my simple ditty bag tutorial

This is my quick & dirty, no measuring required, simple method of creating a little drawstring bag.  If you’re like me and far too impatient for preciseness, this is the way to go :)

bag1

To start, I used a piece of linen that was cut 8 x 18.  I folded it in half and centered the design on the top half of the fabric… this picture shows the placement of my finished stitching.  I then laid it on top of a piece of muslin and loosely cut to size. 2

Next, I folded my linen/muslin combo in half and ironed in a sharp bottom crease. 3

I turned my top edges in just a tad, maybe not quite an inch, to provide a finished edge on the top of the little bag. 4

I made those edges super sharp with the iron, eliminating the need for pins, which I personally find very tedious to use in sewing projects. I’m too impatient to pause to remove them… I just want to zip along with my machine!

(However, I will pause the machine for an official Cat Inspection) 5

For my next trick, I ran a line of sewing a little bit away from the top edge on both sides… I didn’t measure, just used the guideline on the base plate of my machine that I thought looked the best distance from the top. 6

And then I flipped the whole shebang over and ran a second seam across both edges, using the presser foot to guide me this time.  That second seam provided the track for the drawstring to run through. 7

I folded my bag with right sides together and (after changing the thread to something bright) sewed the two side seams, just eyeballing the distance away from my stitching. 8

I changed the thread back to the one that matched my linen and ran a seam down each side, just to the inside of those bright lines I had recently put in… 9

and this is what I was left with after all that… 10

So I cut right up the sides, again using that bright thread line as a guide. 11

I flipped the whole thing inside out and pressed it a bit…. almost done! 12

After braiding my DMC to make a drawstring, I stretched out a paper clip and tied the thread to one end so I could pretty easily get that thread through the little track I had made earlier.  I did that to both sides, knotted the ends, and viola!

It is finished.

For the record, the design I used for this tutorial was “Scatter Sampler Ditty Bag” by The Primitive Jewel (hey, that’s me!) which you can find at your favorite needlework shop. 011515tpjlogo

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thawing out?

This week’s polar vortex experience has put an immediate end to any dreams I may have had about one day relocating to Antarctica.  On the plus side, the combination of light powdery snow and  high winds made for some really pretty snow dunes on the front lawn:

010614duneA

Meanwhile, inside:     I buy all of the wooden pieces I use  for my designs naked and paint each one of them myself.  (so if you find one with a fingerprint on it, it’s mine)   Pictured below is just a teeny stack of progress… when it’s painting time, I do them by the hundreds!  The worst part about the  process is that ever since Macklemore went to the Thrift Shop, I can’t help singing  “I’m gonna paint some tags, only got twenty dollars in my pocket….” when I’m getting my supplies out.

011014tags

And a wee bit of stitching was going on as well.  I swear, I’m the world’s slowest stitcher!  (is there an award for that?) I managed a little more on my “Crosses of the Kingdom” project and on “Merry Christmas Owls” which is from the latest Stoney Creek magazine.  I’m stitching it on 18ct linen over two threads with 4 strands of floss and it’s been a nice change from all the smaller stuff I usually do.

010914progress

And finally, just because it’s cute, here’s a random cat picture from the internet:

snowcat