Saturday, August 20, 2016

Super Quick and Easy Luggage Tag Tutorial

Don’t you just love this bag? It’s a pattern from Two Pretty Poppets. It’s actually a beach tote but it fits my needs for a perfect weekender travel bag. Just one thing missing......a luggage tag!

These tags are seriously so quick and easy to throw together. To make your own, you can dig into your scrap pile because it really doesn’t take much. I used a fairly light weight plastic for the window but you can leave it open if you want, just be sure to make your information card larger than the opening. You can also skip the window and just make a plane pocket. I like the window because it’s a perfect fit for a business card. As for the plastic, it’s not expensive. I got mine from the remnant bin at JoAnn Fabrics.

To make your own you are going to need:

Fabric as follows:
(1) 2 x 12 inches for the strap
(2) 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches for the backing
(2) 3 1/2 x 5 inches for the pocket
(2) 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches for the flap

Interfacing as follows:
(2) 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches for flap and backing
(1) 3 1/2 x 5 inches for the pocket
(1) 2 x 12 inches for strap

You will also need:
(1) 3 1/2 x 5 inch piece of plastic (optional)
(1) KAM Snap set (size 20), or a sew-on snap (8 or 10 mm)
Thread to match fabric
General sewing supplies

Important notes:
**You will be using a 1/4 inch seam allowance for all stitching. Make sure that you do not go under that amount, in fact, it’s OK if you go just a smidge over.

**Fabrics can match, contrast, or you can use the same for all the pieces.

**Avoid touching the plastic with your iron. It could melt. Also, when pinning the pieces together, make sure not to poke the pins into any part of the plastic that will show (such as the window).

**Don’t make your stitches too small because you could actually perforate your plastic and it could tear during use.

**If pre-washing fabrics, do NOT use fabric softener. It can prevent you fusible adhesive from sticking.

Let’s begin:
1.  Fuse the interfacing to the backs of the corresponding fabrics. You will have a piece of interfacing for each of the four sets (backing, pocket, flap, and strap).

2.  With right sides together, pin the sets together. There will only be one fabric piece for the strap. Make sure all your edges line up evenly and round your corners. I used a quarter. Do not round the corners of the strap piece.

3.  Take the window pieces (3 1/2 x 5 inch piece), that are still right sides together, and lay them on your work surface with the interfacing side facing up. Draw a line 3/4 inch down from each edge. This will create your window.

NOTE: In my sample photo, you can see my pen lines extending past the corners, just don't stitch past the corners on those lines. Just stitch the square.

4.  Stitch on those lines pivoting at the corners. Remove from machine and draw diagonal lines from corner to corner creating an “X.” Cut on the lines. Clip as close to the corners as you can without snipping through your threads.

5.  Trim the excess inner fabric (that was once the X) down to 1/4 inch away from the seam.

6.  Turn this piece right side out by pushing one of the layers of fabric through the window just as if you were making a zipper opening in a garment. Be sure all the raw edges line up perfectly an iron well. Baste 1/8 inch away from the outer edges to hold. Be sure to use your large basting stitch because you will be removing some of the basting stitches later.

7.  Decide which side you want showing and place the window with this side up on top of your plastic. The raw edges of the fabric will line up with the edges of the plastic. Pin or clip to secure. Stitch plastic in place by stitching about 1/8 inch from edge of window opening. Be sure to stitch with the fabric on top of the plastic. Carefully trim away excess plastic about 1/8 inch away from the stitching line. I decided to cut the plastic much bigger than it needed to be to make lining up and stitching easier.

8.  Remove the basting stitches along one of the short edges and down about 3/4 inch on each side. Turn these raw edges to the inside 1/4 inch and iron. Stitch close to the folds to create the top edge of your pocket. Remember to be careful with the iron and the plastic.

9.  Place this piece on top of one of your backing fabric pieces (the one that has the interfacing fused to the back). Both of these will have their right side facing up. Line them up at the bottom edge. Now place the remaining backing fabric on top of these with the wrong side facing up. Pin or clip to secure.

10. Stitch around the edges. You will begin your stitching just at the beginning of the upper curve, and end your stitching at the same place on the other side. You want a nice opening at the top to turn right side out.

11. Clip curves and turn right side out. Turn the upper edge under 1/4 inch to the inside. Iron. Set aside.

12. Fold your strap piece in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. Fold the remaining two raw edges to meet at the center and fold back in half. You will now have a piece that measures 1/2 inch wide and 12 inches long. Stitch along each long edge close to folds.

13. Fold in half and slip the ends into the opening on the tag backing and pocket you just assembled. They should go in about 1/2 inch. Pin or clip to secure. Top stitch around the entire thing about 1/8 inch from edge.

14. With the right sides together, stitch around the flap pieces beginning and ending your stitching just like you did in step 10 when stitching your backing fabric and your pocket.

15. Clip curves, turn right side, out and iron. Top stitch around outer edges. 

16. Place this on top of your backing/window piece with the right top side of the flap facing up. Stitch near the upper edge about 1/4” down, and stopping and starting your stitching about 1/2 inch away from sides.

17. Attach the snap of your choice, insert business card or other ID, then hang from your travel bag.

Do you like free embroidery designs and tutorials?

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Roundup - 16 Back to School Tutorials

Although it seems like summer couldn’t possibly be close to over, the calendar says otherwise. I’ve put together a roundup of some of my favorite back to school projects. You will find that a few of them aren’t just for kids! You’ll also find that they are all FREE!

The photo image above shows a thumbnail of each tutorial which are in order from left to right.
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