Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DIY Puzzle Bags


Extra wide double fold bias tape (1/2” wide)
12 or 16 gauge clear vinyl
Coordinating thread


Measure the height and width of your puzzle, making sure to include the thickness of the puzzle. Add about 1-1.5 inches to the width so that you can easily slide your puzzle in and out. You are essentially making a vinyl envelope, so you will need to double the height of the puzzle and add a few more inches for the flap. For example, a standard sized wooden Melissa and Doug puzzle measures approximately 12.5” W x 9” H. I cut my vinyl to 13.5” x 22”.

Make a mark on each long edge, approximately 5” in from one of the short edges. This will be the top of your envelope, and you will end up with a 5” flap.

Set your stitch length to 3.5. On the opposite short end, sew a strip of bias tape. Back stitch at both ends and trim any excess bias tape. (Tip: I highly recommend using Clover Wonder Clips ( when sewing with vinyl, as they do not leave holes and are easy to reposition).

Next, cut a 3” long strip of velcro. Set your machine to a zig-zag stitch with stitch length of 2.5. Attach the hook side (scratchy side) approximately 2.5” in from the edge you have just encased in bias tape, centering it. I find it helpful to use a small piece of painters tape to mark where I want to place the velcro. Sew around all four edges of the velcro with a zig-zag stitch.

Fold the edge with bias tape/velcro up to the 5” flap marks you made earlier and clip in place. Make sure the velcro is facing out. Fold one end of the bias tape into a triangle then fold down. 

Beginning at one of the bottom corners, sandwich both layers of vinyl inside your bias tape.  Clip in place. Set your machine to a straight stitch with a stitch length of 3.5. Sew along the edge until you reach the first flap corner. Sew right up to the edge then backstitch. 

Remove the envelope from your machine and trim threads. Fold the corner and clip in place. 

Beginning a few stitches before the corner, sew around the corner and continue along the edge. Repeat steps for next flap corner. Continue sewing the bias tape around the edge of the envelope until you reach the end.

Fit your puzzle inside the envelope and close the flap snuggly. Mark where the loop/soft side of the velcro should go. (It’s best to place the soft side of the velcro on the flap so it doesn’t scratch your hand when you slide the puzzle in and out.) This should be approximately 3/4”-1” in from the edge. Make sure it is centered/lined up with the other side of the velcro. Attach to the inside of the flap with a zig-zag stitch, stitch length 2.5.

These bags are also useful for storing slightly thicker items.

My two year old daughter can easily open the bags and enjoys sliding her puzzles in and out. 

No more missing pieces! Now all your puzzles can be stored neatly together on the shelf.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Time for Tea!

After seeing this pattern by Ric Rac for a plush tea set, I couldn't wait to make one for Vera. I chose a fabric line called Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille for its colorful, playful prints. I gave the set to Vera for her birthday and she loves playing with it! The other day I caught her trying to pour water into it from her sippy cup and had to laugh. It was a little damp but otherwise unharmed. I guess that's one downside of a plush tea set; only imaginary tea served here!

Overall, I didn't have any problems with the pattern, but I did make a few minor changes. I felt the teapot handle was a little floppy so I shortened it at each end by about 1/2". I also made a small bag filled with rice and put it inside the base of the teapot. This helped weigh the teapot down a bit and keeps it from tipping over. (Make sure you freeze the rice overnight so you don't have any critters hatch inside you teapot!)

Looking forward to many tea parties with my little girl!