Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sewing Drawstring Bags

My friend, Linda, mentioned to me the other day just how much she loves a little drawstring bag I gave to her last year...that she uses it to hold electronics cords and other miscellaneous stuff, esp. when she travels. 

I had recalled taking some photos of the construction process, so decided to do a little blog post. Disclaimer: There are many varieties of drawstring bags. This series of steps is the way I find works best for me. I have tried different methods over the years. This particular design might be the method used by others as well, but it is one derived by myself through trial and error, and is not "copied" from anyone else's pattern. 

Cut two pieces of fabric 12" x 9". Serge around all 4 sides of each piece. 

With regular sewing machine and straight stitch, RST, stitch side seams (1/4" seam allowance)...BE SURE TO STOP 2" from top edge of bag on each side, and back-tack securely.

Press seams open and stitch down the seam allowances on that 2" open portion, to secure them. 

Stitch bottom seam RST. (not shown) Bring bottom seam and side seam together and stitch across. Do this on both sides to form the gussetted bottom. You can stitch across at whatever depth you prefer. A small amount makes a small bottom to the bag, and a larger amount will make a squattier bag. 

Fold & press top edge down 1" and stitch around to form the casing. 

Cut two 24" lengths of white cotton cording. Thread them thru the casings and knot them, to form a drawstring closure. 

These bags can be made in any size. The nice thing with serging the edges is that you won't experience any fraying. A larger size would make a nice shoe bag. Smaller sizes might work well for stashing jewelry in a suitcase. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Baroque Ghost Stitching!

I purchased a cute ghost embroidery design from Urban Threads. It is part of their Ghost Baroque design pack. These designs look very cool on a black background. I had some black fabric in my stash, and decided to make a couple of garden flags for for my friend and one for my sister. They take about an hour each to stitch out, because I bought the largest size of ghost, which is over 33,000 stitches. I like how they turned out. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fireflies in a Jar!

I have been making some "towel bibs" for the little ones in the family. These seem to be the best style of bib...the babies don't seem to mind these like they do the velcro-style, or the tie-style or plastic bibs. These bibs do a good job of covering the clothes, and are cute as well. I use bar mop towels that are approx. 18" x 18", or I cut the bottom off of a dishtowel to size. For the neckhole, I draw a circle using a CD, going about 1/4" outside of the edge of the CD. Then I cut out that circle. A 13" piece of ribbing is then attached to form the crewneck.  

The design on this bib is from Urban Threads. I love how the neon thread makes the fireflies glow!

This design of the flag was stitched onto bibs for the kids to wear at my sister's annual Memorial Day party.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Elastic Hair Ties

With 5 daughters and 4 granddaughters, I am always on the lookout for cute and functional items to make for them. Somehow I missed the trendy elastic hair ties which have been popular for quite some time now! But I have now ordered and received a boatload of elastic from the Sunshine Shop, found some trinkets in my craft stash, and got to work making some of these super easy hair ties. I think they would make great birthday gifts for children's birthday parties as well. I packaged mine up on a tag cut with a die from Waltzingmouse, called Folding Tag Die Set.

Monday, June 9, 2014


Just a quick post to show a few cards I have been making.
This card was cased from one I saw on Splitcoast. However, I did not own the new Work of Art set from StampinUp, so had to improvise and create some painterly swishes in Photoshop, and use them as my background. The birds are from the digital set by StampinUp called Wetlands. Sentiment was done in Photoshop. The kraft paper is embossed with the basketweave embossing folder also by SU. Bakers twine finishes these fathers day cards.

This card is for my daughter and son-in-law who recently moved into their new house. The house stamp is from Studio G (old set), PTI dotted swiss ribbon, PTI Congrats All Ways sentiment. 

These two birthday cards make use of the PTI Monthly Moments sentiment stamps. I stamped them onto PTI diecut tags (Tag Sale #9). Sailboat is from Hero Arts; the other stamps are misc. older ones.

This baby gift was commissioned by my daughter to give to her new niece. The applique is Minkee fabric. The card was very simply made. I used Rustic White paper by PTI; the stamps are Unity, from an older kit. 

This is a hostess gift for my daughter. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, so perhaps the nautical designs will be appropriate. The designs were embroidered on floursack dishtowels. The tag is cut using PTI tag sale dies. The stamp is also PTI, Friendship Jar Summer Fillers. I colored the stamped image with Copics.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Baby Shower Gift

The aden + anais muslin swaddle blankets have become really popular with parents. Back in the 70s and 80s, we did not have blankets like these! A nice feature is that they are a generous 44" x 44". Those who choose to "swaddle" their baby have lots of options with a blanket of that size. "Back in the Day", we wrapped the baby up, but today there is a whole sophisticated set of instructions for proper swaddling of the baby. I think I am glad that my baby-raising days were long ago (although I have had to learn a new thing or two for taking care of the grandbabies!)

Anyway, I needed to make a baby shower gift, and embroidered designs on two of these muslin blankets. I also made a card to go with the gift. The stork and baby are from a PTI set; the chevron paper is Crate's "Fourteen" from last year. The grass was diecut. The blankets will be packaged in a clear cellophane bag, tied with bridal tulle.

And here is one more photo, of Aden blankets embroidered for a baby gift:

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Valentine's Day....a bit late

Well, it is now March but perhaps still within the timeframe where I can post things related to Valentine's Day. This year I made cards for my grandkids and for my daughters. Also, a nice one for a friend on which I was able to make use of some new heart dies. I found a photo from last year of two pretty valentine towels I made. And I also used that same design to make valentine coasters this year. Almost forgot...I made two dresses for American Girl Dolls for the oldest two granddaughters. 

 Here are the photos: