Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tutorial Time

Hi Everyone,

This week all of my dreams came true when my husband asked me...... to teach him how to sew. Yes ladies, I have finally lured him over to the dark side. He wanted to make a bag for his D&D dice (that's Dungeons and Dragons for the uninitiated - now all of his secrets are coming out) and so together we nutted out a design and I showed him the ropes.

Here he is in action:

Doesn't it just make you weak at the knees? We had a little excursion to Spotlight where he chose some fabric and thread then he got stuck into it. Between us, I think he is addicted - he has already made 4 bags and as I type I can hear the Janome humming away in the kitchen.

Here are the bags he has made so far:

I think that besides being an excellent recepticle for D&D dice they would be an ideal bag for make-up, sewing notions, jewellry - anything really. So I thought I would put together a tutorial for you on how to make one.

Here is the finished product:

And here is how you get there:

Cut two pieces of fabric 8.5" x 14.5" (we used cotton drill in ours to give the bag body)

Then fold both pieces of fabric in half lengthways right sides together and sew up the sides with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Leave a gap of about 1.5" roughly 2.5" from the bottom of one of the sides of the lining reinforcing the stitches either side of the gap.

Now, line up the 2" marks of your ruler with the side seam and the base of the bag as shown above and draw a line around it. Do this on both bottom corners, on both sides of the fabric. Repeat these steps on your liner.

The photo above shows the drawn lines on the base.

Make a fold in the bag at the corners of the lines you have drawn in (this is a bit tricky to explain, but I hope that the photos below will make it clearer)

The corner of your bag should now look like this.

Next you need to sew along the chalk line on both corners of the liner and the outer.

Line up the 1/4" mark of your ruler with the seam you have sewn and trim off the corner. Repeat this step for both sides of the outer and liner.

Turn your liner inside out so that when you look into the bag you can see the seams and place it inside the outer. The right sides of the fabric should face each other. Find the centre of one side of the bag and place a pin about 1/4" either side of the centre point. This is where your drawstring will eventually be thread through. You will see from the picture above that I used yellow pins to mark these points and blue everywhere else so that I didn't get confused.

Now starting at a yellow pin, sew a 1/4" seam around the top of the bag remembering to reinforce the start and finish points with a reverse stitch.

Your bag should now look like this.

Turn your bag right side out through the little opening you left earlier in the lining. Mark your drawstring opening with a couple of pins and stitch a seam about 1/8th of an inch from the top.

Again, start your seam at one of the yellow pins and reverse at the beginning and end points for strength.

Repeat this step by sewing another seam about 3/8ths of an inch below the top seam. Take care to maintain the opening for the drawstring and remember to reverse stitch at the start and end of the row of stitching. (I'm sorry I forgot to take a photo of this step but you can see the seam in the photo below).

Now for your final row of stitching. This time start the stitching in one of the side seams and simply sew a continuous line until you reach your starting point and neatly reverse to secure the stitches. This row is about 1/2" from the one above it and completes the channel that the drawstring will run through.

Handstitch the opening in the lining closed.

Cut a 25" piece of nylon cord and thread it through the top opening of the bag and then through the drawstring channel.

Now, just thread the drawstring through a cord puller and you are done. A cute little dilly bag for your D&D dice or whatever else takes your fancy.

I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial. I would love it if you sent me a picture if you make one and feel free to contact me for clarification of the instuctions.

Until next time,



  1. Great tutorial Shonnie. I'm wondering when we will be seeing him on a Tuesday morning. Not quite sure I know what D&D dice are perhaps I will ask one of the kids!!!!!!

    OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! Can't breathe! Oh boy - Shonny that is so hilarious! The old smoothie sewing dice bags. Gold!


    Reckon you could teach me?

  3. I'm weak at the knees, that's for sure! Love your work, Greg. Really nice work.

  4. Christine Thomas, Napa, CA, USAOctober 30, 2009 at 5:15 PM

    It's cute how he's holding his little finger out like it's a delicate process. I'm trying to convince my husband to make at least one quilt.


I'm glad you popped by, your comments really make my day.


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