Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fabric Planner Accessories from When Skies are Gray Fabric

Thursday, January 19, 2017
 I am really starting to love using my planners.  I bought one for the first time in a long time last year and I really enjoyed making lists, checking things off and generally seeing what was coming ahead of time. One thing I have not loved, though was not having a way to easily transport all my stuff from the kitchen counter (where it normally lives) to the kitchen table (where the magic happens).  I had to gather the pens, planner, and anything else I wanted to use.  This often took more than one trip, because I would forget something. ;)
So, when the blog hop came up for this beautiful When Skies are Gray Fabric from Simple Simon and Company, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it.  A tote for all my planner stuff, and some pretty accessories to go along with it.

I ended up making a tote, a portfolio to hold my pens and a little zipper pouch that perfectly holds washi tape and opens wide so you can see all the different kinds you have in there. Because we all know you have more than one, right?
I'm not sure if I will publish the tote or portfolio patterns. They still need some tweaking and I'm not sure there is a demand for them.  But, I do have the washi tape zipper pouch tutorial ready to go!
Originally I was going to go mostly black and white and gold with this project, but the pink prints in this line stole my heart and ended up being the focus of my projects.  Isn't that little gold umbrella just awesome?
I'm so excited for this line to be available in stores, and if you head over the Simple Simon and Co's website, they have a giveaway going on for a fat quarter bundle!! Plus, they have links to all the other blogs participating in the Fabric tour and you don't want to miss all the amazing projects people have made.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

zipper pouch for washi tape

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Once I got started sewing things for my planner, I knew a must have would be a pouch for my washi tape. Now, I realize that you can throw washi tape into any zipper pouch and it would be just fine.  I just didn't want to have to dig through the pouch, or pull out all the washi to see what I have.  I also realize that for most planner addicts out there, eight rolls of washi is a ridiculous amount of washi- it doesn't even scratch the surface- but humor me here and pretend you are on a washi diet. ;) Or traveling with it, perhaps and don't want to carry the entire mother load.
What I came up with is a perfectly petite pouch that is just wide enough to hold your washi upright and just tall enough to keep it snug without being so deep you can't see inside. Plus, it opens nice and big thanks to the method I learned from Noodlehead so you can see what's in it all at once.
It uses very little fabric, so scraps will do nicely for this project, which is always a plus!

Washi Tape Zipper Pouch

Cutting Instructions:
1. 2 pieces 4"X8" of exterior fabric
2. 2 pieces 4" X 8" of interior fabric
3. 2 pieces 3 1/2" X 7 1/2" fusible fleece
4. 1 piece 1/2" X 6" (optional) for zipper pull
5. 1 piece 1 3/4" X 3" for zipper tab
You will also need a 10" zipper and sewing supplies.

  1. To prep the fabric, follow manufacturers instructions and fuse the fleece to the wrong side of the exterior fabric pieces.
  2. Take your 1 3/4" X 3" piece and fold in half along the 3" side, press. Open up the piece and bring the two edges into the center pressed line, press.
  3. Fold the piece back together and press one final time. Set aside.
 To begin, take one of your exterior fabric pieces and lay it down right side up. Place your zipper right side down and line it up along the top edge of the fabric. *Tip: I find it helpful to unzip the zipper while I install it. Slide the zipper over so that there is just over 1/4" from the edge of the fabric to the metal stop on the zipper. Be a bit generous here, you don't want to hit that metal bit with your needle! Fold the end of the zipper after the metal stop up and away from the fabric, pin in place. Line up the rest of the zipper with the top of the fabric piece and put a pin in the opposite end 1" away from the edge of the fabric. Lay the interior fabric on top and line up the top edge. Pin in place. Start at the end where the zipper is folded up and sew down the zipper using a 1/4" seam allowance.  I do not use a zipper foot, but if you like yours, feel free to do it! STOP sewing when you reach the pin that is 1" from the end.  Put your needle in the down position, lift up your presser foot and pull the zipper out of the seam allowance and down between the two fabric layers. Hold the zipper out of the way and lower the presser foot, then continue sewing the rest of the way down the fabric.
  1. Press the interior fabric away from the zipper, then press the exterior fabric away from the zipper also.
  2. Place the second piece of exterior fabric face up on your table.  Line up the metal stops of the zipper and line the edge of the zipper up with top of the fabric, pin in place. Fold up the zipper past the stop and pin out of the way.  Repeat the rest of the steps from the first side, making sure to mark a point 1" away from the end of the front fabric piece, stop sewing at that pin and pull the zipper out of the way when sewing.  It makes much more sense once you do it.
  3. Once you've pressed both sides of fabric away from the zipper, close the zipper part way.
  4. Move the interior fabric out of the way and pin the extra zipper to the front piece of the bag to keep it from getting sewn into the seams.
  •  Line up the exterior pieces of the bag right sides together and pin into place, then line up the lining.  Fold the seam allowances at the zipper toward the lining side of the bag.  Mark an opening 4"-5" in the bottom of the lining to allow for turning the pouch.
  • Sew around all four sides of the bag, except for your opening in the lining using a 1/4" seam allowance. Mark 1" squares out of each corner and cut them out.
  • Pull open each corner and line up the seams to create a straight line. Pin.
  • You will end up with a wonky looking creature. :) Sew each corner with a 1/4" seam allowance.
 Pull the bag right side out through the opening in the lining.  **Watch out for the pin holding the zipper!! You know I have stabbed myself more than once doing this step, right? Push out all of the corners and then sew the opening in the lining shut.  You can hand stitch this, but I like to just fold in the seam allowance and stitch close to the edge to close it.  Push the lining into the bag and press the fabrics away from the zipper again.  Top stitch around the entire bag.  We are almost there friends!
Remember our little 1 3/4" X 3" friend we pressed and then forgot about?  It's time to let him get to work.  Unfold the center fold and then refold it the opposite direction. Now your raw edges aren't tucked into the center- they are on the outsides of the piece. Sew down both short sides using a 1/4" seam allowance. Back stitch at the beginning and ending of both sides. Trim away the corners of the raw edges, not the folded edges. Turn the piece right side out with the seam allowances on the inside. You now have a little pocket to slide your zipper into.  Before I do that, however, I like to trim up my zipper so it's not too long. I use the tab as a measuring stick and line it up with the edge of the pouch and then snip on the far side of it. I'd rather my zipper be on the long side so the pouch opens up better. Once you've trimmed your zipper, slide the tab on and sew around all four sides of it to hold the zipper firmly.
Take your 1/2" wide strip and tie it to the zipper pull.  You're finished!
Now get out there and plan your life!
And you'll look fabulous doing it!!

Let me know if there are any questions!  And please share pictures if you make one- I'd love to see! Tag me on Instagram at AmeroonieDesigns if you do end up using my patterns. It's so thrilling to see when they're used.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Ruffle Top Drawstring Backpack

Monday, November 14, 2016
When I was asked to participate in the Anne of Green Gables blog hop, I was thrilled.  I love Anne and her optimism and strength. This ruffle top drawstring bag is a simple project to sew and a great way to use these beautiful fabrics.
Let's get right into it, shall we?

Ruffle Top Drawstring Backpack
2/3 yard main exterior print (green floral)
2/3 yard interior print (raspberry ticking)
1/4 yard accent print for ruffle and pocket flap (light pink quote fabric)
1/4 yard accent print for straps and pocket (raspberry blossom)

(2) 16" X 19" from main exterior fabric
(2) 16" X 4" from accent fabric for ruffle
(2) 7" X 3 1/2" from accent fabric for flap of pocket
(2) 16" X 22" from lining fabric
(2) 2" X 34" from accent fabric for straps
(2) 3" X 18" from accent fabric for straps
(2) 7" X 6" from accent fabric for body of pocket

Sewing Instructions:
*note: all seams are 1/2" unless otherwise indicated.

  • Sew accent pieces to top of main body pieces. Press the seam toward the accent piece.
  • Top stitch the seam on the accent piece.
  •  Take the 2" X 34" strap pieces and press in half along the length
  • Open up the pressed piece and fold the long edges into the crease at the center of the strap
  • Press the strap in half again (should now measure approx 1/2" X 34")
  • Top stitch down both sides of the strap
  •  Take the 3" X 18" strap anchor pieces and fold one short end down 1/4"
  • Top stitch this edge down
  • Repeat steps for pressing the straps- fold in half, press, bring in sides to middle, press
  • Top stitch the strap anchor pieces *beginning 1" from the folded down, stitched end of the strap anchor piece. (you will leave the end open until the last step)
  •  With right sides together round the bottom corners of the pocket flap pieces
  • pin pocket body pieces right sides together
  • using a *1/4" s.a. sew around the flap (leave opening on long, flat side) and body (leave opening on the bottom) of the pocket
  • Clip corners and seams
  • Turn right side out and press out seams
  • Top stitch top of pocket body and short sides and rounded bottom of pocket flap
  •  place front piece of backpack right side up
  • center pocket body 3" up from bottom
  • center flap over pocket body lining the top of the flap 1/2" above the top of the pocket body
  • top stitch around sides and bottom of pocket body, and the top of the flap
  • place the sewn end of the strap anchor pieces 1" in from sides, and lined up with the bottom of the backpack 
  • place second exterior piece of backpack face down, lining up the seams where the accent pieces are attached.
  • sew around the two long sides and bottom of the backpack exterior- leaving a 1" opening on both sides starting 1/2" below the seams attaching the accent piece
  • Turn bag exterior right side out and press seams.
  • Take interior bag pieces and line up right sides together
  • sew around long sides and bottom, leaving an opening for turning (dotted lines are where sewn seams should be)
  • Slide exterior of the bag INSIDE the lining of the bag.  Line up side seams and raw edge, pin in place
  • sew around the top of the bag
  • Turn bag right side out through the opening in the bottom of the bag lining.
  • Sew opening in lining shut.
  • Push the lining of the bag inside the exterior of the bag and press the top seam.  

  • Sew the channel for the drawstring- sew around the bag lining your stitches up with the top of the opening you left on the exterior of the bag (1/2" from the seam of the accent piece) use a piece of tape to keep this line straight around the whole bag.
  • sew the second line for the channel 1" away from the first stitched line (again, using a piece of tape to mark the line)
  • top stitch the top edge of the bag
  • take the small drawstrings and pull them through the channel using a safety pin. One will start and end on one side of the bag, and the second will start and end on the other side of the bag.

  •  Take the two ends of the drawstring on one side of the bag, and place them inside the open end of the anchor piece on the same side of the bag
  • sew the ends of the drawstring into the anchor piece by closing up the opening on the end of the strap. I sew a rectangle with an "X" in it. (you can see it in the picture below)

  • Repeat for the second side.

 You can embellish this bag with buttons or lace, but I chose to leave it plain for now.
Each of my daughters have asked me for one of these bags (even the teenager) so I'm going to call this one a win!  I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
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