Summer Lovin’: How to Sew a Bag for the Beach

12 Beautiful Tote Purse Patterns eBook

Going to the beach is right up there with barbeques, outdoor concerts, and fireworks when it comes to the quintessential summer activities. If you are a total beach babe, you know that having the perfect beach bag can make or break your day at the beach. A bag that is too hefty or too small can mean a lot of inconvenience. That is why we have collected these tutorials that will show you exactly how to sew a bag that is perfect for some fun in the sun. Summer Lovin’: How to Sew a Bag for the Beach has everything you need to create a beach bag you will love and adore for many, many summers to come.

My favorite beach bag is a tote bag I purchased long ago. It is old enough to get sandy, sturdy enough to stand upright on my towel, and big enough to carry all of my essentials. I have a hard time finding the right size bag. If a bag is too big, I end up filling it with things I insist I might need at the beach. This means I’m lugging a heavy bag with a few too many books, some snorkeling equipment I won’t be using, and sometimes even my phone charger. All of these patterns show you how to sew a bag that is the perfect size for your essentials. So, sew one of these up, pack up your beach towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, favorite guilty pleasure reading material, and any other essentials, and get ready to get your tan on.

How to Sew a Bag for the Beach

1. Swimming Bag Tutorial Bottom-right
2. Hooded Towel Backpack Bottom-center
3. Canvas Beach Bag Top-left
4. Insulated Bag Tutorial
5. Beach Bag and Towel in One
6. Summer Fling Bag Tutorial Top-right
7. Super Shark Satchel
8. Shower Curtain Beach Bag
9. Hooded Beach Towel Backpack Bottom-left
10. Fab Flamingo DIY Tote Bag Top-center

If you adore these bags and want to learn how to sew a bag for any occasion, check out 27 Patterns to Sew Purses + 6 New Coin Purses and our Sewing Bags: Tutorial’s You’ll Love & 15 Free Purse Sewing Patterns eBook.

Are you an active beach-goer or a sleep in the sun beach-goer?

Grandma’s Favorite!: 22 Plastic Canvas Patterns

shells-and-ribbon-tissue-boxOut with the new…in with the old!  The cherished art of plastic canvas is something that will never go out of style.  Cheap, easy to use, and easy to find, this crafting medium allows creative minds to do all kinds of artistic designs…from simple pins to lovely tissue box covers.

In this collection of 22 Plastic Canvas Patterns, you’ll find all kinds of creative plastic canvas ideas…including decorative tissue box covers, clever gift ideas, and even a few holiday crafts to help get you in the mood for Christmas.  Even if you’ve never crafted with plastic canvas before, you’re bound to find an easy pattern in this collection to help you get started!

Get started with the Plastic Canvas Gift Ideas.  Filled cute pins and coasters, this collection is a great place for beginners to learn about how to craft with plastic canvas.  The Bunny Plastic Canvas Coasters are great for newbies, and they are a fun gift for anyone on your list.  Once you get the hang of it, you can move on to the Shells and Ribbon Tissue Box that would be great to make for Mother’s Day or grandma’s birthday.  Finally, get in the holiday spirit with the Star Snowman Ornament.  Perfect for using as a holiday decoration or gift tag, this sweet plastic canvas craft will have you in the Christmas spirit in no time!

No matter what you’re in the mood to make, you’re sure to find something in this collection of 22 Plastic Canvas Patterns!  PLUS…we have a special bonus for you!  Scroll on down to the bottom to see what it is!

22 Plastic Canvas Patterns

Plastic Canvas Gift Ideas

Make gifts for everyone on your list with this collection of plastic canvas gift ideas!

Cat and Basket Plastic Canvas Pin

Patriotic Plastic Canvas Bookmark

Plastic Canvas Flamingo Pin

Garden Wind Spinner

See even more plastic canvas gift ideas!

Plastic Canvas Tissue Box Covers

Great for decorating a bathroom or guest room, these tissue box covers are fun and easy to make!

Hearts and Flowers Tissue Box Cover

Window Frame of Flowers Tissue Box Cover

Pretty in Pink Tissue Box

Daisy Tissue Box Cover

See even more plastic canvas tissue box covers!

Plastic Canvas Crafts for Christmas

Get in the holiday spirit with these adorable plastic canvas patterns for Christmas!

Plastic Canvas Railroad Ornament

Plastic Canvas Christmas Frame

Christmas Magic Flower Basket

Plastic Canvas Santa Ornament

See even more plastic canvas patterns for Christmas!

 

BONUS!  We’re giving away a set of awesome plastic canvas books from Leisure Arts!  Made up of 4 fabulous titles, including Paper Doll Dress Up, Welcome the Seasons, Fairy Tale Castle, and Tissue Boxes & Coasters, this collection is a plastic canvas lovers dream!  You have until July 4th to enter, and you can enter to win once a day…so the more you return, the greater your chances of winning this awesome giveaway!  Head on over to the giveaway page and register to win today!  Good luck!

You Don’t Say! Interesting Survey Results from Our Readers

At AllFreeSewing, we genuinely want to know how to best serve our readers. If you subscribe to our newsletter, Sewing It Up, you may have noticed an opportunity to participate in a survey. We really wanted to know what you liked, didn’t like, and wanted when it came to Sewing It Up. After all, we love making the content, and want you to love reading it!

Take a gander at some interesting responses that we received from you!

Sewing ClothesOur readers sew the most for…

Themselves! We were extremely interested to find that 69% of our readers sew for adults, and given the demographic information that we gathered alongside this, that means themselves! Most exciting. How will AllFreeSewing respond? With more adult patterns and tutorials, of course! It can feel silly to splurge at the store on yourself, but when you actually sew clothing for your closet you can spend some of your creative energy simultaneously.

The second largest age group that our readers sew for is 0-3 year-olds. Deep in our laboratory (at our desks), the editors hypothesized that readers are attracted to sewing for babies and toddlers because of the size of the project and often the skill level. Because of the size, these projects usually take much less time than an adult pattern and obviously they use less fabric.

Bags and PursesOur readers want more…

Bags & purses! Yes, when asked what they’d like to see more of, 49% of our readership responded with bags & purses, and we’re hardly surprised. Top ranking collections on AllFreeSewing include 12 Beautiful Tote Purse Patterns, 27 Patterns to Sew Purses + 6 New Coin Purses, and Sewing Bags: Tutorials You’ll Love & 15 Free Purse Sewing Patterns.

But, editors at AllFreeSewing, that can’t be all your readers want… you’re absolutely right. We learned that apart from the always popular bags & purses, our readers would really appreciate:

 

Patterns for men!          Plus-Sized Patterns!          Tips & Tricks!

 Sewing for Men            Quick Tips: How to Alter A Pattern for...          How to Sew: Sewing Techniques and Easy Projects to Sew for Beginners

Trust us, these patterns are on our radar. We’ve initiated some call-outs for all of these patterns, but we need your help! Menswear and plus-sized tutorials are scarce in the sewing community, so if you know of or have any of these get in touch with us! We’d love to work with you to let these kinds of ideas reach our readership.

Lastly, probably the most important question we asked our readers was if they’d prefer a lifetime supply of chocolate or fabric. 81.04% of readers said fabric, 2.90% of readers said chocolate, and 16.06% couldn’t decide.

Lifetime Suppy ResultsWhat a survey. What results! What shocking information! We appreciate all of our readers and want to extend a big thank you to those that participated in our survey. We still would like to know however,

if you didn’t answer the lifetime supply question…what would you choose? Chocolate or fabric?

 

How to Sew a Skirt to Get the Job: Interview Attire

We’ve all been there. You’ve got a job interview coming up and you have no idea what to wear. First of all, relax, you’re smart enough for the position and if they can’t see that then you don’t want to work with them anyway!

Second of all, instead of using your precious pennies on a new skirt, save some money and learn how to sew a skirt that you’ll look and feel comfortable in. Half of the hurdle of an interview is overcoming your nerves, and with these free sewing tutorials you’ll be notably more confident in your ability to put your best foot forward.

1. Anthropologie Ruffled Skirt Tutorial

For the girl who likes a little bit of flair and not just a straight edged pencil skirt, learn how to sew this Anthro-inspired piece.

Anthropologie Ruffled Skirt Tutorial

2. Mulberry Style Paperbag Skirt

If you’re not the world’s best seamstress, consider this easy DIY skirt to get a whole new look that will make you look chic and fabulous.

Mulberry Style Paperbag Skirt

3. Ruched Pencil Skirt

Certainly one of our favorite finds of late on the big, bad, worldwide web, we think this alternative take on the typical pencil skirt is fabulous. Many thanks to 2nd Story Sewing for sharing it!

Ruched Pencil Skirt

4. The Charlotte Skirt

A low-waist skirt can still take a tip or two from the good old days. We love how this sewn skirt tutorial involves a asymmetrical ruffle along the hem for a clean but fun look.

The Charlotte Skirt

5. Ruffled Peplum Skirt Tutorial

Go atypical when you learn how to sew a skirt by placing the ruffles at the waist instead of on the bottom hem.

Ruffled Peplum Skirt Tutorial

6. Anthropologie Work Skirt

For a lengthening accent, sew a ruffle down the length of your sewn skirt. We love this Anthro knock-off that shows you how to make this charming piece.

Anthropologie Work Skirt

7. How to Make a Scalloped Front Skirt

One of the earliest projects hosted on AllFreeSewing, this scalloped skirt is still a favorite. Learn how to sew a skirt that’s completely classic by following this tutorial.

How to Make a Scalloped Front Skirt

8. Knit DIY Pencil Skirt

There is always this classic solution to your wardrobe woes. You might be the type that feels great in a classic, uncomplicated piece, and that’s exactly what this sewing tutorial provides.

Knit DIY Pencil Skirt

Whether you’re learning how to sew a skirt for an interview for yourself or a loved one, these tutorials are a sure bet to boost your confidence. If you’re looking for more types of skirts, check out our updated collection of fave pieces right here. We’re wishing you great luck in your upcoming interview!

What did you wear to your first job interview?

Sew Much Fun: Scenes From SNAP!

While I consider myself to be a pretty adventurous person, I must say that I’m always scared to try a new craft. I get so intimidated – What if I don’t catch on? What if I can’t make anything that looks good? Well, during my time at the SNAP! Conference in Salt Lake City, I conquered a major fear and learned something new – I can sew!

Sewing was a huge aspect of SNAP! Companies like BabyLock and Simplicity were on hand to show off new products and bloggers lined up to take classes in the sewing room. A variety of sewing and quilting classes were taught by top bloggers like Dana from Dana Made It and Amy from Diary of a Quilter.

I attended the Silk Screened Knit Patchwork Scarf class without any expectations. However, when I walked in and saw the sewing machines, I started to sweat. Luckily, I made some new friends in my class (shout out to Jonie from Just Between Friends, Karly from Paisley Roots and Crystal from That’s What She Crafted) and with the help of my amazing instructor, Ashley from Lil Blue Boo, I completed a scarf that I actually want to wear! I even took a picture with her that was Elizabeth and liZ from Simple Simon & Co. posted on Instagram.

 

I also had a chance to sew a Tissue Holder at the BabyLock booth. That’s right people, I used a sewing machine twice (after not sewing since Home Economics class in 8th grade). Tori, one of the BabyLock representatives, walked me through the process and made it so easy! Now I have a pretty pink tissue holder to match my handmade pink scarf!

babylock1

 

I guess now I can call myself a sewer … or at least a sewing enthusiast. But I do know one thing – I couldn’t have done it without my new friends from SNAP!

BONUS! SNAP! Blogger Sewing Patterns We Love:

  1. Necktie Wine Tote from A Jennuine Life
  2. Easy Ragged Baby Blanket from Simple Simon & Co.
  3. Easy Embellished Shirt or Tank from A Girl and a Glue Gun
  4. DIY Chevron Pencil Skirt from Sugar Bee Crafts

 

 

Don’t forget – We’re giving away a SNAP! Conference Swag Bag!

One lucky winner will received everything from stencils to Duck Tape (we even threw in a pair of stylish earrings). This contest ends Sunday at 11:59 p.m., so enter now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Sewing Projects You Didn’t Know You Needed

Get excited, because today we’re looking at sewing projects you didn’t know you needed. You’ll find that this collection of tutorials is not only ingenious, but easy. Take your extra fabric scraps and use them on these easy sewing projects that are sure to come in handy in your day-to-day life. Ready to find out what these sewing projects are? Let’s get started.

1. Brr! Draft Blocker

Brr! Draft Blocker

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a hundred year old house or a brand new one, you know you feel that draft. At first it doesn’t bother you, but then you realize that the polar vortexes don’t know what “warn out welcome” means and that your Raynaud’s syndrome is near a state of alarm. What do you do? Freeze like the little match girl, or address the issue? Obviously, you tap into your fabric stash and create this awesome draft blocker from Patchwork Posse. Let’s avoid frostbite if we can.

2. DIY Car Sun Shade

DIY Car Sun Shade

On the other end of the temperature spectrum we’ve got a suggestion for one of those, “feels like I’m in a skillet” days. You know when you drive your car (every day) in July? You leave it in the parking lot, run into the Jewel to grab a carton of milk, and come back to an actual oven. Has the devil himself taken residence in your LeSabre? No, it’s just the sun. This DIY sun shade from Craft Snob is perfect to keep your seat cushions cool and your carton of milk from skimming on the way home.

3. Microwave Bowl Holder

Microwave Bowl Holder

Imagine that July sun that we just discussed, and imagine it indoors, on a bowl, burning your once baby-soft hands. That’s the feeling you repeatedly have when you take that bowl of leftovers out of the microwave. You know it’s hot, you know you’ve been burned before, but you’re so hungry and the food is literally at your fingertips. The primitive drive to hunt for your meal will never go away, but that burn can with this DIY microwave bowl cozy from Nannynotes2u.

4. Bowl Cover

Bowl Cover

For those of you thinking, “You just did that one!” you’re absolutely wrong. A bowl cover, while still accessorizing one of man’s finest creations, performs a completely different function than a bowl holder. The holder protects the person, the cover protects the food. Why is this something you need? How much money to you dish out on plastic wrap? What do you do with the plastic wrap when you’re done? Throw it away. If a equals b and b equals c… that’s right, you’re throwing away money. Take advantage of this easy sewing project from Collecting the Moments and save some money and your favorite casserole.

5. Reusable Swiffer Duster Cloths

Reusable Swiffer Duster Cloths

Alright, everyone loves Swiffers. They gently reminded the human race that dusting was still necessary, despite our stumble into the twenty-first century. However, if you have a home and live on Earth, then you need to (or should) dust a lot. If you’re the type that loves to clean sweep their house every week, then this DIY sewing project will save you a bundle. If you’re more of the “never has cleaned in their life” type, then this will save you from buying a box of Swiffers and only using one sheet. Take your stash and put it to work on this reusable necessity from Sew Much Ado.

Did we get it right? What are some items that you absolutely need?

 

Quilting for Life: How to Sew a Quilt

AllFreeSewingWhen people hear the word “quilting,” most automatically assume that it’s an all-encompassing term for the art of sewing together patchwork blankets and nothing more. We over at AllFreeSewing know that isn’t the case and that quilting is so much more than blankets. “Quilting” is the art of sewing together layers of fabric to create a thicker and padded material, and blankets happen to be the most common quilting project. You can make many varieties of home decor and accessories with quilting fabric!

Blankets are the most popular and common, of course, and with good reason. They’re basically one large rectangle that you an create as big or as small as you want, and blankets are always handy in a house, no matter the season. With some sturdier fabric, you can also create a picnic blanket! You can also create smaller quilted pieces, like table runners, place mats, tablecloths, oven mitts, pot holders, and coasters. If you’re also looking to create some great quilted accessories, try your hand at some sturdy quilted bags; they provide the durability of fabric but with added strength.

 

Quilts

The classic quilted project – an actual quilt. Whether you’re looking to make a smaller baby quilt or a larger one to fit over an adult bed, you can find all the inspiration you need with these classic quilting squares and patterns.

Starflower BlockButterfly Garden Quilt 

Adorable Pinwheel Quilt

Starflower Block Tutorial

Spin on the Pinwheel Block

 

Home Decor

Does your kitchen need a makeover? Sew up some great DIY home decor pieces with these easy quilting projects. Choose between table runners, over mitts, and pot holders for a fab new look!

2 Hour Stack and Slash Table Runner
2 Hour Stack and Slash Table Runner

Tea Time Mug Rug

Scrap Happy Table Runner

Reversible Quickie Coaster

Scrapbuster Fall Pillow

 

Quilted Bags and Purses

A fabric bag is very durable, and it’s very easy to make. In order to be sturdy enough to carry, say, groceries home from the store or market, the fabric needs to be thick and strong. You can even make smaller cosmetic bags to contain all your makeup when traveling.

Chevron Purse

Fat Quarter Bag

Chevron Purse

Quintessential Quilted Bag

Quilted Clutch Purse

Quilted Cell Phone Pouch

 

 

 

A Quilter's Ark
BONUS – Can’t get enough quilt block patterns? AllFreeSewing and Martingale are teaming up to give away A Quilter’s Ark! Full of animal quilt block patterns, A Quilter’s Ark is the perfect pattern book for the animal lover in your life. With over fifty animals to choose from, the quilt possibilities are endless! Enter daily from 4/14 – 4/28 to win!

 

 

 

What’s your favorite quilting project?

 

DIY Graduation Gifts They’ll Love: 15 Dorm Room Decorations

18 Graduation Gifts for HerFinding unique and thoughtful graduation gifts can be a difficult venture. It seems like just about everybody comes up with the same half a dozen ideas every year. If you want to give something extra special and practical, check out these DIY Graduation Gifts They’ll Love: 15 Dorm Room Decorations. For students just graduating high school, there is one thing and one thing only on their minds: heading off to college. Luckily for you, these fabulous gifts combine both of those important life events. Skip the funny cards with money in them, framed photos, or books giving sage advice and give your graduate something they will actually use in their dorm or classes.

My absolute favorite graduation gift I ever received was the quilt my grandmother handmade for me. It was so nice to be able to have a little bit of home and my family when I moved hours and hours away from my family. Plus, handcrafted dorm room decorations pretty much ensure that your graduate will have a unique and sassy dorm room. While everyone else is unpacking the same Bed, Bath & Beyond home décor, your grad will be singing your praises as they unpack their unique and lovely DIY graduation gifts.

DIY Dorm Room Decorations

All of these DIY dorm room decorations make awesome and unique graduation gift ideas. Any new grad would absolutely adore opening up one of these. Decorating your move away from home can be a big deal. It lets a student start crafting their new college identity as well as bringing a little bit of home with them. From convenient DIY organizers to adorable bath towels, these DIY dorm room decorations are sure to be a hit.

Vintage Button Kitchen CurtainsClassic Class Gift Quilt
Hanging Jewelry Holder
Denim Organizer
Darling DIY Duvet Cover
Vintage Button Kitchen Curtains
Lickety Split Laundry Bag
DIY T-Shirt Reconstruction Pillowcases
Owl Dry DIY Bath Towels
Fabric Storage Boxes

Other DIY Graduation Gifts

If you would prefer to give an accessory instead of decorations, these DIY projects are exactly what you are looking for. From a brand new wallet to a chic messenger bag, these DIY graduation gifts would delight just about any grad.

Big Books Library BagZippered Laptop Sleeve
Stylishly Sturdy DIY Laptop Case
DIY Wallet
Magical Messenger Bag Pattern
Totes Big and Small
Big Books Library Bag

 

 

 

 

If you love these DIY graduation gifts, check out these 18 Graduation Gifts for Her and these DIY home décor ideas.

What is one thing you wish you had in your dorm room?

Color Blocking and Upcycled Clothing Ideas

9 Ways to Transform Old T-Shirts

Color blocking is slated to come back in full force over the next few months. As the sun comes out and our world gets just a bit brighter, our clothes should be doing the same. Color blocking is an amazing way to wear bright, stunning colors while still looking chic. Plus, many color blocking pieces are extremely flattering and slimming. Mostly black pieces can really help you look trim and adding color blocking to those pieces means you do not have to sacrifice flair. Whether you are looking for a color block dress pattern or searching for a DIY t-shirt reconstruction, one of these 9 Color Blocking and Upcycled Clothing Ideas will surely become a staple in your already fantastic wardrobe.

I personally love color blocking on clothes. It never really goes out of a style and always looks timeless and vintage. One of my favorite dresses in my closet is a mod color blocked dress that features big splashes of blue. Plus, color block pieces are so simple that you can pretty much pair them with anything. If you like big jewelry, you can go totally 80s with chunky, costume jewelry. If you are more of a subtle girl, you can wear a simple pearl necklace with a color blocked piece to look like a sassy Audrey Hepburn.

I have compiled these particular projects together because they combine my love of color blocking and bright colors with my love of t-shirt reconstruction. Many of these mod and fab pieces are created by upcycling t-shirts and other clothing. I just love to be able to give new life to an old piece. It saves you money and gives you a sassy new wardrobe in the process.

15 Minute Tuxedo SkirtColor Block Dress and Skirt Projects

Refashioned 1960s Mod Dress
Color Block T-Shirt Dress
Tank Top Make Over Dress
15 Minute Tuxedo Skirt (Pictured left)
How to Make a Skirt Longer
Party-Ready Jersey Dress Tutorial

 

Thrifty Refashioned Infinity ScarfOther Color Block Upcycled Projects

Thrifty Refashioned Infinity Scarf (Pictured right)
Draped Color Block Tee
Color Block DIY Pants

 

 

What other 60s trend do you wish would come back in full force?

Your New Favorite Sewing Projects For Spring

This post is brought to you by Mary Egan from CraftFoxes.

Believe it or not, spring is here (and summer is on its way)! Now is the time to start looking for some sewing projects that you can wear when the warm weather arrives. Although sewing and knitting are often associated with colder weather, there are plenty of warm-weather wearables you can create with fabric and thread. There’s a chance that cool weather might stick around a little longer, so consider this time to work on some new DIY fashion for the spring months.

Ruffle Neck Romper

When it’s warm outside, the perfect outfit for your little one might just be a romper. This romper is easy to make and you can choose whichever pattern of fabric you’d like. The pattern is adapted from an older pattern to make it more modern in appearance, with a shirred waist and ruffle neck. This pattern is simple and the tutorial, found on CraftFoxes, will lead you step-by-step through the creation of this romper. Choose a fresh, spring-colored floral fabric and create an adorable wardrobe item for your little one.

Get the Ruffle-Neck Romper sewing pattern.

 

Easy Tote Bag

If you travel to the park, library, or work, you’ll probably need a bag to carry your belongings. This bag is screen-printed with different airport codes to create a travel-friendly theme. First, you need to sew the bag and its handle, then screen-print the letters on using a freezer paper method. For this project, you’ll need fabric, freezer paper, fabric ink, sponges, and some other crafting supplies. You don’t have to use airport codes for your decoration – use your own imagination for letting or images.

Visit CraftFoxes for this tote bag pattern.

 

Get Ready for Swimsuit Season

Springtime sewing means that summer is not far around the corner! Now is the perfect time to beef up your summer wardrobe. Did you know you can sew a bikini? It’s true! This tutorial on CraftFoxes will teach you how to make your own bikini, saving you time and helping you create an item that’s fitted especially for your body. If you’re learning to sew with new and different materials, this project would be a great introduction to sewing with Lycra, which is the material best suited for swimsuit patterns. For this project you’ll need enough Lycra to create a bikini for your body type and well as the lining, elastic, plastic “sew-in” boning, ribbon, and a clasp closure. You’ll need specialized materials your own bikini and it might be a bit more difficult than other projects, but this CraftFoxes post offers a pattern to download and a clear tutorial.

Check out this bikini pattern.

 

Shirt Patterns

Everyone needs some flowing, comfortable shirts for the warmer months. This post at CraftFoxes offers several different ways to create your own spring shirts as well as ways to adapt some of your old shirts for new uses. You can make a festival top from a men’s shirt that you have lying around the house or add a dip-dye ombre effect to any old shirt. There are projects in this post that allow you to add crochet side panels, a Peter Pan collar or add ruffles to any shirt. If you’re looking to update some old pieces and recycle them in the process, be sure to check these projects out!

Find some free shirt patterns for women.

 

What projects do you want to sew up for spring?