Patchwork Little Girl’s Purse {Tutorial}

Little-Girl-PurseI made some little purses for my granddaughters, and they turned out so cute, I wanted to share the tutorial with you! There’s a littlest size {for Lydia} and a little girl size {for Norah}.

Let’s get started with the supplies needed and then the construction.

Littlest Girl: approx. 7″ wide x 5 1/4″ tall

  • Fabric:
  • 30 – 2.5″ squares for patchwork
  • 1- 10 1/2″ x 12″ piece for lining
  • 1- 2 1/2″ x 13″ piece for strap
  • 1- 25″ x 2 1/2″ piece for binding
  • Fusible Interfacing:
  • 1- 2 1/4″ x 13″ for strap
  • Flannel:
  • 2- 1 ” x 12″ for strap
  • Fusible Fleece:
  • 1- 10 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ for body of bag

Little Girl: approx. 9″ wide x 6 1/2″ tall

  • Fabric:
  • 30 – 3″ squares for patchwork
  • 1- 13″ x 15″ piece for lining
  • 1- 3″ x 14″ piece for strap
  • 1- 3o” x 3″ piece for binding
  • Fusible Interfacing:
  • 1 – 2 3/4″ x 14 for strap
  • Flannel:
  • 2- 1″ x 14″ for strap
  • Fusible Fleece:
  • 1- 13″ x 15 1/2″ for body of bag

Read all directions before beginning, all seam allowances are 1/4″, unless otherwise stated.

Choosing the fabric is my favorite part. You will have two squares of each print, this will make the front and back of the purse look the same. This is not necessary, it’s the way I made mine.

Patchwork-Lil-Girls-Purse-2Sew the patchwork squares  five across by three down using 1/4″ seam allowances. Make two panels, these will be the front and the back of purse.

Lil-Girls-purse-4Sew the two panels together to create one piece.  Make sure the squares are opposing each other at the opposite ends so they will be correct. Fuse the fusible fleece to the back of the panel. (Follow the directions on the product you are using.) Quilt the squares 1/4″ on either side of the seams to create a patchwork piece. 

Patchwork-lil-girls-purse-5Sew the side seams with  right sides together using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Pin in place to make sure your squares line up at the seams.

Purse-corner-6Press the side seams open and fold the sides to create a point,  measure 1 1/4″ from the point, draw a line with a pencil or pen, then sew across this line, cut excess off leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. This will make a box at the bottom of purse. For the larger size purse draw a line  1 1/2″ from the point and sew a seam then cut leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Gift-bag-9Trim off the excess and leave 1/4″ seam.

Girls-purse-body-7Turn the purse right side out. Place a pin in the middle of the purse front and back for the pleat.

Lil-girls-purse-8-Take the seam from the adjoining squares and pin at the middle where the other pin is. This will make the pleat. Do this for both the front and back.

Outside-and-lining-pleats-10Sew along the top edge to hold the pleat in place. Sew the lining piece the same as you did for the outer purse, side seams, and corners. Place the lining inside the bag wrong sides together.  Make the pleat using the outside of the purse for the guide, pin in place. Stitch along the top edge of the purse to hold them together.
Binding-and-strap-11Fold the binding piece in half lengthwise and press. (top strip)

Strap-12Fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the strap piece. (bottom strip)Sew the strap in half lengthwise to create a long tube, press the seam allowance open.

Strap-with-flannelTurn the strap using a safety-pin or bodkin. Press it flat with the seam running down the middle back. Feed the flannel through the tube with the safety-pin or bodkin. Stitch along the long edge of the strap 1/8″ and 1/4″ to finish it.

Lil-girls-purse-strap-Pin the strap along the side seams, making sure to place the seam of the strap downward with the seam of the lining. After sewing it in place trim excess flannel.
Binding-14Attach the binding to the top of the purse, leaving tails open at the beginning and end of the binding piece.  Sew the ends into a complete circle. Now sew the unsewn portion of binding onto the top of the bag.

Binding-15After the binding is sewn all the way around the top of the purse fold it over to the inside of the purse and stitch it down.

Sewing-strap-to-side-15Now pull  the strap up and sew a stitching line to secure the strap in place.
Lil-Girls-purse-17And here is the finished little girls purse. Have fun making it. I would love to see pictures of your finished little girls purse. Send us an e-mail or share on social media with the tags #patchworklittlegirlspurse and #cloverandviolet {you can tag me too @cloverandviolet2!}.

Star Insulated Snack Bag {Pellon Projects Free Pattern}

Star-Snack-BagsDownload the free PDF here, at Pellon Projects!

Last fall my baby went to preschool. I’m not sure I’m ready for this growing up thing. They had a snack time at school, and since he would be carrying a backpack, I made him a little snack bag to take his snack in. Here’s the original:

S-Bag-SideNot long after I made it, I saw that Pellon had an insulated film, 940 Insul-Film™ coming out, and I knew it would be perfect for this project, especially since carrots and tomatoes kept coming home from school uneaten because they were warm!

S-Snack-BagSince I had used a scaled down letter from another tutorial {see the original post for details}, I decided to do an embroidered initial for the new one, something easier for anyone to personalize {alternately, you could use applique too!}. I drew a letter ‘S’, back stitched around it and then filled it with satin stitch {you can find more details on embroidery stitches here}. I thought the star was a fun option as well, because it could be left blank or used for a special fussy cut too!

Star-Snack-Bag-1Of course, once big brother had a snack bag, little sister needed one too! I filled the ‘N’ on hers with french knots. And, best of all, with a little ice pouch {or a refrigerated juice pouch or water bottle} the veggies were staying cool!

Star-Snack-Bag-SideA quick note about Insul-Film™ – through trial and error, I discovered that it does melt if it comes in contact with a hot iron {I generally use mine on the highest setting}, so use the iron on a warm setting. However, it had no problems in the warm wash or dryer.

Take a moment to visit the Pellon Projects site, not only for this tutorial, but for tons of amazing tutorials. I’m a big fan of Pellon, so it is great to collaborate with them! If you make a snack bag of your own, I’d love for you to share it. Either e-mail me or tag #starsnackbag on social media {tag me on Instagram @cloverandviolet}.

Star-Snack-Bag

Tips to Find Time to Sew

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As a follow-up to my post about my struggle with finding time to sew with little kids around, I wanted to share some of the things that help me, and some of the great tips I received from other readers and friends. Some of these tips are great too, for anyone struggling with balancing it all {all women}, not just for moms of little ones. A few of the tips I credited to an individual, but a lot of what everyone said was along the same lines, or are things I do, so those I’ve just left uncredited.

Here they are:

1. Prep your machine the night before. Clean it, wind bobbins, change the needle, get the correct thread and foot ready for your next project. Then, it will be ready and waiting. {Tip from charliemarmalade on IG}

2. Have your project ready to sew. Much like the first suggestion, when you get to your planned sewing time, you can spend it sewing, not gathering supplies. This is also great, because if you get an unexpected free moment, you can actually sew, if you want to. I like to sort my projects into baskets, so that I can grab the one I want and work on it, then put it back when I’m done.

3. Sew where the kids are. Even though I have a sewing space, I spend most of my time at the dining room table sewing while my children play in the living, craft at the table, or eat a snack. {Jennifer Dewing, a mom of 9, echoed this sentiment}

4. Let them help out. Many of my sewing sessions are spent with a child on my lap, or my son pressing the foot pedal {my machine lets me lower the speed, so he can’t accidentally make it go too fast}. If I’m making something for my kids, I offer them fabric choices so that they’re excited to see the project progress.

5. Give them an alternate craft. When I really want to get a project done, I get out a craft for the kids to do at the same time. Whether we’re filling old water bottles with random things to make marrakahs, stringing beads, or coloring in a new coloring book, the excitement of their project keeps them occupied while I work on mine.

6. Have hand sewing at the ready. Whether it’s paper piecing, embroidery, or binding, having a hand sewing project that can go outside on sunny days, or to the living room while they play a game, this gives me a little fulfillment and keeps me right with them too.

7. Have a dedicated quiet time. This is an opportunity for children to learn self-entertainment, to recharge, and to give you a little break in your day too. We don’t do this in my house yet, but I’m going to start! {Tip from sevenblessingssewing on IG}

8. Take advantage of help. Whether it’s a free afternoon from grandma or hubby taking the kids to the store, use those unexpected free times to recharge and do what you enjoy without feeling guilty about it {it’s hard, I know}.

sewing-with-babyIt was hard to find a photo of me with Lydia on my lap sewing, as we don’t often have a photographer handy, but here’s one from last year, she was mesmerized by the machine! You’ll notice Legos and the play kitchen in the background, and that my dining room table are the setting.

I hope maybe these tips will help you sneak in a little more sewing {if that’s what you want to do!}. I know that our whole family is happiest when everyone gets a little time to themselves to pursue what they enjoy, even mom!

Playing with Color :: Lydia’s Quilt

Lydia-Stack

With things settling down for fall, it is high time I got to work and made Lydia a quilt {she is one year old now!}. As you may have guessed, I really love purple {Clover & Violet}, but I feel like the options for purple in the fabric world are minimal and not always pretty {why is that? Do we as a collective quilt community dislike purple?}. So, over time, I’ve scouted out a few favorite purples and stashed them. I chose this stack {plus some more that I added later} for the quilt.

Photoshop-Elements

Then, I remembered seeing that Alyssa at Pile O’ Fabric made a Kona® Color Swatch for Adobe Illustrator. I went over to download it, did some internet searches, and discovered that, yes, I can use this in Photoshop Elements 12 too! So, now I am able to use her virtual Kona® card to make some pretty neat fabric photos too, for inspiration and for saving {and, of course, fabric shopping!}. Now, I just hope she adds the new colors so all 303 are there {and, I need a new Kona card too, since two of the colors I chose weren’t even on my color card, it is that old!}.

Lydia Quilt Small

So, here’s my stack for Lydia’s quilt with the Kona® colors next to it. Now I’ve just got to get the quilt sewn up!

Do you have a favorite color combo you’d love to see in fabric?

Turn your little artists drawing into a softie

This contributor post is written by Susi of Lilla Luise.


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Hello dearest readers!

This is Susi from Lilla Luise again! Today I have something slightly different from what you are used to when it´s my turn to blog here. This isn’t a tutorial that will give you a specific template but rather a guide to talk you through making a softie from your kid´s drawing. It is probably the one tutorial that is as close to my heart as it could be – it will melt your heart too when you see the glow of excitement in your kid´s face when they realize that you animated one of their drawings.

Speaking from experience, let me tell you the most important part of this process – don´t try to make your kid´s drawing perfect in your eyes. To them it is already perfect just as they doodled it, if there is a wonky body this is exactly how they want it to be. We are grown up and sometimes forget to see the magical touch in imperfection. So let´s just abandon our perfect sewing theories for a little while and create something truly enchanting, okay?!!

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Some tips on how to work your magic and turn your little one´s doodle into a softie.

Body:

Keep the shape as simple as your child has drawn it. If it is wonky don’t try to straighten it out…your little artist apparently wanted it to be wonky…that´s the beauty about kids, they see the magic in things that aren’t perfectly well-balanced and designed, so as an adult try to get a bit of that magic back by forgetting about perfect round circles and straight lines for a moment – it´s worth it, believe me :) I usually try to trace the shape exactly as it is and then add 1/4 inch seam allowance to my template. Dont forget to clip curves and corners to make sure it will finish nicely.

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Try to stick as close to the doodle as you can.
If the eyes are dots only I like to embroider them with a simple French knot for each eye. If they happen to be larger you can appliqué them with wool felt in matching colors.
If the mouth/nose is drawn like a thin line already I like to use my sewing machine to carefully stitch it on, if it is a thicker line I would recommend to embroider it with a running stitch.

Arms/Legs:

If the arms and legs are drawn like sticks I think it´s a really cute option to use baker´s twine. Simply tie a knot or two on one end and then sandwich it in between the softie front and back.
For thicker arms you could either go the “normal” way and sew a front and back piece of fabric together, turn it and stuff it or you could use some bias tape and tie a knot in again to represent the hand/foot.
Baker´s twine or bias tape would also work very well for a tail.
I tend to sew over the arms and legs on the seam allowance several times before I turn the softie right side out as it will certainly be well-loved by your little one and we don’t want the arms/legs to rip out easily!

Hair:

Everything goes, really…baker´s twine, embroidery floss, yarn, wool felt, fur, fabric scraps.

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I hope these tips are helpful to create the most perfect imperfect softie in the world!!!

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