Tuesday, March 16, 2010

One Yard Wonders - Collapsible Shopping Tote

While thinking about craft project ideas I came across a book called One Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Fabric Projects.  I have been wanting to learn to sew for a long time.  Well, I know how to sew.  I have made a couple of quilts and some other smaller things but I really don't know how to read a pattern.  So I decided I would get this book and work my way through it (it's going to take a while).  This way I could get some sewing practice and make some pretties. 

I showed the book to my mom (she knows how to sew) and we decided that the best pattern to start with would be the collapsible shopping tote (because it looked like the easiest).

Isn't it cute??

We went to B&B to get the fabric.  They have the best fabric there!  It's all so pretty!  I love walking around and just looking at fabric.  It was a lot easier to pick this time because I only had to pick one fabric.  When we picked for our quilts we had to find multiple fabrics...and they had to look good together!  It's not easy!!

This is what I picked.  I was a little nervous about the pattern having a direction at first but I liked it so I got it anyway.  I'm trying to be brave.
One of the best parts of a sewing project is pressing the fabric before you cut it.  It's like the calm before the storm.  You get to admire your pretty fabric before the stressful part of the project where you have to chop it up into little pieces and hope that you can put it back together into what you want it to be...or really anything!

(Since the purpose of these sewing projects is to learn about sewing I thought I would share the things I learn on the projects.)

Grainline - Two-sided arrow on the pattern that is used to make sure the pattern is straight on the fabric.  Just measure from both ends of the arrow to the selvage to make sure the distance is equal on both sides.  Love it!  Now I am a lot less afraid of fabrics with a direction to the pattern.


I was a little worried when I started to cut the fabric because it didn't look like there would be enough fabric to cut.  My mom figured out a different way to fold the fabric and it was just enough.  What a relief!!


I learned how to sew a french seam!  I always thought it was more complicated.  I only sewed it wrong the first time. Poor little seam ripper probably felt so unloved...well, until I started sewing the bias tape.  My friend Velma wrote a great blog about her seam ripper the other day.  I loved the picture!  Very cute!

I always made fun of those weird little mini irons that some people have but now I see that it could have been very helpful trying to press those tiny 1/8" seams open.  I will no longer make fun of them when I see them in the store...well, maybe I'll just make fun of them a little less.  They still look very silly!  :-)

I loved having a 1/4" foot for my sewing machine.  It made sewing the seams a breeze!!!  I didn't even have to worry about sewing a straight line.  It has this little metal plate on it that marks a 1/4" seam so all you have to do is bump your fabric up against it and go. Easy peasy!


I learned how to sew bias tape on this project, too.  Here  are a few things I learned about bias tape...

  • Bias tape is a pain to sew (especially on curves)!!!

  • Bias tape is super cute once  you finally figure it out

    Here's the finished bag!!!
    It's supposed to have velcro on the strap when you fold it but I thought it looked weird so I decided to just tie the strap.  It probably looks weird that way, too.  I don't care. I like it.

    I think this was a really successful project.  It is far from perfect but I learned a lot of new things about sewing...and I think it's pretty cute, too!  :-)

    6 comments:

    AJ said...

    Looks awesome! Great job :D

    velma said...

    I'm way impressed!! These sewing things you talk of, you must teach me!!!!!

    Jessica Hills said...

    That is really cute!!! I want to make one. Thanks for taking my button...it is pretty easy to figure out the blog hop...let me know if you are confused still on Friday!

    Rebekah said...

    So cute! I'm planning to make one of these for my sister-in-law. I like the idea of leaving off the velcro or a snap and just tying the little strap. There is much to be said for simplicity! :)

    MiniMak said...

    Ooo..I love this project! I'll have to see if I can find the pattern! :)

    Anonymous said...

    How did your mom fold the fabric to make sure there was enough?