Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pencil Bag

pencil bags


about 1/2 yard each of 2 different fabric

1- 7 inch zipper

sewing machine and thread

1. Cute one piece of fabric 7 inches wide and 4 inches long. Cut the contrasting fabric 7 inches wide and at least 10 inches long.

2. Lay the zipper on the right side of one of the pieces of fabric with one edge lined up with the middle of the fabric.

Fold the fabric over, pin zipper in place and using a zipper foot sew about 1/4 inch from folded edge.

This is what it will look like after being sewn

3. Turn right side out, press with iron and sew about 1/8 inch from edge.

4. Repeat with the contrasting piece of fabric and it will look like this.

5. Lay the zipper side onto some fabric. Use it as a template to cut 2 pieces of fabric of the exact same shape and size. (For instruction purposes we'll call these pieces "backings")

6. Stack the pieces as follows: backing right side up, zipper piece right side up, backing upside down. Stack them directly on top of each other, lining up edges and trimming any excess fabric.

7. Starting about 1 1/2 inches from one of the bottom corners sew around edges at aboput 5/8 in. Be careful not to sew over zipper. End stitching so that you have about a 2 inch opening at the bottom.

Cut corners and turn right side out. Press.

8. Fold raw edges on bottom in and sew about 1/8 in. around edge. Optional: attach charm or ribbon to zipper pull.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Basket Purse

Remember those basket purses that were around a lot of blogs last year? They seem to be popping up again. And since I need some sort of flat bottom craft carrier and i have my best friend buzzing in my ear :) I made a tutorial. I would love to see if you make one using this tutorial. Also email me if you have any questions (mokistar at aol dot com)

1. This is an optional step. It's important to have one made of lightweight fibers or a slightly loose weave so you can actually do the hand sewn step.

However, I could not find a basket I like so I opted for a plastic woven place mat. You can skip steps 1 to 4 if you find a basket to use

2. Fold your place mat at an angle so 2 adjacent edges meet. Measure a specific distance from the point to determine your seam line. Stitch down that line similar to the "line" in the photo.(I measured in 3 inches.)Complete on all 4 corners.

3. This is what your "basket" will look like.

4.Turn your "basket right side out so that the flaps are on the inside. Later you can tack them down.

5. OKAY EVERYBODY: Measure the circumference of your basket. That is the outer edge that will be sewn to your fabric.

Add 1 - 1 1/4 inches to that measurement. This is how wide your fabric and liner will need to be. How deep you want your bag is up to you. I believe mine was 9 inches.

But I wanted some pockets in my bag. The easy way to do this is add some to your liner depth. In my case I added 8 inches to make 4 inch deep pockets. It's kind of a tricky step because you want to make sure you have enough fabric to be able to sew your pockets to. Look at the next instructions if you're not sure.

If you want to make pockets, the next 2 steps are for you.

6.Fold the liner lengthwise about half way down. For your own sanity mark with your finger where your pocket bottom will be, fold it over and determine if your pocket is in the right do not want a pocket top that lays above the edge of your liner. In fact you will want it to be atleast an inch below the top raw edge.

Once you are sure of this, press your fold with an iron!

Lets say your pocket is going to be 4 inches deep, sew lengthwise down your liner 4 inches from the folded edge. Then sew about 1/4 of an inch from the folded edge to keep your pocket nice.

7. Next open up you liner lengthwise so that there is a raw edge on top and on bottom. Fold over your pocket, press with an iron, and sew similar to the lines in the photo top make you pockets.

8.Determine where your straps need to be on your outer fabric. You can fold it in half width wise to determine if the match up and are centered. Pin the straps in place

I used that pre-made strap stuff you buy ay the store (what is it called?) You can make your own straps if you want to.

Place your liner over this with right sides together. Pin and sew about 5/8 from the edge.

Then fold the joined pieces width wise and sew 5/8 from the edge to create the side seam. Your fabric will resemble a tube.

9.Turn and press. Sew about 1/4 inch from the folded edge.

10. Pin, clamp or hold your outer fabric to your basket. It must be right facing the basket, raw edge up and aligned with the top of the basket.

Using button/carpet thread and a needle, hand stitch a straight line in and out of the fabric and basket. To see better details Click here

11.If you made your own "basket" You can turn it wrong side out again to make this step easier. So those of you that are using a real basket be aware that this picture wont match what you are doing but the instructions are the same.

You are basically hemming or tacking down the liner's raw edge. Turn the raw edge under and with the same kind of thread and needle, "catch" the fabric and part of the basket.

12. If your bag is wrong side out, turn it right side. There you have your own basket bag! Remember to email me with questions and let me know if you make a bag.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Hand carved stamps!

I've hosted a few hand carved stamp swaps and have gotten comments and requests on info for carving your own stamps.

I like to use the best materials for carving. I use the Speedball Linoleum Cutter and prefer the Speedball "Speedy-stamp carving block."You can use a craft knife and anything carvable like an eraser or a cheaper version of this block (that is not as durable.)

1. Draw or trace an image you want to carve on to any old paper. I use computer paper or a piece of scrap and a ball point pen.

2. Turn your image over and scribble across the entire back of it with a #2 pencil (or other soft artist pencil.

3. Place your image face up on your carving block and retrace it with your pen.

4. When you pick up your paper you will see you transfered the image onto your block. If it didn't transfer you can repeat the steps over again, make sure you are using a soft pencil and press a little harder when you trace over the drawing.

5. I draw over my transfer with the pen so I don't accidentally rub it off when I am carving. I first carve the outer edges of the image using a #2 linoleum cutting blade. If you use a craft knife t, take your time and just cut at a slight angle away from your image. You can come back and "carve away" the edge.

6.Once I carve the outside I do the inside of the image.

7. Using the #5 (usually) I carve away any large areas, like the outer edges and then trim the stamp base down to a smaller size.

Ta da! You have a stamp. Email me with any questions: mokistar at aol dot com

Friday, January 06, 2006

Pot Holder

I've been asked a few times about how to make a potholder like the ones I have posted on my blog. So here's the tutorial:

First print out this image. (Right click and select "Print Picture...")

It will print out a 6 in. x 6 in. square pattern. Cut the pattern up on all lines so you end up with 6 seperate pieces.


Select your fabrics, (I use quilting fabrics) pin your patterns on the fabrics and cut 1/4 inch LARGER THAN THE PATTERN. This will give you your seam allowance.

Sew fabric pieces together (1/4 inch seam allowance): piece one to piece 2, piece 2 to piece 3. Then sew piece 4 to piece 6. PRESS YOUR SEAMS!

Sew the 4 and 6 combo to piece 5. PRESS YOUR SEAMS AGAIN! (pressing your seams is very important in quilting to insure you get stright clean lines.)

Sew the 123 combo to the 456 combo. and of course PRESS YOUR SEAMS.

Your square is now 7in x 7in. Cut a 7 in square of fabric for the back of the pot holder and (2) 7 inch squares of cotton batting for the inside. (This is what I use and it is very effective in keeping my hand from being burned. You MAY be able to use another fabric such as fleece, flannel or dish towel???)

Put your backing to your quilted square, right sides facing eachother. Then lay your batting on top (either side). Sew together starting about 1 1/2 inces above a corner. at 1/4 in. seam allowance. end about 2 inches from where you began leaving an opening. Trim your corners.

Turn your batting to the inside, so that your fabric right sides are on the outside.


Turn the raw edge of the opening to the inside, pin, and stitch (with the sewing machine) along the edges to close it. You can sew whatever design you want to with any stitch all over your potholder as I have done in the next picture. It keeps the potholder from losing it's shape, and it looks so cool!

Good luck and please let me know if you have any questions or if I have left something out of the tutorial.

Good luck and please let me know if you have any questions or if I have left something out of the tutorial.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Creepy Candy Box Book

1. This is a pretty simple tutorial with no EXACT way to do it. In fact you should adapt it to the box you use. Besides the box you will also need a hole punch, scissors, paper, and ribbon or some other fiber to bind the book.

2. Break the box down so that it lies flat. For my box I only had to open up the bottom.

3. Figure out how you want your book to open. You can use an existing fold for the spine or cut two identical pieces for the book cover and back. Trim away any excess pieces. On the front cover about inch from the spine, make a fold that opens towards you. Punch holes to thread your ribbon through later. They should be between the fold and the spine perhaps even on the fold.

4. Trace the shape of your book onto paper. I used 3 pieces and traced it twice. Be sure to mark guides for the holes. Cut about an eighth of an inch inside the line. Punch the holes in the paper, put pages into the cover and thread ribbon through holes. I used the blanket stitch to bind mine. I'm sure you can do something soooo much cuter with a lot of fibers and beads. I wasn't being very particular.

C-bug's new Halloween sticker book Go look at this Foam Pumpkin TV set tutorial from the Crafty Chica. I might(?) make one or do something similar to make a halloween nightlight.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Spooky Bib

1. T-man picked out this hand towel from Target. Two towels come in a pack.

2. Cut the towel in half horizontally. Save the other half for another bib, kid sized dish towel, or whatever. On the raw edge, in the center, cut a semi-circle that is about 4 inches in diameter.

3. Cut a piece of extra wide double folded bias tape as long as one shoulder + 1/2 inch. Fold under one end and pin to the outside edge of the towel. Sew and repeat for other side.

4. Cut a piece of bias tape about one yard long. Center the bias tape at the neck center, pin in place and sew.


Saturday, October 01, 2005


1. These are the gloves I got from Target. They have glow in the dark pads on the finger tips. They also had some with green dots.

2. Cut the thumb and wrist band off.

3. On the side with the pads, cut half way down each side of the palm. Then cut straight across, removing a (sort of) rectangular piece.

4. Applique and/or embroider a face to one of the glove pieces on the side that does NOT have the pads.

5. With the outsides of both glove pieces together sew in an arch along the raw edges as shown with the orange line the picture.

6. Turn right side out and stuff with fiber fil, beginning with fingers and then the body. Turn raw edges in and stitch opening closed.

My baby loves it!