long hugs and snugglesauruses

Eco Friendly Reusable Tote Tutorial

I have not done a tutorial in a little while, and I have been meaning to put this one up since Christmas!   This is the same type of bag you can buy at the grocery store as a reusable grocery bag, but surprisingly you can get the fabric for super cheap at Joann Fabric, $2.99/yard, and probably other places as well.  They actually have some really cute prints too.

I decided to make all of the girls in the family bags to put their Christmas presents in and then they could use it later to carry things in.  Another plus is that when you make your own you can make them any size you want.

Skill Level :I would consider this a beginners sewing project.  It is easy, fast, inexpensive and the end product will look great!
Cost: >$5.00
Materials: A yard of Utility bag fabric, such as this, coordinating thread, basic sewing supplies) scissors, pins, sewing machine
First cut out a rectangular piece of fabric roughly 4-5 inches taller than you would want your bag to stand when open.  I was making a large bag so I did about 25 inches. My piece of fabric was about 22 inches wide when folded in half.   A good length for an average grocery tote would be about 18 inches tall and 16 inches wide (folded).
For the straps I cut two 4 inch wide 25 inch long strips.
**Note:  My sewing techniques can be a little bit like that cook you know who says to just put a little of this, a handful of this, pinch of  this etc.   Please let me know if something isnt clear, and I would be more than happy to clarify 🙂

Next you will want to sew your straps.  Simply fold the 4″ by 25″ piece in half long ways creating a 2″ by 25″ strip.  Then tuck the open edges under both facing inside pin and sew a straight line down the edge of your straps.

If you use the utility fabric it folds and stays in place making it very easy to work with.

Next lay your large piece of fabric (that will be the body of the bag) open making sure your fabric is the right direction if yours has a print on it.   Fold the top edge of the bag down about 1 inch and then fold it down again.

Pin your straps on with the raw edge turned under the fold in your fabric.

You will also want to pin your straps in place before you sew down the top edge.  I placed the outside edge of the first strap 7″ in and the outside edge of the other end of the strap another 7 inches in.  To make sure your straps will line up with one another fold your bag in half long ways and put the opposite strap in the same position on the other side of the fabric.  Then tuck your strap ends under your hem and fold them upright as shown in the picture above.

Then sew a straight line all of the way across.

One your straps are sewn on simply fold your bag in half with the printed side of the fabric facing in.

You will then sew a straight line across the bottom and the open side leaving only the top open.

Once this is complete your bag should look like this.

Getting Closer!

Once we are done we will flip the bag right side out 🙂

The next step is super easy and end up creating a flat base for the bag that lets in stand upright.  All you do is fold both sides in about 2-3 inches. (The further in you fold the sides the more square the base will sit rather than rectangular.) Pin the sides down and sew a second straight line across the bottom of the bag.

fold both sides in.

Your bag should look like this.

Sew the second line across the base.

Believe it or not…You are DONE!  All that is left to do is to turn your bag right side out. 🙂

Here is the finished product next to an apron I made for my brothers girlfriend Rachel for Christmas. It can be fun to try and find fabric to match the gifts you are giving.

Add a cute tag and some tissue and you have yourself a DIY gift bag

I hope you find this helpful and give this tutorial a try.  If you do then please let me know!  I would love to have some feedback on how it turns out.

a smaller version

And another fun fabric.



Crayon Roll Up Tutorial
September 30, 2010, 7:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

I just started making a few of these in my shop and I thought I would try to do a tutorial on how to make one!


Check out my shop to see other products themommyshop.etsy.com


I started making these because I have lots of cute scraps of material I just couldn’t bring myself to part with.  I knew I would think of something down the road to make with them, and this is what I decided on 🙂

You can make these any length that you would like to hold more or less crayons.




Supplies needed:

  • 3 small pieces of coordinating fabric 2 measuring 7″ by 11″ and 1 measuring 5″ by 11″
  • 1 ribbon 16″ in length
  • 2 small pieces of interfacing 9″ by 5″ and 3″ by 5″
  • 7 crayons
  • scissors
  • pins
  • a basic sewing machine
  • coordinating thread
  • iron and ironing board

Iron your large piece of interfacing onto your fabric that you would like to be on the inside of your crayon roll up.  Be sure to iron your interfacing onto the wrong side of your fabric aka the back side) Also iron your small piece of interfacing onto your small piece of fabric.


Put the interfacing in the middle of your fabric when ironing on


Next take your smallest piece of fabric and fold down the top piece and iron.  You will then sew a seam straight across the top of it.  ( be sure to do this before you attach it to any other fabric.


fold and iron



then sew your seam


After you have done that you will put your larger piece of fabric that is going to be the inside of your crayon roll up with the small piece that we just sewed the seam for. You want the bottom of each of the interfacing to be lined up.  The right sides of the fabric should both be facing up.  You will then sew “pockets” onto them for your crayons.


Make sure your edges are all lined up and start your first line a tiny bit further than an inch in


Be sure to only sew up to the top of the small piece of fabric so you don’t have random stitches on your back fabric. You will want to continue making straight lines up and down the fabric about an inch apart until you have sewn 6 lines.  I use my finger as a rough estimate for an inch.


A little trick I learned in second grade


Once you have your six lines completed you are ready to attach the back piece of fabric.


Place your fabrics with wrong sides facing each other and right sides facing out


Then you want to fold, tuck inside and iron your excess fabric to make sure everything is lined up to the same size.


lining things up


You will also want to attach your ribbon during this step.  Fold your ribbon in half so it creates two 8″ pieces and place it in between the two fabrics as shown.

Now you will just need to sew a rectangle around all of your edges to finish your project.
And TaDa!!

I hope that made sense 🙂  If not then you can give me a little slack since it’s my first one and just ask questions on anything that wasn’t clear.

Growing so fast!
June 26, 2009, 9:00 pm
Filed under: crafts, Jackson | Tags: , , , ,

Jackson turned 4 months old on Fathers day.  I cant believe how fast it is going!!  Jackson is weighing in at 17.3 lbs and is 26 inches long!   He did really great at the Dr and laughed alot at both our nurse and our Dr.  He did have to get more shots which is probably one of the hardest things to let happen, but overall he did great and took a good long nap after the visit.  Here is a pick of him later that day.

4 shots!! :(

4 shots!! 😦

I took some fun pics of him the other morning doing some tummy time too, and they are just too cute not to share.





And lastly I have been doing alot of new stuff on my Etsy site lately!  I am having alot of fun with it, and enjoying the new outlet for some creativity.

Some burp clothes for my sisters baby

Some burp cloths for my sisters baby

Jungle themed burp cloths for sale in my shop

Jungle themed burp cloths for sale in my shop

Rock and Roll Tinkle Trappers that I sold to a lady in Canada

Rock and Roll Tinkle Trappers that I sold to a lady in Canada

And I have some really sweet red white and blue aprons that Bethany and Blythe modeled for me but the pics must be on the lap top.  Anyways, check out my shop and see all the new additions!!