Pillowcase handibag - my iron crafter entry

Fireflies and Jellybeans are currently hosting an 'Iron Crafter' Competition.  I've decided to enter into the fun and have a go at crafting with their secret ingredient this month, which is... Sheets or pillowcases!
So here goes!

I decided to use just a pillowcase for my entry, and to make a handibag
(a useful bag that folds into itself and you can carry in your handbag).
Here's my tutorial:

First of all take your pillowcase and lay it flat.  Then cut 45cm up from the bottom of the case - this will form the main part of your bag.

Next, cut down the edges of that little flap that goes over the top of the pillow, and fold it open like this:

Now with the remaining double layer of fabric, cut two, 10cm strips and open them out by cutting down one seam. Now you have your main bag and your bag handles: The piece that is left over, you will use for the pocket at the end.

To make the handles, iron each strip in half lengthways, then open out and fold each edge into your middle line. Iron again.

Then fold it all in half again and you should have a neat 2.5cm strap, four layers thick which will give plenty of strength.

Now sew down both sides of the strap, and repeat with the other strap.

Now you're ready to attach the straps to your bag.  First fold the top edge of the bag over once, place the edge of the strap on top of this,

Then fold both the strap and the bag over again together, and pin. Repeat this for all for ends of the two straps, making sure to put each strap at the same places on both sides of the bag!

Now sew the handles in place securely - all around and with a cross for extra strength!

Then topstitch all the way around the top of the bag to hold in place.

Now to make the handipocket!  With the remaining material from the pillowcase, cut a rectangle 20cm x 25cm.  Double turn and finish off the edges, then fold almost in half, right sides together, like this:

Turn this piece over and place on the inside of your completed bag, centrally between the handles and in line with the top edge of the bag.

Pin and stitch securely around the 2 sides and bottom.  Make sure you leave the top open as this is where you will stuff the bag into!

Now your bag is complete!!  So open up the pocket at the top

and turn the pocket inside-out, stuffing the whole bag inside it as you do so!

Once it's all inside, tuck the pocket flap over the top to hold it all in:

Hey presto, you've made a handibag!

Perfect to slip in your handbag when you go out:

And nice and big to hold all those lovely things you want to buy!!!!

The sheets that match this pillowcase were never really ones we used (very kindly given to us by an aunt!).  Last year I cut up the sheets to make a set of bags (without the handipocket), and also a small backpack to put them all in.  I've been using them for the past year as my grocery shopping bags. 


They always get lots of comments from the ladies at the supermarkets, they're wonderfully strong, and best of all can be thrown straight in the wash - so no need for my meat to go in plastic bags inside my bags! And they're much smaller and less bulky than the reusable bags you buy from the supermarket!

 I have to admit, I like this fabric much better as bags than as sheets and pillowcases on my bed!!

Good luck to all entrants into this round of Iron Crafter! I'm looking forward to checking out everyone's creations!


Friday's thoughts

After six months blogging, school term ending, and the end of the tax year just a few days away, I've been finding myself contemplating what it is I'm doing quite a lot recently.  Why am I blogging?  What is it about it that I enjoy so much?

I think in a lot of ways, my blog is the equivalent of my daughter's 'show and tell' at school.  It's so nice to have found friends all over the World, who share some of my interests - crafting, thrifting, travel, familly..... oh and all the other new interests I'm discovering through other's blogs!! 

I'm lucky enough to be a stay at home mum, and this is the first year when both my beautiful daughters are at school 5 days a week.  So now that I'm no longer spending my days caring for my children, I can get back to 'work'!?? - the kind that earns money that is!  That's where this blog began.

To my mind, I live in paradise, and every day I get to appreciate that fact.  I grew up in the North of England, and now live in tropical North Queensland.  I constantly marvel at the fact that we have a pool in our backyard,

 we have our very own palm tree

we have daytrips out snorkelling with the kids on The Great Barrier Reef:

and the fresh fruit that grows in backyards up here is just fabulous!

So that I can continue to appreciate all of this, all the time, I am working hard to "Create my way to Success" and find a way of working from home to earn money.  I don't want to go back out to work for someone else - I want to be working for me, and my family, on our terms.  In the future I'd like to think that I'll find a way for my husband to join me at home - so we can work together and really enjoy every moment of our lives to the full.  I just need to somehow focus my creative mind to figure out how!!  And how does my blog fit into all this?  Well, the Blogging World provides me with endless inspiration, motivation and friendship as I follow my dream. (and also an outlet for all those creative ideas that have nothing at all to do with making money - I just want to do them!!)

Everyone has different dreams, different favourite places and things, but these are mine.

When I was a teenager, I had penfriends all over the world, and wrote and received endless snail mail letters each week.  Blogging is, in a way, a modern version of this - so I suppose in a sense I've always done it!

Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to read it. Leave me a comment and I'll visit you back! 

Have a great weekend!


Bratz lending a hand

A couple of months ago I discovered my daughter's dolls had a bit of creative talent (click here to see what I mean!), so when they offered to help me with my sewing tasks this week I jumped at the chance!! So without further ado, I'll hand over to them.....
Ok Girls! Mum said she needed to either fix this or make a new set of hanging pockets to put on the back of the car seat, for the girls to put their toys and books in for when they go camping!

OOOOHHHH! And would you just look at the fabric she's got sitting up here! This was her latest find from the charity shop! Wouldn't it just be perfect girls??

Fantastic, so we've got the material for the front, here's some plain pink for the back, and a roll of stiffening to hold its shape!  We're ready to start!

So first we need to cut out the front part. 
We'll use the old one for size, just cut around that one!
(We cut 45cm by 65cm in case you don't have one to cut around!)

These scissors are a little too big for me - but don't worry! I"ll manage....somehow....

Next cut a piece of stiffening the same size:

And a backing piece also the same size:

You're right, these scissors are tricky!
Hey! You've lost a foot!!??
Ohhh, Give me that back - why don't you do it then?

Now cut some pockets out from whichever material you prefer - we of course believe you can never have too many Bratz!!!  Make them whatever size you like - some big, some small, you never know what the girls will want to stuff in these pockets!

Ok, now I think we should give the material a bit of an iron before we stitch it!

Ok then, get ready to catch it when I push - but watch out it's heavy - and hot!!


Nothing like a bit of teamwork to get things done!
Now it's time for sewing! 
Double turn over the top of each pocket and topstitch:

Now you're ready to place and pin your pockets to the main fabric:

Place them all first, to make sure they fit where you want them, then pin them along the sides and bottom, turning each edge under like this:

Once you've got them all pinned on, you're ready to stitch them in place:

Topstitch each pocket close to the edge along the sides and the bottom.

To make the pockets more secure, stitch a triangle on each top edge. This should help prevent the pockets ripping when the girls tug on them as they put their things in and out!

Now we're getting there! The pockets are done! We're doing a pretty good job so far aren't we girls??

Now for the bit that hangs the pockets up.  We'll just cut off that part from the old one and use that:

Watch her hair!!! 

Ok, now pin this part to the pocket section and stitch securely in place like so:

Of course if you don't have an old one to use, you can just attach a strap like this one:

Now to put it all together.
With the pockets facing right side up, lay first the backing fabric, then the stiffening on top like so:

Then pin all around, leaving a gap to turn it out through:

Stitch the three layers together, then trim the corner and edges.

Turn the whole thing right side out through the gap you left, then fold the edges of the gap over and pin.

Then topstitch around the whole finished piece!

All done girls!  Let's go put it in the car to see how it looks!!

Mmm, I obviously didn't think this one through too well!


This is great!! It works!

Mmm!  But it's not FOR us! Go and put something else in the pockets!
Oh alright!  How's this?

Perfect! Good job girls! 
Now who fancies a spin?? I'm sure if we work together we can figure this car out..

Then again, maybe not!  Perhaps we should quit while we're ahead!

Hopefully this has helped Mum a; bit in her Round Tuit project for this week!

Have a great week.
Love from the Bratz girls!