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1  Knitting Backpack and Needle Case - Great Uses for Upholstery Fabrics! in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by ErikaW on: January 28, 2008 12:17:03 AM
I made these two last Christmas and forgot to document them, so here are a few pics of the finished products.  I got the fabric for both the needle case and the knitting backpack bag from a remnants pile of upholstery fabric at one of the fabric places out here (Hart's fabrics, I think).  In any case, I finally taught myself some basic knitting last winter and got all excited and crazy obsessed, so much that I needed a large bag to carry around the several projects I had going at once, with a pattern book, needles and such.  I was traveling a lot with my last job and found this backpack idea to work really well for passing the time while in airport terminals and very easy/ergonomic to carry around. 

The 'backpack' bag is simply a bag sewn up the center of one side and I added matching tassel trim at the bottom for a bit of flair.  The straps are made from strips of the same fabric that are folded lengthwise and sewn down the middle and then attached at the open bottom before sewing up and at the top corners with a crossover pattern.  If you lift the straps up so that your arms go in below where they cross, it fits very nicely and balances out the weight.  I suppose you could also put a flap on the top to keep stuff from falling out, but I never had that problem even when it was always full and I was scurrying around from place to place.

The needle case is made from similar fabric with a different pattern and is simply hemmed on all four edges.  I then used an old piece of plastic that I tore out of one of those really large cases that sheet sets and comforters are sold in.  The edges of that were also pretty easy to sew on - I sewed it at the halfway mark across the middle and on the edges (in the shape of an "H") with some margin of fabric outside the edges of the plastic.  Then I sewed a few channels of varied widths going from the center to the top and to the bottom.  Make sure you leave some extra room for the channels when sewing down the sides of the "H" or you won't be able to get anything into them.  There is also an antique silver button and braided elastic cord near the top so that you can attach the needle case to one of the straps on the knitting backpack to keep them together. 

Both designs are very primitive but super easy and very effective in keeping me organized.  As always, I'd love to get your feedback and suggestions for future revs.  Thanks for looking folks!

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2  TUTORIAL: Troll Doll Style Eyeglass Case in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by ErikaW on: January 27, 2008 10:32:12 PM
I am always throwing my glasses into my purse when I dont have a case handy and they are pretty scratched up, so I decided to make a fun case to use to break this bad habit.  I also wanted to try using my old industrial Singer and do something with leather.  My inspiration came from the Monster Bags (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=220893.0 and https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=45906.msg416290#msg416290).  

Ive done a couple of projects with a monster theme now and I cant get the cure little dudes out of my head.  I decided to include a short tute for those who want to use/improve as needed and to share some of the things I learned about trying to take on a different type of machine with such a small project using difficult and stretchy materials and tight curves.

I hope you enjoy - thanks for looking and please let me know what you think!




Tutorial for Monster Eyeglass Case

1.   Cut out shape below on tissue paper (bottom edge is 6.5 inches, vertical edge is 7.5 inches, and distance from top edge to height of rounded peak is approx. 2 inches)


2.   Cut one each of outer material (I used a soft leather) and lining (I used short hair pink fur).  Trim the inner layer approx. 1/8 narrower on all edges than outer layer.
3.   Take outer layer and fold up bottom edge to within inch of top of vertical side, right sides together, and stitch both sides with 1/8 inch seam allowance.
4.   Repeat with inner layer, but use inch seam allowance.  Trim seams closely on both layers.  Both case layers should be inside out.
5.   Hand sew on male part of small snap to right side of inner layer fabric centered and about 1 from edge of monster lip curve.
6.   Use open are to turn one of the case layers right side out now and place the two case layers right sides together.  
7.   Sew along straight front edge of case and up along curves (approx. where red Xs are located).  Leave open between red Xs.  


8.   Trim seams closely and turn layers into finished orientation (right side of outer layer is facing out and right side of inner layer is inside outer layer).
9.   Now fold monster face down over top and press snap head into fabric to make a faint mark where the other snap part will be sewed on.  Sew on other snap part (female) onto right side of outer layer (should sit approx. inch down from edge of case).
10.   Take a needle and thread and sew a couple of stitches through both layers to tack the lower corners of inner layer down to the lower corners of outer layer.
11.   Top stitch a very narrow (1/8 inch) around top edge and curves up to red Xs.
12.   Fold case in half to make a slight crease in the center of outer layer and attach eyes approx. inch from lip edge.  The closer together you put the eyes, the goofier and cuter the monster ends up looking if you have the googly eyes that move, that works even better.  I used simple shank buttons from JoAnns that look like eyeballs (see below).


13.   Now comes the *fun* part!  Take a needle and thread and baste along the open edge of the monster lip curves for outer layer and repeat with second thread for the inner layer.  Pull both threads enough to gather to make lips curl inward slightly.  Tie both threads at ends to hold curled shape.  If you are using normal fabric, you can simply press the shapes down at this point.  If you use leather for one of the layers, squeeze shape tightly between fingers or put a weight down on the lips to force the leather to hold the curled shape.
14.   Cut two fangs out of white foamies craft foam (1 inch long and  1/ 2 inch wide) and place fangs in between curled-in outer and inner monster lip layers.
15.   Top stitch narrow edge slowly around curled-in monster lips to attach fangs and close open section of case.


16.   Cut out strip of long fake fur of contrasting color for eyebrows (I used lime green)  approx. 3 inches by inch.  Slip stitch top edge to bottom edge lengthwise to create a tube of fur.  Tack one edge down to the right of the right eyeball through both case layers.  Tack the other end down to the left of the left eyeball through both layers.  Tack center down just above center front between two eyeballs.  Make two more tacks one above the right eye and one above the left eye.  I was lazy you can obviously make more stitches to make it more secure, but I dont typically thrash my eyeglass cases around, so I didnt.

A.   This was my first project with leather and I found that my old 1927 Industrial Singer blew right through it like butter, but the lighter the leather, the more stretch typically, so plan on some headaches with seam rippling unless you have a machine that can handle leather and differential feed.
B.   In retrospect, it was rather retarded of me to stitch the two case layers together along the easy straight-aways and leave the edge finishing for the most difficult curvesI actually ended up having to slip stitch the lip layers closed because the machine was so tough to slow down around the curves and the leather stretched all over the place (notice crappy-looking hand stitches in close-up above).  I would suggest stitching curved in layers separately and then stitching together, so that edges cant escape.  The fangs were tough to attach in the typical manner since the edge of the fang was curved to match the lip curve any suggestions on a better approach would be most welcomed.

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3  Tutorial: Oh-So-Easy Hot Pink Fur and Sparkle Vinyl Nintendo DS Wrap Case! in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by ErikaW on: December 17, 2006 12:55:42 AM
Oh-So-Easy Hot Pink Fur and Sparkle Vinyl Nintendo Wrap Case!

Ok crafty guys and gals,
After cranking out a few zippered Nintendo cases with a monster theme, I've decided to simplify things and go with my husband's sudden design inspiration last night.  The key idea here is *simplicity*, so were after minimal sewing and maximum utility (i.e., no zipper).

You will need:
2 types of contrasting fabric (I used pink fur on the inside and black fabric-backed sparkle vinyl for the outside) 10 inches by 16 inches for the inside piece and 10 inches by 17 inches for the outside piece

1 yard of small round black elastic cord (for the two closure bands on the outside and the game card holders)

The pattern was inspired by a paper towel as shown below the basic idea is that you fold the bottom third up over the game, the top third down over the top of that, and then fold the two sides over the center section and pull two attached elastic bands around the whole thing.  The high-tech pattern paper below shows estimated locations of game card holders (larger for the GameBoy Advance cards and smaller for the DS Lite cards, both of which can be used in the DS Lite console). 

STEP 1 Cut out a layer each of 2 contrasting materials with the dimensions shown below (15.5 in. by 9.5 in.)  Cut out an additional inch strip of the outer material as well to use as a center strap in the inside of the case.

STEP 2 Sew the center strap down after measuring it while it is fit snugly across the center of the console.

STEP 3 Use tailors chalk or a fine tip sharpie to outline the game cards on the right side of the outer fabric (see pattern and below).  Then cut short round elastic bands about 1 inch long and sew back and forth a few times over the ends just outside the game card outline.  I tried several configurations using a combination of diagonal holders and horizontal holders note that if you place the two card outlines right next to each other and place the diagonal bands closer to the card center, you can use the upper right and lower left  bands only to also hold the larger GameBoy Advance game card.  However, I chose to use an even simpler design with two long horizontal bands (center picture below) and one tacked down at the halfway mark again, so that you can use either two small DS cards side by side, or one larger GameBoy Advance card.

STEP 4 Pin right sides together of the two layers of fabric and pin in place.  Sew a small seam all the way around (about inch), but leave a small space about 2.5 inches open on the left side (see below):

STEP 5 Turn the corners to a point gently using a blunted pencil or a knitting needle.  Rolling the corners back and forth between your thumb and forefinger will help smooth the corner to a fine point:

STEP 6 Create the round elastic closure loops. Cut two pieces of round black elastic cord (each about double the length of the Nintendo DS game console.  Place the loops into the side opening, pinching together the ends and leaving about  inch of the loop ends buried in the side opening.  Place the loops such that when the case is folded closed over the game, the loops will be centered vertically along the side of the game console.  Sew a narrow topstitch seam all around the case edges to close off the open end and create a crisp and flat finish.

STEP 7 Place game inside center strap and insert game cards into holders after folding the bottom up over the game.  Fold the top down over the game and then fold the sides (left then right) into the center as shown below and secure with closure loops!

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4  Fat Guy in Little Coat in Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects by ErikaW on: December 04, 2006 12:03:30 AM
Greetings Crafty Beavers,
He's not really fat, but Gus (my supportive assistant and Rhodesian mix dog model) posed for this finished dog coat picture (the coat looks silly because it is actually for a Jack Russell).

I wanted to make a warm doggie coat for one of my freinds in the Rocky Mountains who has a Jack Russell terrier, but I didn't have exact measurements to work with, so I made a generic cape-style pattern with velcro in front and under the belly with a partial-elastic belt under the tummy to adjust to fit.  The lil guy's name is Jack (ironically), so I personalized his coat with brown suede letters and matching brown suede collar so he's look all stylin out in the bitter Colorado snowdrifts.  The suede-covered elastic straps are attached at either side of the tail and slip around the back legs to hold the back of the coat down.  Maybe a pair of bitchin dog snow boots next?  Who knows - I hope you enjoy my post - any and all feedback and improvement ideas are, as always, highly welcomed!  Thanks for looking,

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5  Nintendo DS Lite - Girly Case Gone Wild in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by ErikaW on: November 29, 2006 09:59:08 AM
I recently found Craftster.org in an attempt to find others and swap ideas on homemade Nintendo DS Lite cases. This is my first posting and I hope there are other folks out there who can provide feedback and share their ideas on the personalized case thing. I was at my mom's and didn't have access to a sewing machine, so this is very low tech: two layers of velux blanket material (available in small squares at Michael's), coordinating pink and purple embroidery floss for blanket stitches around the edges, and a shiny glitter button on the top flap to act as tie down for braided floss ties. The dragonfly was a shiny object that caught my eye at the checkout - its just a pin-on for added flair. Please send any/all ideas for upgrades for the next gen (two friends want one for Christmas). Thanks for your input!

Please check out the pics below and give me your feedback!

This is very minimal (holds the console, extra stylus, a few games, and a USB charger).
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