Saturday, June 21, 2014

Zippered Pouch Tutorial: Happy Birthday J-Lo!

Do you have a friend named Jennifer Lopez? 
I do and it is her birthday this week, which calls for something special. I am going to show you what I whipped up for her. Now, my husband is a die-hard NCSU fan, so normally all things "Carolina Blue" are forbidden, but J-Lo went to Carolina so I am featuring this color for her. 
I actually embroidered an outline of North Carolina and put a heart over our part of the state before I began the construction of this bag. 

Get some pretty fabric, a ruler, a cutting mat, a zipper, scissors or a rotary cuter and let's get started. 
4 pieces of fabric that are 8x10"
{I made my lining in a different print, but you can use the same fabric for all 4 pieces}

2 scrap pieces that are approximately 2x5 (optional)

8" zipper

fusible interfacing (optional but gives the bag some sturdiness)

Iron fusible interfacing onto the back side of your lining pieces. 
The scraps are for zipper ends...this step is actually optional but I like the look of them. 
Fold over 1/2" from each end and iron
Fold scrap in half and stick your zipper between.
Sew very close to the edge. can you see that my needle is moved to the far left position? 
Well, it IS, I promise.
Do on both sides of your zipper.
Aren't you fancy!
Trim your sides to that your fabric is the same width of the zipper.
Take your front pieces, fold down and press one end the fabric down by 1/4" and press to that crisp edge will stay.

*I have to tell you that I am madly in love with the lining fabric. It is designed by Cynthia Rowley and I got it from The Fat Quarter Shop a few weeks ago. I think there is some more left and it is on clearance! Do you love that sweet shop as much as I do?!*
Now we are getting to the knitty-gritty!
Take one piece of your lining and lay your zipper on top of the lining.
Pin in place, note the direction of my pins...the are facing the edge and at an angle. You can do your pins however you like, but this is my way.
Now take one of your outside pieces and with the pressed down piece facing the zipper, lay down on the other edge of your lining piece. You have made a zipper sandwich. It goes "lining", "zipper", "outside fabric".
Sew very close to the edge. I do not use a zipper foot, though you certainly can. I prefer to move my needle to the far right and sew on.
See how you will cozy right up to the edge and everything is just fine?
That zipper doesn't cause any trouble at all...
Now, what you have just done is sew your zipper to both your lining and outside fabric as well as top-stitch along your zipper all in one step!
Now do the same thing to the other side. lining, zipper on top, outside fabric in opposite direction, pin and sew.
Gosh, how cute is that appliqué?
Here is a quick peek at the inside. see how nicely the material newer the zipper looks?
Now, whatever you do, stop right now and open your zipper!
If you have a closed zipper and sew your pieces together you will not be able to turn your bag right-side out and this will lead to crying, things being thrown in your sewing nook, and a very foul mood.
Trust me.
Pin your two lining pieces right side together and your two outside pieces right side together. 
Start with your lining and sew all the way around leaving a 3 inch piece open so that you can turn it right-side out.

At this point you can turn your bag right-side out 

And it will look like this.
Perfectly lovely.
But I am not content. 
Let's mitre the corners, shall we?
Turn your bag inside-out again and grab your corners and pinch them like this...
Sew about a 1/2" from the end. You can get very precise and measure this with a ruler and mark it with a disappearing ink (no, seriously) and ensure that all four corners are the same size, but I am a rebel. I am free-styling my corners, baby.
Do this for all 4 corners.
Trim the corners off.
Turn your bag right-side out again and admire your fancy~pants mitered ends!
Sew up the hole in your lining.
Tuck your lining into your bag and press it. see how the mitered corners allow the bag to stand up? See your zipper-stops? 
Fill 'er up with some goodies
Give it to a friend (her name doesn't even have to be Jennifer Lopez).
Happy Birthday, J-Lo!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fat Quarter Shop

One of my very {VERY} favorite websites and resources for fabric is the Fat Quarter Shop. It is an online shop that sells fabric by the yard as well as jelly rolls, quilt kits, charm packs, and fat quarters. This online fabric boutique carries all of the major designers and has the newest releases of their new lines.  

The Fat Quarter Shop is turning 11 and is giving YOU the present! While shipping is normal free over orders of $200, during their birthday week, they are offering free shipping for orders over $40! Place your order this week, Monday June 16th through Sunday, June 22nd and all orders over $40 will automatically be shipped for free! Not only that, if you go and "like" their Facebook page and tell me what you'd like to order, they are offering one reader a $25 gift certificate!   

Go ahead, go "like" them and come on back here to tell me what you'd love to pick out! Winner will be selected on Thursday so you will have time to pick out your goodies and get it shipped for free!

edit: suzanne! send me you contact info! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Husband: When we move we need to get the kids a basketball goal. 
Me: OK. Where will we put it? Where will we store it?
Husband: Store it? No, no, no. The kind that has to be installed in concrete. That is the kind the kids need. We can have it installed by the people who sell them.
Me: OK...really? 
Husband: Yep. Kids need it. They will love it.

In case you are interested...the "kid" does love it
A spirited game of "pig"
He really loves it. 
WNBA...are you seeing this?!

So does she. 
Actually everyone HAS been using it. I am all for anything that gets them outside and active.