Picnic Bag

I think this bag is going to be my favorite.  I love that you can open it almost flat to easily find your stuff.  I won’t be using it as a handbag because it might be too easy for small items to fall out, but it’s called a picnic bag, and it will be perfect for carrying snacks to the beach.  Since on occasion it will likely be holding a significant amount of weight, I will be doing something to reinforce the handles, and I may use another method to attach the handles on the next one I make.

You can find a pattern and instructions for the picnic bag, along with some other great tutorials, at sewtakeahike.

Fabric Basket


I found this fabric basket tutorial (courtesy of vlijtig) a couple of weeks ago and have been saving it for when I needed a simple but effective project. Tonight I carved out some time and completed one of these in less than an hour.  That time included doing some calculations to convert metric to inches, plus taking a phone call from my mother.  You can probably complete yours in about 30 minutes if you have all your materials ready to go ahead of time, and if you don’t forget to do things like attaching the interfacing before you sew up the lining.  Not that I ever do stuff like that (actually, yes, all the time). I’m blaming that on my heavily medicated condition at the moment, which is a result of refusing to seek medical attention when I knew I was too sick to get well on my own.

The tutorial measurements are metric, so I converted them to inches (sort of) before cutting my fabrics.  Since it’s hard to measure decimals on the typical U.S. ruler, I adjusted the measurements a little bit.  I cut my pieces as follows:

Fabric A: 8-3/4″ x 2-1/2″ (2 pieces)
Fabric B: 8-3/4″ x 7-7/8″
Fabric C: 8-3/4″ x 11-7/8″
Interfacing: 8-3/4″ x 11-7/8″

Instead of ribbon I made tabs out of fabric, finished to 1″ wide.

And here’s a photo of what I’m really using this basket for – to organize the pharmaceutical chaos on my desk.  You didn’t really think I have baskets of pretty thread sitting around on my sewing table, did you?

Mini Wristlet Zip Pouch

As much as I like a zip pouch, I quickly grow tired of the basic pouch with a zipper along the top edge. So I’ve been trying to mix it up a little bit, yet still keep it simple.  When I saw this tutorial over at Javajem Knits, I knew this would be my next zip pouch.  Jody’s tutorial is for a larger pouch than I needed, so I modified the size and cut my fabrics as follows:

Front portion above the zipper – 1-1/2″ x 5″ (1 each of outer fabric, lining, and interfacing)
Front portion below the zipper – 2-3/4″ x 5″ (1 each of outer fabric, lining, and interfacing)
Back – 4-1/4″ x 5″ (again, 1 each of outer fabric, lining, and interfacing)

The finished size of my pouch is approximately 3-3/4″ x 5″.  Credit cards fit into it nicely.

For my strap, I cut a 10-1/2″ x 2″ strip, and ran it through my 1″ tape maker to fold it before pressing into a 1/2″-wide strip and topstitching the edges. 

I made my first pouch slightly narrower, forgetting that the head of the zipper would take up a little space and make the opening smaller.  It’s a tight squeeze for a credit card, so I cut the pieces for my remaining pouches 5″ wide.  And somehow, I didn’t notice that I cut my strap too long, so it ended up way too long to stay easily on my wrist.  To shorten it, I simply tied a knot in the end, and I really like the way it looks.  The side tab on my test pouch didn’t help me much with opening and closing the zipper, so I left it off all the others.  But if I make this in a larger size, I’ll probably include the tab.

Go ahead and try a few of these!  They’re easy and require very little fabric, and make nice little purse organizers or a way to carry some cash and a credit card without hauling around a larger bag.

Miranda Day Bag from Lazy Girl Designs

Miranda Day Bag - Lazy Girl Designs

Image from Lazy Girl Designs – Miranda Day Bag

I’ve had my eye on this pattern ever since it became available, and I wasn’t really sure whether or not I wanted it.  But now that I’ve seen an actual sample of it at my local quilt shop, I love, love, love it! And as soon as I have some shopping money, I’ll be going back to buy it.   This is a sturdy bag in a nice size (12″ high x 10″ high x 6″ deep), with lots of interior pockets.  You can easily personalize this pattern by mixing up your fabrics a bit.  Go over to Lazy Girl Designs for “where to buy” information.  Or if you live in the Foley, Alabama area, you can pick it up at Lacy’s Quilt Studio on N. McKenzie Street (Hwy. 59).  You can get purse handles and some beautiful fabric there as well.

Tutorial: Super Easy Bag from Repurposed Clothing


Years ago I taught wearable art classes, and I’ve always had class samples hanging in my closet, most of them rarely worn.  I did wear this red quilted jacket a lot, and it was starting to show some wear, so I felt it was time to give it new life.  This little bag was the solution.  With this particular construction technique, you sew the lining and the outside of the bag all at the same time, so that they are permanently attached to each other along the side seams.  This way, your lining will rest more smoothly inside the bag, and you don’t have to worry about the lining not fitting quite right, as is often the case. [Read more...]