Monthly Archives: July 2012

Project 2 – Beach Bag


This project comes with some thanks to a few, God, but of course.  My Mom, who without, I never would’ve figured out how to actually recreate this beach bag.  My friend Meredith, for being willing to spend that $75 at Victoria Secret’s to get the FREE beach bag (that’s a guess) and be so kind as to let me borrow it.  Finally, Victoria Secret’s for making the bag…its nice when you can justify spending $80 on a bathing suit because, after all, you get the FREE beach bag!

I borrowed this bag once and fell in love.  I mean, I know it’s just a beach bag but it was just wonderful!  That’s how “beach bag” ended up in the hat…I wanted to recreate this bag.  After a long, in depth, calculating conversation with my Mom, I started by taking measurements of the whole bag.  I was sure to add a ½ inch seam.  Once I got the measurements (and if you want them, I can get them to you), I started drafting it out on some…FREEZER PAPER!  It was nice to find another great use for it.





I wanted “watermelon” colors but not an actual watermelon print.  I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics and was so happy with what I found…and it was on sale! Love that Jo-Ann’s app on my phone!  I got a yard of each material.  The ribbon was just some scraps from my collection.  With material and thread, this project totalled $11.00.  Not kidding!



I pinned all my patterns and cut all the pieces for the bag.  The VS bag didn’t have inside pockets…oh, but mine would! That’s where I started.  I cut out from the canvas the size pockets I wanted, plus a ½ inch for part I would fold under.  I literally did this all the “right” way.

I ironed under the ½ inch of material so I was sure everything would be smooth.  First, you have to top stitch straight across the top of your pocket, doesn’t hurt to double fold here so you don’t have any fraying.  I pinned the pockets on the material for the lining and sewed them together (top stitch).



Once the pockets were on, I sewed the bottoms of the lining together.  I did another seam about a ¼ inch down.  We all know how easily lining seems to tear.  I just wanted to make sure it was reinforced.  That’s it for the lining…for now.







For the canvas shell, you will need to find the middle of one of your sides and one of your bottoms.  Line them up at the middle.  The side pieces will extend further than the bottom.  Sew them together.  Now add the other side panel, again, matching it to the middle.




Next you will take the 2nd bottom piece.  You need to iron under a little less than ½ inch of the material.  As you can see from the picture beside, you will be top stitching this so it will be just off to the side of the other seam.  I like how this is constructed; I think it will make it very sturdy.





After that, I made the straps.  I realized my measurements were slightly off so on this piece of pattern.  I did just eye the cut a little bigger, rather than make a new one (I believe the straps were 1 1/4 inch thick, so add a 1/2 inch for the seam).  I made sure to leave plenty for the seam; I just wanted the straps to be as strong as possible.  It does make it a little harder when you are trying to turn them right side out.  Once you have them flipped, top stitch on either side.





The first place you begin sewing the lining and shell together is at the top.  I started by ironing everything.  For the lining, I ironed under a ½ inch.  For the shell, I ironed under a ½ inch and then another 3 inches.  This will be for the fold at the top of the bag.





This bag has a magnet closure.  I just grabbed 2 off the fridge that were the same size.  I probably should’ve bought more powerful ones.  Through the material, they don’t hold together too well.  I used a netting to sew mine in place.  They should go somewhere behind the top 3 inch fold of the bag, that way, the stitches are not seen from the outside.




Once your magnets are on, it’s up to you how you want to do the next steps.  The first time I put my ribbon at the top.  If you are going that route, you need to top stitch the bottom of the 3 inch fold and sew on the straps first.    Then you’ll sew the ribbon, shell and lining together.  I did this but was not really happy with the finished look.

After showing it to Mom, we agreed it was best to move the ribbon down to the seam of the 3 inch fold.

Be friends with your seam riper!  There aren’t a lot of things in life you get to do over again!


First you need to lay the right amount of ribbon under so when you top stitch the seam, the ribbon will be in the stitch.  Do that for both sides.




Next, you’ll want to attach the straps.  I did it just like it was on the VS bag.  I didn’t close the rectangle; that will be done when you sew thing lining and shell together.  Just make sure you are attaching the right strap to the right side…made that mistake and well, spent time with the seam riper!




Now to sew the shell and lining together.  Since you’ve already ironed the folds, it makes the sewing so much easier.  I made my middles line up, just like you did for the bottom shell of the bag.  Then you are just going to top stitch those pieces together.  Do the same for both sides. You will go over the straps, thus completing the rectangle shape.




Now you just have your sides hanging open.  Line up all 4 layers as best you can (2 shell pieces and 2 lining pieces).  You are going to sew them straight down the side.  Once you’ve done that on both sides, you will lay the bag so the bottom is flat, you can see the remaining “sides” of the bag will overlap, putting the seam you just sewed toward the center of the bottom of the bag.  Things will not match up 100% (at least they didn’t for me).  Sew straight across that and be sure to catch the seams of the shells sides to bottom.



Ta-da!  Your bag is all together now.  Just a few steps left.


The VS bag had fabric covering those insides seams.  With all the action the inside of a bag gets, I wanted to do the same.  Plus, I refused to not match the VS bag on every level.  I just used some of the scrap pieces.  The ones I found were about a 1 ½ inch thick.  I folded them in half, ironed, and then folded in the sides to the middle…just enough that it would hold after being top stitched.  I trimmed up the inside seams of the bags, enough that the strip of material would cover it.  I sewed over the side seam first and then the bottom seam.  It really gave it a nice finished look.  Since the material was so thick, I did flip the bag over to make sure the top stitch didn’t miss on the backside.  It did in a few places, so I just went over the missed areas.




To finish the bag, I added 1/4 inch tucks at the top.  I placed them about 2 ½ inches from the side seam.





With Love,



Project 1 – Fabric Flower Bead Necklace


This came to me right away!  I was a little nervous about that material I choose to use because originally it was for a dress.  I didn’t use very much.  I just hope when I go to make the dress, I won’t be short on material.  It will be pretty cool to have a necklace ready to match it.




Below is what you will need to create this necklace.


  • Material
  • Glue (I chose to use my hot glue gun)
  • Pinking Shears (scissors with the zig-zag cut)
  • Variety of sizes of wood beads
  • Nylon Thread & NeedleImage

I started with the flowers, the biggest one first. I cut the material to the thickness I wanted (after being folded in half, note, not equal halves). You want some length with the piece of material since you will be bunching it all together. As you can see below, I folded the material over so the lighter back of the fabric would be slightly exposed. I just thought it gave it a little more dimension.



ImageTo begin making the flower, just take your needle and thread and start going in and out along the bottom. Once you have as much as you can get on your needle, slide it back onto the thread.




You just keep going, bunching the material until you have the flower size and circumference you need.  Once you get that, just cut the material after your last stitch.  Here’s what mine looked like.

Once the large flower was finished, I cut the remaining strip of material I had so it wasn’t as thick.  I began to do the same steps to create 2 smaller flowers.





ImageNext, I got the wood beads I was using.  I went with 3 sizes of wood beads.  The first one is about the size of a quarter, the smaller 2 are about the size of a dime and the ones that will make up the “chain” of the necklace are maybe the size of an eraser on a pencil.  I drew on the quarter size and dime sized beads a circle for me to follow when gluing on the fabric “petals”.  I made sure to put it in front of, but as close to the hole as possible.








So here’s what we are working with so far.  3 fabric “petals” and 3 wooden beads.


I got my glue gun all heated up and started with the largest flower first.  I applied a thin line of hot glue along the a part of the edge of the fabric.  I recommend gluing a little portion at a time since hot glue hardens so fast.

Just keep gluing in small sections to the line you drew on the wood beads.

Make sure to pay attention that your “petals” will end where they started.  The nice thing about a glue gun is you can pick the glue off of just about everything.  I had to redo the one flower.  To get it off the material, I just kept sliding the bunching so the glue would unattach from the fabric.  I was also able to clean up the front of the bead flower, anywhere that the glue squeezed out, I brought my fingernail down to the edge of the seam and picked it off.

For the large flower, where the fabric started and ended was very noticable, as you can see in the image.  On the smaller flowers, this wasn’t an issue.  They overlapped eachother perfectly.

I just took the needle and thread that was used earlier to create the flowers and sewed up the beginning and end to close the flower.

That’s all for the bead creating…now onto stinging the necklace together and making sure the flowers have the support they need.

I put the string through a small bead and brought it all the way to the center of my piece of nylon thread.  Then, I took both stings through a medium sized bead.  The medium sized bead will give some support to the flower (I’ll be gluing later).






Then you can add on your big flower bead, putting both stings though the bead.

Then sting, one on each strand, 2 more medium size beads.  Again, these will be glued to the flower later to give it some extra support and to help insure the bead doesn’t turn to the back side.

You can then begin stringing your small beads on each strand.  I put on about 15 small beads before adding my 2 smaller flowers.  Then I just continue with the smaller beads until it reached the desired length.

Here it is from the back.

I have to say, I like it from the back too!





Now, I will just apply a small amount of hot glue to the medium beads and secure them to the fabric of the flower.  Ta-Da!  All finished!

With Love,