Friday, August 31, 2012

Folded Notebook Holder.

I told you I was working on Christmas gifts. Non-stop! There's not a lot of time left before Christmas! Plus I have quite a few people to make for.

I have a really really hard time thinking of things to make for guys, and an even harder time finding fabric for the guys. This is what I've managed to come up with. A notebook holder...
Opened it looks like this {it's not weirdly shaped... that's just a weird camera angle... I never claimed to be a photographer}.
To give you an idea of the size... that notepad is 6" by 9" if I remember correctly. You can buy packs of three at Wal-Mart for like $2. There is a pen pocket, smaller pockets for business cards and some deeper wider pockets for other papers.
Even though it uses fusible web to stiffen the fabric and there are plastic canvas inserts in there it's not too stiff. I like it! I hope the recipient likes it too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

More FQ Grocery Bags & a FQ Produce Bag

I've been using the bags for a few weeks now and I do really love them. I happen to know a few family members use reusable bags and who can't use more, right? So I'm gifting these two bags, along with a matching produce bag AND a printed copy of both patterns {FQ Grocery Bag PDF $3.50 and FQ Produce Bag free} because the recipient sews.

Secret: She says she can't sew bags, that she can only sew quilts, but I know she can do it.
I used the leftover green to add strips to the handles. And here is the matching FQ Produce Bag:
I did the handle differently here than I did originally in the pattern and all the other bags I've made. For this one I I sewed RIGHT sides together down the long ends, turned my tube then top stitched at both edges. The other ones aren't top-stitched. I'm still not sure which way I prefer...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cute Keychain Clutches.

Oh my gosh! I purchased this pattern here because I thought these were so stinkin' cute and I thought they'd make great quick and easy gifts.
They fit right in the palm of your hand. So cute. Great scrap busters too. I think I'm going to play around with the pattern and make some that are a little less feminine too.
One of these is being given along with some FQ grocery bags and a FQ Produce bag and a few other things {my Aunt, she'll be getting quite a few things LOL}. And the other is going to be given along with the make-up bags I posted about the other day.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Make-Up Bags

I've been busy lately working on Christmas gifts for family and friends. Busy busy busy!

For someone in the family I've made these matching make-up bags.
The smaller one fits inside the bigger one. I didn't use a pattern for these, and I wasn't too sure how they would come out, but the bottom corners are boxed, so they actually came out pretty good.
I started with two fat quarter for the exterior of both bags and still have some left. I used some yardage I had for the lining and the side tabs. Plus I used fusible ... whatever it's called ... makes the fabric stiffer. Then the bigger one has a 9" zipper and the smaller one has a 7" zipper.

I have to say the more things I make with zippers the easier the zippers get. I mentioned this to my husband who now wants me to replace a zipper on his ACU top. No way! He'll be taking that the sewing place down the road, I'm not ready for that yet.

Anyway, I hope she likes them. I'm always nervous giving handmade gifts. Always worried the recipient won't like it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Recycled: Pin cushion storage can.

Here is a great way to recycle those cans. With some scrap fabric and some scrap papers, buttons and ribbon you can make this cute pin cushion storage can.

Wash and dry your can. You can use any size can. Use different sized cans and match them all to make a set.

Trace around the can opening onto a piece of paper. Measure 1/2" out from the line all the way around. This second line is your new circle. Use this template to cut two circles from your scrap fabric.

With your circles right sides together stitch around using a 1/4" seam allowance and leave a 1 1/2" opening. Turn right side out and stuff your circle with Poly-Fil. Hand sew the opening closed.

Cut a piece of scrapbook paper the height of the can and long enough to wrap around. I used hot glue to glue my paper down. I also added ribbons, buttons and a ruler sticker to add to the theme.

Hot glue ribbon around the top lip of the inside of the can to cover any rough edges. It depends on your can opener really... my edges were smooth except for the one spot where the blade first goes in.

Hot glue ribbon or other trip around the seam of your pin cushion.

If you're giving this as a gift, fill the can with a few bobbins, small scissors, a seam ripper, some buttons, etc.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Reuseable Snack Bag.

I have seen these bags made with the top of a zip lock bag as the closure. I've seen them made completely out of fabric. I've seen them made with specialty plastic fabrics.

So I thought why not try to make one using a new clear vinyl shower curtain as the liner? One shower curtain liner can make quite a few baggies and I got my liner at Wal-Mart for $2.88. I imagine you can also use the liner for other things too, quiet books perhaps?
I started with a piece of fabric 7" wide x 16" long. Fold each short end 1/4" toward the wrong side, then another 1/4" toward the wrong side creating clean hems.

Cut a piece of vinyl 7" wide by 15" long.Tuck each short end of the vinyl up under the hem of the bag. The vinyl should be on the wrong side of the fabric.

Stitch across each short end (through your nice hem and the vinyl hidden between the layers), back stitching at beginning and end. This will hold the vinyl in place.

Cut a piece of hook and loop tape (Velcro) 5 1/2" long. Stitch the hook side across the center top of one short hemmed edge about 1/8" from the top of the bag on the wrong side. Stitch the loop side across the center top of the other short hemmed edge about 1/8" from the top of the bag on the wrong side.

Fold your bag, right sides together, matching short hemmed ends. Using a 1/4" seam allowance and back stitching at each end, sew the two sides closed. Go back over each side using a zig zag stitch. Trim your seam close to the zig zag stitch.

Turn your bag right side out. The velcro should be on the inside.

Super fast, super easy, vinyl lined reusable snack baggie. You can make these in any size.

Hand wash with warm soapy water occasionally. Most often just flip it wrong side out and wipe it with a wet cloth.

Now I'm going to make a few sandwich wraps, also with the vinyl lining...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fat Quarter Produce Bags

These are so easy to make!!! And they only take a half an hour and one single fat quarter so I find I keep making them. I am not sure how many produce bags one household really needs...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fish Purse PDF Sewing Pattern

My husband and I took the kids to the NC Zoo in June. My thing is that it doesn't matter where I am... if I see a purse or something I like I'll either snap a picture with my phone or if I have my camera I'll use that.

We were at the zoo so I had my camera. But my husband was embarrassed that I was trying to snap a picture of some woman's purse while we were walking, so this is the best shot I got... blurry, but the picture in my memory is better.

I've been meaning to try to make this for a while but life gets in the way sometimes, you know how that is.

I have finally done it though! I've made the fish purse! Not only that but I've written a pattern and scanned the pattern pieces so you can make your own fish purse too. Purchase on Bonanza or Craftsy. My daughter says my fish purse is better than the one in the picture and she's always right because she's almost a teen, so there ya' go.
The PDF is seven pages long and includes the pattern pieces and an instruction for enlarging the purse. I suggest to save ink and paper to only print out pages 6 & 7 (the pattern pieces) and follow the directions by reading them on the computer or your iPad.

Finished bag measures approximately 10" tall not including carrying strap. It is approximately 8 1/2" wide when flat, but again there is an instruction for enlarging the pattern.
I'd say the most tedious part of this purse is the scales.

Copyright information is as follows:
}} You CAN sell fish purses you made using this pattern. {{
}} You CANNOT not sell this pattern. You CANNOT share this pattern. {{
}} Any bags sold using this pattern must state that the SewSimpleLife pattern was used. {{
}} For example in your item listing state “This bag was made using a SewSimpleLife pattern.” {{
}} A link back to my Etsy shop would be greatly appreciated but is not required. {{

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Tutorial: Lower Back Tie-Around Heating Pad

I made this the other day because my back was KILLING me and my normal heating pad was no good since I really didn't want to sit with my back against the couch, I wanted to be up and cleaning the house.

I did learn a few things making it and I will let you know what those are so you don't make the same mistakes I made.

First we need:

  • Rice

  • Some dried herbs (I used rosemary) or essential oils

  • (2) 7" x 11" rectangle of fabric

  • (2) 2" x 15" strips of fabric

Take each long strip and fold right sides together with the long ends matching. Sew 1/4" seam down the long end. Turn your two tubes. Iron so that the seam is on the side. Set one aside.

*** UPDATED: Okay so I've made a second pack and used more rice and it still flops so my suggestion is to either A) put the straps at the TOP of the wrap instead of the middle as described below OR make a much wider strap that gradually gets smaller toward the end.

With the 7 x 11 rectangles right sides together, sandwich one of your strips in between them with one end in the middle of one of the short ends of the rectangles. Stitch along both 11" ends and the 7" end that has the strip sandwiched in there:
Turn this piece right side out and iron flat. Tuck the open end in about 1/4" to 1/2" and iron. With a fabric marking pen, mark two lines evenly apart down the pad:
Topstitch along these lines, from one edge to the other edge, backstitching at each end. You now have three channels for rice.

I added about 1/2" cup rice to each channel... I should have used a bit more.

Put one end of the second strip inside the heating pad, inside the middle channel. Pin in place, take this to your machine and stitch the entire end closed, backstitching at each end.

Tie your heating pad around your waist and clip the ties 1/2" longer than you want them. Untie and fold the end of each strip 1/4" and then fold again another 1/4" then stitch in place.
You'll notice it flops down a bit in the first picture of this post. I'm thinking that is because I didn't put enough rice in there... if I had put in enough rice so that it would hold it's shape this flop would not have happened (learn from my mistakes, remember?)

This could also be tied around your aching thigh or draped around your neck (without the tie, I definitely don't recommend tying things around your neck!).

If you decide to make one I'd love to see it!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Change it up - Fat Quarter Grocery Bags

Tuesday I spent a good chunk of the day working on Fat Quarter Grocery Bags. If you can believe it I forgot what sizes to cut the pieces and I actually had to put the PDF onto my iPad and follow my own pattern for these! ha
I made four on Tuesday and I already had three made so I'm up to seven, still not nearly enough for this house. I generally do so much groccery shopping at once that I walk out with twenty grocery bags or more, so I have a lot more sewing to do :)

Anyway, since the pattern I wrote does not have these little decorative things as part of the grocery bag I thought I would share what I did Tuesday.

I used some of the leftover fabric to make stripes on the handles. One has a large stripe and the other has a smaller stripe. You just need two pieces that are 18" x 1 1/2" or 2" (or 1 1/4" for the narrow stripe). Then fold the raw edges toward the center and iron. Flip it over and pin it wrong side down to your strap and top stitch down both sides.
On this grocery bag I added the stripes to the handle and I added a pocket to the front.
The Fat Quarter Grocery Bags (on Etsy or Craftsy)would work well as library bags too, especially if you have a pocket or two on there for the list of books you want to check out and your library card.

This was just your basic pocket, with the top raw edges folded under twice, ironed and topstitched and then the remaining three edges folded under and ironed, then stitched onto the bag around the three sides. My daughter demonstrating for me:

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

**CLOSED** My Memories Suite v.3 FULL VERSION Review & Giveaway

I recently got a chance to review the My Memories Suite version 3 Software. I was very excited, this was my first time using any scrapbooking software and I understood that it could be used for more than just scrapbook layouts!

First thing, it was so easy to install. Once you purchase the software {or win it!} you simply go to your My Downloads section and download. Yes, you can have it immediately after purchase! (If you want a disc mailed to you, you can choose that for a small fee.) Once the My Memories software is downloaded to your computer, click the icon and install. It will ask you for the product key. Input the product key along with your account information and you are good to go. Easy peasy.

Here's a screenshot of the start up screen:

With the Designer Template option you will choose a layout and then the layout you choose has matching layouts. It's so easy, you won't believe it. Click to add pages and then choose whether you want your photos auto arranged or if you want to arrange them yourself.

You can add photos, extra embellishments, shapes, word art, text, and more.

Here's your working area {with a photo I added of me and my husband}:

I also made this little blog banner:

You can also create a page that is 8 1/2" x 11" and print it out as just the background and use it for cards or origami. The possibilities are endless really.

Now on to it! How would like to win your  very own FREE copy of the My Memories Suite v.3?? I'm not just talking a free trial here, I'm talking about the FULL VERSION, which includes 1,500 background papers and 1,300 digital embellishments!!

For your chance to enter to win a free full version of the My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software:

~ MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit and browse a bit. Then come back here and leave a comment telling me which digital kit is your favorite!
~ Optional: Like Sew Simple Life on Facebook.
~ Optional: Like My Memories on Facebook.
~ Optional: Follow SewSimpleLife on Twitter.
~ Optional: Follow MyMemories on Twitter.

Please use the form below for your entries! Giveaway ends August 14th at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For those of you who do not win, no worries! You're not leaving here with nothing! For $10 off the MyMemories Suite software plus $10 to use in the MyMemories store (that's a $20 savings total!!!), click the banner below and use the code: STMMMS64620

Monday, August 6, 2012

Mini Bucket Bags

My youngest daughter Hannah is four now and she's been playing with this little girl in the neighborhood a lot lately. The little girl have Hannah two heart shaped plastic things she and her mom had made. You know the tiny plastic tubes you put on hard plastic templates and then iron them? Yeah, those.

Anyway, so I thought it might be nice if I made Hannah and the little girl matching purses with some Little Mermaid fabric a friend had given me. It's just been sitting there waiting for me to do something with it.
The came out so cute. Both girls LOVED them. Hannah carries hers around everywhere like that ↑  and her friend carries hers around across her chest like a messenger bag. Hannah carries the hearts her friend made her and a little Belle toy in hers. So cute.
Have you ever made something for one of your kids and had them think it was the coolest thing. EVER!? I love that feeling.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Zippered Pencil Case

I think this pencil case came out pretty cute. I really wish my daughter could use one but her school requires your pencil case to have three holes for a three ring binder. I haven't quite figured out how to do that yet though.
The inside is half black and half red:
I used the instructions on Sew4Home to make this, I left off the pocket though. And my pencil case came out smaller than theirs did, I'm not really sure how that happened...

If you're interested, this is for sale in my Etsy shop here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fat Quarter Grocery Bag - PDF Sewing Pattern

Unlike my last grocery bag, this reusable grocery bag has no messy seams to speak of.

This grocery bag is made using only three fat quarters and you can finish it in about an hour.

It is about the same size as a regular grocery bag and unlike the big boxy bags you can purchase at any retail store, these bags won't get quite as heavy. I don't know about you, but I prefer the smaller bags.

The five page PDF has six full color photos {a small number of photos will help you use less ink!}. Because the pattern does not require you to print out any pattern pieces it is ideal for reading on your iPad or other tablet device.

While the pattern itself calls for three fat quarters, you can make the bag using fabric by the yard.

You can purchase the pattern for this reusable fat quarter grocery bag from my Bonanza shop here. OR now available as an instant download on Craftsy!
Copyright Information:
}} You CAN sell grocery bags you made using this pattern. {{
}} You CANNOT sell this pattern. You CANNOT share this pattern. {{
}} Any bags sold using this pattern must state that the SewSimpleLife pattern was used. {{
}} For example in your item listing state: “This bag was made using a SewSimpleLife pattern.” {{
}} A link back to my Etsy shop would be greatly appreciated but is not required. {{