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At daycare, Lillian sleeps on a small cot with a sleeping bag.  We had an old one that I had growing up so we have just been using that.  It’s warm and doesn’t have the slick outside, which to me makes it more comfortable than the slick ones.  The zipper has become increasingly worse, so I figured that since I have a little experience with sewing, I will go ahead and try to fix it.

Fixing a Sleeping Bag

It was just a small area that was coming loose but if I didn’t fix it the whole zipper would eventually come off.  I was a little worried that the sleeping bag would be too thick to easily sew the zipper back on.

Fixing a Sleeping Bag

So I put on my zipper foot and black thread and sewed away.

Fixing a Sleeping Bag

Low and behold, it worked!!  We now have a fully attached zipper, with zero issues while fixing it.

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I made my in-laws a potholder and oven mitt from the Prudent Baby tutorials.   Last year they were able to purchase a summer home on a lake so I thought it would be fitting to use fishing material.

Oven Mitt & Hot Pad


On to the process of making them.  I started out with the potholder and was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out, considering what it looked like before putting all of the pieces together.  (I wish I would have taken a picture to show you).

I used 2 layers of insul-brite and since I do not have a walking foot the material shifted like crazy!  Well, at least I’m assuming a walking foot would help.  I made sure to face the shiny side of the insul-brite toward the fabric so that it would actually reflect the heat away from the potholder.

This was also my first experience with using double fold bias tape and two step binding.  I also used Prudent Baby’s tutorial on how to sew with bias tape.  It wasn’t the easiest thing to use over the thick fabric so next time I will probably get the wider bias tape.  Eventually, I would like to make my own but right now it’s easier to just buy it.

Of course, I forgot to add the ring of bias tape to hang the potholder.  Oh well, how many people actually hang their potholders, right?

Oven Mitt & Hot Pad

Oven Mitt

A few days later, I decided I was going to attempt the oven mitt.  I was a little confused with the directions at first but then realized that for the back of their oven mitt they were using two different fabrics plus the lining.  So on page two of the downloadable pattern you can go ahead and tape the two pieces together if you are only using one fabric.  You can also skip number 4 of the directions because you won’t have anything to sew together.

Since I did not have matching fabric for the lining, I needed to differentiate the lining fabric from the outer fabric.  In my sewing class, we made pajama pants and the teacher suggested to put pins in an X on the back fabric pieces.  So I used this suggestion and put X’s on what would be my lining pieces.  It worked out really great and helped me to know which was the lining and the outer fabric.  Normally it wouldn’t matter but since I used insul-brite I had to which way to face it.

Since I do not have a serger I skipped that part and later realized it was not a good idea because the material was kind of scratchy.  So I went back and zigzag stitched what I could.  After stitching I cut the excess fabric off.  It worked out fine this time but next time I will be sure not to skip this step.

I also messed up the hanging loop but got it to work out.  So needless to say, I have a lot of work to do when it comes to sewing on bias tape.

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For Lillian’s daycare class I decided to make Valentine’s since there are only a total of eight kids and two teachers.  I made these from noodlehead’s blog.

2011 Valentines for Classmates

First, I printed the image onto white cardstock, then I let Lillian “sign” all of them.

2011 Valentines for Classmates

After that I cut out the cardstock and vellum and then sewed them together.

2011 Valentines for Classmates

Since the kids are all under two years old, I put peach puffs in them instead of M&M’s.  I still made a few with M&M’s for the teachers.

2011 Valentines for Classmates

Here is the vellum that I used.  So cute!

2011 Valentines for Classmates



And the finished product!  I had fun making them and Lillian even enjoyed watching me.  Eventually, she will be able to help.

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Kindle Case

I attempted to make a Kindle case but I could not find a tutorial online for one I liked or for the Kindle 3.  So I took a few different ideas from other case type tutorials and attempted it.  I used this one to help get the dimensions, and this one as the basis of how I would make the case; both from sewmamasew.  The only difference is that I wanted to use a magnetic snap instead of a button.

I used this tutorial from craftapple blog to do the magnetic snap.   I practiced multiple times to try to get the buttonholes perfect for the snap and even used the memory on my machine to save the automatic buttonhole.  The snaps worked out perfectly except I apparently wasn’t thinking when I attached them because the one on the flap is on the wrong side!  So it can’t snap because both are on the top side of the fabric.

Kindle Case Mistake

I am pretty disappointed in myself because it was a stupid mistake and easily could have been prevented.  The only other thing about it is that it is too small so the Kindle doesn’t fit anyway.  I guess that makes me not as mad since the case can’t be used because of the size and my major mistake.


On to the details of the Kindle case.  I measured my pieces to be 20.5 X 6 but I think if I make this exact case again I will make them 20.5 X 6.5.  I also used a thick interfacing which I will use again, but I will attach it to the lining material instead of the outside material.  That way the Kindle is protected more.

Since I used the snaps, the lower one (the correctly placed one) has the back of the snap toward the kindle.  If the interfacing is on the inside fabric then the snap won’t be an issue with rubbing against the Kindle.

I also am not sure about top stitching.  It could be the thick interfacing or it could just be my lack of experience, but when I top stitch it doesn’t stay in place, and the lining material shows through.  So needless to say, I have some more work to do, including research, and thinking about what I want, before I try making another Kindle case.

I said at the beginning of this blog that I was going to post about my mistakes so that others could learn from them.  So as much as I didn’t want to admit this mistake, I think I owe it to everyone.  So I suggest to triple check (or even more) things before you continue with the next step.

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Lil Cutie Pouch

I attempted a more difficult project than the crayon roll. It is a tutorial by Anna from called Lil Cutie Pouches. It even includes a zipper which I have no experience with whatsoever. She did a fantastic job with the tutorial.

I started out by reading over the whole thing and visualizing exactly what would happen. I actually was confused at first but used some sticky notes as a visualization and finally figured out what was going on. I am a hands on learner, so it was difficult to just read and look at the pictures to figure out what to do.

A better way to do this, instead of using sticky notes, would be to cut out the fabric and then go through the steps before sewing. Once it all makes sense, start from the beginning again and you will have a Lil Cutie Pouch in no time.

I think it took me about 2.5 hours from start to finish and that was with messing up the zipper and taking my time to try to figure out what I was doing. I also used thick interfacing instead of thinner stuff so that made it more difficult for me. I don’t suggest doing that for your first time doing a zipper. I really need to purchase a variety of interfacing so I am prepared for any project that I want to try out.

Overall, it turned out well, but the fabric is not close enough to the zipper and of course, like I mentioned above, the interfacing was too thick. I am not sure if it would work but for the first side of the zipper I think it would be easier for me to have the fabric on the left instead of the right. I am wondering if Anna is left handed and that is the reason she did it this way.

On another note, when shopping for zippers you may not be able to find the exact size that the tutorial or pattern calls for. I went to Hobby Lobby for this zipper and they did not have any 8 inch zippers so I had to get a 9 inch one. Since we were cutting off the excess anyway, it didn’t really matter. I think in the future, I am going to try to get zippers online.

I think that if you know the basics about sewing (aka, how to use your machine) then you should be able to make this with little issue. I actually think I might make a slighter bigger one next time.