Tag Archives: fabric

A DIY Drawstring Beach Bag

For the last few years I have tried to keep my New Year’s Resolutions short, sweet, and practical. One of my goals has been to get better at sewing. One of my best friends, who is a sewing extraordinaire, has been temporarily living in Boston and I’ve been trying to soak in as much knowledge as possible.

(I have tried persuading her to blog about all her amazing creations, but she’s not biting. She posted an awesome tutorial for an Elsa dress from the movie Frozen, and then decided to quit blogging while she was ahead.)

I am learning how to sew from patterns. I am a hacker, make-stuff-up-as-I-go kind of person, so patterns are intimidating. But I have made my first sewing project from a pattern – a beach bag for this summer!

I used Pattern M6338 by McCall’s which I got on sale at JoAnn Fabrics for $1.00.

Choosing fabrics is always the fun part, and I always tend to buy them before I know what I’m going to make. This never bodes well, because how can you know how much to buy before you know what you are making?

A DIY Drawstring Beach Bag - DesignLively

A while ago I purchased the boat fabric, which is the Waverly Sun N Shade Set Sail Atlantic Blue pattern. The stripes (also an outdoor Waverly fabric) were a design from last year, so I can’t share the link. The red interior/handle fabric is was a set of cotton sheets I’ve been storing in my fabric bin to eventually use.

I used the heaviest interfacing I could find at Joann’s, which was a pain in the fingernails to sew (literally), but I like the sturdiness it adds to the bag.

A DIY Drawstring Beach Bag - DesignLively

A DIY Drawstring Beach Bag - DesignLively

There are lots of large pockets inside, and the bag will easily hold two beach towels and all our other beachy-gear.

I usually store everything (beach towels, sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, aloe, etc) in my beach bag all year long, so it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice and there’s nothing forgotten!

A DIY Drawstring Beach Bag - DesignLively  A DIY Drawstring Beach Bag - DesignLively

My next goal is to sew something I can wear – so a robe is next on my list. I already bought my fabric and I am in loooooove. Choosing fabrics is 100x more exciting than the actual sewing part, as evidenced by all my projects on the docket that I’ve bought the material for and have yet to begin!

Do you sew with patterns? Any recommendations for a beginner like me?

DIY Tutorial: $3.00 DIY Padded Camera Strap Sleeve

Step by Step Tutorial: DIY Padded Camera Strap SleeveShutterbug speaking here. I love using my padded camera strap because the extra padding helps prevent the strap from digging into my neck, particularly so on vacation days when I tend to wear the camera all afternoon.

However, my current DIY camera strap had seen better days and it was time for a new one, so I snapped some photos of this process this time around.Step by Step Tutorial: DIY Padded Camera Strap Sleeve

This camera strap cost me about $3.00 to make.

I bought one fat-quarter and a small piece of felt from Joann Fabrics. You should measure your own camera strap – my strap is 17″ wide, and I made mine 7″ tall. The fabric scrap should be about 1″ more on both sides for the hem.Step by Step Tutorial: DIY Padded Camera Strap SleeveHow to make a DIY padded camera strap:

1. Once you’ve cut your pieces, center the felt over the wrong side of the fabric. Fold over the fabric on the short sides and sew a straight line. Do both short sides.

2 and 3. Fold and pin your corners

4. Sew the long sides. Trim off excess fabric.

5. Fold the fabric in half, wrong side out. Lay your strap over it to make sure it’s the right length.

6. Mark a line along the strap, giving yourself extra room to turn it inside out. Sewing along the line.

7 and 8. Fold down extra flaps. This will give you double the neck padding on the backside of your strap.

9. Turn your strap inside out – this may take a while. Go slowly to avoid tearing and seams. I used a long paintbrush to help turn it inside out.

Step by Step Tutorial: DIY Padded Camera Strap SleeveAnd there you have it!

Step by Step Tutorial: DIY Padded Camera Strap SleeveI’d recommend a medium to dark color fabric so maximize the life of the strap. You can add more felt if you need more padding – but it will make it more complicated to turn inside out.

Do you have any favorite camera accessories?

Easy DIY Earring Organizer

Easy DIY Earring Organizer - DesignLively

I am an accessories girl.

Accessories are less commitment, easy add-ons, and can be inexpensive (!).

You’ve already seen my DIY Necklace Rack.

I love having some of my jewelry on display so I wear different pieces more often. I keep the rest in two green fabric boxes on my dresser.

IEasy DIY Earring Organizer - DesignLively

When it came to earrings… I didn’t have a very good solution.

I was re-organizing my earrings one day when the idea came to me. While I’m sure this isn’t the most original idea I could have thought of, it was fast, easy and free. How much better can it get?

Easy DIY Earring Organizer - DesignLively

I used an old needlework hoop I had sitting around in my craft supplies and a scrap of gray/white seersucker fabric.

I stuck the fabric in the hoop, snipped off the excess and voila.

Easy DIY Earring Organizer - DesignLively

For now it’s just hanging on a removable 3M hook. (I wanted to make sure I liked using it before committing.)

And I’ve been happy with it! It’s very easy to get the earrings off and put them back on.

Easy DIY Earring Organizer - DesignLively

So this is my happy little get-ready corner.

I store the rest of my jewelry in those two little green boxes.

You might have already noticed some visual changes on the blog here – and it’s about time. Things around these parts haven’t changed one bit for the last two years – so I’m trying out some new things! Let me know if you love/hate it. I’m still exploring myself!

What’s your favorite accessory. I can’t decide if I like earrings or scarves better… : )

TDC Before and After

Nearly No-Sew Autumn Bunting

This project begins like many others in my house. With two little words: Trash. Picking.

There is an interior designer who lives down the street from my parents. Every once in a while she weeds through her stash and puts lots of lovely items she doesn’t need anymore on the curb. In the case of this project, she was getting rid of a swatch book of designer fabrics. I’ve been saving them for eons and the right project finally came long.

I thumbed through it and cut out all the swatches that looks warm, cozy and all-things-autumn.

First, I folded them in half an cut them into rough triangles. Then I ironed them flat.

Then I folded over one “hem” by about 1/4 inch and ironed it down. Then I used dabs of hot glue to “hem” the first side of the triangle.

I let them dry for a few minutes and then I ironed the opposite sides of the triangles. You will want to take care not to press the iron on the hot-glued-hem, as the heat will cause the hot-glue to liquefy again.

When ironing the second side, be sure to create a nice point at the bottom of the triangle. You may need to trim the fabrics slightly to allow for this.

After I ironed down my hems of the second side, I dabbed them with hot glue to make them stay.

After they all had time to harden, I trimmed the corners of the topside. Since I would be hemming this side as well, I didn’t want the corners to peek out the sides. After I cut the corners off, I ironed and hot glued just like before.

Then I ironed each flag flat.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to iron in-between two pieces of fabrics. Otherwise you will get hot glue all over your iron face. Also don’t iron for too long or the hot glue will seep through the front of the flag.

Next I took all my flags and arranged them in the order I wanted them to hang – alternating the plaids, golds, reds and blues. I piled them in order and started to “sew”.

This could hardly be called sewing. If you can thread a needle you can do this part. I overlapped the corners and made a quick loop (by hand) and tied the knot in the back.

Once they were all connected I taped them up with painter’s tape (as to not ruin our freshly painted walls!).

I think it’s sweet. : )

Total Cost: FREE
Total Time: About 2 hours

Now I just need to pretend we have cabinet doors back on the cabinet bases (yep! my living room cabinet doors are also in the abyss of my basement) and get some window treatments up in here.

I already have my swatches picked out for my Christmas one! I can’t wait to make it. Perhaps next time I shall try sewing it.