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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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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Fabric Design, Sewing, Spoonflower

Botanical Baby Blanket with Spoonflower Swaddle Gauze

With a new baby in the house, I’m back to trying all of the new baby patterns and fabrics. I can’t believe how many new things there are in 5 years! It was the same with maternity patterns…the sewing industry just keeps expanding and new independent designers and shops are popping up every day.

Those of you that have been following for a while know that I enjoy designing fabric for some of my sewing projects. Spoonflower allows designers to upload custom fabric designs and then prints the design on fabric. There are over a dozen different types of fabric now, plus wallpaper and gift wrap.

Recently, Spoonflower added Organic Sweet Pea Gauze to their fabric offerings. This is the same type of gauze (or muslin) your boutique baby blankets are made from. I ordered some printed with my Botanical Leaf Shadows design.

Botanical Baby Blanket with Spoonflower Swaddle Gauze | Radiant Home Studio

(Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

I didn’t get a chance to make blankets before our baby was born, so I bought a few swaddle blankets from Margaux & MayThey are high-quality, beautiful blankets. I really did not expect the Spoonflower gauze to live up to that quality.

When I first opened my fabric, I was disappointed. My boutique blankets are double gauze (meaning there are two thin layers tacked together) and the Sweet Pea Gauze seemed flat and stiff. I knew I needed to wash it before I made a final judgment though. Washing made all the difference! The gauze wrinkled up and I could see the soft layers of the double gauze. It’s very similar, if not identical, to the boutique blankets.

Botanical Baby Blanket with Spoonflower Swaddle Gauze | Radiant Home Studio

Spoonflower does recommend keeping a white background for the softest results. My light pink background is slightly stiffer than the white blankets I have, but it’s still very soft and useable.

I used 1 1/2 yds. of fabric for one blanket. Since Spoonflower only sells in 1 yd. increments, it’s best to buy 3 yds. at a time. To cut the fabric, just fold a corner over to the opposite selvage to mark out your square. The fabric has a small grid running through it, with lines about 3/4″ apart. I used these lines as a cutting guide to make sure my fabric was square and on grain. This works well even after you wash the fabric and have a bunch of wrinkles to work around.

I used the grid squares to measure my hem around the edges as well. Just make a 3/4″ double fold toward the wrong side on each edge and stitch around. It took less than 15 minutes! If you are looking for an easy custom baby gift, this is a great option.

Botanical Baby Blanket with Spoonflower Swaddle Gauze | Radiant Home Studio

My only complaint is the cost. It ends up being about $30 to make one blanket. My boutique blankets were about $30 for 2 blankets. Since the quality is similar, I would only use the Spoonflower fabric again for custom/personalized projects. With so many beautiful designs in the shop, ready-made and for less money, I can’t justify making many swaddle blankets as gifts. But as I said above, for something personalized, this is a lovely fabric and I’d use it again.

P.S. Spoonflower is running a 2-for-1 fat quarter sale until Nov. 9th! All of my fat quarter tea towel designs have been recently updated and make beautiful handmade gifts!

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Sewing

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch

Today I’m joining some friends in a shibori indigo blog tour! Last weekend, we spent some time experimenting with indigo dye as a fun family project. The dye makes a gorgeous blue color, and it’s made from natural, plant-based materials. I used some of the fabric I dyed to make a shibori indigo zipper pouch to share today. Plus, I have a couple more projects to share later!

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

(Some links are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thanks!)

I’ve been hoping to try indigo dyeing for several years, but never managed to gather all of the supplies. I thought it would be fun to involve the kids in my indigo dying experiment. Normally, my chemistry major husband isn’t interested in crafting, but he jumped right in to help measure water and mix the dye. Since I’m too pregnant to be carrying five-gallon buckets of water around, I was thankful for his enthusiastic participation.

We did a little bit of research before our project on the history of indigo dyeing and looked for some information on shibori dyeing techniques. This CreativeLive class on shibori dyeing was the most helpful thing we found. It wasn’t very long, but it covered all of the details we needed to know in a clear and interesting way. I definitely recommend it! We also looked up some other shibori designs and folding techniques on Pinterest.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

The only thing the shibori class didn’t cover was mixing the dye. There are more “authentic” ways of making indigo dye, but we just ordered this quick and easy kit from Amazon. You just measure four gallons of water, dump three packets of powder in, and mix it up. My older kids could have read the directions and made it themselves. It was inexpensive and worked perfectly, so I’ll definitely be ordering it again.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

The only thing I would do differently…I dipped each piece twice, but after everything dried and lightened up, I wished I had dipped a couple more times. My knit fabric took the dye really well and ended up with some deep navy blue streaks, but none of the other pieces got that dark.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

We dyed two packages of cotton napkins (also from Amazon). They were great for experimenting with different folding techniques and patterns. The kids each folded three or four and eagerly waited to see how their designs would turn out. I also folded up a piece of muslin, a scrap of white bamboo knit, and some canvas tote bags. I used the muslin for the zipper pouch.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

Zipper pouches are fast and easy. I didn’t follow a pattern for this…just cut out some rectangles, added little leather accents, and sewed it up. You can use this zipper pouch tutorial for basic construction techniques. I think these would make really cute gifts or nice craft fair products.

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

Shibori Indigo Dyed Zipper Pouch | Radiant Home Studio

If you’d like to see what some of my friends made their indigo fabric, follow along here to read their posts:

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Monday 7/24

Sarah at Sewing with Sarah – Shibori Top

Stephanie at Swoodson Says – Shibori Kit Review

Tuesday 7/25

Katie at Creative Counselor – Shibori Shift Dress

Sara at Radiant Home Studio – Shibori Zipper Pouch

Wednesday 7/26

Vicky at Vicky Myers Creations – Shibori Scarf

Stephanie at Swoodson Says – Shibori Blanket

Thursday 7/27

Maryanna at Marvelous Auntie M – Shibori Bag

Ula at Lulu & Celester – Shibori Clutch

Friday 7/28

Laurel at My Heart Will Sew On – Shibori Maxi Skirt

Agy at Agy Textile Artist – Shibori with Mango Leaves

Stephanie at Swoodson Says – Shibori Curtains

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Pattern Review, Sewing

Sewing a Rumi Tank for Maternity

With all of the great basic knit sewing patterns that indie designers are putting out, I’ve had a much easier time making maternity clothes for myself this time around. A couple of weeks ago I made a Lodo Dress (which has gotten a lot of wear!). But these Rumi Tanks for maternity are the easiest thing I’ve made so far!

The Rumi Tank is a basic racerback style tank with quick and easy binding. It comes with both a tank and dress length pattern. The dress pattern is wider so that it flows out around the hips. It turns out that the width is also perfect for covering a pregnant belly!

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

I didn’t make any modifications except for adjusting the length and adding some elastic to the side seam. I measured my bust at a size 10 and then cut a size 10 dress. The dress pattern has a band at the bottom, which can be eliminated completely for a maternity tank. I cut my tanks at the size 0 hemline on the main pattern piece. I also had to adjust the length of the straps. The neckline and armholes were both too low, so I cut the strap length around a size 2-4.

The tank could have worked without the side elastic, but it felt a little shapeless. I added about 6″ of clear elastic (stretched) to the side seams by zigzagging it in the seam allowance.

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy at this point (about 30 weeks…) and these will easily fit until the end. For earlier pregnancy, you can probably eliminate a couple more inches. You could make a maternity dress, slightly longer than recommended, which I’m sure that would work as well! Not only that, a dress would be a nice transition piece that would fit early in pregnancy and after birth.

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

I used two lightweight knit fabrics (both from Girl Charlee). The striped fabric is a cotton/poly combo, and the boho patterned fabric is a rayon knit with a lot of stretch (so much so that I could have gone a size smaller…). I have very few maternity stores nearby, so I’m left with a bunch of solid-colored plain tees from Target. These fabrics were just what I needed to add some color and pattern to my wardrobe.

Rumi Tank for Maternity | Maternity Sewing | Radiant Home Studio

Overall, this is perfect as a basic summer maternity tank! I’m looking forward to making more after pregnancy and trying the full-length dress later on.

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