needle and thREAD {and a simple bag tutorial}

I'm happy to join up with needle and thREAD again this week.  I love getting a peak into other people's sewing adventures and I always come away inspired.

This past week has been surprisingly fruitful in the sewing department.   As I shared here, I did a little girl's dress makeover earlier in the week.  (Size 10 dress into a size 5 dress)

That project was a ton of fun because the dress turned out how I wanted it to and that hardly ever happens!

I also stitched up another nursing cover as a gift for a friend who is due in June.  I had originally promised her a pair of booties, but she gladly accepted the offer of a nursing cover when she didn't get the one off of her registry.

Is it me or is choosing fabric for other people terrifying???  When I went to the fabric store to find something for the cover, of course, I couldn't find a lovely subtle black and grey floral print like the one she had wanted and then I agonized for at least fifteen minutes (a very long time with children in tow) over whether or not my friend would want green or teal or purple or chevron or calico or My Little Kitty...before I finally grabbed a bolt I really liked and made for the cutting counter.

And now, of course, the lack of black and gray and especially subtle has me afraid that maybe the fabric I chose is too me and not enough her and....oh bother!  It's so hard!

Anywho, enough drama.

Now that I've sewn a few of these nursing covers, I think I've figured out the dimensions that make the best use of a yard of fabric.  As it turns out, if you figure it right, you can make a nursing cover and a lovely little carrying bag to match!

(DIY details are after the jump. Can you believe how super organized I am this week?)

That's what I've been up to in the sewing world.

As far as reading goes, I've had great aspirations that haven't much materialized.  We took a trip to Miami a week ago on something of a whim -- TWENTY HOURS in the car each way! -- and I packed a whole big purse full of books and didn't crack a one!  Something about watching a 16 month old around water makes leisure reading a bit difficult :o). 

However, I did pick up my copy of The Handbook For Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul (by Lisa Hendey) again this week.  I'm about halfway through and I think the reason I never seem to finish it is because the author references her family and upbringing very frequently and that is weirdly off-putting to me.  I say weirdly because I had a happy childhood, but maybe I'm still having a hard time relating?

Oooooooor, maybe I need to take a chill pill and go find myself some good summer fiction!

And this is a total aside, but I'm asking prayers to find my engagement ring that was lost sometime in the last few days.   We think it might be in the house, but we are at a total loss.  Your intercession is much appreciated!

Thank you for stopping by and many thanks to Elizabeth for hosting again this week.  For more needle and thREAD, head on over to In the Heart of My Home and see what everyone is up to.

Nursing Cover and Bag details after the jump...
(If this jump business works --- I'm a first time jumper here.)

To make the nursing cover I used this tutorial from Pretty Prudent which I have used before.  It is very simple and clear.  However, I changed the sizes of the pattern pieces.  Using a yard of fabric, I cut out the nursing cover and the bag like this:

I followed all of the instructions in the tutorial, except I made the long tie wider (4.5 inches instead of 3 inches) so that it wouldn't slip out of the hoops after washing (which I had a problem with last time).  To make up for it being wider than the short side of the tie, I folded it in half at the point where it attached to the nursing cover.  (The short side of the tie is shorter too, but that doesn't change the instructions at all.)

Bag Instructions:

1) Take your piece of fabric that is 32 x 9 inches, fold it in half with the right sides together, and sew down one side using a 1/2 inch seam.

2)  Turn it inside-out and press the edge up 3/4 inches and then again 1 1/4 inches.

3)  Turn the whole thing inside-out and sew up the other side of the bag using a 1/2 inch seam.  Stop at the bottom edge of the fold and do not catch the folded fabric in the seam!

4) Open the folded part up again.  Fold the seam allowance back (1/2 inches) at the opening and sew it down.  Sew down one side and back up the other.

5) Fold it all back down the way you had it before and use a few pins to hold it in place.  Then sew it down (at least an inch from the edge) to create the casing for the ribbon.

I sewed it down twice for kicks and giggles.

6)  At the other end of the bag, take the corner and pin it across the part where it is 4 inches wide (make sure the seam is centered at the 2 inch mark like in the picture).  Sew across the corner from pin to pin.

7)  Repeat the last step on the other corner of the bag so that you have a dog-eared looking thing like this:

8)  Turn your bag right-side-out.  All it needs is a tie. I used an inch wide grosgrain ribbon and finished the ends with my machine (folded them over twice and sewed them down).

If you are new to feeding a ribbon through a casing, attach a safety pin to one end of the ribbon and push the safety pin through the casing until it comes out the other side. 

9)  After I fed the ribbon through the casing, I made sure the tales were even and then sewed across the seam opposite to the opening -- that way the ribbon won't twist or fall out.

10)  Roll up your nursing cover and put it in the bag!  I think some chocolate is in order...

Please feel free to drop a line or comment if anything doesn't make sense and I'll be happy to help you.  My tutorial skills are a work in progress!


  1. Well I wish I were still nursing haha! Lovely. And I really like your fabric choice!!

    1. You just let me know next time you are in need of one ;).

  2. Yes! Read fiction!! For years, I didn't 'waste' time on fiction; only read 'growth' type books. A few years ago, I picked up a novel, and oh, I am I glad I did!
    All of Kate Morton's books are good, but The Forgotten Garden is best. These is My Words, (I forget the author) is awesome!!
    (if you are in a city - I'm fairly certain you should be able to request books online! shoot, they may even deliver ;-)

    your dress make over is sweet, as is the nursing cover :-)

    1. Yay -- I love recommendations for books! Most of the time I'm too brain dead (oy the pregnancy brain is killing me this time around!)to sort through the racks for myself. Thank you!

      p.s. please say a little prayer for the nursing cover recipient -- her due date was yesterday. No news yet :o).


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