Friday, August 1, 2014

Fabric Audition: Palm Springs

Palm Springs Fabric Audition Zipper Pouch by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

It's been a while since I've posted a fabric audition on the blog, but I'm hoping to share at least one or two of these each month from now on. Along with a curated stack of fabric, I'll be sharing a Pinterest board of photos to go along with the theme as well as a project made from the auditioned prints. I always enjoy auditioning fabrics, and adding these last two steps to the process has been so much fun!

Audition Stats (top to bottom): Barcelona City Map in Saffron by Zen Chic for Moda, Essential Dots Black on White by Moda, Modern Home Little Leaves by Monaluna, Nicey Jane Picnic Bouquet in Tangerine by Heather Bailey for Free Spirit, Sun Print Feathers in Onyx by Allison Glass for Andover, Botanics Foliage in Tangerine by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman

Today's stack is inspired by the sunny shades of Palm Springs, that famously lovely desert spot located just over an hour away from where I live. I've had some wonderful vacations there with family and friends over the years. The heat is intense, but beautiful views and great food make up for it. You'll find some fabulous examples of retro design there too, several of which you can see on my Palm Springs Fabric Audition Pinterest board.


I decided to make a simple striped pouch from this audition. These prints look great with yarn dyed Essex linen in leather, and I love the orange Aurifil thread that I used to quilt the front and back. The pouch is lined in the floral Heather Bailey print which is such a happy thing to see each time I open that zipper.


I have more fabric auditions in the works as we speak, but feel free to let me know in the comments below if you have any themes or color palettes that you'd like to see me tackle this year. If I put something together with your idea, I'll be sure to give you and your blog a mention in my post!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tiger Tracks Satchel

Cotton + Steel Tiger Tracks Satchel by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Three hours.

That's how long it took me from the moment I found a package from Hawthorne Threads in the mailbox all the way up until I put the finishing touches on this little satchel bag. When I laid eyes on Alexia Abegg's adorable linen tigers for Cotton + Steel, I just couldn't wait to start sewing.

Cotton + Steel Tiger Tracks Satchel by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

I've had miniature satchel bags on the brain this month, dreaming up designs and wanting to try them out. This was my first effort, and I have to say, I'm completely smitten with the results. I kept this version very simple and relatively small -- about 9 1/2" x 11" x 2 1/2". The bag is lined in black and white linen Mochi Dots, and I used cotton webbing for the straps. All the stitching is done with Aurifil thread in my favorite shade of gold.

Cotton + Steel Tiger Tracks Satchel by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Several of you have asked me on Instagram if I'll be writing a pattern for this one. The answer is yes. Give me a week or two, and I'll have something up on the blog.

And thanks for the encouragement, my friends.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cotton + Steel Dorm Pillow

Cotton + Steel Patchwork Dorm Pillow by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Maybe it's because school starts up around here in about two weeks. Maybe it's because I was singing along to music from my college days while I folded laundry the other morning. For whatever reason, when I started putting together a patchwork pillow cover using prints by Cotton + Steel, it occurred to me that this cushion would have been right at home in my dorm room back in the 90's.

Cotton + Steel Patchwork Dorm Pillow by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

This pillow is made of 3" squares from the Hatbox, Mustang, and Moonlit collections. I raided a few Kona charm packs for some matching solids to mix things up a little. The cover is quilted in a variegated Aurifil thread that glows softly in shades of pink, yellow, and lavender, and I backed it in two different prints from Mustang by Melody Miller.

Cotton + Steel Patchwork Dorm Pillow by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Those colors and prints somehow find just the right balance between preppy and bohemian. And yes, my daughters are already fighting over it...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Butterfly Patch Baby Quilt Tutorial

Butterfly Patch Baby Quilt Tutorial by Fabric Mutt for Riley Blake Designs

I'm guest posting over at the Riley Blake Designs blog today with a Cutting Corners College tutorial for my Butterfly Patch Baby Quilt. If you're looking for a quick baby shower gift, this is it. My version features Zoe Pearn's sweet fabric collection, A Beautiful Thing, which has some perfectly darling prints in it...my favorite obviously being the butterflies. Head on over to check it out!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Market Set

Melody Miller Market Set by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Yesterday was my mother-in-law's birthday, and we celebrated by spending several days in San Diego with her and my father-in-law. It was a great little vacation -- lots of fun activities and family time. Before we drove down there on Monday, I sewed up a little gift for her.

Melody Miller Market Set by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

I'm a huge fan of anything by Rifle Paper Co., including this adorable shopping list pad which I picked up at Anthropologie. A few prints by Melody Miller, some twill tape and batting, a rubber band, and a wooden button all came together in about an hour to make a simple little carrier that fits nicely inside a purse. I love quick projects like these which can be easily pulled out when I need a nice gift in a hurry.

Happy Birthday, Grandma Mary. We love you!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Lucy Bag


I've said it before, and I'll say it again: what I love most about sewing is the ability to make anything you want and to make it exactly the way you want it. Take my latest finish, the Lucy Bag...


My sister Amy is going on vacation this week and asked if I could sew a bag for her to use on the trip. We talked about ideas, and she drew me a few sketches to work from. I asked what kind of fabric she liked; she pointed to my recent patchwork mini iPad case and said, "Something like that...I love that." I pulled fabrics, started sewing, and emailed her photos to get approval on details as I went along.


The bag features a front zip pocket, a large inner pocket, a small inner zipper pouch with a detachable ring, and a crossbody strap which can also be removed if desired. The main body measures 9 1/2 x 12 1/2" and is about 2" deep, making it large enough to hold a few necessities without becoming easily overloaded. I used black and white linen Mochi Dots for the exterior, while the bag is lined in a bright print by Denyse Schmidt which my sister absolutely loves.

And the result is one sweet little bag, reminding me that collaboration really can be a beautiful thing.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Overnighter Ellie Travel Case

Overnighter Ellie Travel Case Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Ever since I posted my Ellie Travel Case Tutorial, people have been asking if I could share the dimensions for making it bigger. Yesterday I finally sat down to crunch the numbers and sew up a sample, and here it is at last.

Overnighter Ellie Travel Case Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Though I adore the straps on the original bag, I changed them in this version. These wider straps make a better anchor for a larger case. The big bag also uses Peltex 70 interfacing by Pellon on the lining. I won't kid you, it's a bear to work with on this project, but the finish is worth it. You'll end up with a seriously structured bag. I used a Melody Miller print for the top panel, charcoal Brussels Washer linen for the bottom panel, and pink Mochi Dots for the bag lining. There are endless ways that you could customize your bag with extra details and pockets if you're in the mood to be creative, but the basic version still makes a great travel case all on its own. Here's the new materials list for the larger size:

  • (2) 11 1/2 x 20" linen print for the exterior top panel
  • (2) 11 1/2 x 20" batting for the exterior top panel (You can attach regular batting with adhesive basting spray or just use fusible batting.)
  • (2) 9 x 20" linen for the exterior bottom panel
  • (2) 9 x 20" batting for the exterior bottom panel
  • (2) 20 x 20" linen print for the bag lining
  • (2) 20 x 20" heavy interfacing to reinforce the lining (I used Pellon's Peltex 70 which I fused to the lining with adhesive basting spray.)
  • (2) 1 1/2 x 38" strips of cotton webbing for the handles
  • (1) 22" purse zipper with two sliders and a closed bottom (I bought mine at Joann Fabrics.)
  • coordinating thread
  • Clover clips or clothespins

*All seams are 1/2" except alongside the zipper where they are 1/4" wide.

Follow the same instructions for the original bag with just a few changes:

1. Fuse the batting to the top and bottom exterior panels before you do anything else.

2. Attach the handles to the top exterior panel before you sew the top and bottom exterior panels together. The left handle end is 6" from the left side of the top panel, and the right handle end is 6" from the right side of the top panel. I followed the same procedure for attaching handles that I used in my Ipanema Beach Bag tutorial (minus the outer pocket on this version, though you could add one if you like), sewing 6 1/2" up the handles from the bottom of the exterior panel. I also added a 1" square with an X inside it at the top of the stitching on each side just to keep the handles securely in place. After sewing the two exterior panels together, I topstitched two 1/4" lines below the seam joining them.

3. The squares cut out on the four corners of each exterior panel are 3 1/4" square for this bag size.

4.  I did not make zipper tabs for my zipper this time, but you can if you want to.

5. Go even slower as you sew in the zipper on this bag. The Peltex 70 makes for a tough wrestling match, but you can win if you put your mind to it!

6. I added leather thongs to the ends of my zipper sliders on this bag. I love this easy finishing touch.

Overnighter Ellie Travel Case Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

That's it! The resulting bag is approximately 9 x 12 x 13. Not quite enough for a weekender, but definitely good for an overnighter...as long as I don't bring my children along, of course. Speaking of which, my husband and I fly off tomorrow for a quick getaway to San Antonio, Texas. You can follow our adventures on Instagram if you're so inclined. I'm not sure that I'll know what to do with myself without three little girls running around...

If you make one of these larger cases or decide to go with the original, be sure to tag it #ellietravelcase on Instagram and tag me too @fabricmutt. There are already so many adorable versions of this bag out there, and I look forward to seeing more!
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