A Great Bag Tutorial For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

a-great-bag-tutorialIn honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I decided to make a bag to hold my bras and undies when I travel.

beat-cancer-bag-finished-2If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you may remember that one of my best friends is a breast cancer survivor. She fought like a girl and after a long journey through chemo, radiation, several surgeries and recovery, I am happy to report she is cancer free. Ladies, please, get your mammogram. It’s uncomfortable, I know, but after walking through this journey with my friend, I can say with confidence that a squish of your girls is a much better option.

Okay, I am off my soap box and onto the tutorial. Here you go:


Three 12-1/2″ x 7″ pieces of gray fabric (I used Crossroads Denim)
Three 12-1/2″ x 3″ strips of pink fabric (I used Crossroads Denim)
One 8-1/2″ circle of gray fabric (Here is a template:circle-template-8)
One 16-1/2″ x 27-1/2″ pieces of lining fabric
One 8-1/2″ circle of lining fabric
Sulky Pink Ribbon Collection – 40 wt. Rayon thread set for machine embroidery designs (10% of the proceeds go to National Breast Cancer Foundation)
Sulky Tear-Easy™ Stabilizer for machine embroidery
Sulky 30 wt. Cotton thread for piecing the bag together (I used Sweet Pink 733-1256 from the 30 wt. Cotton Pink Ribbon Thread Set)
Embroidery Designs  (You can get them from the Sulky Embroidery Club here)
Scrap fabric and trim for the machine embroidery designs
1 yard of ribbon for the drawstring
Sulky KK 2000™ Temporary Spray Adhesive


  1. Embroider the machine embroidery designs on the 12-1/2″ x 7″ pieces of gray fabric (HINT: I did my machine embroidery first and then cut them to the proper size). I didn’t follow the color chart with the design because I wanted my designs to be all pink, but I did follow the chart so I knew when to put down and trim my fabric pieces. beat-cancer-bag-5
  2. Use a 1/4″ seam allowance to sew the three grey pieces to the pink pieces in between. beat-cancer-bag-4When you have sewn the pink strips all on, match the 12-1/2″ side of the first grey piece to the last pink piece, right sides together, and sew – again using a 1/4″ seam allowance. You can press your seams open if you choose.beat-cancer-bag-3beat-cancer-bag
  3. Download and print out the circle template. You will notice that it is only an 8″ circle. You will need to add a 1/4″ seam allowance when you are cutting it out. beat-cancer-bag-27I only did an 8″ template because 8-1/2″ would not have printed on a standard sheet of paper. Use the KK 2000 the secure the circle to your fabric to cut it out. beat-cancer-bag-28When you are finished, you can iron the template and the heat will dissipate the KK 2000 like magic!beat-cancer-bag-26
  4. With right sides together, pin and sew the circle to the bottom of the tube you just made with your other pieces. beat-cancer-bag-25beat-cancer-bag-24Set this aside for a minute and do the lining.
  5. With right sides together, sew the 16-1/2″ sides of the lining fabric together, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave 4″ of the seam not sewn.beat-cancer-bag-22
  6. Press the seam allowance open.beat-cancer-bag-20
  7. Using the circle template, cut the 8-1/2″ circle out of the lining fabric, just like you did for the grey fabric.
  8. With right sides together, pin and sew the circle to the bottom of the tube you just made with your lining fabric, but leave an opening for turning.beat-cancer-bag-19
  9. Take the outside bag and turn it so the right side is facing out. Place it inside the lining with right sides together.beat-cancer-bag-18
  10. Pin the top edges together. Be sure to carefully pin the lining where the seam is not sewn.beat-cancer-bag-17
  11. Sew with a 3/8″ seam allowance, backstitching over the area where the lining seam is not sewn.
  12. Using the opening that you left in the bottom of the lining, turn the project right side out.beat-cancer-bag-13
  13. Push the lining into the bag.beat-cancer-bag-11
  14. Hand sew the opening closed.beat-cancer-bag-12
  15. Iron so that 2″ of the lining is showing at the top.
  16. Topstitch about 1 1/2″ from the top to form a casing for the ribbon.beat-cancer-bag-top-stitch-casing
  17. Using a safety pin, thread the ribbon through the top casing.beat-cancer-10
  18. Tie the ribbons ends to together and viola! Your bag is done!beat-cancer-bag-9

Now just put your bras and undies inside and you are ready for your trip.beat-cancer-bag-8

Happy Sewing!

Think Pink For Christmas!

Think Pink

Here is another great gift idea and yes, you have my permission to buy this gift for yourself if you want :). We are still selling the limited edition Beat Cancer Thread Sets until the end of December in the Beat Cancer shop at Sulky.com. These great sets make awesome gifts and don’t forget that 10% of the proceeds will go to National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Pink Ribbon Rayon Thread Collection

Pink Ribbon 40 wt. Rayon Thread Collection

Pink Ribbon Petites Thread Collection

Pink Ribbon 12 wt. Cotton Petites Thread Collection

Pink Ribbon Cotton Thread Collection

Pink Ribbon Sulky Cotton 30 wt. Thread Collection

I have created a project to go with each set of thread too!


This great tote bag for the 40 wt Rayon set


This little wall hanging for the 30 wt. cotton set

zipper bag 17

And this hand embroidered zipper bag to go with the 12 wt. Cotton Petites set.


These threads sets are limited edition so we won’t be selling them after December, but I plan on using these threads in the Valentine’s Day projects that I will be putting on the blog so you should probably pick up a set now. Added Bonus: If you buy all 3 sets, shipping is free in the contiguous US. Just think of it as getting a jump start on your New Year’s Resolutions! There!  You’re already thinking about February; you are such a planner :)!


Won’t this heart look great in the colors from the Beat Cancer Sulky 40 wt. Rayon set?

You may remember that this Beat Cancer campaign that Sulky is doing is very personal for me. This Christmas is the one year anniversary of my very good friend’s breast reconstruction surgery, the last step in a long breast cancer journey. We were just talking the other day about how she had to miss all the Christmas Party’s last year because of the surgery. We were also thanking God that she is cancer free.NBCF logo

Walking through the journey of any cancer is painful and life changing. One of the reasons we chose National Breast Cancer Foundation as the recipient of our campaign is they focus on helping women not ever having to take that journey, but also helping them walk through it if they do.


I know at Christmastime, you have a lot of demands on your money and your time, so think of these thread sets and these projects as a way to do two wonderful things at once! Help NBCF and give a great gift. Such a win-win!

Happy Sewing!

Cancer Fighting Hand Embroidery – Free Pattern


Well, Breast Cancer Awareness month may be coming to an end, but we will still sell the thread sets and give 10% of the proceeds to National Breast Cancer Foundation through the end of the year!

I have one last free design for you.


This simple hand embroidery is a perfect little gift for almost anyone! You can put it on a pretty handkerchief, on a coffee koozie, on a coaster, on a bag, your imagination is the limit!

Just download the free PDF pattern and print it onto Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy. Here is the pattern: NBCF ribbon line

Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy

Peel the pattern off the release, smooth it onto the front of your fabric, and stitch right through it. Don’t you just love that you don’t need a hoop since the Sticky Fabri-Solvy stabilizes the fabric for you?

After you stitch, rinse the stabilizer away and you are set!

I used a simple stem stitch to stitch my ribbon. Here is my favorite tutorial for the stem stitch.

Where are you going to put your ribbon? Let me know in the comments.

Happy Sewing!

Cancer Fighting Zipper Bag Tutorial

nbcf pic

When we think about Breast Cancer, we naturally think about the 1 in 8 women that will be diagnosed with this disease, but did you know that approximately 2,190 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year? Not only that, men with breast cancer have a higher mortality rate than women because they are less likely to suspect breast cancer and therefore get diagnosed much later. There are a lot of myths about breast cancer, you can read about them on the National Breast Cancer Foundation website here.

Breeast Cancer zipper bag 1

This week, I decided to make a little pink zipper bag. This is a great little bag for all kinds of things from sewing supplies to makeup to even carrying medicines around. What better way to tell someone you love them and are walking through this journey with them than to give them a bag with a hand embroidered heart on the front.


2 Fabrics, 20″ x 12″ – I used Crossroads Denim by Amy Barickman in Hot Pink for the outside and Amy Barickman’s Vintage Made Modern fabric for the lining
Coordinating Zipper – at least 14″ long
The Sulky Pink Ribbon 12 Wt. Cotton Petites Collection (10% of proceeds goes to National Breast Cancer Foundation!)
Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy™
Hand Embroidery Pattern – Get it here

zipper bag 16

My favorite way to do hand embroidery is to print my pattern onto Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy and stick it onto the front of the fabric that I am going to embroider. This allows me to do my embroidery without tracing or transferring my pattern with a transfer pen that is permanent. That is extremely helpful when you want to embroider on something like this Crossroads Denim. It’s denim so there is no way to trace the design onto it; and this particular design, I don’t plan to go over each and every line exactly as it is on the pattern, so Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy is really the only way to go. As an added bonus, I also don’t have to fool with an embroidery hoop since the Sticky Fabri-Solvy is stabilizing the fabric for me.

zipper bag 14

For my heart, I used every thread in the Pink Ribbon 12 Wt. Cotton Petites collection. I also did lots of different stitches. If you want to expand your knowledge of hand embroidery stitches, my favorite person to learn from is Mary Corbet of Needle ‘n Thread. She has wonderful hand embroidery video tutorials and the pattern I used for this is a free pattern from her website.

zipper bag 15

zipper bag 12

When you are finished with the hand embroidery, rinse the Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy away and either iron your piece dry or let it air dry. Now let’s make the bag!

zipper bag 11

I decided to do a French seam for this because it finishes all the edges and makes putting the zipper in super easy. Begin by putting the zipper face down on the right side of the outside fabric. NOTE: I made a mistake on mine. When you are doing a French seam, the stop-end of the zipper (that little metal piece at the bottom) should come in by 1/2″ so you don’t cut it off later. Just line that end of the zipper up with the side edge of the fabric and you will be set. You should do it right, but if you don’t, I will show you how I fixed it.

zipper bag 6

Here’s your “sandwich”:  The outer fabric should be right side up, the zipper right side down on the outer fabric, and the lining right side down.

zipper bag 5

Pin and sew along the outer edge of the zipper. You may want to use your zipper foot for this so you can get close to the teeth of the zipper.

zipper bag 7

Fold back and iron both the outer and lining fabric, then topstitch the fabric down in place.

zipper bag 8

This will keep your fabrics from getting caught in the zipper and it looks cute! I used a matching thread but a contrasting thread would look really cool here too.

zipper bag 9

Do the exact same thing with the other end. This time when you are finished sewing it down, you will turn it through the open sides.



Now for the French seam. A French seam sounds fancy, but it is really easy. Begin by having the bag right side out and laying flat. Sew a seam 1/4″ or a little less along each side. NOTE: See that zipper at the top of the picture? Yours shouldn’t look like that! Yours should have the end of the zipper lined up with the end of the fabric. Have no fear, if yours does look like mine, I’ll show you how to fix it :).

zipper bag 4

Do the same 1/4″ seam on the other side, but slide the zipper pull to about halfway and use a pin or clip to hold the top together.

breast cancer zipper bag 2

Turn the bag inside out. Now for the fix: If you made the mistake with the zipper that I made, then cut the extra teeth off being careful not to cut into the fabric.

zipper bag side seam

Sew down each side using a seam allowance slightly bigger than 1/4″ so you encase all the raw edges. Be sure to back-stitch at the beginning and end of your stitching line. Fix: Be sure to sew over the very end of the zipper or go back and hand sew a few loops to create a new stop like the one you cut off.

Breeast Cancer zipper bag 1

You are done! Now you have a great bag for sewing supplies, makeup, love notes, whatever you would like.

zipper bag 17

Don’t forget to shop in the Beat Cancer Shop on Sulky.com. 10% of the proceeds from the sale of these threads sets goes to National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Pink Ribbon Petites Thread Collection

BTW – Did you know that if you buy all three sets, you don’t have to pay for shipping? BONUS!

Happy Sewing!

Cancer Fighting Wall Hanging Tutorial

I went and got my mammogram a few weeks ago. I have to admit, they are not fun but they aren’t the end of the world either. The nurse was really sweet, they got me in and out pretty quickly. Truthfully, I’d rather get a mammogram than go for a 5K run :).


The results came back normal, which is great. Have you gotten your mammogram done? One of the things National Breast Cancer Foundation does is help women get their mammograms through a National Mammography Program. They partner with medical facilities across the country to provide free mammograms and diagnostic breast care services to underserved women through the NBCF National Mammography Program. In addition, the NBCF National Mammography Program requires that medical facilities within our network have the capacity to continue treatment after an abnormal finding or diagnosis of breast cancer. It’s such a simple test, it could save your life, and it’s more fun than running. What do you have to lose!

Now onto the Wall Hanging Tutorial. This little quilt is a great way to show someone you love them and are thinking and praying for them during this journey.



4 Fabrics –  I chose two fabrics with pink ribbons on them, one light and one dark, and then complimented them with white fabric for the backing a binding and a light pink fabric for the heart in the center.
Batting – The finished size is 12″x 12″ so you need a piece about 15″ square to start
Fusible Web – I used Lite Steam-a-Seam 2
Sulky Totally Stable®
Sulky Tear Easy
The Pink Ribbon Cotton Thread Set (10% of the proceeds go to NBCF)
Sulky KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive


Cut a 13″ square out of the base fabric and set aside (I used the lighter ribbon fabric). Following the manufacturer’s directions, add fusible web the darker fabric. You will need about 13″ x 10″ of fabric with fusible on the back.

If you use Lite Steam-a-Seam 2, you can take off the release sheet to expose the fusible which is slightly sticky. Gently press onto the mat and cut 1″ strips.

Place your strips about 1″ apart on top of the base fabric, then fuse. I recommend using an applique pressing cloth between the project an your iron, just to be safe.

Put the applique pressing cloth down onto the ironing board and turn the piece over. On the back, iron a piece of Sulky Totally Stable.

Pink Ribbon Cotton thread Collection

Now its time for some fun. Pull out the Pink Ribbon Cotton Thread set and choose one. HINT: Be sure you use the spool cover that is slightly bigger than the spool. This helps the thread to come off easily and at the correct tension.

love flag 7

You know all those wonderful decorative stitches on your machine? Today you get to use them! Pick one and start sewing along the edges of the strips you use fused down. The Sulky Totally Stable will ensure that even if you are stitching a very intricate stitch design, there won’t be any puckering or tunneling.


love flag 8

You can use the same stitch through out the whole piece or do like I did and choose a different stitch and different thread for each line. This was ‘sew’ fun and ‘sew’ easy to do.

love flag 9

You can tell from the back how well the Sulky Totally Stable held the fabric ‘totally stable’ while I was sewing (yes, the pun was intended. hee hee).

Love flag 1

Now it’s time to embroidery on the heart. You can do it by hand with the Pink Ribbon 12 wt. Cotton Petites Collection or you can machine embroider with the Pink Ribbon 30 wt Cotton Thread Collection. I chose to machine embroider the word ‘Love’ on mine. You could do ‘Love’ or ‘Hope’ or your friend’s name. You could also choose form one of our free machine embroidery designs in the Sulky Embroidery Club.

love flag 6

I hooped Sulky Tear Easy and the fabric then embroidered with Sulky 30 wt. cotton. Next add fusible web to the back of the fabric, large enough that fusible will be on the entire heart when you cut it.

love flag 5

To cut the heart, fold the fabric in half long ways with the word centered.

love flag 4

Use a FriXion pen and draw half the heart. You can free hand this, I promise.

love flag 3

Cut along your line with the fabric folded and viola!

love flag 2

Fuse the heart down to the center of your piece.

Make a quilt sandwich with the backing and the batting. I use Sulky KK 2000 to hold the three layers together. Use one of the Sulky 30 wt. cotton threads in the pack to satin stitch the heart down and the quilt as desired. I did loops that sort of look like the support ribbon.


After quilting, square up your project to 12″ x 12″, add a hanging sleeve to the back and bind with the white fabric.  Now you are ready to share some love with your friend. This project only takes a few hours to do, but it will mean the world to someone struggling through cancer.

NBCF logo

Remember to shop in the Beat Cancer shop on Sulky.com for your threads. 10% of the proceeds will go to National Breast Cancer Foundation. These threads are not just great for these projects, they make great gifts for sewists as well.

Pink Ribbon Petites Thread Collection

Next week I will show you a cute hand embroidery project with the Pink Ribbon 12 wt. cotton Petites collection that I think you will love.

Until then, Happy Sewing!


Cancer Fighting Tote Bag Tutorial

As promised, here is the first of several tutorials to go with our Pink Ribbon Thread Sets that 10% of the proceeds will go to National Breast Cancer Foundation. This is a fun easy tote bag filled with thoughtful things for someone who is going through Chemotherapy treatments.


If you happen to be unfamiliar with chemo, it generally works like this. The person with cancer has to go to a room full of chairs that are all equipped with IV’s. They get hooked up to an IV and their particular “cocktail” of drugs is given through the IV. This usually takes several hours and the person may have to go several times a week, for many weeks. This translates into lots and lots of hours just sitting, waiting, watching this drug drip into your body. The same drug that is causing you to lose your hair. The same drug that is making you feel sick and tired everyday; but the drug that will most likely save your life. A cancer patient has a great deal of time to sit around and think. That may be good, but it may not. So inside this bag, I will suggest some things that may help to get their mind off the gravity of the situation.

Special Note: If you don’t want to make the bag, you can use a ready made bag or tote. I will give you an option for that later.


About 1-1/4 yards of fabric for the tote. (I used a hot pink linen-like fabric from my stash.)
Black Grosgrain Ribbon for handle
Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch™ for handle
6″ x 15″ piece of cardboard to stabilize the bottom of tote
Construction Thread (I used Sulky PolyDeco™ and serged my seams with serger thread.)
Sulky 30 wt. Cotton in #1109 for topstitching to match my fabric (This is in the Pink Ribbon Cotton Collection)
“Fighting like a Girl” Embroidery Design from the Sulky Embroidery Club (Get it free here)
The Pink Ribbon Rayon Thread Set for the Machine Embroidery Design
Scrap of pink fabric for the “Fighting like a Girl” machine embroidery design
Sulky Tear-Easy™ (Stabilizer for embroidery design)
Sulky KK 2000 Temporary Spray Adhesive

First, cut out your pieces: Cut a 12″ x 17″ piece for the pocket, a 4″ x WOF (Width of Fabric)strip for the handle, a 6-1/2″ x WOF  strip for the bottom insert and 24″ x WOF  for the bag itself. Take the pocket piece, turn 1/4″ under along the 2 long sides, about 1″ for the bottom of the pocket, and 1-1/2″ under at the top – twice. Press these seams so they will stay put. Sew the bottom and top seams down.

fighting like a girl

Position the embroidery where you want it on the pocket. I hooped the fabric with Sulky Tear-Easy under it for the embroidery. I used a Sulky Prewound bobbin in grey in the bobbin and the Pink Ribbon Rayon Thread set for the design. Follow the color sequence sheet that comes with the design when you download it for color changes.

Cancer fighting bag 2

Take the 24″ x WOF piece and fold it in half, wrong sides together, matching the two short ends. Measure up 3″ from the bottom fold and mark. Center the pocket and topstitch the bottom and sides. I used Sulky KK 2000 to hold the pocket in place. The KK 2000 will dissipate when I iron the bag, but then I know the pocket won’t shift when I sew. Turn the bag so right sides are together and sew the two sides together using a 5/8″ seam allowance.

cancer fighting bag 3

Fold the top edge down about 1-1/2″ and press, then fold again and press. Topstitch along the bottom edge of the fold.

cancer fighting bag 6

Now it’s time to box the bottom. With the bag still turned inside out, pull the front from the back until a triangle forms in the bottom corner. Lay the bag down so the side seam is centered in the triangle.

cancer fighting bag 5

Use a ruler to measure up 3″ from the point, and draw a line across. Pin the triangle and sew on this line. After sewing, cut the point off, leaving 1/2″ seam allowance and serge the edge. Repeat this on the other side.

bag handle

The bag is almost done! Turn it right side out and set aside.  (Yes, I opened this strip back up to show you this step better!) Time to make the handle. Cut a 1-3/4″ strip of Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch the length of the 4″ strip of fabric that you cut for the handle. Iron the Fuse ‘n Stitch down in the center on the wrong side of the fabric.

Photo Oct 06, 3 05 31 PM

Press the two edges around the Fuse ‘n Stitch so they overlap slightly in the middle. You don’t need to turn any of the raw edges under because they will be covered by the Grosgrain ribbon. Stitch down the center.

Cancer Fighting bag 1

Use Sulky KK 2000 to place the ribbon onto the handle then topstitch down both sides of the ribbon. Audition your handle with the bag and decide the length you want it to be. Add 6″ and cut off the rest.

handle 2

Fold the handle up 1-1/2″ and clip or pin it at the top, centered on the side seam.

handle 1

Sew the handle in place. Do the same on the other side.

handle 3

Congrats! Your bag is done!


If you are giving this bag to someone who is about to start chemo, I have some suggestions for things to go in this bag. These are based on my own experience with my friend and input from others who have made this journey.

The front pocket of the bag is perfect for putting in a tablet, small laptop computer or e-reader. Chemo rooms are usually very cold so a blanket (you could monogram it), scarf, snuggly socks and even gloves are good to have. I also suggest a pretty journal and pen. With all that time to sit and think, it may be helpful to write down some thoughts. You may want to write a letter to your friend in the front of the journal. A small pillow, snacks and a book (make it a funny, light read!) are also great additions.

If you can think of more items that would be good in the bag, please let me know in the comments.

If you don’t want to make the bag, you can always put this embroidery design on a pre-made or put it on this adorable market tote that you can purchase here!

market tote

Breast Cancer can be a long and scary journey. The most important thing is to be there for your friend. Remember that she is still the same person; she is not her cancer. For more information on Breast Cancer, prevention and early detection, please check out National Breast Cancer Foundation’s website.

NBCF logo

Happy Sewing!

Sulky Supports The National Breast Cancer Foundation

NBCF logo

Two summers ago, my closest friend received the awful news. She had breast cancer. The last two years have been spent getting operations, chemo, radiation, and more operations. I remember two Octobers ago sitting in the chemo room with my friend. We were looking at a magazine and seeing all the ads about Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We chuckled at the irony. Neither of us needed a special month to be aware of breast cancer. At this point, it was a daily part of our lives.

5284f92f7032cfa91f00000a_rgb_354_600I am happy to report to you that today my friend is cancer free, a survivor; complete with her new boobies and freshly grown hair. She is part of the 98% of women who, because of early detection, can proudly say that cancer is no longer the thing she thinks about every single day.

My guess is that most of you reading this blog have been touched by breast cancer. The disease is far too prevalent and disgustingly common. So this October, we decided to increase our ongoing efforts and support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Sulky is introducing three limited edition thread sets, the Pink Ribbon Cotton Collection, the Pink Ribbon Petites Collection and the Pink Ribbon Rayon Collection.

Pink Ribbon Cotton thread Collection

Pink Ribbon Petites Thread Collection

Pink Ribbon Rayon Thread Collection

I have designed projects using all three of these sets and 10% of the proceeds of these will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The thread sets are available to purchase on our website now and I will be introducing the projects and tutorials on the blog every week during October.


The projects are geared towards supporting a friend or family member who is going through the journey of breast cancer. I will tell you about my experience supporting my friend and give you free tutorials for a Cancer Fighting Tote Bag (a simple bag full of things that will be useful to someone going through chemotherapy treatments), a small wall hanging/prayer flag, and a couple of hand embroidery projects.


All the projects will be free, but I do hope you will buy the thread sets to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation. It is an excellent organization and their mission is to provide help and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education, and support services.

I want the check that we write to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to be the biggest check we have ever written. Help me do that by purchasing a thread set today.

Happy Sewing!