Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Make an Indestructible, Quick Sew, Drawstring Storage Bin

Whether you've got just 1 or half a dozen, kids have lots of stuff.  Containing it is always a challenge.  With 3 kids in our house, it seems like the toys, clothes, gear, etc. are always overflowing and I'm sick of ugly plastic tubs to hold them cluttering it up even more.  Today I'm sharing how to make the ideal bin that can hold and hide just about anything. It's easy to make, looks decorative and, most importantly, kids can't really destroy.  

My Indestructible, Quick Sew, Drawstring Storage Bin:

Usually homemade bags or bins look great at first, but after a couple of months of active kid use they can look shabby or wear out with holes, stains, you name it.  What makes this one any different than other drawstring containers?  The fabric my friends!  

It's made from Waterproof Oxford, a woven 100% polyester oxford fabric. It's finished with a durable water repellent and then laminated with a thin black polyurethane coating on the back.  Last week I shared all about uses and sewing tips for this fabulous fabric here.  This is just one of many projects well suited for the fabric:

Waterproof Oxford also has a bit more body than most other fabrics, so it'll hold its shape well just by being filled with soft toys or clothes.  And it's strong & waterproof quality inside and out means you can use it outdoors or for things than get dirty or wet like sports gear, laundry, outdoor toys or cloth diapers and easily wipe it clean.

- 1/2 yd Waterproof Oxford fabric (this cute print is from Diaper Sewing Supplies)
- 6 or more extra large grommets and setting tool
- 1 yd of Drawstring, cord or shoelace
- Double cord stop (in the notions section in most craft stores)
- Hammer
- Pins, small clips, rotary cutter/shears, yard stick, plate or compass 
- Optional: walking foot, pinking shears

I made mine with a finished size of 12 inches high by 8 1/2 inches wide, which is good for most kid stuff, but you can always make it bigger or smaller to suit your needs.  Start by cutting a 14 1/4 inch high by 30 inches wide rectangle and a 9 inch diameter circle from waterproof oxford.  I used a plate to trace my perfect circle:

Fold the rectangle in half widthwise and stitch down the side with a 1/2 inch seam allowance:

This part is optional, but I didn't want the raw edges sticking out inside, so I pushed the allowance to one side and carefully stitched it down 1/4 inch from seam (this is a tube now so you don't want to stitch through both sides). 

With right sides facing, pin together the bottom opening and the circular piece.  FYI - pinholes will be permanent in waterproof oxford, much like PUL or Laminated Cotton, so pin really close to the raw edges. This way the pinholes will be in the seam allowance and never show.  Stitch together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance, going slow.  A walking foot isn't required, but it can make it easier to keep the layers together without shifting as you sew.  

Now, fold the top raw edge inward 2 inches.  To avoid using pins, I like to use small clips to hold the fold in place while I sew.  If you want the raw edge to look a littler nicer on the inside, trim it with pinking shears first.  Then stitch all the ways around 1 1/2 inches from fold.

Time to install the grommets!  Extra large size works great and allows for your choice of drawstrings & cords and thicknesses.  All you'll need is an inexpensive grommet install kit and hammer:

First make markings for each grommet.  I only had 6 on hand, so I spaced mine about 4 1/2 inches apart and about 3/4 inch down from top.  To make the necessary holes, I clip a small "plus" sign with thread scissors:

Then cut it a little wider to press the male side of the grommet through (that part should be facing inside the bin):

Put the base piece underneath and then the other grommet half on top, followed by the setting tool.  Hammer away:

Snake the drawstring through and cut to desired length.  I had this cute flower shoelace that was a perfect fit with the fabric print & colors:

Pull the ends through the cord stop and it's good to go.

Add all the stuff: toys, clothes, school supplies, stuffed animals - whatever needs to be contained.  It'll look organized and really last no matter what the kids get up to;) 

Want a chance to win some of this fabric?  
I'm giving away this FQ trio of Waterproof Oxford fabric HERE.

I was not financially compensated for this post.  I received waterproof oxford fabric from Diaper Sewing Supplis to test sew and was not required to review or promote this fabric or their shop.  The opinions are completely my own, based on my experience. For my complete disclosure policy, click here. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Our Last August Craftastic Monday Link Party

Can I start this week's party by asking where the time has gone?  It feels like just yesterday I was starting summer projects and warm weather was only beginning and BAM!  We're about to start September!!  It's madness.  This weekend we were busy crafting up & celebrating my little lady's birthday (again where has the time gone? The baby in our family is now a 6 yr old big girl).  We've got some family life changes coming our way this Fall, so I'll be trying to get organized & savor this last real summertime week.  

It's time to announce the winner of my Safari Crush FQ Fabric Bundle Giveaway:

~~ Pauline A. ~~

Congratulations to Pauline and a huge thank you to Timeless Treasures for providing this fabric prize!

Last week I shared a new fabric giveaway: Waterproof Oxford.  To find out more about sewing with this awesome fabric, fun project ideas and to enter the giveaway click HERE.

Remember to do the Craftastic Facebook Mixer Too!

It's FREE advertising for YOUR site/Facebook page - INCLUDING SHOPS  and a way to easily discover new sites to love at the same time.  It takes just seconds and gives you a chance to get more page likes & followers.  HOSTING A CRAFTY GIVEAWAY?  You can now add them there too!

How It Works:
Head over to the Craftastic Mixer post on Sew Can Do's FB page.  Instead of a specific post, share your main blog, crafty shop or Facebook page link in the comments there.  It means even more exposure for your crafty site every week!  Click HERE to go link up now!
Now let's see some Craftastic picks..

Remember this marshmallow candy ice cream cones from the old days?  These meringue ice cream from Living Better Together remind me of those favorite treats from childhood, but look and sound even better:

How cute are these shark cake pops?  Get the clever tutorial by Painted and Sprinkled over at Pint Sized Baker.

If you're more of a savory snacker, try this recipe for chipotle cheese straws from This Silly Girl's Life

Shimra Designs shared this free pattern for a cute crochet bowl:

And check out this cool backlit superhero wall art idea from The Scrap Shoppe Blog:

If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news. 

 Want to be Featured?  
Remember to link back to the party somewhere - I can't feature your project if you don't share the party some way.

I also feature these projects on Sew Can Do's Craftastic Picks Pinterest board 
AND share each of them on Twitter too for even MORE exposure!

Follow me there to see more great projects (and see if yours is one of them)!   

Ready to link up your crafty creations?

Party rules are simple:
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to giveaways, shops, link parties or other people's work).  Add the link to your specific post (not the main page of your blog).  Product reviews, plagiarized or sponsored posts for random items will be immediately deleted.  
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post or blog somewhere.  Party pages are fine.  If you want the chance to be featured, this is key.  The button code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!


    An InLinkz Link-up

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fall Fashion Patterns from Seamingly Smitten + Discount Code

September is nearly here and it's time to start thinking about Fall sewing.  I've been sifting through my fabric stash for the perfect fabrics to make myself some stylish clothes for the new season.

Today I'm sharing some easy-to-make Fall fashion patterns from 
Seamingly Smitten AND a discount code to get 'em all for half price!  

Here are just a few of the fun Fall patterns 
you can choose from: 

The Women's Raglan Top pattern is one of my favorites.  This super versatile pattern offers rounded or split neck options and 3 sleeve lengths.  It works great with knits, voiles, polyblends and wovens with nice drape.  I've even used ruffle fabric with it to make this one for myself:

I've also shared how to make a few small modifications to this pattern to add sleeve cuffs, a banded waist and additional neck binding options for even more looks here.

A nice layering piece is the Draped Cardigan pattern.  This top takes about an hour and is designed for stretch knits.  It's a great way to make those t-shirts and tanks wearable through the Fall.

With short & long sleeves, 3 hem lengths and optional ruffle front - this pattern can make lots of looks.

Either of these tops is perfect to pair with the Women's Leggings pattern. It's another versatile choice for the changeable weather ahead.  It has three lengths, petite, regular and tall fit, plus sizing from 0-22.  

Make some in jersey, interlock or stretch lace for stylish looks, use swimwear or active wear fabric for some inexpensive workout pants.  It's equally fun in wild prints/textures or wear-with-everything solids.

And here's a peek atr the new Women's Swing Dress pattern that's coming out very soon:

Now's a good time grab a few patterns from the Seamingly Smitten shop at a bargain price. Sew Can Do readers can...

Use code SAVE50 for 50% off your total order 
from now through September 4th, 2015. 

This offer is good for ANY Seamingly Smitten other patterns too!

Why Try Seamingly Smitten Patterns:

  • Tons of detailed photos
  • Easy-to-follow, step-by-step directions
  • Photos for each step (no more guessing what the wording actually means!)
  • Tutorial-style directions & extra tips to save time
  • Sizing charts to get the right fit - including petite & tall
  • Instant downloads so you can start sewing right away

Whether you're just learning to sew or have years of experience, these patterns are fun to sew up and provide lots of fresh Fall looks.  Straightforward to follow and relaxing to sew - just my kind of sewing projects!

Seamingly Smitten is a paying featured advertiser at Sew Can Do.  The opinions are completely my own, based on my honest experiences using & purchasing patterns from this shop. For my complete disclosure policy, click here. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Discovering Waterproof Oxford Fabric + Fabric Giveaway

One of my favorite things about sewing is discovering and trying fabrics that are new to me. It opens up additional project possibilities, broadens sewing skills and is just plain fun. Today I'm sharing details on a new fabric I've tested and giving you a chance to win some for yourself too!  Are you ready fabric lovers?
Diaper Sewing Supplies (the place where I buy all my awesome PUL prints & Eco-PUL and one of my lovely advertisers) asked if I'd do some test sewing with a new fabric they were going to offer called Waterproof Oxford.  I made a few things, shared my findings with them and discovered I have serious love for this fabric.  It. Is. Awesome.  And now you can find out why you'll love it too!

What is Waterproof Oxford?  It's a woven 100% polyester oxford fabric. It's finished with a durable water repellent and then laminated with a thin black polyurethane coating on the back. It means it's waterproof on both sides and has crazy strong durability. It comes nice & wide too - 58-60 inches - so a single yard can make loads of things.  

What can you make with it?  Just about any project where you want a fabric that's super durable and easy to clean.  Diaper bags, wet bags, tote bags, purses, and carry cases. You can even use it for things like luggage, seat covers, dog beds, picnic blankets - anything you want to keep dry.  It's also good for lunch bags when paired with food safe Eco-PUL.  And the prints it comes in are beyond cute (as you will see).  The fabric isn't really suited for fashion sewing, but there are loads of other ways to use it.  

I made this "wipe & work" pocketed garden tote:

A drawstring storage bag:

Some purse-sized zip pouches:

Heck, I even went all out and made a full size backpack:

Some great features about Waterproof Oxford:

- No pre-washing.  This is a wipe clean fabric so you can start sewing right away.  I love low maintenance material.
- Lining not required.  Since this fabric has a built-in solid color backing, it's dual sided.  A big time & materials saver.
- No stretch.  Although it's a woven, waterproof oxford doesn't have the usual weft give, so you don't really have to worry about cutting with the straight grain.  Loads more options for pattern placement and less wasted fabric.     
- Ideal weight.  The fabric is medium weight in feel, yet is fairly thin and easy to sew.  It's got a strength that performs like a heavy weight, but without all the thickness that makes sewing layers a challenge.
- Holds shape well.  The polyurethane backing gives the fabric some extra body, so it doesn't have the extreme floppiness you find with other wovens.   

How to sew with it: Sewing with waterproof oxford is pretty simple.  A heavy duty needle and polyester thread is all you need.  I tried sewing with both a standard foot and a walking foot.  The walking foot made layers less likely to slip around curves, but there was none of the sticking you tend to get with other laminated fabrics, so using a basic foot is totally fine too.   

Handling Tips: It's helpful to use clips rather than pins, since those will leave holes (unless you pin in the seam allowance where they won't show).  Also, like most laminated fabrics, to remove folds or creases, use a low heat setting when ironing.

Finishing tips: Thanks to the polyurethane backing, this fabric won't fray as much as standard wovens, so hemming or encasing seams isn't as critical.  I found cutting the raw edge with pinking shears worked great.  

Another option for exposed edges is to use binding elastic or FOE (fold over elastic).  

I tried both and had great results for a smooth and simple detail.

The fabric's inherent strength also means installing things like snaps and grommets doesn't really require extra stabilizer or the muscles of a bodybuilder to put in yourself.  My grommets went through 2 layers of fabric only and after weeks of kids pulling on them, they still look great.

As I was working with it on my first few projects, I realized waterproof oxford was ideal as a backpack material, so for my next project I designed my own backpack using just the waterproof oxford and some elastic binding: 

With the fabric's durable hand, and this cool galaxy print, it looks and feels just like a high end store-bought version.  Except I designed and made it myself for a fraction of the price! I'm working on offering my backpack as a PDF pattern, so stay tuned for that too.

Since I still have quite a bit of fabric left from my project testing, I've decided to share the fabric love!

 I'm giving away a fat quarter of each of these Waterproof Oxford fabrics to one Sew Can Do reader:

And I'll be sharing a few tutorials of some of the above projects (and hopefully create a PDF pattern for my backpack) 
in the coming weeks too:)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was not financially compensated for this post.  I received waterproof oxford fabric from Diaper Sewing Supplis to test sew and was not required to review or promote this fabric or their shop.  The opinions are completely my own, based on my experience. For my complete disclosure policy, click here. 


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