Monthly Archives: October 2011

Tutorial: Sunday-go-to-meetin’ Tote

To make a tote with braided handles and a regular pocket you will need the following pieces~

To make a tote with regular handles and a crayon pocket you will need the following pieces~

The first step is the fun part: embellishing your tote.  Anything you want to put on the bag needs to be done at this point.

You can add flowers, trim, appliques, monograms, whatever you like.

To add a some lace trim to the top edge of the bag simple place a straight edge ruler along the top of the bag (about an inch to and inch in a half from the top), pin lace in place and sew onto the fabric.  Repeat these steps to the other side of the outer material.

The next step in the process is to make the pockets for the totes.

First up is the crayon pocket.  Take your crayon pocket piece and fold it in half (right sides together). Iron it in place.

Stitch around the edges using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Next we need to make the markings for the crayon holders.

Using a light colored pencil or chalk mark 3/4 of an inch in from side seam.  Lightly draw a line.  Keep making 3/4 of an inch marks down the pocket until you get to the other edge.

Stitch along each marking being sure to back-stitch when you start and stop.  It should look like this~

Now we move onto the handles.

To make the braided handles, take three strips of fabric and stitch them together along the top side.

Once they are sewn at the top, braid the pieces together.  If you have a hook or coat rack, I found it was easiest to braid the pieces when you placed the end of the braid over a hook.  You can also have someone else hold one end while you braid.  You just need a little tension on the fabric strips in order to get even and tidy braids.

You want your braids to end up being 16 inches long.   If they are longer than that, simply un-braid them until they are the right length.

Sew the bottom edge of the braid together with your machine.

Next we will sew the lining and the outer part of the tote.  Take the two outer pieces, right sides together and pin them in place.

Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew all the way around the outer pieces.

Next, you are going to place the lining of the bag inside the outer bag.  Make sure that the lining is inside out and the outer bag is wrong side out (in other words, the lining and the outer bag need to be right sides together).

Using a ruler mark 2 inches in from the edge of the bag.  Do this on both sides of the bag.  Repeat this step on the other side of the bag as well (these markings will indicate where your handles will go).


In this picture I am using the regular handles but you do the same steps for the braided handles also.


Using a 1/2 an inch seam allowance, sew all the way around the top edge of the tote.


Stitch up the hole in the lining.  Push the lining down inside the tote,

Iron the top edge smooth.

For the last step you will topstich the top edge of the tote.

There you have it!  You now hold the keys to tote-making-heaven.  You can adjust the dimensions to make the bag bigger or smaller, you can use more sophisticated or funky prints to give to a girlfriend.  Or you can cut up an old pair of jeans and make one for your son.  The sky is the limit my friend

Have a great time making your own Sunday-go-to-meetin’ totes!  I’d love to see what you all come up with!

Also, if there is any part of this tutorial that seems unclear to you, please feel free to send me a private message and I will do my very best to walk you through the step.  I am usually pretty prompt about answering any questions regarding tutorials.

Thanks again, April

Monday October 10, 2011

To make a tote with braided handles and a regular pocket you will need the following pieces~

To make a tote with regular handles and a crayon pocket you will need the following pieces~

The first step is the fun part: embellishing your tote.  Anything you want to put on the bag needs to be done at this point.

You can add flowers, trim, appliques, monograms, whatever you like.

To add a some lace trim to the top edge of the bag simple place a straight edge ruler along the top of the bag (about an inch to and inch in a half from the top), pin lace in place and sew onto the fabric.  Repeat these steps to the other side of the outer material.

The next step in the process is to make the pockets for the totes.

First up is the crayon pocket.  Take your crayon pocket piece and fold it in half (right sides together). Iron it in place.

Stitch around the edges using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Next we need to make the markings for the crayon holders. 

Using a light colored pencil or chalk mark 3/4 of an inch in from side seam.  Lightly draw a line.  Keep making 3/4 of an inch marks down the pocket until you get to the other edge.

Stitch along each marking being sure to back-stitch when you start and stop.  It should look like this~

Now we move onto the handles.

To make the braided handles, take three strips of fabric and stitch them together along the top side.

Once they are sewn at the top, braid the pieces together.  If you have a hook or coat rack, I found it was easiest to braid the pieces when you placed the end of the braid over a hook.  You can also have someone else hold one end while you braid.  You just need a little tension on the fabric strips in order to get even and tidy braids.

You want your braids to end up being 16 inches long.   If they are longer than that, simply un-braid them until they are the right length.

Sew the bottom edge of the braid together with your machine.

Next we will sew the lining and the outer part of the tote.  Take the two outer pieces, right sides together and pin them in place.

Using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, sew all the way around the outer pieces.

Next, you are going to place the lining of the bag inside the outer bag.  Make sure that the lining is inside out and the outer bag is wrong side out (in other words, the lining and the outer bag need to be right sides together).

Using a ruler mark 2 inches in from the edge of the bag.  Do this on both sides of the bag.  Repeat this step on the other side of the bag as well (these markings will indicate where your handles will go).


In this picture I am using the regular handles but you do the same steps for the braided handles also.


Using a 1/2 an inch seam allowance, sew all the way around the top edge of the tote.


Stitch up the hole in the lining.  Push the lining down inside the tote,

Iron the top edge smooth.

For the last step you will topstich the top edge of the tote.

There you have it!  You now hold the keys to tote-making-heaven.  You can adjust the dimensions to make the bag bigger or smaller, you can use more sophisticated or funky prints to give to a girlfriend.  Or you can cut up an old pair of jeans and make one for your son.  The sky is the limit my friend

Have a great time making your own Sunday-go-to-meetin’ totes!  I’d love to see what you all come up with! 

Also, if there is any part of this tutorial that seems unclear to you, please feel free to send me a private message and I will do my very best to walk you through the step.  I am usually pretty prompt about answering any questions regarding tutorials.

Thanks again, April

North

I always think that North is a good direction to go.  I like going North.  So we did.

It sounds so carefree and spontaneous when I say it like that, but truthfully this getaway was the result of a lot of planning, packing, arranging, and much anticipating.  But finally I flipped the calendar page over to October and there on the very first days were the words, “getaway with Justin”.  The children stayed with both sets of grandparents while we were gone.  They loved it.  Justin and I have long known that they like their grandparents better than us and given the chance they will always opt to be with them ;)

 We stayed at a charming Bed & Breakfast in Mendocino called The MacCallum House. 

Our room was the “Water Tower Room”.  A three story converted water tower.  It was probably the most amazing room I’ve ever stayed in.  Room doesn’t really do it justice because it’s more like a cottage, with a kitchenette, a small sitting area, a full bath plus a half bath, and two bedrooms.


The bed was heavenly.  I like my own bed… a lot, but this was like sleeping in a giant, feather nest every night.  I slept like a baby.


My favorite room in the house!  The bathroom with the huge jacuzzi bath tub.  I don’t know why but I never got a picture of the bathroom, this picture is via the MacCallum House official website.

The first evening we arrived the weather was ideal, right out of a storybook.  Calm breeze the landscape bathed in a soft autumn glow.  The next morning this was what we woke up to~

Clouds, wind, and rain.

What better to do on a drizzly day than to go on a train ride through the redwoods?


This was the open car that most people had the good sense to stay away from (not Justin and I, other people)


The couple in front of us snapped a picture of us, all wet and blown away from standing in open car.


At one point Justin picked up the camera and said, “I’m going to take pictures for your blog”, and started snapping pictures of this, that, and the other thing.  When I gave him a funny look he said, “You always take pictures of funny little details.  I like it!”  This photo was taken by him.

Each and every morning we enjoyed the most delicious breakfast.  No tasteless, rubbery continental breakfasts here, no sir!

Eggs Benedict,  creamy corn cakes with fresh huckleberry sauce, gourmet breakfast burritos, fresh squeezed orange juice…

I could get used to that kind of living!


Most mornings were clear and beautiful, but by the afternoon the storm clouds would push in.


After breakfast I took a few pictures of the grounds.  The tall red building in the background is an old church that has been converted into a New Age all Organic Health Food store, makes me kind of sad.


This is one of the many little cottages that are situated around the main house.

After breakfast we changed into our hiking cloths and headed out.  We wanted to hike out to the Pt. Arena Lighthouse and then hike the Fern Canyon Trail at Van Damme State Park. 

The lighthouse was beautiful.


Evidently I wasn’t really in the mood to smile.

 
(both lighthouse photos taken by Justin)

The lens of the lighthouse was amazing, so beautiful!  I would have loved to get a closer picture but the lighthouse tower is off limits to the public.


We took a quick tour of the original and restored light-keepers house.


I walked in the back door and thought, “I want to live here!”


Several of the other houses and small cabins around the lighthouse are available to rent as a vacation house.  I told Justin we should come back and stay with the kids.

Next was Fern Canyon Trail

I think you can tell why it’s called fern canyon trail.  Huge drooping ferns on either side of the path.  The trail crisscrossed over the small creek that went through the canyon, with little foot bridges at each crossing.

I took dozens of pictures and I don’t think any of them did this amazing canyon tail any justice.

I don’t know if you can tell from this picture but that is a Coastal Sequoia that fell over the creek, and now there is a row of small Sequoias growing across the top of the dead one.


We had planned on hiking further into the redwoods, but by the time we got half way through the trail it was sprinkling pretty steadily.  We thought it might be best to turn back.  As we rounded the last bend in the trail, the sky let loose and dumped rain on us.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of us.  It’s pretty fun to hike in the rain when you know you have dry clothes and a huge bathtub waiting for you ;)   Now that’s what I call living the good life!

It continued to pour rain.   We went back to our room, got cleaned up and went into Ft. Bragg for a nice warm meal.

The next morning we enjoyed our last leisurely breakfast on the porch, packed up our things, and pointed the car towards home.  Three happy, beaming faces met us at the door, followed shortly by, “Did you get us anything?!”
Ah, it’s good to be home…

Friday October 7, 2011

I always think that North is a good direction to go.  I like going North.  So we did.

It sounds so carefree and spontaneous when I say it like that, but truthfully this getaway was the result of a lot of planning, packing, arranging, and much anticipating.  But finally I flipped the calendar page over to October and there on the very first days were the words, “getaway with Justin”.  The children stayed with both sets of grandparents while we were gone.  They loved it.  Justin and I have long known that they like their grandparents better than us and given the chance they will always opt to be with them ;)

 We stayed at a charming Bed & Breakfast in Mendocino called The MacCallum House. 

Our room was the “Water Tower Room”.  A three story converted water tower.  It was probably the most amazing room I’ve ever stayed in.  Room doesn’t really do it justice because it’s more like a cottage, with a kitchenette, a small sitting area, a full bath plus a half bath, and two bedrooms.


The bed was heavenly.  I like my own bed… a lot, but this was like sleeping in a giant, feather nest every night.  I slept like a baby.


My favorite room in the house!  The bathroom with the huge jacuzzi bath tub.  I don’t know why but I never got a picture of the bathroom, this picture is via the MacCallum House official website.

The first evening we arrived the weather was ideal, right out of a storybook.  Calm breeze the landscape bathed in a soft autumn glow.  The next morning this was what we woke up to~

Clouds, wind, and rain.

What better to do on a drizzly day than to go on a train ride through the redwoods?


This was the open car that most people had the good sense to stay away from (not Justin and I, other people)


The couple in front of us snapped a picture of us, all wet and blown away from standing in open car.


At one point Justin picked up the camera and said, “I’m going to take pictures for your blog”, and started snapping pictures of this, that, and the other thing.  When I gave him a funny look he said, “You always take pictures of funny little details.  I like it!”  This photo was taken by him.

Each and every morning we enjoyed the most delicious breakfast.  No tasteless, rubbery continental breakfasts here, no sir!

Eggs Benedict,  creamy corn cakes with fresh huckleberry sauce, gourmet breakfast burritos, fresh squeezed orange juice…

I could get used to that kind of living!


Most mornings were clear and beautiful, but by the afternoon the storm clouds would push in.


After breakfast I took a few pictures of the grounds.  The tall red building in the background is an old church that has been converted into a New Age all Organic Health Food store, makes me kind of sad.


This is one of the many little cottages that are situated around the main house.

After breakfast we changed into our hiking cloths and headed out.  We wanted to hike out to the Pt. Arena Lighthouse and then hike the Fern Canyon Trail at Van Damme State Park. 

The lighthouse was beautiful.


Evidently I wasn’t really in the mood to smile.

 
(both lighthouse photos taken by Justin)

The lens of the lighthouse was amazing, so beautiful!  I would have loved to get a closer picture but the lighthouse tower is off limits to the public.


We took a quick tour of the original and restored light-keepers house.


I walked in the back door and thought, “I want to live here!”


Several of the other houses and small cabins around the lighthouse are available to rent as a vacation house.  I told Justin we should come back and stay with the kids.

Next was Fern Canyon Trail

I think you can tell why it’s called fern canyon trail.  Huge drooping ferns on either side of the path.  The trail crisscrossed over the small creek that went through the canyon, with little foot bridges at each crossing.

I took dozens of pictures and I don’t think any of them did this amazing canyon tail any justice.

I don’t know if you can tell from this picture but that is a Coastal Sequoia that fell over the creek, and now there is a row of small Sequoias growing across the top of the dead one.


We had planned on hiking further into the redwoods, but by the time we got half way through the trail it was sprinkling pretty steadily.  We thought it might be best to turn back.  As we rounded the last bend in the trail, the sky let loose and dumped rain on us.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of us.  It’s pretty fun to hike in the rain when you know you have dry clothes and a huge bathtub waiting for you ;)   Now that’s what I call living the good life!

It continued to pour rain.   We went back to our room, got cleaned up and went into Ft. Bragg for a nice warm meal.

The next morning we enjoyed our last leisurely breakfast on the porch, packed up our things, and pointed the car towards home.  Three happy, beaming faces met us at the door, followed shortly by, “Did you get us anything?!”
Ah, it’s good to be home…

Runaway

No I didn’t drop off the face of the earth.

I just ran away.

Four days, three nights.  I took along my most favorite person. Or was it the other way around?

To be continued…