Friday, February 24, 2012

Point of View: Green

Welcome to this month's Point of View reveal! The theme for February is "green". There are lots of ways you can go with this theme... take it to mean St. Patrick's Day, something you made that is green, something you made that is "green" (recycled, upcycled, reused, etc). Take a look at the great ideas the members of Point of View have come up with this month...

Gwen from Gwenny Penny (Click HERE to find the tutorial for my Reusable Snack Bag)

As always, you can check out each of the projects by visiting each of the blogs listed above.

You may have noticed that the collage is smaller than usual this month. Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Camilla and Michelle. They are both really talented ladies and their participation in Point of View will be missed! Not to worry... we have some very exciting Point of View news coming soon!

On with the show... My project this month is a Reusable Snack Bag with French Seams...

The thing I love most about these snack bags is that they are linen and they aren't lined, so they're not bulky. That makes them super easy to ball up fold up and stash in your bag without taking up a lot of space. These are great for when you're on the way home from Target and the kids want to eat that bag of goldfish crackers you just bought. They each get their own little snack bag to hold, they don't dump the entire bag you just bought all over the car, and they don't eat the entire bag on the fifteen minute ride home. I don't have a serger, so the French seams keep the inside of the bag nice and neat... no loose threads falling off the seam edges into the crackers. Click HERE for the how-to.

Now it's your turn. Do you have a "green" project that you would like to share? We would like to invite you to join the Point of View Green Link Party over at Just Between Friends. Any project that can be considered green  in any sense of the word  is welcome at the link party. It doesn't have to be a new project... If you have something in your archives, link it up! We want to see any and all green ideas. And remember, by linking up you have the chance to be featured by one of the members of Point of View next week! Hope to see you there!

Reusable Snack Bag with French Seams

A few years ago I purchased two reusable snack bags to carry around with me. They have gotten a ton of use, and the time has come to replace them... one of them is falling apart and the other is amongst the missing. This month's Point of View theme – "green" – gave me a good excuse to make up a couple of new ones. Not only did I use green fabric, but the bag itself is "green" in the eco-friendly sense of the word since it's a reusable alternative to disposable bags.

These are great for when you're on the way home from Target and the kids want to eat that bag of goldfish crackers you just bought. They each get their own little snack bag to hold, they don't dump the entire bag you just bought all over the car, and they don't eat the entire bag on the fifteen minute ride home.

I know there are a ton of snack bag tutorials out there, but the tutorial I'm about to share is for an unlined linen bag with finished (French) interior seams. Why linen? Linen is a natural fiber (and I can throw it in the washing machine). There is always an argument over what is and isn't food grade when it comes to waterproof options, so I stayed away from those entirely. I don't need these snack sacks to hold anything but crackers, Tings, and maybe some gummy fruit snacks.

Why unlined? Two reasons: 1) Less bulk. That makes them super easy to ball up fold up and stash in your bag without taking up a lot of space. 2) You know when you get sand stuck between the layers of your bathing suit and all the washing in the world doesn't seem to get it all out? Same goes for a snack bag... those crumbs wriggle their way between the layers and get stuck in there. Eliminate the lining and you eliminate the cruddy crumb trap.

Why French seams? I don't have a serger, so the French seams keep the inside of the bag nice and neat... no loose threads falling off the seam edges into the crackers.

Have I convinced you that these are awesome? Here's how to make your own...

Materials (to make one 6.75" x 5.5" snack bag):
  • linen (A large scrap will work. You only need an 8.5" x 13" rectangle to make one bag.)
  • cotton scraps to embellish
  • hook and loop tape (flexible sew-on type... I used 5/8" wide but trimmed down.)
  • fusible web (I used Heat n Bond Lite.)
  • thread


Step 1: Cut your linen into an 8.5" x 13" rectangle. For the accent strip, cut a piece of cotton that is 8.5" x 2.5".

Step 2: Match up the short ends of your piece of linen and press in half. Unfold and lay flat.

Take your 2.5" wide accent strip and lay it right side down. Press both long edges in 1/4" toward the wrong side of the fabric.

Step 3: Take your accent strip and align the bottom edge 1.25" above the pressed fold line in your linen piece.

Pin in place. Sew the accent strip onto your linen by stitching 1/8" inside both the top and bottom edges of the accent strip.

Step 4 (Optional): Choose a fabric element that you would like to add as an embellishment on your snack bag (I chose the cute little apple from the Alexander Henry Farmdale collection). Cut a piece of fusible web a bit larger than your fabric element, and iron it onto the back of your fabric. Carefully cut around your fabric element ( I left about 1/8" of the white background fabric around the outside edge). Remove the paper from the back of your fusible web and place your fabric element wherever you would like it (but keep it at least 1.5" from the right and left sides of the bag).

Press in place. Slowly and carefully sew around the outside edge of your fabric element. Make sure your linen isn't folded in half while sewing... I may have spent some quality time with my seam ripper after this step :)

Step 5: Time to start putting this thing together. Refold your linen in half along the pressed fold line. Your accent piece should be facing out (i.e. fold with wrong sides together).

Make sure your raw edges match up, and pin along both sides. Sew down both sides using a 1/4" seam allowance. Seam allowance is very important when creating French seams.

Clip the two bottom corners, turn the bag wrong side out, and press.

Sew down both sides again using a 3/8" seam allowance. I'll say it again... Seam allowance is very important when creating French seams.

Step 6: Leaving your bag wrong side out, press the top edge down 1/2" all the way around. Fold over 1/2" again and press to conceal the raw edge.

Stitch all the way around the bag 1/8" up from the bottom edge of the fold.

Step 7: Time for the hook and loop tape. Measure your bag from on inside seam to the other to determine how long you need to cut your hook and loop. Mine ended up being just under 7" for each side of the bag. I had some 5/8" wide hook and loop tape in my stash, but I cut it down to about 3/8" wide so that I could zigzag stitch it onto the bag and cover most of the width with the widest zigzag setting on my machine. Still keeping your bag wrong side out, pin the hook tape to the top edge of one side of the bag. Pin the loop tape to the top edge of the other side of the bag. Sew in place using a wide zigzag stitch, remembering to backstitch at the beginning and the end.

This picture shows the zigzag stitching on the outside of the bag with the bag turned right side out.

Step 8: Now turn your bag right side out.

Push the bottom corners out with a blunt object. Press to make it look nice and neat. Now look inside at those beautiful French seams...

Nice, huh? Now fill it up with cookies... you deserve a treat after all that sewing :)

Now it's your turn... Check out this month's Point of View collage and link up your past or present green projects at the Point of View Green Link Party! What does green mean to you? St. Patrick's Day? Something that is the color green? Something you made that is "green" (recycled, upcycled, reused, etc)? All interpretations are welcome!

I'm linking up...
monogramkojodesignsA Crafty SoireeSkip To My LouPhotobucket

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Farm Birthday Party

We had a little birthday party for my youngest's second birthday two weeks ago. She has a thing for farm animals  cows in particular  so we went with a farm theme for her party this year. Here's a rundown of the party...

These are the invitations that I made...

We read Big Red Barn every single night, so I went with the book cover for the invitation. I just cropped out the book title, etc in Paint, then added my own wording in Picnik. I printed that out, glued it onto a piece of green gingham paper, then added a little piece of black and white polka dot washi tape at the top.

I found these cute mini red takeout boxes at Michaels to hold the party favors...

I just decorated them with stickers and made little stamped tags with each child's name. The favor boxes held a little pig-shaped flashlight, stickers, and one of these most-adorable little cow erasers (found at the party store)...

I reused some little red buckets that we had from my oldest's Hello Kitty birthday party last year. I stuck on some fancy farm stickers (found on clearance!) and used them to hold utensils...

The hit of the party, however, was the cupcakes. I usually like to do all of the cupcake/cake stuff myself, but this year it just wasn't going to happen. We were away for a week just before my daughter's birthday... something had to give. So, I ordered fondant cupcake toppers from Cookie Covers. (I am so glad I found this woman's Etsy shop. She does amazing work.) They were so adorable, and everyone just loved them...

So cute! I tried to make the frosting look like grass and hay. The hay came out a little on the orange side, though...

The pig was by far everyone's favorite...

A cow print tablecloth, a few balloons, and some multicolored buntings completed the decor. It was a nice little party, and my daughter had a really great day.

I'm linking up...


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Doll Diapers and Wipes

On Monday I shared the doll quilt that I made for my daughter for her birthday. Today I'm sharing the doll diapers and wipes that I made for her. My aunt gave her a small Cabbage Patch Kid for Christmas, and my daughter and her doll "Lena" have been inseparable every since (which is new for me because I was never into dolls as a kid and my oldest isn't either).

These were such a quick sew. I used this tutorial from Skip to My Lou for the diapers, but I had to modify the template to fit my daughter's doll. Just print the template, cut it out, and wrap it around your doll to see how it fits. I just trimmed the template until it fit properly.

I also made her a little wipes set...

I used this tutorial from 2 Little Hooligans. This was her favorite birthday gift. Seriously. This girl could sit there and wipe her doll all day long. Poor "Lena" ;)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Gingerbread Houses

Every time I see Cheryl's (a pretty cool life) gingerbread houses that she makes with her kids, I think "I should really do that", but I never have... until now! Cheryl and her kids make gingerbread houses for every holiday, and when she posted a little photo how-to on her blog last week, I decided it was high time we tried it out. So, Friday afternoon we got down to business...

I ran into the little grocery store that's between our house and my oldest's preschool to pick up supplies. Apparently I should have been more prepared and bought supplies earlier in the week at the big grocery store because the selection of Valentine's Day candy was pretty poor. I had to improvise...

Mini marshmallows, conversation hearts, Teddy Grahams, animal crackers, and Pez. And, just like Cheryl, I hot glued my graham crackers together. Best. Idea. Ever. They were sturdy and worked great!

The girls had a blast and spent the better part of an hour decorating their houses. Every time I asked if they were done or started to clean up, they insisted that they still had room to add another cracker or another piece of candy. We will definitely be doing this again.

Happy Valentine's Day!
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