Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Tag For My Bag...Printing On Fabric

Wanted to share a simple little project that might spark your imagination.
 Tomorrow I'm heading off to Atlanta to attend the Haven conference, so this week has been pretty busy getting ready for the festivities. 
Can't wait to meet so many creative and talented bloggers. 

Business cards...check
snacks to share...check
comfy shoes...check
hobo bag to carry stuff...check

Which brings me to  a TAG for my BAG so people know who I am

Printing on fabric is pretty easy, as long as you follow certain steps. I printed on some dropcloth fabric and made this Paris Pillow for my daughter a couple of years ago. You can see it HERE.

Back to making the bag tag...
I took a scrap of fabric
spray glued it to a piece of cardstock

Printed up the design I wanted on regular printer paper, then laid it on the fabric to make sure it would fit.
(I used an ink jet printer)

Printed it  up...(sorry, no pic)

Took the fabric off the cardstock, trimmed the cardstock and the fabric down, then  glued it back on to the printed fabric.I also frayed the edges of the fabric.

Here's the back of the soon to be tag...
 A 1/4" black grossgrain ribbon was hot glued to the back of the cardstock..

and hung on the button on the bag.

Super easy!

Now, back to packing.

Hope you have a great day.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How To Make A Hobo Bag

Several years ago, I bought a hobo bag from Forever 21 and absolutely loved it and used it all the time. It's always been on my mental project list to make one just like it and finally decided to make one for the Haven bloggers conference coming up in a few days.
I wanted to make  the bag with longer straps so it can be worn across the body and wanted to have pockets inside that would fit my cell phone, sunglasses and some room for pens. 
It's pretty easy to knock off a pattern from an existing cloth bag. Sewing this bag is another story and I had to figure things out as I went along.

For all you who just want to see the finished project, skip down.... a whole bunch!  This is a pretty long tutorial, so scroll down if you don't want to read through all the instructions. 
 Some of you might just want to pin this post to one of your boards on Pinterest for a later date.

Here are the details:
First off, I had one yard of fabric for the lining and straps(black fabric) and one yard of fabric for the patterned fabric. Your yardage may vary depending on the size of the bag you are making. 

To make the pattern, trace the bag on some pattern paper. You can use any type of paper or even a cut up paper bag.

To make sure the pattern is even,  fold the pattern down the center. Then add 1/2" seam allowances for every seam.

To make the pocket patterns, put a 1/2" pleat in the paper lengthwise and make the pattern a little larger than the item you want to put in it. Add 1 1/4" seam allowance at the top of the pocket and 1/2" on the other 3 sides.

The steps above are repeated for the other 2 pockets. Cut one of each. 

Since my fabric had a symmetrical pattern, I placed the paper pattern  over the patterned fabric and lined up the design on the fabric to line up with the center of the bag.
 Cut 2 of the patterned fabric and 2 of the contrasting lining fabric.

I measured the straps and added the length that I wanted to allow me to wear the bag across my body. 
Make your straps the length and width that you like. 

Starting with the pockets,  iron the seam allowances(1 1/4" on the top and 1/2" on the other 2 sides)

Sew the top 1" seam allowance. Fold over the seam allowance 1/4" and sew at 1" on each piece(don't sew it to the black lining yet)
Pin a 1/2" pleat at the bottom.

It's easiest to start with the small center pocket first by placing the pocket where it looks good on the lining. The bottom of the pocket is sewn to  lining first.

Stitch the right side of the pocket, then measure the bottom of the pocket and line up the left side of the pocket by making sure the top is the same measurement as the bottom of the pocket. 

Sew the left pocket next by placing the left pocket up against the small center pocket  and sewing the right side of the pocket and the bottom.

Line up the left side of the left pocket the same way as the center pocket. 

Place the right pocket up against the smaller second pocket, pin and sew the 3 sides. 
Voila! pockets are attached to the lining. Check the pockets to see if the items you want to keep in them will fit. 

Next, with right sides together of the main (patterned) fabric, I placed a pin 5" down on both sides. (the right side is shown) Then  I sewed  the side from the pin down, then continued to sew the bottom, then up the other side up to the pin on the left side. 
Your hobo bag might be a little different.

I decided to round off the corner by sewing across the corner. I also cut off the corner after.
 Repeat the above steps with the  lining fabric, only  don't sew the the sides only.

Turning  the right sides out, this is what they look like at this point. Notice the bottom edge of the black lining is not sewn.  You now basically have 2 bags.

This is a little tricky, but put the lining bag into the pattern bag, wrong sides of the lining fabric to the wrong sides of the outside fabric. Pin and turn right side out, just to make sure that you will be stitching the correct sides.

Stitch all but the tops (where the straps will be attached) and the bottoms of the bags

Clip the fabric  around  any curves.

I  clipped the fabric several times in the center  of the bag.

Sew the long sides of the straps with right sides together and then turn them right side out.

This is where it gets tricky again.  The straps will be attached to the body of the purse at the top ...see photo. The straps are in between the pattered outside fabric and the lining fabric(right sides together)

Sew the seam, then turn right side out to check again.  Here's what it should look like.

Pull the black lining out, press (iron) the seam allowance inside (with right sides together.) Then top stitch the bottom. 

I attached a button just for looks  and to add my blog name tag to it for Haven coming up on Thursday.

Now to the final product!

 Tada! I'm always excited when something comes out well.
hobo bag, sewing project, fabric hobo bag

hobo bag, sewing project, fabric hobo bag

hobo bag, sewing project, fabric hobo bag
Phew! That was a long post...maybe my longest post EVER!
Check another project off the list...
feels so0000 good. 

Leave me a short comment and tell me what you think- I read every one!


You might like to see how I made a Basket From A Wine Box. 
You can find it here. 

 p.s. I found my fabric at They did not compensate me in any way for this post.
Disclaimer: The above post is how I made our my hobo bag.  I don't take any responsibility for any errors or results obtained from using this information. When using power tools, use safety equipment.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Refinishing Our Deck

Oh, the trials and tribulations of doing a diy project. 

Ok, not always, but every once in awhile.  

Have you ever started a diy home project and it seemed like it took 


Well, that's how it's been with regards to refinishing our deck this year.
Back in 2010, our deck looked fabulous and so well put together.
But, this year, our deck started to peel in a bunch of places, so I pressure washed  it...

Until it looked like this and all the loose old finish was removed. We did a little light sanding, as well.

We had purchased Olympic Nantucket Gray solid deck stain awhile back and we applied one coat on the deck floor, all except this corner(where we had put the furniture and the grill).  (you shouldn't really stop in the middle of the board; for best results, you should do one board all the way the the end so you don't have any marks, but I was lucky)

This was back in June

Then it started raining.


 We finally had a few days of only small showers and then 2 days of no rain, so I finished the corner.
Turns out, I really HATED the color, but at least the deck floor was refinished with one thin coat. 
So, I went back to the store and bought another sample/er quart of stain.
I didn't like Olympic Eiffel Tower

So, I bought another quart of Olympic Pewter...
 didn't like that either...(too gray)

So, I went back to the store and bought another quart of stain.
I didn't like Olympic Deep Charcoal either. 

So, I went to the Home Depot to try one of their colors. Their stain samples were only $3.68 (instead $15+ for the quarts. 
I tried Behr Solid Color Weather Proofing  All In One Wood Stain and Sealer in Autumn Brown.
This time, I painted a piece of pine and set it against the brick.
Autumn Brown was actually too brown for me. (It's actually browner than it looks in the photo)
So, I went home and did what I usually do when I choose a paint color. 
I take what I have and mix up a couple of colors until I like the color. 
I applied the color I mixed up to a pine board and
 went back to the Home Depot and asked them if they mix custom colors for deck stain and could color match what was on my sample board.

They could and it was perfect! 

Here are all the samples I had to go through to find my perfect deck color. The final color is in the gallon.

 Of course it rained again 

 but we finally got a break and I applied the first coat of the new color on the deck. 
and then, there was this on stairs...
what do you do?

I got another break in the rain last week for a couple of days and finished the 2nd coat on the deck floor and stairs. 
I was able to touch up some of the railing too.
Still have the bottom of the posts and the stair railing to do, but it will have to wait at least until next week. 
Mr. Fanatic likes the custom color too.

Our deck is getting a total makeover, including furniture. Mr. Fanatic made a gorgeous picnic table ~ here's a sneak peek: 
 I'll show it to you and how he made it in a couple of days. 
He also has plans to make a chaise/bench with storage for the seating on one side of the table.

Here's what I'm planning to add some color to all the gray, brown and white.

I can't tell you how HAPPY I am to finally finished the deck floor(and 1/2 of the railing).

Have you ever started a diy home project that took you forever, or is it just me?