Giveaway Day!

It’s Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

Leave a comment for your chance to win a $25 shop credit to Modern Fabric Studio!

Modern Fabric Studio

Open worldwide. We’ll choose one random winner on Friday, May 25, 2012. Good luck!

Out of 485 entries, we’ve chosen the winner, number 243, Lee! She said, “I love Modern Fabric Studio! thanks!” Congrats to Lee!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

Car Trash Bag / Reusable Lunch Bag

Car Trash Bag

I find that the car is never more cluttered than when filled with wrappers, empty drink bottles and waste from a summer road trip. I try to pick up all the trash I can when I can, but sometimes straw wrappers, bottle caps and food receipts literally take over.

Enter the car trash bag! The sturdy bag is built to carry odds and ends, so you can just fill it up and dump the contents when you stop to refuel. The trash bag is unlined  (see note below if you’d like to add a lining) with the interior covered in interfacing for durability. Simply toss the bag into the washing machine when it’s ready to be cleaned.


– 1/2 yard home decor weight fabric (shown here in Joel Dewberry Heirloom)

– 14″ cut of medium-weight fusible interfacing (like Pellon 808)

– Matching thread, iron, scissors, sewing machine and pins

Cut fabric and interfacing

From both fabric and interfacing, cut two pieces 14″ x 11″ and remove a square 2.25″ x 2.25″ from bottom two corners of each piece. Adhere interfacing to lining with iron.

Mark handles

From fabric, cut two pieces 11″ x 6″ for handle lining. Place one handle lining fabric on top of bag fabric, right sides facing. Use ruler to mark dots 2″ from top of bag at the 3.5″ and 7.5″ marks. Move ruler down to 3″ from top of bag and again mark dots at the 3.5″ and 7.5″ marks. Connect dots into a rectangle for bag handle.

Stitch and cut handles

Pin pieces together and stitch on top of line to create handle. Use scissors to snip almost into the corners and down the center line through all layers of fabric.

Flip handle fabric inside out

Now for the magic part. Push the handle lining fabric through the slot you just created and pull it through the other side. Press and pin handle lining flat against inside of tote. Secure with zig-zag stitch, and trim excess fabric away from handle lining (see below).

Attach handle to other side of bag.

Note: If you’d like to make a lining for the bag, cut lining fabric in the same dimensions as your outer fabric, follow the same instructions to make handles and sew the lining, then refer to Tote Bag Tutorial for instructions on inserting your lining. Line up handles of outer and lining fabric and hand-stitch together.

Pin bag front and back right sides together

Next, pin bag front and back right sides together, avoiding the corners or the top of the bag. Stitch 1/4″ from the edges along left and right sides of bag and bottom (center only, not corners yet).

Pinch together corners of bag

Pinch together the corners of your bag, so the seams on the bottom and sides of the bag line up. I like to iron my seams open.

Pin and stitch corners

Pin together the matching edges and stitch 1/4″ from edge. (You can see more photos of this method on our Tote Bag Tutorial).

Fold under rim and pin

Turn bag right side out and push out corners. To finish top edge, use pinking shears or zig zag stitch along top edge to prevent fraying. Then fold top edge down so it lines up with handle cutout without being visible from the outside. Pin fold in place along top edge of bag, and use zig zag or straight stitch to fix top fold in place.

Reusable Lunch Bag

And there you have it–just grab your bag and go! The car trash bag also doubles as a reusable lunch bag in a pinch. Or, fill it with summer essentials like a snack and sunscreen for trips to the park, beach or playground.

Reusable Lunch Bag

If you use this tutorial, we’d love to see your bag in the Craft Buds Flickr pool. This post is part of the Summer Sewing Contest, so check out the blog hop for more projects inspired by the season and enter your own June 10-17 at at Ellison Lane Quilts for a chance to win prizes!

Book Review: Reinvention

Reinvention Book Maya Donenfeld

Maya Donenfeld’s new book Reinvention: Sewing with Rescued Materials (Wiley) is a collection of projects about repurposing materials to make something new. The sewing projects inside range from beginner to intermediate, and there are also some great design touches, like printing on fabric.

The book starts off with some sewing basics, like tools and techniques. There is also a chapter on printing basics, which covers freezer paper printing and stamping.

Arithmetic Pillows Reinvention

In the Linen chapter, one of the cutest projects are “The Arithmetic Pillows.” These simple envelope-back pillows are a perfect project for beginners. And if you aren’t into buying linen yardage, which can be quite expensive, suggested materials include upcycled linen skirts and dresses.

Toadstool Reinvention

In the Wool section, there are several projects which use upcycled sweaters as new material for making projects. “The Toadstool Cottage” is a toy designed for kids that parents will appreciate for its ability to contain tiny little pieces. If sweaters aren’t avilable, another affordable material could be a sturdy wool felt.

Color Block Zippered Pouch Reinvention

Have you ever considered using Tyvek mailers as sewing material? The water- and tear-resistant material can be repurposed as material for zip pouches, a banner, notebook and luggage tags. Some of the other materials featured in the book are jersey (t-shirt material), denim, vintage fabrics and burlap. So clever!

Burlap Bin Reinvention

My Project

As a project tester for this book, I had the privilege to review the pattern for the burlap bin before the book went to print. I chose to make the larger of two available sizes. My favorite design element is the handle slot, which you can insert on one or two sides. As you can see below, I changed my mind about the slots halfway through, and decided to just make one handle slot (although I had already created two slots in the lining fabric).

Surprisingly, I was able to sew through all of the layers, including topstitching all of the edges, without breaking a needle! The bins in the book are made from upcycled coffee bags, and if I ever come across some of these bags, I know exactly what to do with them.

Burlap Bin Reinvention

These bins are great for holding books or fabric scraps, which I’m currently using mine for. The cats, on the other hand, can certainly appreciate the burlap bin for its structured coziness.

Reinvention Burlap Bin

If you appreciate upcycled projects, Reinvention offers a wealth of inspiration. You can’t beat the affordability of sewing with materials that are either thrifted or ready to be thrown away, and the projects range from wearables to gifts and all sorts of things to make your house a home.

Summer Sewing Contest

Snowcones, sunshine and days by the pool… are you ready for summertime? Then why not kick off your summer with a little summertime sewing?!

Amy Butler Sun Surf Halter

Jennifer at Ellison Lane Quilts is hosting a Summer Sewing Contest that you won’t want to miss. The event will start off with an inspirational blog hop of summery sewing projects, featuring…

We’ll share our summer sewing project (a surprise!) on May 18th.

The Contest

Then it’s your turn to show off your summer sewing! To take part in the contest:

1. Sew something fun for summer in one of these 4 categories (You may enter one item in each category):

  • Quilts
  • Home Decor
  • Clothing
  • Bags & Accessories
2. Link up your entry at Ellison Lane Quilts:  June 10-17
3. Finalists are chosen in each category: June 18
4. Voting Begins: June 18- June 23
5. Winners announced: June 26

The Prizes

The winner of each category will receive a $100 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop!

A randomly chosen winner in each category will win a Fat Quarter Bundle of fabric from Westminster Fibers / Free Spirit Fabric.

A wild card winner will be chosen by Jennifer’s husband and will receive a $25 gift certificate to The Intrepid Thread.

Are you psyched like I am? Grab a button and spread the word!

Fabric Corner Bookmarks

Corner Bookmarks Tutorial Fabric

Some friends living in South Korea tipped me off to a trend they’ve seen in stores: the corner bookmark. These slide-on bookmarks can be made from fabric or paper, and I’ve written a tutorial for the fabric version you see here. Wouldn’t these make cool teacher appreciation gifts?

Since I have a lot of charm squares, I decided to use those for my bookmarks. Each charm square yields one bookmark, or you can use two charm squares to make two bookmarks with different images on the inside and outside.


1-2 fabric charm squares (5″x5″)

2.5″x5″ piece of medium-weight fusible interfacing (I used Pellon 808)

Iron, sewing machine, thread, sewing pins

Two charm squares

Choose two charm squares (or you may use just one if you want the same fabric on the inside and outside of the bookmark).

Cut charm squares

Cut squares in half on the 2.5″ mark. Set aside half, which you can use for a second bookmark.

Fuse interfacing to fabric

Use your iron to fuse interfacing to the back of your feature fabric.

Pin fabric right sides together

Pin fabric with right sides together.

Stitch 1/4" from edges

Stitch 1/8″ from edges, leaving a 2″ gap on one long edge for turning.

Clip corners

Clip corners, making sure to avoid your stitch line.

Turn inside out and pin

Turn inside out and use a pen or turning tool to poke out the corners.  Pin opened edge closed.

Topstitch 1/8" from edge

Topstitch 1/8″ from edge around perimeter, and press.

Fold in half and pin one edge

Fold rectangle in half and pin one edge perpendicular to the folded edge you just made. Stitch along pinned edge, 1/8″ from edge.

Open into triangle

Open fabric into a triangle, with seam you just stitched facing the back. Press.

Slip bookmark over pages

Slip bookmark over the corner of pages you would like to mark. These bookmarks can be used to mark two pages at once, depending on how many pages you slip inside.

Fabric corner bookmark tutorial

This is a great 10-minute craft for when you don’t have a lot of time, and would be an easy sewing project for beginners. And since we learned from Wednesday’s giveaway question that many of you still prefer paper books to e-readers (giveaway is still open through 5/2), you might even make several to give as gifts!

If you’ve used the corner bookmarks tutorial, we’d love to see your version in the Craft Buds Flickr pool!

Letterpress Baby Announcement

I’ve posted about the Epic Six in the past when I’ve used it for die cutting, but you can also use it to letterpress! We’ve got a baby due soon so I decided to get a head start on baby announcements. I used the Epic to create these “it’s a boy” cards using their petite printing plates, part of the letterpress collection.

I used white ink on the navy background and navy ink on the white background. This was my first test of using the Epic to letterpress. I’m happy to report that it was a fairly easy process and it didn’t take me long to get set up and create a whole stack of cards!

The only problem I had was sometimes ink would get on the sides of the words and it would show up in the final pressing. You can see a little extra in next to “boy” on the top card and next to “it’s” on the bottom one. I used an x-acto blade to trim down the sides of the word plates and was more careful about inking and then things went smoothly. You can learn more about the entire letterpressing process here on the Lifestyle Crafts blog.

I put together a template so after the baby is born I can fill it in with a baby photo and his name, weight, length and the date. Then I’ll have it printed as a photo and glue it to the back of each of my letterpress cards.


If you want to purchase anything from Lifestyle Crafts, don’t forget to use our coupon code CRAFTBUDS for an extra 20% off! Today is the last day to take advantage of free shipping for orders over $25.

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