Cork Bottom Monogram Tote in 14 Easy Steps

DIY Monogrammed Cork-Bottom Bag

in 14 Easy Steps

Whether you need it for the beach, going to class, a game-day tailgate party, or to carry your latest sewing project, this tote is a perfect size and is always in style. I have made several of these as gifts and the recipients always love them. They always comment about how the cork bottom gives it just the right touch of sophistication. The best part is they are so simple to make!

DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Monogrammed Cork-Bottom Bag

Supplies

4 Fat Quarters or 1 yard of fabric

2 pieces of cork fabric cut to 18″ x 4-1/2″

2 straps, each 57″ long

Clover® Wonder Clips

Fabric Marker

Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra™ or Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch™ Stabilizer for extra stability

Cotton+Steel® Thread by Sulky or Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread

Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread for the machine embroidery

Sulky Cut-Away Plus™ Stabilizer

The Monogram –

  1. I used Interlocking Vine Satin & Filled Alphabet from SWAKembroidery.com. I made sure the center of the monogram was 9″ in from the edge, and about 7″- 9″ up from the bottom. That is your preference; you decide where you want the monogram to sit on the bag vertically, but centering it horizontally is pretty important.
  2. I used Sulky 40 wt. Rayon Thread in the top and bobbin and I used Sulky Cut Away Plus because the this design is pretty dense (heavy and thick).

DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag

Directions

  1. Cut 2 fat quarters 18″ x 15-1/2″ for the outside fabric (be mindful to keep the monogram centered); and cut the other 2 fat quarters 19-1/2″ x 18″ for the lining. The 2 cork pieces should be cut 18″ x 4 1/2″ DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  2. Pin the straps in place, 3-1/2″ in from each of the sides. DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  3. Use the Clover Wonder clips instead of pins (you can’t pin the cork because the holes from the pins don’t go away); and with right sides together, sew the cork piece onto the bottom of the fabric (the 15-1/2″ bottom) with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  (Hint:  Place the flat side of the clips on the bottom, as shown below, for easier stitching.)DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  4. Press the seam towards the fabric. Surprisingly, the cork fabric acts very much like regular cotton fabric. I did use a medium temperature on my iron but I probably could have used high heat and been fine. As always, test before you ruin a project!
  5. Topstitch the two sides of each strap, and leave 1/2″ unstitched at the top. Be sure to backstitch at the start and end of each stitching line.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  6. Place the front and back pieces right sides together, and sew the sides and bottom together with a 1/4″ seam allowance.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  7. Box the bottom corners by laying the corner out, match the side seam with the bottom seam, and measure in 2″ from the corner.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  8. Mark the line and stitch. Be sure to backstitch.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  9. Now for the lining! I stabilized my bags by fusing Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer Extra to the lining pieces of the bags. For extra stability, use Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch. Sulky Soft 'n Sheer Cut-Away embroidery stabilizer is permanent, textured, non-woven nylon that is ultra-soft next to skin. Sulky Fuse 'n Stitch Embroidery Stabilizer is a firm, crisp, heavyweight iron-on permanent stabilizer that is ideal for projects that need extra stiffness and retained support.
  10. Sew the two lining pieces, right sides together, along both sides and across the bottom, with a 1/4″ seam allowance.   Box the bottom the same way you did with the outside pieces. DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  11. Fold and press 1/2″ down on the top of the lining (folded over so the wrong sides are touching). DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDo the same with the outside piece (this is why you didn’t sew the strap down that last  1/2″ at the top).  NOTE: If you bought Nylon straps, be careful with the iron, they could melt (ask me how I know 🙂 ).DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  12. Turn the outside of the bag right sides out, and put the lining inside.
  13. Carefully clip the top edges together matching the sides seams. This is also your chance to do a reality check – the lining with the outside – and adjust if one is bigger than the other.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag
  14. Topstitch the lining to the bag about 1/8″ from the folded edge. DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom BagDIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag

You are done! Enjoy your new cool bag.DIY Game-Day Monogrammed, Cork-Bottom Bag




Tutorial: Clear Vinyl Bag – A Game Day Essential!

Clear Vinyl Bag Tutorial – A Game-Day Essential!

Professional sports stadiums have required them for years, and now a clear vinyl bag is required at all college football stadiums as well. Don’t put your things in a zip-lock bag! Here is how to make an easy and adorable vinyl bag that shows your team pride!

Supplies

Clear Vinyl Bag Tutorial

Awesome pink cutting board by Havel Sewing!

Clear Vinyl – cut 1 piece 22″ x 15″

Fabric for the top – 2 pieces 6″ x 15″

Fabric for the bottom insert- 13″ x 8-1/2″

Cardboard for bottom – 12″ x 3-3/4″ (You may have to adjust this to fit – fair warning)

17″ or longer Zipper

38″ Strap

Hot glue or small strip of fusible webbing

Sulky® Tear-Easy™ (these can be scraps left over from machine embroidery projects)

Cotton + Steel® Thread by Sulky in a matching color (You can also use Sulky 30 wt. Cotton Thread or Cotton Blendables® Thread if you want the stitching to stand out a little more)

Tips for using vinyl

A note about clear vinyl:  This is a tricky thing to work with. You can’t iron it and you can’t use pins. It also sticks to the bed of your machine and the bottom of your presser foot. All in all, it is not my favorite thing to sew through; but I was determined to make some cute vinyl bags to carry to football games, so I figured out some tricks that make using the stuff bearable.

  1. After you have purchased your piece, open it up flat and let it relax. Tug on it some so the wrinkles and creases will release. This won’t get them all out, but it will help.
  2. Measure twice, cut once. Seriously. If you cut it wrong, you will have to cut a brand new piece since sewing pieces together would be way too obvious.
  3. Use clips, not pins. I prefer Clover® Wonder Clips
  4. When sewing, sandwich the vinyl between two pieces of Tear-Easy Stabilizer. The Tear-Easy won’t stick to the sewing machine bed or the presser foot and once you are finished sewing, it will tear cleanly away as if it was never there. This is probably the tip that will help you keep your sanity when it comes to sewing with vinyl.

Directions

  1. Fold the two 6″ x 15″ fabrics in half, lengthwise, and press; so you now have two 3″ x 15″ pieces.
  2. Sew the raw edge of one of the folded fabric pieces to one 15″ side of the vinyl with a SCANT 1/4″ seam (scant is important). 
  3. You are now going to do a french seam (otherwise this edge would look very messy inside the bag). Fold the fabric over the top of the seam and sew a full 1/4″ seam. Just one side. You will sew the other side on after you have the zipper sewn in. 
  4. OPTIONAL: Take a small fussy-cut square of your team’s logo or symbol. Put a piece of Sulky Soft ‘n Sheer™ Stabilizer on the right side of the fabric, and sew around all four sides. Trim seams to about an 1/8″ or cut the seam allowance with pinking shears. Then, cut a small slit in the Soft ‘n Sheer only and turn. This turns down all of your edges and gives the little piece some extra stability. Top stitch it to the center of the front of your bag.  (I did mine about 2″ down from the fabric and centered on the vinyl). You may need to put a little strip of Tear Easy on the top and bottom hear too – just to keep it form sticking to the foot or the machine bed.

    (Go Gators!)

  5. Time to add the zipper. Pin the zipper into place with the zipper pull moved in about 1/2″.
  6. Put a zipper foot on your machine and topstitch on either side of the zipper. 
  7. Now add the second piece of fabric to the other 15″ side of the vinyl and do the french seam on this side, too. Be sure that you first sew the fabric to the inside of the vinyl, and then the outside, so the seam stays on the inside of the bag.
  8. Sew the sides up with a 1/4″ seam and be sure to backstitch over the zipper at the top. I used clips to hold everything in place and put a piece of Sulky Tear-Easy on top and bottom of the bag.
  9. When tearing the Tear-Easy away, tear toward the stitches on one side; and the second side of the stabilizer will pull right off after you tear the first side.
  10. Box the bottom of the bag by forming a triangle with the corner and drawing a straight line 2″ in. (Note that the seam allowance is in the middle of this triangle.) I used a Sharpie® marker to draw the line so I could see it through the Tear-Easy when I sewed. Don’t trim the extra vinyl. It will fold under your bottom piece for extra stability.
  11. Now the strap: If you bought a nylon strap like I did, you can use a candle to singe the edge. Now simply topstitch the strap on each side. I did a square with an X inside for extra reinforcement. 
  12. For the insert in the bottom, cut a piece of cardboard 3-3/4″ x 12″. Do a reality check and test this in the bottom of your bag. Adjust the size as needed.
  13. Fold the 13″ x 8-1/2″ piece of fabric in half with right sides together (folded it will measure 13″ x 4-1/4″ ); and sew on the long side and one short side with a scant 1/4″ seam.
  14. Turn and put the piece of cardboard inside.
  15. You can use hot glue or fusible web to close the other short end.
  16. Put this inside the bottom of your bag and you are done.
  17. Enjoy the game!Clear Vinyl Bag TutorialClear Vinyl Bag Tutorial






Easy Peasy Game Day Scarf (Seriously, sew easy!)

Easy Peasy Game Day Scarf (Seriously, sew easy!)

Football season is finally here! It is one of the reasons I love fall. My little town in North Georgia is a true “Friday Night Lights” town and I wouldn’t be a true southern girl if I didn’t love college football as well. Overall, the temperatures in the south in the fall are perfect and, many days, you can still wear shorts and t-shirts to games – but the nights do start to get chilly.



This prompted me to make some cute and ridiculously easy scarfs for those chilly fall football nights.

Supplies

The Easiest Directions Ever

  1. Embroider your school’s ‘saying’ (i.e. Go Canes, Go Noles, etc.) about 8″ above one end of the scarf, centered. I did this by folding the fleece in half, long ways, and then measured up in order to be able to hoop the fleece centered. I hooped 2 layers of Sulky Tear Easy, the fleece, and then one layer of Sulky Heat Away (you could use Solvy, too).
  2. Stitch out the embroidery. I used the same thread in the top and bobbin.
  3. Finish the edges one of three ways:
    1. Serge the edges with a serger. You can do this in the same contrasting color you used for the words or in a matching color. Serger Hack: If you only have one spool of the thread you want to use to serge, wind three bobbins. On a small project like this, it is enough thread to go around the scarf.
    2. Sew the edges using one of the overlocking or decorative stitch on your regular sewing machine.
    3. Turn the edge under and sew. 
    4. Okay, I lied. There is a fourth way. You could do nothing to the edge. It’s fleece. It’s not going to fray. I personally liked using my sewing machine and the overlock stitch best.

Helpful Tip: I want my corners to be round so I used a plastic plate and chalk to mark the curve and then cut the shape. I folded the scarf in half so I could cut both ends at the same time.

That’s it! Really! I told you it was easy. So go make a scarf and cheer on your team. 

Easy Peasy Game Day Scarf (Seriously, sew easy!)

Visit the Team Spirit Shop for Embroider Buddies and team thread colors.

Happy Sewing!




How to Root for Your Favorite Team

How to Root for Your Favorite Team

Embroider Buddy Edition

Football season is upon us and it’s never too early to get your kids rooting for the (obvious) winning team!  Whether you’re a “Cheese-head”, a Dawg, or a Gator, it’s time for your kids to be a part of the tradition – and what better way to get them in the team spirit than with Embroider Buddies?!

 

It’s the best of both worlds – they get a soft cuddly new stuffed animal, and you get the pleasure of knowing they’re headed in the right direction in life!  Embroider Buddy stuffed animals are not only adorable, but are extremely simple to customize.

Plus, if you’re like me (yes, I can still appreciate a nice stuffed animal – especially if it has my team’s colors on it!) you can just embroider one for yourself!

How to Root for Your Favorite Team

Tutorials

We’ve got free tutorials on the blog for how to embroider on these fun guys – like this Christmas-themed tutorial here.

You can also download an Embroider Buddy Tutorial here.

Share your Projects!

Can’t wait to see what you all create (and what teams you root for!).  Be sure to tag us with #SewWithSulky or #SulkyThreads.  If you haven’t already, like us on Facebook and our other Social Media platforms for more inspiration, helpful tips, & to always be in-the-know about all our great sales!




Rod Art with Sulky Threads

Rod Art with Sulky Threads

Did you know you can even glam up your fishing rod with Sulky Threads?  Rod art is a great DIY gift idea for the fisherman in your life!  We talked with John, who has been building rods to help make fishing easier for people with disabilities since becoming disabled himself. He uses Sulky Threads to turn his rods into beautiful works of art. Here are a few of his tips and tricks to making Rod Art:rod art

How did you get started with rod building?

After I became disabled my hands became very weak and the pain in my body made fishing very difficult. My wife gave me the idea that I should make my own fishing rods. The idea was to make a rod that was easier to hold and less painful. After talking to several people I was introduced to a really nice guy who started a rod building club. He taught me how to make rods that were easier to use, and how to do rod art. He warned me that it was addictive and it has proven to be just that! With all the different thread types and colors that you can only get from Sulky, there’s no end to the design possibilities. The only limit is your own imagination. Half the fun is making something no one else has.

How long does it take you to finish one rod?

Most people can build a rod in a day or two. However because of my disability it can take me several months.

rod art

Do you have any tips or tricks for people wishing to make their own rod art?

Trial and error, or, as some call it, “The school of hard knocks.” To come up with a new design, look at what others are doing and then look at the thread colors. You can find inspiration from anything and everything. Watch the “How To” videos and add your own twist. After all your threads are down, always use at least two coats of CP “color preserver”. This keeps the threads from moving when you put the epoxy on. Keep your pattern tight and straight by lining each thread as you go. To keep bubbles out of your finish use an epoxy mixer and never mix by hand. Use a heat gun to bust any bubbles.

This rod was a test to see if it was possible to do a full wrap. Most of the time only a wrap of 6 to 8 inches is done. This rod looks great but you have to see it in direct sunlight to get the full effect.

You don’t need a lot of money to get started. I made most of my tools or bought tools that are for a different craft but can be used for what I need. My first rod wrap cost me less than $20 to build. Use the internet to your advantage and let your imagination run wild!

This link is a great way to learn the craft: https://www.rodguild.com/how-tos/

This is the second rod I ever made. I made it using the spiral wrapped eye technique. When a fish pulls on the line, instead of pulling the rod out of your hands, it bends the rod in a way that it pushes the handle back towards you.

 

What is your favorite Sulky product to use, and why?

It’s so hard to choose. The Sulky Rayon and Sulky Polyester Threads come in every color imaginable. They are super strong, they don’t stretch or sag, and the color doesn’t change or fade. Sulky Metallic Thread is almost as soft. However, my favorite Metallic has to be the Metallic Holoshimmer Thread. In direct sunlight it sparkles like diamonds. Plus, it reflects the color from the other threads you wrap over it. It makes a great base layer, you can weave it into the pattern, or it can be used all by itself like a trip band or accent wrap.

rod art

Sulky Holoshimmer Metallic Thread

 

If you want to learn more about how to get started in this craft you can visit The Custom Rod Builders Guild.

 

 




DIY Game Day Attire

Here in the south, we go all out for game day. “Is this dressy enough for tailgating?” is a question that more than a few southern girls have asked. And although we have been allowed to go a bit more casual lately (The University of Georgia used to have a dress code that females were not allowed in the stadium if they weren’t in a dress), it is still very important to be in a cute outfit. With so many options out there for us these days, I thought I would just give you a little inspiration for your next game day.

game day dresses

My family and I at an FSU game last year

Last year, I made the girls simple “pillow case” dresses for game day.

chevron game day skirts

My mom, my daughters and I at the FSU game this weekend in our matching chevron. (disclaimer: excuse our hair, it was raining!)

This year my mom, my daughters and I decided to go with chevron for game day. We got the chevron fabric to make our skirts and the girls’ shorts from Fabric.com. I used McCalls M5419 to make the shorts and cut up an old t-shirt and made it into a halter top for my shirt. For the skirts that mom and I are wearing, we did not use a pattern. I just measured the length I wanted and added 5 inches. I cut the fabric WOF (width of fabric), because I knew I wanted my skirt to have a full gather, sewed a casing for the elastic at the top using 2 inches, and I used 3 inches for the bottom hem. I have found that woven fabrics wear better with the extra weight that a wider hem creates.

england family full

My Friend Mande and her adorable family tailgating at the UGA game.

My friend Mande and her family are big UGA fans and she does some fantastic machine embroidery. Not only are her daughters’ dresses adorable, she embroidered a “G” on her sash and made a cute UGA shirt for her brand new cousin to wear to her first game.

england girls with hershel walker

Mande’s daughters with the legendary Hershel Walker

sash

I love how machine embroidery can make a good outfit into a great outfit!

england cousin

This sweet baby’s first game at 2 weeks old

 

There are tons of team specific embroidery designs out there; just search for your team and “machine embroidery designs” and you will get some great options.

phoebe in vols

Sweet baby Phoebe really for the Tennessee Vols game

The Sulky Embroidery Club has a great Football Player that you could customize with your teams colors & name and they even have a design for those of you who aren’t as excited about football season.

football player

Just change the colors to your favorite team’s colors!

Football monday

For the less enthusiastic fan

Have you made any game day outfits? If so, send me a picture! I will post them on Facebook, Pinterest and the blog throughout football season.

Happy Sewing!




Football Table Runners & Coasters – Tutorials

As I have mentioned before, I love football! Every Saturday during football season we invite people over to our house to watch the games. I love the time with family and friends and it also gives me a chance to decorate with fun football themed decor. Since most of the time we are gathered in my family room, I always have a table runner and coasters on the coffee table. I don’t want to use the same thing for every game so here are some of my favorites:

football feature 1

1. The 10 Minute Table Runner – Yes, it really does take 10 minutes. Here is a link to a pattern if you need a little more direction but here is how I do it. Get 2 coordinating fabrics. Cut a strip of the focus fabric 12″ x wof (width of fabric) and cut the second fabric 18″ x wof. Put the two fabrics right sides together and sew the two long edges together.

10 min table 1

Turn and iron so that you have a little of the second fabric showing evenly on each side of the focus fabric.

10 min table 3

Fold in half lengthwise with the focus fabric facing out and sew the two short ends.

10 min table 2

Press the seem open and turn. This will create this great point on each end. That is all there is to it! Now you can call it finished or you can add some addition pizzazz with decorative stitches or buttons.

10 min table done

2. I also like this Football Table Runner from Babylock. I haven’t made it yet, but I will before the season is over. Get the pattern here.

babylock football table runner

This pattern also has instructions for some super easy coasters. I made the coasters, and I added Sulky Fuse ‘n Stitch stabilizer to the back of the top fabric. This gives them a little more stability and adds a bit of water resistance to catch the condensation before it hits your table.

 

babylock coasters 3

I added Sulky Fuse n Stitch to the back on the fabric.

babylock coasters 1

These coasters look great!

3. My Easy Fabric Coasters. My mom first taught me how to make these coasters a few years ago and neither one of us remember exactly who showed her. I love them because they look great, work great and are quick to make.

fabric coasters 1

For each coaster, you will need six 4.5″ squares of fabric. For mine, I made 4 coasters out of 2 different fabrics so I cut 12 squares from each fabric for a total of  24  4.5″ squares.

fabric coasters 6

Take 4 squares (2 of each fabric), fold them in half, wrong sides together and iron. Weave these 4 squares together like in the picture. Spray them with Sulky KK2000, then put the remaining 2 squares, wrong sides together, on top of the 4 you wove together. Spray a shot of KK2000 between these 2 squares also. This holds everything together without using pins or clips. Sew around all 4 sides.

fabric coasters 5

fabric coasters 4

Clip the corners, then iron to disseminate the KK2000. Turn through the hole made by the 4 folded pieces. Voila! Just repeat as many times as you want until you have all the coasters you need. (HELPFUL HINT: Put these coasters together with the 10 Minute Table Runner, you have a perfect housewarming, wedding shower, hostess or birthday gift in less than 30 minutes!)

fabric coasters 3

fabric coasters done

  1. Hand Embroidered Coasters – Shockingly, not all of my friends are FSU Seminole fans, so I do like to have a few things around that are just football themed. These hand embroidered football coasters are great. I drew the football shape myself and then used my Sulky Transfer Pen to transfer the pattern 4 times onto the back of some brown wool felt. I doubled the felt over and cut out 8 little football shapes.

 

hand emb coasters 4

 

Sulky Transfer Pens

On 4 of them, I used Sulky 12 wt. Cotton Petites thread in white to sew on the laces. I just eyeballed it, but if you want, you can trace your laces out onto a small piece of Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy, stick that onto the front of the football and sew right through it. When you are finished sewing, run it under water to get the Sulky Sticky Fabri-Solvy off and iron on a terry cloth towel stitched side down to dry it (I learned that technique from my friend Wendi at Shiny Happy World. See the video demo on it here).

Hand Embroidered Football Coasters

Take the other four footballs, spray them with Sulky KK2000 and put them on the back of the embroidered football. Sew them together with a blanket stitch. Aren’t they adorable?

Football Coasters buttonhole stitched edge

Hand Embroidered Football coasters done

 

Happy Sewing and Go Noles!