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!}.

Bias Tape or Binding – Single or Double Fold (Tutorial)

Bias-BindingOne of my learning goals for 2015 was bias binding. I love the rounded edges on small projects, above you can see the Flora supply case has a nice curve to accommodate a zipper closure. I purchased a bias tape maker a while back, and I’ve been using it to make my own bias tape for all these curve projects. By cutting the fabric on the bias {a 45° angle}, it will go around a curve, until fabric cut on the straight grain. But, it seems that when it comes to binding with bias or regular binding, the terms “Double Fold” and “Single Fold” have different meanings {at least to the modern quilter}. So, after a little web searching and checking some shops, I want t share the difference that I found. Let’s start with bias bindings:

Bias-TapeHere’s some bias tape, the top is double fold, the bottom is single fold. I made both of these bias tapes myself, by cutting the fabric on the bias, sewing it together, and then using a bias tape maker. The difference is, after the top take came out of the bias tape maker, I folded it in half again. So, for the top tape, if you wanted to purchase an equivalent, you’d buy 1/2″ double fold bias tape. For the bottom, you’d buy 1″ single fold bias tape.

Some projects that require bias tape {like finishing an applique} do not apply the bias tape to the edge of the product, therefore, single fold is all that is necessary {otherwise, there would be four layers of fabric appliqued on}. To read a more in depth tutorial on bias tape, visit Sew4Home, there’s is the best I’ve seen.

From what I can tell, bias tape and bias binding, when purchased from a large retailer {like JoAnn’s} are the same thing. However, for straight grain binding, double and single fold binding have different meanings. Let’s take a look:

BindingThe top is double fold binding. It is one strip of fabric folding in half in the middle. This is then sewn flat onto the quilted project and the folded edge is folded around to the back and stitched. You can read a great tutorial at Canoe Ridge Creations. Single fold binding has come to mean sewing an unfolded strip of fabric to the edge of a quilt, then wrapping the raw edge around to the back, tucking in the edge, and sewing in place {essentially folding it like double fold bias tape…see where the confusion begins?}. You can read a great tutorial on single fold binding here {I use this mini quilts and mug rugs}.

When it comes to binding a quilt, whether the fabric is cut straight grain or on the bias, more modern tutorials seem to agree that the double fold should refer to the folds shown directly above, both the Sew4Home tutorial referenced above and this Craftsy tutorial show even bias binding folded in half in the center.

binding-infoI think the usage of the same wording to mean different things is a little confusing. I’ll admit, I didn’t give it much thought until some questions came up from testers. So, here’s the info I found, I hope it helps clear things up {as much as they can be!}. Do you have any questions I can help answer?

The Flora Supply Case {Pattern Release}

flora supply caseI’m so excited to introduce the Flora supply case pattern today! I’ve been seeing all sorts of little cases for planner supplies for the past few months, and I’ve been wanting to make a cute one for myself, but have struggled to find the time. However, one of my birthday club friends also is a planner lover, so I made a case for her {it was so hard to keep it a secret for almost a month until she received it!}. Fortunately, writing the pattern coincided with my husband taking some days off of work, so I was able to finish it in record time {for me at least!}. And now it is available in the shop.

flora-supply-case-three-sizesInside the case are fabric pockets, mesh pockets, and a zipper pencil pouch. The pattern is in three sizes to coordinate with the three sizes of planners, but this case could be used for so many other purposes too. Sewing kit, art supplies, I’ve even had a couple people ask about diabetes supplies.

One of the great things about this pouch too, is it’s construction allows for customization too. Several testers did not have mesh on hand {I used a laundry bag for mine}, so they used fabric for the mesh portion. A couple testers were not able to get the fold over elastic quickly, so I suggested using a piece of binding and threading narrow elastic through it for the top. One even used elastic thread to gather a fabric pocket. The possibilities are endless.

Linen-Flora-supply-caseThe front of the case also has lots of different options too, in addition to the mini charm squares.

flora-supply-case-ice-creamMy mom sent me this cute paper pieced ice cream cone {you can find the pattern for the ice cream cone}, and I made it into a supply case and I really love it.

If you’d like to see some of the great other versions of the case the testers and everyone else have made, click here to view the tag #florasupplycase on Instagram. Thanks for taking a moment to check out the pattern, I hope you enjoy it!

Patchwork Bedside Basket

Fabirc-Basket-2I made a couple fabric basket’s using my Bedside Basket Tutorial {from almost 3 years ago?!} for my son’s preschool teachers this week, I had a lot of fun putting together some favorite fabrics in a combination I hadn’t used before. I posted this inspiration photo on Instagram:

Edit: I went with this bundle, so I deleted the rest for now!  Trying to mix colors for a new project...but not sure I've got it right...I love every print here, but I'm feeling like the blue (3rd from the bottom) doesn't quite flow, but I want to use it so bad! Thoughts?I mentioned that I was worried the colors weren’t quite flowing like I wanted them to, but that I really loved all the prints, a few people offered suggestions and I posted a few more bundle options. But, as I looked at my other choices, I became confident that these were the prints I wanted to use, and I’m so glad I did! I think they worked together really well!

Fabirc-Basket-3I used a solid print inside my basket, instead of patchwork like I had with the original, this came together much quicker {which is great, since I made them last minute, like I seem to do everything!}

Fabirc-Basket-1I sewed the sides and bottom like I had on my tutorial update, and I really like the shape it gives the basket too. Though, I did break two needles sewing through the bulk, maybe because I was in such a hurry.

I know one of the teachers is a sewer, but I thought baskets might be more multifunctional than a pouch or something. Now, we’re new to the teacher gift thing…what other kids of gifts have you given teachers? I’d love to know for future reference, as we have lots of school years ahead of us!

Tips to Find Time to Sew

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!