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Thursday, January 26

2011 Tutorial Round-up: Toddler Bag (October 2011)

(dated October 2011)
written by Pamela Pilon of Bibmababy Online (ETSY, FACEBOOK)
Appeared in Home Grown, Parenting in the North Magazine (ISSUE 4)

Back in October, I released a tutorial for a Toddler Size Trick or Treat Bag, perfect for Halloween treats! Why not look at this bag from a different angle,... choose a different fabric and you've easily got yourself a great lunch bag, something to replace your purse, a wet bag for your pool swimwear, oh even just a toy bag to carry your child's favourite things to daycare!


Approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes


  • ½ meter for outside (quilter’s cotton)
  • ½ meter for lining (quilter’s cotton)
  • ¼ meter Fusible Fleece
  • Fabric pencil
  • Ruler
  • Rotary cutter and mat or scissors
  • Sewing machine and coordinating thread


  • Exterior Print - Cut 2 rectangles 12 inches x 15 inches
  • Lining - Cut 2 rectangles, 12 inches x 15 inches
  • Straps - Cut 2 rectangles, 5 inches x 17 inches of print or lining
  • - Cut 4 strips, 1 inch by 16.5 inches of fusible fleece


* Unless otherwise noted, all seams are a ¼ inch allowance.

1. Sew around the sides and bottom of the exterior print. Backstitch at both ends. (Note: Zigzag stitch both seam flaps if you want durability.)

2. Press side seams open.


3. Measure 2 inches by 2 inches on the bottom corners of your bag. Mark a dot at the point where the measurements intersect. Do this on both sides of the bottom of the bag. This should leave you with 4 dots.

4. Put your hand in the bag at the corner and pinch the side and bottom seams together.

5. Line up your side and bottom seam into a triangle.

6. Pin at 2 inches from the corner.

7. Stitch a straight line. Backstitch at both ends.

8. Trim the excess.

9. Repeat this process on the other corner of the bag.


10. Repeat Steps 1-2 with ONE EXCEPTION. When sewing around the sides, leave a 5 inch opening at the bottom to allow you to turn your bag inside out after sewing the bag and lining together.

11. Repeat the Box Corners (Steps 3-9) for the Lining.


12. Turn the lining inside out and stuff into your print bag.
(The print bag should still be wrong side out.)
The right sides of the fabrics should be facing each other.

13. Match the side seams and edges together.
Pin and sew with a ½ inch seam allowance around the entire top of the bag.

14. Turn the bag right side out through the 5 inch gap you left at the bottom of the lining.

15. Topstitch the hole closed.

16. Insert the Lining back into the back, iron the bag mouth and topstitch ½ inch from the edge.


17. Take your 5 inch x 17 inch pieces and iron ¼ inch edge on both ends.

18. Fold the strap in half lengthwise.
Iron flat to create a crease in the middle.

19. Open the strap, and fold each raw side to meet at the middle crease. Iron Flat.

20. Open the fold and place 2 strips of the fusible fleece, placing one on each side of the crease.

21. Refold at the crease, hiding the strips of Fusible Fleece.

22. Iron as per instructions on your package of Fusible Fleece.

23. Refold at the crease to hide raw edges and sew on all sides at 1/8 inch.

24. Repeat steps 17-23 to make another strap.

25. Attach one end of each strap to the bag at 2 inches from each side and 2 inches down (this will meet cleanly with the box corners).
Choose which directions the handles will be facing at the point.

26. Sew the strap onto the bag using a box pattern and then sewing an “X” in the middle of the box for strength.

27. Do the same for all 4 sides.

You can find all these tutorials and other great articles in Homegrown, Parenting in the North (FACEBOOK, WEB, ISSUE).

Friday, January 20

Turning my Room into a Storefront

What you Need
  • 13 x 19 cardboard cake plates
  • X-acto knife and cutting mat
  • Long ruler
  • Elastics or safety pins
Note: Cut your sheets one at a time please! We don’t want any blood stains on our mini bolts! It’s easiest using an X-acto knife, by running your knife lightly over and over the same line. It’s a Graphic designer’s trick that prevents you from losing control of your knife and slicing your fingers. Don’t worry if the lines are a little jagged. You’ll notice you’ll get cleaner lines with practice… and less scarring on your hands.

Fabric Mini-Bolts

1. Cut your cardboard to 13 x 15 sheets. No worries, you’ll use the remnants afterward.

2.Cut your sheet to three 13 x 5 rectangles.

3. Cut your rectangles to 6.5 x 5 mini bolts. When done, you should have 18 mini bolts.

4. Find a flat surface, and open up your fabric, but keep it’s mid-width fold. Bring your mini bolt to the left edge, and fold over half the length of the cardboard.

5. Flip the fabric with the bolt upward, keeping the fabric taught against the bolt.

6. One you’ve rolled it all the way up, it’s time to start folding the fabric onto the bolts, keeping the fabric taught the whole way.

7. Tie off using a rubber band to keep the fabric secure to the bolt. Voilà! (See what I did there? I showed you I’m French, eh!? I’m also Canadian, but you’ve probably noticed by the way I spell grey and favourite, travelled and centre.)

Bias tape, ribbon and rickrack organizer

1. With Cardboard remnant, cut in half lengthwise (2 inches should be the middle).

2. Then cut them again in half (at 6.5 inches)

3. Wrap your ribbon (or whatever your vice may be) and secure it by inserting a pin diagonally into the corrugation on the side.

4. You can go an extra step and make them super fancy by placing the finished product into a glass cookie jar. I just keep mine filed in a plastic container.

Monday, January 9

2011 Tutorial Round-up: LunchBag (September 2011)

Canvas Lunch Bag
(dated September 2011)

written by Pamela Pilon of Bibmababy Online (ETSY, FACEBOOK)
Appeared in Home Grown, Parenting in the North Magazine (ISSUE 3)

Not only for lunches, but great for carrying markers, make-up, daycare toys, collection of cars, buttons, bows and more! This project takes about 2 hours to complete.

Let's get started.

What You Will Need.
  • Scissors or Rotary cutter and mat
  • ¾ meter of heavyweight cotton, canvas or jean
  • 2 inches of hook and loop tape or snaps and snap press
  • 34 inches of Double-fold bias tape
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric pencil

Cutting Your Pieces.
  • Cut 1 cotton piece 30 inches x 14 ½ inches (Main Piece) Note: If you are using a Direction Print, cut 2 cotton pieces 15 ½ inches x 14 ½ inches and sew at the 15 ½ inch edges with a ½ inch seam allowance, making sure fabrics are in opposite direction. Once folded, the print should fall in the right direction. Press seam open. For the purpose of this tutorial, I will be using a Directional Print.
  • Cut 1 cotton piece 4 ½ inches x 5 ½ inches (Pocket Square)
  • Cut 1 strip of bias tape 28 inches
  • Cut 1 strip bias tape 5 ½ inches

Making Your Bag.

* All seam allowances are ½ inch unless otherwise noted.

Pin Tucking.

1. On either side of the Main Piece, measure and mark a line at 3 inches from the raw side (see photo).

2. Fold on the 3 inches line and press. Topstitch over the fold line at ⅛ inch. (Make sure to backstitch at both ends!)

3. Repeat on the other side.


4. Sew the 5½ inch strip of bias tape to a long edge of the Pocket Square. Backstitch at both ends!

5. Fold the short side under by a ½ inch. Press.

6. Fold the bottom of the Pocket Square under by ½ inch. Press.

7. With your Main Piece's print-side facing up, place your Pocket Square print-side down 6 inches below the top of the Main Piece and center it horizontally. Pin in Place.

* Note: Remember to fold out the flaps from your pin tucking on the back.

8. Stitch it place, beginning at the top left corner, going down the edges at ⅛ inch, and come across the bottom and then finally up the right side. Leave the top unstitched and remember to backstitch!

Coming Together.

9. With print sides together, fold the Main Piece in half. Pin in Place.

10. Stitch the raw edges together, backstitching at both ends. Press open the seams. Note: Use a serger, pinking shears for a zigzag stitch to finish the seams.

The Gusset.

11. With the bag still inside out, measure 3 inches from the bottom folded edge. Find the spots were the pin tucking line and this 3 inch line meet. Using a fabric pencil, mark these spots. On one Gusset, draw a line from the dot to the bottom corner of the main panel (see photo). Note: Sometimes this line doesn't meet at the exact right spot. As long as you can sew a clean straight line, you'll get the desired effect.

12. Repeat on the other side.

13. With the side seam facing you, pinch the fabric on the left side of the seam and fold the fabric, right sides together, directly on the line you just drew in Step 11. Pin in Place.

14. Repeat on the right side. This will create a triangle shape. Pin in Place.

15. Stitch a straight line across to connect both dots you drew in Step 11. Backstitch both ends.

16. Repeat Steps 11-15 onto other side of bag.

17. Once repeated trim both triangle shapes. Finish with a ½ inch seam allowance on each gusset.

Finishing Touches.

18. Turn the bag right side out. Attach the 28 inch strip of bias tape to the top raw edge. Stitch in place.

19. Center the rough part of the hook and loop take horizontally on the front of the lunch bag, 3½ inches away from the top edge, and pin in place. Note: Feeling adventurous? You can use snaps instead. Why not try a button or two and some button holes!

20. Attach the hook and look tape security to the bag by stitching close to the edge.

21. Center the soft part of the hook and loop tape horizontally on the back of the lunch bag , directly below the bis tape. Pin in place.

22. Attach the hook and look tape security to the bag by stitching close to the edge.

23. We're done! Enjoy your custom lunch bag!

You can find all these tutorials and other great articles in Homegrown, Parenting in the North (FACEBOOK, WEB, ISSUE).

Wednesday, January 4


I was invited to a Fabric Swap group on Facebook, (oh boy, it's like introducing Bailey's to an alcoholic). I found a bunch of really talented mamas, but felt I'd share this blog from Raising Oranges. Check it out!