19 October 2011

easiest tote bag revealed!

Alright! A tutorial for the easiest tote bag!  I wonder if it will live up to its name?
easiest_tote1 easiest_tote2
This bag also happens to be reversible, so you really can have 2 bags in one!

To start, you need to decide what size you want your bag to be.
Mine was 10 inches wide, 11 inches tall, and 4 inches deep.

Next we must calculate the fabric sizes.
There will be 3 pieces: 1 for the outside, 1 for the lining, and 1 for the strap.

The outside and lining pieces can be calculated as such (sorry, but I am an engineer...I like math!):
fabric length = (height x 2) + depth + (2 x seam allowance)
fabric width = width + depth + (2 x seam allowance)

(for my bag, I used 1/2" seam allowances.  this comes out to:
length = (11 x 2) + 4 + (0.5 x 2)  =  22 + 4 + 1  =  27"
width = 10 + 4 + (0.5 x 2)  =  10 + 4 + 1  =  15"
so my outer and inner fabrics would each be 27" by 15")

for the strap, a width of 4" by any desired length (I used 18") will work nicely.

Ok, now that you have your fabric pieces, we can begin construction.

Begin with one of your fabric pieces (I started with my lining fabric), and fold it in half, right sides together.  Now, take the folded edge, and move it up to the desired bag depth (for mine, I moved it 4" for a 4" gusset)

Does this picture help explain?
easiest tote assembly
I like to perform this step with my fabric on my cutting mat, and a ruler held at the top, where I want to move my fold.  

Hopefully you can see from the pictures, that you are moving the fold to be sandwiched in between the 2 sides.

easiest_bag26 easiest_bag27

Once you do this, pin and sew the side seams.
easiest_bag29 easiest_bag28

You will end up with something that looks like this when turned right side out.
Repeat with the other piece of fabric.
Now you can slide the lining into the outer, right sides together, matching up the top edges and side seams. Pin these together. 

Sew around the top, leaving a 3-4 inch gap for turning.

Turn right side out and topstitch around edge to close gap. (here you can see how I made the outer wrap around inside the bag, but normally you would just sew along the very top of the bag).


Your bag is now done, with the exception of the strap!
easiest_bag40 easiest_bag41

Now you can form the strap.  Fold in half lengthwise and press.  open and fold sides to center.  fold in half again and pin down the length of the strap.  turn the ends in and pin.
Now sew along all 4 sides of the strap, 1/8" from the edge.  Your finished strap should look like this:


Now, pin the strap to the sides of the bag, and sew a square with an X in the middle to secure. easiest_bag61 easiest_bag64

You are all done!  Easy, right?
easiest_tote6 easiest_tote7

Let me know if any of the instructions are confusing, and I can try to clarify.  But I have a feeling that once you make one, you might want to make enough for all your favorite people!


11 October 2011

easiest tote bag

I have long studied traditional northeast prep-style tote bags to gain an appreciation for their appeal to the masses.

You know, the LL Bean style that has been around for like 60 years, that everybody carries? Even Reese Witherspoon?
Reese Witherspoon with LL Bean tote - from here

Have you ever noticed the little triangle on the side of those totes?  Have you ever wondered what kind of crazy sewing machine maneuvering is necessary to make these little triangles?

Well, it just so happens that those triangles are the result of the simplest way to make a gusseted bag!

And it really is SO easy!  As easy as making a non-gusseted tote bag!

Here, let me give you a sneak peak at the assembly...
easiest tote assembly
Did you get it?

Well, no matter...a FULL tutorial for making this bag will be going up this week.  And then you can tell me how easy this method is.  I'm pretty sure it might be the easiest tote bag ever!

08 October 2011

Google mapping

This picture might not look like much, but it is pretty significant to my husband and I.

This is the google map satellite image of our wedding.  Do you see the rows of chairs set up on the terrace?  This is the only time in the 10 years this building has existed that chairs were arranged like so.

Which means, the last time they took a satellite picture of our building was on our wedding day. OUR wedding day is captured on google maps.

Now, based on the shadows provided by the sun, we can estimate the time of the picture to be around midday, 1pm-ish.  Right after everything was setup, but before our 4:20pm wedding.

If only it were a couple hours earlier or later, there would have been people pictured.  Family members and friends.

You might have seen my now husband showing our awesome officiant where he would be standing.
You might have seen my aunts stringing tulle along the chairs.
You might have seen us taking pictures with our entire family in front of the building.

You would not have seen the ball pit, but that can't be seen by satellite.

But I still think it's pretty cool that our wedding made it into google history.  What do you see when you google map your residence?

04 October 2011

A momentous occasion...

For the past few years I have been trying to collect my favorite childhood Disney movies on DVD.  What makes this goal complicated is the Disney Vault, the place that Disney executives take good movies so they can keep demand up.  It is an evil scheme, but one that I have paid close attention to.

For instance, I very quickly scooped up Fantasia when it came out of the Vault in April, and Beauty and the Beast in August.

But I have been waiting...patiently...for the past 3 years... for my favorite movie of all time, The Lion King, to finally return from the Vault.

Well, it was announced in July, that it would be released TODAY, October 4.  I pre-ordered it in July, and have been patiently waiting for it to arrive.

Then this weekend, my patience ran out.  We went and saw it at the movie theatre in 3D on Saturday.  It was just as I remembered (minus the 3D part).
(though it did cost more fore 2 people to see it in the theatre, than to purchase the movie in DVD+Blu-ray+3D+digital copy format.)

ANYWAY, it comes out TODAY.  It should be in my mailbox TODAY.  I plan on watching it at least a dozen more times.

Are there any movies you feel this passionately about?  Or am I the only crazy Disney movie collector in the world?
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