Sunday, September 22, 2013

BOHO Sling Bag Tutorial

Who doesn't love a fun new bag right? My daughter has one that she used to death and then requested something in colors she wanted to choose. I thought it'd be so simple to recreate so follow along this tutorial to make a simple sling bag that's also reversible. This is a great project for a beginner!

Now you may ask, why this sling bag over other tutorials you might find? I've always found them to have the pieces cut so where you see a seam and a break in the fabric pattern right down the center of the bag. It's just my preference not to have that visible seam, hence why I did my own tutorial. I don't like to break up my pretty pattern so prefer keeping the seam along the sides where it belongs.

First you'll figure out what fabrics you'd like to use. You'll be cutting a 32" length piece from both your exterior and your interior lining fabrics.

*****Lil side note :) Yes, I know this uses a lot of fabric and maybe in your stash you have smaller pieces you'd like to use. I loved creating this with the knotted strap. Why? well I love combining and seeing different prints with completely different patterns and scale. The eye is drawn to actually notice the interior print when the strap is knotted. It's how I used to create clothing for my girls using lots of bold mismatchy prints and I guess I naturally opted for that when making this bag. Plus, it's girly, like having a big pretty 2 sided floppy bow on the top of your bag.

 I plan to make another and offer the alternative at a later date to use less fabric and have less waste (we hate wasting fabric right?) by showing how to do the straps so they are connected together vs. knotted. When I can calm my ADD and get back to this project I'll show and post that variation!*****

                  ***Click on any pictures in this post to see them enlarged and for closer detail***

First you'll print and piece together your pattern piece. You can download and print HERE I've uploaded just a section of the piece. You will tape it where indicated to a regular 8 1/2" * 11" piece of paper and then along the straight edges of the strap, you'll just continue this on 10 extra inches. I traced my pattern piece shown above onto a poster board because I like something hefty to trace around. My poster board wasn't long enough but I can eyeball the strap extension but just want to clarify why my piece doesn't extend to the end. I love a project that you can eyeball which is why this is such a great project for a beginner.

You will be cutting out 2 identical pieces from each print so 4 pieces total. It's very important to put the correct side of your pattern piece along the fold. Fold your fabric and place the short side along the fold and trace your pattern piece. If there is a direction to your print, i.e. if you have cats on your fabric, make sure you are situating your pattern piece and cutting so they aren't upside down.

You should have 2 pieces of each print and this is what they look like when unfolded.

From your scraps you will cut a piece that is 5 1/2" * 11" and this will be for your pocket. Again, if you happen to have a direction to your print, pay attention to that so that when you fold your fabric to create this pocket, it faces the direction you want.
I kinda skipped this stage snapping a pic but this is a pocket, easy peasy but I'll try and be clear on what I'm doing and where our openings are etc.

 Fold your piece in half with right sides together and press a seam. Stitch your square shut on the 3 open sides but leave about a 2" hole open on the opposite side of your squares folded edge. After you've done that flip your pocket right side out through that opening and press all of the seams and corners out. Press those seams in where that hole is as you are about to stitch your pocket on and close that hole up.

Pin your pocket in place wherever you'd like it. I do mine a bit off center but place wherever you like.
Look at the picture above this one where I have my black nippers laying in the photo.

Place your pocket so the side of the pocket that has the folded edge is on top and the part of the pocket that still has an opening that you used to flip is on bottom. I have my little nipper scissors sticking in them to show you. Stitch your pocket down on 3 sides making a U. Your pocket should be stitched on nice and secure now and your hole at the bottom should be closed.

Now take your bigger pieces and pin those together with the right side of the fabric facing each other. Stitch these together just along the 3 outer edges. **Leave the tops of your straps open. You will start and end along the long outer side seam!!***

Along the bottom of the bag we are going to create a base to it. This is a view from the bag's bottom seam. I have pulled it apart toward the corner and have matched up the bottom seam to it's side seam.  I've marked a line about 2 inches from the corner. I eyeball this part and you can too after you get a sense of where to stitch on your first corner. Some folks would tell you to press this down, I'm much more informal about things! Just get a feel for it and go.

Stitch down that line getting a nice secure stitch and locking it at both ends. Do this to both corners and do to both pieces so you will do this 4 times.

Trim off the corner 

Now you will need to nest these 2 identical pieces inside of each other with the right sides of the fabric facing each other again. Open up those strap seams and start matching them up and pinning. You will then stitch these 2 together along the straps at the top and then down along the curve of the bag and back up around to the straps on other side. Just follow it along the edge, you won't get lost! 

BUT, in the mid section of the curve on one of the sides, doesn't matter which one, STOP stitching and leave about a 4 inch opening.  This is what you will use to flip your bag inside out so we can see the pretty side of the fabric.

***For those of you that place close attn, I got ahead of myself taking pics :) This pic doesn't show where I've done the corners to the bag yet so if you are looking at this going, what's up? Mine doesn't look like that. Yours is right, I just snapped away before I'd done the corners.

Stick your hand in that hole, start flipping! You'll have to look for those straps and just press your hand down to the end and pull them both through. Push out all the corners of those straps getting as good of a corner as you can. I have a paintbrush in my sewing room and I just use the tip of the end to push out those corners on the straps.

It'll look a a mess at first. You'll just need to nest that inner lining into the outside part of the bag and it should look like this.

Push all of those seams to the edge as best you can. Now give your seams a GOOD press along the straps and along the U curve of your bag. When you come to the opening, you'll have to work with that section a bit better pressing in that seam. When you iron it nicely, it's so much easier to stitch things down.

Now you will simply top stitch along all of the seams. Just start at the top of one strap and follow the edge all the way around til you go around to the other strap and back to where you started from. Top stitching gives it a nice finished look. While you are doing this you are also closing up the hole that you used to flip your bag inside out.

Knot together those 2 straps to the length that suits your fancy. So cute huh? This bag is reversible too so if your mood wants it, switch it to the other side. All of your seams are enclosed so no one will know the difference! If you want a pocket for both sides, just go back to that step at the beginning and put a pocket on both fabric prints.

So cute and colorful right? I've made a half dozen of these so far because I was enjoying using up some of the fabrics that I have on hand. I lead a small group of 7th grade girls in a bible study each week and I just thought these would be perfect to carry our bibles and study guides in.

And this one is just one of my faves...but then again, I am a shabby flower girl!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pine Cove Outback - Project 319

It's been so long since I've blogged and done anything crafty in my craft room. My machine has been quietly sitting in a corner and all my supplies and fabric have been untouched....until recently!

We are full swing into summer as is the rest of America! There are no such thing as the lazy days of summer as we fill the days with swim team, sports camps, church camps, hanging with friends and yes the kids favorite, sleep-away camps!

One that I particularly look forward to is my kids attending Pine Cove Outback I feel beyond blessed that my kids can attend a camp like this. Pine Cove is a christian summer camp that has absolutely changed my children and it will continue to be a camp that tops my list of where I will send my kids each summer.

Our first year to attend we learned about their Project 319 and we knew that we wanted to sponsor some children who'd never be able to afford to attend otherwise and may not ever hear the message of Christ. This year we have spun it a bit differently in our house and wanted our kids to sponsor some children. My oldest is at the babysitting age so she's getting used to putting in a portion of her money into a mason jar and is well on her way to raising the money. My younger daughter on the other hand doesn't have means to earn money like her sister so we've asked her cabin mates if they'd like to join us in helping to raise money to send a child to camp. They were all eager to help and we have reopened my craft space for business. These girls are eager, they're talented and we hope you will support them in their efforts!

We have all learned how to make these super fun hair accessories and our goal is to sell enough to sponsor a child to go to Pine Cove this year!
Girls in this generation LOVE to take pictures and have mini photo shoots with their friends right? Color blocking is popular right? Well we think our flower headbands are the perfect pop of color! These flower headbands also look adorable on babies and toddlers. Is the flower too much for your personal style? We are offering the plain headbands as well.

Flower headbands are $5 
Headbands with no flower are 2/$5 - includes 1 print/1 solid or 2 solid colors
   * All flowers are made with care, high quality felt, not craft felts and the bands have a hidden seam so you can wear your flower wherever you choose on your head and not have to hide a knot

   ** we hope to have turnaround time in about a week once an order is placed
Live far away? no problem, we can ship for $2 for your first item, Add 50 cents for additional items
Prefer to pay with paypal? We can send you an invoice, there will be a surcharge just to cover the fees
Contact us at to order or with any questions!

***click on any picture if you'd like to see it enlarged

Choose from a variety of felt and elastic colors. Flower headbands are $5 
We know this time of year family photos on the beach are popular. The white flower headbands would be perfect!
If you prefer plain headbands with no flower, they are 2 for $5. You may pick one solid and one print or 2 solid colors. Ivory is available and shown on the girls in the first photos.
We can attach the flower to clips instead of headbands if you prefer.
Jazz up your favorite fedora hat giving it a feminine twist or even a military cap!

Denim jackets are so popular these days and how cute would it be with a touch of color. Taking family photos? I love a family photo where that one family member has that bright pop of color!

Spruce up any gift box or a gift bag with a flower!

Warning, these accessories may cause you to have excessive fun and jumping capabilities! 

If you made it this far, thank you for your support in helping us towards our goal of teaching our kids to think beyond themselves and see how they can make a difference in other peoples lives.