Month: December 2016

Little Can of Hate

This is my last holiday post guys. I’ve been on a roll of unselfish sewing! I am the most amazed by all this. A Hubby shirt, a clutch and now a makeup bag. I always make something for my bestie for the holiday. I originally was going to make her a clutch bag but the more I thought about it the more I realized that she wouldn’t use it. It’s just not her style at all. I had to brain storm and quickly. Again, I went to Pinterest and went through all the bags I had pinned. I found a box style makeup bag. I can work with that. I happened to pick up some Doctor Who fabric from the remnant bin at Jo-Ann’s. I’ve been scoring big time lately!

A lot of my non-pattern makes come with a lot of sketching. The pin I found had dimensions for quite a large box bag and I didn’t really understand how it was put together. I even made it out of paper and it still didn’t come together right. I spent way more time than I’d like to admit on trying to figure out the proper dimensions so if you want to make one I’ll save you some frustration, here’s a tutorial.

Finished Dimensions: 7 1/2″ x 3″ x 3″

All seam allowances are 1/2″

You’ll need:

  • 11 1/2″ x 13″ lining fabric
  • 11 1/2″ x 13″ outer fabric
  • 11 1/2″ x 13″ interfacing
  • zipper


First cut out all your pieces.


This is my lining. You’ll notice in other pics I made the outer piece two different fabrics. Pretty much, if you want to do that, you’ll cut the sides where they join a 1/2″ too wide. This way the fabrics will overlap 1/2″ so you can join them. Ta-da!

Putting the lining together is pretty quick. Iron your interfacing to the wrong side of your lining, like ya do. Then start sewing!


The outer short piece comes to the inner piece right sides together. Make sure to fold the edge of the short piece towards the interfacing side along the length before sewing. This will make a nice edge for the inside near the zip.


Do this for both short pieces.


This part is hard to photograph. Next push the seam you just made to the center of the neighboring hole. Line up the edges and stitch. Do this on both sides.


You’ll see that this makes a box on this finished side. Repeat on the other end. Your lining is complete.

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Completely did not take pictures of me sewing in the zip but trust me, you do not want me to teach you to sew in a zip. Mine are pretty questionable sometimes. Let’s move to the outer fabric. Start by pressing the long edges of the short pieces in 1/4″. Pin your zipper to the pressed edges. My zipper wasn’t long enough so if yours isn’t either, that’s okay. I added fabric the same width as the zipper to the end of the zip. (You can see it in the pic above) ┬áThe length of your zip or zip + extender should be 11 1/2″, which is the full length of the pressed edge.

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Stitch the zip into place. I did this one well. ­čÖé

Complete the outer piece just like the lining. ┬áMake sure to leave your zip partway open before completing all your sewing, otherwise you can’t turn it! If you want to add a pull tab, make sure to add it before stitching the first edges down. Mine was about 1″ long after I folded it in half. It should be place in between the right sides of the fabric towards the bag.

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At this point you should have two bags; inner and outer. To attach the lining to the outer bit, I hand stiched the two together at the zip.  I left the outer bag unturned and worked my lining over the outer. The interfacing should be against the wrong side of your outer fabric. I found it easier to sew this way. I did a blanket style stitch all around the zip. It was nice because I used the yellow squares or every other column, as my guide for each stitch. It made it so uniform all the way around.

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Once completed, I turned the whole bag around the right way. I pressed the box edges to make them nice and crisp. It gave it a less bloated look.

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You can see even with the shortie zipper, you can still get the bag open really wide.

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Just to really personalize the bag, I added her name in gold and a teeny tiny heart on the bottom.

What would I change? I would put a pull tab at each end and make the width on the short pieces a 1/4″ wider on the outer fabric. I think the fabric could stand to be a bit closer to the zip. I’m really happy with the bag. It turned out the size I hoped for and I really wanted to keep it so I know I did a good job. If it was just okay, there would be no reservations in letting it go.

If you don’t know why I called this post Little Can of Hate, please enjoy the comic below. (Sing to the tune of Soft Kitty)

Jamie’s Jammies

In the distant past, I mentioned that I was crocheting some lace edging for some pajamas. I had made a Colette Sorbetto sometime ago, even though I tried to be lazy and wear it as a shirt, which it honestly matches with nothing but itself so it was always meant to be jammies. I was going to make super wide legged comfy pants to go along with the shirt but changed my mind. I wanted shorts. I’m a bit indecisive sometimes and my projects kinda evolve.


I came across a pattern for┬áboudoir shorts a while ago. It’s a free pattern (yay free!). ┬áThe legs have a crossover split so it’s a really free pattern. Get it? Free money wise and free feeling thighs. Anyhoo, one of the pictures show a pom-pom edging so I figured why not lace? ┬áA thing you might not know about me, because it only randomly pops up here on the blog, is that I’m a crocheting machine. I crochet like a river runs. Knitting, not so much. When I thought of doing the lace I figured I could knock it out in a month. I don’t crochet a lot much anymore so it does make my hands sore and I’m not known to work on 1 thing at a time so this seemed feasible. I mentioned the idea in another post on September 2. I finished the lace in early December. Let’s just say my goal was not met and let’s not calculate how long it actually took me.┬á


I cut out the pattern for the shorts based on my measurements and then I would be able to calculate how much lace I needed.  The only parts I was able to sew together was the side seam and crotch. Other than that, I needed the lace to complete piecing it together.


Please excuse the black bra throughout the pics. After “trying on” what I had, it was quickly evident that these were very soggy diaper crotch sitters. I took 2″ off the top to bring them up to the proper height and another 1- 1 1/2″ off the side seams because the panel that crossed on the front didn’t sit on the front but instead was creeping ever so closely to my lady bits. Not exactly where you want flaps flying in the wind.


I crocheted my lace, which we all now know took me forever. I had Hubby save a week’s worth of used coffee grounds. It’s not a whole lot in the end because he’s the only one that drinks it and I didn’t want to waste fresh grounds. I boiled some water and threw the grounds wrapped in a coffee filter in the water. Once it looked like all the coffe had seeped out, I threw in the wet lace. ┬áI needed just a hint of color. White was too light but cream/natural thread was too dark.


With that done, I could now finish my shorts. I made pink cotton bias tape and finished the legs. I zigzagged the lace onto the shirt and shorts. I figured it would be the quickest and most secure stitch. I would have liked something decorative but all the little stitches would have jerked the fabric around too much and then the lace wouldn’t look clean around the edge.


I used 1/2″ elastic and left over bias tape to create my little waistband.


As if crocheted lace, a Sorbetto top and boudoir shorts wasn’t enough, I made an eye mask. I wasn’t going to but I had leftovers and I saw the cute holiday pressie that Self Assembly Required was making. Sometimes you can’t help yourself. The pattern is from Tilly and the Buttons. Guess what? This pattern is free too. ┬áThis post is made of three free patterns!


I’m feeling fancy and me and moose are ready for bed! This fabric was meant for jammies, Jamie’s jammies.

It’s a Bag Not a Pedal


Last year I made Boss a crocheted snow man. He was adorable but super last minute. I was so busy at work that the thought of a Xmas pressie for Boss just hadn’t crossed my mind. So this year I was planning ahead damn it! I wanted something easy to make but looked like it wasn’t. Isn’t that what we strive for? Anyways, I decided I would make a fold over clutch bag for her. Every once in a while she ditches her little ones and has date night with her hubby. Perfect gift I think.

I scoured Pinterest (because that’s what you do when you craft-brainstorm). There are so many different ways, sizes and extras that you can put into making a simple clutch. Holy moly! I decided a cute chevron fold over with faux leather accents, secret zip on the body for chapstick/lipstick/what-have-you and a magnetic snap would be easy to complete. I tend to be ambitious and overzealous at times i.e. all the time. After completing the kitten shirt and my wirly twirly dress, I realized I’m already in December and I need to calm down and simplify.


Here’s what I came up with: fold over clutch with a zip top and leather accents. Sorry secret pocket and magnetic snap. Ain’t nobody got time for you! I picked up teal and natural colored chevron fabric from JoAnn’s remnant pile. Not only half off regular price but an extra percentage off. Oh yeah! The faux leather I picked is from the home interior section and my lining is sturdy pink cotton from my remnant pile. Luckily there was quite a bit of the chevron fabric that I decided to go ahead and make two clutches. Ya know a “practice” one that I can keep and use on a regular basis. I’m selfish… lol.


How did I create my masterpiece? I cut two rectangles (1 lining, 1 outer fabric) at 9″ x 21 1/2″ with a 1/4″ seam allowance. I’ve seen plenty where they do two pieces and join at the bottom but screw you extra line of sewing. I did add interfacing on the lining portion to give the bag a bit of rigidity.


I followed these instructions to cover my zip ends in “leather”. You’ll notice that I used a white zip. Oops! I bought the zip at a different time than my fabric and I thought the fabric was white. I sewed both short ends of the fabric, sandwich style (how-to on this in link above too) to the zip and top stitched the lines down. Looking pretty!


Decision time. What do I want my accents to look like on the corners? Some I see are triangles, some remind me of pie wedges (Mmm…pie) and what did I want mine to be. Plain triangles seemed boring so I picked the pie route. I cut a full circle and cut it in half.┬á It made perfect “D” shapes that when folded over they are yummy slices of pie. The faux stuff frays along the edges so I used fray check first then stitched it down alternating the stitch between the chevron and “leather” that way no threads escaped. Plus it gave me an excuse to use a decorative stitch.


Last thing to do was stitch up the sides. Yay! Okay at this point I realized my decision making was not the best. I believe I either need to cut my zip shorter or not use a 1/4″ seam allowance on the sides because it got so tight around the zip that I added a bit of hand stitching to secure that area. (please do not fall apart. you are a gift and will embarrass me!) Plus you’ll see in the next pic that tightness on the sides of the bag pulled the corners down a smidgen instead of the zip being straight across the top of the bag. I turned the bag at the lower bottom corner of the lining and then edge stitched to close the hole. The only ones that will know it’s there are me and you. *wink*

There ya go. My quick and easy clutch bag. Anybody else have an ambitious project they’ve had to dial back in a pinch?

Holiday Dressing

I’m on a holiday roll here at Mac’s Crafts. First it was Hubby’s kitten shirt which has gotten mostly positive reviews from friends, family and random strangers. Also received kind words of “it fits well”. Can’t be everyone’s cup of tea right?

Last year I made myself some twirly goodness, otherwise known as a circle skirt with holiday fabric. This year I wanted a dress. I don’t plan to make this a yearly thing but I really wanted a plaid dress. The holidays was a reason to treat myself and make something that I can only wear a few times a year.

I didn’t use a dress pattern. Instead I used my peplum pattern Simplicity 1425 and figured I could add a circle skirt to the bottom of the bodice. Woo hoo got a plan. My fabric is cotton flannel from Jo-Ann’s. I went through all the plaids at the store and this one caught my eye. The flannel is soft and not heavy so I won’t sweat to death. Living in the AZ here peeps. Heavy clothing is not necessary just optional.


So here’s a shot of the bodice ┬ánothing too exciting. It has princess seams for shape. Pretty basic and a good starting off point.


I did my best to match the plaids. Some areas are better than others. I top-stitched all my seams with red thread. I used a 20″ zip for the back closure. It’s not perfect but I’m worried if I rip it out and try to redo it, it will look worse. Zips and I only get along sometimes. We’re working on our relationship. But it does go up and down like it’s meant to. I say this is a win. By the way, I figured out how to wiggle and bend my arms just right so I can zip up by myself without adding the little tab I put on my polka dot peplum.

I made black bias tape for the arms and the neck. You can see my awesome serger’s work too on the seams. Makes for nice clean guts.


I used the flannel to make bias tape for the bottom of the circle skirt. I really forget how big the skirt is until I’m hemming the bottom. Never ending! I used two lines of stitches on the hem. One to get the folded edge nice and crisp the other to get the rest of the width tacked down. The red blends in really well so you don’t notice the two lines. I went wider with the tape on the bottom because I didn’t want the edge to flip up weird.


I made a belt for my dress too because I had a bit of leftover fabric. I followed Tilly and the Buttons instructions for a bow belt. ┬áTotally cute right? Super easy to make. She didn’t mention a seam allowance so I used 1/4″. I bet it’s supposed to be larger because my belt looks wider than her’s. I’m really happy with it though so it doesn’t matter now but I’ll know for my next one.


I also used little snaps for the closure instead of the hook and eye. Sometimes those little buggers are fussy and snaps are easier.


One of the great things about this dress is that I get to use my petticoat from last year to give my dress some oomph. Yay for poof and twirly dresses! Here’s a good pic to show the amount of oomph I get from my petticoat. It’s not a lot but enough to give it some body.


I actually had to do a bit of repair to the petticoat because the ribbon I used on the bottom was crap. I fixed it with cotton fabric and a zig zag stitch. It feels much better and I like the brighter pop of red. 

Here’s my full holiday dress in all its glory. Bow belt and petticoat included.


I couldn’t leave you without sharing some twirly goodness!