Thursday, June 16, 2011

1st REAL Sewing Project

Wow.  After reading countless blog posts about sewing tutorials I thought I was ready to make something.  I pinned (on Pinterest) some fabulous ideas I wanted to try.  I procrastinated until my bestie and hubby bought a pillow case for me to "turn" into a valance for our 3 year old's room.  Enter mom's new sewing machine, yep, I broke the one hubby got me for Christmas the first time I tried using it, and strangely enough mom also got one for Christmas, so despite my earlier missteps she was willing to share, and I was willing to try again.  The valance was made, not very well, but it is hanging in his room, and the machine and I lived to tell the tale.

Fast forward two weeks, I had packed mom's machine up after finishing the valance with every intention of returning to her.  But for some reason I decided to ask to keep it for a big longer, and there it sat, in it's case, by my door for two weeks.  Come to Tuesday and I start thinking I should probably get/make something for Lucas' kindergarten teacher seeing as how this is the last week of school and all.  A million fabu ideas ran through my head.  I could make a gathered scarf or another pin (although I have already made and given her two this year).  I really want to make one of these embroidered notes, and I will, but I couldn't decide what I would have the note say.  After talking about my ideas with a co-worker I decided a tote bag was the way to go.

So last night when I got home I pulled, knowing I would eventually hack them up for a project.  I folded them, unfolded them, trying to figure out the best place to start cutting in order to leave the most usable material.  So I started by cutting them off at the inner thigh, and then straight down the inner pant leg to the bottom hem.  Since these were a pair of pre weight loss jeans, I had a LOT of material to work with.  I laid out the pieces, got out a ruler, and drew some lines, added some pins, and set to work.  After a few hiccups with the thread coming undone, and then with forgetting to put the presser foot down I got the outside of the bag complete.  But I couldn't leave it at that.  I got out a crib sheet I refused to get rid of (an adorable one with letters & numbers on it, how perfect for a teacher, right?), and started hacking away at it, a few measurements, and pins later I was ready to sew that together too.  Got the liner done, then was able to sew it to the outer jean bag only to realize I hadn't added the straps yet.  Not to mention I hadn't actually thought about what I was going to use for the straps.  :)  Enter the waist band of the jeans, PERFECT!  Cut it off, trimmed it, and then cut it in half, one for each side.  Sewed those bad boys on, and felt pretty good about the basic tote I had created.

It wasn't complete though.  It needed some decoration.  I cut the back pockets of a pair of jeans shorts, stuck them on the front, (who doesn't need a couple of pockets in their bag?), and took some of the extra sheet material to work with the plan of making some flower on lunch.  And that is exactly what I did, I made two flowers, got home, finished them up, made a couple more, and glued those puppies to the bag (truly, they were very strategically placed, to cover up my sewing mistakes!).

Here is the finished project, I am sure Mrs. Aronhalt is going to love her new bag, and hopefully it will be her go to  library book bag.  Enjoy!

Love ya,


  1. Love it! I have a dear friend that gave me a wonderful sewing machine earlier this year (like February) and I have only made one project on it...but I will be making a valance for my MIL we'll see what happens!!! Great job on the bag!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I would love for you to link this up to my linky party that runs Friday evening through Sunday night. You can find the button for the party at

    Our last party, the first ever, had over 300 links so this week there will be a special give away just for linkers, hope to see you soon.

  3. Jenci, that turned out AWESOME! Okay, I'm officially asking for a sewing machine this year for Christmas. I love that the pockets on the front are the pants pocket.

    Visiting from vB!

  4. Great sewing project! I have a horrible time with my sewing machine, if often ends up with me in tears! Just stopping over from Voice Boks!

  5. Hi! Found you through Voicebox and am glad I did :) I hope you'll come follow me back at and/or

    Have a great day!

  6. hi, im a new follower from voiceboks. love your site. would love for you to check out mine and follow back if you like.