Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tapestry Bag

Sewing tutorial for a cloth bag
Easy tapestry fabric bag

I've raved about this particular style bag so many times.

And made it a good few times too.

Click on these links to see this bag in other fabrics - Green African print cloth bag  and  Cream bull denim cloth bag.

Cut 2 x 50 x 80 centimetre pieces plus 5cm notch

I had some off-cuts left over from when I made my Kimono jacket - see how to make a kimono jacket here.

Stitch sides, fold over and stitch bottom

This tapestry fabric is robust.

Perfect for a bag.

So I decided to make yet another cloth bag.

I had to sew a few pieces together to get the right size pattern piece.

Was slightly worried that this would be a bit obvious with a print fabric but you can't notice it when I'm wearing the bag.

Here's how you make it:


You need: -

sewing machine
matching thread

Sew cut-out flat

You do: -

Cut two 50 x 80 centimetre pattern pieces.

Cut out a 5 centimetre square in the middle bottom of each pattern piece.

Sew halfway up the sides from the bottom.

Fold over, so side seams lie on top of each other, then sew across the bottom.

Sew shoulder seam and hem edges

Fold cut-out corners flat and sew across them to create a box shape at the bottom of the bag.

Now place top ends of bag together.
It looks as if the strap is going to be far too wide, but don't worry.

Sew across top end of bag.

Fold shoulder over and sew ends together

Fold top of bag in half and pin in place.

Either hand sew or machine sew it in place.

Fold in half again, and again either hand sew or machine sew in place.

Neaten or hem any raw edges and then press with an iron.

That's one handy and gorgeous bag complete!


Fold should a second time and sew together

Visit the Greenie Galleries at the top of this page to see older DIYs.

I've shared myriad fashion upgrades from FREE sewing patterns to tutorials for making jewelry from anything such as food packaging or rope.

As always, I try to up-cycle or recycle.

I will be back with more next week,


Thursday, December 11, 2014

DIY Tassel Necklace

Tassel necklace
Make a yoga necklace

A girl in our yoga class wears a necklace like this and I'm always saying how lovely it is. I decided it was time to make one.

You could use multi- coloured beads. I stuck to plain wooden ones.

And your tassel can be fatter by using lots of string. You could make the tassel longer. I've seen some bright coloured tassels which are fun. In terms of beads, little African glass would be lovely but would take longer to thread. I wouldn't go too big. My beads are 4 mm wide.
To make tassel wind thick thread around card

Here's how you make this necklace.

You need: -
thick thread for tassel and necklace
something to wind the thread around i.e. business card
O-Ring and pliers to bend it open and closed

You do: -
Work out how long you want your necklace to be and take a measurement. I used a piece of string to get the size of my necklace.
Add O-Ring to end and wind thread around tassel

Start loading beads onto your thread until you reach your desired length. Knot the ends of your thread. You can add a drop of glue to the knot to make sure it is secure.

To make your tassel, wind your thread around a business card. Or something bigger for a longer tassel? For a fatter tassel wind lots of thread.

Once done with this step, open the O-Ring and slip it around the threads at the one end and close O-Ring.
How to make necklace

Now wind thread around tassel at one end and tie. You can put a drop of glue on this knot too.

Open O-Ring again and add to necklace. And that's your yoga necklace complete.

If you visit the Greenie Galleries at the top of the page you will hopefully be inspired to make other easy pieces of jewelry. And sew your own clothes.

See you next week,


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Drawstring Pouch Bag

Sewing tutorial for a pouch
Drawstring pouch

I made the sister to this toiletry bag a few months back. See that bag here - Zipper pouch .

This particular fabric has a different print on each side. The other bag has the alternate print to this bag - and a zipper closure.

My fabric dimensions are 60 centimetres x 50 centimetres. I'm using them for traveling as a toiletry bag and a bag for my underwear. I wish I had made it a bit bigger. I will definitely make more. I could use one for laundry and one for shoes. But maybe in different colours?
You need fabric and tape or ribbon

You need: -
a piece of fabric 60 x 50 centimetres
matching colour thread
ribbon or tape at least 2 x width of your bag about 100cm
sewing machine
Roll over top of bag and make a hem

You do: -
Roll over the top edge of your bag and make a small hem. Fold over and make another hem.
Fold over again and make a second hem

The raw edges should no longer be visible.

Fold your fabric in half and sew the side and bottom.
Sew around side and bottom
Snip the bottom corners so your bag will open nicely. See picture below.
Snip corners so bag opens nicely

Make a deep fold over at the top and stitch a casing for your ribbon or tape. Leave a section open so you can insert the ribbon or tape.
Make a deep fold over at top and stitch leaving space to feed tape

Feed the tape or ribbon through the fold and knot the ends.

That's it folks. An easy peasy drawstring bag.

At the top of this page are three galleries with all sorts of projects that will hopefully help you with DIY ideas. There you will find a mix of clothing, accessories, up-styling to FREE sewing patterns.

I will be back with more next week,


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Tank Top + Sewing Tutorial

Easy tank top

How to make a tank top

Most of my days are spent in leggings and some type of T-Shirt. In summer it's a tank top and in winter it's most likely a tank top and a long sleeved T-Shirt over it.

One thing I dislike about bought tank tops is the narrow
Trace pattern from a tank top
shoulder straps. They don't lend themselves to sports bras. And I don't like wearing overly tight or cropped tops to the gym. Which is why I made this tank top.

Cotton knit is so forgiving for novice sewers. You can get away with no
Pin pattern to fabric and cut
hems. A raw edge can actually look cool. This top had exactly four seams. Two side seams and two shoulder seams. I used a summer weight white cotton knight for this top.

I want to try make a  looser slouchy version. And I want to make another one with dropped arm holes. Will need to make a bandeau top to wear under a dropped armhole tank. How nice will that be for yoga? My list of things to make never ends.

Here's how to make this easy tank top.

You need: -
a cotton old tank top that fits you
black marker pen
stretch cotton knit
matching thread
sewing scissors
sewing machine

You do: -
Use your old tank top to make a pattern.

Trace the outline of your tank on the newspaper making sure - very important - you add on about 1.5
Cut front of neck lower than back
centimetres extra for your seam allowance.

Cut out your pattern in paper.

Pin your pattern to your fabric and cut 2 x pieces. A front and a back.

Trim front neck even more if required
Note, I cut the back neck of my tank top a bit shorter. You most likely will want to do the same.

The nice thing is you can trim the back and the front necklines  after you have made your tank top to get them exactly as you would like them to be. You may want a plunging neckline and narrow shoulder straps. Or a high neckline and wide shoulder straps.

Stitch sides and shoulders and you're done. No really! It's that simple.

Visit the Greenie Galleries at the top of this page to see older DIYs. I've shared myriad fashion upgrades from FREE sewing patterns to tutorials for making jewelry from food packaging.
As always, I try to up-cycle or recycle.

I will be back with more next week,


Thursday, November 20, 2014

How to make an easy hairband

Hairband tutorial
Easy hairband

I have made hairbands before.

Click on these links to view them - DIY silver ribbon hairband - T-Shirt
hairband - and - pantyhose hairband.

They are so super easy to make and take no more than half an hour.

You need some kind of elastic

You need: -
about 10 centimetres of any kind of elastic
  • elastic band
  • hairband
  • thread elastic
  • knicker elastic
  • pantyhose
  • stretch jewlery making elastic
You need tape or ribbon

and about 50 to 60 centimetres of any kind of long thin band - it depends on the size of your head
  • a strip of fabric
  • tape
  • ribbon
  • rick rack
  • pleather
Cut ribbon on the diagonal to stop it fraying

You do: -
Measure around your head.

Work out how long your elasticised piece is going to be and deduct that from the circumference of your head. My elastic was 20 centimetres long.

Add about 1.5 to 2 centimetres which you will fold back on either side of your headband. My band was 52 centimtres long.

I always cut ribbon diagonally across so it
Pin band in place and fit to make sure it's not too loose or tight.
doesn't fray.

Fold the ends of your hairband over your elastic and pin.

Fit it taking care not to poke yourself. Adjust so it's a snug but not too tight fit.

Hand sew ends.
I pushed the knot of my elastic into the fold so it wasn't visible.

Hand sew - or you can glue - the ends in place.

I tied a piece of sewing thread around my elastic to make an 8 shape. See picture at top right.

And just like that you have a nice new headband. They are great for the gym, for a dressy occasion and for adding a seasonal print or colour to your wardrobe.

At the top of this page are three pages of Greenie Galleries with quick links to older posts as well as free sewing patterns.

See you here next week,