Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Simple Drawstring Beach Bag

A very basic drawstring beach bag.

A towel is sewn into the bottom hem of the lining of the beach bag.

When beach time is over, fold the long ends of the towel to the center.

Roll and then tuck the towel into the bag, inverting the bag so that the towel and the pocket is now on the inside. The large interior zippered pocket is the same size as the length and width of the bag and is meant to hold suntan lotion and valuables. This is especially helpful if one should fall asleep while sunbathing. If someone tries to take your bag, they will have to take you along with it! When you get home from the beach, toss the bag/towel combo into the wash. Couldn't be easier!

Have a fabulous day!


Monday, July 20, 2009

'Sweet Summertime' Drink Coaster

I am sure that we have all received promotional CD's in the mail from companies trying to entice us into subscribing to some fabulous program or to a great internet service. It has always felt so wasteful to me to just toss them into the trash.

This sweet summertime coaster has a CD center and 2 rounds of flannel to absorb excess moisture.

This would also make a wonderful candle mat or a doily to sit beneath a pretty flower arrangement.

I prefer to use it as a coaster while having my morning cup of tea.

A couple of days ago I received a wonderful surprise in the mail from Sandra. She sent me the sweetest embroidered and scented sachets along with some chocolate. She lives in Portugal and both items come from her homeland. The chocolate was especially divine. My son came to me twice to tell me how delicious it was. Sandra, thank you again for your kindness.

Have a wonderful day.


Monday, July 13, 2009

'Blossoms at Sunset' Reversible Pincushion

**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

To create this reversible pincushion, you will need 3 coordinating pieces of fabric cut to the following sizes:

*Two 6" x 6" pieces of fabric which will be used for the body of the pincushion, one for the top and the other piece for the bottom.

*One 21" x 2" piece for the decorative band

You will also need the following embellishments:

*21" piece of medium rick rack

*2 buttons

*8 to 12" of embroidery floss

For the decorative band:
With right side facing up, place rick rack onto the 21" edge of the decorative band, slightly less than 1/2" from raw edge as indicated by the ruler. Pin in place.

**Please note that if your rick rack should be larger or smaller, you will need to adjust this measurement so that the rick rack will be centered on the decorative band after sewing.

Machine stitch rick rack into place.

Pin right sides together along the 21" edge. Sew together using a 1/4" seam.

Trim the seam to 1/8" and turn it right side out. Iron flat. Cut the decorative band into 4 equal pieces.

Place one of the 6" x 6" pieces onto a flat surface, right side facing up. Mark the center at the outside edge with a pin. Repeat on all sides.

Pin the 4 pieces of decorative band to the 6" square, each one meeting at the center mark.

With sewing machine, baste the ends of the decorative band 1/8" in from the raw edge. Trim the ends of the decorative band to meet the raw edges of the 6" x 6" piece.

This is a close-up of the basting. This will hold the small pieces in place and keep them from shifting.

Place both 6" pieces right sides together.

Pin in place and sew a 1/4" seam along all 4 sides, leaving a 1-1/4" opening for turning. Clip corners and turn right side out.

Add the pincushion stuffing of your choice. Sew the opening closed using a ladder stitch. Tuft the center using embroidery thread, and add decorative buttons to both sides of the pincushion.

Now for the reversible part of this pincushion...Put your fingers through the decorative bands and pull it to the opposite side. This will give a fresh new look to your pincushion.

There you have it. Two pincushions in one!



Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Good Distraction

I realize that my postings have been few and far between, but with Vegas knocking at my door, I needed to start doing more trip planning and a little less creating. A quick jaunt to Vegas will be a good distraction and one that thankfully doesn't require enormous amounts of preparation.

I've come up with what I hope to be several entertaining shows. So far, we have tickets to Ka at the MGM Grand, Penn & Teller at the Rio, and Carrot Top at the Luxor. I've seen Carrot Top before and his show is pretty edgy and funny and something that I know my son will especially enjoy. I have a couple more shows in mind, but I think we're going to wait until we get there to purchase the tickets. There's always Tickets4Tonight for cheap, last minute show tickets. I'm just afraid that after three shows, we'll have had enough and opt to do something else instead. I'm also looking forward to having dinner at Hugo's Cellar at the Four Queens in Downtown. I've been there before and the atmosphere is just lovely and very old school Vegas. Can't wait!

If you have any suggestions for fun things to see or do in Vegas (other than the standard touristy stuff), I would love to know.

Take care, everyone!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Tutorial--Drawstring Shoe Bag

**This tutorial is intended for personal use only.**

I sized this drawstring shoe bag to fit up to a women's size 8 dress shoe. My size varies from a size 6 to 7, depending on the make. My shoes fit nicely inside with ample room to spare.

These are the measurements that I used. You will need 4 pieces of fabric, each measuring 11" x 14" for the outside of the bag and the lining, 2 pieces of fabric, each measuring 20" x 2" for the casing, 2 pieces of rattail cord, each measuring 32", 2 pony beads which are optional, and the embellishment of your choice.
For larger or smaller shoe sizes, measure your shoes and increase or decrease the measurements accordingly.

We will begin with the casing. Bring the short ends together on the first strip, right sides facing each other, and pin in place. Repeat this for the second strip.

Sew casing together using a 1/4" seam.

Press the seam open.

Turn the casing right side out. With the seam in the center, press both ends flat.

Fold casing in half lengthwise, raw edges together, press, and set aside.

Take this opportunity to embellish the outside panel of the bag. You can do both sides or just one as I have done.

For the outside panels: Place both pieces onto a flat surface, right sides facing up. Center each casing strip at the top of each panel on the 11" side, raw edges together. Machine baste in place, 1/8" from the top.

For the lining, mark a 3" opening 1/4" from raw edge at the bottom of the bag (the 11" side). This will be a reminder for you to leave it open for turning.

Pin both outside panels together, right sides facing each other.
Pin both lining panels together, right sides facing each other.

Sew around 3 sides of both the outside and lining panels using a 1/4" seam, keeping the top open. Remember to leave the 3" space open in the bottom of the lining.

Clip the bottom corners on both the lining and the outside piece.

Turn the lining right side out. Place the lining into the outside piece. The right sides of both pieces should be facing each other.

Pin both pieces together.

Sew completely around using a 1/4" seam.

Trim seam to reduce bulk. Turn bag right side out.

Pin and sew the opening in the lining closed. Tuck the lining into the bag and press the seam line and casing.

For the drawstring: Run the first piece of rattail cord through the casing from left to right. Bring the cord back to the left through the other casing on the opposite side.

Add a bead if you'd like, tie off with a knot.

Repeat the above, this time, starting from the right side.

To close bag, tug on both sides of the drawstring at once. Your shoe bag is now ready for travel.

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone! Happy 4th!