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August 2013

Tutorial: Diagonal Fold Over Clutch

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The saying a woman can never have enough handbags rings very true to us here at AGF. But in our case, it should be rephrased as "A woman can never have enough handbags and fabric to make them with!" They're one of our favorite sewing projects to participate in and we're less like grownups and more like kids in a candy store when it comes time to pick our fabric choices.

We narrowed down a few different mockups using completely different collections of fabric (any would have worked just as well) and decided on the peachy, pastely, vintage-inspired prints of Reminisce by Bonnie Christine. 

So, what we've created for this end-of-week tutorial is a modern and youthful design inspired by the recently trending fold-over style clutch. We like this type of clutch because it's got a relaxed sophistication about it. Very stylish, but it's the kind that doesn't take itself too seriously, or rather--it appears effortless. 

If you haven't been won over yet by this trend, our tutorial is a great way to test the waters. We guarantee this one will be super fun and recommend you give it a try!

Let's start with the sizes and quantities of fabrics and supplies you'll need:
  1. (1) 14” x 13” Rectangle of Sweet Nostalgia Antique (Reminisce collection)
  2. (1) 14” x 13” Rectangle of Wonderment Teaberry (Reminisce collection)
  3. (2) 14” x 13” Rectangle of Freshly Picked Sherbert  (Reminisce collection)
  4. (2) 14” x 13” Rectangle of heavy iron-on interfacing       
  5. (2)  4” x 4” squares of Apricot Crepe (Pure Elements collection)
  6. (1) 14” long zipper

Diagram-1

To begin, take the top right corner of fabric 5 and fold it diagonally. Cut along the fold to end up with two triangles. Do this for both pieces of fabric to end up with 4 new triangles.

Using your iron, press ¼" of all 3 edges of your triangles toward the wrong side of the fabric.

You’ll now align and sew these triangles directly on the bottom corners of fabric 1 & 2.

Diagram-2

Now onto the step that will give your clutch that special detail—the diagonal cut. For this, you’ll take fabric 1 & 2 and align them together facing the wrong side. Pin them, and measuring 2” from the top left corner, place a small indication or pin for marking. Using a ruler for a precise line, cut from your mark to the top right corner.

Diagram-3

Repeat these steps for both pieces of fabric 3 and your interfacing. However, for your interfacing, measure and cut 2 ½” from the top left corner instead of 2”.

Diagram-4

The next step is to align and iron your pieces of interfacing onto the wrong sides of fabric 3. The right side of these two pieces of fabric will become the clutch’s lining and the interfacing will give body and structure to the clutch.

Diagram-5

Now onto the zipper application. Take the zipper and lay it across the top of fabric 1 (zipper should be facing the right side of the fabric). Now take one of your lining pieces (fabric 3 now with interfacing attached) and place it right side down on top of fabric one, aligning the top edges with the zipper. Sew the fabrics and zipper together along the edge of the zipper.

Diagram-6

Repeat these steps on the other side of the zipper with your remaining pieces of fabric 2 & 3. With your iron, press the fabrics away from the zipper.

Open your zipper and have the two outside fabrics (1&2) facing each other on their right sides and do the same for your lining pieces. Making sure your corners line up, sew around all sides, leaving a 5” open section on the lining (as shown in the diagram below) to turn your clutch right side out.

 

Diagram-7

Once you’ve turned it right side out, iron your clutch and hand stitch the opening on the lining to close it. Fold over the top part of your clutch and iron along the fold to create your fold-over crease. That's it!

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Tule's Summer Tote Tutorial

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This week's tutorial comes from our recent photoshoot for the Tule fabric collection, which we released this week!

This is one of the bags we used for the shoot, and we loved it so much it was instantly decided that we make it into a step-by-step sewing tutorial for you. The design is a type of hybrid between a hobo and messenger bag. We think the design makes it purposeful for a multitude of uses, but besides that--it's just plain cute.

We hope you embark on this project (or at the very least, add it to your project to-do-list), because even though pillows and tablerunners are great to make, you can't take them outside with you and show off those great sewing skills!

So here we go. As always, remember to sew all right sides together with a ¼" of seam allowance. Let's start with our fabric and material list:

(1) 26” x 11” rectangle of Folklore Terracotta (Tule Collection)
(1) 26” x 8” rectangle of Windmarks Arid (Tule Collection)
(1) 26” x 19” rectangle of Apricot Crepe (Pure Elements Collection)
(1) 40” x 1” Strip of Apricot Crepe (Pure Elements Collection)
(2) 48” x 2.5” Strip of Folklore Terracotta (Tule Collection)
(2) 48” x 2.5” Strip of Fusible

Diagram-1

 

 

Let's start by attaching fabric 1 and 2. Sew them together, crosswise with a 1/4th seam allowance and press to make the front of our bag nice and neat.

You now have a rectangle measuring 19" x 26".  

Diagram-2

 

 

 Fold this rectangle in half by matching each corner (the right side of the fabric should be facing itself). Sew along the bottom and side edge, then fold the corner and align the side seam with the pin to form a triangle.

Sew accross 3" in from the tip and trim the excess fabric. Repeat the same step on the other side. 

Diagram-3

 

 

 

You're going to now repeat the same steps with fabric 3, the only difference being you are leaving an opening at the side of about 4", as shown below (from that opening you will flip it inside out later on). This is the lining of your bag.

Diagram-4

 

 

 

Now take the two cut strips of fabric 5 and iron the fusible on the wrong side of the fabric. Sew the two strips together, right sides facing each other, then turn it inside out. Your bag handle is ready.

Diagram-5

 

 

 

Pin it over on each side of the bag and sew it before you add the lining. After you've attached the handle, it's time to add the lining. Take the front bag piece and place it inside fabric 3 (the handle should be inside too). Sew the top all the way around 1/4" away from the edge. From the opening you left in fabric 3, turn it inside out, so that your lining is now inside. Close up the opening on the lining by hand. 

Diagram-6

 

 You'll now sew 3/4" away from the edge and around the circumfrence of the top. Repeat this step another 3/4" from the previous line. When you're done, carefully make a tear on the side seams in between the two horizontal seams you just sewed. This is where the adjustable strip will go. 

The last bit of sewing will be on fabric 4, the adjustable strip. Fold the fabric in half (lengthwise), and sew 1/4" away from the edge and across its length. Trim any excess fabric off the edges and turn it inside out. 

Now, to facilitate the insertion of the strip, attach one end with a safety pin and pull it out the way around and out of the small opening. Knot the ends, and you're done!

Diagram-7

 

Diagram-8

 

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Tule by Leah Duncan Reveals the Magic of the Desert

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The anticipation and wait is finally over. We’re giddy with excitement to announce Tule’s arrival!

This is Leah Duncan’s first fabric collection with Art Gallery Fabrics. The collection’s name takes its origin from Nevada’s Tule desert, a place of botanical wonders, quietude, and a simplistic, but nonetheless impressive beauty. And as you’ll notice throughout the 20 new fabrics, these traits have been translated perfectly by Leah.

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Originally from South Carolina, Leah moved to Austin in 2008 and it was there she taught herself sewing and surface design. Her aesthetic is very much inspired by nature and the outdoors, as seen by design incorporations of plant life, animals and textures.

 

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THREE

 

Leah regards color as one of the most important pieces of design. Her color palette is quite distinct, and many times is derived from the surroundings of the time she spent living in Austin, Texas, as well as from her southern, and Native American roots. Her love of folk art also takes flight from her roots and nuances of this element can be spotted in many of her illustrations. 

One

 

Filmed through the passenger’s video lens, a young woman departs on an adventure toward the vast expanse of the outdoors. Throughout her trip and its pit stops, she stumbles upon inspiration of all sorts in the surroundings of the open road, collecting relics and visual references through the snap of her camera along the way.

alternatively, you may watch the video over at youtube

 

 

TWO

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To us, what is most striking about the landscape behind this collection is a lack of obvious drama or spectacle that sets the beauty of the desert apart. What makes it calmingly beautiful is its sense of restraint.

 


GIVEAWAY
Before we sign off with our release post, we'd like to give special mention to a fabulous fabric giveaway happening at Leah's blog. She'll be giving away a yard of each fabric in the Nevada Sun palette. To enter, post a comment on her post and state your favorite design within the collection and what you'd make with it. Don't forget to leave your email address in case you're the lucky winner! Entries will be allowed through Wednesday evening and Leah announce the winner on Thursday. 
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We can't wait to see what our readers, customers and friends make with this collection! Always remember to tag your Tule projects with #tule or #tulefabric hashtags and share with us on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter page. And as is our custom, we've provided a FREE quilt pattern specifically for the Tule fabric collection. Have fun!

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We hope you're excited about these new gorgeous new fabrics as much as we! To find a retailer near you, visit our store locator page. You can also find Tule online from any of these retailers.

 

 


Choose Your Length Colorblock Skirt Tutorial

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A little variety in our sewing projects never hurt anybody, which is why today we’ll be infusing our DIY repertoire with a pinch of fashion. Our last few tutorials have added much functionality to the day-to-day of our readers and makers, but let’s cut through the wonderful theme of function while keeping with our DIY style; pretty, simple and quick.

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This is a skirt with a timeless, straight silhouette. We’ve added an edgy, contrasting block near the hem to round off a look that’s down-to-earth contemporary.

So let’s get started!

Diagram-1

  1. Measure your hip and add 2”. This will be your fabric’s crosswise measurement. We’ll be using our mannequin’s measurements, so our crosswise is 33 ½”.
  2. The length of your skirt depends on your preference. Just measure from your waist down to your desired length and add 3 ½”. We chose 22” as our length for a total of 25 ½”.
    Note: The total length includes the added block of contrasting fabric near the hem.
  3. Lastly, measure your waist, then cut a piece of elastic with this measurement. Ours is 27”.

We started with a yard of Squared Elements in Watermelon and a long quarter of Squared Elements in Shadow. After measuring and cutting, these were our final components:

  1. (1)  33½” x 20 rectangle of Watermelon (Squared Elements collection)
  2. (1)  33½” x 3¾”  rectangle of Shadow (Squared Elements collection)
  3. (1)  33½” x 4½”  rectangle of Watermelon (Squared Elements collection)
  4. 27” x ½” wide elastic  
Diagram-2

Note: Remember to sew all right sides together with a ¼”of seam allowance. 

Let's get sewing. First, sew piece 1 to piece 2 crosswise, then sew piece 2 to piece 3. Based on our own measurements, we ended up with a 33½” x 25½” rectangle. 

Diagram-3

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And for the last few steps:

1. Fold your rectangle in half, lengthwise (right side of the fabric should be inside) and sew the edge to close it down.

2. For the seam, fold the top 1½” in and sew ¼” from the edge all the way around.

3. Now, sew ¾” from the seam we just did, leaving the back seam open so we can insert our waist elastic.

4. Next, use a safety pin to insert the waist elastic through the opening. When both ends meet, hand sew them together and close the opening with the same method.

5. Lastly, sew your hem 2” from the edge and we are done.  

Diagram-4


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Feel inspired to play around with different fabrics! And if you're feeling adventurous, an embellishment with a flower or two near the hem will add interest and dimension to the silhoutte. Let us know how you played around with your skirt and where you plan on wearing it to. 

Thanks for reading and keep stitching!

Lorena

 

*EDIT: Thanks the good eye of one our viewers, we'd like to note it's recommended that you add 2" to your hip measurments to avoid too snug a fit on your skirt. 

 


Sews Up Quick: A Portable Tissue Holder

To kick off a crafty weekend, we bring you what may possibly be the quickest, easiest DIY project we've put together for you to make at home.

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This one was inspired by the ever useful tissue and its myriad of uses. They're one of those items we always need around, especially on the road. So we thought--why not carry it around in style? And if it's something you prefer not to travel with, it looks just as chic on a desk or table! Keep reading for instructions on making your own. 

The fabric amounts and sizes you will need for this project are as follows:

(1) 12” x 8” rectangle of Swept Away Intensity (Summerlove Collection)

(1) 13” x 8” rectangle of Mirage Blue (Pure Elements Collection)

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Begin by placing piece 1 on top of piece 2 facing the right side. Align both pieces and sew along both widths: 

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Now that both rectangles are attached, place them so that fabric 1 is facing you. Now fold the edges in, so they can meet in the center of the fabric as shown in the diagram below:

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Sew ¼” the horizontal edges and flip it over. Now, to reinforce our cute little tissue holder make a seam ¼” away from both edges and we're done! 

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We trust this will become the cutest dispenser of tissues you own. Have fun playing with fabrics and patterns that complement its surroundings or the inside of your bag. Make a few more (they sew up so quick!) and give as gifts. These neat little creations are as fun to make as they are useful to have around.

Thanks for reading, we wish you success on all your sewing endeavors this weekend!

Keep stitching,

Lorena


Trend Alert: Quilted

Classic quilted motifs are trending in 2013! Quilting techniques move beyond their expected place on quilts and move to accessories like handbags and fall jackets. Delivering both texture and pattern, quilted items such as fabrics, sofas, wallpaper and home décor are on the rise.

Quilted-trends

quilted lamp | kitchen cabinet

Quilting patterns and designs using the same color thread and same color fabric is a modern take on transforming negative space into a wonderful work of art. Motifs of lines and swirls gives movement and interest to solid fabrics.

Quilted-quiltstriangle bedspread |clamshell | Textures quilt

How will you use the quilted trend in your sewing projects?

Be Inspired!
~ Jeanee


Grecian Getaway: An Expert Sewer's Voile Point-of-View

You may have first heard of Katarina Roccella in our Nördika release post. She's responsible for this collection's amazing video. Katarina has just returned from a refreshing family trip to Skopelos, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. This island can only be described as visual paradise, and it's easy to see how much her latest projects were inspired by it.

We've caught up with Katarina to talk about her experience and latest use of two gorgeous fabrics from our Voile collection. Keep reading to hear about her trip, project inspirations and even recommendations of use for Voile.

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So far, what sewing projects have you created using Voile?

I made the summer caftan with a matching shabby flower and the summer tiered twirl dress for my daughter.


What is your favorite thing about Voile? Do the prints inspire a specific feeling, or image for you?
 
When the fabrics arrived, aside from the gorgeous designs, I fell in love with the exceptional quality--an amazing, buttery feel.

The whole collection is really stunning and it was tough choosing only a few prints to sew with. But since I knew I would be taking my creations with me to Greece, I chose the blue prints (I'm obsessed with photographing my creations and imagining the best locations to showcase the designs and prints). The traditional Greek combination of blue & white was perfect for the prints I chose.

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What uses or projects do you recommend are best suited for this fabric collection? 

Voile's fabrics are excellent for garment sewing, specifically for summer projects. I would use them for accessories (bandanas, scarves, headbands and different crafty flowers: think small and big pompoms for weddings and other embellishing crafts) and clothing (especially tunics, blouses, skirts and dresses), but would like to try them for quilts too. I saw some amazing quilts on the web made with Voile fabrics.

 

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(see more photographs of the Skopelos islands here)

Do you have anything else planned to make with Voile?

While being on the beaches in Greece, I regretted not having made one of those large Gypsy-type headbands for my girls. I'd also love to make some more garment pieces and patchwork cushions, too. And definitely a small quilt.


Can you recommend needles and thread combinations (or even techniques) to use with the fabric?

Sewing with Voile is really easy especially if you have right type of needles and thread. Regarding needles, I'd recommend size 9 sharp needle or any other small size needle appropriate for lighter weight fabrics. For the thread, use some fine thread--it shouldn’t be heavier than 50 weight thread, and I read some great reviews about Aurifil Mako 50wt quilting cotton for use with Voile fabrics.

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Voile fabrics have a characteristic beauty that is sheer and crisp, not unlike the scenery around Skopelos. Between them, the prints and texture of the fabric also have a balance of weighlessness and a drape that layers beautifully.

 



Katarina has posted the Summer Kaftan Dress tutorial on her blog, and is currently finishing up the Tiered Dress tutorial. You can stay up-to-date on her tutorials by following her on Twitter. You can also check out our Free Sewing Projects page for this, as well as many other sewing projects.

We're grateful for her continued engagement with our fabrics and our aestethic point of view! I had a fun time looking through her beautiful stream of photos on her flickr, and was especially intrigued by her linoleum cuts and prints so I've chosen a couple as the closing statement to what I hope was a visually uplifting post.

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(All photos courtesy of Katarina)

 

Sew on,

Lorena

 


A Look at Your Nördika-made Projects

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We can't believe it's been a week since the release of Nördika! We've already had amazing talent from all areas of the web create great projects with fabrics from this stellar collection. 

Nördika's signature bold Scandinavian-inspired prints of flowers, geometrics, and plaids have been utilized in pieces that truly stand out against their surroundings.

Below you'll see just a few creations we found from bloggers, customers, and fans. There are tons more out there! It's with great enjoyment that we discover your projects in instagram, twitter and facebook feeds. 

(We have linked all projects back to their original source. If you see your project here and would like it removed, please let us know.)


1

skirt: pink castle fabrics quilt: maureen cracknell handmade block: fiberofallsorts

 

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pieced star: mybricole, dress: stephvolden, flying geese blocks: twomoreseconds

 


2

block by instagram user canoercreations
fabrics used: flowerfall jade, folk road stone

 


3

ipad mini case by instagram user sewcutebyhannah 
fabrics used: wildflowers blaze, stellar moonlight

 


4
coin purse by Jeni Baker of incolororder
fabric used: sweetish seafoam

 


5
quilt by maureen cracknell handmade
fabrics used: whimsicöl mist panel, spiceberry (pure elements collection), whimsicöl tide panel, honey (pure elements collection)

 


6

storage basket by s.o.t.a.k handmade | original pattern by sew mama sew
fabrics used: poppy fields caviar, wildflowers blaze, stellar moonlight

 

If you would like to make a project of your own, don't forget we have a free PDF quilt pattern featuring this collection. We also must recommend you sift through the blog of the Nördika designer herself, Jeni Baker, for inspiration, free patterns and tutorials. 

Thanks to everyone that has been tagging their creations with the #nordika hashtag on the web. We urge you to sew on and continue to share your beautiful Art Gallery Fabrics projects with us!

 

Lorena