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My local library did a Million Pillowcases for Charity drive as part of the drive that the America Red Cross was doing.  I decided that I wanted to participate and made two standard size pillowcases.

I took the pillowcases to the library on a Saturday and on Monday they posted a picture on their Facebook page showing that my pillowcases were on display behind the front desk.  The funny part, I didn’t notice that they were both there until today.

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I followed this tutorial just like I did for the travel size pillowcase.  I still really like the look that the accent fabric gives to the pillowcase.  I ended up making one of them shorter than the tutorial because I felt like there was too much extra fabric when on the pillow.  So instead of cutting the main fabric 27” I cut it 25”.  It still fits on the pillow, but there isn’t as much extra fabric.

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For the blue pillowcase I used Farm Friends by Jamie Wood for Clothworks Fabrics and the other one is Stitch Organic by Betz White for Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  I purchased all of the fabric from Fat Quarter Shop.

I think I have mentioned Fat Quarter Shop before and how quickly they ship.  If you order before 3pm and your order qualifies, they will ship the same day.  Then, in just a few days (depending on where you live) you will have new fabric.  I usually get my order in 2 days.  I highly recommend checking out their shop.

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Do you remember my first attempt at a recessed zipper?  It didn’t go so well so I tried again.  Since the first one had way too much bulk in the corners, I tried a completely different way of installing the zipper.  This means that there will still be slight openings in the top, but not much.  Well, there is a lot in this one, but that is because I messed it up big time.  Here is the tutorial for the one that isn’t messed up.

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As you can see, the zipper was way too short…so short that not much could even fit into the bag.  I actually ended up cutting off the zip end and breaking the other end of the zipper so that I could still use the bag.  I just love the fabric!

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From the outside you can’t even tell that the zipper is there, let alone messed up.  I hate wasting fabric so I am glad I am still able to use the bag.

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I sort of followed this tutorial for the casing, but realized there is an easier way that is pretty much the same as this tutorial.  The way I did it uses extra fabric and isn’t necessary.  I also struggled getting the casing lined up, so the second way makes it easier.

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Here is the zipper and the casing.  I then attached this between the two lining pieces on each side.

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I made the zipper so short because I thought that once I boxed the corners that it would be the correct length.  Yeah, not so much.

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Here is a view of the lining after it is completely sewn together.  I kind of thought it was going to be way too short at this point, but went ahead and finished the bag.

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Here is another view of the recessed zipper.  I liked the potential of this and have tried again with success.  So stay tuned for a successful recessed zipper.

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I am currently working on the tutorial for the successful version and plan on including enough detail that you should be able to calculate the pieces for any bag that you want to add a recessed zipper to.

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By now you have probably heard of Prudent Baby.  If not, then you should check out their site!  Awhile ago, they had a giveaway for business cards from moo.com and I was one of the winners!!!  I was super excited because I had been talking about getting some business cards, so this was perfect timing.

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My husband does all of the designing for my “image” for sewing novice.  He designed my logo and my website with some input from me.  Together, we designed my business cards and I’m pretty excited about them.

I wanted the cards to be blog cards more than business cards, so on one side we put the logo and my name, along with the website address.  The other side, we added my name logo (the pink one) and all of the social media links for my site.  Do you may remember my labels with my name logo on them that I got from Spoonflower?

About the cards…they are fantastic and I have no complaints about them.  They are thick and the printing is exactly how we expected it to be.  It was easy to upload the image design, but you can also use their site to help you design your cards.

As a side note, if you do get business cards from moo.com, be sure to read their templates and guidelines section under FAQ’s.  If you don’t upload the proper file format, then the printing might not be as clear.

I would recommend using moo.com for your business cards.  They have a lot of options (the MiniCards are adorable!) and the cards look very professional.

So are you up to any sewing this week or are you obsessed with the Olympics like I am?

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A lady I work with would like a basic tote bag, but with a zipper.  I have tried a few different ways so far and wanted to show you one today, even though it didn’t really work out the way I wanted it to.  I looked at different tutorials online and pictures of recessed zippers and came up with this version.  Here is the tutorial for my successful version.

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Here is a very brief and rough description of how I did it, but I don’t really recommend this way because the side seam becomes very bulky and it’s near impossible to get a straight top stitch.  The good thing about this version is that when the bag is zipped closed, there is no opening at all, so nothing can fall out.

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First, I cut out my basic tote pieces.  I think mine were 12 x 12.  Then I made the zip pieces (12 x 3 1/2).  I attached the zip pieces to the zipper in the same way that you normally would.  If you need a reference, I suggest following the Lil Cutie Pouch tutorial, but just for the zipper installation.

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Here is the completed zipper section.

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Then I attached the zipper casing to the top of the bag by placing the outside fabrics together.  I put the strap between the casing and the bag body during this step.

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For the second side, it appears that the zipper is twisted, but really it isn’t.  I just made sure that it really was going to be correct before actually sewing the casing onto the bag.

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Here is what it looks like after the zipper casing is attached.  The seam that you see will be the top of the bag.

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Next, like I normally do with a tote bag, I placed the right sides together and sewed around the three raw edges.  Making sure the zipper casing also had right sides together and included that when I sewed the raw edges together.

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I then turned it right side out and formed a boxed corner with the zipper casing.

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I tucked the casing into the top and top stitched around the bag.  This is where it got really difficult because there is so much fabric in the side seam.  I managed to top stitch, but it doesn’t look the best.

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Here is the view from the top of the bag.  I like the overall look of it, but also know that it won’t work for many bags.  I have tried another version with one major screw up and one successful bag.  I will show those soon, and plan on doing a tutorial for the recessed zipper that I am happy with.  So stay tuned!

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I had to share a few pictures of Lillian with the bag.

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This is now officially her farmer’s market bag. She loves going to our local farmer’s market so I thought it would be perfect to make her a bag to carry.

On a side note, these pictures were taken toward the beginning of the summer when we still had beautifully green grass.  Now the grass is brown and feels like straw so it wouldn’t make the best background for pictures.

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When I saw people posting tutorials about swimsuit cover-ups I knew I wanted to make one for Lillian.  This way, she can keep the towel wrapped around her after swimming.  There were a few that I found that I liked, but ultimately, I decided to go with the tutorial from Prudent Baby.

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I did make a few changes though, such as adding more snaps to the straps, just using the towel for the outside instead of other fabric, and adjusting the size a little because Lillian is so small.  Other than that, I followed the tutorial, oh, except for making square corners and not curved ones.

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Both Lillian and I love purple so it was nice that I had this older towel to use and fabric that matched.  I made my own binding (see my tutorial here), but you could just as easily buy some.  Like I mentioned in my hooded towel free pattern, working with towels can be kind of messy.  Also, cutting through the towel isn’t the easiest, but it’s manageable.

I have discovered that sewing on binding and I do not mix.  For some reason, I just can’t seem to get it to look as good as I would like.  You can’t tell in the pics so that must mean you can’t really tell at all, unless of course you are really inspecting my work.  I figured the more I did it the better I would get, but so far, that has not proven to be true!

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I tried really hard to get pictures of Lillian wearing this, but she refuses.  I’m guessing after we go swimming she will wear it, but I didn’t want to wait even longer for a picture.  So instead, you get a picture of her being silly and sitting on it while we are trying to get a picture of it.

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