Thursday, January 2, 2014

Luggage Tags for the Traveler in Us All

These luggage tags are great if you want to make a quick and easy gift for someone who loves to travel or if you want to make a quick and easy gift for yourself to spice up your luggage!  It’s also a pretty good way to use up some of the slightly larger scraps that you have.

The tags end up being 3x4 inches large with a 2x3 inch pocket and an 8-inch long strap.  You can adjust the sizes as you desire.

            Fabric (patterned if you choose)(You will need two 4x5-inch rectangle for each tag)
            Fabric (a solid color that matches the pattern)(You will need one rectangle that is 2x16 inches.  This is for the strap part.)
            Clear Vinyl (I used 12 gauge.  I wouldn’t recommend using anything thinner than that.) (You will need one 2.5x3.14-inch rectangle for each tag.)
            Iron-on interfacing (You will need two 3x4-inch rectangles for each tag)
            An iron
            Thread that matches your fabric

            1: Cut all the pieces that you will need from your fabric selection.
·         Two 4x5-inch pieces of your patterned fabric
·         Two 3x4-inch pieces of the iron-on interfacing
·         One strip of 2x16 inch solid fabric
·         One piece of vinyl, a 3x4-inch rectangle
            2: Following the directions on your iron-on interfacing, adhere one piece to the back of each of your pieces of patterned fabric.  Attach the interfacing to the center.  There should be about ½ inch of fabric on each side.
            3: Fold the edges of the fabric along the edges of the interfacing so that the fabric edges face the center of the fabric.  Iron the creases to make them hold.  Do this for both of the pieces of patterned fabric.

            4: Place the two pieces together so that the edges match.  Sew them together.  (I used a zig-zag stich because I like the way it looks, but feel free to use whatever stitch you want.)  Make sure you leave space for the strap (see HINT below).
                        **HINT**: Start the sewing at the top, a little to the right of the middle.  Go around the edge of the tag and stop the sewing at the top, a little to the left of the middle.  You need to leave about ¾ of an inch open at the center of the top of the tag so that you can insert the strap.
If the larger square is your tag, sew where the dotted lines are located.  Be sure to leave a hole at the top.
            5: Take the strip of solid-colored fabric and fold it in half.  Iron the crease and open the strip.  Take one edge of the strip and fold it again so that the edge touches the center crease.  Do this to the other side as well.  (**HINT**: I ironed each of these creases as well; but, be careful not to iron out the center crease.)  Fold the strip in half again and iron together.  You should have a strip that is about ½ inch wide and has the edges tucked under towards the center.
Fold along the dotted lines.  When you are finished, you should have a strip of fabric that is 1/2 inch thick.

            6: Sew the strap together.  Again, I used a zig-zag stitch. 
            7: Fold the strap in half and insert the ends into the hole at the top of the tag.  Sew the hole together so that the strap is now attached to the tag.
Insert the strap and sew along the red dotted line.  Make sure you sew both ends of the strap into the hole.

            8: Place the vinyl on top of the tag.  Center it as best as possible (**HINT**: It should be a little closer to the bottom than the top.  To tell how close, center the vinyl left and right and then position the bottom edge so that it is equal in distance to the bottom as it is to the left and right sides.)
            9: Sew the vinyl to the tag.  This time, I used a line stitch that was 3/8 of an inch from the outside edge of the tag.  Make sure you are not stitching right on the edge of the vinyl.  Make sure you leave the top open so that you can insert a paper with your information.

            **HINT**: Start at the top of the right side and stitch to the top of the left side.
This time, the blue square is the edge of the vinyl and the red dotted line is where you should sew.  Make sure you leave a hole at the top.
            10: Your luggage tag is ready for use!!



Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Have you ever seen fabric that made you think, 'Boy, I just want to sleep on that!'?  Well, here's your solution!
            1 yard of a patterned (or solid, if you desire) fabric
            5 inches of a solid-colored fabric that goes with your patterned fabric

**This pattern is for a traditional-sized pillow.**

            1: Trim the edges of your fabric so that you have square corners and get rid of uneven edges.  A good way to do this is to fold the fabric in half, matching up the two selvage edges of the fabric.  Flatten the fabric.  You may need to fold the fabric again.  In this case, line the folded edge with the selvage edges.  Then, cut the non-selvage edges so that they form a 90-degree angle with the selvage edges.
            2: Cut the patterned fabric to be 30-inces wide.
            3: Cut the solid fabric to be 30-inches wide and 4-inches thick.  This will end up adding about 3 inches of solid-colored fabric to your pillowcase.
            4: Sew the solid-colored fabric to the top of the patterned fabric.  You are sewing the 30-inch edges together.
            HINT: Before you sew the pieces together, be sure to pin them together.  This will keep them from moving when you start sewing. 
            HINT: This is how I like to sew my edges so that they don’t fray:
                        4.1: Put the fabric backs together and pin at the edge you will be sewing.  The front of each fabric should be facing out.
Here, the good edges of the fabric are showing.  I begin by sewing along the pinned edge of this.
                        4.2: Sew together using a small seam allowance, no larger than ¼ of an inch is needed.  I usually use one slightly smaller, and use the edge of the sewing-machine foot as my guide.
                        4.3: Flip the fabric so that the fabric backs are showing.  You can iron the seam if you want.  Pin the fabric again.
                        4.4: Sew together using a larger seam allowance.  When you unfold the fabric, the seam will be along the wrong side of the fabric, and the fabric edges will be tucked into the seam so that it won’t fray.
Here, you can see that the wrong edge of the fabric is showing.  I sew along this edge next to create my finished seam.
            5: Fold the fabric in half lengthwise.  Line up the bottom edge and the side edge.  Pin and sew together.  Again, see the above hint about sewing edges together.  Make sure that you don’t sew the top together.
            6: Finish the top edge of the fabric.  To finish edges, I fold the edge once and then fold it under itself once more, pin, and sew.


 7: Place pillowcase on pillow and enjoy!