Recently in Accessories Category

The Darling Duffle

April 13, 2014


I remember with great clarity the moment I fell in love with idea of making my own bags. I was probably 9 or 10, and I was flipping through one of my mother's sewing magazines. And I discovered a how-to article for making a pair of plush Christmas koalas -- brother and sister each with a full sew of adorable clothes. But the thing that grabbed my attention was the part of the sewing craft that showed how to make tiny duffel bags for each of the bears to carry their wardrobes and teddy bears in. I must have gazed at the tutorial for hours. I remember thinking that if I could learn to make bags for playthings, I could make bags for ME. And an obsession was born.

To this day, I love all manner of duffle bags, and I often think back to that magazine -- I WISH I knew what it was, but the publication details exited my brain long ago.

So, for today's blog post, I'm sharing a how-to for making a small-sized bag that would work great for a quick getaway. 

For this project, I used:

- 1.5 yards of double-sided quilted fabric

- 2 22-inch zippers

- 2 7-inch zippers

- 2.5 yards of ribbon (Mine was 7/8-inch wide, but you have some leeway with the width.)

- 2 D-rings to match the width of your ribbon

- 1.5 yards of webbing -- the width is up to you!

- 1 package of piping

Instead of cutting this duffle with round ends, it has elongated egg-shaped ends. It's the only pattern piece you have to sketch out, but I have it gridded out below. The rest is all rectangle cuts:

- 1 piece 19 x 7.25 inches -- this will be the bottom of the bag.

- 2 pieces 19 x 14.25 inches -- these will be the sides of the bag.

- 1 piece 19 x 10 inches -- this will be the front pocket of the bag.

- 2 end pieces -- shown below.

- 2 shortened side pieces -- fold the side piece as shown to cut end pocket pieces.

The seam allowance for all seams is 1/2 inch.


Once you have all your pieces cut, edge-finish the top edge of the rectangular pocket piece and the two rounded end pockets. 

Then, stitch each of the rounded end pocket pieces to the 7-inch zippers, right-sides together. Flip your zipper so it and the fabric are both right side up with the seam allowance pressed down towards the quilted fabric, and top stitch about a quarter-inch from the zipper teeth. Do the same thing with your long side picket and one of the 22-inch zippers.


Set the pocket and zipper for each end piece on top of the full end piece so the curved edges all line up, and baste into place along top zipper tape and around all edges.

Then, cut 2 6.5-inch pieces of ribbon. Slide a D-ring onto each piece of ribbon, then fold each piece of ribbon in half. Stitch close to the folded edge and the D-ring, then center each ribbon and D-ring assembly on an end piece and stitch down perpendicular to the zipper. (Don't fret about the raw edges -- they'll get covered uo shortly!)


Align the long front pocket onto one of the side pieces the same way you did for the end pockets and baste into place. 

Cut two pieces of webbing about 21 inches long. (You can adjust the length based on your handle length preference.) I like to lightly singe the ends of the webbing to prevent fraying, but you can also apply Fray-check if you prefer.

Stitch the ends of one handle into place just above the zipper, 6 inches in from each side, first stitching a rectangle and then stitching an X inside it to firmly secure the handle ends.

On the back side of your bag, measure down 4 inches and in from each side edge 6 inches and mark for handle placement. Stitch second handle in place just as you did for the front/pocket side.


Stitch ribbon on top running parallel to the zippers, covering the top edge of the zipper tapes and the cut edges of the ribbon and webbing, using a straight stitch along each side of the ribbon. For the back side with no zipper, stitch the ribbon into place about 4 inche down from the top edge, covering the cut edges of the webbing handle.


Time to insert your top zipper! Edge-finish the top edges of your side pieces, then stay-stitch 1/2 inch from the finished edge. Pre-quilted fabric can sometimes get distorted, so be careful not to stretch it as you stay-stitch it.

Fold each side piece along the stay stitching, and top-stitch them onto the zipper, with the folded edge just abutting the zipper teeth. You may wish to run a second line of stitching about 1/8 inch from the first for extra zipper secutiry.


Sew the bottom piece to the two side pieces to create a tube.


Baste piping all around the end pieces, so the basting seam sits about 1/2 inch from the edge.


Once your piping is in place, sew the end pieces to the ends of your tube. I recommend basting it with a long stitch first, checking it out, and then going over your stitching again with a shorter stitch. And don't forget to unzip the zipper before you sew in the second end so you can turn it!

Once you're done, you have a cute little duffle that you can clip a shoulder strap to if you choose. It can easily accomodate several warm-weather outfits, and the front pocket is just the right size for a magazine or two. 



Happy travels!

Carry-on With Pre-quilted Fabrics!

March 16, 2014

LI-quilted-bag.jpgIt's time for another entry in our bag series!

Quilted bags are suuuuuuuper trendy right now -- take a stroll through the airport and you'll see dozens of Vera Bradley bags hanging from the shoulders and hands of travelers. I like the design of these bags, but they mostly come in paisley prints. While I often think the colorful fabric patterns are beautiful, they're not my style at all. 

We recently got in a bunch of darling Riley Blake double-sided pre-quilted fabrics, and the chevrons and dots made me think that at last, I could get in on the quilted bag trend! (And those skulls ... THOSE SKULLS!)

So, I put together a project for a carry-on bag with enough volume that I can get all my travel essentials in it and eliminate the need for a checked bag. Because I don't want to waste time waiting at the baggage carousel when I travel!

Supplies for this project:

-2 yards of pre-quilted fabric

-1 yard of accent fabric 

- 2 16-inch zippers

- 2 D-rings

- 5 yards of cotton piping

Here's how I made mine:

First, I cut 2 rectangles 22 x 15.5 inches for the sides of the bag. 

I wanted my bag to be just slightly narrower at the top, so I measured 1 inch in from the corner of each top edge and marked it. (I used a permanent marker for these photos so you can see it easily, but you'll probably want to use a proper marking tool.)

Then I drew a line from the bottom corners to the marks I made at the top, and cut off the excess.

Next, I used a curved object (in this case, a roll of tape because I'm super fancy) to round out each corner of the bag. Note that the curve of your corner will be affected by the size of the curved object you use. Just go with your personal preference.


Since this is the year of Radiant Orchid, I decided to use crocus Kona Cotton for an accent color. I cut bias strips and stitched them together to create about 7 yards for this project.

I cut 3 pockets for my bag using the side panels I already cut as a guide. I cut mine to be 9.5 inches deep, but you can alter it to your taste. I used some of my bias trim to bind the top edges of my pocket pieces.


I basted two pockets to the interior sides of the bag's body pieces, and then one pocket on the outside for the front. So I had one piece with pockets on both exterior and interior, and one piece with a pocket only on the interior.

I ran a straight stitch down the center of each piece through all thicknesses to separate the pocket pieces into two sections. 

I made enough piping using my bias trim and cotton cording to go around the outside of each of my main body pieces, and basted it into place.

To create a front flap to cover the exterior pocket, I cut a piece of pre-quilted fabric wide enough to span the space between the piped edges, and followed the contours of the bag to create the shape.

I bound the edges of the pocket, placed it upside down and right side down about 1/4 inch above the pocket edge (see second image in the series below for clarification), and stitched it into place 1/4 inch from the cut edge.

Then I turned the flap down and stitched 3/8 inch from the folded edge to enclose the raw edge. 


To make the handles, I first cut 2 pieces 21 x 5.5 inches out of my accent fabric. Then I cut two scraps of fleece 15 x 5.5 inches. (The fleece will never be seen, so this is  good time to get rid of leftovers or odd prints.)

I centered the fleece on the accent fabric, then folded both fabrics as one in thirds. 

I folded the handle pieces one last time to bring the two folded edges together, then I stitched the whole thing together along the joined folds.

There are no hard-and-fast rules for rolled handles, so if another approach works for you, go for it. 


For handle placement, I measured 6 inches from the piping on each side of my bag and 2 inches down from the top. Then I stitched the handle in place, wrong side up, 1/4 inch from the edge. Last, I flipped the handle up and stitched a box with an X in it to make sure it's good and secure. 


To create the sides of my bag, I first cut 2 pieces 30.25 x 5.5 inches to use for my zipper section. Instead of trying to find a zipper in the color purple I want long enough for this piece (a frustrating experience, to say the least), I opted to use two 16-inch zippers and have them meet in the middle. This is a trick I have used many, many times. I just mark the center of the fabric, then fold the ends of the zippers out of the way where they meet. I machine baste the zippers in place.


The zipper assembly is the one place I used a lining on this bag -- because of the double-sided quilting fabric, it's just not needed for the most part. BUT, I wanted to avoid any loose edges near the zippers that could get caught in the teeth, so I sandwiched the zippers between my quilted fabric and a matching cut of my accent fabric and stitched everything together. I repeated this for the opposite side of the zipper. Then I pressed out the fabrics away from the zipper and stitched through all layers.


I wanted to add D-rings to my bag so I can clip a shoulder strap to it if I want. To make tabs for my D-rings, I cut 2 pieces of fabric 4 inches wide and about 7 inches long (much of that length is excess), and pressed the fabric in folds to cover a piece of grosgrain ribbon. I stitched down both edges of my folded fabric, and then looped each strap through a D-ring; I stitched close to the metal rings to prevent sliding.


Time to finish putting together the assembly that would go all around the outside edge of my bag!

I cut a piece of my pre-quilted fabric 10.5 x 38.5 inches. I stitched this piece to the zippered section at both ends of the zipper, centering the zipper and layering my D-ring tabs between the two fabric pieces. So when it's all turned right side out, you should have a full circle of fabric, and the sides look like this:


True confession, I never manage to get my zipper sections of the loop to match the width of the rest of the loop. I just trim them to match after I've joined everything together.

Once my side sections were done, I marked the centers at top and bottom of the bag body pieces and made matching marks on the loop that would form the sides. Then I stitched it all together, using my marks as guides. To cover all fabric edges, you can cut more bias to bind the interior seams.

Here's the finished bag, very voluminous and ready for loading up with adventure needs. I can easily fit a pair of running shoes side-by-side in the bottom of this bag, which I need because most of my travel is related to a races. If you don't need that much volume, you could play with the width of the pieces you cut to create the sides of the bag and create a narrower profile.


Plenty of room for notebooks and other small items in the pockets. 


I have another colorway of this one in the works already. I'm going to have to start traveling more to use all these bags!

Pack It Up: The Honeymooner Suitcase

March 2, 2014

LI-vinyl-suitcase.jpgWe're kicking off a new bag series today, because I can never, EVER get enough of bags. Handbags, cosmetic bags, duffles and beyond -- I just love the idea of making cute things to tote around all my stuff. So I am super excited to make a bunch of bags and share them. 

For my first project in this series, I'm making an adorable suitcase from Sara Lawson's "Big City Bags."  (I love this book, so odds are good you're going to see another project or two from it!) It's called a Honeymooner Suitcase, and it's petite (18 x 12.5 x 5 inches) -- perfect for a weekend getaway or for a kid's travel wardrobe.

I opted to use a sparkle vinyl for mine. This proved to be a little bit of a challenge because of the heavy, stiff nature of the fabric, so if you're going a similar route, be prepared to exercise your patience. 

For the lining and piping trim, I used a cotton print with one of my favorite famous characters -- Tinker Bell. 

 I've talked about using tissue paper on your vinyl to ease it through your machine before, but I don't know that I've ever shared the alternative that I prefer: party napkins. These are the printed ones made for kids' parties. They're usually a little stiffer than tissue paper, but they tear away really nicely, so whenever I see any on clearance, I snap them up. 


1-vinyl-suitcase.jpgBecause the vinyl was so stiff, double folding it under as I was stitching the handle was fairly impossible. So I left the raw edges out, then made little loops out of my trim and linin fabric to cover everything up. The loops are kep in place with a dab of hot glue on the back side of the handle.


The rest of the bag went together according to the book's instructions, with a little extra wiggling and fussing to accomodate for my fabric choices. A bit of double fold bias tape encloses the interior seams and hids a bit of ugly stitching on my part. 


And here's the finished bag, ready for an adventure. 


I would love to make this one again using a cute home dec or cotton print. Because of multiple pieces with the piping trim and handle assembly, there are some options for playing with different fabric combinations that are exciting to think about!

Expand Your Shoe Wardrobe!

January 16, 2014

I hate to be all predictable when it comes to gender generalizations, but I really can't get enough shoes. And boots ... oh, how I love them. I do run into a little bit of trouble with boots though -- I have thick calves. Sometimes I find wide-width boots that fit and look good, but the delight of being a stitcher is being able to solve problems like this myself. So I decided to make some boot shafts to top off regular shoes.

I started with McCall's 6615. As written, it calls for a two-part lining, one part intended to fold down and show at the top of the boot, and the other part intended as a lighter-weight lining for the lower area of the topper. The pattern instructions have you line the boot, then use elastic to gather both the exterior and the lining in one fell swoop. Instead of doing that, I did the gathering/shaping with elastic on the lining and the exterior fabric separately, and then joined them together. 

As for that wide calf problem, I opted to extend the pattern by about half an inch past its original cut line along the calf, then eased back to the normal cut line as I approached the ankle.


I also opted to use elastic for the under strap instead of the two-part velcro strap called for in the pattern. 

For the photos below, I wore each pair showing both options of the reversible boots so you can compare them. 

This first pair is made with Perfection Fused Leather on one side and Antique Cotton Velvet on the other. 



The second pair features a combination of Deadwood Faux Leather and a stretch velvet. For this pair, I also took out the curvature at the top. So when it's folded down, it's more of a straight line. 



One thing I really love about these reversible faux boots is that they are WARM. If you're hot-natured, though, it could be a bit much, so factor that in when you consider fabrics for a project like this. 

And now I have to build some fun outfits around these ... 

Quickie Gift -- Leather Hair Accessories

December 16, 2013

We're officially down to the wire. If you're still hoping to make gifts this year, you're going to have to hustle! 

In case you're still pondering what to concoct for someone on your list, we have a few ideas if you've got someone who loves accessories. Leather and faux leather continue to trend, so why not whip up a few hair accoutrements for someone special? Here are four ideas:

1. Leather Hair Bow

Start with a piece of 4-by-4-inch leather. I used Perfection Fused Leather for mine, because the light weight and supple nature of it makes it easy to work with and turn. If you're using a heavier leather or vinyl, you might want to go a bit bigger to avoid major frustration. So long as you start with a square, this technique will work.

Fold your square in half, right sides together, and stitch along the raw edges opposite the fold, leaving about a 2-inch gap in the middle of your seam.

Then realign the tube you just stitched so the first seam sits about centered along one side. Stitch each end closed. 

Turn your closed tube right side out. These things tend to keep air in, so it will likely be a bit pillowy. Set this piece aside.


Next, cut a piece of leather about 1.5 by 4 inches. This will get cut shorter, but I find it easier to work with a little extra length and then cut.

Fold in one side of your leather the long way and hot glue into place. Don't use too much glue -- you don't want to create bulk.

Then fold in the remaining side and glue it down, again being careful to add glue sparingly.


2-leather-hair-trims.jpgOnce the glue of this folded piece has completely dried, cut it down to about 2.5 inches long.

Join the two ends together and stitch, creating a small loop. In the photo below, you can see the remnants of the tissue paper I used to cover the loop while I stitched -- this prevents the leather from sticking under your machine's presser foot. 

Turn the loop right side out.

3-leather-hair-trims.jpgPull your tube that you assembled earlier throught the loop. This takes a little cajoling. Because the leather tends to want to stay in place, you don't even need to glue it at this point. You can if you like, but leave the back of the bow free. Thread a narrow headband through your bow loop, and you're all done! Easy peasy!

4-leather-hair-trims.jpg2. Simple Gathered Flower

Cut a piece of leather about 1 inch wide and 20 or so inches long.

Hand sew a running stitch along one of the long edges, and then gather tightly to create a ruffly flower.

Stitch the gathered circle closed. 

Glue a circle of felt to the back of the flower.

Glue on a button to cover the gathered center. 

5-leather-hair-trims.jpgNow the flower's complete, and it's time to make a clip to attach it to!

Start with a simple clip.

Glue a piece of narrow grosgrain ribbon (I usually use 3/8 inch size) to the underside of the upper arm of the clip.

Next, fold you ribbon to cover the upper side of the clip and glue in place.

Fold your ribbon under the picher part of the clip and trim it to fit. Daub a bit of glue on the underside of the top clip pincher and catch your ribbon into place.

Glue the grosgrain covered side of your clip to your accessory, and you're all set.

6-leather-hair-trims.jpg3. Leather Rose

This one works well if the back side of your leather is nice. The Perfection Fused Leather is perfect here. 

I used the same rose-making method I always use -- Melanie's awesome tutorial! You can also go right to the video here

I used daubs of hot glue to keep things in place as I went -- you can see on the back it's a bit of a mess. But a felt circle covers all sins in this instance, and a clip makes it hair-ready.

7-leather-hair-trims.jpg4. Glittery Vinyl Star Stack

Cut several starts out of leather or vinyl. I used Sparkle Vinyl.

Glue your stars together in a strip. You can go in a straight line or an arc, all aligned the same way or turned slightly askew -- it's up to you!

Glue a small strip of felt to the back of your star grouping.

Then glue on a clip, and you're all set!

8-leather-hair-trims.jpgClip-backed accessories are great because they can be attached to all kinds of things. They can clip directly into a hairstyle or onto aheadband. They can spruce up a handbag strap or we worn on a shirt. They can even clip to a bracelet. The ultimate versatile gift!

Test out other shapes and ideas for your leather accessories -- flowers, concentric circles to create bullseyes, hearts -- whatever your mind can conjure. They key in any hand-made gift is that it's something made especially by you.

Last Minute Hostess/Teacher Gifts

December 13, 2013

gift collage1.jpg

If you are like me I am still trying to get everyone on my list a little something homemade. Luckily, my family all knows how much I love them everyday so they are at the bottom of my list and my daughter's teachers are at the top. Even though I tell them all the time how much I adore them I also know how much they give and sacrifice to give my daughter a great education so I place them at the top of my "homemade list".Also at the top are all my hostess friends who work so hard to make my holiday season festive. Everyone's list is long so the only way to get it all done is to pick great gifts that pack a punch. I love tote bags, cowls and sweet little details for those really special givers in our lives. 



For my teacher/hostess gifts I chose to make a chic but simple cowl, a quick but so cute tote bag and a super sweet little girl's dress. The cowl makes the perfect hostess gift because you can wrap it around a bottle of wine and its use goes beyond the party. I learned to make this cowl from Craftsy's Beginner Serging class but it is basically two 60'' wide fabric pieces serged together. It is so easy but so lux. There is knit on the inside and twill print on the outside.



For a teacher gift I made the Pleated Shoulder Bag from Amy Carol's Bend the Rules Sewing. This is a great book for quick, creative gifts. I had previous cased out my teacher's handbag to determine her style but I wasn't sure I had the time to take on a really great handbag project. I opted for a super great tote bag instead; something every teacher can use. This bag came together with 1/2 yd of each fabric: Organic Cotton in Gray and Denyse Schmidt Cotton Print. This tote carries a lot and looks great doing it. It goes together pretty fast and it is easy to customize. The large gussets help it to accomodate lots of books, games or tasty treats. 


Finally for my daughter's head teacher I made something for her own daughter. She has a 2 yr old who is very dear to her and I wanted to make something special since she is always admiring my little one's dresses. I casually asked about her daughter's favorite colors and when I found this pink dog print I knew I had struck gold. I modified the back for a zipper for ease and added a tie to the back so there would be a big pink bow on the back for cutness. You can't go wrong with an Oliver + S pattern. 

For those of you still scrambling or looking for more quick gifts check out our other great gifts blog posts here.

Prim Fur Collars

November 24, 2013

6-fur-collars.jpgOne of the trends that appeared on runways over and over this year is faux fur, in everything from capes and coats to handbags.

I wanted to get in the trend without going fur crazy. I love faux fur, but my aim was to create a project that I could mix and match with existing wardrobe pieces that would also be functional in terms of warding of the cold. And it had to avoid that problem of bulk -- one of my most problematic issues with dressing to stay warm. So I settled on the idea of simple fur collars.

Continue reading Prim Fur Collars.

Springtime in Winter Scarf

November 7, 2013

LI-Springtime-Winter-Scarf.jpgAs we head into bundle-up season, I have already noticed how much darker everyone's clothes are. Winter just automatically brings more somber tones to the wardrobe palette, and while I love my all-black most of the time, there are days when a little dash of springtime would go a long way to keeping my mood elevated while I shiver.

With that in mind, I set out to make a little scarf that would remind me that spring will come again and bring new flowers with it.

The construction on this one is a breeze. I started with antique velvet (you only need half a yard) and cut two strips the width of the fabric -- 58 inches -- by 9 inches.

The scarf pieces get stitched right sides together leaving an opening, turned, and sewn shut. Then I top stitched all around the long rectangle 1/4 inch from the edge. Basic and simple:


Next up: rosettes! I cut three strips of stretch velvet 3 inches by 20 inches. Then I stitched them into tubes and turned them. I used these long pieces and Melanie's fabric rose tutorial to create three textured flowers. 

Once my flowers were complete, I made another small tube out of the same antique velvet I used for my scarf. This piece started out 3 inches wide and 9 inches long. 

That tube gets turned right side out and will become a carrier loop to pass one end of the scarf through.

I hand stitched my three rosettes to my band once it was turned right-side-out. You may find you prefer more roses, or a cluster rather than a straight line, or to make a wider carrier strip and fill in with smaller blooms. It's your garden!



Once my strip of flowers was done, I pinned each end of it across one side of my scarf to test placement. You want to be able to wrap it around your neck and pass one end of the scarf through the carrier created by your strip of roses.


After testing the position of my carrier, I machine stitched the ends of the strip into place (I folded the open end of the carrier closed and used this placement stitching to close it up as well as secure its position), and voila! A bright, sunny scarf for cold, dark days. 


Of course, you could make an elegant statement by choosing darker colors if you don't want to go for a pop of color, and you can change up the fabrics to whatever suits. The rosettes are a great project for using scraps from the stash!

Scrappy Boa

October 27, 2013

Today's entry in our scarf series has a flair for the dramatic -- so much so that you can use it to fill in any costume gaps in the last few days before Halloween. I'm making a boa out of scraps -- yep, it's another stash buster! This project is ultra simple, though it can be a bit time consuming because it involves lots of cutting. On the upside, the cutting is basic, so you can do it while watching TV.

To start with, you need to cut strips. Lots and lots of strips. Mine range from about 1-1.5 inches wide, and 8-12 inches long. For fabrics, I used chiffon, satin, lace, mesh, assorted knits and ribbon. Anything works; you just want a mix of textures and weights. I cut my wovens on the bias to minimize fray, but if you want a fuzzy, frayed effect, you can cut with the grain, too. And I wasn't especially careful with cutting straight lines. I used a rotary cutter at first, but found I was faster with my shears, so stuck with those after a while. In total, I cut right around 300 strips.

1-Boa-Scarf.jpgOnce I had a healthy pile of strips, I started feeding them into my sewing machine. I set two to four strips at a time across the machine, overlapping a little and trying to keep the center of the strips more or less in line with the needle.

2-Boa-Scarf.jpgThen I would stitch slowly as a pushed the strips up inder the presser foot, mashing them together as I went so they gather together. Every inch or so, I would backstitch and then keep moving forward. This just gives the whole thing a little extra stability.


Working with 300 strips, I ended up with a boa about 2 yards long, all full of fluffy goodness. You can trim and shape it at this point if you like. Just clip any of the pieces that stick out more than you like.


This technique can be used to create costumey boas, or eye-catching scarves. Remember to use as many soft fabrics as possible in your scraps to prevent itchy neck syndrome.

6-Boa-Scarf.jpgHere is the same shot with different light values so you can see all the texture that you get from using all those different scraps.

7-Boa-Scarf.jpgWith a little creativity, this project can serve for a variety of things -- golden tones for a lion's mane, rainbow colors for a unicorn or pony, all hot pink or animal prints for a diva accessory, or pastels to go with a royal gown. You can even make a smaller version to use as trim on sweatshirts and sweaters. Have fun and use those scraps!

Last Minute Halloween Bags -- For Kids and Grownups!

October 21, 2013

Time is running out -- we're down to single-digit countdown days for Halloween. Whether you need a fun trick-or-treat bag for the kids or a quickie clutch for a grown-up party, we've got you covered. 

Halloween style shouldn't be reserved just for trick-or-treaters, but candy bags can be stylish, too! To serve the spooky needs of kids and their adult escorts, and get things done in a hurry, I decided to play with appliqués.

I am sort of obsessed with sugar skulls at the moment. (The same way the sun is sort of a ball of fire.) So I knew I wanted a fun, slightly cartoony take on the look for a little bag for me. I also have a ceaseless adoration for bats. So I wanted to incorporate that shape into a couple of projects as well.

To start with, I sketched out designs for my motifs in the simplest outlines. I put a 1-inch grid on top so they can be scaled. 

1-halloween-bags.jpgI traced my basic pattern pieces onto Heat'n Bond, fused it to my applique fabric, and then used the traced image to cut my fabric before peeling away the paper.

2-halloween-bags.jpgThen, I fused my design -- the basic white skull out of Deer Suede velour -- onto black twill

I used a coaster to trace the circles for the outer eyes onto my Heat'n Bond, and then drew in the scalloped edges. I used a pink satin scrap fused to the Heat'n Bond to create my eye base appliques, then used a smaller circle to trace and create the interior black area out of velveteen. For the nose, I cut an elogated heart out of velveteen that already had fusible backing on it, then cut a divot out of the point of the heart. I fused all my facial pieces down, then I drew in additional details with a water-soluble marking pen. I stitched over my marker lines with a satin stitch on my machine, and added some hotfix crystals to sparkle things up. 

3-halloween-bags.jpgOnce my rhinestones were in place, I cut around the entire applique, leaving about 5/8 inch all around. I then used that as my pattern piece to cut a back piece for my bag and two lining pieces.


To set in the zipper, I placed one of the lining pieces onto the back of the bag, right sides together, and stitched a small, narrow rectangle. I cilpped the rectangle along its length and then into each of the four corners, and turned it right side out. After a good pressing, I positioned the zipper under my opening and stitched it into place just inside the folded edge of the rectangular opening. I also basted two ribbon loops to the top edge of the bag. (I use those loops to clip an existing bag strap with swivel clips onto the bag.)

5-halloween-bags.jpgWith the zipper opened up, I stitched my appliqued bag front to my bag bag with lining in place, then stitched around the entire skull shape. I finished mine with an overlock stitch to prevent fraying.

5a-halloween-bags.jpgFor the trick-or-treat version of this bag, I put a smaller version of my skull onto a plain black bag (more details on how I make mine below), and kept it simpler. Instead of all the detailing, I fused the eye and nose pieces into place, drew in my mouth with a permanent marker, and hot glued a few faux flowers into place on top of the skull. Simple, but still an unmistakeable nod to the Day of the Dead. The handles for the bag are made from a double layer of grosgrain ribbon stitched together.

6-halloween-bags.jpgFor my bat bags, things are even simpler. For the trick or treat bag, I cut three colorful bats out of small scraps of satin and taffeta, and lined them up along the front of the bag piece. To make my bag, I start with a piece of twill 24x17 inches and fold it in half so it's 12 inches wide and 17 inches tall (unstitched). 


Depending on how much time you have, you might want to stitch your appliques in place. I usually just use the standard zig-zag stitch on my machine, but I always test first and adjust to what looks best for the fabric I'm using at any given time.

8-halloween-bags.jpgAfter my bats were in place, I put the bag together by folding it in half so the apllique is on the inside, then stitching along the non-fold side and across the bottom. To make sure no precious candy cargo is lost, I run a line of reinforcement zig-zag stitching around the whole thing.

9-halloween-bags.jpgTo square off the bottom of the bag, I collapse the corners so that the bottom seam sits at the center of a triangle and run a quick stitch about an inch and a half from the tip of the triangle. After that, I just fold over the top and stitch, add some grosgrain handles, and we're ready to receive candy!


To make a little bat clutch, I appliqued a black velveteen bat onto a square of some pink corduroy I had on hand. I cut a matching piece for the back and two lining pieces, then set in the zipper using the same method I detailed in my Scrap-o-Licious shaving kit projects. 


After adding a small strap made from the same corduroy, I sewed my bag closed (leave the zipper open!) and was ready for a Halloween soiree.

12-halloween-bags.jpgHeat'n Bond appliques can help you ensure you have a unique custom Halloween accessory. While my projects feature skulls and bats, you can easily search online for other fun shapes -- spiders, witches, pumpkins, cats, the Grim Reaper, ghosts -- whatever your favorite thing is! So don't fret if you haven't put anything together yet. Just grab your scraps and something to draw with, and don't forget to have fun!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Accessories category.

12 Crafts of Christmas is the previous category.

Apparel is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.