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Friday, August 27, 2010

SEW THIS: Thread bag and Pin Cushion

I have recently started sewing quite a bit. I am kind of a below average sewer... but working to improve my skill. My mother taught me how to sew and until just recently when my husband set up my machine in our basement, I had sewed only on my mothers machine. So when I was sewing in my house... I was a wreck. There were threads and scraps everywhere. I couldn't seem to contain them. They exploded, then quickly organized and were staging a coup to overtake me. I couldn't think of why i was having this problem suddenly that i was sewing in my own house... and then it hit me! My mom has this nifty little thread bag thingy that sit on the edge of her sewing table that all the little threads and scraps magically fall into... nice and neat and clever-- just like my mama! Oh my, I must have one now! I thought to myself and so I got to work.
And as soon as I started my work I figured you would probably want one too, so because I am a good friend I documented... and below is a tutorial. LOVES!
(Oh, and you finally get to see what I did with my monogram applique!)

Approx 1/4 yard each of 2 coordinating fabrics
Scraps of Muslin or tightly woven fabric
Fusible adhesive (just scraps...)
plastic strapping (like the stuff that comes around paper boxes? Actually, you can use a lot of different things, this is to help it hold a round shape. My mom cut out a part of a plastic container, I cut the ring off a small pie plate...)
Sand (i used approx 3-4 cups of play sand)
1" wide grosgrain ribbon in contrasting color
Contrasting thread (same color as ribbon?)
Sewing machine

Step 1: CUT
(I do all my cutting at the beginning of a project, then you are good to go...)
Cut 2 10" by 20" rectangles (one of each fabric, this will be the outer and liner of the bag)
Cut 2 6.5" by 6.5" squares out of 'outer' fabric and muslin (4 squares total)
Cut 2 8" lengths of ribbon
cut 2 4" by 7/8" strips of fusible adhesive

Pin muslin together and sew three sides and half of the fourth. Clip corners and turn inside out.
Funnel sand into the pouch you have created. I made a funnel out of scrap paper. (yes, my sand is hot pink. No, no one will see it, but it makes me feel happy inside to know it's there. Your sand does not have to be pink... but it's super fun if it is!) I filled mine as full as possible because I wanted mine nice and chubby. The tighter the sand the better it will hold pins.
Carefully hand stitch closed the open corner of your sand-filled muslin bag and set it aside.

Measure 4" to the center of your ribbon piece and place edge of velcro there, sew in place on the 'right' side of your ribbon. Place your fusible adhesive on one half of your 8" ribbon piece on the 'wrong side' and iron into place. Peel off paper backing and fold ribbon in half back over the adhesive, iron to fuse together (you should now have a 4" length of ribbon with velcro sewn on one side by the fold... make sense? Do the same thing to your other piece of ribbon.
Pin together right sides of 'outer' fabric. Include the ribbons on the 'bottom' edge of the outer fabric, pin them each 1" from center, edges aligned with the edge of the fabric. (the velcro part should be touching the right side of the 'back' piece. Sew sides and bottom. Clip corners and turn right side out. Wiggle the sand filled pouch down into the outer pouch... it should be a nice snug fit. Slip stitch the top closed.
(I used ... this monogram  piece for this... turned out cute. You don't have to have a monogram, my mother has survived about 40 years sewing with a non-monogrammed pin cushion... so i know it's possible, even if it's not as fun.)

On your 'liner' fabric sew down 2 pieces of velcro. (each one 1" from center of the 10" side of the fabric so they will line up with the ribbon straps...)                                         Fold liner fabric in half (to form 10" square) and pin right side together. Sew just the two sides adjacent to the fold, press seams open. To make a boxed corner, pull bag apart a bit to to make a point. Measure 2" from the corner, and sew a seam across. Trim off corner. Repeat for other side of bag. Leaving right sides together still, press over 1/4" hem, then another 3/4"-- this will become a casing later.
Repeat same steps with 'outer' fabric, only when you get to the last step (pressing) you only need to turn down a 1/4" hem, turn right side out.
You should have 2 'bags' with boxed corners, liner still inside out, outer bag right side out. With wrong side together, wiggle the liner bag into the outer bag, pinch and pin corners to make sure it gets all the way in there. There should be a 3/4" portion of the liner that folds of the top of the outer bag, fold that up for now. Pin in place and sew along the top of the outre bag to secure it to the liner. Flip the 'overlap' hem from the liner back over the top, and top stitch from one side seam around, leaving a 2" opening on one side. Feed the plastic strapping through the casing this creates, and hand stitch the opening closed. (I used the top of a pie plate i cut off and bent up, but it was still tooooo dangerous, so I had to pull it out and wrap it in electrical tape. I recommend... the plastic strapping, much easier and safer!)
 You should have a nice lined bag with boxed corners, and a casing holding a nice round open circle at the top, and velcro on the top/inside of the bag. Did you get there with me??? Did you?


How happy is your sewing table right now??? :)

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