Oct 122011
 

Welcome to another What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Hosted by the inimitable Julia, this is where many of us hang out on Wednesdays, checking out what other crafty and creative people are up to.

2011-10-12-whats-on-your-workdesk-wednesday-black-sweater-jacket

Today’s workdesk finds me in the midst of making a black cardgan/jacket/sweater.  I’m using this fabric from Fabric.com.  You can’t really see in the photo, but it has a nice, nubbly texture (which translates into an utter mess of black bits on the floor once you cut it, lol.)

Boucle Sweater Knit Novelty Stripe Black

I’m lining it with a beautiful black brocade. I’ll show more details when it’s closer to being done.  This is the pattern I’m using:

mccalls-5668-jacket

The directions are by Nancy Zieman, and they’re pretty good with lots of helpful tips, however for some reason I was thinking this jacket was fully lined.  Since the sweater fabric frays so much, it really needs to be fully lined.

That’s why you see this book on the table:

Sandra Betzina’s Power Sewing is awesome for getting that extra bit of finished, professional look in your garments.  I’m following her directions for adding in a back pleat to the lining and bagging the lining.  I tried reading through the bagging directions, visualizing each step, but got utterly confused.  So, I think I’m just going to follow each step carefully and trust that it will work out.

If I mess up?  Well, that’s what seam rippers are for, right? ::::::grin::::::

Happy woyww and happy creating!

 

Oct 112011
 

Good morning to you!  I finished this skirt a while back but have just gotten around to taking photos.  You can get the free pattern here.

Cabriolet skirt-dress

Are you sick of seeing this raspberry knit fabric yet?  I have two more things to show you out of it, then I promise it’s all gone.  😉 raspberry-knit-wrap-skirt

Pattern Description: This skirt-dress is designed for airy, lightweight fabrics like crinkled gauze, handkerchief linen, voile, crepe, rayon or even a drapey t-shirting.

Wrap-over, gathered, tiered convertible skirt-dress has a deep band with long self ties, and curved front panels. Wear this versatile summer essential as a skirt with a simple tank or T-shirt for a fabulous casual outfit, or try it as a dress for a glamorous beach or pool-side cover-up.

Pattern Sizing: Includes sizes 6-26. I made a 10.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except that since I used a knit with a lot of crosswise stretch, I didn’t get quite the same ruffled gather look.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Everything was quite easy except for where to leave an opening for the left hand tie to go through. In step 1b of the directions it is unclear that you leave the opening between the back and right hand waistband panels.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like how comfy and easy this skirt is to wear.

Fabric Used: I used a knit jersey, which created some problems due to a great deal of crosswise stretch.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Because of all the crosswise stretch in my fabric, the skirt turned out way too big in the waist. I folded the very wide waistband in half, stitched it down and added wide elastic. (Since you need to leave an opening for the tie to thread through, this elastic will be in two pieces.) I also added hooks and eyes at both side seam, just to keep everything in place.

The ties were ridiculously long, I shortened each by 10″.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I might sew this again, next time in a woven. I’m picturing a dainty floral in lightweight gauze, that would make a really pretty spring skirt..

Conclusion: I can guarantee you won’t ever catch me wearing this as a dress, it would be way too short. As a skirt though it’s a very nice, simple pattern if you don’t mind doing a fair amount of gathering.

Oct 072011
 

I did some major organizing in my craft room this week.  While I was at it I finally took care of a project I’ve been wanting to do for some time: organize my knitting needles and crochet hooks in rolls.

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-10-slots-sewn

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-14-all-tied-up-and-complete

You can make these rolls for just about any kind of tool you’ve got.  I’ll show you how I figured out the dimensions so you can make your own.

You will need two pieces of fabric, one for the lining and one for the main fabric.  You also need a yard of ribbon for ties.

(Click on any of the photos to enlarge.  Click on the square with an arrow to make them even bigger.)

First, you need to lay out your tools and take some measurements.  Here are my crochet hooks:

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-1-measure

The tallest hook is 6” and if I allow ½” for each hook, plus some extra room, I’ll need my roll to be about 15” wide. I’m also going to add 2” at the top to allow for a flap that will fold down and prevent my hooks from falling out while it’s rolled up.

Therefore the lining piece will need to finish at 15”x 8”, so add ½” for seam allowances and cut a piece of fabric at 15.5” x 8.5”.

The main fabric piece will include the pocket for all the hooks to slip into; 3” seems to be just about right for this pocket.  So I’ll cut a piece of fabric the same width of my lining (15.5”,) but 3” deeper (8.5” + 3”= 11.5”.)

Hopefully this diagram will clear up the math:

crochet-hook-roll-dimensions_0

Here are my two pieces all cut.  (Please ignore the fact that the blue fabric is pieced together.  I wanted to use it but didn’t have a large enough scrap.)

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-2-cut-pieces

You’ll notice that if you fold up the 3” pocket on your main fabric piece, it should be the exact same size as the lining piece.  (Blurry, I know. Sorry!)

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-3-fold-back-pocket

Narrow hem one long edge of your main fabric piece.  This will be the top edge of your pocket.

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-4-hem-pocket

Fold up the pocket on your main fabric so right sides are together.  Layer your lining on top of this, right sides together.  Center an 18” piece of ribbon between the lining and main fabric on one of the short sides.

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-5-sew-3-sides

Stitch with a ¼” seam around three sides: the two short sides and the one long side without the fold. 

Here it is with corners clipped and stitched around only three sides, not stitched on the side with the fold.

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-6-3-sides-sewn

Turn right side out.

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-7-turned-right-side-out

Now flip the pocket right side out.  It will automatically be on the side with the lining. Press.

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-8-flip-pocket-around

Now use a ruler and marking pencil to mark off the slots in your pocket.  Stitch on these lines, making sure to backstitch securely, especially at the top of each pocket.

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-9-mark-slots

Go ahead and put in your hooks…

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-10-slots-sewn

…and fold down the 2” protective flap.

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-11-flap-folded-down

Starting at the end without the ribbon, roll it up.
On the outside of the roll use a pin to mark where the other piece of ribbon should go.

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-12-roll-up-to-mark-for-2nd-ribbon

Sew another 18” piece of ribbon at the mark.  I like to fold under the end of the ribbon and stitch in a nice, neat square.

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-13-sew-on-2nd-ribbon

Now your roll is ready to tie up!

crochet-hook-roll-tutorial-14-all-tied-up-and-complete

Here’s one I made for my knitting needles.  Don’t you just love that fabric?  In its former life it was a trick-or-treating bag for my kids.  knitting-needle-roll-tied

knitting-needle-roll-open

Measurements for the knitting needle roll:

  • Lining – 28”x 18”
  • Main fabric – 28” x 26”
  • Pocket – 7” deep
  • Protective flap – 4”

Notice that I left some of the pocket slots wide enough to accommodate circular needles.

Happy sewing, creating and organizing!

Oct 052011
 

Last week I told you all about the $10 bag of goodies I got from my local scrapbooking store which precipitated a major reorganization of my sewing & crafting room.

Three trips to Ikea later, I’m all done, and quite pleased with the results.

This gives you an idea of the before: 2011-10-05-before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the after:  (click to enlarge, click the square with an arrow to further enlarge)2011-10-05-whats-on-your-workdesk-wednesday

What do you think?

The bird house fabric is for a new ironing board cover, the old one is is getting kinda yucky.

The pattern is McCalls 6408 to be made out of the purple fabric, which is Fabric.com’s Hatchi Slub Sweater Knit.

 

Still debating whether or not to add the belt; definitely going to do the asymetrical hem, though.

The white boxes are the Ikea Kassett DVD boxes.  At two for $5 how can you go wrong?  They’re just cardboard, but the metal label plates, edges and corners on the lids make them look quite finished.  I ended up getting eight total, but am using just the lids of three as trays for smaller items.  I love this!  Just pull out the tray with what I need and get busy.

The four clear containers are from Ikea’s Godmorgon line (it actually comes with five, but one is in the cabinet with paint brushes.)  They can be found in the bathroom accessories department, but I thought they were perfect here.  I even used the box the Godmorgon set came in, stuck on a spare label plate from a box I wasn’t using and filed all my 4” x 6” paper pads in it.  Now I can actually find them and use them.  Woot!

I’m also thrilled to finally have my completed cards organized in one of the boxes. The card files are manila folders that I cut down to fit.

2011-10-05-woyww-cards

Happy sewing, organizing or whatever you’re doing this What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday!  (What is WOYWW?  Go here to find out, it always a fun time. )

Oct 032011
 

Last week I mentioned that I needed to do a total reorganization of some areas of my crafting/sewing room.  It’s been going well.  I’ve rediscovered lots of goodies I’d forgotten about and have given away or tossed many items that I’ll never use.  I’ll share pictures of the final results soon.

In the meantime I thought you might like this tip that I’ve finally implemented for my interfacing drawer.  I have to admit, it was a disgrace.

Here’s the tip:

Use a section of the direction sheet to make a pocket for each type of interfacing and fusible product on hand.

organize-interfacing

I took approximately 18″ sections, folded them in half and stitched along both sides.  Make sure to use a long stitch length so you don’t perforate the paper too much.  Also, don’t backstitch to secure the ends, but leave long thread tails and tie each pair into a knot.

organize-interfacing-2

Now not only do you have the directions on hand for each product, but you’ll know exactly what each one is.  This is also great for keeping scraps neatly corralled.

I had several interfacings without direction sheets, so I made pockets from scrap fabric.  Remember that t-shirt quilt I’ve been working on?  I used one of the backs that was going to be thrown away to make three pockets.  These I labeled with a sharpie with my best guess as to the product. Next time I shop for interfacings, I’ll be sure to keep a section of the directions.

organize-interfacing-3

I do loved getting organized!

Happy creating and organizing.

Oct 012011
 

In the past week I’ve shown you how to make Origami Folded Purses and Beaded Handles for said purses.

Now let’s look at, in no particular order, some finishing details to make your bags truly special.

Consider making the two sides of the bag slightly different

A few years back the oriental purse was the bag I carried with me.  One thing that was frustrating was the constant flipping back and forth to find the side with what I needed in it.

So, when I made the floral purse, I put a pink button on one side…

folded-bags-with-beaded-handles-floral-bag_0

…and a green one on the other side.  Now you’ll know that your wallet is on the pink side, cell phone is on the green, or whatever.

 folded-bags-with-beaded-handles-floral-bag-green-button

The difference on the purple purse is a bit subtler; one side has two leaves…

folded-bags-with-beaded-handles-fairy-button-2-leaves

…and the other side has only one leaf.

folded-bags-with-beaded-handles-fairy-button-1-leaf

This leads me to the next point:

You can use embellishments other than just buttons

The purple silk flowers and leaves are actually there to solve the problem of the buttons not being able to entirely cover the back of the magnetic clasp.  I’m so happy I needed to solve that problem, though, because I think they add SO much to the purse.

You could add a ribbon bow under your buttons, clusters of ribbon or silk flowers, beading… the possibilities are endless.

If you don’t like how it comes out, you can change it

This floral bag was made for a class sample, and it was beyond the scope of the class to add beaded handles.  I really struggled to find something quick and easy that I liked for a handle for this bag

Late one night before the class I settled on this braided ribbon.  I never was satisfied with it, and it was a relief to take it off and add the beads.

 folded-purses-floral-before

 I carried this black purse with me just like this, and was happy with it…

folded-purses-oriental-before

…but I’m even happier with it now.  🙂

folded-bags-with-beaded-handles-oriental

How about jazzing up the beads with a twisted cording?

Someone was kind enough to give me this purple cording to use on this bag, so I really wanted to incorporate it with the beads.  When I saw these twisty glass leaves, I knew they’d be perfect.

folded-bags-with-beaded-handles-glass-leaves-handle_0

If you want to twine cording around your beaded handle:

  • Twist it just the way you want, then tie it to the ends of the clasps.
  • To keep it from untwisting, tack the ends of the cording to the inside of the side seams.  (Simple enough, eh?)

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-18-optional-cord

And finally, my favorite trick of all time:

Use alcohol inks to change the colors of your hardware

The eyelets for this purse really needed to be something other than silver in order to go with the beads and the gold bits in the fabric print, but I could only find them in silver.

folded-bags-with-beaded-handles-gold-grommet

Alcohol inks to the rescue!  They are awesome, because you can use them to permanently color any non-porous surface.  This means glass, glazed ceramics, metals, plastic… are you starting to get ideas?  Oh, they are fun!

Dabbing on alcohol inks

So, to do my eyelets, first I dripped some Butterscotch alcohol ink all over them and blotted off the excess.  This colored the inner sections where I couldn’t reach with my dabber.

Then I applied one dot of Gold Metallic Mixative to a small piece of felt (make sure to shake up the mixatives well before using) and dabbed this on my eyelets.  Voila, gold eyelets!

I could have made them any color the alcohol inks come in, and even blended colors.  You could try mixing browns and oranges to get a brassy look, or even just coloring them black would look cool.

Painting on alcohol inks

Aren’t these buttons gorgeous?  I thought so; I picked them out to replace the solid black buttons on the oriental purse. (They oughtta be amazing, they were $8 for the pair!  Thankfully, I had a 50% off coupon with me.)

folded-purse-buttons-before

However, I thought they could use a bit of pink in them to tie them in with the handles and the pink in the fabric print.  How to do it?

No problem, once more it’s alcohol inks!

To paint with alcohol inks you will need:

folded-purse-buttons-color-with-alcohol-ink

First, drip several drops of each alcohol ink color you want to use onto your palette or plate.  Now, leave them alone and let them dry.  It should only take a few seconds.  And it will look like an utter mess.  Yup, I know this sounds weird, but it works.

While you’re waiting, fill the water brush with alcohol blending solution and label it as such.   I mean it!  If you confuse this with water, you will be sorry.

Now take your brush and gently squeeze it, the solution should start to flow from the brush tip.  Lightly rub this into one of the colors of dried alcohol ink.  It picks up the color onto the brush and now you can paint with that color on your object.

I chose to paint the little leaves on my buttons with Cranberry alcohol ink.  Wonderful!

folded-purse-buttons-after

When your brush runs out of color, just go back to the palette to pick up some more.  If you want to change colors, just scribble the brush onto a Non Stick Craft Sheet until the liquid runs clear.

You can use the blending solution to clean off the craft sheet, fingers and most anything else when you’re all done.  Also, if you’re not happy with what you’ve done, just wipe it with blending solution to remove all color and start over.

Now my buttons go perfectly with my bag.

folded-bags-with-beaded-handles-close-up-oriental

By the way, it’s a good idea to first test alcohol inks and the blending solution in an inconspicuous spot to make sure they won’t damage any existing color.  Usually they won’t, but it smart to test first!

So there you have it, some fun details to add to your purses.  I hope you’ll give this project a try.  If you do, I’d love to see pics of your work.  🙂

Happy creating!

Sep 292011
 

Earlier this week I showed you how to make Origami Folded Purses.  Today’s tutorial is for how to add beaded handles.  Of course, you could add these handles to just about any bag; think of it as jewelry for your purse!

Here are three bags that I’ve completed.  You’ll notice that the black bag with oriental fabric has gotten a makeover with new buttons and a fancy new handle.  I’m loving it.

folded-bags-with-beaded-handles-floral-bag_0 folded-bags-with-beaded-handles-purple-bag_0

folded-bags-with-beaded-handles-oriental

(Btw, you can click on any of the photos to enlarge, click  on the square with an arrow to make them even bigger.)

What you will need to make these handles:

  • A purse to put them on (duh!)
  • Metal grommets (I used the Dritz large grommet kit.  It comes with the tool you will need to set them.)
  • Two clasps to go through the eyelets.  (On the floral and purple bags I used badge clips, they look like large lobster claw clasps with a swivel loop.  On the black oriental bag I used metal clasps by Blue Moon Beads.)
  • Bead stringing wire (I used Beadalon nylon coated stainless steel in size 5.)
  • Two crimp tubes (Look at the packaging and choose the size that corresponds with your wire.)
  • Beads of your choice (Shopping for these is the fun part!)

The first thing to do is make  small holes in the side seams of the purse for the eyelets to go through.  This is why we used a very small stitch length when we made the purse.  Here I am using a Cropodile to punch holes, but you just carefully make a 1/4″ hole with scissors.  Always err on the side of making it too small!

Make these holes about 1/2″ down from the top of the seams.  folded-purse-handle-tutorial-1-punch-hole

Here are what the grommets look like.  Above them is the tool used to set them with a hammer.  Make sure when you get your package that it includes the tool and isn’t a refill kit.

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-2-grommets

Notice that one side of the grommet has a larger opening and shorter prongs.  The other one has a smaller opening and taller prongs.  This taller one goes on the outside of your purse.

The first thing you need to do is insert the shorter grommet (with the larger hole) into one of the holes you just cut in your purse, from the inside of the purse.  If the hole is too small, carefully cut off tiny bits of fabric and batting until the prongs are just visible inside the hole.  Now you can insert the taller grommet piece into the shorter one from the outside of the purse.

All you have to do to finish your eyelet now is give it a few whacks with a hammer.  Place your bag with the outside grommet down on a firm surface.  Fit the setting tool to the inside part of the grommet and give it several whacks with the hammer.  You don’t have to pound with all your might, you could distort the grommet.  Just hammer firmly until the prongs of the taller grommet round over.

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-3-hammering

If you feel unsure about the process, try a practice grommet on a scrap of fabric.  It really is very simple.

Here’s a finished grommet.  Now repeat for the other side of the purse.

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-4-completed-grommet

Now you can attach your clasps to the grommets.

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-5-attach-clasp

Now it’s time to arrange your beads in the order you like.  My theory for the length of these purse handles is: the chunkier the beads, the shorter the handle should be, the smaller the beads, the longer the handles can be.  You do whatever floats your particular boat, but it is a good idea to have them all arranged in advance so you have an idea of the length and design.

These bead design boards are tremendously helpful, but feel free to just line a shoebox or similar lid with a towel.  That will work, too.

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-6-arrange-beads

Once you have your beads all arranged to your liking and have the length you want, go ahead and cut a piece of bead stringing wire twice that length plus 12″ for insurance.  It’s always better to have to cut off some excess.  It stinks to run short.  Trust me, I know.

Now run this wire through one of the clasps and meet the ends together.

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-7-cut-wire

You will be treating the two wires as one and stringing your beads onto both.

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-8-string-beads

I don’t know about you, but I’m a klutz.  I don’t know how many times I’ve been stringing away, fumbled with something and had the entire string of beads dump on the floor.  That’s why hemostats are my best friend.  You can use them to clamp onto the wires and keep your work safe.  I usually move them after every 4 inches or so.

Don’t have hemostats?

Make friends with someone in the medical field quick!

There’s always an abundance for free because they dispose of them frequently.

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-9-clamp-beads

Continue stringing merrily along until you reach the end of your design and the handle is the length you want.

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-10-finish-stringing

Now it’s time to attach the wire ends to the other clasp.  We will do the using crimp tubes.

String one crimp tube onto each wire.

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-11-add-crimps

I prefer to use crimp tubes rather than crimp beads because you can easily flatten the tubes with pliers.  You need a special crimping tool for crimp beads and sometimes they come out wonky.  (Perhaps it’s my lack of skill, but why not go with what’s easier? )

Anyhow, now you need to thread the wire ends through the other purse clasp…folded-purse-handle-tutorial-12-through-other-clasp

…and then back through the crimp tubes.  Pull on the wire ends until the tubes and the bead strand are snug against the clasp.  Don’t make this overly tight or your bead strand will be stiff.  An 1/8″ of slack in the wire is fine.

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-13-back-through-crimps

Now it’s time to use a pair of needle nose pliers to flatten the tubes.

Here’s something important to notice.  Can you see in the above picture how the wires cross over themselves inside the tubes?  We don’t want them to be crossed when we flatten the tubes, we want the wires to be parallel to each other.  This can be done by grabbing the wire end and pulling it off to one side right before you flatten the tube.

Use your pliers to grasp one of the tubes and squish it flat.  Give the pliers an extra squeeze to make sure it’s nice and tight.

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-14-flatten-one-crimp

Notice how the wires are parallel, not crossed inside the tube.  If they cross they can easily slip over each other, making your tube too loose and your purse handle might let go.

Now tug on the bead strand.  It should not give at all.  If it does, pull off the flattened tube and try again.

Go ahead and flatten the second crimp tube.

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-15-flatten-other-crimp

Now there’s just one last step before your handle is done.

Go ahead and fish these wires back up through the bead strand as far as you can.  The farther you can do it, the more secure your handle will be should the crimps ever let go.  (Notice, though, that I designed this with TWO crimps, for extra insurance.)

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-16-feed-wires-back

Use wire cutters to trim off the wire ends close to the last beads they came out of.

Your beaded handle is done!  Isn’t is beautiful?

folded-purse-handle-tutorial-17-finished-handle

Next time I’ll share with you some finishing details, including adding twisted cord to your handle, altering the colors of your hardware to match and some fun things to do with the buttons.

Happy creating!

 

Sep 282011
 

 Sadly, yet another small business in my area has had to close its doors.  First it was Saftlers, a fabric store that had been in that family for three generations; they’d opened in 1919 and closed just this summer. 

Now the Scrapbook Cupboard, a scrapbook store that was right around the corner from me, has gone under.  Both of these owners made valiant attempts to restructure and try new approaches, but with this economy they just couldn’t do it. 

What does this have to do with WOYWW?  (And what the heck IS WOYWW?  Go here to find out, you’ll love it!) Well, when stores go out of business, they have sales.  The Scrapbook Cupboard was well known for their excellent classes, and they came up with what I thought was a fantastic idea for their classroom supplies:  Pay $10 for a bag, and fill it with as many class room supplies as you want. 

I put my excellent packing skills to use, and had a blast.  Here is my bag: 

2011-09-28-woyww-scrapbook-cupboard-bag

And here is all the stuff that fit into it: 

2011-09-28-woyww-scrapbook-cupboard-goodies

Yes, even the magazines, transparencies and all the markers were in there at one point. Am I good, or what? I’m especially excited about the metallic rub ons, and practically a whole new set of markers.

Not bad for $10, even for used supplies. 

The only problem is, once I got home I realized I have no room for it all.   

Now a total reorganization and clean out of the crafting room is in order. 

====sigh==== 

Actually I like organizing.  So it will be a good thing – just a lot of work. 

Check back to see the results. 

 

Sep 262011
 

For quite some time I have been wanting to show you all how to make these fun origami purses.

folded-purses-2a

Depending on the fabric you choose they can be very elegant, or just plain cute.

folded-purses-4a

To make one origami purse, you’ll need:

  • 2 fat quarters, contrasting or coordinating colors (one is the lining, one is main fabric) If you don’t want to use fat quarters, you’ll need 1/2 yard of each fabric; this will be enough to make TWO purses.
  • 18” square lightweight batting
  • 4″x1″ scrap fusible web
  • 2 decorative buttons (or large beads)
  • 2 closures (hooks, magnets, Velcro)
  • 1 yard cord or ribbon for strap (or 3 yards to make a braid) OR, Go here to learn how to make gorgeous beaded handles.)

Also, you might want to check out finishing details for ideas and inspiration.

First steps:

  1. Cut each FQ into an 18” square.
  2. Layer squares, right sides together, top with batting square, pin.
  3. Stitch around through all 3 layers, using a ¼” seam, leave an opening to turn. (This is an excellent time to use a walking foot if you have one, if  you don’t, just be sure to pin thoroughly.)
  4. Clip corners, turn right side out and press; tuck in scrap of fusible web and fuse opening closed (or slipstitch if preferred)

What you have at this point is basically an unquilted mini quilt.  You can quilt it at this point if you want, I’ve never bothered, but it might add some nice dimension.

folded-purse-tutorial

folded-purse-tutorial-1

Fold this layered square in ½ diagonally, keeping the lining side to the outside. Measure in 7” from each side point and draw a 6” long line, perpendicular to the fold.

folded-purse-tutorial-2

These top corners will be the main flaps of our pockets and the most prominent part of the bag.  If you have a large scale print, like I have here, you may want to check and see if the visible design from folding on one diagonal is nicer than from folding on the other.

folded-purse-tutorial-3

Stitch along your two 6″ lines, backstitching securely at each end.  If you are going to go ahead and add beaded handles stitch the top part of each seam (the part not next to the fold) with a very short stitch length (like 1mm) for about 1 1/2″.

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Turn the triangular sections outside the stitching right side out, pull each point towards the opposite stitching line, folding along the stitching line, one will overlap the other.

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Starting to fold one side…

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Both sides turned right side out.

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When you fold down the flaps…

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…you can see that you’re nearly done!

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Now pin these two triangular sections together where the outer one overlaps the inner.

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The pinning will go all the way from one side, around the bottom and to the other side.

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Hand stitch the overlapping sections together, being careful not to catch the inside of the bag lining in the stitching.

You can use whatever you like as a closure (velcro, hooks and eyes) but I’m going to show you how to add these magnetic catches for a very professional finish.

They look like this, and can be found near the purse handles in craft stores.

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As you can see, the backs have prongs, these will poke through the fabric…

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…then go through these washers on the other side.  This stabilizes and keeps them from pulling out.

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You will need to mark where your catch will go.  First position the catch where you want it to go.  Then rub the prongs firmly on your fabric, they should make marks.  You can just barely see them here.

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Now use a seam ripper to make a small slit through all three layers (fabric, batting and lining.)  Make the slit a little smaller than you think it needs to be.  You can always go back and make it bigger, but there’s no making it smaller!

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From the inside, push the prongs through the slits.

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The prongs will be sticking out the right side of your purse flap.  (This is ok!  We’ll cover it up later with a decorative button or bead.)

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Now slide the washer over the prongs…

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…and bend the prongs inward.

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Now attach the other side of the catch to its mate.

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Fold the flap down and position it just where you want it.

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Once again, use the prongs to mark where slits should go. If you find you can’t see the marks, go ahead and use a fabric marker to draw lines right next to the prongs.

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I had to mark the above white section with a marker, but as you can see below, they show up better on darker fabrics.

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Now cut your slits, insert the other half of the catch, add the washer and bend in the prongs, just like before.

I’ll bet that was a lot easier than you thought it would be!

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Now you can add a strap of cord,  ribbon or even braided ribbon, whatever you like.  Stitch the ends of the strap at the top of the seam line on either side.  However, this is a redo of this purse  and I’m going to add a beaded handle.  (Make sure to subscribe to this blog either by email or feed reader so you don’t miss that post, coming up in a few days!)

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Since I’m going to be adding a new handle, I may use different buttons.  If I were to use this button, I would cut off the shank with wire cutters…

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…and then superglue it to cover the backside of the magnetic catch.

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Like I did on this bag:

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This bag got a braided ribbon handle.  That’s going to get replaced with a much nicer beaded one, very soon.

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This is a class I’ve taught on several occasions, it’s always a fun time.  I’m making available my class handout with the directions for free.  Feel free to print it, use it, distribute it, even teach it! All I ask is that you leave my site name and link intact.  Thank you. 🙂

Have fun and happy creating!

 

Sep 212011
 

Hi everyone! Sorry this post is going up so late in the day.  I’ve only been distracted by about 15 million different things since I took the photo SIX hours ago.  Sheesh. (Well, maybe it was only 15 things… or 5, but it felt like lots more!)

Anyhow, here is what’s on my workdesk today:

what's on your workdesk wednesday - folded orgami purses and beaded handles

To the left are three folded origami purses.  The black one with the oriental print I made ages ago and even carried for quite a bit.  The purple and floral purses are relatively new creations.

I never was totally thrilled with the cord I used for a handle on the black purse, but I really struggled to find something I liked for the floral.  Finally I decided to take advantage of A.C. Moore’s 50% off sale and make beaded handles.

I’ll be putting up a tutorial for making the bags (so super duper easy you won’t believe it!) and the handles very soon.  These would make fantastic Christmas gifts, so make sure to watch this space.

Better yet, subscribe to the blog via email or in a feed reader.  (The links to do so are on the upper right.)

Happy Woyww!

P.S.  Are you wondering just WHY I’ve posted a  pic of my messy workdesk?  That’s cuz it’s What’s on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Go over to Julia’s to check out desks from all over the world.  (It’s quite addictive!)