Halloween Trick-or-Treating Tote Bag Tutorial with Spooky Hollow Fabric

It has been far too long since I have shared a tutorial in this space and I will be remedying that today! As soon as I saw this fun Halloween fabric line, Spooky Hollow by Melissa Mortensen, I knew I wanted to make something to show off the amazing trick-or-treaters. They are just so fun! I settled on some Halloween trick-or-treating tote bags.

For each bag you will need:

1/2 yard for exterior

1/2 yard for lining

2.5″ x width of fabric for bag handle

1/2 yard interfacing (like shape flex 101 fusible interfacing)

Prep and Construction:

Cut (2) 12 1/2″ x 15 1/2″ of the exterior and lining fabrics. Cut (2) 12″ x 15″ pieces of the interfacing.

Follow the manufacturer instructions and fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the exterior fabric panels.

Fold the handle piece in half, with wrong sides together. Press down the entire length of the piece. Open it up, and then press each side to the center line you just made. Press.

Topstitch 1/8″ away from the edge of both sides of the handle piece you just made, then cut the handle in half so you have 2 pieces that are roughly 20″ long.

Place the exterior panels with right sides together. You will then sew along the sides and bottom of the pieces, using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Next, sew together the lining pieces. You will need to leave a 3-4″ hole on the bottom of the lining so you can use it to flip the bag right side out at the end of construction. Sew the sides and bottom, minus the 3-4″ hole, using a 3/8″ seam allowance.

In order to achieve a tote bag shape, you will next need to box the corners of the lining and the exterior of the bag. Simply gather the bottom corners of the bag and pin them as shown below. Mark a line that is 1″ from the corner. This will become your sewing line.

Do this for the lining and exterior of the bag, trim off the corners, then turn the exterior bag piece right side out.

Pin the handle piece onto the exterior bag piece 3″ away from each side seam. Repeat for the other handle.

Shimmy the lining bag piece (with the WRONG SIDE facing out) onto the lining. The right sides of the fabrics will be touching. Pin like crazy to hold things in place.

Sew using a 1/2″ seam allowance around the top seam of the bag, then flip it right side out through the hole you left in the bottom of the lining.

Press the top so it is nice and crisp. Topstitch 1/8″ away from the top edge and sew the lining hole closed.

These tote bags are a fast, simple way to use a great focal print from a collection. My kids are looking forward to using these on Halloween, especially since we missed out on trick-or-treating last year!

Spooky Hollow will be hitting your favorite local quilt shop or online shop very soon and I cannot wait to see what you make with it!

Ahoy! Mermaids Pillowcases

One of my very favorite quick and fun things to do with fabric is to make pillowcases for beds. It is one of the highlights of my sons lives to pick out a new pillowcase for their bed every Saturday. Sometimes it’s a mom-made pillowcase, sometimes it’s one that came with a sheet set. We like options 🙂

My daughter is now 18 months old and as she is inching ever closer to a big girl bed, I knew I wanted to make her some cute pillowcases. My favorite tutorial for the “burrito method” pillowcase is in School of Sewing. I always reference it when I am making pillowcases.

If you don’t own School of Sewing, you can find a good burrito method pillowcase tutorial here.

Ahoy! Mermaids is in quilt shops now and can be purchased from your favorite local quilt shop or online shop. I can’t wait for my little miss to get older and hope she’ll want to use her mermaid pillow cases!

Vintage Chair Reupholstery

My paternal grandfather was a bit of a pack rat, in the best way. He had multiples of most tools, etc. When he passed away 12 years ago, we all knew it would be a process to clean up his property. My grandmother passed away 16+ years previously and his second wife was planning on moving back into her old house. My husband and I went up to my grandpa’s property with a bunch of my cousins and other family to help clean up and sort through was was going to the dump, to metal recycling, and to be sold at the auction. Enter this chair:

I was SMITTEN by the lines, the sparkly aqua vinyl, everything about it. I just couldn’t let it get thrown away. I had very little sewing skills at the time, but my husband and I kept it and moved it from place to place since it was very sentimental to me.

This chair was made by Douglas Furniture. They had their heyday in the 1960’s, which is when I imagine this chair was purchased. It was in my father’s house growing up. Can you imagine the conversations that happened while someone was sitting on this chair? I’d love to hear them.

Fast forward to a few months ago and my husband and I started plotting what we could do to save this chair. I looked at a few tutorials and dove in. These tutorials were particularly helpful to me to wrap my head around making piping, sewing piping on, what in the heck piping was, which Bernina foot to buy to make piping. You get the jist.

Sewing Bench Piping

How to Reupholster a Chair

Piping: How to Make and Insert Covered Cord

After doing what I considered enough internet research, I purchased my canvas fabric, 1/16″ piping (I wanted a delicate look), Bernina #12 foot, and went for it. My first step was making a template of the seat bottom, making piping, and sewing the piping onto the cushion cover.

There can not be enough pins in existence for a piping project, in my opinion. I am not a pinner, at all, but please use pins! I also find it imperative to cut the piping fabric on the bias. You really do need the stretch to make it around corners.

This is what the Bernina #12 foot looks like. It has a groove built in it to make it a breeze to make piping. Moving the needle position made this a lot easier to manage as well.

This is what my unstuffed cushion cover looked like. I was pretty pleased with myself for making it this far and not completely ruining the project. I ordered 2″ high density foam, cut the foam to the shape I needed, covered it in 2 layers of batting, and then stapled and stapled and stapled the batting down before I did the same thing with my cushion cover.

My husband cleaned up the chrome legs using water and aluminum foil and then he screwed the cushion onto the chair.

We used my grandma’s screwdriver and my heart had all of the feelings.

In order to make the chair back, it was a lot of trial and error. I didn’t take any photos because it was honestly a bit terrifying to McGyver this project. I made a sleeve of 2 layers of batting, then stapled it down before I put on the chair back fabric. I needed to box the corners on the front and back before I added the piping. There was seam ripping and a lot of fear, but eventually it turned out amazingly well.

Is this chair perfect? Absolutely not! It has imperfections galore, but I am so pleased with how well it turned out. I love, love, love having a piece of my grandparents in my home and the beautiful pop of Rifle Paper Co. Canvas doesn’t hurt a bit either!