Cultivate Makeup Travel Case

As part of sewing month, Art Gallery Fabrics is hosting a “30 Days of Sewing” blog tour, showcasing their newest fabric lines. I spent a couple of weeks dreaming up projects for all of the fabric lines, but I finally chose to use some of Bonnie Christine’s “Cultivate” fabric.

Cultivate Makeup Travel Case | Radiant Home Studio

I’ve been working through some of the projects in Handmade Style by Anna Graham. My current makeup case is small and usually overflowing, so I’ve had my eye on the makeup travel case since I first flipped through the book. It actually ended up being quite a bit larger than I was expecting! It’s perfect for travel (as the name of the pattern suggests). It can easily fit all of my makeup, plus a hair brush, contact solution, and more.

Cultivate Makeup Travel Case | Radiant Home Studio

My original idea was to laminate the fabric, but after I read the instructions more carefully, I realized than it would be too many layers to sew through and the quilting wouldn’t look right. I did test laminate a scrap of the fabric I used though (with this) and it worked perfectly. I just have to find the right thing to use it for now. Keep it in mind if you are looking for laminated cotton fabric. It’s pretty easy to make your own and the Art Gallery quilting cotton worked well with the fusible laminate.

Cultivate Makeup Travel Case | Radiant Home Studio

Cultivate Makeup Travel Case | Radiant Home Studio

Cultivate Makeup Travel Case | Radiant Home Studio

I think I followed the pattern without making any major changes. I accidentally cut two pieces for the elastic pocket, thinking it was lined. It’s not, but it was an easy change and I decided to add a lining to that pocket. All of the pockets and pieces make it a really pretty pattern for showcasing multiple fabric designs from the same collection. Overall, the pattern is great and I recommend it for experienced bag makers.

Cultivate Makeup Travel Case | Radiant Home Studio

I had planned to mix some more fabric designs into the makeup case, but decided against it. I loved the muted autumn colors in the 3 fabrics I ended up using, so I saved the brighter fabrics for another project. I used the other designs to make a little zippered pencil case (also from Handmade Style). And the striped fabric makes really pretty bias binding!

Cultivate Handmade Style Pencil Case | Radiant Home Studio

Cultivate Handmade Style Pencil Case | Radiant Home Studio

To see more projects with Cultivate Fabrics, you can flip through the beautiful Cultivate Lookbook for inspiration. Or you can browse the swatches on the Art Gallery website.

Thank you to Art Gallery Fabrics for sponsoring this post and providing the fabrics for this project!

Sewing Tips, Tutorials

How to Wax Canvas Fabric

Last week I sewed a men’s messenger bag with waxed canvas fabric. Waxed canvas has the look of aged leather, but is much easier to sew. It’s also water repellent and stain resistant, which is great for items that will be used outside often.

How to Wax Canvas for Bags Using Otter Wax | Radiant Home Studio

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

Though there are a few sources of waxed canvas in the US (you can find a short list recommended by Colette Patterns), I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for at a reasonable price. I remembered seeing a post over on the Thread Theory blog recommending Otter Wax to make your own waxed canvas fabric.

Men's Waxed Canvas Messenger Bag | Radiant Home Studio

After weighing the options, I decided to try the Otter Wax. It worked exactly as I had hoped! (I feel like I need to say this, but this is not a sponsored post. I’m just a happy customer, sharing my experience!)

First, let me share a few tips about working with the wax:

Use the suggestions on the website to figure out how much you need. I most likely ignored the estimates, hoping to stretch the limits. I ordered the small size bar and ran out. Thankfully, their shipping is super fast and received the 2nd order in 3 days! I ordered the bigger bar the second time, and have plenty left for another bag or a couple of smaller projects.

How to Wax Canvas Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

Applying the wax is easy, but a bit time consuming for larger projects. I worked in small sections (6″ squares) and took breaks. I decided to apply wax as I was putting the bag together. I wanted to avoid stitching on the waxed fabric as much as possible. The presser foot makes extra marks and if you need to pick out stitches there will be visible marks as well. But I also wanted to wax some of the parts that would have been difficult to reach after the bag was finished, like the insides of the outer pockets. I sewed the outer pocket pieces together, then waxed the entire pocket. I waxed the main outer section of the bag before attaching the pocket, but I did the sides of the bag at the end.

How to Wax Canvas Fabric:

Rub the bar of wax vigorously on the canvas. You need to create a bit of heat from friction to warm up the wax. As you can see, it won’t cover every part of the fabric.

How to Wax Canvas Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

Next, use your fingers to rub the wax and spread it evenly across the fabric.

How to Wax Canvas Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

I tried rubbing in all directions, but I created a smooth finish by rubbing perpendicular to the direction of the wax bar strokes. If body heat and friction aren’t enough to smooth out the wax, you can use a hair dryer to warm it up. I didn’t find that a hair dryer was necessary though.

(Update: Wax tends to dry out when stored for months, even when wrapped in plastic. You can soften your wax by microwaving it for about 10 seconds. The surface also forms a sort of crust as it dries out. You can just scrape off that layer to expose the softer wax underneath.)

How to Wax Canvas Fabric | Radiant Home Studio

Just work in small sections, using the corner of the bar to get into the cracks and seams. The wax will stay sticky (and have a distinct smell) for a couple of days while it dries. I recommend letting the wax dry overnight before sewing with your fabric.

You can reapply wax as needed. Just like paint, a second coat will go on smoothly, quickly, and require less wax than the first coat. I expect that a bag would need a fresh coat of wax about a once a year.

Waxed Canvas Retro Rucksack | Radiant Home Studio

Update: Since writing this tutorial, I have continued to use and love the wax! My husband has been carrying his bag for two years now, and it still looks great. The wax keeps the fabric looking new and resists staining. I haven’t applied any more coats of wax and it doesn’t seem to need any.

I recently updated my Retro Rucksack pattern sample with this waxed canvas version. Check out the post for a few more tips!

I also posted a free gift pouch tutorial with a waxed canvas flap.

What do you think? Will you try waxing your own canvas fabric?

Sewing, Tutorials

Guest Post at Spoonflower: Cactus Beach Tote Tutorial

Happy surprise! Today Spoonflower is sharing my beach tote tutorial. If you are visiting from the Spoonflower blog—Welcome! You can find my other sewing tutorials here, or check out my patterns in the drop-down menu.

If you haven’t heard of Spoonflower yet, they produce custom printed fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap. You can design your own, or choose from the many amazing designs that talented independent designers have uploaded and allowed you to use.

Cactus Beach Tote Tutorial | Free Tutorial | Radiant Home Studio

My Cactus Beach Tote Tutorial highlights the new Eco Canvas fabric. It is a durable polyester fabric with almost half of it’s fiber content coming from recycled materials. It’s perfect for tote bags that will be hauled to the beach or the park. The tote tutorial is simple enough for a beginner, but it’ll look store-bought with the great rope handle detail and grommets.

I’ve included lots of tips for sewing with this fabric, as well as a detailed tutorial with step-by-step photos.

Cactus Beach Tote Tutorial with Spoonflower Eco Canvas | Radiant Home Studio

My exterior fabric is Cactus Garden by LittleSmilemakers, and the lining fabric is Crossline Mudcloth by Holli_Zollinger. If you’re looking for other fabric designs and unsure where to start, I collected a few of my favorite bag fabrics here. Or click on my shop and look through the designers that I favorite and follow. You’ll find hundreds of excellent designs browsing through my top picks.

The Cactus Beach Tote is a simplified version of my Coastal Tote. (Update: This pattern has been discontinued.) If you would like a bag with zipper pocket options, thicker rope providing support to the bag, details like rivets and snap closures and a printable template for rope and pocket placement—you can buy the Coastal Tote pattern here.

Coastal Tote | Fabric by Holli_Zollinger on Spoonflower |Radiant Home Studio

If you would like to keep up with new posts and tutorials, please…



Tessellation Quilt Sew-Along – Part 1

A couple of weeks ago, Sara started a 6 week sew-along using the Tessellation quilt pattern by Alison Glass. Though I don’t normally sew quilts, I just could not stop looking at Alison’s beautiful quilt from the pattern cover. I thought about it all week and finally decided to go for it. I ordered my fabric and pattern which were promptly sent to…my old address.



Three phone calls to the post office this week and I finally got all of my supplies! I’m about 3 weeks behind now, but I’m determined to catch up in time to share my completed quilt top with the rest of the people sewing along.

Tessellation Quilt | Anna Maria Horner with Cotton & Steel | Radiant Home Studio

The Tessellation quilt pattern is designed to work with solids or fabrics that read as solids from a distance. I took a risk and chose busier Anna Maria Horner fabrics with a color palette in mind, and then added a fat quarter bundle of Cotton & Steel Splash basics. Somehow solids just didn’t feel cozy enough for my living room. So far I love the palette and we’ll see how the prints work as I get further along in the process.

Tessellation Quilt | Anna Maria Horner with Cotton & Steel | Radiant Home Studio

For now, I have cut out all of the “A” triangles, which are just the plain triangles that make up the largest portion of the quilt. The rest of the quilt is pieced using foundation paper piecing, which you can see in Sara’s post.

Tessellation Quilt | Anna Maria Horner with Cotton & Steel | Radiant Home Studio

Anyone else sewing along?


Vintage Shopping and Kantha Quilts

Kantha Quilt Inspiration | Radiant Home Studio Last week I had the chance to walk around some local antique shops (which is a rare opportunity when you have 6 kids!). I snapped some photos of things I loved or found inspiring in some way. A lovely collection of vintage cameras, a beautiful metal typewriter, an aged paper chandelier, a really old mailbox ($400!), some interesting shapes and patterns, and some rustic wood furniture. Vintage Finds & Inspiration | Radiant Home Studio But my favorite finds were these beautiful vintage textiles and quilts. I shared a couple on my instagram feed, but there were even more that I didn’t share. The bright colors and straight hand quilted stitching on the quilts kept me admiring them for quite a while. The purple and navy combo seems so modern, but it was clearly worn with age and use. (I’m certainly not an expert in this area though…) My discovery motivated me to research some of the history of these brightly colored, hand-stitched quilts—and I discovered a whole world of pattern and colors for creative inspiration. Vintage Textile Collage | Radiant Home Studio I learned that these are called Kantha quilts. (The first and fourth are kantha quilts, and the others are traditional American pieced quilts.) A kantha stitch is a simple running stitch, traditionally used by women in SE Asia. They typically used old saris or cloth, layered together and stitched to form a lightweight blanket. The women skillfully pieced together worn out cloth to make something significant and usable. If you enjoy textile history, you can read a short history of kantha quilts and their traditional significance. Apartment therapy has a nice post with ideas for decorating with Kantha quilts. This textile shop in London stocks both new and vintage Kantha quilts, and is full of beautiful photos for your inspiration. Decor8 has also curated a lovely group of Kantha quilt photos and decorating ideas. Hope you find the bright colors and rich history of these textiles inspiring too! Have you found any vintage treasures lately?