Sewing

Waxed Canvas & Leather Zipper Bag

Last year I made a waxed canvas zipper bag for my 12-year-old son’s birthday. My husband mentioned (more than a couple of times) how nice it was. I got the hint, and he got one for Christmas.

Waxed Canvas & Leather Zipper Bag | Gentlemen's Travel Case by Betz White | Radiant Home Studio

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

For my son’s zipper bag, I used canvas and waxed it myself using Otter Wax. For this bag, I ordered some pre-waxed canvas and a leather strap from The Confident Stitch. (This is a new-to-me fabric store. They have some great stuff and the owner is super helpful, so definitely check it out!) They have several colors and weights of waxed canvas. I chose the 6.25oz in olive green and it was exactly what I needed for this project!

I also ordered a 3/4″ leather strap. It was very nice quality and I will definitely purchase this item again for other bags in the future.

Waxed Canvas & Leather Zipper Bag | Gentlemen's Travel Case by Betz White | Radiant Home Studio

The pattern is the Gentlemen’s Travel Case from Betz White’s book Present Perfect, which is the same pattern I used for the pouch I made last year. There are lots of similar zipper pouch patterns that would work, but I really like the interior pleated pocket and the exterior pockets on this pattern. It’s a nice size, deep enough for some bigger items, but not too big. I sewed it as instructed, but substituted a metal snap in place of the hook-and-loop tape on the side pocket. I also left off the decorative trim next to the zipper.

Waxed Canvas & Leather Zipper Bag | Gentlemen's Travel Case by Betz White | Radiant Home Studio

I actually made 2 of these at the same time, one for my husband and one for his brother. I think it was faster to sew them that way. I already had the fabric, interfacing, and patterns out, so it went almost as quickly as making one. I had a yard of both the waxed canvas and the lining fabric, which was plenty for two zipper bags.

Waxed Canvas & Leather Zipper Bag | Gentlemen's Travel Case by Betz White | Radiant Home Studio

I used the waxed canvas on the entire exterior and on the lining pieces that are next to the zipper (for stability). I can’t remember if the pattern recommends interfacing the exterior pieces, but there’s no need to interface waxed canvas. It’s pretty stable and perfect for casual bags. Though I love Otter Wax for small projects, I really appreciated using the ready-made waxed canvas. It saved a lot of time and I didn’t have to worry about waiting for it to dry and cure. I can’t say I’ll never wax my own fabric again, but it’s good to have options! For bigger projects and things that are time sensitive, I will definitely be ordering again.

Waxed Canvas & Leather Zipper Bag | Gentlemen's Travel Case by Betz White | Radiant Home Studio

The Confident Stitch also has some heavier waxed canvas that would be great for bigger tote bags. I’ll be looking for a project to experiment with the heavier weight waxed canvas when I get a chance. You can click the image below to see what other fabrics and notions they carry!

Confident Stitch Notions

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Tutorials

How to Sew a Pennant Banner for Parties

Learn how to sew a pennant banner for parties! They are easy to sew, reusable, and prettier than paper buntings from party stores. Pennant flags are fun home decor for any occasion, including birthdays, baby showers, and weddings!

There are lots of sewing tutorials for sewing pennant banners (or buntings, as some people call them) out there, but I haven’t seen any tutorials with an illustrated cutting guide to help you make the most of your fabric. Since I just made a new one to use for a baby shower, I thought I would take some photos and explain my simple process. I have a simple cutting method that will help you to use most of your fabric with less waste!

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

I really like to have a couple of all-purpose pennant banners around for parties. I don’t like tacky paper decorations from the dollar store and I hate to buy them only to throw them in the trash after using them. Fabric banners are reusable and don’t take much storage space. If you make a 2 or 3 with different color schemes, you should be able to use them for many occasions.

I’ve had one with girl colors for a few years that we hang up on the girls’ birthdays or for other summer parties. I’ve been planning to make one in another color scheme to use for the boys’ birthdays and other events, like the baby shower we just hosted.

We planned a “winter woodland” baby shower, so I tried to choose fabrics that would work with the baby shower theme that would also be neutral and not too “babyish”. I ended up with some great geometric fabric designs in gray, cream, black, green, and teal. When choosing fabrics, sticking to a small color palette will help the finished banner to have a cohesive style. The fabrics don’t have to match perfectly (for example, some of the grays have different undertones), but keeping to similar colors works best.

Many of the tutorials I saw recommended stitching the flags right sides together, then turning them inside out, and then pressing the seams. You can do this if you really want the seams hidden, but I think it’s unnecessary and takes too much time for a project like this.

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

How to Sew a Pennant Banner:

Materials:

3 to 5 coordinating cotton fabrics – 1 yd. of each (or just use up your scraps!)
coordinating thread
bias tape maker (or pre-made binding)
rotary cutter and mat
printable template

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

Cutting Instructions:

There are two ways to cut the pennant flags. The template works best if you are using up fabric scraps, but if you are cutting from yardage it’s much faster to use the rotary cutting method. I’ve included an illustrated cutting diagram below.

First, even out your edges. I bought my fabric from a big box store and the cuts were 2-3 inches off grain.

Fold the fabric folded in half lengthwise, selvages together, cut three 9″ strips across the fabric.

Line up the folded edge with the edge of the cutting mat. Use the ruler to cut a diagonal line from the bottom folded corner to the top of the strip, 3″ in from the folded edge.

Use the ruler to make another diagonal line from the 3″ cut at the top edge to a spot 6″ in from the bottom edge.

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

Keep cutting diagonal lines in opposite directions every 6″ until you run out of fabric.

If you are using directional fabric, like the mountains I used, you’ll end up with some flags with the print upside-down. I just paired the right-side-up flags with upside-down flags and made sure I paid attention to which was the back and the front of each flag.

How to Sew Pennant Flags for Parties | Cutting Pennant Flags from 1 yd. of Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

Sewing Instructions:

I’ve used 2 different methods for finishing the edges of the flags. If you have a serger, you can serge the 2 long edges with a rolled hem or narrow 3-thread stitch. (I started out doing this and it was super fast until my serger seized up…)

If you don’t have a serger, just use a tight zig-zag stitch. Make sure the needle goes off the edge of the fabric just slightly on the right side of the zig-zag stitch. You might end up with a little bit of a ruffled edge. Just press each flag and trim the threads when you finish.

To make the binding, cut 2″ strips of fabric. (Five strips make the banner about 18′ long and will hold about 24 flags. Mine has 8 strips with 35 flags, and I still have some fabric left.) Since this binding doesn’t need to be sewn around curves, it does not have to be cut on the bias. Just cut straight across like you did for the 9″ flag strips. Trim the ends of the strips at a 45° angle. Sew them together in one long strip by matching the ends as shown.

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

Trim the little corners off the strips and use the bias tape maker and your iron to create the binding.

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

Organize your flags into a pile in the order you want them to hang on the banner.

Place the binding on your sewing machine with the folded edge to the right. Stitch 8-10″ on the open edge and then sandwich the first flag into the binding all the way into the folded edge. Continue stitching over the first flag. Sandwich the next flag in the binding leaving a 3-4″ gap between the flags. Continue stitching until you have added all your flags or until you run out of binding.

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

You can hang the finished pennant banner with a few thumbtacks.

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

How to Sew a Pennant Banner For Parties | DIY Bunting or Mordern Pennant Flags | Radiant Home Studio

 

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Pattern Review, Sewing

Purple Halifax Hoodie with Funnel Neck

Today I’m sharing my dusty purple Halifax Hoodie with you! (Apparently, I’m ahead of the game on the Pantone color of the year…which I don’t think anyone really cares about anymore…)

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to connect with other sewing friends online. I love the sewing community and haven’t participated in any group projects in a while. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been sewing a Halifax Hoodie with some friends!

Purple Halifax Hoodie with Funnel Neck | Hey June Sewing Patterns | Radiant Home Studio

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

We wanted to do a quick project for ourselves to take a break from the holiday busyness. There’s still a couple of weeks left to make something for yourself! You can follow us (@radianthomestudio, @laraorndorff, @skirtfixation, @made.by.sara.blog, and @heatherhandmade) on Instagram and tag your pictures with #halifaxholidayparty. A few people have already posted some lovely finished Halifax Hoodies! We’re also planning a big IG giveaway soon, so watch for it…

The Halifax Hoodie pattern has 5 views. Last year I made view B with blue and white stripes. I wear it all the time! This time I decided to try view D, which has a funnel neck and kangaroo pocket. With so many options, this pattern is a wardrobe staple. You can make it several times and have very different finished garments. It’s the perfect pattern for busy moms. Easy to sew and easy to wear!

Purple Halifax Hoodie with Funnel Neck | Hey June Sewing Patterns | Radiant Home Studio

I used a lightweight bamboo french terry fabric. It’s super soft and very comfortable, and it feels very expensive. My first Halifax was a size small. It still fits well, but I wanted a more loose, casual fit this time so I sewed a size medium. I think it was a good choice for this fabric. It’s a little bit more clingy than the fabric I used last time, so I think a small might have been less flattering in a small.

I’ve already worn my new sweatshirt several times, and I absolutely love the neckline on this view!

Purple Halifax Hoodie with Funnel Neck | Hey June Sewing Patterns | Radiant Home Studio

The pattern cutting and sewing are really straightforward. I sewed in lots of short spurts, but managed to get it done in about 3 days.

Purple Halifax Hoodie with Funnel Neck | Hey June Sewing Patterns | Radiant Home Studio

Check out Audrey, Sara, Heather, and Lara’s Halifax Hoodies on their blogs! We tried to choose different versions so you could see the variety of tops you can sew with this pattern. Which one would you make?

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Crafts

Make an Embroidered Baby Onesie

Here’s a really cute gift idea you can use for the holidays or for baby showers—an embroidered baby onesie! It’s a quick and easy gift to make and it’s super practical.

Make an Embroidered Baby Onesie as a Gift | Radiant Home Studio

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

Make an Embroidered Baby Onesie as a Gift | Radiant Home Studio

This pattern and the instructions come from The Embroidery Project by Mollie Johansen at Wild Olive. I’ve used and recommended Mollie’s patterns before. They are professional, fun, and easy to stitch—great for beginners and kids!

I wanted to make a quick and easy project from this cute collection of embroidery project ideas. With a new baby, the onesie was an obvious choice. I used the little bird pattern to match some store-bought leggings I had. I think it makes a really cute set!

Make an Embroidered Baby Onesie as a Gift | Radiant Home Studio

There are several ways to transfer a pattern, but I used this water-soluble stabilizer to make it easy to stitch on the jersey knit scrap I grabbed from my stash. After stitching the bird, I used double-sided fusible web to adhere the embroidered piece to the onesie. (I had some white onesies like these on hand already.) Then I used directions from the book to add a decorative fly stitch around the edges.

Make an Embroidered Baby Onesie as a Gift | Radiant Home Studio

That’s it! It took only about 20 minutes and some scraps. There are several cute options for embroidered onesies and tons of other cute embroidered gift ideas in The Embroidery Project.

If you aren’t ready to invest in the whole ebook, you can try some of Mollie’s free patterns at Wild Olive!

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Crafts

Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag

Remember my tote bag upgrade series from a couple of years ago? Today I have a new tote bag tutorial to share with you! This one is an indigo dyed tote with an embroidered butterfly patch.

Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag | Butterfly Pattern from I Heart Stitch Art | Radiant Home Studio

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

A few weeks ago, we spent the day indigo dying several yards of fabric as a family project. I also dyed a couple of plain tote bags at that time. They came out okay for a first try, but I would have greatly benefitted from the Shibori & Natural Dyeing Course that is included in the bundle. It’s basically a whole book about dyeing with indigo and natural dyes and includes 10 DIY dyeing projects. It’s normally $26, but the whole bundle with dozens of other patterns is only a couple dollars more!

I highly recommend finding some type of book, or class, or friend to help you with your first indigo dyeing experience. It isn’t hard, but experienced friends will have some helpful tips. I’ll list some other resources (including links to the plain tote bags and indigo dye kit I used) at the end of this post.

My indigo dyed tote bags ended up being a little bit plain. I decided to add an embroidered patch using the butterfly embroidery pattern from I Heart Stitch Art. I honestly how long it would take to stitch this, but it went much more quickly than I anticipated!

I always find that embroidery is easy to work on if I just get it started. I picked it up while I was nursing the baby, while I kept an eye on dinner, and other moments during the day when I tend to pick up my phone and mindlessly scroll. Stitching during those moments was much more relaxing and productive, and I finished it in only two days.

Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag | Butterfly Pattern from I Heart Stitch Art | Radiant Home Studio

I used the pearl cotton thread that was recommended in the pattern and I LOVE how it turned out. I’ve always stitched with regular embroidery floss, but I have to say the pearl cotton was much easier to work with and I think the finished piece looks much more polished. The pattern has lots of other great tips for transferring and stitching the details, so I’m happy to recommend it without reservation.

So…this is sort of an open-ended tote bag tutorial. Plain tote bags are cheap and perfect for experimenting with different craft ideas. You can try dyeing your bag with indigo or with some of the fruits and vegetables mentioned in the Shibori & Natural Dyeing Course. You can add traditional shibori patterns, experiment with your own shapes, or dye the bag a solid color. You can add a butterfly or any other embroidery pattern you like. (This grizzly bear would look so cool for a boy’s tote bag!) Or you can use one you already have.

Make an Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag:

Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag | Butterfly Pattern from I Heart Stitch Art | Radiant Home Studio

Materials:

Tote Bag
Natural Dye and Supplies
8″ square natural canvas or linen fabric
Medium embroidery hoop
1 skein of pearl cotton thread
Embroidery pattern of your choice

1. Plan a few days to finish your project! You can make several at a time more efficiently.

2. Plan one session for dyeing your tote bag. Follow the instructions on your indigo dye box, the online dyeing course, or dyeing book. Let your bag dry overnight. Wash if recommended.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

3. Transfer the embroidery pattern on to your fabric square. I prefer to hold my pattern and fabric up to the window and trace it with a pencil. Put the fabric in the embroidery hoop and stitch as directed in your pattern.

Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag | Butterfly Pattern from I Heart Stitch Art | Radiant Home Studio

4. Trim the edges of your embroidered fabric to the desired size, centering your embroidery design. Use some small strips of fusible tape on the back edges of the embroidered fabric to hold it in place on the tote bag. Hand stitch or machine stitch around the embroidered fabric to finish. Pull the loose threads around the edges to create a frayed border.

Indigo Embroidered Tote Bag | Butterfly Pattern from I Heart Stitch Art | Radiant Home Studio

Recommended Resources for this project:

Tote Bags
Indigo Dye Kit
Pearl Cotton Thread
Embroidery Needles
Embroidery Hoops

More tote bag upgrade tutorials

 

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