Monday, December 13, 2010

Small Bits n’ Pieces Bag Tutorial

In my church bag I keep a couple of these little elastic-close bags filled with small toys to keep my little one reverent.  One bag holds a few farm animals, another holds a couple of small cars.

This bag would also be great to help contain the marbles in the bottom of the toy bin, and a bigger version would be perfect to hold those dominoes that never stay in the flimsy cardboard box.

I’ve seen other versions of this bag that uses a button flap opening, or even a drawstring.  When I first made this bag I was planning on using a drawstring, but discovered I was out of ribbon and was too lazy to go to the store.  I had a spare hair elastic sitting on my sewing table and had a sudden bit of inspiration – why not use that?  Thirty minutes later the Bits n’ Pieces Bag was born!

Makes one bag measuring about 5 1/2” x 7”

You’ll need:
two pieces of fabric 6” x 15”
one hair elastic
coordinating thread


Cut two rectangles of fabric measuring 6” x 15”
For my bag I used a flannel for the outside (the blue dinosaurs) and a quilting cotton for the liner (red dots).


Fold each rectangle in half and using a 1/4” seam, stitch up each side, making sure to backstitch at each end.


Take just the liner fabric bag and turn it right-side-out.  Now put the liner bag inside of the main fabric bag so you now have fabrics right-sides-together.


With the liner bag inside of the main bag, line up side seams and pin in place.


Leaving about a 3” opening, stitch around the top of the bag.  Be sure to back stitch at the beginning and end of stitching.  You will be turning the bag right-side-out through that little opening and you don’t want it to rip.


Carefully turn liner and main bag right-sides-out through the opening.


Stuff bag liner inside of main bag.  Press around the top of bag including the 3” opening where you turned the bag.  Top stitch along top of bag to close that opening and give the bag a finished look.


About 1 1/4” down from top, along side seam, attach hair elastic.  ( I just used a straight stitch and sewed back and forth over the elastic about 4 times.)

All done!  Fill it with your kid’s favorite bits n’ pieces!

I'm linking up!


Monday, December 6, 2010

One down, one to go

** The pattern for this Quilted Advent Calendar is now available as a PDF download here in my Etsy shop and includes the pattern for the 24 felt ornaments.  The full pattern is $10 and includes detailed step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and the outlines for the tree, snowflake circles and numbers for the pockets.  The ornaments pattern includes templates for cutting, detailed instructions, and full-color examples of finished ornaments.  READ MORE ABOUT UPDATED PATTERN HERE  **

Last November I decided that I wanted to make an advent calendar for my family.  When I was a kid my family had one and we all enjoyed taking that day’s ornament and placing it on the tree.  (We also argued about which ornaments went where on the tree, but that’s a whole other blog post.)

I did a search to find some photos of what I wanted my advent calendar to look like and it actually caused more problems – I found too many advent calendars that I liked and I couldn’t decide which one to make.I spent the last part of November and the first week of December trying to decide what to do and then finally realized that it was too late and would have to wait until next year.

Fast forward to November 2010.  I did another search to find some sample calendars – I even created a gallery on flickr.  I sat down and drew out a sample using the parts of each calendar that I liked the best (quilting from one, colors from another, using buttons as hangars, etc.)

I foraged through my fabric stash and my craft bin and found most of what I already needed.  I knew that my sister also wanted an advent calendar and conveniently enough her birthday was right around the corner so I decided to make two calendars.   At first I did both calendars at the same time, but then time got short and I needed to finish Kristi’s first.  Right now mine is still needing 24 white buttons and some binding, but an hour or so tonight will fix that problem.

Here are some pics of my sister’s finished calendar:

A Bright Corner: Advent Calendar

decorated and then undecorated with the ornaments in their little pockets:

Cute Advent Calendar

Here are some close ups of the little ornaments.  The pockets each measure about 2” deep and 3” wide so the ornaments are all a bit smaller than that.  I used tiny green ribbon for the hangars and all of the ornaments are made with cheap-o felts and a glue gun – worked beautifully!

ornaments for advent calendar

Here are the ornaments all tucked away in their pockets…

advent calendar with ornaments

I went back and forth on how to hang the calendar.  In the end I went for simple:  I sewed two pockets on the top corners of each calendar (on the back.)  A wood stick slips right in there and then can hang on a nail or two tacks.

Advent Calendar

I’m super happy with how the calendars have turned out, and boy is it nice to have them done!  (oh and happy birthday Kris!)

I’m linking up:


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Counting Down

My family and I just returned from a trip to the happiest place on earth (and I want to go back!)


For the months leading up to our trip we planned and planned….and counted down!  When we got down to about two weeks before the trip, my son and I wanted to make a countdown calendar.  We happened to be at Home Depot getting some paint samples (I’m currently trying to decide on a new color for our upstairs) when we spotted these:

…perfect for a countdown calendar!  I chose a variety of colors, punched the holes and tied them together with some tiny ribbon I had on hand.  The kids tore off one mickey mouse for each day.

We put the black Mickey ears at the top for the last day.  The kids loved it and it was a simple and very visual way to help us count down to our trip!
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