Sunday, August 25, 2013

World's Fastest Suitcase-Make!

Took a little 3-day trip to Victoria, BC with the hubby and oldest son, Ben, his wife, and our precious g-daughter, Aubrey. We took their car, which does have a big trunk, but we had to stuff a stroller as well as a walker in it, so space was at a premium. I decided I *needed* to make a soft-sided suitcase thingie for my clothes, as it would slide into the empty spaces around the stroller/walker more easily. Well, and also...any excuse to sew something, you know :-)

But it had to be F-A-S-T!!!!! Because I waited until the afternoon before the trip, AND we were leaving at 4:00 a.m.!!! So I worked out this little idea and let me tell you - not only was it the World's Fastest Suitcase-Make, but it also worked EXTREMELY well. At first, the family was laughing and calling it my "pillowcase suitcase" but it didn't take long for them to change their minds - even hubby commented several times on how well it worked!
Overall dimensions are 20" x 17" x 4" - more than enough room for clothes, shoes, and toiletries for a 3-5 day trip.
I used just 3/4 yard of two fabrics (exterior and lining), and 4" for the handle, plus a 24" zipper. I added fusible fleece to the exterior and fusible interfacing to the lining. I was in a hurry (and wasn't quite sure of the anticipated result!) so I didn't take any pictures for a tutorial, but I like it so much, I'm going to make another one and I WILL take pics to share the process!

Here it is with the zipper open...
One zipper...two seams...and a strap! Couldn't be easier or faster!

Close-up of the cute zipper...
See the cute polka-dot zipper? :-)

I boxed all four corners to give more depth. Here is one short end.

And the long side.

I made the strap a few inches longer than the bag so that I could get into the bag easily. I wanted to make another, flat strap to go on one long side, but decided I was running out of time since I had to get up a 2:30 a.m. The bag fit perfectly on the suitcase caddy in the hotel, and it was super easy to carry slung across my shoulder/back, too! Whenever the family is impressed with something I made, then I know I done good ;-)

P.S. Hubby said "And you used fabric from your stash, too...right?" I said "Define *stash* long do you think fabric has to be in the house before it becomes stash? One month? One day? 15 minutes?"

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Jumbo Wonder Clip Pacifier Leash

This kids needed a Binky leash the other day, so I decided to whip one up. Even though it's a basic, easy-to-create item, I looked for tutorials anyways. The ones I found invariable used the suspender/mitten clips. I knew I had a package of these clips *someplace* but being lazy, I didn't want to look for them, and besides, I know they are kind of a pain to quickly clip on and off (your shirt, blankie, car seat). So I started looking around my sewing machine area and found a stray Jumbo Wonder Clip! I snatched it up and, sure enough - there was a hole in one end! I quickly whipped up a leash! It was cute and we left for an outing soon after. I sat in the back seat with Aubrey and she kept playing with the leash. She also had a little toy attached to the carseat that was a triangle of plush fabric, with the popular folded ribbon detail. I decided to combine the two ideas! So I made a second one this morning, and here's the result!
Want to create your own? Here's what you need:
  • Two strips of fabric, 1 1/2" x about 16" (length is your choice)
  • Two coated elastic hair ties
  • Ten to fifteen 2 1/4" lengths of ribbon (grossgrain or other sturdy, washable, non-wired ribbon)
  • One Clover Jumbo Wonder Clip - you can purchase these from many sources, including this one:
  • Thread, sewing machine, rotary cutter/mat/ruler

Fold each piece of ribbon in half and pin them to the long sides of one fabric strip. If you've followed  my cutting requirements, the ribbons will be short enough so they won't get caught in the opposite seam when sewn.
Place the remaining strip, RST, on top of the first strip and pin in place. Fold the short ends of each strip under 1/4" and pin in place.
Sew both long sides, using a scant 1/4" seam allowance (do not sew across the short ends). This will prevent the folded edges from catching in the opposite seam. Using your favorite turning tool (I used the old, trusty standby - a safety pin), turn the tube rightside out, and press.
Grab your hair ties. If they have a metal connector, cut it out for safety's sake. If they don't have a metal connector, you can leave them in one piece, fold in half, and insert the ends inside each end of the tube, with the hair tie sticking out to the desired length. I threaded one hair tie through the Jumbo Wonder Clip before I inserted it into the tube, and left the other hair tie sticking out a bit farther so I could maneuver the pacifier through the loop after-the-fact, since you might want to change pacifiers. 
With the hair ties in place, edgestitch all the way around the leash. Loop through the pacifier, and you are done!
My hubby suggested you could use ribbon instead of fabric for the leash. Yes! You could! I might have to make one like that just for the heck of it!
I LOVE the Clover Wonder Clips -both the regular and the jumbo. I use them all the time instead of pins - no more poking my fingers! I'm glad I thought of this new way to use them :-)  I think, especially when attaching your leash to a car seat, these clips just make it so much easier than using the suspender/mitten clips. Why not give it a try?