Easy to Sew Valance

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You won't believe how easy it is to sew a valance! If you can cut, iron and sew a straight line, then you can make this valance! Thank you to Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores for sponsoring this tutorial. Did you know that September is National Sewing Month? Fun!  Well, any excuse to sew is fun in my book.  In honor of  National Sewing Month and the 90th anniversary of Waverly Fabrics, Waverly and Jo-Anns are sponsoring  a Waverize It! Facebook Contest.  In order to enter the contest, you sew a project with Waverly Fabric and upload photos of it to Facebook by September 22, 2013.  In order to provide some inspiration, Waverly sent me two yards of fabric to create a fun sewing project! It took me a few weeks to decide what to do with this gorgeous fabric.  But in the end, my bare dining room windows begged me to cover them with something pretty.  After a bit of measuring folding, I determined that I could cover all four windows with the two yards.  I really didn't think this ... [read more]

Back to School: DIY Locker Tote

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Back to school

Get ready for back to school with a quick and easy DIY Locker Tote to help keep your kid's academic belongings from overflowing.  Small handles on each side are perfect for looping over the hooks on each side and the boxed bottom helps keep it wide open. I'm Jenn from A Jennuine Life; since I have two daughters aged four and almost two, back to school for me still means preschool.  My tote is made to fit my younger daughter's cubby at daycare.  Instead of books, my tote will hold changes of clothes and her blankie for naps. Gather your supplies:  I made mine with a color blocked canvas base and double thicknesses of home decor weight fabric for the sides.  My cuts were 12"x17" for the base, and 4 pieces at 17"x17" for the sides.  Keep in mind when you box the corners of the base, you'll lose a couple of inches in width and height.  I made the handles from two cuts of the yellow canvas 3"x6" folded like bias tape and then stitched along both sides. With right sides ... [read more]

How To Make Placemats {Reversible}

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How to make placemats

I have been wanting to figure out how to make placemats for a few years.  When my husband and I got married nearly a decade ago I registered for and received a set of eight black placemats.  I love them, but they aren't very colorful!  So when Jo-Anns sent me a few yards of their very colorful HGTV inspired fabrics, I knew it was time to figure out how to make placemats.  For even more fun and versatility, I decided to make the placemats reversible! I have a pattern for tableware that my mom gave me, but I decided to see if I could just wing it to make placemats.  Sometimes this works for me and sometimes, well, it doesn't.  This time around, though, was a great success! Jo-Ann's sent me a yard of HGTV Urban Blossom and Cherry and a yard of HGTV Checkered Past Berry. I love the colors and the patterns!  It is suggested to dry clean the fabric, but I'll just wash them in cold water on a gentle cycle and line dry. I had to have placemats made with these fabrics! ... [read more]

Handmade Christmas Gifts: Easy Reversible Handbag

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Easy Reversible Handbag

I'm trying to give as many handmade Christmas gifts as I can this year.   This purse or handbag is perfect for the tween or teen or in your life.  Use any cute fabric to turn just four simple pieces  into a reversible handbag.   After I finished making child aprons for the little kids for Christmas, I needed something for our newly minted teenager.  I already have a Daisy BB gun for her tom boy side and I wanted a handmade Christmas gift for her feminine side.  I had pinned this purse tutorial from Very Purple Person a while ago and decided it was what I was looking for.  I'm a very beginner sewer and I knew from perusing the tutorial that it is written for someone with a little more skill than I had.  I need to know to sew the pieces wrong sides together to start and what seam allowances to use. But it looked pretty simple so I decided to go for it anyway. The first purse I made (the pink butterfly one) took me about an hour because I made a lot of mistakes ... [read more]

Handmade Christmas Gifts:Child Apron

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Handmade Christmas Gifts: Child Apron

This year I am making as many handmade Christmas gifts as I can manage.  These child aprons are simple beginning sewing projects that can be used in the kitchen, at the craft table or even in the garden.  The aprons are no tie so they are easy for kids to put on themselves. Last year after Christmas a college friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook of all the fabulous handmade Christmas gifts she had made for her family.  I decided then that this year I would make as many handmade Christmas gifts as I could manage.  Last year I did make a few handmade gifts like family memory jars and knit headbands and knit fingerless gloves. But this year I really wanted to sew more handmade Christmas gifts since they are quicker to make.  I spent this past year honing my very beginner sewing skills using on-line sewing classes and tutorials. My first project in my goal to make handmade gifts were these kids aprons from Sew Liberated.  The tutorial is really well written and very easy ... [read more]