DIY Tote Bag

I love bags. Whether it’s a sequined clutch, a slouchy hobo, a leather crossbody, a backpack, or simply a reusable shopping bag, there’s never been a point when I’ve told myself, “You don’t need another bag.”

As you may know, I have a bit of a ridiculous fabric stash right now that I’m attempting to reduce. Today’s project is made entirely from my stash. I have chosen a buttery soft faux leather as well as a polka dot canvas fabric.

As fabrics come in different widths, I am assuming the narrowest width for the measurements listed here.


  • 0.9m fabric for exterior (slightly more if using more than one fabric, to account for seam allowance)
  • 0.9m fabric for lining
  • thread
  • pins
  • clips (if using a delicate fabric like faux leather)
  • scissors

As with any project, I always begin by pressing my fabric to smooth out all of the wrinkles. If you’re using a faux leather (or similar) fabric, I recommend testing with a low heat setting to ensure you don’t scorch your fabric. You can gradually make the iron hotter if your fabric will tolerate it. I also ironed it on the wrong side of the fabric.

For this tutorial I am using 4 different fabrics so I am calling the polkadots “Fabric A”, the faux leather “Fabric B”, the turquoise lining “Fabric C”, and the elephant canvas “Fabric “D”

Here is a list of the pieces you will need to cut:

  • Fabric A: two pieces 16″(w) X 10″(h)
  • Fabric B: two pieces 16″ (w) X 7″ (h)
  • Fabric C: two pieces 16″ X 16″
  • Pocket: Fabric D (A or B work as well): one piece 8×5″ (h) X 5″ (w)
  • Any fabric (for the straps): two pieces 33″ X 4″

If you want a larger or smaller pocket you can adjust as needed.

This tool from Clover is a must-have for me. I use it for seam allowances, so you just fold fabric over the ruler and press with a hot iron. It saves a ton of time when I’m turning up a straight hem of, say, an apron.

I folded in a 1/2″ seam allowance all the way around the pocket. For one long side I folded it down a second time (a full inch this time). I stitched along this long edge.

To place the pocket close to the top of the bag, I came down 4 inches from the top, and centered the pocket. You can place this anywhere you would find useful. You can make the pocket bigger or smaller, or do multiple pockets. I wanted a pocket that would hold my phone or my car keys for easy reach. Make sure you’re placing the pocket on the right side of the fabric.

To attach the pocket I stitched close to the folded edge, but I also used a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying.

Now you’re ready to attach the exterior of the tote. You will place Fabric A and Fabric B with right sides together. If you’re using a print that needs to be oriented a certain way (so the print isn’t upside down), pay special attention to that as you pin. Since I’m using faux leather I decided to use clips instead of pins. Clips are gentle enough that they don’t mark your fabric (though always test first on an inconspicuous part of the fabric to be sure) and they are easy to remove as you sew.

The clips I use are mostly bought on and are various sizes. If you search for “wonder clips” you should see lots of options there.

Stitch along the seam with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Repeat for the other side. Because I was using canvas on the outside of this bag, and canvas tends to fray quite easily, I decided to serge the sewn edges here.

After serging, I pressed the seam upwards and stitched close to the seam. The faux leather is a bit bulky and won’t stay in place simply by pressing with an iron, so to keep it flat I added this step. Also, the topstitching looks really nice and gives the bag a finished look.

Now you will stitch the lining together, with right sides together. No serging required for this fabric.

Here is the trickiest part of the bag (and it’s really not all that tricky): you will want to pinch each of the corners of the bag (liner and outer shell) so the seams are together and the corners form a point. Move in from the outer point about 1.5 inches and sew straight across. You will do this for all 4 corners (the two shell corners, the two lining corners). You can trim the tip off the edge as well once you’re done sewing.

This is what the corners look like once they are completed.

Here are the two pieces completed with corners snipped.

Now you can finish constructing your bag. Start by putting the lining inside of the shell, with wrong sides together. So you will turn your lining wrong side out and place inside the shell.

You may notice the lining is a little longer than the shell, so I just use my rotary cutter and take off the excess. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Next you will form the straps of the bag. There are two methods but my favorite is to simply fold the fabric (right side out) in half longways, press with an iron, then fold in each end a second time. Stitch along the folded edge. Another option is to fold the fabric in half lengthwise with wrong sides together, stitch, and then turn the tube right side out and press flat.  I knew this would not work for the faux leather, though, because ironing doesn’t seem to want to flatten the fabric.

This is the outer edge of the strap that I’ve stitched.

This is a view of the strap once it’s completed.

To finish the bag you want to fold down your lining fabric and the shell fabric just 1/2″ or more, to form a clean edge along the top of the bag. One you’ve folded down both, pinning along the way, you can add in your straps before stitching. I placed the straps in about 2.5″ from each side seam.

If folding down the fabric doesn’t happen nicely for you, you can turn the bag inside out and stitch along the edge (folding the straps down into the bag this time instead, to account for it being inside out), leaving a 4 inch gap in your stitching. Then turn the bag right side out and press the seam flat. Topstitch along the edge, which will close the gap you’ve left. I prefer the other method as long as the fabric folds nicely. If I was using faux leather for this seam I would have to use the second method as, again, ironing doesn’t seem to work on this fabric.

Stitch along the folded edge and you’re all done!

You can dress this bag up by adding a tassel or some decorative buttons. I will be doing a blog post (hopefully before too long) on a more decorative tote bag. I may even add in a zipper!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. Happy sewing!


80s Throwback – Scrunchies!

For as long as I can remember, crafting has been one of my greatest passions in life. I love creating, customizing, and dreaming up new projects and bringing them to life.

When I was just 4 years old my amazing mama taught me how to sew. She would do the cutting, of course, and she would sit with me while I used her Singer sewing machine, but with her passion (and patience!!!)  she taught me to make small things like pillows and blankets for my Barbies. The first project I ever did, though, was a hair scrunchie. I made a million of them and I wore them proudly.

Lately I’ve been seeing scrunchies popping up all over the place, including Lululemon. I guess they really are making a comeback! I am still hooked on the Invisibobbles but scrunchies really are a cute accessory.

Last night I found some cute fabric in my stash and decided to put it to good use. This tutorial includes measurements for a small scrunchie and a regular scrunchie. Small might be best for people with thin hair (or for children). This project shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes once you master turning this thing right-side out.

Materials needed:

  • Scraps of fabric (cotton, lightweight denim, etc)
  • 1/4 inch wide elastic
  • Safety pin

To start you can cut a piece of fabric 3 inches wide by 9 inches long (for a small scrunchie), or 3 inches wide by 16 inches long (for a regular scrunchie).

Fold your fabric lengthwise with right sides (printed sides) together. Stitch the long edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Turn the tube of fabric right-side out. I’d tried a few techniques for turning fabric and I’d never found a really easy way until I saw this YouTube tutorial:

Next take your elastic and put a safety pin through one end, and close it up. In the other end you can put a stick pin or another safety pin. This needed should be big enough that it kind of acts as a holder at the end of the tube – it sits lengthwise across the bottom of the tube so the elastic doesn’t pull through.

Once both ends of elastic are visible you want to stitch them together, with about a 1 inch overlap. If you’re machine stitching I would use a zigzag stitch.

Next you want to close up the ends of the tube. So you will feed one end into the other, and then on the raw edge of fabric you want to tuck it under so no raw edge is visible. It should only be about a 1/4 inch tuck.

You can sew the end of the tube by hand or with your machine. I use my machine for this part. Sew directly across the opening. You’re done!

If you want a fuller scrunchie you can add 1 inch to the width of the fabric (instead of 3 inches, go with 4) and it will do the trick.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial! While writing this I have the sudden urge to throw on some neon clothes and watch Full House. Weren’t the 80s just the best?!


Diaper Cover

With my baby turning 1 year old this month (sniff!!) I am preparing for all things birthday! More to come on his birthday party (in an upcoming post!) but today I am making a diaper cover (or 2) for his cake smash photos.

Thankfully my sister-in-law is a very talented photographer (J.MacPherson Photography….check her out!) and always allows lots of time for Connor’s photos, so we have the opportunity to do outfit changes, which is good because I am usually very indecisive over what he will wear.

I picked up fabric and a pattern our local Fabricville. The pattern is Kwik Sew (K0102) by Ellie Mae Designs. There are tons and tons of free diaper cover patterns online but I was out shopping anyhow so decided to pick this one up.

Connor is tall but slender, so I looked at the size chart and went with the XL which is said to be a 12-18m. I made the first diaper cover and felt it was a little snug on him, particularly the elastic around the legs and the waist. So the second time I made it I added an inch to the elastic measurements (legs and waist) and it was a much better fit.

This diaper cover is intended to be made from cotton or broadcloth. In both iterations I used a printed cotton on the outside and a coordinating broadcloth for the liner. In hindsight I didn’t really need a lined diaper cover since it’s only going to be for a photoshoot, but I digress.

At first glance I was extremely pleased to see that you only need to cut out two pattern pieces for this project. You do two piece of your main fabric, two pieces of your liner. You will also cut 3 pieces of elastic.

This diaper cover took me about an hour to make, which was more time than expected. A couple of times throughout the pattern you have to turn the entire diaper cover inside-out or right side-out, plus you’re making casing for the elastic, stitching ends of elastic together, etc. Nothing difficult, but these things take a little time.

The result of that time and effort, though, is adorable. Here is the first cover I made:

And here’s the second iteration, with a little extra elastic for comfort:

I have another fabric to test out as well before I really decide which one I like best for the cake smash. These are so fun to make I have a feeling he will have an assortment of these for warm summer days this summer!

Overall I feel as though this pattern is well written. It’s a Kwik Sew but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a beginner pattern. I did feel like I had to re-read the instructions a few times to get the hang of it. After the first diaper cover, though, it was a breeze.

The pattern allows you to add ruffles or applique on the back, however I went for a plain version.

I will be testing out a free, unlined diaper cover pattern in the coming days, which I will also share with you.

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post!


Baby Sun Hat

I have always wanted to make adorable baby hats. Babies wear hats all year long – fuzzy hats, wool hats, fleece hats, baseball hats, bucket hats, you name it! Hats keep their little heads warm but also protect them from the harmful effects of the sun.

This week I found a pattern that I will share my review of today. It’s Kwik Sew 3989 and it’s a really darling little hat. This hat can be made plain or with one of 4 flowers (pattern included). I decided to do plain because I was using a rather lively patterned fabric.

This hat took me about 40 minutes to make. In sewing terms, that’s “kwik” indeed! I love the hat pattern.

I made this in size L (the largest size, unfortunately) because it’s a gift for Connor’s friend who is turning 1 this week! Happy Birthday, Brooke!

I did lengthen the chin strap as well. It’s adjustable because it has a velcro closure, so you could also make it a little more snug. If the strap is too snug it may be uncomfortable for the baby or the Velcro may irritate their delicate skin.

My model today is a coffee tin.

This pattern was  easy and quick. The instructions were extremely easy to follow and I was able to make a second hat a little quicker than the first.

For this pattern you need 0.8 metres of fabric (0.5 metres for hat, 0.3 metres for lining), with 0.4 metres of interfacing, plus a very small piece of Velcro. If you’re an avid sewist there’s an excellent chance you can make this hat from scraps in your stash.

I will remake this hat soon in a more neutral print, and *possibly* do a couple for my son.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this pattern review. Happy Sunday!


DIY Bath Bombs

Just over a year ago I was preparing for my baby shower. Where does the time go?! My little boy will be 1 at the end of April. He’s aged one year, I’ve aged 5 years. My husband never ages.

Anyhow, I wanted to make something special as take-aways for my guests. I decided to make bath bombs and had 60 guests attending, so I ordered some of my supplies in bulk online, and picked up the rest at the local Bulk Barn.

I tried out a few different recipes before tweaking them and finding what worked best for me. This recipe, therefore, is a compilation of a bunch of other recipes. I’ve read (what feels like) a hundred bath bomb recipes so you don’t have to. You’re welcome!

Last night I hosted a bath bomb making party for a group of amazing Mom friends, so we snapped a few photos along the way (thanks, Tash!) in preparation for this post. Somehow we stopped goofing around long enough to get 7 batches of these made.


  • Citric acid (I use Milliard brand found on Amazon)
  • Coconut oil
  • Baking soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Epsom salt (regular or scented work fine)
  • Essential oil (just one or mix a few together!)
  • Soap colouring (optional)
  • Metal mixing bowl
  • Bath bomb mold (more options described below)
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cup
  • Baking sheet for drying

When I started making these bath bombs I used our food processor to mix the ingredients, but I don’t do that anymore. Sure, it left a beautiful vanilla lavender scent in the bowl, but that’s only beautiful until you  make salsa….yuck!

Since then I’ve decided a metal mixing bowl is the way to go!

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1C citric acid
  • 1C baking soda
  • 1/2C coconut oil
  • 1/4C Epsom salts
  • 1/4C cornstarch
  • 8 drops of essential oil (if you’re using more than 1 oil, still use 8 drops total)
  • 10 drops of soap colouring (optional)

Start by melting the coconut oil in the microwave or in a saucepan. Once it’s melted, add your essential oil and soap colouring. Stir.

In a separate bowl, combine all of your dry ingredients.

Slowly add your wet mixture to the dry mixture, stirring as you go. If you see a lot of fizzing , you’re pouring too fast. Citric acid is the ingredient that creates the fizz, and it only fizzes once, so don’t let that be wasted in your mixing bowl.

Once the ingredients are combined you are ready to form your bombs! Bath bomb molds come in many sizes and shapes. You can actually make bath bombs without a mold at all. Some people use ice cube trays, some use fillable Christmas bulbs, and I once actually just pressed mixture together in my hands as if I were making a snowball and it worked totally fine.

To fill your bath bomb mold, scoop mixture into each half of the mold, and press the halves together firmly. Ideally you want the mold a little overfilled so the mixture packs in the mold firmly.

At this stage you  may notice your mixture is too wet or too dry, both of which is completely fixable. If your mixture is too wet it will kind of “plop” out of the mold and turn into a wet puddle. If it’s too dry the halves won’t adhere to one another and you will get crumbling.

If your mixture is too wet, add small amounts of cornstarch (about a teaspoon at a time) until you get the right consistency. If your mixture is too dry, add a few drops of coconut oil. Typically there’s a bit left in the measuring cup after you’ve poured from it, so I just go back to that and it usually solves the problem.

Once the two halves of the bath bomb mold are stuck together, I gently twist each half in the opposite direction, back and forth a few times, until the mold kind of starts to lift away easily.

Your bath bomb should be pretty firm, but you want to handle with care. Lay the bomb gently on your cookie sheet and leave it to dry.

You will repeat this process until all of your mixture is gone. I typically get 6 medium sized bath bombs out of a batch, and have enough left over for 1 small bath bomb. You can also opt for the large size but this recipe will likely only give you 3 large, along with a medium or a small. I use these bath bombs regularly and feel the medium size is perfect.

Bath bombs should dry overnight (at minimum) before you take them off the cookie sheet. I try to leave mine for 48 hours before moving them. As these dry the scent of the essential oil will permeate the space, so you may want to put them out of the kitchen or eating area for the time being.

If you are giving these as a gift, or putting them in a decorative basket in your guest bathroom, there are a few ways to get a little creative with them! Here are a couple of options:

  • Make two-toned bath bombs! Before adding soap colouring to the coconut oil and essential oil mixture, separate into two cups. Add colouring to one cup and leave the other cup clear. Separate your dry mixture so you essentially have a white mixture and a coloured mixture. When you go to fill your mold, take half from the white and half from the coloured mixture. This method is super pretty!
  • Wrap your bath bombs in either printed cotton or tissue paper, with a little ribbon as a tie. For a medium size bath bomb you want to cut about a 9X9 square of either, with a ribbon maybe about 6 inches long. You can use curly ribbon or regular ribbon, and for the cotton it’s best to use pinking shears.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and are now inspired to whip up these little gems. If you do try this out I would love to hear your thoughts on the recipe and tutorial.

Happy bathing!


DIY Tutu

Recently I had the tremendous pleasure of making a tutu for one of my favourite babies in the whole world. The occasion was her 1st birthday and I convinced her mama to let me take a crack at making an outfit for her photos. Amy, thanks for taking a chance on me!

I had a vision of a very full tutu with several shades of pink, but I also knew I wanted lots of texture! I decided to make a tutu with an elastic waist as opposed to a ribbon waist. Ribbon (specifically the bow) can be difficult to position properly on a squirmy baby for photos, so I played it safe.

I looked up measurements for a 12 month old baby girl and most people agreed that 15 inches seemed to be the average waist circumference, and a tutu 8 inches in length seemed appropriate. I headed on over to our local Fabricville store and found the perfect combination of tulle.


  • 9m of assorted tulle
  • 17 inch strip of 1 inch elastic (white)
  • Needle & thread
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape

I selected baby pink, bubblegum pink, dusty rose, gold and bubblegum pink flocked tulle. I got less of the dusty rose, flocked and gold as I knew those would be accent pieces. I used 9 meters of tulle in total, with very little left over, surprisingly.

I used 1 inch elastic and formed a loop, overlapping and stitching the ends together. The loop needed to be 15 inches when complete, so I cut 16.5 inches to allow a decent overlap. I used clips to hold it in place. I then stitched the overlap of the elastic together.

To make the tutu I would cut strips of tulle just over double the length I needed, as the tulle would fold in half over the elastic and would be looped in place. So I smoothed out the tulle and cut strips that were 6 inches wide by 16 or 17 inches long. I wasn’t too precise with this as I knew I could trim pieces when I was done. I forgot to get a photo of the gold once it was cut, but you get the idea.

Next I looped the elastic waistband over the lid of a container I had. Some people use cardboard, but you can use whatever you have.

To secure the tulle over the elastic I folded each piece in half. Lay the folded tulle flat against the elastic, wrap the cut edges around the elastic and pull through the loop at the top. Pull tightly to secure. Make sure you are wrapping in the same direction for each piece of tulle.

Once you’ve done this, the top view of your waistband will look like this:

The underside of the tutu will look like this:

I added the tulle fairly methodically, particularly when I was adding in the flocked, gold and dusty rose tulle. I wanted to ensure they were evenly spaced, so I roughly alternated colours.

Once it was done I took a final measurement of the waistband (as adding in a lot of fabric can make the elastic stretch) and laid the tutu flat for an inspection. I trimmed the longer pieces to ensure it was the proper length all around. If you do notice that your waistband has stretched, removing a few pieces of tulle evenly throughout the tutu will help.

The tutu ended up being exactly as full and textured as I had hoped. I loved making it and it took about 90 minutes in total, including the time it took to cut the tulle.

Happy 1st Birthday, little sweetheart!


Easy Easter Bib

This weekend is Easter and it’s my son’s first one! I can’t say he’s excited about the Easter Bunny, but mostly because he hardly knows what a bunny is.

Recently I learned to applique and I am completely in love with it. I literally want to applique everything I see! Pillows, tote bags, placemats, blankets, you name it.

Today I’m making an appliqued Easter bib.

I have used this bib pattern by Nana Company a number of times, so rather than reinventing the wheel, I will use this pattern. Here is the link:

Following Nana Company’s pattern, cut out the bib. I am using a scraps of fabric from my stash, so a simple cotton on the front and a flannel on the back.

To applique this bib you will need the following:

  • A small piece of contrasting fabric
  • Optional: A piece of white felt for a fuzzy bunny tail
  • A printed bunny silhouette (my husband drew the bunny by hand for this tutorial. Thanks, Matt!)
  • Heat’N Bond Lite
  • A threaded sewing machine (or a needle and thread if you’re into hand applique, which I am not)
  • A hot iron with the steam setting turned OFF (per Heat’N Bond Lite instructions)

Look at your bib and decide how big you want the bunny. Mine was roughly 3 inches high. Print the bunny silhouette to the appropriate scale. Cut a rectangular piece of fabric just slightly bigger than the measurements of your bunny, and cut a matching piece of Heat’N Bond Lite.

Do the same with the white felt for the bunny tail, if you are doing this step.

The best way I can describe applique is that you are essentially making a fabric sticker. So the wrong side of the fabric (not the patterned side) will face the webbed side of the Heat’N Bond Lite. When the fabric and Heat’N Bond are sandwiched together, the paper backing will be visible on one side and the (right side) printed fabric on the other.

Using your hot iron (again, no steam!) you will iron on the paper side of the Heat’N Bond, with the fabric underneath. Don’t press for too long, just a few seconds should do the trick. When in doubt, read the instructions on the Heat’N Bond Lite.

Let the paper cool for a few seconds before attempting to pick it up. Once it’s cool, you’re ready to cut out the silhouette.

You will trace the bunny onto the paper backing of the Heat’N Bond Lite. For this project it may not matter much, but if you were doing this with, for example, letters or numbers you would need to flip your template over before tracing so as to create a mirror image. Otherwise if you just trace directly onto the paper, you will have a backwards letter or number. You only make this mistake once or twice.

Cut out on your trace marks. You should now have a bunny silhouette with printed fabric on one side, paper backing on the other. Remove the paper backing and lay the silhouette on the front of your bib. Once you’re happy with the placement, iron over the top for a few seconds. This will secure the bunny to the bib. You’re now ready to applique.

On your sewing machine you should have several different stitches to choose from. I’m using the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8200 (hello, dream machine!) and I use stitch number 39 for applique. I sometimes use contrasting thread for applique, but today I’m using matching thread.

I turn the sewing speed down when I applique to avoid going off course.

Once you have appliqued all the way around the silhouette (and around the tail, if you choose), snip the threads and get ready to sew the bib front to the bib back. I added a strip of ribbon across the bib before sewing the front to back.

You can follow Nana Company’s instructions for sewing the bib and attaching a snap closure. An alternative would be velcro, which I find easier and often more durable.

Once you’ve finished sewing the bib I would give it a quick press with the iron (this time with steam on to ensure the wrinkles are gone), and it’s ready to wear!

I also made an Easter bib for a friend of mine today. I’ve posted it below, just for another easy custom bib idea. I used felt for the pink square and the “e”. Appliqued around both.


Thanks for checking out my post today! I hope you enjoyed it. Hoppy Easter!!


Up, up and away!

Have you ever wished that a day had 28 hours instead of 24? When I’m in my craft room that’s a common wish of mine.

I’m Heather – wife, mother, crafter, HR professional and (now) blogger. I have a love for all things handmade (well, nearly all things), and I spend my waking hours dreaming of all the beautiful things I could make…if I only had more time.

My mom got me hooked on crafting when I was just 4 years old! She does it all – sewing, knitting, crocheting, rug hooking, you name it. Oh, and she’s really, really good. She has endless patience and will ravel something back or pick out stitches all day to make something right. That’s not characteristic of me, but she’s retired and has more time than I do. Maybe she will let me show you some of her work sometime.

So, why am I here? For years I have followed many craft blogs and I’ve had the pleasure of making projects from tutorials and patterns that other crafters have provided to the online community. I want to contribute to that community too. I want to share what I know, however little that may be.

I sincerely appreciate you stopping by to check out my blog. Hopefully a little something here catches your eye and you try it out.