Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tote & Book Swap Sent: Pt. 2

My second partner Holly received her goodies a couple of days ago so now I can share more pictures from the Tote & Book Swap. After looking through Holly's Pinterest boards, I knew I wanted to use quilt blocks like I did with Tara's tote. With this tote, I started off with these colorful blocks using HSTs in contrasting dark and light fabrics to create a diamond shape.

Then I added 3 inches of Essex linen in Natural to the bottom to make it into more of a rectangular shape. The tote is huge and durable, perfect for family trips to the library. The book I sent is a timeless classic, Pride & Prejudice. It's one of my favorite books! I am totally in love with Mr. Darcy.

I also sent her some other goodies like washi tape, a stamp/ink pad, and a really cute notebook. I've already received Holly's package and I'll be sharing what I received from her and from Tara very soon! You can follow along on Instagram (@greenletterday) to see more daily photos. Have a great week!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Easy Lazy Bag

It has been so long since I have made a handbag. I've made several totes this year, but there's no greater satisfaction for me than completing a really cute handbag. The pattern for this bag came from the book Bags: The Modern Classics by Sue Kim.

I've been crushing really hard this summer on color combos like hot pink/orange and hot pink/yellow. I bought the yellow pearl bracelets specifically for this bag and the hot pink jewels (both fabrics by Lizzy House) contrasted beautifully against it. My favorite part of this bag are the bow handles. They add a lot of girliness to it.

The pattern for this bag is actually pretty plain. I was drawn to the simplicity and slouchiness of it but I thought it needed a little something extra. I pulled out this Candy Shop fabric by Michael Miller and made some adorable blocks to use as pockets. I love the kids enjoying their sweets in these vintage-inspired prints. The blocks were perfect.

I'm so happy with my new bag! Now I'm anxiously awaiting my totes from my Tote & Book swap partners. I can't wait to add some new handmade goodness to my collection! Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tote & Book Swap Sent- Pt. 1

I organized a swap this month with a tote and book theme and, as we had an odd amount of people sign up, I got two partners. I dedicated the first part of the month to Tara. I stalked her Flickr favorites to get an understanding of what she liked and settled on a plus block pattern.

I like the idea of using quilt blocks for totes. It's like hauling a mini quilt around- it just looks comforting. Tara expressed that she liked citrus-y colors like yellow, orange and lime. I pulled out some bright fabrics in those colors and added some pink and turquoise, as well as some text prints, to ensure that no two prints of the same color were ever touching. I used this technique for the piecing, which is absolutely brilliant! Made my job a lot easier and the final result was perfection.

I also made her a little pencil pouch with the leftover cuts and threw in some goodies like highlighters, stamps, ink pad and some adorable washi tape. The book I sent was book one (City of Bones) from one of my favorite series, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. From what I knew about the books Tara had read, I knew she would enjoy this one. They are casting for the movie right now and it will be out next year. I'm so excited!

Cassandra Clare also has another series, also about Shadowhunters, called The Infernal Devices. This series is set in Victorian London and I just fell in love with it. I really recommend both series. If you liked Twilight and The Hunger Games, you'll love these books!

I have finished the tote for my second partner and it is going in the mail first thing tomorrow. As soon as she receives it, I will be sharing pictures with you!

On a side note- I hit 700 followers today! Yay!! I think a giveway is in order. What would you like to have a chance at winning??

Friday, July 20, 2012

Striped Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Here it is! The Striped Zipper Pouch Tutorial. I first made these earlier this year for my shop and I was amazed by all the requests I got for a tute. I know there are a ton of zipper pouch tutorials out there and by no means do I consider this a super original concept or idea. This is just something I came up with one day and am here to share it with you so you can make your own.

Pouches are super fun to make and are the easiest go-to project for gifts or if you just want to showcase some really cute fabric. Plus, they're so practical. Who doesn't want another zipper pouch?!

Here is what you'll need:
- 3 different fabrics (fat quarters will do unless you are using directional prints)
- a 10" zipper
- cotton batting
- coordinating thread
- lightweight fusible interfacing is OPTIONAL*
*I chose not to use interfacing in this tutorial because I used linen blend fabrics for my pouches. You might want to add a layer of interfacing if using quilting weight cotton. But it is completely up to you.

First you need to cut your fabric as follows:
Outer main- (2) pieces 3" x 11" and (2) pieces 6.5" x 11"
Outer stripe/band- (2) pieces 2" x 11"
Zipper tabs- (2) pieces 1.5" x 4"
Lining- (2) pieces 10.25" x 11"
Cotton batting- (2) pieces 10.25" x 11"
Interfacing- (2) pieces 10.25" x 11"

Sew your outer pieces in the order according to the picture below using a 1/4" seam allowance.

Press seams open.

Your outer pieces should look like this and measure 10.25" x 11". If you're adding interfacing, now is the time to do it. Fuse the interfacing to the main outer pieces, as per manufacturer's instructions.

Place one main outer piece over one piece of batting and top stitch 1/4" on either side of the middle strip. Repeat this step with other main outer piece.

Set these pieces aside. Now grab your zipper tabs and press them in half length-wise.

Press the raw edges towards the center crease and fold again.

Snip off the zig zag edges from your zipper so that you can keep your zipper tabs straight when you're sewing them on.

Open your zipper a few inches and pin the zipper tab onto one side.

Top stitch as close to the edge as you can, removing the pin as you do and being VERY CAREFUL not to sew over the metal end of the zipper. Now repeat with the other side.

Place one of your main outer pieces on the table right side up. Open the zipper a little and place face down along the top edge of your main outer piece. Zipper should be towards your left side.

Now place one of your lining pieces wrong side up along the top edge of the zipper.

Pin everything in place.

Attach your zipper foot and sew along the top edge of the sandwich you just pinned. Remove the pins as you go along. When you reach the zipper pull, lift your zipper foot, move the zipper pull back up along the edge you just sewed. Your zipper should now be closed. Put your zipper foot back down and continue sewing all the way across.

Pull your fabrics back away from either side of the zipper, and press.

Now place your remaining outer piece on the table right side up. Place your assembled zipper piece over the main outer piece on the table, zipper side down. This time, your zipper pull should be towards your right side. Align the top edges.

Place the remaining lining piece wrong side up over the zipper and pin in place.

Sew along the top edge, removing the pins as you go.

Press both sides of fabrics away from the zipper.

Replace your regular zipper foot and top stitch along either side of the zipper.

Join the main exterior pieces facing right sides together and the lining pieces facing right sides together. Sew along the perimeter, leaving a 3" open at the center of the lining pieces for turning later. Make sure the zipper is pushed towards the lining side.

Now you're going to box your corners. Grab one corner of your lining piece and position it so that the seam allowances are matched up on top and bottom, forming a triangle. Press in place and mark a 3" gusset (as shown in picture below). Sew along your line.

Cut off excess fabric, leaving about 1/4". Repeat with the other three corners.

Turn the pouch right side out and sew the opening closed.

Press all your seams generously and admire your new pouch! Finished dimensions are approx. 8.5" x 10.5" x 3", large enough to make the perfect travel or cosmetic pouch.

**If you have used any tutorials by Pink Stitches, please post your pictures on the Pink Stitches Flickr Group! I'd love to see your beautiful creations and feature some of my favorite projects!**