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Make a Spring Zip Pouch for Mom!

Regular readers of the site may remember this delightful zip pouch that I made last fall during the Handmade Holidays blog hop. It is from a pattern called Everyday Zips by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Company, available online or at local quilt stores.

Zippered Notions Bag

Making the pouch was so simple and fun that I decided to make another one for the trade show booths in January…this time in a spring color scheme, and with a few modifications. Because you can never have too many zip pouches, right?

Spring Zip Pouch

Supplies:

For this version, I created a totally different look. Instead of vintage style neutrals, the new design used batik print quilt fabric in spring colors. The light green fabric was used for both the exterior body and for the lining. The bright pink contrast panel and the green prairie points create an impression of leaves surrounding flowers.

Instead of just a few button accents, the spring zip pouch has a whole collage of buttons decorating its front panel!

Spring Zip Pouch close up

As well as adding buttons, I also took something away from the front of the pouch. You might have already noticed that the zipper pocket isn’t on the front of the new design of the pouch. Removing it simplified the sewing of the pouch and made room for the large decorative button collage.

Spring Zip Pouch close up 2

Making the change to remove the zipper from the panel was easy. I measured what each of the three pattern pieces for this panel would be in height after the seam allowances were removed. Then I added those three numbers together, added the seam allowance to the top and bottom of it.  That gave me the new height I needed to cut my panel to. (The width is provided by the pieces for above and below the zipper.) Using those dimensions, I created the new pattern piece. The piece I ended up cutting was 3″ by 9.5″. I then simply skipped the steps in the pattern dealing with installing the pocket zipper and the pocket lining.

Zip pouches make great gifts for Mother’s Day, birthdays, and teacher appreciation! What occasion do you have coming up that a fun zip pouch gift would be perfect for?

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Handmade Holidays | Beautiful Tote Bag

Welcome to the Handmade Holidays on Buttons Galore! We’re joining in by sharing ideas for handmade Christmas gifts using – of course – buttons!

HANDMADE HOLIDAYS hop - HORIZONTAL

Today’s gift is both practical and pretty! You can never have enough tote bags, and today our gift is a nice sized one that is made gorgeous using an easy rag quilting method.

Rag Quilted Tote

Supplies:

  • 15″ x 15″ tote bag
  • 18 – 5″ charm squares
  •  Buttons Galore Button Bonanza in Bubblegum & Ocean Blue

This bag is quilted using convenient 5″ charm squares. I originally cut these to use on another project but when I switched fabrics for that project, these charm squares went unused. It took 18 of them to quilt this tote: 9 for the front of the squares, and 9 for the backside of them (to help create the bulk in the visible seams).

Charm Pack

Laying out the pattern is the first challenge. I inserted a piece of cardboard in the tote to help make it nice and flat while I worked on the layout.

Tote in progress

Once your layout is arranged, the next step is to prepare the edges that won’t be quilted of the squares.

On the backing squares, each edge that won’t be part of a rag quilted seam should be trimmed by 5/8″.

On the front (visible in the finished product) squares, press under a 1/2″ seam on each edge that won’t be part of a rag quilted seam. Miter corners where pressed edges meet for best results.

Stack the backing squares on the front squares, folding the pressed edges over the backing squares. Make sure that the raw edges for the rag quilted seams are aligned. Pin together.

Rag Quilted Tote SquareAssemble the 9 blocks into a square by using rag quilted seams. (For easy instructions on assembling rag quilt blocks, see this wonderful article by Deby at So Sew Easy.)

Once the squares are all attached together, the block must be attached to the bag by sewing around the outside edge. This seam must be sewn one block at a time, without passing over the rag quilted seams. So it requires a lot of stopping and starting of your machine. Careful pinning is the key to success in this step.

Rag Quilting ToteThe final step is to adhere buttons in each square. This project is a great way to use all of those really large buttons in your Button Bonanza bags! The buttons aren’t just decorative – they also serve a purpose as well, by helping to anchor the squares to the bag.

Tote close-upAnd that is it! Your tote is ready to hit the street – or be wrapped for under the tree! The rag quilted seams will soften and fray as they are used and washed into an even more beautiful fuzzy fringe.

Rag Quilted Button ToteNow, did I mention there are fabulous prizes?

Handmade-Holidays-2015-Prize-Pack-1600-wide

We are having a giveaway of over $600 in craft supplies to help you make this holiday handmade! Enter to win using the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to all of the sponsors of the hop and giveaway!

 

HANDMADE HOLIDAYS SPONSORSThanks for stopping by, and make sure to use the widget below to visit the other hop participants!

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Thanks for joining us for the three days of the Handmade Holidays blog hop! Make sure you don’t miss day one and day two of the hop, too!

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Handmade Holidays | Zip Pouch

Welcome to the Handmade Holidays on Buttons Galore! For the next 3 days, we’ll be joining in by sharing ideas for handmade Christmas gifts using – of course – buttons!

HANDMADE HOLIDAYS hop - HORIZONTALOur handmade gift project today is a handy little zippered notions bag that is perfect for the sewing enthusiast or frequent traveler in your life! It’s made from a pattern called Everyday Zips by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree & Company that is available online or at a local quilt store (which is where I got mine).

Zippered Notions Bag

Supplies:

One of the most underestimated tasks in the success of a sewing project may be the selection of fabric. Just choose colors you like, right? Not exactly. Color, pattern, and other choices can make the difference between a project you are happy with and one that just isn’t satisfying.

Notions tote under construction

On this project, the pattern called for the body of the bag to be a neutral colored lightweight canvas. But I had found this neutral background vintage sewing themed quilt fabric that I was in love with at my local quilt store. This project seemed like a great excuse to use it! Plus, since this is a “notions tote”, the fabric would reinforce the theme.

I also chose a light color for the interior (not seen here) – an ivory tone on tone chevron design.

For the contrast panel, I chose the black rulers to pull the black out of the background and reinforce the sewing notions theme. That left me the prairie points to decide on. Red, white and black is a classic vintage color scheme, and so it seemed the natural answer here.

But as you can see above during construction, the red is incredibly stark against all that neutral. To me, it made the design look off balance. That’s where the buttons come in! By putting a row of red buttons above the zipper, it balances out the red prairie points and mutes their visual aggressiveness somewhat. And, as a bonus, the buttons add to the sewing theme!

Sometimes color choices make practical sense too. The pattern called for the strap to be the same color as the prairie points but I thought that would be too bold. The best alternative was to use the black ruler fabric, as it is the least likely of the fabrics that I was using to show dirt from while I was handling it.

Even the zipper color choices can make a night and day difference. I really could have used black or natural for either of the zippers. I could have positioned them so the zipper contrasted with the surrounding background, or so that the zipper blended with the background. But I’m well aware that sewing zippers isn’t my most proficient sewing skill. By choosing zipper colors that blend with the fabric around the zipper, I provided a bit of camouflage for any wonky sewing of the zippers. Choosing a contrasting color for the zippers would have the opposite effect: highlighting any errors on the zipper.

One thing that I made sure to avoid on a project like this that had tons of straight seams? Fabric that had stripes or other straight lines in the pattern (such as dots arranged in neat lines) was a no-no. Straight lines in the fabric would only highlight any errors in getting my pieces cut square or sewn straight. The ruler fabric does have straight lines but they are somewhat rough and not continuous so the pattern was workable.

Since the project is mostly just straight seams, sewing the zippers are the most challenging parts of making this tote. While I admit that zippers aren’t my best talent, I do have one secret weapon:

Zipper Foot

This is the zipper foot on my sewing machine. While it is possible to sew zippers without them, the zipper foot makes it infinitely easier. Having the right tools is often half the battle in producing a quality result. If you are going to sew a zipper, I highly recommend that you invest a few dollars in a zipper foot for your machine. You won’t regret it!

Now, to the blog hop…

Did I mention there are fabulous prizes?

Handmade-Holidays-2015-Prize-Pack-1600-wide

We are having a giveaway of over $600 in craft supplies to help you make this holiday handmade! Enter to win using the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to all of the sponsors of the hop and giveaway!

 

HANDMADE HOLIDAYS SPONSORSThanks for stopping by, and make sure to use the widget below to visit the other hop participants!

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Ahoy Matey – How to Make a Quick Little Travel Bag

It is summer and that means travel, trips to the parks and pools and more time than ever with our little kids.  Here is a project for a little tote bag to keep the crayons and drawing paper in for those outings.  Of course it could be used for sunscreen, chapstick and sunglasses too!  I got the tote bag at AC Moore but they can be found in lots of craft stores and online.

PirateBagF

To make it, you will need a mini canvas tote bag (or you could use a big one and put lots of the pirate images all over it), iron on transfer paper for your printer, a few buttons (I used Laura Kelly Candy Apple Green and Coffee) and  and string of your liking.  You can download the pirate image for free right here!  Don’t be surprised, there is a fun puzzle to in the download to keep them busy too!)

PirateBagImage

I used burlap and the strings that tear off when you cut it to attach my ribbons.  It works great with embroidery floss too!

PirateBagButton

Happy Summer Mateys!  May you bag be ever filled with fun things to keep your kids busy and happy.  If you have a girl and she wants a girly version, there will be one on Monday on my blog!  Come visit me there too.

Have a great week,

Laura

PirateBagDownload

 

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Up-cycle Reusable Shopping Bags for Earth Day – Fifteen MINUTE Friday

For Earth Day (and every day) it is fun to up-cycle your resuable bags!  I did this one with felt and buttons and few quick stitches and LOVE it.

ReusableBag

There is really no pattern needed.   Just cut out fun shapes and stitch them to the bag.  Add buttons to make it super fun and stylish.

PicMonkey Collage

Happy Shopping and Saving the Planet,

Laura

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Upcyled Denim Pocket Purse

Buttons Galore was invited to join the Rainbow Blog Hop 2014 (aka RainbowHop14) with the color indigo.  To become a piece of the colorful rainbow party, I took an old pocked from a pair of kid jeans and turned it into a mini purse, Welcome to the party!

RainbowHop_Button

Here are the supplies I started with.

Supplies

I cut the pocket out first.

Pocket

Then I stitched on some buttons in the colors from my Laura Kelly collection that worked best (Robin Egg Blue and

PocketFinalClosed

It is perfect to hold important things in a bigger bag (ie:  gym bag, backpack, pocketbook, etc.)!

Check out the projects in all of the colors of the rainbow.  Lots of them use buttons!

And you can enter to win a prize too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Rainbows of Creative Love,

Laura

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Sew a Button and Burlap Pencil Case

Sew a button and burlap pencil case for the guy in your life. It’s just right for the high school graduate who is heading off to college in the Fall or it would also be a great Father’s Day gift.

button and burlap Button & Burlap Pencil Case II

I know I’m always trying to keep my husband organized and he’s always looking for pens and pencils. Do you think there’s any chance a button and burlap pencil case is going to help?  Naw, I don’t think so either, but it’s fun to make!

Supplies needed for a button and burlap pencil case

  • Burlap cut to 7.5″  x 8″
  • Velcro (R) Brand Sew-On Fasteners cut to 7″ long
  • Ribbon cut to a length of 8″
  • Buttons – the Haberdashery line has some great masculine colors!
  • Basic sewing supplies

Instructions for sewing a button and burlap pencil case

1. Sew ribbon onto burlap parallel to the side that measures 8″. Place it approximately 1.25″ from the edge of the burlap.

Ribbon Onto Burlap

2. Sew the Velcro (R) Brand fasteners onto the 7.5″ inch sides. (These will be perpendicular to the ribbon.) I like to leave the top of the case without finishing it. The rough edge gives it a more masculine touch!

Sew on Fasteners

3. Fold in half, right sides facing (the side that you sewed the ribbon onto is the “right” side). The 7.5″ edges should be even. Press with an iron.

4.  Sew the short sides closed.

Sew Closed

5. Clip the corners and turn the bag right side out.

Sew On Button

6. Sew buttons onto ribbon. I know it’s a bit harder to sew them on when the case is sewn, but it’s best to leave this step for last, so you can see the best placement for them.

www.laurabraydesigns.com

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