Good evening everyone! Welcome to my new page~~ I know I enjoy seeing how others put things together and decided to share some of the things I do with all of you. I hope you will be able to gain a little insight into the way I put things together from the tutorials I am going to post periodically. Please leave messages and suggestions on my "Life" page under the notification post I will set up there for each of my tutes. Thank you for visiting my blog and Happy Stitching, Sharon

Face masks hysteria!

Finally, another tute! This year started out with a bang for the whole world. We have a new virus running around that has almost shut down whole countries. It is called Covid-19 or Corona virus. It has no treatment and the whole world has been on 'stay home' orders. Businesses were told to close, medical personnel was pushed to their limit with admissions of this virus that hits the lungs. One day one treatment is great, the next it's making it worse. So much on social media right, wrong, or otherwise.

One of the things that we all have been asked or ordered that we do is wear masks while we are out and about. That is what this tute is all about how to make masks to take the place of the shortage of medical-grade masks. 

I probably do mine differently than others. This is the easiest way for me. You can change things around to fit the way it makes it easy for you.

The size for an adult is 6 inches by 9 inches. I haven't made any for a child, but for the size measure the child's face from cheekbone to cheekbone. The length is from the top of the nose to just under jaw with the addition of the pleats. Each pleat is about 1/2 inch (1/4 inch each side of pleat).

Use good quality cotton for the outside and t-shirt material for the inside. All my research said that this combination was the best filtration of 'bugs' being shared.

Sew each 6-inch side with a 1/4 inch seam. I chain stitch all one side of multiple masks to save on time and thread than turn it around and chain stitch the other side.

Chain stitched.

Cut apart the chain stitching and then turn right sides out. I press the seams flat so it's easier to sew the pleats. I just guessed where to put mine, but since I have had a hint to press the mask in half, then half again. Then you take the fold and fold down 1/2 way to the next fold and repeat. Do not have the pleats cross each other.

Then sew down each side to secure pleats. I use a 1/4 inch seam for this step. I also do a chain stitch with this step also. Don't sew over the pins. It can break a machine needle and it can flip up into your face.

2 masks 'chain stitched'. One stitched right after the other without clipping apart.

Multiple masks 'chain stitched'.

I make my masks with ties instead of elastic. This is for 2 reasons: 1-elastic is like gold--hard to find and costs a mint right now! and 2- it doesn't last through all the washings to be able to re-use these again and again. It takes to much supplies and time to make these to toss them after a couple times wearing them.

I do my 'binding' like I do the binding on quilts. The strips are 2-inches by the width of fabric (WOF) or approx. 42 inches long. You need 2 strips for each mask.

Press in half lengthways.

Find the center of the 'binding'. I didn't put a pin or press, just held it.

I folded the mask in half with the inside out because I sew the 'binding' on the back first.

I then place the 'binding' against the mask matching the center of each. It does not need to be exact because the ends are the ties.

I put 1 pin in the center just to hold till I get to the machine.

Sew the 'binding' to just the mask section, back tacking at each edge of the mask.

Again, I don't pin but put raw edges together as I sew a 1/4 inch seam. Do a short section and sew up to that area then readjust the next area to sew.

Again I do chain stitching, but it takes a little more finessing. Pull the finished sewn mask away from pressure foot.

Carefully place the next mask and 'binding' under the pressure foot.  You do not have to do it this way. You can cut each one apart and start on the next mask and 'binding'.

Here is an up-close picture of the 'next' mask getting 'binding'.

Start to encase the raw edges of the ties with the right side of the mask facing up. Pull the end of the 'tie' that is facing away from you so the end is in your hand. The folded edge will be on the left with raw edges to the right. As in the picture. Make sure the 'tie' is not twisted.

 You need to encase the ends of the 'tie' so it doesn't fray. Open the 'tie' and fold over just a little bit of the end. I finger press it.

Then fold the 'tie' back together with raw edges matching.

Now you are going to encase the raw edges of the length of the 'tie'. Fold the raw edge over 1/3 of the way towards the folded edge.

Now pull the folded edge over the raw edges.

Put the end of the 'tie' under the pressure foot to start sewing. You may have to finesse it to get the feed dogs to pick up the fabric. Some machines have feed dogs in the center of the pressure foot that helps with this. Otherwise, it is a good idea to do a 'starter' piece of fabric. This is when you sew on a scrap piece of fabric to help start the 'real' work by stabilizing the threads.

Continue to fold the 'tie' into 3rds to encase the raw edges and sew up to the folded area. It is easier to do just a little section at a time. I don't use pins.

Work your way to the mask then you will fold over the folded edge over the raw edges over the front of the mask to be sewn down.

I fold over the tie a little further and stitch close to the edge of the fold to make sure sure the tie encases the raw edges.

Then continue on to close to the end of the 'tie'.

You will again have to fold over the end to encase the raw edges.

Fold over the end and finger press.

Put raw edges together again.

Then fold in 3rds again.

Continue sewing to the end. I backstitch just a couple stitches so it won't open with all the washings.

I hope this tute helps those that are asking questions about this process. I have enjoyed helping others that need these items.
Take care and stay safe during this trying time.

 Happy Sewing, Sharon

APRIL 29, 2001

For my first tutorial I am going to post about a 'So Sew Easy Schlep Bag' by Gay Bomers and Clutch from Sentimental Stitches (TM). Gay and Clutch were very generous in allowing me to post this tutorial and hope you will visit their site for other great patterns and ideas. 

I picked this bag to make for our next bag swap at My Quilting Buddies this month. I really like the simplicity of this pattern and the versatility of using different sized squares to make different sized bags. 

Here are the 3 I have made so far.

Various Florals
Orange and Pink
  Here is how I made these bags. 

I started with a package of 8 fat quarters (FQ's) Cut 3 colors "A-B-C" into 8 inch squares. Color "D" is 8 1/2 inch.

 Got my nifty 'Ms Gem' all set up to help with this project.

 Sewed the bottom 4 together. This is the block labeled "C". Note the arrows.

 Stop the seams 1/4 inch from the outside edge. This is the arrows above.

Sew blocks "B" and "C" together.

Cut color "D" into triangles.

Sew "D" to "AB" to match this picture. You should have 4 of these.

Now sew "B-A-D" unit onto "C". See the picture on page 2 of the instructions for the placement of each "B-A-D" unit. 

You need to stop 1/4 of an inch from the center seam. 

Now you will sew the side seams of the bag. Notice on the left the "C" component is folded out into a triangle. This makes the seam you are going to sew next lay flat without folds. 

I removed my pressure foot so you can see where to start stitching the side seams. Start the seam where the other seams stop.

  Here is the first seam sewn. Continue sewing the side seams as above 2 pictures. 

Here is 2 seams sewn. 

 Here is the right side of the bag with all seams sewn. 

 Here is the outside of the bag. See how the side seams are on the diagonal? 

The lining is 22 1/4 inch square with a 1/2 inch seam. If your material isn't quite wide enough like mine was, I just used a narrower seam allowance. The next part of the directions were a little confusing for me at first. You will be sewing the lining together on 3 sides and on one of the sides you are going to leave a 5 inch opening for turning the bag right side out. See the arrow? That is the opening. 

You can see in this photo the 5 inch opening and the other side seam. 

Now you need to mark 7 3/8 inch to box your corners on your lining. To do this match your side seam to your bottom seam and mark on the fold 7 3/8 inch from the corner. Do this on each fold and each corner. 

Now connect the marks on the fold.

Sew along the line. 

Here is what the right side of the lining should look like. Note the arrow. This is the 5 inch opening for turning. 

Now the handles.
 I used the same width of fabric and pellon instead of the stated width of the pellon in the pattern. On one of the bags I used the scraps of the FQ's. The fabric on that one started out 4 3/4 X 23 inches and the pellon was 1/2 that  width.

Fold in half and press.

Open and press each side into the center. 

For this one I had 4 layers of fabric and Pellon. If you use 1/2 the width of fabric for the pellon you will have 4 layers of fabric and 2 layers of pellon

I used the edge of my pressure foot to sew a consistent distance from the edge. 

It makes a nicer handle if you add more rows of stitching. I used the edge of the pressure foot to do my spacing. 

Space the handles in the center of the triangles. Make sure you don't twist the handles.  

Match side seams to the points on the outside of the bag. Match the circled areas. 

Divide the lining evenly around the outer shell. 

 Here is the bag being turned right side out. 

Here is the finished product. I sure hope you like this bag as much as I do!

If you make this pattern, please let Gay and Clutch know how much you like it and let me know if my tute helped in any way.

Until next time, Sharon