I’m so excited about this finish! It was my daughter Natalie’s first quilt top that she’s made. She loves sewing little blankets and things for her stuffed animals, but this was the first time we spent time going over rotary cutting basics and piecing. We settled upon Alexia Abegg’s Print Shop fabric collection that I picked up at my local quilt shop, Olive Juice Quilts. We added a few other Cotton + Steel prints that I had in my stash. When I spotted the Swatch pattern for the first time I knew it would be a great one for Natalie to try!
She’s just a few weeks away from turning 11 and I think it was a great age to try piecing a simple quilt top. Natalie cut about half of the pieces, while I cut the other half. We worked together by taking turns pressing and starching our fabrics and then making the different cuts. It was super nerve-wracking for me to watch her with the rotary cutter, but I’m glad we did it together. Teaching her basic safety with the rotary cutter was super important to me. I’m glad she has a bit of that under her belt now.
So when it came to piecing the top I did the pressing and pinning for her. I suppose I could have had her do a bit of it, but she is pretty good at that already so I figured it would help move things along if she was able to focus on the actual sewing part. Getting a nice consistent seam allowance and troubleshooting any inconsistencies from cutting, etc. Overall it took maybe four different sessions of sewing for her to actually complete the quilt top. She would sit down on a no school day or early release day and sew for maybe 20 minutes or so? It wasn’t long in most cases and sometimes I admit there was a little bit of prodding. But I knew that if she finished it she would be so proud! So the other night she finished and we agreed that I’d piece the back, quilt, and bind it.
I had a blast watching her and we did have our moments, but it’s so fun to have her try a bigger quilt! The back was fun for me to piece as I finally used my much hoarded piece of Summersville (by Lucie Summers for Moda) which I thought paired so nicely with Print Shop! P.S. Lucie has an amazing shop of her designs and hand printed fabric, so if you love Summersville, go check it out! Anyway, while she was at school one day I quilt and bound the quilt. It was so fun to be secretly finishing it for her as I was able to surprise her with it when she got home from school. She loves it, took it upstairs right away to put it on her bed.
Pattern: Swatch by Alexia Abegg
Fabric: mostly Print Shop by Alexia Abegg for Cotton + Steel,
backing has Summersville by Lucie Summers plus scraps from Print Shop
Hello! I’m feeling the change of seasons a bit even though it’s been so cloudy and rainy here. It always gets me thinking about my wardrobe and what I can sew that’ll feel fun and new for Spring. I’m trying not to buy clothes as much as possible, especially when I have enough fabric and inspiration to sew my own!
This lace had been a super cheap score from my old Hancock Fabrics. They used to have these fold out tables once in a while piled high with all sorts of fun fashion fabrics. I scored many a cheap knit to use in those piles that’s for sure! This lace felt special though and I knew I’d have to figure out something to make with it. Fast forward at least five years to now and I finally found a perfect match. I’ve wanted to try a Hemlock top for a very long time now, it looks so cozy and appealing. So I was trolling the Hemlock inspiration on Pinterest when I stumbled back on Kelly’s (Cut Cut Sew) lace Hemlock. Of course I remember when she made hers (umm, three years ago!!) and I’m not sure why it didn’t click in my brain then, but it sure did this time!
It took hardly any time at all to sew. Actually, it took longer to take pictures and write this post than to make the top, so if you’re feeling inspired for Spring, this is a super satisfying project! I did take a few inches off the bottom and of course left off the sleeve. I ended up serging both front and back pieces on all sides before sewing and it went together so quick.
I’m excited to try one with sleeves next! Maybe with the split hem variation that Jen so kindly shared.
Pattern: Hemlock Tee by Grainline (free when you sign up for the Grainline newsletter,
the sign up link is on the right column of their website)
Fabric: mystery lace picked up at Hancock Fabrics
Finally, right?! Eeek! I hope you find this tutorial fun and helpful!
Quite a few months ago I made these pencil pouches from the canvas fabrics in my collection for Cloud9 Fabrics, Rain Walk. So today I’m sharing the how-to and pattern template as a way of saying thank you to all who stop by my website, leave kind note, and are excited about sewing! I’m grateful for the community and fun and sharing!
- 10″ zipper (I buy mine at Zipit)
- templates CLICK TO DOWNLOAD (print at 100%, no scaling)
- fat quarter – 18″ x 22″ cotton canvas for lining (I use an unbleached 9 oz. weight cotton canvas from my local Joanns, it’s perfect for showcasing all your pretty pencils and pens!)
- 6″ x 18″ main print (canvas/denim/twill)
- 6″ x 12″ accent fabric (canvas/denim/twill)
- 1/4 yard fusible woven interfacing (I prefer Pellon SF101 which is 20″ wide)
Note about materials: If you choose to substitute a different fabric type than suggested, you may need additional interfacing for desired structure. Just sayin’.
All seam allowances 1/2″ unless otherwise noted. Seam allowance included in template.
RST=Right Sides Together, WST=Wrong Sides Together
Approx. finished size: 3 1/4″ tall x 10 1/2″ wide x 1 1/2″ deep
(1) Main, (1 Main reversed)
(1) Accent, (1 Accent reversed)
(2) fusible woven interfacing – using lining template
A note on cutting: Because you’ll want the color blocking to reflect on each side of the zipper, make sure you cut the exterior pieces accordingly (reversed as directed), they’ll look like this:
*my exterior pieces in the following steps are shown without interfacing so as to hopefully better show the process.
Piece the exterior
- Start by sewing the exterior together by placing the main print and accent fabric RST and sewing using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press seam to one side and topstitch. Fuse woven interfacing to wrong side.
- Repeat to assemble remaining exterior panel.
Prepare the zipper
- Bend zipper ends in place and sew (at both the pull side and end stop side).
View from wrong side of zipper.
View from right side of zipper.
- With assembled exterior panel right side up, center zipper right side facing down (zipper pull at left) along top edge. Pin in place.
- Place one lining piece, right side down on top. Pin in place. Using your zipper foot, sew along top edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
- Press exterior panel away from zipper and topstitch along zipper using an 1/8″ seam allowance.
- Position exterior panel and lining panel WST. Press away from zipper.
- Repeat 1-4 to attach remaining exterior panel and lining panel to remaining zipper side. This time placing zipper pull at right. Make sure your exterior panel seams match up at the same location as best you can.
- Open zipper halfway!!!
- Position exterior panels RST and pin along sides and bottom. Position lining pieces RST and pin along sides and bottom. Be sure that you place pins at the intersections of where the lining meets the exterior on each side of the pouch.
- Sew around perimeter of exterior and lining leaving a 4″ opening at the bottom of the lining.
- Press seam allowance open. If desired, trim lining seam allowance to 1/4″ except at opening.
- Reach inside the pouch and wiggle the zipper open fully.
- Box corners by pinching one bottom seam to match it’s corresponding side seam. Sew. Repeat for remaining 3 corners.
- Turn pouch right side out through opening in lining.
- Sew opening in lining closed (by machine or by hand)
- Push lining into exterior and press along zipper edge. Tip: To get the pouch corners crisp, use your fingers to squeeze the seam allowance together at the side seam when the zipper is fully open. Use a chop stick or other dull instrument to poke out the corner on the metal end stop side.
I hope you enjoy making some pencil pouches! They make such fun teacher gifts and of course my kids love theirs. If you want extra credit these would be an awesome companion to a Wool + Wax Tote. I also wanted to point out that this is just one way to install a zipper or make a pouch, believe me when I say there are many many more options! Check out my other tutorials and patterns if you’re interested in working with zippers or love to make pouches.