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For awhile now I have been eyeing Jeni’s Lined Drawstring Bag.  She has a free tutorial and also sells a pattern.  I used the tutorial for this bag, but I also purchased the pattern.  The advantage to buying the pattern is that you get multiple sizes, as well as calculations to make whatever size bag you want.

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I made this bag thinking that I could use it as a travel bag for toiletries, but Lillian decided that it was hers, so now it holds markers most of the time.  Other times it has blankets, dolls, puzzle pieces, you name it and it’s probably made it into this bag.  She also thought it was a backpack and wore it as if she were going on a hike.

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The tutorial was super easy to follow and the bag has so many options.  I used three different fabrics and then ribbon for the strings, but you could just as easily use four fabrics or even less if you don’t like the look of so many different patterns/colors.

The pattern does not require interfacing which is nice, but I think you could use a lightweight interfacing if you want it to be a little more substantial.  It’s also a pretty quick project, especially if you use ribbon for the strings.

I definitely plan on making more of these.  At least one so that I can use it!  At least Lillian loves the things I make.  I’m thinking a few as Christmas gifts because who can’t use a cute bag like this?

Be sure to check out In Color Order and Jeni’s pattern shop as well.

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For Christmas, I received the book Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins.  The first project that I made was the plastic bag holder.  It’s actually in the home dec fabrics section, but I used quilter’s cotton because that is all that I had (actually, that is all that I have….I should probably work on that).

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This was an easy, quick project and perfect for a beginner.  The hardest part was attaching the loop and that was only because you attach it after the elastic is in the casing.  The elastic wrinkles the fabric and makes it hard to sew the loop on.  If you aren’t planning on hanging the plastic bag holder then you could skip adding the loop.

This is also a great project to practice an elastic casing.  It doesn’t have to be as perfect as elastic in a skirt would and it gives you two chances to get it perfect.  Not that it’s hard, but it can be intimidating for a beginner.

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I mentioned earlier that I used quilter’s weight cotton instead of home dec fabric.  In my opinion, it worked out just fine, but without bags in it, it doesn’t keep it’s shape.  I don’t have a problem with this, but I wanted to mention it just in case someone else does.

Do you have this book and if so, what projects have you made?

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I wanted to let everyone know that Michelle is having a great sale this labor day weekend.  She is offering 20% off of any purchase from her site.

Michelle Patterns 2012 Labor Day Sale

All you need to do is head on over to her shop and when checking out use the discount code laborday.

What is everyone doing this Labor Day weekend?  We are visiting with family and friends, so not much sewing (actually, no sewing) will be getting done this weekend.  But no worries, I do have some finished projects to show you soon and even a few tutorials!  Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Michelle Patterns so I get compensated for any orders placed through the links in this post.

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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.