Category Archives: sewing

To Keep or KNOT to Keep

To Keep or KNOT to Keep

I’m really excited about this bag.  I wish the fabric was brighter and more vivid, but this bag came with a requirement… It had to be green.  I was making it for a friend’s gift bag.  The reason I am so excited about it is because it totally came to me out of nowhere.  It was fun, quick, simple, and rewarding.  I apologize in advance for not having pictures for the way to tie the knot.  I didn’t think I was going to put this bag on the blog until I realized it was going to be pretty cute!  You can use this as a gift bag, or a little book tote! (Hence the title, “To Keep or KNOT to Keep.”)

Here we go!

You’ll Need:

  • 2 pieces of fabric for outside 12″ x 11″
  • 2 pieces of fabric for inside 12″ x 11″
  • 2 strips of fabric for straps 14″ x4″
  • 1 strip of fabric for knot design about 7″ x ?” (I didn’t measure this part, but you could be safe with 20″ and then cut off extra)

First thing I did was the knot.

I’m going to tell you to make the straps first.


This is the same concept we have done with pretty much every strap or string we have made so far.  Fold in half long ways first, and iron flat.  Then open it up, and fold the edges in to meet in the center.  Fold a final time down that center again.  You can stitch the open edge with a straight stitch to finish it! (do this with both straps, then set aside)

Now, we will make the knot.  You are going to fold your fabric exactly the same way you folded it for the straps above.  Remember this strip is just wider… That’s all.  I did not sew a straight stitch on this one, mainly because I was worried I wouldn’t have enough thread to last me through the end of the project.  You can sew it up if you like, but it stayed pretty good without being sewn.

Once it’s folded like the strap, you can tie a knot.  You may need to keep untying and retying.  I certainly did.

I then took my front fabric piece and pinned the knotty piece to it. The picture shows you… Then I cut off the extra wings that the knotty strip had. 😉


Now that you front looks like this, you can lay the back piece on top so that the right sides are facing each other.  Pin ot along the sides and bottom edges, and sew!

For some reason, I didn’t take pictures of this part either, but it’s simple.  Just do the same thing as you did above, but with the lining.  Sew the right sides together, bottom and side edges, leaving the top open, of course.


Fold down the tops of both the front and lining so you have a nice edge, and slip that lining into the bag.  You can begin to pin these pieces together at the top edge.  I find it easier to pin all around and then add my straps, so everything stays in one spot.

I measured about an inch and a half from the side seam and then inserted each side of the strap.  After you have the straps pinned down nicely and tucked in, you can sew your final stitches around the top to close it up!  THEN… you have a bag… to keep or KNOT to keep… that is the question!


Last Sunday of the Month: “Simpleness is Bliss” Giveaway

Last Sunday of the Month: “Simpleness is Bliss” Giveaway

It’s HERE! The last Sunday of the month.  If you don’t know what that means, you will get to know it pretty quickly.  The last Sunday of each month, I will post the top-visited item, and give it away!

This month’s giveaway is this sleep mask.  The one pictured is the exact one that will be given away.  Yes, that’s right… AWAY… for FREE.  So, how do you enter?


  • Share this post on Facebook using the below “share button”
  • Leave a comment at the bottom of this post letting me know you’ve shared it!

That’s all!  You have until February 1st to enter.  At 12:00 a.m. on February 1, 2012, the names will be entered, and randomly chosen.  The one winner will be announced on this blog, and will be sent a message through Facebook.  At that time, I will receive the address, and within a week, the item will be sent in the mail.

Any Questions?  Let me know!  Happy Entering!

The “Writer’s Craft” Pencil Bag

The “Writer’s Craft” Pencil Bag

Another quick project… Easy and so useful!  I imagine these being used to store little trinkets of all kinds… pens and pencils, jewelry, little keepsakes, ANYTHING!

Here’s what you’ll need to make these:

  • (2) 9″x9″ fabric pieces.  (They don’t have to be the same… One will be your inside, and one will be your outside.
  • Ribbon that’s about 30″ long


To start, you will put your fabrics together with right sides touching.  Then, sew a straight seam around three of the four sides, and leave open the fourth side.  If you are using directional fabric, the open part should be the side of your fabric direction (as opposed to the top or bottom).  Use the open side and turn the pieces right-side-out.


Now that you have it turned right-side-out, you will line up the raw edges that are not sew, and sew them.  I used an overcast stitch so that the frays don’t get out of control.


Next you will fold over the top to create a hem.  This determines the inside and outside.  It’s up to you how you want it to look!  (The pouch in the middle of my top picture was done so that the fold was visible.)  Anyway, After you fold the hem in, you will sew it down.  Then, create your pouch by folding your piece in half (shown in third picture above).  Pin.  Sew (leaving top open)!


To insert the ribbon drawstring, I simply cut a tiny slit in the side of the hem at top.  I only cut the first layer of fabric (there are 4 total).  I inserted the ribbon using a safety pin, and fed it through the top.  Once the ribbon was in and out, I cut the ribbon on a slant at both ends and used a lighter to burn them slightly so that they wouldn’t fray.


Now, all you have to do is tie a bow to cinch up your new little treasure!  These make great gifts, too!

I would love to see your variations, so start sewing!

The “Simpleness is Bliss” Sleep-Mask

The “Simpleness is Bliss” Sleep-Mask

These little beauties are so simple, it’s ridiculous.  I have again set the steps out so that you, too, can make these adorable sleeping trinkets! To begin, you’ll need:

That’s it! Now let’s begin:



Take both of your strips for the ties, and iron them in this way.  fold them in half long ways and press.  Then fold both edges in to meet in the middle.  Fold over a final time in the center fold you created first.  The pictures above demonstrate these steps.



After you have these folded, you will want to run a stitch up the open side of the fold.  Next, as shown in the second pic, you should do a zig-zag or a surge stitch along the short open edge.  This will seal it off.  You only need to do this on one end of each of the strips.  Now you can set these aside momentarily.



The polka-dot piece shown here with the batting was used as my back side (or the side your eyes touch).  Stack the batting under the back piece, with the pattern of the fabric facing you!



Pin on the ties like so, using the mark I indicated on the pattern piece.



Now, you will lay the front piece of fabric on top of these, guiding the ties to come out at the top of the mask.  The right sides of fabric should be facing each other, as seen in picture 1.  Picture 3 shows the pins to mark where I will NOT sew.  In between these two pins, I will not sew, because I will need to turn the mask right side out after I’m done.  This is also where the ties come out of, so they don’t get stuck in a place you don’t want them.  After you have this all figured out, you can continue to pin all the way around the mask.



I sewed a 3/8″ seam allowance around, except for the little hole we will use to turn this right-side out.  I provided a view from both sides here, just in case you were concerned about the batting being exposed.  It’s ok!  We are about to fix that!  So… take your pins out!



Use your ties to finagle the mask right-side out.  Then, once you have it looking smooth, iron it down so that your hole seams are tucked under.




Sew a scant seam around the edge of the mask to close in the hole and give it a more finished look.  Once you have done this, you are done, and can sleep beautifully! There are, as you may have noticed, some alternative ways to fasten this to your face, such as elastic and ribbon ties.  Although the home-made fabric ties are my favorite, I will include the variations here, in case you have short-order family members like I do, who ask for these things… ELASTIC:Instead of the two strips 2″x21″, you will need:

  • 3/8″ wide elastic 14 1/2″ long
  • a strip of fabric 29 1/2″ x 2 1/2″



Sew the strip of fabric inside out, and then poke a stick though it to turn it right-side-out.



Pin one side of the elastic so that it’s easier to fish it through the strip of fabric.  Run it through the tube.



Now pin the other side to the fabric to it doesn’t slide through.  Once the elastic is all the way through the fabric tube, you can pin both sides, so you have a tube gathered with elastic.  Pin both edges so it won’t slide through.



Now, pin it in the same place as the marking on the pattern, leaving any extra slack to come through the turn-around hole.  Follow above instructions from here. RIBBON TIES:Instead of the two strips 2″x21″, you will need:

  • 2 ribbon strips, 21″ long

Assemble the eye mask as set in instructions above.

Please leave your comments below!  I would love to see variations of this simple project!  Maybe adding lace or silk!  Keep me posted!

The “You’d Never Know” Backpack

The “You’d Never Know” Backpack

I am titling this the “You’d Never Know” Backpack because there were so many mountains to climb just to see this bag in all it’s glory.  I made many mistakes ehhem… learning curves while creating this, I just hope and pray that SOMEONE finds this tutorial useful for something!

Here’s what I used:

Main Fabric-

  • (2)  17″x18″                 main pieces
  • (1)  9″x10″                    flap closure
  • (2)  6 1/2″x21″           strap pieces (looking back, I wish I would have made these longer)
  • (1)  6 1/2″x13″            handle piece

Contrast Fabric-

  • (2)  17″x18″                 main pieces
  • (1)  9″x10″                    flap closure
  • (2)  5″x21″                   strap pieces (looking back, I wish I would have made these longer)
  • (1)  5″x13″                    handle piece
  • about 10 feet of 3″ wide homemade bias binding 

Other Materials-

  • I used fusible batting in between the main section of the backpack and the flap
  • (8) 3/8″ grommets   for the drawstring to loop through (you will need a special tool to fasten these to the bag)
  • 4 foot long drawstring
  • (1) drawstring cinch
  • (1) magnetic snap fastener
  • I also had to add the little flower on to cover up the mistake of adding the magnetic snap on too late!
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