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Changing a rotary cutter blade is a pretty basic thing to do but I thought a post about it couldn’t hurt, right?

This is what it looks like from the front (well, what I consider the front).

Changing rotary cutter blade

There is a a black nut on the back that you loosen to get the orange screw off.  It comes off with the normal rule of “righty tighty, lefty loosey.”  So to get it off you will need to turn it to the left to loosen it.

Changing rotary cutter blade

Here you can see the case of new blades along with the orange screw and black nut.  This one has five blades and at first I couldn’t get them apart.  I was trying to pull them apart when actually sliding them works better.

Changing rotary cutter blade

To prevent the blades from rusting they put some sort of oil on them.  I wiped this off with a paper towel so that it wouldn’t rub off onto my fabric while I was cutting it.

Once you have the new blade ready, you just lay it on the front of the cutter.  Either way is fine, there is not a difference between the two sides of the blade.

Changing rotary cutter blade

Reattach the orange screw and put the black nut back on and you have a nice new sharp rotary cutter.

My rotary cutter is Fiskars brand but I am guessing most are assembled in about the same way.  Really, all that you need to do is pay attention to how you took it apart and then reverse the steps.

Happy cutting!

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I wanted a makeup bag to match my toiletry bag so I decided on a smaller version of the same design.  I would actually not mind it being even a little smaller than this one.  Since I made the toiletry bag too tall, I figured I could fix that mistake this time and I found a tutorial on Warehouse Fabrics’ site that doesn’t have raw seams on the inside.

Making the bag this way is harder than with raw seams on the inside, but in my opinion it looks much better.  If you don’t fully understand what is going on in this tutorial, it might be easier to first make the bag with raw seams on the inside, and then later make another one following this tutorial.

2011 Makeup Bag

I did not use iron on vinyl this time since my makeup doesn’t have any liquid (other than foundation, but that doesn’t count).  I still decided to sew each piece of fabric onto the zipper separately because I have found that I get a better finished appearance this way.

This time I also only used two pieces of fabric instead of four.  You could still basically make this the same way as I did the toiletry bag, but with the few changes so that you don’t have raw seams on the inside.

2011 Makeup Bag

It was incredibly important to stop a half inch from the edge like it mentions in the tutorial.  But, be sure to make each side even because where you stop might show on the outside of the final project.  I have a picture near the end of the post, showing what I mean.

2011 Makeup Bag

When sewing each end together you do not want to include any of the other piece of fabric.  So if you are sewing the lining, be sure not to get any of the outer fabric.  This was kind of difficult for me, but I did manage.

This is also when I attached the zipper tab since I wanted a small tab instead of a whole handle.  I used scrap fabric that matched my lining and just sewed the two long sides together with right sides facing.  Turned right sides out and ironed with the seam in the middle.

2011 Makeup Bag

You will box all the corners except for one in the lining fabric, so this means seven corners.  (I know I was a little confused at first whether I needed to do the lining and outer fabric separately)  You do all but one so that you can later turn everything the right way.  I attempted doing boxed corners by cutting out squares and it just didn’t work for me, so I went back to the other way of making triangles.

2011 Makeup Bag

Here is what my boxed corners looked like before clipping the corners.  It does take some maneuvering to get each corner to fit under your needle, but if you pin it well enough, it will be easier.

2011 Makeup Bag

In this picture, you can see where I didn’t stitch far enough when attaching the zipper.  I suggest locking your stitch and also making sure that you stop at the same place on each side of the zipper.  That way if you end up having the end of your stitching showing it will at least look uniformed.

I also thought that the seam allowance would cover the selvage edge on my fabric, but it obviously didn’t.  Yep, another mistake that could have easily been avoided!

2011 Makeup Bag

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This is my favorite project that I have made so far!  It just went together well, plus I love the fabric.  It is a tote bag from Skip to my Lou.

I followed the tutorial pretty much to a T, except I decided to use interfacing to make the bag a little sturdier.  I chose Pellon 911FF Fusible Featherweight.  It has a decent stiffness which allows the bag to stand up on it’s own.  I fused the interfacing onto the lining because I wasn’t sure if the stiffer interfacing would cause a harsh look to the fabric.  It did not, so you could fuse to the outer fabric.

2011 Tote Bag

First was making the straps…it was your basic fold down the middle, then open, and fold into the middle type of strap (detailed pictures in the tutorial for the bag).  I did not add interfacing to the straps but probably will when I make another one of these.  Here is a tutorial to add interfacing.

As I have mentioned before, in order to get a straighter stitch that is so close to the edge, I use my blind stitch foot.  I’m sure there is a foot specific for doing this but why pay the extra money when I can just use what I have?  I first mentioned this in my post about the Simple Party Clutch.

2011 Tote Bag

After you make a strap, you then cut it in half so that you have two straps.  I can’t decide if it would be easier to cut the long piece of fabric in half and make each strap separately.  I guess then you would have two smaller pieces of fabric to work with, so it depends on what you are comfortable doing.

2011 Tote Bag

The bag part was super easy…to sum it up…you just sew the pieces together on three sides for the lining and the outer fabric.  Since I used a directional fabric for the outer fabric, I had to double and triple check to make sure I was leaving the correct side open.  I didn’t want birds flying upside down!  Also, since the bag is a rectangle and not a square, make sure that you are using the short side as the top and bottom for both the lining and the outside.

2011 Tote Bag

When boxing the corners, I find it easiest to pinch the corners and sew instead of cutting out squares.  I still clip the corners off before turning just so there is less bulk on the inside.  Here is a great tutorial for boxed corners.

2011 Tote Bag

Fitting the two pieces together can sometimes be difficult, not too much for this project though, but with patience you can get it.  I find it easiest to pin the seams first and then go from there.  I guess I consider the seams the most important thing to match up perfectly.

2011 Tote Bag

When inserting the straps, I always make sure that it is not twisted and I measure from both side seams so that the strap is equal distance from the edges.  Again, this is something that I make sure to check multiple times because I am tired of making these little mistakes that can be prevented.

2011 Tote Bag

I used two pins on each end of the straps and then pins where ever else I felt they were needed.  Once pinned, sew everything together.  I didn’t find a need to sew over the straps multiple times  because there will also be a top stitch.  Plus, I am probably not going to be using this bag for anything too heavy.

2011 Tote Bag

Turn right side out and see how well you did, and how well your fabric looks together.  Get excited that you almost have a completed tote bag!

2011 Tote Bag

Push the lining into the outer piece and iron the top seam so that the lining isn’t higher than the outer fabric.  Top stitch near the top of the bag and you are done except for….

2011 Tote Bag

giving your little helper a hug.

2011 Tote Bag

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I wanted to make something small that I could put my zippers in for storage, so I decided on a small fabric box from The Sometimes Crafter.  I ordered 25 zippers from Zipit on Etsy and had nowhere to store them.  I cannot rave enough about the customer service, fast shipping, and the price from Zipit.

2011 Fabric Box

When cutting out the 4.5 inch squares I found that my 6 inch ruler worked perfectly since I could just measure in 4.5 inches from one side and then cut on both sides of the ruler.  Sounds like it would be obvious since the fabric was a 15 x 15 square but I didn’t pay enough attention until after I cut out the first corner.

2011 Fabric Box

I did not make my lining fabric smaller than the exterior fabric but wish that I would have because it is very loose in the bottom of the box.  It works fine, but doesn’t look as perfect as I would like.

2011 Fabric Box

Interfacing….I am still a little clueless about what is the best to use for what kind of project so I am just winging it.  I have a variety of different types and decided to try out Pellon 809 Décor-Bond for this project.

Overall, it was not my favorite interfacing.  It did not fuse very well to the fabric so I’m not sure if I did something wrong or not, but I was able to eventually get it to bond.  I would probably use something a little stiffer next time, especially if I make a bigger box.

I did consider using Peltex but since you shouldn’t really sew into it, I decided against it.  Do you have any suggestions on which interfacing to use?

2011 Fabric Box

My little assistant didn’t mind the interfacing choice, she never does though.

2011 Fabric Box

After sewing all of the corners together you start to see what the box shape will be like.  Perfect size for my zippers, just like I planned!

2011 Fabric Box

Lots of pins were used to make sure that when I sewed the lining to the outside that the fabric didn’t shift too much.

2011 Fabric Box

After turning right side out and topstitching, we have a finished fabric storage box for my zippers…..

2011 Fabric Box

Or is it a hat?

2011 Fabric Box

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I made what I am calling a toiletry bag but most others call a cosmetic bag.  I combined two tutorials because I liked different things from each.  The two I used were The Boxy Cosmetic Bag Tutorial from Skip to my Lou which was done by Jaime of Prudent Baby and the Cosmetic Bag Tutorial from Sew Like My Mom.

Toiletry Bag

I decided that I liked the idea of having a zipper tab so I took that idea from Sew Like My Mom as well as using iron on vinyl.  I used the dimensions from Skip to my Lou as well as the basic assembly of the bag.  The difference between the two is that SLMM used one piece of fabric for the outside and one for the lining where STML used two for each.

Toiletry Bag

Iron on vinyl

It was actually pretty easy to apply so don’t be intimidated!  The reason I wanted to use it for this project is because I am using this bag as a toiletry bag (you didn’t figure that out already, did you?).  If anything spills, the vinyl can be wiped down and it should help to keep any liquid inside the bag instead of on all of my clothes in the suitcase.

Toiletry Bag

I decided that it was a smart idea to sew the outer fabric and lining fabric onto the zipper separately just like Sew Like My Mom did.  This really helped to keep everything even, especially since the iron on vinyl makes it easier for the material to stick, hence pulling away from the zipper.  Plus, if you use pins through the vinyl you will be able to see the holes later.

Toiletry Bag

I also liked the look of the top stitching next to the zipper.  It just gives it more of a finished looked.  This is where you can easily struggle since the vinyl faces down on your machine.  I didn’t have too much trouble but did need to help the fabric through every once in awhile.

Toiletry Bag

This is my best zipper installation yet!  Yay for improvement!  I guess practice does make perfect (well, maybe not perfect but you get the idea).  I do suggest to always iron the fabric flat after sewing it onto the zipper, it will help it to not get stuck in the zipper, and so will sewing the top stitch.

Toiletry Bag

Sewing the sides together was probably the hardest part because the vinyl was on all sides.  The fabric did shift a little but luckily this bag is forgiving.  I just made sure to cut the edges evenly after I was finished sewing the sides.  Sometimes the vinyl would stick to the machine and not pull through.

Toiletry Bag

Boxed Corners

I followed the boxed corner method from Skip to my Lou.  Which is explained in more detail on craftapple.  I actually made my bag too tall because I misunderstood the directions.  When it said that she did hers 5 inches I thought it meant 5 inches on each side of the seam, but actually it means a total of 5 inches.  So the seam should actually be at 2.5 inches since that would be half of 5.

Toiletry Bag

I really like this bag, but will make another one that is shorter so that it’s easier to get my stuff in and out.  With it so tall it’s also a little awkward to unzip.  Overall, I would say this project was a success.  The bag is still very useable even though it’s a little tall.