Monday, February 22, 2010

Wrap It Up! A Reusable Sandwich Wrap Tutorial

This is only my second attempt at a tutorial (my first, a hooded towel tutorial, can be found here), so bear with me!

Today, we tackle what has become an invaluable item in our house: the reusable sandwich wrap. As I've written before, the idea behind these isn't new. Pioneers had to wrap their lunch in something. The beauty of the sandwich wrap is that not only do they cut down on the number of plastic baggies that you use, but they give you a nice, clean surface to eat on....a portable placemat! And they add some cuteness to the lunch box.

So here we go. The way I like to make my sandwich wraps.

You will need:

  • Fabric of your choice for the outside

  • Washable (or wipeable) moisture-resistant fabric of your choice for the inside [I use rip-stop nylon, but you can use laminated cotton, oilcloth, vinyl-coated fabrics, or PUL, just to name a few]

  • rotary cutter (or scissors) and ruler

  • velcro

  • thread (I always use'll see why later!)

First, cut your two fabrics into 12" by 12" squares using your rotary cutter or scissors.

Why a 12" x 12" square? Because my engineer (in a former life) brain likes nice, neat, even numbers. And 12" goes so nicely into a yard, don't you think? It just maximizes my yardage. And I have found that unless you make giant "Dagwood-style" sandwiches, this size sandwich wrap works just fine.

Next, we need to cut your velcro. You need a 2" piece of the "fuzzy" side and about a 3/4" piece of the "rough" side.

Now it's time to attach the velcro pieces. Your 2" piece is going to go on the right side (printed side) of your outside fabric. Using a ruler, center the velcro along the diagonal, about 1-1/2" from the corner. Pin.

The 3/4" piece of velcro will be attached to the right side of the inside fabric. Again, using your ruler, center the velcro along the diagonal about 1-1/2" from the corner. Pin.

Now it's time to sew! Stitch around all four sides of the velcro. And this is why I use white it won't show on my white velcro.

Repeat for the inside fabric.

Place your two squares right sides together, making sure that the two velcro pieces are at opposite corners diagonally from each other.

Now, you can pin it into place. But depending on what fabric you've chosen for the inside, you may not want to prick holes in it with pins (some plastic type fabrics are not self-healing and you don't want holes showing later). So I use some alligator-type hair clips to hold my squares together while I sew.

Stitch around all four sides, leaving a 2" (or so) opening in the middle of one of the sides.

Clip your corners. Be careful not to cut across your stitching!

Turn the squares right side out through the 2" opening, using a bodkin, pencil end, crochet hook, or some other object to get the corners. Then press your sqaure on the outside fabric (if your inner fabric has any plastic in it, it will melt!)

Finally, the finishing touch. Topstitching! You could skip this step if you want, but I think topstitching just finishes it off. I so love topstitching.

Now you're ready to wrap something up! Just place your sandwich in the middle, fold in the two sides (the sides are the non-velcro corners),

Fold up the bottom,

Then fold down the top!

And there you go. A reusable sandwich wrap!

Now go start sewing!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Be Mine

My poor, little neglected blog. I didn't mean to leave you unattended so long, but this darn thing called "life" keeps getting the way. Kids, housework, running a 1/2 marathon.....etc. etc.

I have been sewing, I just haven't had time to stop and write about it. What have I been working on? Valentine's Day.

Last summer I found this adorable Alexander Henry "For My Valentine" fabric on the clearance rack at the fabric store. I just love the vintage look of this fabric.

It was only a couple bucks a yard, so I bought the rest of the bolt, which ended up being about 5 yards. I had no idea what I would do with it at the time, but I knew it would make something cute.

First thing I whipped up was this little number for my daughter:

My daughter wasn't in the modeling mood, so I had to use my mannequin, who my daughter calls "Maggie." The skirt doesn't quite fit the mannequin as well as my daughter, but you get the idea.

It's a drop-waist, layered twirl skirt with a double ruffle trim. This has become my most favorite kind of skirt to make. It's fun to make and easy to adjust to fit different sizes.

I paired the Alexander Henry fabric with a solid red cotton and this red & white floral print:

I love how the "flowers" in the print are little hearts. Perfect touch for Valentine's Day!

The other item I made with this fabric is my pillowcase-style dress, which I wrote about in detail here.

I love these cute little dresses. They can be layered over shirts with tights or leggings or just worn on their own as sundresses.

I've sold a couple of the skirts and the pillowcase dresses for some special little girls. I still have enough fabric left for a few more projects, but with Valentine's fast approaching, I think it will just go back into the "stash" until next year.

What kind of Valentine's Day projects have you been working on?