Gray and Navy Blue Vinyl Faux Leather Wristlet Zipper Pouch – Finished Object

The very first project I ever sewed was a small coin purse with a metal clasp closure.  I found a nice little kit years ago on Etsy.  It came with a cute little instruction booklet and all of the necessary supplies.  I was immediately hooked!

I’ve since gone on to learn various other sewing projects, including some apparel.  I love the different techniques each different project can teach you.  I’ve recently taken a small pause from making baby blankets, and I’ve been making bags and pouches once again.

I realize now, it’s what I seem to enjoy most.  I think part of the reason is the instant satisfaction.  They are pretty easy to make so they finish up fairly quick.  I also love that it’s an excuse to use all kinds of fun or wacky prints of fabric that I otherwise wouldn’t use for anything.  The amount of supplies needed is also minimal so that’s a huge plus!

This past weekend I was able to finish up a small wristlet zipper pouch.  It gave me a chance to use up some fabrics I’ve had in my stash for awhile.  The finished dimensions are 9″ x 5.25″, with an 11″ strap.  It’s the perfect size for holding a phone, keys, and a few other on the go essentials!

The main body consists of three different fabrics.  The tan fabric is a soft vinyl/faux leather-like material.  The printed fabric is 100% cotton from Quilter’s Showcase, and the dark blue is a home decor weight fabric similar to duck canvas.

I used a regular poly zip that I had on hand.  I didn’t have the exact size needed, but they’re so easy to shorten that’s it’s not worth buying a whole new one.  I like the look of using zipper tabs because it gives a nicer finish than when the side seams are pinched at the ends of the zipper.  I still managed to accidentally pinch the ends of the zipper.  Whomp whomp 😢.  I’m still working on perfecting using zipper tabs so hopefully the next one!


Once again, I used the plain dark red fabric as the lining.  I had a few of these fat quarters on hand, and I don’t have any other solid colors so I’m trying to use them up.  I wanted to attempt making card slots in the lining to add an organizational element.  Sometimes, I hate when you have to just throw everything into a clutch or bag, and you have to sift through it all to find what you need.


Overall, I’m really happy with how it turned out!


DIY Blackout Curtains: Semi-tutorial

With all of the crafting I’ve been doing lately, it feels so strange when I don’t get a chance to work on anything for the week.  In fact, I feel guilty if I don’t get some practice in.  I know I’ve still got a ways to go, so I feel like I should be getting practice in daily.  Between work and personal time, it isn’t always possible, or even practical to craft a lot.  

Last month’s craft to-do list was a little bit long, but I’m happy to say I at least finished a little more than the previous month’s list. I still need to increase the time spent making things, so I know I need to get more control of my scheduling/time management.

One of the things that I enjoy most about crafting is when the finished product is a functional piece to the home, office, or wherever necessary.  After finishing the curtains for my fabric storage shelf, I wanted to finally tackle the blackout curtains I’ve needed.  I originally wanted to make all new curtains, but I decided I’d rather save the money and just repurpose the existing curtains.  It’s also a cheaper option than buying pre-made blackout curtains.

**This process will also work for any lining you want to add to an existing curtain panel, not just blackout lining.

I picked up some Roc-Ion Blackout Lining Fabric from my local Jo-Ann Fabric.  It could technically work as either a main fabric, an attached lining fabric, or a second layer that just hangs behind the main fabric.  I chose to use it as a lining fabric directly attached to the main fabric.  Another benefit to using the existing curtains is that you already know the finished dimensions needed, and the hems are already pressed into the fabric for easy guidelines.

I unfortunately didn’t take any photos of the process because I originally wasn’t going to post about it since I wasn’t really “creating” anything.  I figured it might help someone else out who’s looking to make their own blackout curtains, so I’ll try to write out as many details as possible.  

**Disclaimer:  I’m in no way a professional, and this is certainly not the only way.  It may not even be the best way, but it was easy and worked for me, so hopefully it can help someone else!

1). READY…SET…RIP!

Begin carefully seam ripping all of the existing sewing lines from the manufacturer.  This will give you one large rectangle of fabric (as if you’re starting from scratch).


2). CUT THE BLACKOUT LINING FABRIC:

Length:  Cut about 2″ less than what the FINISHED curtain length will be.  For example: if the finished length from top of the rod pocket to the bottom hem measures 60″, cut the blackout lining to 58″.  This will make sure the raw edges of the lining are encased within the hem while reducing bulk for sewing.  It’s not vital, you could still make it the same length of the main fabric, but it may increase the bulkiness when sewing the hems.

Width:  Cut 1″ less than what the TOTAL width of the main fabric measurement is (the measurement from side edge to side edge after seam ripping).  We’re cutting it shorter to create a self-binding effect that will hide the raw edges and keep the blackout lining from rolling to the front of the curtains.

3). SEW IT UP!

Place fabrics right sides together.  Line up one side seam, pin.  Since we cut the length of blackout fabric shorter, be sure center it in the main fabric so that equal amounts of the main fabric are at the top and bottom.  

Sew side seam only using a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Repeat along the other side seam.  Do not sew top and bottom seams.

4). ALMOST THERE!

Turn fabrics right sides out, press.  You will start to see where the front fabric naturally pulls towards the back, creating a border along the sides.  Pin side seams if desired and topstitch.  Repeat with other side seam.  This creates a really nice, professional finish to the backside of your curtain.


5). HEADING FOR THE FINISH LINE

Now all that remains is to fold down the top to create the rod pocket, and fold up the bottom hem.  Use the manufacturer hem lines as a guide and it will make life so much easier.  When you fold and press the main fabric towards the back, it should cover up the raw edges of the blackout lining.  If for some reason it does not, give yourself more slack in the seam allowance until the lining is covered.  Pin and topstitch in place and you’re done!  Repeat process with any additional curtain panels you may have.


I love that there are no raw edges exposed and that the lining and main fabrics work together as one unit.  

Fabric Organization and Sewing New Curtains

I recently did a major spring cleaning through my craft closet and it feels great!  I let go of some things I wasn’t using and just didn’t really need anymore.  I needed to reorganize some areas so I could actually get to my supplies more easily and use them!

I normally keep all of my fabrics and yarns inside plastic storage bins so they don’t get dust buildup.  The problem with this is that I can’t ever get to the ones I need.  I also end up forgetting what I have on hand.

I decided to make mini bolts of fabric and put them on shelves so I can see everything.  I must say, I’m liking it much better already!


I didn’t want to spend any money because I wasn’t sure at first if I’d like the new way.  I had a package of 8 1/2 x 11 chipboard pieces from scrapbooking days, so I figured they would suffice for now.  All small remnant pieces are just folded for now.  

I don’t want them to get exposed to dust (and mostly Karla’s pet hair!) now that they’re out in the open, so I made some curtains to help keep them dustfree.

I picked up some Keepsake Calico fabric from JoAnn Fabrics.  I think it’s a nice print without being too bright or busy for my taste.


A simple rod pocket style curtain and cheap tension rod did the trick!

WIP Wednesday – Very Pink Sixes and Threes Inspired Knitted Cowl

A few months ago I saw an old post on YouTube that really caught my eye.  I was looking for some ideas to help me work on color changes and incorporating more design into knits.  The video was for an infinity cowl that blends the different colors together in a really nice way.  

The link to the website can be found HERE. Also check out the VeryPink YouTube channel for great tutorials!

I don’t have the knitting pattern so I’m just kind of winging it as I go.  I do like that it helps me work on a few techniques such as circular knitting, jogless stripes, and Kitchener stitch.  I have never tried the Kitchener join so wish me luck!! 

I originally chose USC colors in hopes of wearing it to the basketball game. I didn’t have a chance to work on it so that didn’t happen.  I still want to complete it though.  I’ve been trying to make more time lately to tackle it whenever I can.  The great thing about knitting and crocheting is the ability to take it on the go and work on it more often.  Unlike other crafts, you’re not limited by being at a desk.



I’m having to adjust my cowl as I go because my first color block is too long.  If I make all the blocks the same length, the cowl will be much too big.  Since I’m a fanatic on symmetry and perfection, I’m going to compensate by decreasing the lengths of the striped blocks only.  I think I should’ve cast on less stitches also because it’s about an inch or so wider than I’d prefer.  We’ll see how it turns out!

Black Vinyl Foldover Clutch Purse Handbag

Super excited for this finished project.  It’s something that’s been on the to-do list for quite some time, but I didn’t really have the supplies to make it the way I wanted.  

Last month sometime, there were some really great fabric sales at JoAnn so I decided to stock up.  

I really wanted to try out working with vinyl because I hadn’t used it before.  I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t difficult to work with!

I bought a 1/4 yard of vinyl and I still have enough left to make a few more clutches. The striped fabric is a 54″ home decor fabric.  I also picked up some blue striped print.


For the lining, I had 2 fat quarters on hand that happened to match the striped fabric.  What a perfect coincidence!


I wish my local fabric store carried more colors of the metal zippers. I just picked up a few basic black and brown ones for now.  I almost forgot that I wanted to add a tassel/pull to the zipper.  I think it definitely gives it a finishing touch.

Without vinyl zipper pull:


After:


Overall, I’m super pleased with the results!  As with any project, there are little details throughout that need to be cleaner, but I’m happy with the topstitching, the lining, etc!  Can’t wait to create some more!

Till next time!

Nik

Baby Girl Scrapbook Page

Slowly but surely trying to find the motivation and inspiration to tackle the mound of pictures I need to scrapbook.  It’s been years since I’ve done any!  I’m definitely rusty and most of the pictures just ended up going into a regular photo album because I just didn’t have the time.

I mostly want to take the time to get all of  Giuliana and Gabriella’s pictures done.  I know how it sucks to not have any pics from childhood so I want to make sure they have memories.

The last few times I’ve tried to sit down and scrapbook, it’s been so hard to find inspiration.  I either didn’t have any cardstock or embellishments to work with, too indecisive, or mostly I was just unable to be creative.

I think hitting a creative block has got to be one of the hardest and most frustrating feelings.  Ever notice that it always happens when you finally have a moment to sit down and actually devote a day to working on a project?!

I pretty much forced myself to sit down and not get up until I finished at least a page.  I didn’t care if I ended up loving or hating it.  I knew I just needed to at least get something in the page!  It’s the only way to get better, and it’s the only way to start getting out of the creative block.

Overall, it’s OKAY.  I wish I had some more cardstock with neat prints and designs rather than just plain colors.  



I gave away so much of my scrapbook stuff when I did a clean sweep a couple of years ago so now I wish I still had some!  I look forward to improving again and complete both of their scrapbooks this year!

DIY Dog Harness Part 3: St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Karla is celebrating in style with her new shamrock dog harness.  I surprisingly like the green color on her!

I was originally going to use plain black on the backside (which helps make it reversible), but I was lazy and wanted to cut the pieces out all at once.

I want to start finding new parachute buckles to use because the current choice is too bulky looking.  I want to figure out a different pattern so that I can make it adjustable for a better fit.  I’ve been pressed for time though so I just used the same design as her Valentine’s Day Dog Harness.

I made a few adjustments to the fit and shape, but it’s basically the same.  I also used a different batting and I think I like it better than the fusible one from before.  It gives better shape to the harness in my opinion.


Overall, the design and fit (and sewing neatness) still need some work but she’s comfortable and it is fully functional!

Monsters Inc. Scrapbook Prep using Cricut

Trying to tackle a few scrapbook pages this month.  My pictures have piled up so much over the years so I want to take advantage of having a little (a lot!) more free time.  It’s also so nice to have a Cricut now (thanks boo!😘) so I can actually make die cuts and embellishments.  After all, that stuff costs way too much to buy all the time!

I’m loving all of the different images and cartridges available!  I decided to start with a Monsters Inc. page.  I was trying to put off purchasing any extra Cricut tools, but I’ve realized the spatula really helps keep the cardstock from breaking/curling when removing from the cutting mat.

I’m also waaaay too lazy to replace the different colors after each layer is cut!  I’m sure most experienced users already do this, but a nice tip is to arrange the layers on the mat so that you can fit as many different colors on a single mat.


You’ll still need to unload/load after each color is cut, but it saves time and energy to already have the different cardstocks positioned on the map.

I love seeing the assembled die cuts!  So cute!  Can’t wait to start on the scrapbook page and cross some more crafts off the to do list.


Till next time!

Nikki

Cute Little Dinosaur Boxed Pouch – Sewing Finished Object

So happy when I get to cross things off my to-do list!  I bought this dinosaur print fabric months ago.  I had a few ideas of what I wanted to use it for, but didn’t really decide for certain.

I wanted to make a little boxed bag this month, either for makeup or craft tools.  I normally keep my knitting needles and crochet hooks together, but I don’t really like the way the crochet hooks fit.  I decided this little pouch would be the perfect solution!

My original pouch was so bad!  Well, not at first.  Once I tried to alter it after construction was the mistake.  It was nice and neat but I didn’t plan out the size correctly so it was too short and wide for what I had in mind.  I wish I had more photos.

I decided to try to make it taller and slimmer but that only caused it to be crooked and too tall (photo below)!  The only thing I like about the original version of the pouch was the zipper tabs I used.  I think it gives a nice clean finish:


I realized that when I trimmed the boxed corners, it completely lost its shape and sturdiness, even with interfacing:


Such a disappointment!  I should’ve left it alone!  BUT, I love failures because they’re a learning experience.  I remade the pouch, paying careful attention to what I wanted the finished measurements to be.  I ditched the zipper tab covers, and added actual tabs to ease opening and closing the zipper.  LOVE LOVE LOVE the resulting pouch!

I interfaced both the main and lining fabrics this time for extra durability.


Even though the placement of this tab was slightly off, I don’t care! Lol


I prefer taking the extra time to slip stitch lining seems closed.  It gives a cleaner look than just sewing it closed.


Make sure your directional prints are facing the correct way before you sew!  Also, once you box your corners, don’t trim the excess fabric!  It helps keep the stucture and aid the “boxy” look!



Next time I will definitely choose a coordinating lining thread.  (I was just too lazy to change the bobbin😜):


Can’t wait to make some more of these cute little pouches!

Till next time!

Nik

Crafty t-shirt day at work…

At work, each month is filled with different themed days to participate in. Earlier this week was “crafty t-shirt day.”

I didn’t have many supplies on hand, and I didn’t want to spend money for something I’d only wear for a few hours.  I figured I’d try to make it craft themed, and try to use a few different crafting techniques instead.

I started searching through all of my scraps to see what I could dig up. I found a leftover remnant of some pink polka dot material. I used a paper punch to make a template for the letters, which I then traced onto the fabric.

I didn’t have any stabilizer or wonder under to applique the letters, but surprisingly it didn’t move around/stretch and came out straight!




This also gave me an excuse to use my cricut again 🤗!  I had some red foil iron on.  I think it would’ve looked better if it was a lighter color because it was not enough of a contrast to the black t-shirt.  It made it a little difficult to read the letters but oh well!


I LOVE this font for some reason!   I think it’s super cute and I think the stitched outline is a nice detail.  I made a mini yarn ball with sewing pins to mimic knitting needles, but I ended up leaving it off. 

I’m most pleased that the letter appliqués went on so smoothly and didn’t give me any trouble.

Till next time!

Nik