Crochet on the Go Bag

Lately I have been working on projects that have been a little too big for my sock knitting bag but too small to lug around in my big project bag, so I decided to sew up a middle-sized bag.  Pinterest came to the rescue with the Crochet on the Go Bag by Andrea Bertone, which you can find here.  I had this pretty flower fabric, but due to the fact that it was a one-way design, there wasn’t enough to make the outside part of the bag.  So I found some purple fabric and pieced it together, which you can see in the next photo.  Here is the front of the bag:

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And here is the back where you can see the piecing.  The top part was cut to 11 1/2″ and the bottom was cut to 6 1/4″ and sewn together with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  This gave just enough to fit the pattern.  I also used Pellon Shape Flex interfacing on all the pattern pieces, which helped it stand up and gave it a nicer feel.  Shape Flex is the best!

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Here is inside the front flap:

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There are lots of pockets for needles and hooks and tools.  I ended up sewing the top pockets in four 1″ intervals, with the right being 1 1/4″ from the edge for seam allowances.  The last seam I sewed down the middle of the two pockets and back layer to create a larger pocket on the bottom.  Then I decided to put a pocket 1 1/4″ from the left edge on the bottom pocket for a pen or pencil instead of doing it on the right edge like the pattern since I figured there would be too much bulk with a pen and hook on top of each other, so I had to flip back the base layer to do that one.

And because you can never have too many pockets, I added a 5″ x 6″ zipper pocket to one of the the lining pieces before assembly.  The pocket is placed 3″ in from the sides and 4″ up from the bottom.  The zipper opening is 1/2″ down from the top and 1/2″ in from each side.  I used a 1/4″ seam allowance to sew the pocket together.

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I made another change to the pattern, which called for sewing the lining and outer fabric together at the bottom with the wrong sides together, which left a raw edge on the outside that needed zig-zagged or serged to finish.  Instead of just sewing the sides in Step 12, I sewed all the way around the bag, leaving a 4″ opening in the lining bottom for turning.  Then I boxed the corners on the lining and the outer fabric separately.  Once it was turned right side out, I sewed up the opening with a ladder stitch.  I think this is a much nicer way to finish the bag since it leaves no raw edges exposed.

Now I have a super cute bag for my needlework projects!

Crazy Colors Place Mats

My mom asked for some place mats this fall and the only criteria she gave me is that she wanted “crazy colors”.  So this is what I came up with:

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And here is the other side:

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The pattern is call “Quilt-As-You-Go Place Mat” and it can be found here on the All People Quilt website.  I made them using a Tonga Treats 6-pack called Neon.  The pack has 20 6″ strips, and after cutting the narrow strips for the one side, I used the leftover strips to piece the other side.  My mom loved them and said both sides were so pretty she couldn’t make up her mind which side to display!

Pajamas!

Right before Christmas, Joann Fabrics had their juvenile cotton knits for 60% off, so I decided to stock up on some cute prints to make some new pajamas.  Here is the first pajama shirt that I made using McCalls 2476:


I was a little apprehensive about sewing on knits because it had been a while since I had done it (a while like high school!), so I did a bunch of research before I started.  The first thing I had to figure out was how to find the straight grain so I wouldn’t have weird stretching issues.  It turns out you just find a row of knit lines and try to pin the fold so that it is on the same knit line.  It took a while since the knit is really fine, but it is definitely worth it.  The next thing was to research what I needed to actually sew, which included a machine needle designed for knit fabrics, my walking foot, and a twin needle to finish the hems on the sleeves and bottom.  The walking foot made sewing a piece of cake and I didn’t have any puckering in the seams.  I was also very careful not to pull or push on the fabric as I sewed.  On the hems, I used my walking foot with the twin needle, and I put on spool of thread on my machine and the other in a container set to the back of the machine.  I think it looks really neat, just like store-bought clothes!

I will be making a long sleeve version with snowmen on it next!

Little Rag Doll

I found a cute doll kit on Pinterest, so I just had to order it.  It came from Russia, and it took nearly two months to get here, but it was worth the wait.

Doll by Ronda Cassens

She is only 5 3/4″ tall.  Her limbs are really thin, and I had the hardest time getting her arms turned right side out, but I found a trick on the internet where you put a straw inside the arm and then push the arm into the straw with a smaller rod, and that worked like a charm!  I don’t know if I will make another one since it was very time consuming, but she certainly turned out cute!  If you would like to order your own Soffie doll kit, click here, but remember, it will take a long time to get to you, so be patient!

Craft Show Vendor Apron

This year my husband and I are going to participate more in different flea markets in our area, and when I found the pattern for this apron, I decided that I needed to make it since it is way better for keeping track of money than the little zippered pencil pouch I’ve been using.  Plus it looks awesome!

Craft Show Vendor Apron by Ronda Cassens

Here is a closeup:

Craft Show Vendor Apron by Ronda Cassens

The flower fabric on the bottom pocket came from Joann’s, and the polka dot fabric came from Hobby Lobby.  I used Pellon Shape Flex for the interfacing, which might have made it a little stiffer than necessary, but I think it helped make it look very professional.  If you are gearing up for craft shows or flea markets this summer, here is where you can find the pattern to make your own: Craft Show Vendor Apron by Crafty Staci.

Maker’s Tote

I find all sorts of neat things on Pinterest, and the pattern for this bag was one of them:

Maker's Tote by Ronda Cassens

I normally don’t buy patterns since there are so many free ones out there, but I just had to have this one.  It is called “Maker’s Tote” and it is by NoodleHead, and you can purchase the pattern here.  It comes in two sizes, and this is the smaller one.  I made it with fabric that I bought from my local quilt store, Rossville Quilts, called Mon Ami by Basic Grey.  Here is a picture of the inside:

Maker's Tote by Ronda CassensAnd here is the back:

Maker's Tote by Ronda Cassens

I love that it has lots of pockets and a zipper to keep everything inside.  To make the bag stand up, I used Bosal In-R-Form Plus, which is fusible on both sides.  It worked really well; I didn’t have to baste anything, which is a real time-saver.  I have used Soft and Stable in other projects, but this seems to be much nicer and it is a lot cheaper, which is a great combination!  Now I have a cute bag to stuff my projects in when I am on the go!

Beach Bag

For our cruise, I also made a beach bag to haul our towels and sunscreen.  The pattern was pretty easy to make, except I thought way too hard on which way to cut the fabric to make the stripes go the right way and ended up with horizontal stripes instead of vertical stripes.  I also didn’t have enough fabric left to make the pocket the same size as the pattern since I cut it the wrong way.  It still came out nice, though:

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It easily held two beach towels with room to spare.  I added a strap to the inside with a clip attached for things that I didn’t want to get lost in the bottom of the bag, and it worked well for my sunglasses case.  The pattern came from Elle Apparel, and to make your own, click here.

I don’t have an action shot for the bag, but here I am at the beach in Roatan, Honduras.  The beach was like something from a post card: perfect teal blue water, rows of palm trees, and pure white sand.  It was really beautiful!

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Another Sorbetto Top

I love the Sorbetto pattern by Colette patterns.  I found this cute fabric with boats and decided to make another top with this pattern.  And of course, it was worn on the cruise we went on!  For this version, I decided it needed buttons, so I bought some navy blue buttons to sew on.  It looks really nice under my navy blue cardigan, so it will work for spring, summer and fall wear!

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Here is a picture of me wearing it on the cruise.  Our cabin attendant made this awesome monkey for our room.  Towel animals are cool!

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Sun Hat

My husband and I went on a cruise to the Western Caribbean over Christmas.  We had never been on a cruise before, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect.  We went with two other families and had a wonderful time!  To get ready for the cruise, I did quite a bit of sewing, so here is one of the projects I made:

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This hat was a free pattern I found by Lorena Buck Designs.  It was easy to sew, and even though I was a little worried that it would look homemade, it came out really nice.  The flower I made as well, the pattern came from So Sew Something.  The hat definitely helped keep the sun off!

Here it is in action in Belize.  This is the jungle near the Lamanai Ruins:

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More cruise projects to come soon!

A quick fix for a pressing problem

I was getting ready to start a quilt this morning and the sad, sorry state of my little ironing board finally drove me to action.  I don’t know how long I’d had it, but the cover was in bad shape with stains and it had recently developed tears with the foam peeking through.  And then there was this annoying lump at one end.  So I did a quick search of the internet, found a tutorial, and went to my stash.  Of course, nothing struck me as the perfect fabric, and I thought, I need to go buy something.  Then reason took over.  I have a gazillion yards of fabric, I will make something work!  So I settled on a blue checked fabric and got started on the new cover.  That done, I took off the old cover to fix the annoying lump, which I thought was from the foam liner bunching up.  To my surprise it was a pile of what can only be described as sawdust.  Part of the particle board core had disintegrated, and when I set it upright to store it, all of the dust fell to the bottom, creating the lump.  After disposing of the sawdust, I put the original foam and cover back on.  Then I cut a piece of cotton batting to fit the top of the board to add extra padding and the new cover went over all that.   This is the final result:

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Much better!  Now I could start my quilt!  Turns out the new cover does a much better job of gripping the fabric when I’m pressing, so not only does it look better (not to mention being lump free!), it also works better!  If your ironing board needs a makeover, here is the tutorial I used: http://www.craftinessisnotoptional.com/2010/11/ironing-board-cover-tutorial.html