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Back to School: The Perfect Slouchy Book Bag

Thursday, 19 August 2010 9:00

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What should you use to carry your school stuff this year? Well, if you're all about form and structure, the venerable back pack is your friend. But if you want something comfortably soft and slouchy, then go with the book bag: the wild child of school totes. Ours uses no stabilizer, only a lining. The exterior fabric is a velvety corduroy from Valori Wells with the thinnest of wales. Wooden beads, stone buttons and waxed cording create the closures. And, tiny golden rivets attach the strap. So cute... maybe you should keep it as your everyday bag!

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Kid's Birthday Party: Mini Backpacks As Take-Home Treat Bags

Tuesday, 27 July 2010 9:00

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Birthday party treat bags can be flimsy plastic things filled with candy and tiny trinkets, which are ultimately lost and sucked up by the vacuum. Or... you can bestow these dandy mini backpacks on your party guests. They are oh-so cute, actually useful, and fun to make! You can still fill them with candy and tiny trinkets, but they are cool enough to be great parting gifts even with nothing in them. You could also fill them with the souvenirs and prizes from the day's activities. Like I said: cute, useful and fun.

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Baby Gifts: Pretty Bird Quick Trip Diaper Bag

Wednesday, 14 July 2010 9:00

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Our smaller (and cuter) diaper bag isn't meant to supplant the full-size, workhorse of a diaper bag; you know the one I mean... the one that holds enough stuff to open your own nursery school. Nope. This one is perfect to grab and go for short jaunts out and about. It's still big enough, with pockets inside and outside, to hold the essentials: several diapers, wipes, a couple bottles, a special blankie or toy, even your own wallet and keys. The outside fabric is our fave Pretty Bird from Pillow & Maxfield for Michael Miller Fabrics; the inside is the popular PUL waterproof fabric.

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Father's Day: Pendleton Wool Spirit of the Peoples Messenger Bag

Monday, 14 June 2010 9:00

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Do you have a dapper-dad-on-the-go? Then he'll love this wool messenger bag made from the classic Pendleton Indian design: Spirit of the Peoples. There are tons of messenger bags and casual briefcases out there, but we bet none are as unique or fashionable as this one. Besides, we have it on good authority that if you get him another tie this year, he's writing you out of the will! This project is more complex that most of the tutorials here at Sew4Home. But don't let it scare you away. We've written very detailed instructions and included lots of great pictures. I'm confident YOU are up to the task, but one word of warning: make sure your machine is up to the task as well.

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Mother's Day: Pretty Pleated Travel Pouch

Monday, 03 May 2010 9:00

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Mom's have stuff. Lots of stuff. It's a rule. Sometimes, we need to take our stuff from one place to another, in which case, we need a stuff-carrier... and we do not want to use a plastic baggie. This lovely pleated travel pouch is an elegant answer to a pressing need. It uses just tiny bits of fabric, so it's a great project to try out little fabric cuts or perhaps use up some scraps. Our design has an easy-to-insert top zipper, generous pleats on both sides and a luxurious satin charmeuse lining. I'm thinking... perhaps one for you AND one for Mom. I bet you have a bit o' stuff, too.

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Woodland Delight: Handy Door-Handle Fine Washables Laundry Pouch

Friday, 02 April 2010 10:00

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Must be Spring, because we're in an organizational frenzy here at Sew4Home. We're tidying up every nook and cranny in the house, including the closets. This handy pouch hooks over a door knob to catch your fine washables. Toss everything in, then tote it all to the laundry. A clever tie in the front lets you adjust the opening wide to easily stash your delicates, or cinch it closed for privacy.

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French Desk Set: Pencil Cups

Thursday, 01 April 2010 9:00

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I use my computer all day every day, but that doesn't mean I don't also have about two thousand pens and pencils. As a writer, I love to collect writing implements. I've stored them in everything from flower vases to tiny galvanized buckets, and of course, the requisite artwork-covered tin cans lovingly made by my children. For our French Desk Set series, we knew we needed a couple classier Pencil Cups. Ours are quilted and feature a leather accent tie and cute button. Classy? Yes. Easy to make? Double yes!

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Woodland Delight: 9-Pocket Door Caddy for Jewels and Lingerie

Monday, 29 March 2010 9:00

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For years I had an "unmentionables drawer." This had a double-meaning (double entendre for my fancy-schmancy friends): I kept my unmentionables in there (undies and the like), but it was also a drawer I preferred not to mention because it was such a MESS. I was always digging around, looking for something, tossing things about like a giant salad. Yikes! This easy over-the-door, nine-pocket caddy is much better at keeping my fine-wear and lingerie tidy and within reach. Plus, the Woodland Delight fabric is so bright and fun. You could also use the big pockets for larger jewelry, like beads and bangles. Even lightweight active wear, such as yoga tops and running shorts could be easily stashed.

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French Desk Set: Basket Liners

Friday, 12 March 2010 9:00

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I adore being organized. Actually ... I adore dreaming about being organized. I pour over my catalogs from Pottery Barn, Storables and Crate & Barrel, picturing my life neatly tucked away into matching bins and buckets. I even drool over those circulars from Target that show up this time of year when all the plastic tubs are on sale. Surely if I could see everything at a glance, I'd get more done. In this alternate, tidy universe, my children also pick up all their clothes and no one leaves their dishes on the coffee table in the family room. To further inspire me to coordinate my world, and you yours, we've come up with five French Desk Set tutorials, using the gorgeous French General Rouenneries fabric from Moda. These easy-to-make liners are a great way to add color and pattern to otherwise ordinary wicker baskets.

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Nature Brights Kitchen: Insulated Shopping Tote

Monday, 08 February 2010 10:00

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I live a ways out of town, so transporting home frozen food before it thaws can be a challenge. Canvas grocery totes are a great alternative to the standard store plastic bags, but they don't help with my frozen food dilemma. This insulated shopping bag with its Velcro closure was the answer. I can load up all the food I need to keep cold (or hot for that matter), seal up the top, and everything stays the right temp for the ride home. As an added bonus, by using the Flora & Fauna fabric, I solve my problem and look cool doing it. Several people at the store asked me where I got my bag. Of course, I told them I made it, and then proceeded to block the dairy aisle while I explained how THEY could go to sew4home.com and learn to make one too!

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