Saturday, 17 December 2016

Criss-cross Weave Bag

When the black and white stripes meet the criss-cross weave, a wonderful creation begins, which together with the solid black, bring out a beautiful integration and impression. Do you like the criss-cross weave pattern? Do you like a bag with a big bow?  If you do, just go through the steps below. I hope this will give your project more "Oomph"!!

How to Make a Criss-cross Weave Bag Step by Step

First of all, make some fabric straps of different colors. I made 16 pieces of striped straps and 2 pieces of black straps the same width for this project. Anyway, you can use your desired number, size and color of straps. A different number, size and color of straps will form a different pattern. You must be sure the length of the straps are long enough for the vertical and horizontal weaving according to your desired size of bag.

Weave a cross pattern using the straps as shown in the photo. Making sure the weaved piece is big enough to make your desired bag. If you think that it is not your desired size, just add or deduct a few straps. Don't worry about the uneven edges, you can trim the edges later.

Sew the cross-weave pattern in place by making a few cross-stitches at every intersecting point at the back of the layer.

Now, cut out a piece of  interfacing according to your desired bag size, then iron the interfacing piece onto the wrong side of the back piece. Please remember to add the seam allowance for the back piece before you cut the piece out. My desired bag size is about 11" x 13" so I cut out a piece of 12" x 14" back fabric. Then, place the cross-weave piece with the back piece right sides together, sew the both long sides and the bottom with a 1/2" seam. When you have finished sewing, turn the outer bag right side out.

Trim the top edge so it looks straight and neat. Then, set it aside and continue to the next step.

You can now make an inner bag as shown in the photo above. The size of the inner bag should be the same as the outer bag. I sew a pocket on the right side of the fabric before I make the inner bag. Then sew the inner bag as you sewed the outer bag but you have to leave an opening for turning.

Insert the outer bag into the inner bag with the right sides together. Align the top edges properly and pin the edges together.

Sew around the top edge with a larger seam. I make it slightly larger than the width of the straps so the cross strap can be sewn in place and the top hem will have a neat look when you turn the bag right side out.

Make two straps for handles. Pin and sew them at the appropriate positions as shown in the photo. You can top-stitch an "X-box" at each end of the strap if you want.

Lastly, sew a big black bow on the bag. Done.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Finishing off Cord Ends of a Drawstring Bag

How do you finish the cord ends of your drawstring bag? Just tie a knot or put a cord-stop on them? Here is a simple method that I had tried out for my stripped drawstring bag. I made a fabric flower bud for each knotted end of the cord.

1. Your ready-made drawstring bag with knotted cord ends
2. Two pieces of  8cm x 8cm fabric (different colors)

How to Finish the Ends of the Cord of a Drawstring Bag

Step 1 : Place the two squares right side together and sew around the square completely with a 0.7cm seam allowance. Then, cut a slit or a small hole at the center of the back layer as shown in the picture.

Step 2 : Turn the shape right side out through the hole. You can use point turner to get your corners sharp if you want. Anyway, I didn't use the tool because sharp corners are not very important for this finishing work.

Step 3 : Place the knotted end at the center of the front layer of the square and wrap the knot completely so a "ball"  is created.

Step 4 : Hold the lower part of the ball. Insert the threaded needle through the "ball" and wrap the thread around the lower part of the ball for a few times. Insert the needle through the "ball" again and secure the stitch.

Step 5 : Don't cut the thread, bring the thread through one of the corners and sew together with the opposite corner as shown in the picture.

Step 6 : Repeat step 5 to sew the other two corners together. A small flower has been done!!


Friday, 7 October 2016

Cartoon Frame Purse

Today, I am sharing with you one more frame purse project. I am not going to show you how to create these cartoon frame purses in this post since I have shown you the method to create a basic frame purse on my last post. If you are interested in it, please read the post entitled "Frame Purse".

 Some basic applique and embroidery skills are necessary to create a little purse like these. I like to blend applique and embroidery together. This is a very miraculous combination that let me not be weary of stitching. The finished result of this small project is not perfect. I could not sew a perfect satin stitch! It seems that I am lagging behind in this kind of needlework! When I was facing the stitching problem, a question surged through my mind - I make these purses out of some T-shirt fabrics, does the type of the fabric affect my skills? Hmm... Was I fobbing myself off with an excuse? I think we don't have to worry too much about the work. Sometimes, a little imperfection may brings out the beauty of human touch. Do you agree with me?

Anyway, my beloved princesses love these purses so much. When they received their favorite cartoon purse their faces broke into wide grins. I am so happy!! Their smiles are another type of hearty cheer for me.

Monday, 25 July 2016

How to Make a Frame Purse

The metal frame purse always has an antique feel to it, especially an antique rose print purse with bronze metal frame. What do you say to make a contemporary floral purse with an antique frame on top of it? To me, I like it so much. I think you will like it too. In this project, I use a 5cm arch metal frame with ball clasp and key ring for the top opening. The purse finishes at approximately 5.5cm across the body, 3.5cm across the bottom, 7cm tall and 3cm deep. Now, let me show you the way I create this mini frame purse step by step.

1. One piece of outer fabric
2. One piece of lining fabric
3. Batting / felt
4. 5cm metal frame
5. Matching embroidery thread & sewing thread

** I use felt for batting in this project.

Step 1: Purse frames come in difference shapes and sizes, so you will have to draft your own purse template according to your frame. Firstly, place your frame on a piece of paper and draw closely around the the outside of it, stopping when you reach the hinges.  Be sure to mark the hinge points, it is important for you to design your pattern afterwords.

Once you have finished drafting the arch, take away the frame and draw a horizontal line from hinge to hinge (point a-b). Then, find the center of your horizontal line and draw a vertical line at the center from the top curve to a desired height. The height of the vertical line is determined by the height of the purse and the width of the base. For example, my desired height for this purse is 7cm and the width at the base is 3cm, so, I have to draw a 8.5cm vertical line.

Formula :  The height of the vertical line = The height of the purse + (1/2 X the width of the purse)
                                                               = 7 + (1/2 x 3)
                                                               = 7 + 1.5
                                                               = 8.5

After that, design your own pattern with the basic drafting. To create a puffy purse, you have to create a larger arch. To do so, you can extend the side of the arch at your desired angle. In this project, point c is my desired point where I start to draw a line out and point d is my new hinge point. Please note that the length of c-b and c-d must be equal. You can now draw the second vertical line down from the new hinge point to the desired height and draw a horizontal line to connect the vertical lines. You only need to complete one side of the drafting, then fold and cut both out together to make them symmetrical.

Step 2: Fold the paper along the vertical line and cut out the pattern. You will get exactly parts facing each other when you open up the piece. This is half of the pattern piece, you will have to cut fabric on a fold.

Step 3: Now, fold the outer fabric just wide enough to accommodate the paper pattern with the right sides together. Place the paper pattern on the fabric and line up the bottom edge along the folded edge of the fabric as shown in the photo. Pin the paper pattern in place. Trace along the paper pattern (this step is optional for your outer fabric but it is necessary for the lining fabric as well as the batting). Leave a  0.7cm seam allowance for the other three sides and cut the fabric piece out (don't cut the folded edge) . Do the same for the lining fabric and the batting. Then, transfer the seam line to the back of the fabric using the tracing paper and tracing wheel so you will have the full size piece with a complete seam line when you open up the piece.

Step 4: After you have cut out the outer piece, lining piece and the batting, pick the outer fabric and the batting. Place the batting on the wrong side of the outer fabric, align the edges properly and baste along the edge.

Step 5: Then, fold the layers in half with wrong sides facing out. Sew down the two sides as shown in the photo.

Step 6: Now, it is time to create a box bottom for the purse. Open the bottom and squish the purse corner so the side seam lie directly over the bottom crease. This will flatten out the corner into a triangle. After that, draw a 3cm straight line across the corner. Do the same for the other corner. The bottom of the bag takes shape as two corners are boxed. Repeat step 5 & 6 for the lining piece.

Step 7: After making the box bottom for the outer and lining purse you will have to join the pieces together . Insert the outer piece (right side facing out) inside the lining piece (right side facing in). Line up the seams properly and pin in place. Sew around the top edge leaving a 3-4cm opening for turning purse. Before you start turning, make a few small notches on the curve edge to reduce bulk so the curve will look smooth after turning.

Step 8: After you have finished joining the pieces and turn right side out, insert the lining purse into the outer purse and close the opening either with blind stitch or whipped stitch.

Step 9: You can now get ready to sew the purse into the frame. First of all, temporarily tie the hinges on both sides of the purse and roughly insert the top edge into the frame to keep everything in place. An alternative way to keep the frame in place is using clips or roughly sewing the purse into the frame (just roughly sew throng the purse body and over the frame top along the frame). All the temporary stitches will be removed once you have finished the purse.

Step 10: Thread your needle with the matching embroidery thread. Start sewing from the middle of the frame (this is optional, you can start sewing at one side of the frame, anyway the method of sewing purse into the frame are the same). Insert your needle from the inside and sew up through one hole and down through the next and so on. Since there isn't a hole on the back of the frame, so angle your needle about 45 degree as you sew. This will make a stitch on the very edge of the frame. Once you have sewn all the way across, sew all the way back again using alternate holes so the gaps between the holes will be fully filled. If you start sewing from the middle of the frame, you will need to repeat the same step for the other half and finish sewing at the middle of the frame. Knot at the back and hide the knot inside the frame.Repeat for the opposite frame piece.

Hooray, a cute mini frame purse is done!!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Mini Felt Pouch with Rabbit Design

I was in a pouch-making mode, so I made this mini felt pouch for my little girl. This mini pouch features a divider inside the pocket so she can range her trinkets,cards or notes according to her favorites. Apart from that, the pouch is relieved by the rabbit design.

mini pouch template
**Click the image to download the mini pouch template.**

Making Mini Felt Pouch Step by Step

1. a piece of felt cloth
2. hook and loop strip
3. one button
4. embroidery threads
5. sewing thread
6. pins/clips

1. First of all, print out the template and cut out the paper pattern. After that, place the felt cloth in two layers and put the paper pattern on the layers. Then, cut around the paper pattern. Now, you should have two similar felt pattern pieces. Pick up one of the felt pattern pieces and snip the short straight end off about 1cm from the short straight edge.

2. Put the shortened piece on top of the other piece and align the top edges properly. Using the paper pattern as a guide, fold down the curved top (cover) to crease a horizontal line so a rectangle is noticeable. Then fold the rectangle in half width-wise to crease another horizontal line. Now the felt is divided into three parts.

3. Cut the hook and loop strip into small pieces about 2cm x 2cm. Pick up the shortened felt piece and sew the pliable loop strip onto the cover (curved) part in the middle with 1cm space at the top. Then, pick up the other felt piece and sew the hook strip onto the bottom part in the middle with 1.5cm space at the end.

** note : The hook and loop strip must be sewn in the right points so the two sides can be pressed together for a quick closure.

4. Now, come to the embroidery step. Before I start the embroidery work, I transferred the rabbit design onto a piece of tissue paper.

5. After you have transferred the design onto the tissue paper, lay out the longer felt piece with the stiff hook strip facing up. Pin/clip the tissue paper with the rabbit design onto the middle part of the felt piece as per the template shown. Embroider your stitches through both layers of felt and tissue. I used back stitch and satin stitch for the entire design except the eyes and whiskers.

6. Remove the pins/clips and gently tear away the tissue paper. Then, cut out the word “Happy!” from the paper pattern. Use them as a guide to make the felt word. Anyway, this step is optional, you can simply make your own felt alphabets or word without the paper pattern. Then, place the word in the opposite position and below the second crease line as shown in the photo. The inverted word and the second crease line are about 0.5cm apart. After putting the word properly, sew or glue it on.

8. Line up the two pieces of felt with the hook and loop strips facing out respectively. Try to align the curved edges properly. Then, turn the layers so the shorter piece facing up.

9. Fold the two layers of rectangles together towards the first crease or you can just follow the second crease that you made in the previous step. Clip the edges with binder clips so the fold would be stayed in place.

10. Sew the edges of the pouch with blanket stitch and sew a button on the curved cover. Done.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Felt Rolled Flowers

A felt rolled flower can be made by using an unfolded felt strip, folded felt strip or felt spiral. You can create different patterns for your felt strips and roll them up to form different types of flowers. I made a few rolled flowers yesterday. In order to give the flowers an eye-catching look, I added green leaves on them. Adding leaves to the flowers is not a must, but surely it is a plus. When you reach the final touches, you will fall in love with these brilliant colored, exotic flowers.

  There are four templates shown in the pdf file below. The first and the second pattern are used to make big petals and small petals flower respectively, while the spiral pattern can be used as a guide to make two types of flowers, you can cut out a plain spiral or a scalloped spiral with the same pattern. The last one is a leaf pattern, the size is purposely designed for bigger flowers which made with the spirals.

The step by step instructions below will show you how to make different types of rolled flowers by using different methods. You can use the templates above or draw your own designs freehand to make your own felt strips.

A. Unfolded Strip

I use the first template to show you how to make a rolled flower with an unfolded felt strip.

1. Cut out the felt strip by using the first template as a guide or freehand it.

2. Rolling up the strip start from the straight end.

3. Continue rolling until you get to the end of the strip.

4. Now, secure the base of the flower with a needle and thread. Insert your needle at the point where you finished rolling your strip and push the needle through all the layers of felt. Then, make the second stitch which is perpendicular to the first stitch. Tie a knot and cut thread.

5. Slightly peel back the layers (petals) and fluff the flower.

6. Cut out two small pieces of green leaves and sew or glue them on the base of your flower. Done!!

You can now try to make the next flower in the same way by using the second template as a guide. The outcome is shown in photo no.2.

B. Folded Strip

A felt folded strip can be used to make either a loopy or fringed flower. The longer the strip the bigger the flower, whereas the wider the strip the looser the style of the flower will be. Anyway, the size of the flower will not only affected by the length and width of the the strip but also the way how you make the slits/cuts on the edge of the strip.

Follow the instruction below to make a loopy flower.

1. Fold over a piece of felt lengthwise. I used a 20cm x 5cm felt piece for this flower.
Then, cut the felt strip on the folded edge in even intervals about 3/4 way down. The cuts that I made for this flower were at intervals about 0.5cm.

2. Start rolling up the strip at one end. Continue rolling until the felt strip is used up.

3.  Use the threaded needle to secure the base of the flower.

4. You have your beautiful loopy flower now!!
Let's try to make a fringed flower with the felt folded strip. Use the same method as you did for the loopy flower, the only difference is that you will cut your felt strip on the non-folded edge. The cuts that I made for this flower were at intervals about 0.1cm. Photo no.2 shown is a finished flower.

B. Felt Spiral

1. Cut out a piece of felt spiral of scallop design with the spiral template in above.

2. Trim the inside edge of the felt scalloped spiral into a smooth edge so you can roll it up easily and get a neat and flat base.

3. Start rolling up the scalloped spiral at the outside edge.

4. When you get to the end of the spiral, you will find that you have a small "flap" of felt. This will be the cover for the base of your flower.

5. Fold down the flap. Sew a few stitches through all the layers to secure the flap in place and stop the base from unraveling.

6. Cut out two pieces of felt leaves by using the leaf template as a guide and sew or glue them on the base of the flower. Done!!
You can now try to make another kind of flower with the plain spiral template. Use the same method as you did for the scalloped spiral except step2. Since the plain spiral owns a smooth edge so you don't need to trim the inside edge . The outcome is shown in photo no.2.

You can enjoy all your beautiful flowers now!!

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