Beginner Project: Travel Tissue Case

Not only is this a great beginner project, but also a great gift!

Not only is this a great beginner project, but also a great gift!

Every few sessions, I teach this travel tissue case on the first day of my Sew Easy class.  It gets a new sewer used to the basic and most-useful stitches: straight stitch, zig-zag stitch, and backstitch.

Beginner or experienced, you’ll appreciate this quick project that makes a thoughtful gift AND uses up remnants!

The skills you will develop by sewing this case are:

  • cutting straight lines
  • sewing with straight and zig-zag stitches
  • reversing your machine for a backstitch

Supplies needed:

  • your basic sewing supplies
  • one 8 1/4″ wide by 5 1/2″ high rectangle of fabric
  • travel tissues
Use up remnants perfectly with this 8 1/4" x 5 1/2" rectangle

Use up remnants perfectly with this 8 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ rectangle

Begin by setting your machine to a zig-zag stitch and sewing the SHORT edges of your rectangle.  This zig-zag stitch will help prevent fraying.

Begin by setting your machine to a zig-zag stitch and sewing the SHORT edges of your rectangle. This zig-zag stitch will help prevent fraying.

Close up of the zig-zag stitch.  Try to sew so that the right side actually goes off the fabric, wrapping around the raw edge.

Close up of the zig-zag stitch. Try to sew so that the right side actually goes off the fabric, wrapping around the raw edge.

Press the short ends you just sewed as shown, with a 1/2" hem. Do this to both short ends.

Press the short ends you just sewed as shown, with a 1/2″ hem. Do this to both short ends.

Change settings to a straight stitch and sew close to the zig-zag side.  Sew down each hem.

Change settings to a straight stitch and sew close to the zig-zag side. Sew down each hem.

After sides have been hemmed, fold the rectangle, right sides together.  Bring the two ends to the middle and press.  Use four pins to hold fabric in place.

After sides have been hemmed, fold the rectangle, right sides together. Bring the two ends to the middle and press. Use four pins to hold fabric in place.

Line up the raw edge with the right side of your presser foot.  Backstitching at the beginning and end, sew a fabric/flaps together with a straight stitch. (depending on your machine, you'll be sewing with approximately a 1/4" inch seam allowance).

Line up the raw edge with the right side of your presser foot. Backstitching at the beginning and end, sew a fabric/flaps together with a straight stitch. (Depending on your machine, you’ll be sewing with approximately a 1/4″ inch seam allowance).

Now, change back to your zig-zag stitch and repeat sewing the same sides you just sewed with a straight stitch.  (You are now finishing this edge to prevent further fraying.)

Now, change back to your zig-zag stitch and repeat sewing the same sides you just sewed with a straight stitch. (You are now finishing this edge to prevent further fraying.)

Trim all threads (including any fraying and turn right-side-out!

Trim all threads (including any fraying and turn right-side-out!  Fill with travel-sized tissues and enjoy!

Not only is this a great beginner project, but also a great gift!

Sneeze happy!

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Fabric Baskets

Fabric Baskets She Said Sew

Apologies for the yellowed photos. It’s been pretty dreary here and my photo quality is suffering!

My Winter 2013 Sew Easy class is making these little lined baskets–just in time to fill with Valentine’s Day treats!  (But they are perfect for every day, too.)  I keep one on my kitchen counter to hold all the odds and ends that haven’t yet found a home and a larger one next to my bed is full of magazines.  Fusible fleece gives these bags great structure, but for larger ones, try experimenting with a firmer fusible stabilizer like Pellon Craft Fuse.

The directions below are specific to my Sew Easy class, but you may size yours as you like.  Just make sure you begin with 4 pieces of fabric that are identical sizes and you’ll be successful.  (Remember that a larger basket will need a larger boxed corner.)  If you want more practice inserting linings, try making reusable snack bags which apply the same principles.

This is a great project for beginner sewing. The skills you will develop by sewing these bags are:

  • cutting straight lines
  • sewing straight lines
  • topstitching
  • understanding the concept of boxed corners
  • understanding the basics of lining a bag

Supplies needed:

  • your basic sewing supplies
  • two fat quarters or remnants in complementary patterns/colors
  • fusible fleece
  • matching thread

All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless noted

Step 1:  Fuse Fleece

Following directions on the fusible fleece, fuse to the wrong side of your exterior fabric.

Drawing your rectangle directly on the fusible fleece prior to fusing can simplify this process

Drawing your rectangle directly on the fusible fleece prior to fusing can simplify this process

Step 2: Cut Fabric

Cut two pieces each from your exterior fabric and interior fabric.  For our class, we are cutting our fabric 12″ wide by 9″ high.  You will have a total of 4 pieces.

Make sure you have two pieces for the interior and exterior (4 total)

Make sure you have two pieces for the interior and exterior (4 total)

Step 3: Prepare Boxed Corners

In our class, we will make a 3″ boxed corner.  So, from each bottom corner (there are 4 total), cut away a 2″ square.  Why 2″?  Each square will contribute to half of the bottom and there is a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Thus, by the time the the bottom is sewn, only two 1 1/2″ halves will remain for a total of 3 inches.

Making a square template out of cardboard is a nice tool to keep for future bag-making.

Making a square template out of cardboard is a nice tool to keep for future bag-making.

Make sure you cut a square from all 4 pieces.

Make sure you cut a square from all 4 pieces.

Step 4: Sew Together Exterior and Interior Fabrics Sides

Backstitching at the beginning and end, sew the sides of like fabrics together.  Stop at the boxed corner.  Do not sew inside the boxed corner.

Basket Sides She Said Sew

Note: if you want to add handles, decorative or functional, do this now by sewing them at even distances on each side of the seam.  Sew handles with a 1/4 ” seam allowance and reinforce by reversing and re-sewing a couple of times.

Sew it 1/4" so there isn't a chance of these stitches showing in the final product.

Sew it 1/4″ so there isn’t a chance of these stitches showing in the final product.

Step 5:  Sew Bottoms

For the exterior fabric, sew across the bottom, backstitching at beginning and end.  Stop at the boxed corner.  Do not sew inside the boxed corner.

Again, do not sew inside the corners!

Again, do not sew inside the corners!

For the interior fabric, sew bottom as shown in this photo.  You are leaving a hole to turn the entire basket right-side-out.  The exit strategy I use will help the fabric turn inside and make swing the hole closed much easier.

Keeping the needle down in the fabric will serve as a "bookmark" and make pivoting easier.

Keeping the needle down in the fabric will serve as a “bookmark” and make pivoting easier.

Step 6: Sew Boxed Corners

Pinch squares together, matching seams.  Open seams (pinning will help keep them open) and sew across, being sure to backstitch at beginning and end.  Do this for both the exterior and lining.  Now you will have an unlined basket that sits upright.

Line up and open seams.

Line up and open seams.

Step 7: Insert and Sew in Lining

With exterior right-side-out and interior inside-out, place exterior inside interior.  Match seams and pull gently on sides to make sure there aren’t any large gaps.  If either interior or exterior is too large, take in at the seams.

Place the exterior inside the interior.  Right sides should be together.

Place the exterior inside the interior. Right sides should be together.

Free the arm of your machine and place basket over the arm.  Starting at one seam, sew all the way around–don’t worry, you aren’t sewing it shut because you left a hole in the lining where you will turn it right-side-out.

Modern machines should have a piece that is removable to make it possible to sew around a tube.

Modern machines should have a piece that is removable to make it possible to sew around a tube.

Step 8:  Finish Basket

Using the hole in the bottom of the lining, turn basket right-side-out and sew the opening closed by hand or machine.   Tuck the interior inside the exterior fabric and press the top.  Finish with a topstitch 1/8″ to 1/4″ from the top.

This is how it looks once the exterior has been pulled through.

This is how it looks once the exterior has been pulled through.

I am using an applique foot to attempt to show you how closely to sew to the top.  Please don't use an applique foot yourself, though!

I am using an applique foot to attempt to show you how closely to sew to the top. Please don’t use an applique foot yourself, though!

Make sure the handle stays to the right (if sewing handles)

Make sure the handle stays to the right (if sewing handles)

Fill with treats and pass it along to a friend.  You can even creating a nesting set!

Sew a few and create a nesting set!

Sew a few and create a nesting set!

Valentine’s Day Reverse Applique Pillow

Image This is a fairly simple pillow to make.  You can make it with a zipper (as I have) or sew a simple pillow. What you’ll need:

  • basic sewing supplies
  • pillow form (size of your choice)
  • two rectangles or squares cut 1″ larger than form (for example, if you have a 12″ square form, cut two 13″ squares; if you have a 16″ x 10″ rectangle, cut two 17″ x 13″ rectangles)
  • a paper heart cut to about 1/2″ larger than the size you want to show on your pillow
  • a scrap of fabric a little bigger than the paper heart you’ve cut

Steps 1 and 2: Trace and Place the Heart Using the paper heart you’ve cut, trace the heart onto the WRONG side (back side/unprinted side/side you don’t want to show) of the scrap of fabric. Then place the fabric RIGHT side down onto the WRONG side of your pillow fabric.  Place it where you want the heart to show.  Pin in place. Be sure your heart is at least two inches in from the sides and top to avoid it curving too much or being sewn into the seam allowance. You’ll see from the photo at the top, I placed mine at an angle off to the side. Step 3: Sew on Heart Sew heart onto pillow fabric.  Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.  Begin sewing a couple of inches above the “point” at the bottom of the heart.  If you start and end at the point, you risk missing a couple of stitches, thus creating a weak spot that will open over time. If you have an applique foot (clear, plastic presser foot), use this–it will help you see better as you curve around the heart. DSC_0032     Step 4:  Trim Excess from Front and Back Remove pins and cut away the excess fabric from the heart (in my case, the red fabric).  Then, turn over the fabric and carefully snip a hole in the center of the heart only going through the pillow fabric, not the fabric underneath.  Cutting away the pillow fabric will expose the reverse applique heart shape you see on the finished example above.  Do not cut against the stitching, but aim for about 1/4″ or more away.  For mine, I trimmed it with shears and then cut away the shape with pinking shears for an additional decorative effect. Now you have a plain back panel and a front panel with a reverse applique ready to turn into a pillow.

DSC_0038

Trim away excess from the heart.  The stitches on the opposite side will help guide you to cut away the center of the heart an expose the fabric underneath.

Step 4: Turn Panels into a Pillow Now, using your favorite method, adding a zipper or not, turn these panels into a pillow.  I like to add a zipper and make all of my holiday pillowcases the same size because I have one pillow form I recover for each holiday instead of having loads of little pillows I can only use for a short time each year.

Standard Pillowcase Tutorial

This is a great beginner project because it get right to the heart of cutting and sewing straight lines.  It’s easy to modify this project, too, by adding piping or ribbon.  These make excellent gifts and only take 1 yard of fabric total.  Make sure you take a look at the finished pillowcase at the end of the post so you understand where the fabric you select will go.

For those of you in my Sew Easy class, a note about fabrics:  select your fabric from the quilting section (rather than the apparel or home dec sections).  Specifically, at Hancock Fabrics, this is the area on the right as you enter the store.  Quilting cotton generally comes in a 45″ width, but some fabrics are a few inches less or even an inch or so wider. If the fabric you love is 42″, don’t worry, you’ll still have enough fabric.  Feel free to mix and match patterns or a solid and pattern.

Materials List:

1/4 Yard 45” Fabric (for header)

3/4 Yard 45” Fabric (for body)

Matching thread

 

Seam Allowance: 1/2”

 

Terms to know:

Selvage: The manufacturer’s edge of the fabric.  Often copyright, color swatching and basic information is printed on the selvage.  This edge is “sealed” and will not unravel like a raw edge or seam.

Raw Edge: Where the fabric has been cut

Raw Seam:  Where the cut edges of two (or more) pieces of fabric have been sewn together

Straight Stitch:  Quite simply, a series of stitches that make a straight line (——)

Overcasting: A zig-zig or actual stitch (see your manual) that is used to “finish” a raw seam ( /\/\/\/\/\/\/\ or _/_/_/_/)

Instructions:

standard pillowcase instructions pdf

Step 1: Prepare the Header

Take the 1/4 yard of fabric and fold and press flat lengthwise with the pattern side out.  You will have a long, thin strip of fabric that measures approx. 4.5 x 45 inches:

Step 2: Prepare the Body

Take the 3/4 yard of fabric and open it up and press.  This will measure approx. 27 x 45 inches.

Step 3: Attach Header

Place the body piece down, fabric side up and place the header on top.  Match the header to the body with raw edges together.  If one piece is longer than the other,  center shorter piece.

Pin the three edges together, going through all pieces of material and crossing the cut line with the pins.  The point should face the raw edges.

Sew a straight stitch down the length of the header.  Raw edges should be to the right.  Remove pins.

Trim edge to approx. 1/4”.  Then repeat by overcasting.  Trim threads.

Step 4:  Finish

Fold back the header and press.

Fold the pillow case in half with printed sides together (it should look like an inside-out pillow case now.  Using a straight edge, trim off any excess fabric.

Pin the two sides with raw edges (it will be an “L” shape).  Straight stitch and overcast as you did with the header.  Trim threads.

Clip corner.

Turn right side out and insert a fluffy pillow. Take a nap–you did it!

Fleece Fingerless “Gloves” Tutorial

Smartphones are great, but they’ve made wearing gloves a bit tricky!  Pair these gloves with a cute infinity scarf-style cowl and you’ll have a great gift to give this winter.  Best of all, both projects are simple and the pair can be done with 1/2 yard of fleece.  This is another great project for beginning sewing, which is why I frequently teach or highlight it in my fall/winter classes.  The skills you will develop by sewing fingerless “gloves” are:

  • continuing to develop cutting and straight-line sewing skills
  • sewing with fleece
  • sewing a tube/around a circle

Supplies needed:

  • your basic sewing supplies
  • Fabric: remnant of fleece (or 1/2 yard fleece if making the infinity cowl, too)
  • Sharpie or chalk

Ideas for future:

These look great as is, but consider hand sewing some embellishments on them after they are finished.  Vintage buttons, fabric flowers, ribbon, will make these even more charming!

NOTE: ALL SEAM ALLOWANCES ARE 1/2 ” UNLESS NOTED!

(You can click on any photo to enlarge it.)

Step 1:  Draft pattern and cut out fabric

Take a blank piece of paper and draw a 4.5″ wide by 9″ long rectangle.  Then, measure in 1/2″ from the left side and put a dot 1 5/8″ down and another 3 5/8″ down.  It will look like this:

Then, cut out your pattern and poke small holes through the dots.  Cut four rectangles from your fabric and transfer the dots.  Since fleece is so plush and it can be difficult to pin through multiple layers, I often trace my pattern and then cut, like so:

Step 2: Sew inner seam

The side with the dots is the inner seam (the side with the thumb hole).  Take two rectangles and place them right sides together.  Pin well.  Begin sewing at the top–backstitching–and sew to the first dot.  Stop and backstitch before lifting the needle and presser foot and advancing to the next dot.  Put down presser foot.  Lower needle and  begin to sew–backstitching at the beginning and the end.   Clip the  thread over where you advanced. Repeat for remaining rectangles.

This is a close-up of the area between the two dots (thumb hole). Advance here by lifting the needle and presser foot and sliding fabric away until the 2nd dot is lined up under the needle. Lower needle and presser foot and continue. Don’t forget to backstitch at each dot.

Step 3: Reinforce inner seam

Open seam, pressing each raw edge its side and pin.  Sew a 1/4″ seam allowance down each side of the inner seam, backstitching at beginning and end.

From the wrong side

From the right side. You sew all the way down each side of the seam. The hole is already in place so no need to advance.

Step 4: Sew outer seam

Fold glove so right sides are together and sew outer seam, backstitching at beginning and end.  At this point, try on the glove to make sure it’s not too baggy for your hand or the person you are sewing for.

Technically you could stop right here. Since you are sewing with fleece, the raw ends won’t fray. But it looks much nicer with the hems sewn.

Step 5: Finish top and bottom hems

With gloves inside out, finger press a 1/2 inch single fold hem (this means fold the fabric only once) and pin generously.  Freeing the arm of your machine or working carefully on the top, sew all the way around the tube.  If the arm of your machine is too big (as most are), just sew slowly, careful not to stick yourself or to sew hem to another part of the glove.  Turn right side out and your gloves are complete!

Lots of pins and a slow speed will help make this step successful.

All done!

You can choose to embellish at this point by adding a few decorative buttons.

Envelope Back Pillowcase with Piping

This is a great project for updating a room–with a small amount of fabric you can easily update old throw pillows.  Or, you can make new throw pillows by buying (or, even better, sewing!) pillow forms.  To make this a true beginner project, skip the piping and simply sew the three pieces together as shown.  However, I challenge all new and returning sewers to try adding the piping.  With the correct tools (you’ll need your zipper foot), you’ll be surprised how much a little piping adds to your projects!

This really is a great project for beginning sewing, which is why it pops up in my Sew Easy class again and again.  The skills you will develop by sewing pillowcases are:

  • continuing to develop cutting and straight-line sewing skills
  • pivoting
  • constructing an envelope back
  • sewing a double-fold hem
  • sewing close to an edge/sewing with a narrow seam allowance
  • optional: adding piping and sewing with a zipper foot

Supplies needed:

  • your basic sewing supplies
  • zipper foot
  • Fabric (3/4 yard or several fat quarters)
  • 10-16″ pillow form
  • packaged piping
  • disappearing ink pen, chalk or dull pencil
  • optional: straight edge, self-healing mat and rotary cutter

Ideas for future:

This same concept can be applies to covering square pieces of foam (as in a bench set) by adding 2” more fabric and creating a boxed corner

This same idea can be applied to make sweet little tissue covers

You don’t have to use the same fabric!  Since there are three pieces, feel free to mix and match

If you are redoing a bedroom, consider buying an extra flat sheet.  You can use this as fabric for your own pillows, valences, etc.

Use the concept of piping on hems, valences, pillow cases (i.e.. between the header and body of the pillowcase you made in Sew Easy), around handbags

Step 1: Cutting the Pieces

Using the method that suits you best for cutting straight edges, use the following guidelines to make your pillow.  For a square pillow the rule is to measure 1 inch square more than the form size for the front and 3 inches smaller (side to side) to create two rectangles for the back (see measurements below for further explanation):

10″ Pillow Form

Cut one 11″ by 11″ square

Cut two 11″ by 8″ rectangles

12″ Pillow Form

Cut one 13″ by 13″ square

Cut two 13″ by 10″ rectangles

14″ Pillow

Cut one 15″ by 15″ square

Cut two 15″ by 12″ rectangles

16″ Pillow

Cut one 17″ by 17″ square

Cut two 17″ by 14″ rectangles

Step 2:  Prepare the Back

Set iron for your type of fabric.  For each of the rectangular pieces, start with right side(patterned-side) facing down and press down a 1/2” hem on the long side of the rectangle.

Open hem and press raw edge in to meet the fold.  This is sometimes referred to as “turning and pressing.”

Can you see the frayed bits close to the crease? Just tuck that raw edge right into the crease!

Then fold again and press closed.  (Of course you may press a 1/4” hem and then fold and press another 1/4” hem, but many people find this difficult when working with such a narrow hem.)

Pin hem and sew hem in a place that is comfortable for you.  (I like to get close to where the folded fabric meets the single layer.)

I often press the hem again, just to have a nice, crisp edge.  Set aside.  Don’t forget to do this for both of the back pieces.

Step 3: Add Piping

(This is the most tedious part of the project.  Not doing piping?  Skip to Step 4B.)

Take the square piece of fabric and your piping.  (Make sure this piece of fabric is wrinkle-free!) Place your fabric pattern-side up.  Starting somewhere in the middle (NOT THE CORNER) of one side, pin your piping to the edge of the fabric.  The raw edge of the fabric should match the taped edge of the piping.

Continue doing this around the entire square.  When you get to a corner, clip the piping tape a bit to form the right angle.  Do not clip through the stitches of the piping, though!

To join the corded (piped) ends, bring each end in toward the raw edge a bit and criss-cross.  Pin.

Feel free to let these tails hang off even more making a total X. It’s better to have more piping that find out you are short at the last seconds of sewing. You will snip off any excess when you are finished.

Attach zipper foot.  Sew around the entire square as closely to the piping as you can.  Pivot at corners and be mindful of the pins!  (Ouch!)

You caught me! I’m using a 1/4″ foot here because I left my zipper foot in class the night before I wrote this tutorial. This is a placeholder until I take a new photo.

 

Step 4A:  Attaching Front to Back (piping)

With the piped side up, place the two back panels on top with the right side (pattern-side) facing down.  Make sure front and back match the way you want them too!!!  (i.e. prevent upside down prints!) Match up the raw edges.  The back panels will overlap.

Pin into place in a few spots.  Then, flip over the pillowcase and pin around all edges trying to go in on one side of the piping, under the piping and then come out on the opposite side.  When you are finished pinning, remove the few pins you used as placeholders on the opposite side.  Now you are ready to sew with the front panel up (so you can see the stitches you made when adding the piping).

Follow those stitches around the entire square.  Clip corners.  If you desire, you can trim and serge or overcast raw seam.

 

Step 4B:  Attaching Front to Back (no piping)

Place the square right side up.  Place the two back panels on top with the right sides facing down.  Make sure front and back match the way you want them too!!!  (i.e. prevent upside down prints!) Match up the raw edges.  The back panels will overlap.

Follow those stitches around the entire square.  Clip corners.  If you desire, you can trim and serge or overcast raw seam.

 

Step 5:  Completing the Pillow

Turn right-side out.  Check for any skipped stitches in seams.  Stuff with pillow form.  Trim any loose strings that have appeared.  Congrats–you’re done!

Reusable Snack Bags (Two Ways)

This is a great project for beginning sewing, which is why it pops up in my Sew Easy class again and again.  The skills you will develop by sewing these bags are:

  • continuing to develop cutting and straight-line sewing skills
  • sewing in a circle (sewing around)
  • how to advance while sewing
  • sewing with hook-and-loop tape (Velcro)
  • learning basic bag construction (which is easily applied to cosmetic bags and handbags)
  • understanding the basics of lining
  • sewing boxed corners (optional)

Supplies needed:

  • your basic sewing supplies
  • ripstop nylon (sold in the utility section of the fabric store)
  • woven fabric (anything from quilting cotton to duck cloth works well; nothing poly or too heavy)
  • hook and loop tape*

*A note about hook and loop tape (aka Velcro).  You can buy it packaged or by-the-yard.  My favorite kind to use is Snag Free Velcro because there is only one piece of tape as opposed to a hook (scratchy) and loop (soft) side.  It is significantly more expensive but using it saves me much time and prevents much frustration (and bloodshed–those little hooks can pierce skin!)  If I can’t find Snag Free, I prefer Velcro Soft–the kind that is recommended for baby clothes.  It is a much more pliable product and easier to sew with that the inexpensive, very plastic-y regular Velcro or hook and loop tapes.

Other notes:

Seam allowance is 1/4″ (often the right side of your presser foot), unless noted otherwise.  If you feel 1/4″ is too narrow, sew with a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Just know your bag will be a wee bit smaller and you may want to trim your seam allowance.

To see any photo larger, just click on it!

Option 1:  A Basic Reusable Snack Bag

Step 1:  Prepare your fabric

If your fabric is non-directional, cut each fabric (the nylon and cotton) into 8″ x 16″ rectangles. If your fabric is directional, cut each fabric into two 8″ x 8″ squares.

Step 2:  Sew exterior

Place your cotton fabric right sides together. For the rectangle: sew each side that is perpindicular to the fold. The top should be open and opposite the fold. For the squares: sew all three sides leaving the top open.   (Remember to backstitch at start and end.) The direction of the fabric should make sense when the square is looked at with the open end on top. Regardless which shape you begin with, you will end with an 8″ x 8″ “pocket” that is inside out.

Step 3: Sew lining

Repeat this step for the lining EXCEPT on one side you will advance the needle and leave approximately 3″-4″ not sewn.  (Remember to backstitch at start and end.) This hole is where you will turn the entire bag right-side-out. To advance, stop sewing and lift the needle and presser foot.  Pull the fabric (gently!) away from you until you have reached the desired second starting point.  Lower your presser foot and put your needle down.  Continue sewing.  (Note:  Make sure the opening is at least 2″ from each end.)

Note how the thread is long behind the presser foot.

Here is another view from behind the presser foot.

Another view of the side opening after the advanced thread was snipped.

Step 4: Insert lining into exterior

Begin by clipping corners so your corners will be crisp.  If you leave the triangle of fabric all that bulk will fill your corner and it will look sloppy.

First, clip the corners at bottom, being careful not to cut your stitches!

Turn the lining right side out and insert it into the exterior (which remains wrong side out).  You’ll note the basic sewing principle of “right sides together” is in place here.

Exterior (butterfly) is wrong side out; lining (ripstop) is right side out.

Slide lining inside exterior, careful to match up seams. Double check to make sure neither is greatly bigger than the other. Sew in seams to adjust if this happens.

Step 5:  Sew lining to exterior

Remove cover and expose smaller arm of your machine and slide the exterior/lining over it.  Beginning at a seam, sew all the way around remembering to backstitch at the beginning and end.

Step 6: Sew on hook and loop tape

Turn the bag right side out (through opening in lining), stuffing lining back in bag and pressing (ironing) it flat.  Now is also the time to make sure the corners are pushed out nice and crisp.

This is how it will look when you first turn it right-side-out. Simply push the lining inside the exterior after you turn it.

A cotton setting should be fine. You won’t melt the nylon unless you expose it to an open flame or leave a very hot iron on it for an extended period.

After pressing, turn bag inside out and slipping it over the arm of the machine.  Place the hook and loop tape on top of the lining, matching it up with top of bag.  Sew close to the edge, trying to only sew on the edge tape.

When you return to the starting point, stop before you sew a double layer.  Backstitch and cut the hook and loop tape trying to match it up as closely as possible.  Sew the second side.

If you ever run into a situation where there is a gap between the two ends, you can use a zig-zag stitch (with a 1.5 stitch length, if possible) to close the gap.

Step 7: Close hole in lining

Pull lining out and pinch the hole closed by tucking in the raw edges and pulling the sides until the hole is sealed and fabric is flat.  Place under presser foot and sew as close to the edge as you can, being careful to catch both sides.

Turn it right-side-out and you’re finished!

Option 2: A Reusable Snack Bag with Boxed Corners (flat bottom)

Begin by cutting two 8″ x 8″ squares of each fabric (you’ll have 4 pieces total).  Then, cut a square from the bottom corners of each piece.  I use a 1 3/4″ square so that my bottom will be 3 inches wide.  How did I figure this?  You divide the width by two since you have two pieces of fabric or two sides.  Then you add your seam allowance and this is the number you square for your corners.

3″ wide / 2 (each side) = 1.5 inches

1.5″ + .25″ (1/4 inch seam allowance) = 1 3/4 inches

So, if you wanted a 2″ bottom and were sewing with a 1/2″ seam allowance:

2″ / 2 = 1 inch

1″ + .5″ = 1.5  inches

Step 1: Prepare the bottom

Mark and cut a square (in this case 1 3/4″) from the bottom two corners of each fabric.  If your fabric is directional, be sure you cut the square from the bottom!!!

Step 2: Sew sides

For the exterior fabric, place right sides together and sew the three sides that touch the missing squares (left, right and bottom).  DO NOT sew the cut-out square parts!  In other words, no pivoting, etc.  Leave the top open and sew both sides and the bottom.

For the lining, sew each side and the bottom, just as you did the exterior EXCEPT leave a 3″ hole in the middle of one side.  Advance just as described in the basic snack bag above.  As you did for the basic bag, please be sure the ends of your hole do not come closer than 2″ from each end of the sides.

If you can’t see the stitches, be sure to click to see this image better. It will show exactly how and where you should sew.

Step 3:  Sew boxed corners

Pinch the corners together, matching seams, and sew closed.  Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of each of the four corners.

After the corners are sewn, you will have two mini bags that look like this:

From this point on, you follow steps 4-7 for the basic bag.  When completed, you’ll have this:

Remember that we took away three inches from the bottom and sides by making those squares, if you want your bag to be bigger, begin with a larger square!

Congratulations!!!

Travel Tissue Cover Tutorial

I think there are a hundred tutorials online for this already, but since so many of you have so kindly asked, here you go!

Cut an 8.5 (wide) x 5.5 (high) rectangle
Begin by zig-zagging, pinking or serging the two short ends
Press short ends down for a 3/4 inch hem/flap
Sew down flap with a 5/8 seam allowance
Repeat for second flap
If you’re nervous that your pressing or stitching isn’t straight enough, sew on the underside.
Fold short ends in to meet each other in the middle–each side should be 1.5 inches.
Pin with 4 pins, securely holding down the sides.
All stitched up.
Zig zag, pink or serge the short ends to finish.
Turn right side out and insert travel tissues
Voila!

Sewing a Standard Pillowcase

Materials List:

1/4 Yard 45” Fabric (for header)

3/4 Yard 45” Fabric (for body)

Matching thread

Seam Allowance: 1/2”

Terms to know:

Selvage: The manufacturer’s edge of the fabric.  Often copyright, color swatching and basic information is printed on the selvage.  This edge is “sealed” and will not unravel like a raw edge or seam.

Raw Edge: Where the fabric has been cut

Raw Seam:  Where the cut edges of two (or more) pieces of fabric have been sewn together

Straight Stitch:  Quite simply, a series of stitches that make a straight line (——)

Overcasting: A zig-zig or actual stitch (see your manual) that is used to “seal off” a raw seam ( /\/\/\/\/\/\/\ or _/_/_/_/)

Instructions:

standard pillowcase instructions pdf

Step 1: Prepare the Header

Take the 1/4 yard of fabric and fold and press flat lengthwise with the pattern side out.  You will have a long, thin strip of fabric that measures approx. 4.5 x 45 inches:

Step 2: Prepare the Body

Take the 3/4 yard of fabric and open it up and press.  This will measure approx. 27 x 45 inches.

Step 3: Attach Header

Place the body piece down, fabric side up and place the header on top.  Match the header to the body with raw edges together.  If one piece is longer than the other,  center shorter piece.

Pin the three edges together, going through all pieces of material and crossing the cut line with the pins.  The point should face the raw edges.

Sew a straight stitch down the length of the header.  Raw edges should be to the right.  Remove pins.

Trim edge to approx. 1/4”.  Then repeat by overcasting.  Trim threads.

Step 4:  Finish

Fold back the header and press.

Fold the pillow case in half with printed sides together (it should look like an inside-out pillow case now.  Using a straight edge, trim off any excess fabric.

Pin the two sides with raw edges (it will be an “L” shape).  Straight stitch and overcast as you did with the header.  Trim threads.

Clip corner.

Turn right side out and insert a fluffy pillow. Take a nap–you did it!