Category Archives: Sewing

Great Internet Finds: Purl Bee’s Liberty Backpacks turned Ballet Bag

 

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We are back from a very long summer break! With three little ones and a summer full of traveling, playing, working, etc., we took a break from blogging (and quite a few other things). But with fall in the air, preschool starting up again, and even my little three year old starting her first dance class, it’s time to get the blog going again.

So, first up is this super quick and easy Purl Bee tutorial gem – a backpack tutorial I used to make my daughter a ballet backpack. I found this adorable Anna Griffin Arabesque ballet shoe fabric at my favorite online fabric store. The fabric, plus Purl Bee’s easy to follow, easy to make tutorial was a perfect combination. My daughter had been asking for a backpack, and with her ballet class starting up in a week, I figured this was a perfect solution.IMG_8736edit

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The Purl Bee blog does impeccable tutorials, and I was looking to do a very quick and easy project, as I was on a time crunch, so I didn’t change a single thing (except the fabric).  However, if I had to do it again, I would have shortened the straps a bit (which I may still do).  I wanted the bag to be a surprise for my daughter, so I didn’t fit her while making it.  So one suggestion, try on the backpack before sewing the straps in, to make sure you like the length.  There are three sizes- toddler, child, and adult.  I chose the child size, even though my daughter is still kind of growing out of the toddler phase- this way, she can grow into it a bit and her ballet gear will fit easily.  Now we are ready to go, and she couldn’t be more excited!  My son is now making sure that I know he wants one with truck fabric for his birthday in a couple months.  Fortunately, this backpack can be whipped up in an hour or two and for less than $10, so it should be no problem!

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Great Internet Finds: Market Tote Tutorial from Bijou Lovely

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I have had this Market Tote from Bijou Lovely tutorial bookmarked for probably a year.  And I’ve had an adorable Cloud 9 cotton canvas waiting for months and months to be turned into a bag.  It was only a week ago I put one and one together and realized they are MADE for each other!  I’ve been wanting to make a catch all bag (library trips, farmers market, kids stuff at church, swimming lessons, etc.) for awhile, but never really committed until I figured out this combo.  Now I am so happy to replace the ugly green Winco bag I often used  for such outings!

This feels much better!

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This tutorial is great – seriously! I have tried many a tutorial as I’ve learned to sew, and some are complete and easy to understand, and great pictures that fill in any questions, but in my opinion, it’s rare that I don’t have to fill in a single blank on my own.  This tutorial is that rare gem- oh, and with a fabulous outcome to boot!  Thank you, Bijou Lovely! You will be my tutorial inspiration when I finally attempt one!

So, the fabric I used was the Cloud 9 Bark & Branch canvas in blue and a Robert Kaufman cotton/linen blend in a natural.  I was trying to make this a very quick project, so I skipped the interfacing step.  I was using a canvas and a hardy linen/cotton, so I felt like it would have enough weight.  And it did.  If I’d wanted to spend a bit more time on the project, it probably would have made a good addition- a bit more stability.  I don’t think it’s missed too much, though, with a decently thick home decor weight fabric.  With anything lighter though, I wouldn’t recommend skipping the interfacing.

One other variation on the tutorial I did was to make the lining pieces just a bit bigger in height (about a half inch or less) bigger than the outside fabric.  I wanted a little trim of the linen on the top of the bag, so when I got to the second to the last step, top stitching the top edge- I just made sure the linen poked up out a bit.  If you do this, just make sure the lining is fitting in nicely (I pinned at the bottom before pinning the top for top stitching), and I top stitched on the outer fabric and the lining.

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Oh, and if I hadn’t been trying to keep it to a couple hour project, I would have added a pocket into the lining.  I am sure I will make this same bag again, with different fabric, so I’ll do it next time.  I’ll update any tips on here when I do.  Anyway, try out this Bijou Lovely’s fantastic tutorial if you are looking for a great market bag- with spring right around the corner, I think we could all use one of these!

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