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Guest Blog Post- Maggie’s Corner

Maggie’s Custom Design Tutorial for Sewing a Gift Bag from Recycled Materials

Maggie’s Corner is about learning to live a more sustainable lifestyle. We are about sharing information with the public to bring together like minded folks who enjoy sustainable living ideas, crafting, sewing, recycling and re-purposing.


Check out our site: Maggie’s Corner


Gift bad made from recycled grain bags. I use Bernina #100 needle and Coats and Clark 100% mercerized thread.

9″ x 9″ x 10″ finished size.


Cut material being mindful of the design you want to achieve.

Cut four pieces about 10″ x 12″ for side pieces One piece about 10″ x 10″ for bottom.

Sew sides to bottom and top stitch inside seam.

Sew side seams together.

There is a 2″ hem at the top and about 1/2″ side and bottom seams. I use clothespins instead of pins.

Handles finished about 20″ or whatever desired.




Tell us in a comment: How do you incorporate sustainable living into your sewing creations? Winner will be announced Saturday, October 27.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Text and images Copyright © 2012 by Margaret Lieterman, Maggie of Maggie’s Corner Nonprofit Corporation, all rights reserved. No pattern may be reproduce or distributed – mechanically, electronically, or by any other means, including photocopying, without written permission. Finished products created with this pattern may be used for commercial sale. It is appreciate if design credit would be given to Maggie of Maggie’s Corner Nonprofit Corporation is listed in finished products.

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Libby Scripps-Guest Blogger

Libby Scripps-Guest Blogger
Written By: Libby Scripps



Well, I’ve never been a domestic goddess, but sewing was something that came natural to me.  I remember making my first shirt when I was fourteen.  Before that I was into making those knot and hemp bracelets for all my friends.  Then A-line skirts, made out of old clothes heading out the door to Goodwill.  I always was amused with patterns and material, which landed me into running my own clothing company.

I’m not the best sewer, but my love affair for fine garments continues to be an obsession.  Fine fabrics, threads, and trims, bring a thrill to my day to day.  One of my prize pieces is a chunky sweater I knitted, took me a whole year.  When I put this sweater on, it makes me appreciate so many things, I took for grant.  Its easy to go to a store and buy a garment, but sewing your own piece brings joy and pride to oneself.

In observance of SEW month, I encourage you to create, sew, learn; the awesome technique.  “For one day you’ll leave home and a button will fall off your favorite jacket and your mother won’t be around to sew it on, and you’ll need to sew that baby one.”  So learn and be a self sufficient young creative free spirit!

Check out my live blog and my clothing line MALLET HILL. Offered at boutiques SPRING 2013.


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Fiskars Giveaway!

Learn about The Fiskateers:

The Fiskateers are the online crafting community run by We love ALL things crafty. Naturally we favor Fiskars products but we welcome anything that helps spark creativity and imagination. We are also pretty partial to the color orange. You can find us at our website and on our Facebook page.

We love to welcome new members who share our passion. Membership is free and easy. To join our community, go to our website and click Join. Also remember to ‘like’ us on Facebook. The fun doesn’t stop as soon as National Sewing Month is over!
In order to win this giveaway, you must LIKE Fiskateers and LIKE National Sewing Month Facebook pages. and leave a comment on this blog post telling us your favorite part about National Sewing Month.
Entries will be accepted until Sunday, September 30 at 11:59 EST. Only one entry per person will be accepted. Contest is only open to residents of the US and Canada (excl. Quebec)

The following products are included in the giveaway, thank you Fiskars!

The Original Orange-Handled Scissors™ (8″)

The Original Orange-Handled Scissors


Known worldwide for its quality and precision, our trusted Orange-Handled Scissors has sold over 1 billion since 1967.

Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting performance. High-grade, stainless-steel blades feature a precision-ground edge that stays sharp longer and cuts all the way to the tip — essential for anyone who cuts fabric. A lightweight design and ergonomically sculpted handle provide unmatched cutting control, and a bent handle design keeps materials flat for precise cuts every time.


  • Ideal for cutting a wide variety of materials including denim, silk and multiple layers of fabric
  • High-grade, precision-ground, stainless-steel blades offer a lasting sharp edge that cuts all the way to the tip
  • Ergonomic handle is sculpted to fit your hand, maximizing cutting control and sensitivity
  • Bent handle design keeps material flat for mistake-free cutting
  • Length: 8″
  • Lifetime warranty


Micro-Tip® Scissors (No. 5)

Micro-Tip Scissors


Choose Micro-Tip® blades for unmatched cutting precision.

Our small, sharp Micro-Tip® Scissors are the perfect choice for making tight cuts, quick snips or cutting intricate details on fabric. High-grade, stainless-steel blades feature a precision-ground edge that stays sharp longer and cuts all the way to the tip — essential for anyone who cuts fabric. A lightweight double-loop handle provides excellent control.


  • Ideal for cutting tight patterns and intricate details on a wide range of fabrics, cutting at awkward angles or in tight spaces or making quick thread snips
  • Micro-Tip® blades provide superior cutting precision
  • High-grade, precision-ground, stainless-steel blades offer a lasting sharp edge that cuts all the way to the tip
  • Double-loop handle accommodates right- and left-handed users
  • Length: 4.9″
  • Lifetime warranty


Sew Taxi

Sew Taxi


The perfect tool for your sewing basket or project tote. All the tools you need right at your fingertips.


  • 12-in-1 sewing multi-tool
  • Includes the following: Thread cutter, Safety pin, Tweezers, Magnifying glass, Needle threaders (2), Measuring tape, Knit picker, Seam ripper, Stuffing tool,Piercing punch



2 Piece Rotary Cutting Set

2 Piece Rotary Cutting Set


This cutting set has everything you need to cut fabric and is sized to make it easy to store and transport.


  • 45mm Rotary Stick Style Cutter -Use right or left handed -Extra sharp cutting blade -Easy blade change
  • 6″ x 18″ Self-Healing Cutting Mat -2 Sided for extra long life
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Hems To Dolls- Guest Blog Post

Written By:

I don’t really remember ever not sewing or it at least not being a part of my life.

Mom made vintage dresses.
I wore the yellow dress in kindergarten
The blue dress was an Easter dress for me at about 21 months.

I do recall my Mother sewing Barbie clothes for my sisters and me, my favorite was a sweater and skirt outfit from a green plaid sock, and I have two dresses (as seen on right) that my mother made for me as a child but with there being four kids sewing wasn’t something that mom had the time or inclination to do much as we got older, then of course her sewing machine got lost in one of many moves :(

Grandma made vintage dresses

I have several dresses (as well as a few of those patterns) that my Grandmother made for my aunts in the 60’s and/or 70’s; as well as all of Grandma’s pattern stash – really not sure how I, of all the 40+ grandkids, ended up with them but YAY!!!! My Grandmother did tell me once that she was not much of a seamstress until her sister had sewn a couple of dresses for my aunts and so Grandma decided she better start sewing.

When I was in second grade, maybe third grade, I begged my mother to teach me how to sew by hand, so I started out with hand sewing, I didn’t do much with it- too slow!
While I was in fourth grade we lived with my Grandparents for a few months and I know I hounded my Grandma into teaching me to sew with her sewing machine. I still have a few of the items I made – a little yellow drawstring bag and and recorder cover plus I know I made a birthday gift for my sister but can’t recall what.

For Christmas in fifth grade my parents got me a second hand Kenmore sewing machine and the doll clothing pattern, Simplicity 9478. I still have the nightgown, cape and muff, and dress – put away for now, don’t trust B quite yet with my handmade doll clothes.

I was the only one in home ec. class in middle school that already knew how to sew, so my teacher put me on the finiky machine. Through middle school I did make the occasional pillow and blanket but not much else that I recall.

In ninth grade I took an interior design class in which, for our midterm project, we had to decorate a room of our house. I did my bedroom, of course, – I recovered my comforter, made roman shades, and large pillows- all in coordinating fabric. That year I also made the dress I wore to the homecoming dance – a green sleeveless dress out of quilting cotton – not the best but I still love the prints (have some scraps tucked away that I use here & there).

Through high school I mostly made home decor items – curtains, pillows, etc.; though I did make myself a couple of renaissance fair dresses and a cloak – what can I say I love costumes!
I didn’t get serious about making my own clothing until a few years ago when I needed clothing that was breastfeeding friendly. I found Blessed Designs, which is where I first started finding the whole sewing blogoshere! I was able to get a few of those patterns sewn up – the lingerie/nightgown pattern was indispensable while nursing and the diaper bag is still a great big bag.

I did sew up a couple of the dresses but now that my family is no longer growing the patterns are sitting idle in my stash – soooo, who wants to win a pattern? Leave a comment at the end of my post and two lucky winners will win one of these nursing dress/top patterns. On October 1st, I will use to pick two winners.

With lots of sewing blog lurking and sewing book reading I have learned much about sewing and done a lot more garment sewing the last three years than I did ever before. By sewing more for myself I have begun to find and develop my own style which is giving me more confidence in myself, I’m not just known as D and B’s mom but also as a seamstress. I get compliments on my clothing, as well as the odd look but when it isn’t common place for women to wear dresses or skirts on a daily basis then it is to be expected.
When I go to town I don’t want people to look at me and guess that I am a stay at home mom just because of what I am wearing, I’m not one to wear the ill fitting t-shirt and jeans or work-out clothes; I’d much rather be dressed nicely in one of my self-made dresses or skirt and blouse ensemble even if I look a bit vintage or maybe even out of place at the park in a dress, hat, and nice shoes.

I do what I can to make sewing a money saving hobby especially since I don’t have an income of my own but there are the occasional projects that I do actually have to go shopping for a portion of the supplies.Usually though I can “stash shop” (as shown with Vintage Lined Jacket, New Look 6808, Bustier Top and nearly every other sewing project on my blog)  or refashion some piece of clothing, as was the case with Great Grandpa’s shirts, B’s Go To Tunic, Yellow Shirt dress, and Purple T-shirt to name a few.

I really do love to sew. My children know this and request items – especially B (who is 3yrs old)- but I always get so much satisfaction from that huge smile & big thank you when I give her the item (just last week she was so happy to get her requested Strawberry School Bag), that I can’t say no. My son D (who is 5) has started learning to sew on my old machine (after much hounding of me on his part) – just needle & paper- and he is getting the hang of it; B was very disappointed that she couldn’t sew too. It makes me proud to think that I will be able to pass on a skill learned from my mother and grandmother to my children and so on.

So maybe to summarize my very long and rambling post: I am finding that sewing is a great outlet for self expression, individualism, provides a connection to the past, and can be a great confidence booster – how about you?



About Alyssa:
Hi! I am a stay-at-home mom to my two beautiful children, son D who is 5 and just started Kindergarten and daughter B who is 3 and just started preschool.
My husband and I have been married 10 years and live in rural, southwest Minnesota. My husband owns his own business which makes it possible for me to stay at home.
I love to sew! When I was 7 or 8 I pestered my mom into teaching how to sew by hand then at 9 I hounded my grandma into teaching me to sew with her sewing machine. I sewed off and on since then but in the last three years have really picked it back up and started sewing with more intent – less home decor or accessories/gifts and lots more garments. I have learned so much in the last few years between reading all the lovely sewing blogs out there and reading sewing books, as well as just sewing to see what works. I love the vintage styles that are becoming more popular plus I have my mom and grandma’s pattern stash from the late 60’s and 70’s- the little girls’ patterns are so cute, the dresses are a little short but cute. So I love to sew, helps me keep my sense of self and accomplishment. I look forward to passing on the appreciation of handmade and the skills and love of sewing to both my children. I love the access the internet offers us to learn and connect with others so please feel free to connect I am always happy to make new crafty friends!
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NSM Celebration Essay- Guest Blog Post

Written By: Patty



Little did I know when I stitched the first dress for my favorite doll, that sewing would be a lifelong pursuit. That simple cotton dress was made under the watchful eye of our neighbor, Mrs. F., using pattern pieces cut from paper lunch bags with fabric from her remnants drawer. Baby doll clothes to Barbie, I tried them all.

Soon, I graduated to making simple garments for myself, and at age 14 chose to sew a dress for my confirmation.  Mrs. F guided me along as I chose a lovely textured white pique, and in the style of the 70’s this dress featured  bishop sleeves, wide cuffs and was several inches above the knee. Mrs. F. was a stickler for precision, and I learned how to “correctly” sew on a button, make buttonholes, and hand sew the button loops that closed those wide cuffs. I was hooked!

In high school, I saved my tips from waitressing and bought my first sewing machine, a Kenmore from Sears. I sewed most all of my clothes then, and  distinctly remember the Christmas of my Senior year. I explained to my parents that I really didn’t want any gifts, just money to buy fabric. We lived in a small, 3 bedroom bungalow, and my parents never complained as I sewed on the dining room table night after night…although I did get quite an earful  from my Dad when I made a backless, fire-engine red satin halter dress for Homecoming that year!

I stepped away from the sewing machine during my college years…..but found my way back when I made my first quilt the first year of my married life. I joined a quilt group, building long-standing friendships. I resumed garment sewing, mostly slacks and tops for work.

As our family began to grow, making clothes for our four children took me back in a way to those doll clothes made so many years before. I love to go back through the old photos and see the kids dressed in the outfits I made, even the one of my oldest daughter and I in matching outfits: she’s in a cute little romper, and I’m in a tent-like maternity top! I’ve made many a prom dress, repaired lots of sports uniforms and sewed numerous raffle quilts as the kids traveled through their high school years.

Today, my sewing is an even more enjoyable part of my life as I have more time to spend on it.
I am still sewing for the kids: sundresses and career clothes for my daughters, mending and
repairs for the boys, even though they are all in their 20’s now. And I make sure that my husband isn’t neglected: wall hangings for his office and quilts for our bed. Teaching myself over the years to make pattern adjustments have resulted in clothes that I have sewn for myself that I find fit this middle-aged body SO much better than anything I can find in ready-to-wear.

I no longer sew on the dining room table but have a large, well-lit dedicated sewing space. The Kenmore machine has been replace by a Bernina, and I use the serger and the embroidery machine as the project dictates. I’ve traveled to Chicago and New York City to purchase fabrics and shop both locally and online. I take a class here and there, and have been enriched by the very friendly and gracious online sewing community. Sewing has become more of a lifestyle than a hobby for me, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of those 40+ years .

Here’s to sewing in September……..National Sewing Month!

About Patty:

Sewing and knitting are my passions and I need a daily ‘fix’ of needlework! I’m a mother of 4 (28,26,24,21), married to my DH for 32 years. Find me on PattyP