You can now sew your own reusable produce bags using my free tutorial! With my recent change in direction with the business, focusing now on knitting and crochet accessories, I decided to pull my sewing patterns that I had listed for sale in my Etsy and Craftsy shops and turn them into free tutorials here on the blog. Here's a better explanation.
Ready to make your own reusable bags? These are great for the grocery store, farmer's market, or even for collecting shells at the beach. Let's get started!
Cutting Out the Pieces
Cut two—6” x 26” rectangles of quilting cotton (cut 13” on the fold, paying close attention to layout if using directional prints)
Cut one—6” x 26” of the mesh (cut 13” on the fold)
Cut 1 yard of the drawstring cording
Fill your bag with produce and enjoy!
The Lil' Rhody bag is here! This is a project that has been in the works for a few months, and I'm happy to show you the final product.
A hand embroidered bag, made with all natural materials (cotton lining, linen exterior, cotton thread), with the shape outline we Rhode Islanders love so much.
This makes a fantastic memento if you've spent time in Rhode Island vacationing, visiting friends and family, and especially if you've been stationed here in Newport.
Block Island is even included in the outline!
You can find them at RaNEW Salon and Spa in Newport, as well in my Etsy shop. Mother's Day is just around the corner...
There is also a Maryland version available in my shop, that I will show you in a future post. Which state would you most like to see embroidered on a bag next??
Chances are, if you are an avid knitter, you have a decent collection of needles. You might have interchangeable circulars, DPNs, and a variety of straight needles. The long, 12-14" straight needles can be unwieldy when not in use. Most organizers, including everything currently in my shop, will handle everything except the super long straight needles. If you use a roll-up organizer, chances are the long needles fall out. Am I right?
My brand new long and slender zippered pouch is perfect for storing those cumbersome long needles. My mother-in-law happens to have a hefty collection of heirloom needles passed down by several generations of family knitters. They are seldom used, but too precious to give away. Where does she store them? In plastic baggies...<insert head slap!>
Those needles need this bag.
With a length of 16.5" and a width of 4", you can fit at least 5 sets of long needles into one bag. At a price of $24, your needles will thank you for giving them a decent home!
The response to my yarn and sheep applique designs has been wonderful--you seem to really like them! Since maintaining inventory of every item I make in every possible combination is nearly impossible, you can now choose from a gallery of applique designs to order products!
Whether you'd like an owl on a large project tote, a sheep on a drawstring bag, or even a ball of yarn on a cosmetic bag, you can now get exactly what you want. If you want a design that you don't see listed as a choice, please just ask. I'm happy to expand the choices I offer based on what you will enjoy.
To start, I have 6 designs to show you with more in the works.
There are individual listings available in my Etsy shop that allow you to choose from a drop down menu which applique you would like. Look for the words "Made to Order" in the listing title. You can even request a specific color and I will do my best to accommodate. Your special request will be ready within a week*!
*Subject to change if this idea takes off like wildfire, but for now a week is a good estimate.
Anyone thinking of Mother's Day yet? Knitting bags and cases make excellent gifts!
A brand new digital sewing pattern is now available just in time to make some gifts for the Matchbox car-lovers in your life this holiday season. This PDF instant download pattern gives you detailed photos and step-by-step instructions for making a play mat that can go along to places like the doctor's office, an airplane, or big sister's soccer game.
Playing with cars on the roadway is a great way to play quietly, encouraging the imagination.
Five pockets will easily hold 5 cars (Matchbox, Hotwheels, etc.), more if they are smaller or vehicles like motorcycles.
When play time is over, fold the mat in half and roll up to play another day.
This sewing pattern is available as an instant download in my Etsy shop for just $6. It can be completed in about an hour, and is suitable for beginners and advanced sewists alike. Buying the pattern includes a license to sell the item in limited home production, giving credit to Dancing Threads RI as pattern designer.
Make several as gifts this holiday season! If you make one and post to Instagram, please tag @dancingthreadsri!
Each September feels like a new year to me. Something about the beginning of a new school year means so many other new beginnings.
This fall I am introducing new designs I've been working on for the past few months. Sustainability has been lacking in my business operation. Green, Eco-friendly sustainability is the core of Dancing Threads RI, but I mean something different. How consistently can I provide a product to my customers?
For a few years now I have wanted to separate myself from the fleeting availability of fabric lines. This has led me in a meandering way to design my own bags with appliqué. Let me show you some examples.
I'm still building the complete product lines with all the possible appliqué designs, but soon you will have choices of appliqué at checkout through Etsy.
Designs I have thus far:
You can see they focus on nautical, knitting and produce--the three most popular types of fabrics my customers like. I'm working on building a library of designs that I will have available in person for taking orders. I also am happy to entertain custom designs (an additional fee will apply). Some of these products are available now, but most have to be photographed and listed, or are still under construction (there are only so many hours in the day when raising even school-aged little ones!). If there's something you would like to see, please let me know! Send me an email, Facebook message, or leave a comment on this post.
Check out the new bags in person at the Norman Bird Sanctuary Harvest Fair Oct. 3-4!
This Saturday will be my first opportunity to attend the Newport Strawberry Festival as a vendor. The weather forecast looks gorgeous! I'm very excited to debut all the beautiful berry bags I've been making the past 2 months. In addition to all my reusable bags (produce bags, shopper totes, snack baggies, wet bags, etc.) I will have quite a few small waterproof zippered pouches in a wide variety of strawberry motifs. Think of them as small cosmetic pouches, perfect for traveling this summer, or organizing your handbag and beach tote. At $15 they are the perfect souvenir from the festival, as well as an adorable gift for just about anyone. Let me introduce you to this new set of cuties.
Come pick some berry bags at the Strawberry Festival this Saturday. I hope to see you there!
Trinity Church, Newport
Saturday June 20
11-6, rain or shine
St. Ann's Square on the grass in front of the white steeple downtown
Here's the event page on Facebook
The average school student will use 500+ plastic baggies in his/her lunchbox in one academic year. For argument's sake, let's say there are 60 school days left this year. And one child uses 3 snack baggies every day in a lunchbox (sandwich, fruit, vegetable). Between now and summer, that's 180 snack baggies being thrown away per child!!
Later this week I will deliver a fresh stack of snack baggies to Clements Market here in Portsmouth. In this group, you will find a bag perfect for just about anyone. Have a look.
Paper airplanes and baseballs.
Handwriting and math.
Even a matched set of small and large.
All of these bags have the ripstop nylon lining, great for crackers and other dry-ish snacks. Machine wash on cold, line dry. I will not offer this lining anywhere except at Clements--not at festivals and not in my Etsy shop ($7 small, $9 large). All the snack bags you will find at my shows from now on have an eco-PUL waterproof lining. Get them while you can! The next set I deliver will likely be completely different fabrics.
Have you noticed the new email signup form on the right hand sidebar? It needs some formatting, but it works! Try it out, and let me know what you think of my email newsletter!
Natural soap lovers: the beautiful and divinely scented bar of soap you just bought at an artisan market or local boutique starts out life in your home looking like this.
After a while, you get this.
Don't throw away all those little bits! You can put them into a Soap Saver Bag and keep on lathering, rinsing, and repeating. Lather the bag and use as a scrubbie as-is, or lather to use with a washcloth. Hang the bag to dry by the drawstring cord in between uses. You can even throw it into a cold wash cycle if it needs it (line dry).
Pair a Soap Saver Bag with a fresh bar of soap for a lovely gift this season (stocking stuffers, Yankee swap, teachers, hostesses, bus drivers, co-workers, mail carriers...who doesn't love soap?) All soap pictured here came from Newport Seafoam Trading Company.
This will be my third year attending the Cornucopia Art Sale as a vendor, and I can't wait! It is a great event with well-curated vendors (they chose me, didn't they??)
This coming weekend there is a preview/shopping party Friday night and the sale happens all day Saturday from 9-4.
Later this week I will post some more details and photos about the products I will have in my booth. Great gifts for women, men, children, teachers, secret santas, and some eco-friendly bags to wrap it all up. Put it on your calendar--I hope to see you there!
As co-owner of Stitchery in Portsmouth, RI, I teach sewing classes to children and adults. Welcome to my blog Dancing Threads RI.