batik hobo bag…


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we spent a beautiful week in bali over spring break earlier this year and brought back lovely antique batik fabric with us.

batik is a wax resist dyeing method for fabrics used in indonesia.  batik textiles are all over indonesia, for clothing, tablecloths, bedding, baby slings, and just about everywhere you use fabric.  we took a class 5 years ago the first time we visited bali, and then again this past year.  to see the technique, click here.

my daughter selected some fabric with the purpose of sewing her own bag.  it took us a while to get around to doing it, and summer break offered the best time to tackle the project.

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first she googled different styles online and once she found what she wanted, we referenced the pattern and sewing instructions for a reversible shoulder bag on Lula Louise. i helped her create her custom pattern for a reversible hobo bag. using a tape measure, she took measurements of how long she wanted the strap to be, how deep she wanted the bag to be, and how wide she wanted the opening, and documented all her numbers.  after explaining to her the components of the bag and how it was going to be sewn together, she drew out her pattern pieces by calculating the measurements using her numbers.

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since she used antique batik, she had to lay out her cut pattern pieces carefully to ensure she wasn’t using any torn or stained sections.  she cut fabric for both the layers of the bag and began to sew.

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again, referencing the Lula Louise tutorial, she sewed her pattern pieces together.  her bag did not have a base but instead, she sewed the corners to create a gusset for the base of the bag.

it was ironed and ready to go!



holiday weekend, no plans? craft!

well, it’s been far too long since i’ve carved out some time for myself to dabble. so i figured i would blow the dust off my sewing machine, open up a new package of foam brushes and finally make my daughter some pillow covers.

i love browsing through IKEA‘s As-Is section for accessories and fabric remnants.  picked up 2 throw pillows for $2.99 each and 2 plain white pillow covers for $0.99 each.  total steal.  (actually the covers were far thinner than i wanted but for the price, you really can’t be too picky).



cases had to be resized to fit the smaller throw pillows. i cut the seams and repositioned the flap opening and then sewed all seams for reinforcement.

using painter’s tape, i cut and created a graphic design.  i had nothing in particular in mind, just spontaneously taped and created.  it was fun.  make sure you press the tape down firmly so your paint won’t bleed.


normally i would use a screen to print ink onto the fabric but was a bit lazy.  instead i just thinned the acrylic neon pink ink with a touch of water.  using a foam brush, i lightly dabbed the areas being careful not to glob it on or push the paint under the tape.


once the paint is dry, peel the tape off very carefully.  let it dry a little longer, set it by running a hot dry iron on the backside of the fabric for about 20-25 seconds.  (keep the iron moving, you don’t want to scorch the fabric).


now my daughter will have a pop of color on her daybed in her bedroom.  she better like it.

crayon pouch…

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while holiday shopping with a friend, she noticed a fabric crayon pouch and wanted to purchase it for her 18 month old son.  i told her i would just make one for her.  now, my intention was to have it for him for christmas.  well, now it’s an early chinese new year gift.

i’ve never made anything like this and just kind of improvised.  i did pick out cute fabrics before the holidays and hoped it would be enough.

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i mapped out the pattern for the pouch:

outside/inside panel- chosen patterned fabric  10.5″H x 14.5″L

crayon pouch- patterned fabric 3.5″H x 18″L

stabilizer- hemp twill 10.5″H x 14.5″L

strap- patterned fabric 2.5″H x 22″L

i covered one fat crayola crayon with fabric and measured how much fabric it took to cover it side to side.  this measured 1.5″ across over a 1″ space.  so for 8 crayons, the bottom measured 8″ and the fabric needed to make 8 crayon pockets measured 18″ in length.  i’m sure there is a better way to do this but this was my spontaneous method.

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using blue painter’s tape, b/c i could not for the life of me find my washable marker, i marked where each pocket needed to be sewn, in 1″ increments.  i also marked the pocket fabric every 1.5″ for the stitch line.  does this make sense? again, i’m a novice sewer so i’m doing my best here.

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after all pockets were sewn, i stitched along the bottom edge creating gussets for each pocket.

next i sewed the strap, basically folding it in half lenghwise and stitching it along the turned in edge.  i folded the end inward to create a nice clean seam.

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both the stabilizer and outside panel were sewn together and then placed atop the pocket panel, right sides facing each other.

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very carefully i sewed all around the edges, tucking in the strap and sewing it midway, then left an opening at the top in order to turn the entire thing right side out.  (the strap was sewn too high, i forgot the pouch folds over so the strap wound up higher than i had wanted.  but it still wraps fine).

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with care, i turned the entire thing right side out through the small opening and pressed it all out with an iron.  to create a finished look, i sewed a finishing stitch all around the pouch.

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i’m soooo surprised it actually works! not the neatest sewing job but i’m happy.  hope my little friend is happy with it too!

what i’m in love with…

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