I needed to find a cute little pink something for the 5th birthday of my friends wonderful little girl. I know that she likes purses and bags (who doesn’t??) so I decided to make her a monogram kid messenger bag. I had used this great kid sized messenger bag tutorial from Merriment Design to make my son a library bag. He was older and taller so I adjusted the measurements for him, but used the same basic design and instructions.
For my friends daughter, who is much smaller I kept the same measurements as the tutorial and instead adding something inside the flap I decided to applique her initial on the front of the bag using some Heat n Bond. I raided my stash of fabric from the thrift store and found a great flower and glitter fabric. I think she will love it!
I decided to use the Merriment Design tutorial because I had used this tutorial before, but I also found these other free tutorials online that I hope to try in the future. So many tutorials, so little time :-).
CrazyLittleProjects – Personalized Kid Messenger Bag
CraftBuds – Kids Small Messenger Bag
Zaaberry – Kids Messenger Bag Tutorial
I eat a banana almost every day. My husband is allergic and my son claims he doesn’t care for the taste, but during the week if I do not have my banana I feel like some do when they miss their cup of coffee. I started my sewing journey to try to get out of the kitchen and away from the baked goods. However, there were 3 very ripe bananas just calling to me “we want to be banana muffins, we want to be banana muffins.” What is woman to do but put down the sewing needle and make some muffins!
I have tried many different recipes for banana muffins, but this time I wanted to swap out refined sugar and use honey so I created this one myself. I also added chocolate because everything is better with chocolate. I think you can add nuts as well. I hope you like it. They turned out great and even my son ended up eating two muffins ;). You can make this with soy milk if milk isn’t your thing.
Banana Muffins Recipe
1 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour (I used this brand!)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium ripe bananas
1/3 cup whole milk (or soy milk)
2/3 cup honey
1/4 to 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (or chips)
- Combine flour, baking soda and salt into a small bowl and set aside
- In a large bowl mash bananas and mix in honey.
- Mix in egg and milk until well combined
- Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and mix well.
- Gently add in chocolate chunks.
- Line 12 muffin tins with liners or a greased and floured muffin tins.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 mins or until toothpick in center comes out clean.
I love lavender. The fragrance, color and feel of the dried leaves between my fingers; the polar opposite to sweaty stinky gym shoes. This is where the inspiration for this lavender tutorial began. I work close to a wonderful little trail and frequently walk on my lunch break. I began to notice the walking shoes I keep under my desk were not as odor free as I would have liked (happens to everyone, right???). I ordered this 1 pound bag of lavender and came up with these cute little lavender sachets to put into my shoes to keep them fresh smelling. They are quick and easy and can be made with or without an embroidery design. This is my first tutorial – so please feel free to email me if you have any questions on the instructions.
1/4 yard of linen (or enough to cut two – four inch squares)
Embroidery Tools (thread (any color), hoop, needle)
Dried Lavender (approx 1/2 cup)
Embroidery Feet Template
1/4 inch Steam-A-Seam 2 Lite Double Stick Fusible Tape
> Using transfer paper, transfer feet pattern to fabric. Ensure you have enough space between feet to cut two 4 inch squares
> Embroider using the back stitch.
> Press fabric.
For a great tutorial on embroidery stitches click here or for a tutorial on how to use transfer paper go here.
> Cut a 4 inch square around each foot. You can do this step before you embroider if you have a small enough hoop.
> Cut two 4- inch squares for the back of the fabric.
> Attach 1/4 inch Steam-A-Seam Lite double stick fusible web to the wrong side of the fabric on all four sides. Leave 1/8 of an inch of fabric on the edge. You will pink the edges later. I found mine at Amazon here.
> Iron slightly to adhere to fabric and peel off paper on 3 sides only. You need to leave one side on until you fill the lavender sachet.
> Place back fabric wrong side down and iron according to directions to seal the sides together.
Step 4: Fill sachet with lavender leaving a 1/2inch space at the top
> Take off remaining Steam-A-Seam tape and carefully iron final seam closed.
> Use your pinking shears to cut around all sides OR you can also embroider a blanket stitch around all 4 sides.
You can use your sewing machine to sew the lavender sachet sides. Sew around (right sides together) leaving 2-3 inches to turn and fill the sachet. Next, seal using the Steam-A-Seam or hand sew close.
Place your lavender sachet anywhere you need some freshness.
I picked up this wonderful book, “Bend-The-Rules Sewing” by Amy Karol. I was looking for some inspiration for my next free fabric project. The cute colorful little clutch with the great looking vintage button on the cover immediately caught my eye.
This book has some wonderful projects and I am looking forward to creating many more of Amy’s designs. Her blog, Angry Chicken, is also quite wonderful and has a little bit for everyone.
The clutch pattern includes a template for painting on the exterior fabric prior to sewing but I decided to skip this step. The fabric I wanted to use for the project already had a nice print on it and really I am just too impatient to wait for paint to dry. I also used a covered hair elastic instead of elastic cording because that is what I had on hand. They are a nice alternative to the elastic cording. However use the type without metal, like these I found on Amazon.
I often improvise when creating something from a pattern. I will adjust the measurements, add embellishments, or use different fabrics. Of course this has worked equally wonderfully and horribly. Thankfully this has resulted in more wonderful projects than horrible. For this project I stuck to the directions (except noted above) and I had great results. The pattern directions were extremely clear and only one page – yahoo!
I would recommend this book to anyone who is just starting out with sewing or someone who just wants to complete some fun quick projects with great tips to guide you. Stay tuned for my next Free Fabric Project.
Until next time…
One of the things I love to do while waiting for my bus and/or train is to look at what people are giving away for free on craigslist.org. I look, even when I am not in the market for anything. A few weeks ago I scored big! A home furnishing store was giving away fabric samples and all I had to do was go pick them up. This was a win-win: add to my stash with no guilt of spending unnecessary money.
The first project I created with this new lovely fabric was a laptop cover for my work laptop. My laptop is small – a Dell XPS 13 – so I did not have to use much of the fabric. First I picked out several small rectangle samples in a coordinating color scheme and went to town patching them together. Once I had a large rectangle I realized the bag would be a bit too small for the laptop, so I added a 1″ strip of fabric down each long side of the rectangle and use the same fabric to create the flap closure.
As usual, I sort of winged the whole project without really taking measurements until I needed to cut the lining and felt and fusible fleece I used to add extra cushion to protect the laptop. After I created the laptop cover I wanted to see what laptop sleeve or laptop cover tutorials were out there that I could have used.
- Here is great PDF tutorial I found on SewMamaSew. This laptop cover opens on the short side, which on further reflection might work better for me when I go to meetings.
I love to look at tutorials and patterns for great inspiration when creating something new and both of the blogs listed above have wonderful ideas. I am already making a list of all the creative things I can make with this new fabric!