travel foam roller pouch

For such an easy project, it turned out pretty well, and it only took 20 minutes. I also made a small, matching drawstring pouch for my little travel-sized foam roller, to keep it clean and lint free in my suitcase. Perfect!