Friday, May 27, 2011

Simple and Quick Bag Tutorial (Reversible too!)

This bag truly is super easy and fast to put together.  It's a great last minute gift idea.  The concept of the bag is nothing mind blowing, but this tutorial is more about efficiency.  I've highlighted ways to make this bag making process even more efficient.  
Beginners:  this is a PERFECT project for you - all nice, easy straight lines.
Intermediate and advanced:  Whip this up in no time or add embellishments like contrasting fabric, ruffles, embroidery, etc.

Let's go!

  • Approximately 1/2 yard each of two different fabrics
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter, mat, ruler (these are not necessary, but encouraged to save time!)
  • Thread and pins

Step One:  Cut
(I save time by cutting the fabrics all at once.  Then you know they are the same size too!)
Fold your two fabrics and place one on top of the other.  Using the fold, cut a 13" wide by 15" high rectangle.  IMPORTANT:  If your fabric has direction (like birds, for example), then you can't use the fold or else the back side of the fabric will be upside down (like dead birds, for example!).  Don't ask me how I know this.  Just don't!  So in that case, you would cut one rectangle 13" wide by 15.5 " high NOT on the fold!
Next, with the fabric still piled on top of each other, cut a long strip 2" wide by 21" long (don't cut on the fold).  You should have FOUR long strips (two in one fabric, two in the other).

Step Two:  Sew
I sew everything I can at once, then iron everything at once, etc. That way you aren't up-down-up-down-iron turned off-where's my water?-that toy doesn't belong there-what was I doing?-Oh yeah, sewing...
So, take one of the folded fabric rectangles and sew down the two long sides with about a 1/4" seam.  Take the other folded fabric rectangle and do the same. 
IMPORTANT:  If you have directional fabric, make sure you flip the rectangle, so that both sides are going up.  No dead birds!
Then take long handle strips and mix them so that you are sewing two different fabrics right sides together.  Sew up one long edge, pivot, sew across one short edge, pivot, and sew down the other long edge.  Repeat for other handle.  Turn inside out.  Use one of these inside outer tools. (Mine has seen better days!)
Best. Invention. Ever. (Besides the dishwasher and the epidural.  And the Magic Eraser.  But that's a post for another day!)

Step Three:  Iron
Take all pieces with you to the iron.  Iron down the straps so they are nice and flat.
You don't have to worry too much about getting the ends perfect.  They will be hidden.
Fold 1/2 inch of the top of the two bag pieces to the wrong side.  Press with iron.

Step Four:  Sew
Almost done!
Sit back down at the sewing machine.  You are going to topstitch the handles.  You are going to sew four long rows of stitches - close to each long edge and two rows evenly spaced down the middle.  I don't start and stop my sewing.  I just sew all four lines by pivoting when I get to the end of the strap.  The ends will be tucked inside, so it doesn't matter what they look like.  Repeat for second handle.

Pick which fabric you want to be the main outside fabric - the one you want showing most of the time.  Keep that one right side out.  Turn the other fabric inside out. You will be sewing these wrong sides together.  Put the inside fabric inside, match side seams, and pin together at the top. 
Tip:  Make sure the top fits exactly together.  If one piece is bigger, you will get wrinkles and overlaps when you sew it together.  Now is the time to fix it.  If one piece is bigger, unpin and sew another side seam to make it smaller. 
Figure out where you want your straps to go. I usually put mine around 2 inches from each seam. Tuck the ends of  the straps between the two layers of fabric you just pinned together.  Pin the straps in place.  Make sure they aren't twisted.   

For a different look, you could sew the straps with the contrasting fabric OUT! 
Sew around the whole top of the bag about 1/4" from the edge. 

Tip:  Take a look at the inside.  Make sure you caught the contrasting fabric in all the seams.  If you didn't, sew another seam and pretend it was intentional topstitching.

You are finished!!

Flower embellishment tutorial to come separately!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Giveaway Winners!

First, thank you to all the people who entered the contest.  I enjoyed reading all of your comments!

Now, on to the winners!

Jeanelle said:  I would like to win both mostly because they are both really lovely and fun! I don't tend to buy a color so much as I tend towards polka dots. It's a problem that my 9 year old recently asked me about. Mommy....why do you like polka dots so much? To which I replied...because they are HAPPY!

Congratulations Jeanelle!
Huesei said:  Hi I am following your blog.Thanks for the generous giveaway!
Lovely... I hope I am the lucky one. I loves the both, but if i win the bag also will be happy :D

I will be contacting both today!  Thanks for playing!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Need something to make you smile?

Amelia has liked to dance from the beginning.  She hears music and she starts to boogie!  My mom caught this video of her the other day and it always makes me smile.  I know she's my kid and all, but I think it might make you smile too!

Here is one from St. Patrick's Day that I made:

(she's very good with the clicks!)

Enjoy your day!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Giveaway Day!

  Welcome to Quaint and Quirky.  I might change it to, "A Quaint and Quirky" so it can be at the top of the list on giveaway days! ;)  Anyway...

I have TWO things to give away today.  First, this bag -

I call it a Bible Study bag or a Book Club bag.  It's the perfect size for a book, a notebook, a couple pens, and a bottle of water.  It's completely reversible and comes with a removable fabric flower with a pin back.  You can remove the flower and wear it as a brooch, on a belt, in your hair, etc.
Here's a closeup of the reverse side, as well as the fabric flower.
This week, I will post a tutorial for making the bag and the flower.  It's really a simple, simple bag to make and a great last minute gift!  

You might need to buy yourself some fabric to make this bag, so I'm also giving away
A $20 Sew Mama Sew Gift Certificate!!

Yes, that's right! $20 to pick out any fabric you'd like!!!

  • Leave ONE comment on the blog, telling me which giveaway you'd like to win - The bag, the gift certificate, or both. If you are feeling chatty, tell me what color fabric you tend to buy the most! :D
  • IMPORTANT:  Anyone can win the bag giveaway, but I'd love to have more followers, so only followers of my blog can win the gift certificate.   I will check when I pick the winner.
(To clarify, you still have to comment on the blog post in order to enter the contest.  If you aren't a follower already, just click follow and join the fun!)
  • Contest is open until Wednesday, May 25th and I will ship internationally.

Enjoy giveaway day!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Way Back Wednesday - Punky Brewster

I'm trying a new series which I call Way Back Wednesday.  I'm an 80s child, and a lot of pop culture goes along with being an 80s child.  I'm going to be spotlighting some different things I remember about my childhood - television, fashion, books, food, and more!

I'm starting off with a television show. Confession: I watched too much TV when I was younger.  I watch almost no TV now (we don't even have cable) because it wastes my time.  However, back when television shows were not trashy, I enjoyed some here and there and everywhere!

One of my favorites: 

PUNKY BREWSTER!  Oh, Punky, I loved your mismatched clothing and adorable golden retriever and superfun room!

Let's see what you remember!  Try to refrain from googling the answers!

1.  What was Punky's real first name?
2.  What was her dog's name?
3.  What was Henry's job at the beginning of the series?
4.  What was the name of the orphanage that was often in the series?
5.  What was Punky's mom's name?
6.  Why did she dress like a boy in one episode?
7.  What is the name of Henry's Restaurant?
8.  Who got married in the final episode?
9.  What did Punky want to be when she grew up?
10.  How did Cherie almost die?

Any other Punky Brewster fans out there??


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