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