Monday, December 31, 2012

Vinyl-Lined Makeup Bag {Tutorial}

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In an effort to clean up my act workroom for the new year,
I was trying to use up some scraps of home decor fabric
(left over from making this clutch for a Christmas present)
and ended up whipping up these somewhat matching make up bags.
And as promised to all you Facebook 'likers'
the tutorial is down there below.
Scroll away.

They're not too big. Not too small.
Just right for you make up minimalists such as myself.
I lined them with vinyl so they would wipe clean.
You know how messy that make up can be and all...
You can see the first one I made had a thicker loop strap than the second.
And I can't decide if the strap is really necessary at all.
You be the judge.
Anyway, on to the good stuff...
Here's how you can make one.
Gather your goods.

You'll need:
about 1/4 yd. medium-weight fabric (I used some canvasy home decor fabric I had left over)
about 1/4 yard vinyl (tip: don't use really thick vinyl here because it will just make it more difficult to flip right side out)
1/4 yard iron on interfacing (optional)- I used Pellon #808 Craft Fuse Interfacing (also left over from making the clutch) *not pictured, also optional
one 9 inch zipper
matching thread
scotch tape
sewing machine with a zipper foot
heavy duty sewing needles. As you can see, I used "jean" needles.

Cut fabric and vinyl.

I like to get all my pieces cut and in place before I start anything.
You'll need:
two 10x9 inch rectangles of your exterior fabric.
two 10x9 inch rectangles of your interfacing (optional but recommended for a sturdier bag)
two 10x8.5 inch rectangles of your vinyl
and a 2x6 inch rectangle of your exterior fabric for the loop (also optional)

Sew the loop strap (optional).

Take your 2x6 inch piece of fabric and iron in half.

Then iron one raw edge to the middle crease.

And then the other.

Sew along both edges, close to the fold

so you end up with a piece that looks like this.
And set aside.

Prep your machine.

You can skip this next bit, but I don't recommend it... ;)
First, place a piece of scotch tape on the bottom of your zipper foot.

And then trip it down.
I used my smaller scissors to press it into the needle slots on either side.

Next, put a piece of scotch tape on either side of your sewing surface on your sewing machine.

*The tape will help the vinyl move along the surface at a normal pace. Otherwise, it likes to stick.
And by "likes" I mean "loves". Vinyl loves to stick.

Attach your zipper foot to your machine.
Okay, now on to the fun stuff...

Sew your vinyl to your zipper.

With the zipper pull to the left and facing down (as pictured),
sew the 10 inch side of your vinyl to the zipper.
I find it's best not to pin anything,
just take your time here.
Patience is key...
and always know where your zipper pull and zipper stops are.
Nothing more annoying than breaking a needle. Am I right or am I right?

Once you sew as far as the zipper pull,
with the needle in the down position,
raise your zipper foot and gently

move the zipper pull to the back of your work, out of the way.
Now lower your zipper foot and finish up the seam.


Now repeat for the other side of the zipper with the other piece of vinyl.
Don't worry if it's not perfect,
you can (and should) trim down the vinyl later to fit nicely into the bag,
so you can even everything out then.

Attach your interfacing (optional).

Iron your interfacing onto your pieces of exterior fabric until they are stuck together.
Follow the directions for the interfacing that you are using.
Iron on interfacing is pretty self-explanatory, yes?

Now iron under 1/2 inch along the 10 inch side of your exterior pieces (as shown).

Sew your exterior pieces.

Lay one of your exterior pieces (right side facing up) lined up with your zipper.
The zipper pull should be facing up and on the left side (as pictured).

Sew your exterior pieces to the zipper as you did the vinyl, sewing as close the zipper (without hitting it!) as you can.
Remember to be mindful of your zipper pull and zipper stops,
moving the pull out of the way as you did before.

Repeat for the other side.

With the vinyl out of the way, sandwich the exterior pieces together, right sides facing each other.

If you're attaching a loop, put your rough ends together

and place in between the exterior pieces
up by the zipper as shown.
Pin in place.

Continue to pin the exterior pieces together all the way around.

Sew the pieces together, using your pressure foot as a guide.
You can see that I just left my zipper foot on.
Am I lazy or efficient?
Either way, you can switch to a regular foot if you like.

Looking good.

Trim off the excess from the loop.

Now, trim down your corners.
Obviously you don't want to cut the seam you just sewed,
but trim enough off that you'll be able to make a clean corner when your flip it right side out.

Next, pinch your corners,
lining up your seams like shown.

Tip: I've found that it helps to use the edge of the table for this part.

Using a straight edge, draw a line that measures 3 inches
perpendicular to the seam you just sewed
as shown...

Sew along this line,
and then trim off the corner.

Repeat for the other corner.

At this point, you'll want to move your zipper pull so most of the zipper is open.
This will make it easier to turn out later.

Sewing the vinyl.

Sandwich the vinyl sides together as you did the exterior fabric.
Trim it up so the sides meet if you need to.

Make a mark 2 1/2 inches from the corner on each side.

Can you see them?

Now, sew from the mark to the zipper on each side,
using the pressure foot as a guide.
Again, take your time.
If you try to the push the vinyl through the machine, it will just stick even more.

Next, trim up your corners,

and make the same pinched corners are you did with the exterior fabric,
except you want the seam to measure 2 1/2 inches.
(that way the vinyl will fit nicely into the bag)

Sew along the line.

Repeat for the other corner.

Turn the bag out.

You're now going to turn your bag right side out.
The vinyl will stick to itself.
You may get frustrated.
But as much as you might want to man handle it,
The vinyl can tear and you'll rip out all of your seams which would be infinitely more frustrating.
Lesson: treat it like a lady, and you won't have to start all over again.
Now pinch the open seam in the vinyl together.
And sew the hole closed.
Pop the vinyl back into the bag.
And you're finished!
I hope everything was clear as a bell.
As always, let me know if it's not and I can try to clarify things.
All in all, I thought this was a nice simple project,
and a good excuse to do a little "selfish sewing".
I honestly am not sure what the last thing was that I actually sewed for myself!
Oh yeah, and happy new year everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

DIY Super Hero Towels

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Because who wouldn't want those?

I know what you're thinking,
"Meg!!! Stop with the towels and bath accessories already!"

But in all fairness, my nephews have a super hero obsession. and a super hero bathroom, for that matter...
they obviously needed these.
Not to mention, this again fell into the realm of "quick and easy" DIY Christmas gifts
and are making feel a bit less guilty about not making things this year for the bulk of my family.

Once again, I'm going to get real with you here and say that I would post a tutorial,
but it would be an insult to tutorials. They're that simple.

Strip of fabric (these are about 8" wide to include the most heroes possible).
Iron under.
Serge edges.

For those of you that sew, you know that licensed fabrics can get really expensive and don't go on sale too often,
so when I found this on sale and could use a coupon on top of it, I snatched it up.
I got a lot of bang for my buck, too, since it's just one strip on each towel.
Super bonus: I got the towels on Black Friday for 1.50 each.
Total cost was under $10 for two towels.
Not bad.

I, of course, got the nephews something else to go with the towels.
Something "for fun", perhaps.
But hopefully these will make bath time a little more fun, too. :)