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 ūüėĘ.  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!


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

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!

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 bobbinūüėú):


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

Till next time!

Nik

Blue Minky Baby Blanket with Satin Blanket Binding (FO) semi-tutorial

Okay, so I promise this is going to be the last baby blanket for a little while!  I love making them and they’re so quick to finish, but I don’t want to keep boring you with the same style.  This one was for another baby boy that graced the world with his presence this past weekend.  I love this super cute patchwork fabric, that consists of minky and flannel squares.  I hadn’t used minky until the Woodland Creatures Minky Baby Blanket with Satin Blanket Binding so I’ve been on a mini obsession with it.  I loved the dark blue minky for the backing fabric!  I again decided to use the satin blanket binding because I love the nice detail and more professional look it gives.

I like baby blankets somewhere in the 30-40″ range on average so I cut my pieces down to a 31″ x 31″.


Before cutting out the main fabric, I wanted to straighten/even out the edge to make sure my measurements were accurate.  I lined up my straight edge along the first seam line and used my rotary blade.

Pin your fabrics, WRONG SIDES TOGETHER.  This is because you won’t be hiding the seams inside.  Instead, baste or regular stitch all around the edges using your desired seam allowance.


I used a 1/4″ seam allowance so that the blanket binding will be wide enough to cover the sewing line.

For the binding, one package of pre-measured binding will be more than enough for my 31″x31″ blanket.  It comes with 4.75 yards in a package.  Be sure to figure out the perimeter of your blanket to ensure you purchase enough. 

Next, begin placing the binding around the edge.  Be sure not to start too close to the corner because you will need room to overlap the edges.
You’ll notice that one side of the binding is just a bit wider than the other.  Be sure that this wider side goes on the backside of your blanket.

Open the binding (iron if desired), and sandwich your fabrics between the binding and pin if desired:

Yes, those are bobby pins I’m using to avoid snagging the binding:

Set your machine to a zig zag stitch and guide the binding so the the stitches straddle the edge of the binding.  This will make sure that the edge on the backside is caught in the seam as well.

I wish I had pictures for the remaining, but I was so frustrated that I forgot to take them as I was finishing today.

For the corners:  continue sewing until you reach the end of the fabric.  Turn the fabric in the direction of the next side you will be sewing.  Be sure the edge of the blanket is flush inside the crease of the binding:

Fold the corners inward at a 45 degree angle to get the nice mitered corner.  The binding edges should meet at a 90 degree angle if done correctly.  Be sure to sew over the edge to keep it in place. It can be tricky to catch the backside, and for me I usually have to do a second row of stitches in order to catch the back seam.

Finishing: If you have extra binding remaining, trim leaving enough to overlap the starting point.  I like to leave enough so that I can fold the edges inward to create a point (similar to the angle created when joining bias strips).  Sew in place as you did for the corners and you’re all set!



For some reason, this specific blanket was the most stressful thing I’ve ever made!  There were so many moments I wanted to throw it across the room!  I think if I had to seam rip one more time, I would’ve broken down in tears (literally).  Everything was going great until it was time to add the binding.  No matter what I did, I just could not seem to get my corners turned and mitered nicely.  Once I got past a corner and continued down the side, the binding would shift and the threads wouldn’t catch the back of the binding!  I don’t know if I was just overly tired or what, but I realized it was time to walk away and come back to it later.
Although I love the look of the blanket binding, I don’t think I’ll continue to use it quite as often.  Overall, I’m happy I decided to try it out for these last couple of blankets.

WIP Wednesday: Do you have multiple WIP’s?

Like most crafters, I have a couple of projects going on simultaneously. ¬†Sometimes it’s from the boredom of working the same item hour after hour, sometimes creative block forces you to take a break, or if you’re like me, you just have so many different things you want to tackle all at once!

Another reason that I’ve noticed is as simple as giving my body a break. ¬†Working a craft such as knitting for example, tends to use the same muscles constantly, and for each project. ¬†I feel that when I’m starting to feel too tense or tired, switching gears to a different medium helps by engaging different muscles and creative visions. ¬†Anyone else feel the same way?

As of right now, I’ve just been posting finished objects (FO). ¬†I enjoy seeing all of the work in progress (WIP) posts from other bloggers, so I thought maybe I should join the fun. ¬†It’s cool to see the progress from week to week, and give people a sneak peak of what you’re working on. ¬†Many times I tend to finish projects quickly, so this may only happen whenever I’m working on a knitting or crocheting project since those usually take me longe
r.

This week’s WIP is a knitting¬†project, specifically a beanie. ¬†I’m trying out a sock yarn for the first time and man is is time consuming! ¬†I’img_2687ve never used needles smaller than a size 4 and this yarn requires size 2! ¬†I feel like it takes forever to finish a row. ¬†I’m working it flat instead of in the round because I wanted to use a tubular cast on. ¬†The thought of trying to work the foundation rows in the round with that many stitches made me cringe. ¬†It’s hard to see the stitches because they’re so small, but I LOVE the clean stretchy edge of a tubular cast on. It’s so great for beanies.


 

 

 

I tried to adjust the picture to show the stitch detail, but it ended up altering the color. ¬†I’m using Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight in the color Black. ¬†Since this is the first time testing out this yarn, I think it’s a little too fine for this project. ¬†I think if I were to double up and use two skeins at once, it may have given a more desired thickness. ¬†I’ll just stick with it as is since I’m too lazy to redo the tubular cast on, and I’ll try it as a small swatch before beginning again.

 

DIY Tote Bag using the Cricut Explore Air

Finally had some free time to unbox and play around with my new Cricut Explore Air! ¬†It was killing me to hold onto this exciting new toy and not be able to try it out. ¬†So after work last night, I forced myself to make some time for it. ¬†I originally just planned on setting it up, downloading the software and such, but let’s be real. There’s no way I could not try it out! ¬†I mean, isn’t the first cut the most thrilling part??

I absolutely love how easy the machine and software are to use. ¬†I have always been so intimidated by Cricut’s features, but the Explore Air is seriously the most user friendly device. ¬†The design space is so easy to navigate and takes just a moment to get the hang of. ¬†One of the most exciting features is the Bluetooth connection (which was so handy since my computer decided to crash the night before ūüėę). ¬†With the Explore Air, you get full customization just as easily from an iPhone or iPad!

I purchased one of the Cricut Iron-on rolls when I originally got the machine so I figured that would be the most fun to try out.  I bought a plain black tote from JoAnn Fabrics and decided I wanted a quote or something related to crafting or motivation towards self-employment.  I found a pre-designed image in the catalog and started to customize it.

I was super excited to get going until half way through the cut I realized I had the iron on sheet the wrong way on the mat!  I wasted more than half of the roll in doing so!
I remembered to mirror the image, but you can see here that I accidentally cut on the plastic transfer portion rather than on the back of the iron on portion!  I was able to at least save as much uncut space as possible to use for future projects.
I figured I still had enough of the iron on to make a smaller version of the logo. ¬†I couldn’t fit the bottom banner portion without making the entire logo smaller so I decided to forego it so that it wouldn’t be too miniature. ¬†I was so terrified that I was going to tear the image because some lines were so thin! ¬†I was pleasantly surprised that it was easy and durable! ¬†Since I don’t have any extra Cricut tools, I used a regular sewing pin to pick all the tiny little pieces out from the inside of the letters. ¬†It seems to work just as well, so until otherwise, I’ll choose to save my money by not purchasing any unnecessary extras!

Overall, I’m super pleased with the result, and I can’t wait to make more stuff!! I love my new machine and I’m looking forward to the positive impact it’ll have on my business venture!

**UPDATE: ¬†After looking at the first sheet of iron on, I realized it didn’t actually cut through the plastic and into material. ¬†I can still go ahead and reuse for another project!! Super excited that it didn’t end up as wasted money/supplies!

 

Taking a trip down memory lane…

I recently shared this photo on instagram from 2012.  It was one of the first garments I ever attempted to draft completely from scratch.  I had done plenty of items from manufacturer patterns, but this was the real deal.  I draped it on the stand in muslin, did test fittings, etc!  I think this may have even been the first time I tried using an invisible zipper.


Don’t get me wrong, it was far from perfect. ¬†The fit still needed work even after the adjustments, but overall she was happy and nobody would ever know it didn’t come from a store.


In no way do I dream of being a “designer” or having my own clothing line or any of that. ¬†I genuinely enjoy the process. ¬†I love drafting, sewing, and actually seeing the product develop in front of my eyes. ¬†I’ve got an exciting and challenging new adventure in the works, so I’ve been trying to get my focus and mindset back into doing this. ¬†Looking at some of my old pictures is reminding me that I can do it. ¬†It’s most definitely going to be my biggest crafting challenge to date, and I’m sure there will also be plenty of missteps to share along the way, but I’m confident I can do it!

Woodland Creatures Minky Baby Blanket with Satin Blanket Binding (FO)

Had to resist posting this FO for a little while since it was a gift for a recent baby shower, and I didn’t want the parents to see it on social media. ¬†A super sweet couple are expecting their first child (a boy!), and I LOVE having a reason to make baby things! ¬†Not only is the fabric selection for babies insanely amazing, but making tiny sized items is so adorable and fun. ¬†I think it’s also practical because babies go through so many things that you can never have enough on hand. ¬†Also, who doesn’t love one-of-a-kind items?I love the sentimental value things can have, especially when you’ve grown up and you look back at all the things your parents saved from childhood. ¬†I still have my baby blanket that someone made for me, and I never forgot about it growing up.

For this project, I heard they wanted to go for a kind of “woodland creatures” theme, so when I saw this fabric I thought it was perfect! ¬†I like that it’s not the typical color scheme for baby boys, but it also made it a little more difficult to decide what coordinating colors I liked best. ¬†There was not a huge color selection of Minky fabric or blanket binding at my local fabric store so I decided to make the blanket using variations of mint/green only. ¬†I think the slightly darker blanket binding makes a great contrast to both the main and back fabrics¬†while keeping it from looking too “matchy-matchy.”

woodland-creatures-minky-baby-blanket-with-satin-blanket-binding-2

This was also my first time attempting to use satin blanket binding, and yes, it was less than a perfect attempt. ¬†It’s slippery against the fabric, and being satin, I didn’t want to use pins out of fear of causing snags. ¬†These binder clips did an ok job of keeping the layers of fabric in place between the binding, but there was still a good amount of movement and lots of adjusting. ¬†I’m not usually a fan of using zig zag stitch often, but for this type of binding, I really do think it is a benefit to the construction as well as to the look of the item.

woodland-creatures-minky-baby-blanket-with-satin-blanket-binding-3

The only difficult part of using this type of binding¬†is turning the corners. ¬†Not bad for my first try, but being the perfectionist I am, it drove me crazy!! ¬†It is difficult to keep the corners mitered perfectly without pins, but also making sure the top and bottom are lined up so that both layers are seamed up together. ¬†This did not happen for any of my corners so I always had to make a second row of zig zag stitches parallel to the first row. ¬†Thankfully, it’s not super noticeable, and it also makes the seams more durable. LOL!

Another issue to pay attention to is that you are keeping your blanket edges pressed against the crease of the binding, especially when turning the corners.  I messed up one corner and it threw the rest of the binding off a bit.  It caused an elongated point to form, and it also wrinkled up the binding much more than before it got off track.

woodland-creatures-minky-baby-blanket-with-satin-blanket-binding-4

Overall, I really like the idea of using this type of binding. ¬†It takes a little practice to get the corners correct, but you get a clean fancy edge and you don’t lose any length or width by having to account for seam allowances. ¬†I have one more coming up (for another boy!) so hopefully I’ll be able to work out some of the kinks and get an even better binding.

DIY Dog Harness Part 2: Valentine’s Day

Super excited that I was able to fit in TWO fully finished sewing projects this week! ¬†I’m trying out a few different ways to get the perfect fit/style for Karla’s dog harness. ¬†For Round 2, I really wanted to make her a cute Valentine’s Day themed harness (mainly so I could browse all of the cute seasonal fabrics at JoAnn’s). ¬†This dog harness was a major improvement from the first trial, and I can see a few more areas I’d like to adjust.

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DIY Valentine’s Day dog harness with parachute buckle

I ditched the velcro closure and opted for a parachute buckle, which makes the harness way more secure and sturdy. ¬†I didn’t have the adjustable piece for the buckle so I had to make sure the nylon strapping was made to fit. ¬†It’s okaayy, but I think on the next trial I will go ahead with an adjustable option to make for a better fit around her rib cage. ¬†I think the neck strap needs to be shaped a little better as well (although I like that it is a little loose so it’s not choking her). ¬†For the chest/belly strap, I thought I was going to like bringing more of the fabric up around her back, however, I’m still deciding if I’d prefer it shorter with longer strapping.

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Closure across dog’s back…buckle feeds through top strap loop (not shown) before connecting closing buckle

I also added an extra layer of batting inside for extra warmth and comfort.  I also like that it gives the harness a more soft and cushioned look overall:

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Chest/belly side of dog harness includes layers of batting sandwiched between the outer fabrics. Provides comfort and gives shape and stability.

Overall, I’m really happy with this trial harness. ¬†It was totally functional and gave her plenty of movement to run freely. ¬†Hopefully, I can improve¬†this piece even further, and settle on a standard harness pattern with a¬†perfect fit!