Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Reusable Shopping Bags (Part 2)

The next part of the bag does the lining and the outer fabric tandem. So here goes. As I did embroidery on this bag, I had to wait until it was completed before I ironed on the interfacing.

  • Pin and sew the outer fabric along the side seam. Press the seam open.

  • Next, lay the fabric flat with the seam allowance folded together and press the top and bottom (a couple of inches) to mark the center fold line. Do for both the lining and the outer fabric.

  • Reopen the back seam and pin the bottom of the bag matching the center front fold line and the seam. Pin across the bottom and sew.
  • Press the bottom seam open. When I do this, I have a little triangle show up at the edges. I have a wooden tailor press to do this with.

  • Lay the bag flat on the ironing board and iron up the side seams about 4 to 5 inches. These marks are important.
  • Put your hand into the bag and down to the corner. Form a triangle with your hand. 

  • The bottom seam is at the front and the pressed seam is at the back of your hand. Remove your hand and align the seam to the fold and pin in place.


and the back side


  • Using a ruler, draw a line 3” down from the tip of the triangle.


Mark all four corners (outer and lining) and sew on the lines you made. I use a chalk marker but others have used a blue or purple marker. A pencil works also.

  • Press the triangles towards the bottom seam. Steam out the side press marks.

  • Lay the bag out flat and grab the points on either long side. Give a small tug so they are on grain.

  • Add the handles. They go 2” from the center front and back and are a total of 4” apart.

  • Three step zigzag the handles in place close to the raw edge.

  • Place the outer bag into the lining with right side facing. Pin at the center front and back. Taking the bag at the center front and back and give a tug. Start pinning around the top.



  • Sew around the top and pull the bag out through the opening in the lining.

  • Lay flat on the ironing board with the handles towards the outer bag. Smooth out and press the top seam. I tug at the fabric to get a flat seam line.

  • Put the lining into the bag and sharpen up the fold line. Top stitch down making sure that your fold line is fairly sharp.


  • Sew the opening in the lining by machine

  • Or by hand using a ladder stitch.

  • Give the bag a good press and it is done.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Reusable Shopping Bag Tutorial

I love to make these reusable shopping bags and have adapted a pattern by 40% to come up with this pattern.

You will need:

1 piece of fabric and lining 18” by width of the fabric for the bag

1 piece of fabric 4” by width of fabric for the handle


Interfacing for handles, bag and lining. The interfacing I use is a lightweight one but I have used craft weight when I wanted the bag to stand up on its own.

Note: My interfacing is 60” wide so I cut two pieces 18” by wide of the interfacing and one piece 4” by the width of the interfacing. If you are using 22” wide interfacing you will need to cut your pieces so they run down the length of the interfacing and you will need just over 84” of interfacing. You will be able to cut out the handles from the left over pieces.

Prep Work

  • Lay the lining and the outer fabric on top of each other so the folds are even. Cut off the selvage at the smaller piece so both are the same size.



I do these next steps first while the outer fabric is being embroidered.

  • Cut the selvage off the handle pieces and cut it into 2 pieces. Iron on the interfacing.

  • Fold each of the handles in half and press.



  • Open and then fold each edge to the center. Press.

  • Press closed and stitch on both sides using a longer stitch.


I put pins on the top side of the handles. This is the side of the handles that will show.

  • Take the lining and interface it.

  • Pin the sides together and stitch leaving a 5-6” opening in the middle part.

  • Press the seam open


By now the embroidery is done and we can start working on the outer fabric.

That will be tomorrow………………..

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Knitting Tension Lesson (for me)

It has warmed up some here with no frost last night. It is suppose to get warmer with 9C on Saturday. Nice to have this weather if the cement gets poured on Friday.

A bit ago, I knit a dolls outfit (sweater, bonnet, and leggings)


The pattern is very nice to knit; lacy and flowery. Easy to memorize also.


I took all that knitting and turfed it into the garbage can. I could not ravel it out without tearing my hair out. The problem was my tension; it was way too loose. I used the size of yarn and needles recommended in the book and got a monster. When I gave one piece a shot of steam, it grew by almost an inch. That got me researching.

I borrowed two of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s books from the library and started to read. The Opinionated Knitter is a book filled with her newsletters and leaflets. A good quick read looking at her patterns and making some decisions on what I could knit.

The second book, Knitting Without Tears, was an excellent read. It took me several days to read and reread the chapters. The second chapter was read three times and referenced back to several more times. It was about gauge (tension). A light bulb went off in my mind; it actually was an explosion. I knit a swatch for the Surprise Baby Bonnet and the size of the needle was 3.25 mm vs. the 4 mm needle I had used for her Baby Surprise Jacket using the same yarn. I was hooked on gauge for my next two projects. My objective was matching needle and yarn to get the correct gauge. I knit the bonnet and booties and am happy with the results.

Back to the doll set. I bought more baby weight yarn and hauled out my 2.25 mm circular needle and did a gauge swatch. I got 9 sts to the inch vs. the 8 called for in the pattern. I need to buy 2.5 mm needles for the project, or at least that is what I think I need to do. The swatch was more dense than the previous knitting.

Strangely enough, I had done a gauge swatch for the socks I am knitting. I was using a wool yarn I wasn’t use to knitting socks with. I got a great match on needle and yarn. I did the same with the sock yarn I want to knit up. Why didn’t I think about doing this with the doll set? Who knows.

Today I have to have blood work done for my thyroid, buy BCAA and finish up the pink top I am working on. Tonight is knitting group and I will be able to work on the socks. I think I have another inch to knit before I start the heel.

Until tomorrow…………….

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Two Techniques

 Ron continued to teach techniques at his workshop. There is always something to learn
He showed how to increase a pattern across the front. First he found the bust point and marked it. Then he drew a line up the front to the bust point and then from that point to the center of the shoulder seam. He cut that line leaving a hinge at the shoulder. Next he drew three lines from the arm hole of which I will have to look up and report on it. I am drawing a blank just knowing that these lines overlap as the long cut piece is opened.

March 15, 2013 - When I looked at this today after watching Lynda Maynard's Perfect Fit, I would be marking the seam line and then hinging at the seam line. That is the only tweak I would do as this is kind of done by Lynda. 

The second technique Ron talked about where pockets in the side. The procedure is as follows:
Sew the pocket to the front and back of the pants or dress with a 3/8 inch seam leaving the top and bottom inch free.


Sew the top inch and the bottom with a 5/8” seam. Press the pockets to the body of the garment. There will be a 1/4” of the garment fabric turn under towards the pocket.


Top stitch the outside of the front pocket.


Seams pressed open with the pockets towards the front and back of the garment.


The order of serging the pockets.


Step One: Front inside seam. It is free from the rest of the pocket and easy to serge.


Steps 2 to 4 in that order. If the pockets are not even at the raw edge, trim to be the same size.


Your pockets will like flat and smooth against the garment when this style of pockets are done in this fashion.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Core Four Ideas

I keep looking at my fabric for a wardrobe for myself based on the idea of 33 items of clothing in a wardrobe. Here is what I keep thinking about with what I have in my stash.

Core Four Fabric  
Black denim jeans Have Sew
Black denim jacket Have Sew
Black short sleeved t-shirt Have Sew
Black 3/ length sleeved t-shit Have Sew
Expansion Four    
Magenta Twill capris Have Sew
Magenta Twill walking shorts Have Sew
Pink short sleeved t-shirt Buy Sew
Pink cotton short sleeved shirt Buy Sew
Mileage Four    
Pink and white striped cotton shirt Have Sew
White sweater Buy Knit
Turquoise 3/4 length sleeve t-shirt Have Sew
Print top with magenta and black in it Buy Sew
Integration Four    
Black bag with magenta trim or reverse Have Sew/Quilt
Pink sandals Have  
Black shoes Buy  
Yellow Pin Buy  

Until tomorrow…………………….

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hotter than...........

Just a reminder of how hot it was last summer. Hotter than..................

hot outside

There was 6 weeks of hot weather (95 to 101F). Longer than most could tolerate.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Pattern Storage Idea

I found these wonderful Expanding File Jackets at Staples.

filing jacket

I got the idea from Marie Louise at How Do You Sort Your Patterns on Stitcher’s Guild. Marie Louise states she puts the pattern pieces, instruction sheets, and traced pattern, notes and pictures into the jacket. She splits the pattern envelope into two pieces and puts the front onto the front and the back onto the back of the jacket. She shows them stored in magazine holders. Wonderful idea and worthy of copying.

Monday, April 30, 2012


The embroidery on the red bag was free from some unknown source. I have had it for many years. If you go to Sky Drive you will find it there.

I have done a bit of endless embroidery but not a lot. I want to try more of it as I do have several designs; one being morning glories. I did it on a tea cosy the first year I did Embroidery Club. I thought a bit on what to do endless embroidery on and it hit me. Pillow cases!! I am going to learn how to do them using this tutorial.

I won’t be embroidering on the first two pillowcases as I am using up fabric I bought last year for the guest room. The stripe is the main fabric and I can choose out of these two colour ways to match the quilt in the room.


Making a pair of pillow cases will allow me to figure out the embroidery placement.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fancy Yokes Tutorial

Fancy yokes are not hard to do if you follow the following steps that I adapted from a Ron Collin's class. Use fine net to sew to the curved edges to finish them prior to sewing the yokes on the shirt. The net isn’t bulky which is perfect.
First step is lay the net onto the yoke piece. I make sure that it is even with the front edge and it goes up high enough to be in the armhole. On this this shirt, I stiched 3/8” from the edge and clipped the curves. Trim to 1/4".


Next turn the netting to the wrong side of the fabric and work it to the back at the sewn edges. Watch to make sure all corners are sharp. For these shirts I am adding black piping. I have pinned it on to the sewn edge of the yoke.


The wrong side of the yoke.


And then I baste the piping in place so it won’t slip when I sew the yoke on to the shirt.


I sewed the yokes together at the shoulder seam and, after pressing, I pinned them in place on the shirt body. I stitch down the neckline and fronts 3/8” so they won’t slip. I then pin the yokes down and stitch them in place.


Until tomorrow...................................

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

1600 Inch Quilt

I was sent information on the Jelly Roll Quilt Race.  I plan on doing it after I finish all my rodeo sewing. It should be fun and I will take my time and enjoy the process.

I have all these bali pops which would make 5 quilts but I wouldn’t do that.


Until tomorrow....................