Posts by Stacey Martinez

I love to sew. I really enjoy creating useful projects to fit the needs of a space, an outfit, or the needs of my family and friends. Come, let our imaginations take over to sew some amazing projects!
Cashmere Wall Art

Cashmere Wall Art

Blank Canvas

Cashmere wall art.

Cashmere wall art.

I really dislike drab walls. I’m always looking for cheap, out of the box ways to splash up my walls. I’ve never attempted any type of fabric wall hanging before, so I thought, “Throw caution to the wind and dress up that naked wall!”

I was given some really awesome cashmere materials in vibrant colors. Sadly, the pieces weren’t big enough to make a nice blouse or skirt out of. I’ve been searching for a great creative way to showcase this amazing material. This wall art turned out to be the perfect display piece.

**Tip: Wash all new materials prior to use to avoid shrinkage resulting from later washes.

**ProTip: Iron cut pieces before sewing and in between each step. This helps in the sewing process as well as setting the stitches to lessen unraveling with age. Often the end results tend to look more professional as well.

Level: Beginner

Time to Complete: 1 – 2 hours

Sewn By Machine: 1/4 in. straight stitch

Materials

  • 9 – 16″ W strips, varying lengths
  • 5 – 20″ L strips, varying widths
    • **I made 1″, 2″ and 3″ strips. I didn’t want a basic uniform checkerboard pattern and varying the strip size helped add some uniqueness to the finished design.
  • 1 – 14″ W x 18″ L Canvas Frame
  • 1 – 14″ W x 18″ L Cardboard for back of wall hanging

I measured an extra 1″ on all sides of the frame. I’d rather it be a little big than too small. It can be quickly cut down to fit the frame if too big.

Let’s Get Started

  1. Cut out strips and iron.
  2. Iron the 1/4″ seam on all four sides of the strips. Since this material is 100% cashmere, it doesn’t hold well when pinned, moved quite a lot during sewing. The pins were also falling out the second I moved my material to the sewing machine. I found ironing each seam on a wool heat setting helped secure the seam without using pins.

    Fabric strip seams.

    Fabric strip seams.

  3. Sew around all four sides of all fabric strips using the 1/4″ ironed seam.
  4. Arrange the fabric strips in lines down and across. I arranged them, then put the frame over it to help visualize. It took me several times to find an arrangement I was happy with.
  5. Once you have the strips set up the way you want them, put them under and over each other to create a more defined checkerboard look.
  6. Start sewing the fabric strips together. I pinned the various short strips to the first long strip. It took awhile to sew each individual strip onto the longer one but it paid off in the next step.
  7. Sew on the remaining long strips. Remember to keep the over/under pattern. This step went much easier. Since the smaller strips were already attached to the first and in order, all I had to do was sew around the 4 sides of the long strip. The smaller strips were all sewn on in one, quick easy step.

    Piecing together.

    Piecing together.

  8. Take the fabric piece to the frame. Place on the cardboard back piece. Cut the fabric on all sides about 1/4″ past the cardboard edge.

    Fit to the frame.

    Fit to the frame.

  9. Sew around the piece using the extra 1/4″ seam you just measured out.
  10. Attach fabric artwork to back of the cardboard. I used staples around the edges.
  11. Place into frame. I decided not to use the glass for the frame. I felt the way the fabric flowed without being pinned down by the glass really added some splashy appeal.
  12. Hang on your wall, plop into a chair, sip a cup of tea and enjoy the vibrant new addition to the room!

Stacey’s Stitches

Hi all! I’m Stacey Martinez 🙂
I love to design imaginative custom items for my active, crazy family. Bright colors and beautiful fabrics sing “Stacey, Stitch Me!” Let your imagination inspires you to breathe personality into every stitch!

Please feel free to comment with questions, suggestions, and pictures of your own creations. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Doggie Leggings Pillowcase

Doggie Leggings Pillowcase

Awesome doggie leggings!

Awesome doggie leggings!

“Mom, my doggie leggings don’t fit anymore!! I love them, Mom, don’t throw them away!” To save these precious doggies for eternity, my daughter’s distress signal turned into the Doggie Leggings Pillowcase.

Leggings are a very popular fashion trend today. I’ve seen hundreds of unique, bright designs on websites, in stores, and worn by passers-by. I’ve admired many of the designs and agreed with my daughter that creating something with them would preserve their awesomeness 🙂

Fair warning, everything except the zipper was measured, cut, and sewn by my 7 yr old daughter. The pieces aren’t straight, the stitching is all off, the corners look funny. But that’s ok, it’s awesome the way it is because she made it. It turned out to be a great learning project for her. She’s super proud of it, and so am I.

Level: Beginner

Time to Complete: In An Evening

Sewn By Machine: 1/4 in. straight stitch

**Tip: Wash all new materials prior to use to avoid shrinkage when you wash it.

**ProTip: Iron cut pieces before sewing and in between each step. This helps in the sewing process as well as setting the stitches to lessen unraveling with age. Often, the end results tend to look more professional.

**All measurements based on a craft pillow I already had. Measurements should be adjusted to fit the size of the pillow you are working with. I typically add an extra 1/2″ to measurements when I do a zippered pillowcase to allow for the extra bulk of the pillow.

Materials:

1 – 13″ L x 13″ W  Leggings (side 2)

1 – 5″ L x 8″ W Leggings (side 1)

2 – 4″ L x 13″ W Pink/Purple Material (side 1)

2 – 6″ L x 3″ W Pink/Purple Material (side 1)

1 Zipper, Cut to Fit After Pillowcase is Finished – measuring for zipper after pillowcase is assembled helps ensure the zipper isn’t too short

1 Zipper Foot – to use when sewing on zipper

  1. Sew top strip to top of side 2 Leggings, right sides together. Repeat for bottom strip.

    Step 1

    Step 1

  2. Sew right side strip to right side 2 Leggings, right sides together.
  3. Sew top of side strip to bottom of top strip. Make sure corner with Legging is sewed shut.

    Attaching sides.

    Attaching sides.

  4. Sew bottom of side strip to top of bottom strip. Make sure corner with Legging is sewed shut.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for left side strip.

    Zipper foot.

    Zipper foot.

  6. Sew side 1 and side 2 right sides together on three sides only. Leave one side open for zipper.
  7. Trim corners. Turn right side out.
  8. Place open side of zipper on one open end of pillowcase and extend zipper to other end. Cut zipper about 3/8″ – 1/2″ past end of pillowcase. In this case, my zipper measured 12″. I usually buy longer zippers and keep several on hand so I can cut to fit for any project.
    Finished zipper.

    Finished zipper.

    Attaching the zipper.

    Attaching the zipper.

  9. Sew across zipper end several times to make sure the bottom of the zipper never unzips all the way.
  10. Switch to zipper foot on sewing machine.
  11. Unzip zipper.
  12. Place under side of zipper to right side of pillowcase, teeth side outside. Non-tooth side should be end to end with right side of pillowcase. Zipper will be upside down. Pin and sew.

    Naptime!

    Naptime!

  13. Do the same for the other side of the zipper. The placement will be the same, with the underside of zipper to right side of pillowcase, non-tooth side matching end of pillowcase.
  14. Stuff pillow inside the pillowcase, zip up, pop on the bed and take a nap!
Hi all! I’m Stacey Martinez 🙂
I love to design imaginative custom items for my active, crazy family. Bright colors and beautiful fabrics sing “Stacey, Stitch Me!” Let your imagination inspires you to breathe personality into every stitch!

Please leave comments, questions, helpful tips, or pictures of your pillowcase creations. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

DIY - Keyboard Kozy

DIY – Keyboard Kozy

Ick, dust! I abhor dusty, dirty keyboards at work and at home. Those keyboard sprayers to get in between keys just aren’t enough for me. Time to make a cover to protect the keyboard while adding some flair to the office space!

Keyboard Kozy

Keyboard Kozy

I love projects like this. I can create something useful while adding some personality to my space. I’m adding butterflies from different fabric I picked up here and there. I try to buy a quarter or half yard of the popular designs of the moment. Doing so helps add all sorts of different designs to my collection so I’m more likely to have what I want or need on hand. I have a decent collection of butterflies and have been waiting for the perfect project to showcase them.

Level: Beginner

Time to Complete: 1 hour

Sewn By Machine: 1/4 in. straight stitch

***Washing and ironing materials before sewing is extremely important!! Measurements are based on material already washed. If they aren’t washed before sewing, they may shrink by an inch or more when washed later on, resulting in being too small.

Materials:

  • 1 – 19″ L x 7 1/2″ W Material for top of keyboard
  • 1 – 19 ” L x 7 1/2″ W Underside material
  • 2 – 19″ L x 1 1/2″ W Material for long sides
  • 2 – 19″ L x 1 1/2″ W Underside material
  • 2 – 6 1/2″ L x 1 1/2″ W Material for short sides
  • 2 – 6 1/2″ L x 1 1/2″ W Underside material

Any material to be used as accents on the keyboard cover – I used 3 rectangular butterflies.
I used two layers, the cover and then absorbent material for the underside of the cover. In my house spills are everyday events. I’ve learned to dual layer so spills are soaked up and less likely to damage anything. The keyboard cover can also be made with just one layer leaving off the underside backing. It’s totally up to the needs of your home or office space.

One Step Hem and Attach

One Step Hem and Attach

  1. Wash and iron all material.
  2. Measure and cut material.
  3. Sew accent pieces on cover top. I did not hem them beforehand. Instead, I hemmed and attached in one step.
  4. One Step Hem and Attach (see image)
  5. I used a petal decorative stitch when attaching my accents to add a bit of flare.

    Petal Stitch

    Petal Stitch

  6. Petal Stitch (see image)
  7. Sew side pieces together at ends, right sides together. (It is possible to sew each side to the cover top individually, but I found this much quicker and easier.

    Attachment of sides

    Attachment of sides

  8. Attachment of sides (see image)
  9. Iron seams open, making attachment to cover easier.
  10. Pin and sew side rectangle to cover.
  11. Turn right side out and iron seams open.
  12. For the inside layer, repeat all above steps.
  13. Pin and sew outside cover and inside layer, right sides together. Make sure to leave a 2″ – 3″ opening to pull material right side out.

    Top Stitching

    Top Stitching

  14. Pull material right side out.
  15. Top stitch around outside of cover top, using 1/8″ edge.

    Finished Keyboard Kozy

    Finished Keyboard Kozy

  16. Top stitch around entire outside of cover, using 1/8″. Make sure to sew closed the opening left to pull material right side out.
  17. Top Stitching (see image)
  18. Place on keyboard and enjoy!
  19. Finished Keyboard Kozy (see image)

Stacey's StitchesStacey’s Stitches

Hi all! I’m Stacey Martinez 🙂
I love to design imaginative custom items for my active, crazy family. Bright
colors and beautiful fabrics sing “Stacey, Stitch Me!”
Let your imagination inspire you to breathe personality into every stitch!

**Please feel free to leave comments, questions, suggestions and pictures of your creations. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

DIY - Elegant Upscale Apron

DIY – Elegant Upscale Apron

Elegant upscale apron

Elegant upscale apron

A cherished friend gifted me some very beautiful, elegant materials. She purchased them long ago with the intention of making an apron but never got around to it. I thought, “How wonderful, I’ll surprise her by making it for her!” I designed this apron to be elegant and classy while also being functional. This Elegant Upscale Apron really hit the spot. She adores it and I hope you will too!

***ProTip: When making clothes of any type, washing and ironing before sewing are extremely important!! Measurements are based on material already washed. If they aren’t washed before sewing, they may shrink by an inch or more when washed later on, resulting in the clothing being too small to wear.

Level: Beginner
Time to Complete: In A Weekend
Sewn By Machine: 3/8″ straight stitch unless otherwise specified
Sewn By Hand: Purple thread to sew pocket accents

**Tip: Iron cut pieces before sewing and in between each step. This helps in the sewing process as well as setting the stitches to lessen unraveling with age. And the extra bonus-the end results tend to look more professional as a result. 


Materials:

These fabrics are relatively thin. Aprons generally require a thicker material to help resist staining of clothing underneath. I used a piece of thicker off-white fabric as the backing to keep the elegant style while serving as an effective apron as well. The thicker backing also eliminates the need for a middle layer of batting. 

Top:

Measurements for Top – 14″ W<
Measurements for Bottom End – 23″ W
Length at middle – 18″ L

Skirt:

1 – 23″ W x 18″ L – Lace Fabric
1 – 23″ W x 18″ L – Backing

Neck Ties:

2 – 3″ W x  20″ L – Same material as used for Pockets

Waist Ties:

2 – 4″ W x 23″ L -Same material as used for Pockets

Neck Accent:

– 13″ W

Waist Accent:

1 – 23″ W x 3″ L Accent-Same material as used for Pockets

Pockets:

25″ W x 14″ L – Same material as used for Waist Accent
2 – 5″ W x 14″ L – Backing

Pocket Accents:

2 – 5″ W – Snazzy Boa

Purple Thread:

To sew pocket accents (boa) on by hand
Cut fabric pieces.

Cut fabric pieces.

**Tip: When I’m  ready to cut my fabric, I place the line to be cut at the end of my cutting board. I use the end of the board to guide the scissors. This results in a straighter, cleaner cut.

Instructions:

I recommend using fabric scissors instead of a roller when cutting these materials. I found the embroidery and embellishments in these materials are a little too much for the roller to cut through with one or even two strokes.

These are my favorite fabric scissors. Great slicing with minimal fraying.

  1. Wash and iron all material except pocket accents unless you use a washable material for pocket accents.
  2. Cut out all material using the above measurements.
    • I cut the boa accent pieces a couple of inches longer than needed, about 7 in. in case the hand sewing with the clear thread makes it a little shorter. When done, I cut off the extra.
    • After I measured the top section of the apron, I used a pencil to trace the curve from top to bottom. Then I folded the top in half and cut the curve on both sides so they would be symmetrical.
  3. Skirt
    • Pin and sew with the lacy fabric and backing right sides together, leaving a couple inches on one end to pull the fabric right side out after sewing. Cut diagonally outside the corners to help create more well-shaped corners after turning right side out. Turn right side out and iron.
  4. Top
    • Pin and sew fabric and backing for top, right sides together. Leave an opening to pull the top right side out. Trim corners. Turn right side out.
    • Top stitch around the top part of the apron, making sure to stitch closed the opening used to pull the fabric through.

      Top and skirt sewn into one piece.

      Top and skirt sewn into one piece.

  5. Sew the top and skirt together, right sides together. Iron with the seam pointed down.
  6. Pockets
    • Pin and sew with 1/8″ seam the fabric and backing for the two pockets right sides in. Leave an opening in the top of the pockets. Trim corners, turn right side out and iron.
    • Top stitch with 1/8″ seam the top of the pockets only, making sure to sew the opening closed.
  7. Waist Accent Piece
    • Fold accent piece in half, right sides together. Iron to make crease for accurate sewing. Sew with 1/8″ seam the length or the strip, leaving one end open. Trim corners and turn right side out. Iron to create flat strip. Top stitch with 1/8 in. seam the open end closed.
      **DO NOT top stitch around strip yet. That will be done when sewing the accent piece to the apron.
  8. Waist and Neck Ties
    • Fold all 4 waist and neck straps in half, right sides together. Iron to make crease to help with accurate sewing.
    • Sew 1/8″ the length of the strip, leaving one end open. Trim corners and turn right side out. Iron to create flat straps.
    • Top stitch 3/8″ around each strap.
  9. Time to put all the pieces together. Yay!!
    • Place the accent strip on top of the apron over the seam where top and bottom pieces were joined.
    • Place one of the waist ties at the same spot but on the underside of the apron.
    • Sew the accent strip and waist tie with the X box often found to be used for ties since it creates a stronger hold.
    • Pin accent strip over the seam of the apron, making sure it is straight and level. Iron.
    • Top stitch the accent piece to the apron.
    • Sew the other waist tie on back of apron. Top stitch accent strip with waist tie behind, the same as with the other, using the X box to secure the waist tie.

      Putting it all together.

      Putting it all together.

    • Sew neck ties onto the top corners of the apron using the same X box.
  10. Hand sew boa pieces onto pockets. If you have a material more suited for machine, sew them on.
    • I couldn’t find clear thread anywhere, which is what I prefer to use with embellishments like these. So instead I used a purple thread closely matching the color of the boa.
  11. Sew both pockets on the apron using 1/8″ seam.

Pre-heat the oven. Put on your new Elegant Upscale Apron. Time to bake!

Stacey's Stitches

Stacey’s Stitches 

Hi all! I’m Stacey Martinez 🙂

I love to design imaginative custom items for my active, crazy family. Bright

colors and beautiful fabrics sing “Stacey, Stitch Me!”

Let your imagination inspire you to breathe personality into every stitch!

Please feel free to post comments, questions, and pictures of your own Elegant Upscale Aprons. I can’t wait to see your creations!

Sewing My Heart Out

Sewing My Heart Out

Sewing brings back the unique, the personalized, the imagination, the heart. Everything you can imagine is on the market now. When I was a kid, hand-made gifts were common, and often better than anything store-bought. Now, I see my kids wearing what every other kid is wearing, carrying around the same backpacks and purses with brand names. Nothing seems to be unique anymore.

My passion for sewing started the usual way. My mom sewed household items for our use when I was a kid. She taught me well. But I grew up, got busy, and my sewing machine collected dust for about a decade. When I became a stay-at-home mom, I started sewing again to save money. And I started sewing gifts to friends and family, again for the same reason. I discovered something amazing. They loved my gifts. Really loved them! Before I knew it requests started pouring in. They used them or wore them and someone would say, “Where did you get that?” Pretty soon I was swamped.

They feel loved and truly special because of the effort put into a home-made gift rather than store-bought generics.

Requests kept me busy for several years now. I still don’t sell any of my creations despite much encouragement to do so. Every item I make is designed by me, usually with a particular person or use in mind. Therefore, every single item gets my time, attention, and a lot of love for each person I create something for. My friends love what I do. They feel loved and truly special because of the effort put into a home-made gift rather than store-bought generics.

Sewing expresses an amazing amount of heart. Whether in a business or as a hobby, sewing is done with love. Love for sewing, love for imagination, love for creating something unique and special for unique and special people.

Sew your heart out, and you’ll be amazed by the results!

Country Kitchen Mug Rug

DIY – Country Kitchen Mug Rug

Country Kitchen Mug Rug.

Country Kitchen Mug Rug.

Mug rugs are extremely popular in the sewing world. They are usually fairly easy to sew and are generally easy to customize. Mug rugs make quick, easy, fabulous personalized gifts. I made a bunch of them personalized to the tastes and colors of each individual for friends and family. It wasn’t long before the requests for a second for work or for a child or friend of theirs came in. I absolutely love designing these. They don’t take long to make and I get to play with all sorts of fabric designs. They’re a wonderful project to add personality and flare to.

“Okay,” you say, “this sounds wonderful, fabulous, awesome. But what in the world is a mug rug?”

What is a Mug Rug? A Mug Rug is a cross between a full size place mat and a coaster. Smaller than a place mat, there is usually just enough room for a coffee or tea mug and a snack. They work perfectly for that breakfast coffee or an afternoon snack of tea and cookies. Typically the front side is the focus of designs and decals. The back is usually just one piece of decent fabric. The back fabric can match the colors or design on the front or can be completely different. If spills occur, just flip it over and finish your cup before tossing it in the dirty laundry.

Country Kitchen Mug Rug

Level: Beginner

Time to Complete: In an Hour

Sewn by: Machine-1/4 in. straight stitch except where indicated

**Tip** Wash all new materials prior to use to avoid shrinkage when you wash it later on.

**Tip** Iron cut pieces before sewing and in between each step. This helps in the sewing process and the end results will look more professional.

Country Kitchen Mug Rug.

Country Kitchen Mug Rug.

Materials:

  • 2 – 12″ L x 8″ W  Front/Back
  • 1 – 12″ L x 8″ W Cotton Batting
  • 2 –   7″ L x 2 1/2″ W Farm Animals

**Tip** I used material in my massive fabric collection. I always get new ideas every time I dig into my stash. It’s a great way to dream up new projects.

  1. Cut out fabric.
  2. Place front piece and batting together, right sides out.
  3. Pin farm animals to front and batting pieces and sew with 1/8 in. seam allowance. Any stitch is fine. I like to get creative and use the more decorative stitches when attaching smaller pieces to the overall product. I used a basic zig zag stitch.

    Panel of common stitches.

    Panel of common stitches.

  4. **Tip** I’ve been experimenting with decorative stitches I’ve never used. My Singer Advance has tons of decorative stitches. The owner’s manual describes the use of each stitch. I’ve also gone online to research stitches and to see how and for what projects others used them. Pay attention to the manual for any adjustments to stitch length or tension. Some stitches require adjustment changes. And, don’t forget to change settings back to auto when moving back to a straight stitch.  
  5. I used a basic zig zag stitch.
  6. Place front and back right sides together. Make sure to mark a 3 in. to 4 in. opening to pull the fabric right side out. I place pins vertical instead of horizontal pins at the opening so I know where to stop.

    Mark area to be left open.

    Mark area to be left open.

  7.  At this stage the cotton batting should be on the outside. We need it inside when we pull the fabric right side out.
  8. Sew with 1/4 in. seam allowance, leaving the open space.
  9. Cut corners. Turn fabric right side out. Shape mug rug and push out       corners.
  10. ** Tip** Cutting a small amount off the corners before turning material right side out allows for better-shaped corners when turned right side out. I use a pencil to shape the corners.

    Cut corners close to stitching.

    Cut corners close to stitching.

  11. Iron. Ironing at this stage is important to flatten material and inside seams before top stitching.
  12. Top stitch with 1/8 in. allowance around entire front side to give it a finished look as well as hold down your seams on the inside. Also make sure to stitch over the opening used to pull the fabric right side out. Iron.
  13. Viola! Finished!

Time to celebrate. Take a well-deserved break, make some coffee or tea, sit back and ENJOY!

Coffee break!

Coffee break!

I hope you enjoyed this project. If you have any questions or comments, please share! Any ideas, shortcuts, or other contributions are welcome.

I would love receiving picture posts showcasing your Country Kitchen Mug Rug creations 🙂

You are more than welcome to suggest project ideas. What would you like to see and learn? Let’s journey together!

Dashing Dish Mat

DIY – Dashing Dish Mat

Dishes everywhere! I’ve been learning how to cook from scratch. I also made the wonderful journey into the world of baking bread. Yay, so much fun! Boo, so many dishes that must be hand-washed. Oh no, can’t just throw them in the dishwasher!  My beloved husband’s coffee pot may only be moved upon threat of death, so I created a dish mat to fit our small, unique space.

Viola! The Dashing Dish Mat!

Before:

Impossible dish counter space.

Impossible dish counter space.

After:

Beautiful organization, bright space.

Beautiful organization, bright space.

Level: Beginner

Time to Complete: In an hour

Sewn By Machine: 1/4 in. straight stitch except where indicated

**Tip: Wash all new materials prior to use to avoid shrinkage when you wash it later on.

**Tip: Iron cut pieces before sewing and in between each step. This helps in the sewing process and the end results will look more professional.

Materials.

Materials.

Materials:

1 – 26 1/2″ L x 14 1/2″ W     Terry Cloth long part of L- for back side

1 – 13″ L x 17″ W                 Terry Cloth short part of L- for back side

3 – 27″ L x  5″ W                  Colorful fabric strips

3 – 5″ L x 17″ W                   Colorful fabric strips

  1. Measure the area where the dish mat will be. My dish mat will be L-shaped so I had to take measurements for each side. Final measurements – For lengthwise section, 26 1/2″ L x 14 1/2″ W. For L piece, 13″ L x 17″ W. I always use measuring tape instead of a ruler when measuring spaces. Measuring tape is flexible and much longer than most rulers. I add an 1/2″ to 1″ in. depending on the project to account for the material that will be used for seams. Otherwise the end project will be shorter than I want.
  2. Cut the terry cloth for the back side. Cut fabric strips.
  3. Sew two pieces of terry cloth together, right side together 1/4″ with regular straight stitch.
    • **Tip: Make sure you have the smaller L portion of the terry cloth on the correct side. This can be tricky. When you match right side together with terry cloth and fabric sides, make sure they are both on the correct side. I had to rip stitches and sew the terry cloth on the other side. I use a seam ripper with a safety ball so I cut only what I want and don’t end up ripping other areas of the fabric. 
    • **Tip: Don’t let mistakes discourage you. I make mistakes all the time, as is obvious with my terry cloth L error. Rip stitches, go back a step, start from scratch. Sewing is an adventure, and sometimes those mistakes turn into great ideas!

      Example of strip stitching.

      Example of strip stitching.

  4. Sew the vertical strips together, right sides together. Sew the horizontal strips together, right sides together. Then sew the vertical strips and horizontal strips together, on the right side.
  5. Sew the terry cloth back and the striped front together right sides together. Leave one end open to pull the fabric through.

    Outside pieces facing together.

    Outside pieces facing together.

  6. Cut off the corners before pulling the fabric through.
  7. Pull the fabric through. Iron.
  8. Top stitch all the seams for the strips. This adds a professional look as well as making sure the seams don’t cause problems later. Iron.
  9. Top stitch all around the outside. Make sure to sew the side that was left open to pull the fabric through. Iron.
    Top stitching seams.

    Top stitching seams.

    • **Tip: A creative use of thread colors can really make a project pop. Top stitching any of the seams in different colors or in a color that would really stand out against the fabric can be that “extra touch” that makes everyone say “Wow, you made that? Could you make one for me?”
    • Place on your kitchen counter and enjoy washing dishes!

I hope you enjoyed this project. If you have any questions or comments, please share! Any ideas, shortcuts, or other contributions are welcome.

I would love receiving picture posts from you showcasing your dish mat creations 🙂

DIY Tutorial - Striped Tote

DIY Tutorial – Striped Tote

Stacey’s Stitches

DIY - The Striped Tote

DIY – The Striped Tote

Level: Beginner
Time to Complete: In A Weekend
Machine: Singer Advance
Sewn By Machine – 1/4 in. straight stitch

I’ve suddenly found myself traipsing to multiple appointments on a regular basis. After dropping an important file in the middle of a parking lot on a windy day, I decided I needed one simple tote for carrying any and everything. Thus the Striped Tote was born 🙂

Let your imagination breathe personality into every stitch!

Materials:

  • 2 — 19 in. x 15 in. Inside fabric lining
  • 2 — 19 in. x 15 in. Cotton Batting
  • 14 — 15 in. x 4 in. Misc. horizontal fabric strips (amount is flexible depending on size and position of strips)
  • 4 — 3 in. x 6 in. Vertical fabric strips
  • 2 — 4in. x 30 in. Handles, preferably strong, durable fabric
  • 2 — Accent pieces, any size or shape

    Hi all! I'm Stacey Martinez :)

    Hi all! I’m Stacey Martinez 🙂 I love to design fun, imaginative custom items for my active, crazy family. Bright colors and beautiful fabrics sing “Stacey, Stitch Me!”

IMPORTANT:
**Wash all fabric prior to sewing to avoid shrinkage of the finished product.
**Ironing recommended before sewing and after each step. Makes fabric easier to sew and adds a professional look to the end product.

  1. Measure and cut all fabric and batting. I used Warm White batting but thin fusible works just as well.
  2. Pin and sew (1/4 in. with regular straight stitch) inside lining and batting insides together. Side shouldn’t matter for batting but make sure lining is facing inside. Leave a gap in the top for pulling fabric right side out. Repeat for other side of bag as well. Pull fabric right side out for both sides. Leave top holes open, they will be stitched later.
    • **Tip** Cut off the corners before turning right side out. This makes the corners easier to form.
  3. Pin and sew at 1/4″ all fabric strips together for each side of the bag. Iron all seams.
  4. Pin and sew with the front side (strip side) and the inside lining together for both sides of the bag. Make sure front sides are right side together. Leave an opening on the top of both sides to pull the material through. Leave top holes open, they will be stitched later.
  5. Pull the fabric out to right side out on both sides. Iron.
  6. Fold and sew 1/8 in. around four vertical strips and two accent pieces with regular straight stitch.
  7. Pin two vertical strips and one accent piece on each side of bag. Sew with any fancy stitch of choice, with any thread color of choice. I used the Honeycomb stitch since it looks intricate and can be used for edging. I used purple as my accent stitch because I wanted the stitching to stand out, not blend in.
    Sew accent stripes and other pieces after all side layers have been sewn together and pulled right side out.

    Sew accent stripes and other pieces after all side layers have been sewn together and pulled right side out.

    • **Tip** Sewing accent stripes and other pieces after all side layers have been sewn together and pulled right side out accomplishes one important feature: This ensures that all 3 layers are stitched together more thoroughly and prevent material slippage during constant use or after a few washes. This simple step helps the tote keep shape and strength much longer.
  8. Sew the top edge of each bag side with the same accent stitch and thread color.
  9. Pin the two sides outside facing together. Iron. The material will be much thicker with so many layers coming together. Ironing helps flatten down all the layers for easier sewing. I also switched to a 100/16 denim needle to handle the extra thickness.
  10. Sew three sides together, leaving the open. Pull right side out.
  11. Fold tote handles in half, sew right sides together (using straight stitch). Sew only one end. Leave the other end open. Pull the handles right side out using the open end.
  12. Iron handles and sew around all four sides, sewing the open end closed in the process.

    Attach handles to tote, using this X design.

    Attach handles to tote, using this X design.

  13. Attach handles to tote, using this X design. The X design creates a stronger stitch often used so handles on totes and purses easily handle more weight.

Throw what you need in your new tote and take off!