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Friday, February 12, 2010

keeping my girls happy

so a couple of days ago, the teen was lamenting the fact that her various cosmetic items were rattling around, loose, in her big tote. "i really need a little makeup bag to hold this stuff, do you have one i can use, mom?" she said.

well, now, i didn't. but you know what i did have? a brand-sparkling new sewing machine that i was slowly getting quite comfy with, nice chunks of leftover gray corduroy and floral lining that i'd just used for her new tote, a rotary cutter and mat i'd just bought on sale that i was dying to test out, and a big ass bag of zippers in random colors and sizes i scooped up for $5 at michael levine. not to mention, my friend google can always be relied upon to find fun stuff, like free patterns for all sorts of projects.

sure enough, when i turned to google, it led me to a page full of freebie crafty ideas. after i clicked on a few of them, i found it: a super easy-looking blog post with step-by-step instructions and pictures to make a little boxy pouch, perfect for stuffing with cosmetics and tossing in a tote.

the only thing missing was a lining, and i really wanted to mimic the tote and be all matchy-matchy. because i'm a dork. and you know it. so i decided that the best way to accomplish such a task was to cut out rectangles from both materials and use a bit of this stuff to stick 'em together.

i cut pieces to fit around the edges of the corduroy, topped it with a piece of the lining, and hit it with my iron to seal them together. i was totally proud of my macgyver-like skills.

out of that giant bag of zippers, i found only two that were the right length. luckily they were both white, which wasn't ideal, but would work. there were other fun colors that would've been better (and would probably have blended in nicely), but i found that most of them were either only a few inches long or super duper long, like 25". i see many coin purses in my future.

and, i think the zipper i did end up using was actually meant to be an invisible zipper, which was something i hadn't yet tried. during my sewing lesson, i'd only learned how to sew in a regular zipper. but i was determined to finish the bag before i had to pick up the teen from school, so i pressed on. i'm fairly certain i didn't do it quite right, but i just followed the steps i'd learned and it turned out just fine.

the tutorial for this little bag was super easy to follow. almost a little too easy - because in the span of about 15 minutes, i was done. i snipped off the corners of fabric, flipped it inside out, and this is what i ended up with:

now, obviously, it's not perfect. maybe my cutouts were too small, or my seam allowances were a little too big. but it worked! and it was actually super cute. look at how the cheerful lining peeks out from inside the bag:

i showed it to the teen excitedly as soon as she got in the car, and she was stoked. "thanks, mom, i really like it!" she said, and she threw her makeup inside and zipped it up right then and there.

you can imagine how i was totally beaming with pride.

and since it's been a little while since i showed off the bean, here's a couple of fun, random pics:

after a recent trip to the grove, where we walked around the entire american girl store, her grandpa presented her with a giant bag that contained her first american girl doll, complete with matching outfits. actually, what attracted him to it was the little potty chair set that was an extra accessory available for the baby doll. he thought that maybe it would inspire the bean to use her own chair more often if she had a potty buddy. haha! and this isn't the greatest picture, but look at how cute she is with her little mini-me:

the teen was inspired to bust out her own american girl dolls so she and the bean could play together, but sadly, they're boxed up in - you guessed it - storage. boo.

but can you imagine how much fun i'm going to have making matching outfits for these girls and their dolls? OMG, i'm cracking up at the visuals i'm getting.


  1. Super cute tote and cosmetic bag! looks like someone may be on their way to an etsy store of their own!

  2. The Bean with her very own kid sister = so damn cute.

    You are seriously turning into a domestic goddess.

  3. Jenny,
    You are super Mom! I love how creative you are and how you have taken off so quickly with the tips and tricks I have shown you! Have a Sew Happy Day my dear!

  4. You did a great job with the cosmetic bag! I love the picture of the Bean with the mini-Bean. In matching outfits, no less.

  5. I see a future bag mogul in the making. LOVE the corduroy.

  6. I love the inside fabric on the makeup pouch. Super cute.

  7. totally digging your sew new adventure. And the bean is just too cute for words...we've just recently discovered the American Girl Doll Palace at the Grove. Your blog got me thinking into sharing our first experience with the store.

  8. big success! I bet the teen is totally stoked.

  9. Super cute!

    Btw, with the extra long zippers, there is an easy way to shorten them for future projects. I won't do a great job of explaining it here, but if you buy a coats zipper with the packaging, they walk through a tutorial (with pics!) on how to shorten zippers. I really didn't think it'd work, but it totally did. :) Just remember, you can always shorten a zipper that is too long, but it's way harder to lengthen one that is too short. ;)


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