Tag Archives: sewing

Making purses with the girls

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So, on the weekend, Dylan went to a birthday party playing lazer tag with the boys, while we looked after Sam and her friend from across the street.
The girls were playing with their stuffed animals and decided that they needed a way to carry them so they could have their hands free to do other important things. Sewing a bag is a very simple project, if you do not sew, this is a great project to start with… Why not make a reusable grocery bag, or tapestry purse, hmmmm?
Here is what the finished product looks like…

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We started by picking some scraps of fabric. We laid out their stuffed animals on top of the fabric and they cut out a square a little bit larger than their animals. Then, they drew patterns of flowers onto a paper, and I pinned their patterns to the fabric, and they cut it out. I pinned their flowers onto their fabric and sewed around the perimeter, then clipped around the polar fleece to neaten it up.

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Then I turned under the seams to finish the top edges…

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Then, putting the right sides together, I sewed around the sides, leaving the top open..

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Then, because I knew the bags were going to hold three dimensional stuffed animals, while the bags were inside out, I sewed a diagonal seam across the corners, I hope you can see how to do it in the picture…

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This is what the corners look like when is turned back right side out….

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We cut out a couple long strips of fabric for the straps, and I sewed a seam, right sides together down the length of the strap

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Then to attach the straps to their bags, I sewed a little square on both of the side seams. The square makes it a little stronger and less likely to rip. Because I know my daughter, I realize that most likely, at some point in time, this bag will probably be filled with rocks, or marbles, or other treasures…so it’s better to reinforce it now. (You never know what a girl is going to need to put in her purse….)

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After we clipped the threads, the girls were ready to go (and played quietly while I started on my next project…stay tuned!)

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Putting the cupcake quilt together -part two…

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Before I go on to the next step, I have a couple of tips for sewing with fur…
The first is to take the pins out as you sew. They get buried in the fur and lost, and trust me, they hurt!
The second tip is to test your machine first to see if it can handle the thickness of fur together with a couple layers of fabric. I use my grandmothers antique Singer sewing machine because it can handle a lot of fabric. It only has one stitch, but it is my favorite machine right now!
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My third tip is to use a large stitch, and cover your stitching using a pin or seam ripper. After you finish top stitching a seam in fur, your stitching leaves a line or part in the fur. If you use a bigger stitch length, you can use a pin to pull out a lot of the hairs that you have sewed down. If your stitch length is too small, it will be really difficult to pull the fur out. You can use the pin to pull the hairs out of all of your seams too, just use it kind of like a rake… I really have to figure out how to post using video! Hope this photo helps. If you look at the top of the photo, you can see where I have adjusted the fur.

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I think people normally sew quilts in an assembly line kind of way- sewing one seam at a time then repeating the same seam for all of the pieces, it just seems to make more sense. So I started by cutting a whole pile of pink and zebra skin strips, about 3 inches wide. Then I pinned the pink strips to both sides of each block.

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While I was working, I gave Sam a special project to work on making artwork for the walls. I gave her a canvas from Michaels, and the scraps of fabric…I will show you what she comes up with…

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After all of the sides were sewn on, I attached the top and bottom pink fabric in the same way. As you can see, I sew in a continuous seam, almost connecting all of the blocks together. It saves a lot of thread and time stopping and starting. Also, when I am sewing is one of the only times you will see me with an iron, but it does make a difference in the finished product if you press open the seams before sewing the next ones.

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I will do the zebra borders the same way… This part isn’t my favourite to sew, It is pretty tedious, repetitive, and takes forever….
After the borders are all done, we will start sewing on the details. Everyone knows that a good cupcake has some decorations, so we decided to use buttons, and some sequins for some bling-bling. Because there are 12 cupcakes, I figured I would add about 4 sequins for each cupcake. Sam picked out all of the sequins she liked from the bag of sequins (apparently we can only use pink and silver), that kept her busy for a good half hour!
To sew on the sequins, I am using embroidery thread to save time. Because I am using three stands of the embroidery thread at a time, I only have to sew one time for each sequin because it is triple the threads. The kids helped sew on a couple sequins, but unfortunately, it didn’t keep their attention for long.

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I think it will take me a bit of time to finish all the zebra borders and sewing on the sequins, so I will post again when I am ready for the next step.