How To Make A Water Bottle Carrier

how to make a water bottle carrier

I have been planning to make a water bottle carrier for ages and at last I have got round to it! I actually need to whip up a few; we’re going on holiday in a couple of weeks and I know how heavy 6 bottles of water can be!

As I knew that this was a project that would not require very much fabric, I decided to have a rummage in the mountain modest pile of spare fabric behind the bedroom door and see what treasures I could find. I came across the car seat cover that i made last year (you can read about that little disaster here!). At last I had a project where I could reuse the fabric!

The water bottle carrier is simple in construction and can be made to fit whatever size of bottle you have. The outer is quilted to insulate the bottle and keep your water cooler for longer.

I had planned to line it but as the lining ended up being a bit of a snug fit, I just finished the raw edge at the top with bias binding instead.how to make a water bottle carrier

How to Make a Water Bottle Carrier

You will need: fabric for the outer and lining (if you are making a separate lining you will need 2 pieces), wadding, ribbon or bias binding, D rings.

1. Wrap a piece of paper around the outside of your bottle. This is to determine the size of rectangle that you will need to cut from the fabric. Add a cm for the seam allowance and another couple of cm for quilting.

Draw around the bottom of the bottle and add an extra 2 -3 cm extra there too.how to make a water bottle carrier

2. Cut 1 rectangle and 1 circle from the main fabric, the wadding and the lining. If you are making a separate lining you will need to cut 2.how to make a water bottle carrier

3. Pin the main fabric right side up to the wadding and one of the lining pieces. Use plenty of pins! You should have a kind of sandwich with the wadding in the middle. You will need to do this for the circles as well.how to make a water bottle carrier

4. Quilt the sandwich. I did this by sewing rows up and down, using the edge of the presser foot as a guide. Switching the direction in which you are sewing causes it all to distort less. When you have finished the rectangle, quilt the circles.how to make a water bottle carrierhow to make a water bottle carrier

5. From the ribbon or bias binding, cut enough to go lengthways across the quilted rectangle. Cut 2 pieces about 5 cm long and fold each one in half widthways. Slip a D ring onto each piece.

6. Lay the pieces of bias tape with the D rings on about a quarter of the way in from each edge.Pin the longer piece over the top. how to make a water bottle carrierSew the bias tape in place.how to make a water bottle carrier

7. Fold the quilted rectangle in half with the wrong sides together. Sew along the edge opposite the fold.how to make a water bottle carrier

8. Pin the circle to the bottom of the rectangle that is now a cylinder. This is a bit fiddly, but stick with it! It will probably look like a weird vegetable. how to make a water bottle carrierSew the circle in place.

9. Trim the seams closely and turn out. Sew bias binding to the raw edge to finish it off.how to make a water bottle carrier

If you want to make a lining for your water bottle holder, repeat steps 7 and 8, then pop it inside the quilted section with the wrong sides together and add the bias binding.

10. To make the strap, cut a strip of fabric 6 – 10 cm wide and long enough to go from your hip, over your shoulder and back to your hip again. Fold in half lengthways to find the centre. Open it out, then fold the raw edges in towards the centre. how to make a water bottle carrierFold in half again so that the raw edges are enclosed inside. how to make a water bottle carrierTuck the raw edges at either end inwards.how to make a water bottle carrier Pin, then sew. I sewed along both the long edges so that it was symmetrical (I have a thing about stuff being symmetrical!).how to make a water bottle carrier

11. Thread one end of the strap through one of the D rings, Fold the edge over and sew in place. I sewed 2 rows of stitches to reduce the chances of the strap breaking.

Here is the finished water bottle carrier.how to make a water bottle carrierhow to make a water bottle carrierhow to make a water bottle carrier

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How To Attach A Waistband

attach a waistband

According to my mum, the first skirt I ever made was when I was 9 or 10. It was a rectangle of fabric sewn together along one edge, with a hem and casing for and elastic at the waist.

Unfortunately now, as a slightly chunky grown up, I am not going to get away with wearing skirts with elasticated waists. Those are best left to children and the very slim.

Thankfully attaching a waistband to a skirt is pretty easy once you know how! I’ve included three slightly different methods.attach a waistband

How to Attach a Waistband

You will need to sew in the zip first! For instructions how to sew in a zip, you can read this post here.

Ribbon Waistbandattach a waistband

You will need a piece of ribbon slightly longer than the distance around your waist and 5 – 6 cm wide.

1. Fold the ribbon in half lengthways. You will need to crease it so you could iron it, but pressing it with your finger will probably do the job well enough.

2. Fold the ribbon in half widthways to find the middle.

3. Starting opposite the zip and with the middle of the ribbon, put the ribbon over the raw edge at the waist and pin. attach a waistbandCarefully top stitch the ribbon to the skirt. Leave a couple of cm either side of the zip.attach a waistband

4. Fold the raw edges of the ribbon underneath so that they match up with where the fabric of the skirt joins the zip. Sew in place.attach a waistband

Fabric Waistbandcircle skirt

1. Cut a piece of fabric as long as the distance round your waist plus a bit extra, and about 10 cm wide. You might need to join 2 pieces together, that’s fine. If the fabric is quite lightweight or creases very easily, you might want to add some fusible interfacing to make it a bit thicker.

2. Fold the fabric in half lengthways and press it, either with the iron or with your finger. Open it out, then fold the raw edges into the middle. Press again.attach a waistbandattach a waistband

3. Start opposite the zip and with the middle of the waist band. Pin the edge of the waistband to the wrong side of the fabric so that the raw edges are together and the right side of the waistband is next to the wrong side of the fabric. attach a waistbandSew all the way round, leaving a couple of cm either side of the zip. If you need to finish the raw edges, now is the time to do it!

4. Fold the waistband over the top of the skirt and fold the edge back under. Pin, then top stitch round the waist again. still leaving a couple of cm at the zip.attach a waistband

5. Fold the raw edges underneath so that the edge of the waistband is aligned with where the skirt meets the zip. attach a waistbandSew in place.attach a waistband

Bias Binding Waistband.

To make a waistband using bias binding, you will find it easier and probably more comfortable if you use wide bias binding.

The process is exactly the same as the one above, except that you don’t have to faff about with folding in the raw edges! Just cut it to the right length, then fold the bias binding in half lengthways. Follow the steps above from step 3!

You might also like this post here about making a circle skirt, and this post here about upcycling a shapeless old dress into a skirt and this post here about making a skirt with godets. You don’t need a pattern for any of them but knowing how to attach a waistband will be useful!

Linking up here: Behind the Seams Sewingclairejustine “HM" Amy

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Toddler Trousers Without A Pattern

toddler trousers without a pattern

As Boy 4 has been insisting, “Make mine trackies. Make them now,” I’ve had the perfect excuse to do some sewing during the daytime when I am supposed to be playing with him or doing domestic stuff!toddler trousers without a pattern

I made him some dungarees a few weeks ago (you can read that post here!). He chose the fabric himself and he had also chosen some more to make him some little trousers.  I do have a pattern for trousers but I used that to make him these almost a year ago and they are now on the small side and far to short in the leg.

So instead I used a pair of his existing trousers as a template.

Trousers are usually simple in construction, for tiny people at least. So all I needed to do was cut 4 of the basic trouser piece shape and sew them up. Here’s how to do it!

How to Make Toddler Trousers When You Don’t Have a Pattern

1. Find an existing pair of trousers that fit your child well. Draw around them on a piece of paper. toddler trousers without a patternRemember to include a generous seam allowance. Stretch out the waist band so that you get some idea of where the centre seam will be. Make sure that you have allowed plenty of extra fabric at the top for casing for elastic.

Your pattern piece should look vaguely like this. toddler trousers without a patternIf you are having difficulty, it is worth remembering that the side seams are usually vertical and run along the grain and the inside leg should taper towards the ankle a little bit.

2. You will need to cut out 4 of these. Remember to check if you are using a directional print or fabric with a nap. The outside edge of the trouser piece should run parallel with the selvedge.toddler trousers without a pattern

Because Boy 4 was “helping,” he insisted that I used a 2 pairs of trousers, both of which were too small. This was something else to take that into consideration when I was making the template. The trousers were just about ok in the seat, just too short in the leg.toddler trousers without a pattern

3. Take 2 of the trouser pieces. With the wrong sides together, pin along the longest edge and sew. Trim the seams and press. toddler trousers without a patternOr if you are feeling fancy, you might like to practise french seams. Instruction are here! Repeat for the other two pieces.

4. Take both the sections you have just joined and pin together along the other, shorter vertical edges. These will be the centre seams of the trousers. Trim the seams and press.toddler trousers without a pattern

5. Starting at the middle seam, pin the inside leg, then sew it up. I usually start to sew at the middle as this ensures that the seams match! toddler trousers without a patternIf you have used french seams in the previous steps, you will need to just do plain seams here because french seams don’t work when there is a curve!toddler trousers without a pattern

Trim the seams and clip the curves.toddler trousers without a pattern

6. To make the casing for the elastic, fold the raw edge at the top over by about 1 cm, then fold it over again and pin. Check with your elastic and make sure the casing will be wide enough! Sew, keeping close to the lower edge.toddler trousers without a pattern

7. Cut your elastic. The easiest way to do this is by putting it around your child’s waist and cutting accordingly. You might have to wait until they are asleep though! Using a safety pin, thread the elastic through the casing.toddler trousers without a patterntoddler trousers without a pattern

8. Wrestle your toddler into the trousers and mark where you need to hem at the ankles. Alternatively you could measure the trousers against them while they are asleep. Hem the trousers by folding the raw edge under, then folding again.toddler trousers without a pattern

Here is Boy 4 wearing the finished trousers. They are a little clown like in the bum area and also longer in the leg than I thought they would be. I’m going to call it growing room!toddler trousers without a pattern

Having looked at trousers and trouser patterns again, I think I could make them better by adding a bit of a curve to the centre seam. For the moment though, Boy 4 is happy enough with his new trousers!toddler trousers without a patterntoddler trousers without a patterntoddler trousers without a pattern

Linking up here: Behind the Seams Sewingclairejustine “HM" Amy

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How To Increase And Decrease Stitches In Crochet

increasing and decreasing stitches in crochet

Being able to increase and decrease stitches in crochet is useful when you are making all kinds of  things. If you are making bowls, bags, hats or anything else that starts with a circle, you will need to know how and when to increase stitches (If you would like a tutorial on how the crochet a circle, you can find one here!). Equally if you want to make something that’s flat, like a beard for your little person, or if you are making soft toys or you want to add shape to a pretty scarf or a purse you need to know how to increase and decrease stitches.

increasing and decreasing stitches in crochetIncreasing

Increasing stitches is the same whether you are crocheting rows or in the round.

To increase a stitch, you simply make 2 stitches into one stitch.

So here is the first stitch…how to increase and decrease stitches in crochet

…Then you make a second stitch into the same space.how to increase and decrease stitches in crochet

When crocheting in rows, usually you would increase a stitch or 2 in from the outside edge. Here is the completed row with the increased stitches. The corner kept curling upwards, which is why the scissors are there!increasing and decreasing stitches in crochetIt is the same whether you are crocheting double crochets or trebles. You just work 2 stitches into the same stitch. Here is a row with increased stitches at each end worked in trebles.increasing and decreasing stitches in crochetincreasing and decreasing stitches in crochetincreasing and decreasing stitches in crochetincreasing and decreasing stitches in crochet
When crocheting a circle, you usually increase by 6 stitches each time round. So as the circle grows, you leave more stitches between the increases.crochet a circlecrochet a circlecrochet a circle

Decreasing

To decrease when working in double crochet you work 2 stitches together. Put the hook through the stitch and pull the yarn through so that you have 2 loops on the hook.increasing and decreasing stitches in crochetThen put the hook through the next stitch and pull the yarn through. You will have 3 loops on the hook. increasing and decreasing stitches in crochetPut the yarn over the hook and pull it through all 3 loops.increasing and decreasing stitches in crochet

Here s the finished row.I worked the stitch at each end as normal and decreased by working the 2 stitches in from the last stitch.increasing and decreasing stitches in crochet

Decreasing trebles has more steps but the principle is the same. You just work half the stitch before moving onto the next one, then work them together.

Put the yarn over the hook, stick the hook through the stitch and pull a loop through, yarn over the hook and through 2 of the loops an the hook. You should be left with 2 loops on the hook and a stitch that looks like half a treble. increasing and decreasing stitches in crochetincreasing and decreasing stitches in crochetWork half a treble into the next stitch in the same way.increasing and decreasing stitches in crochetThen yarn over the hook and pull through 2 stitches,

increasing and decreasing stitches in crochet

then yarn over thehook and pull through the remaining three stitches.increasing and decreasing stitches in crochetincreasing and decreasing stitches in crochetIf you want to see the crocheted beard I referred to earlier, that post can be found here!

Happy crafting! xx

Linking up here: Behind the Seams Sewingclairejustine “HM" Amy

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How To Finish Seams

how to finish a seam

I like to feel that I’m being helpful,don’t you?

That’s what I’ve been trying to do recently with some of my blog posts. So now you all know how to finish off a lined table mat or cloth with a pretty border and mitred corners, and you also know how to add a magnetic snap to a handmade bag, if you didn’t already.

This post is about different ways of finishing seams. Choosing the best way to finish seams can make the difference between something looking handmade and it looking homemade. It can also be the difference between wearing something you have made all the time and it falling apart in the washing machine the first time you wash it.

This is not an exhaustive list, but it should be enough to get you started!how to finish a seam

How to Finish a Seam

Plain Seams

All you do here is put the fabric with the wrong sides together, pin it, then sew. Then you trim the seams down a bit and press them either open or to the side.

Pressing them open usually means less bulk, but pressing them to the side is often easier. Sometimes the seams will need to be pressed to the side for a neater finish.

Finishing seams in this way is fine when using fabric that doesn’t fray. However most fabric frays at least a little bit, so you might need to do something else to your seams here so that the thing doesn’t disintegrate.

Pinking

For fabric that only frays a little bit, pinking the seams will do the job. When you are trimming down the seams, instead of using your normal scissors, use pinking shears. The zigzag effect will be enough to prevent fraying at least a bit.how to finish a seam

Overcasting or Zigzags

If pinking isn’t going to be enough to stop the seams from falling apart, you can finish the edges with an overlocker. If you don’t have an overlocker, some sewing machines have an overcasting stitch that is very similar that you can use with a special foot. Otherwise sewing zigzags over the raw edges can stop the fraying.

Depending on the seams, it might be easiest to finish the edges first, especially if it is a curved seam, like the inside leg of a pair of child’s trousers. Hwever sometimes it is better to do it afterwards. On a dress I made a while ago (I was actually trying to unpick it to make it fit!) I sewed the bodice with the lining to the skirt, then finished the edges with the overcasting stitch before pressing the seam upwards.how to finish a seam

French Seam

French seams are great for straight edges if you have fabric that frays badly or if the thing you making is needs to be more robust.

For example, if you wanted to make dresses for Dress a Girl Around the World, French seams would be a good choice. Dress a Girl Around the World is an organisation that provides dresses for girls and shorts for boys in the poorest areas of the world. You can read about the work they do here. If you are in the UK there is a Facebook page here. Obviously these clothes are not gong to be washed on the gentle cycle in a washing machine! They need to withstand being scrubbed on rocks and stuff, so the seams need to hold together,

To sew a French seam (and assuming a 1.5 cm seam allowance) you will need to put your fabric wrong sides together and sew 1 cm from the raw edge. how to finish a seamTrim the seam right down and press it. Fold the fabric over so that the right sides are together and pin the seam. how to finish a seamSew along the seam 0.5 cm from the folded edge.Press to the side. The raw edges should be enclosed within the seam.how to finish a seamhow to finish a seam

Run and Fell Seam

I have also seen this referred to as a flat felled seam and as a lapped seam.

Pin the fabric with the wrong sides together. Press the seam to the side. how to finish a seamTrim the underneath half of the seam allowance. how to finish a seamFold the raw edge of the top half of the seam allowance over and pin it down over the underneath half. how to finish a seamSew in place, keeping close to the folded edge.how to finish a seamhow to finish a seam

Run and fell seams are good for children’s clothes as they are sturdy. Because the seam allowance is enclosed on the right side, there are no seam allowances to irritate children who are sensitive to tickly, scratchy bits on the inside of their clothes.

There is another version of this for bulky fabrics that don’t fray. The top piece overlaps the bottom piece a little bit so that right side of the fabric is facing upwards. Then two rows of stitches hold each raw edge down. It looks very similar to the picture above, it just doesn’t have the folded bits.

Tips

It is definitely worth considering which seam finish is best before starting, as it is very disheartening to have something you are making disintegrate before your eyes or fall apart the first time you wash it.

Finishing raw edges on plain is often easiest to do before you sew up the seams. It’s fine to do it afterwards though. If the fabric is not too bulky, you can press the seam to the side and finish both edges together.

Trimming seams closely will help to reduce bulkiness.

Remembering to make a series of little cuts into the seam allowance of  curved seam will prevent it from looking wrinkly.

Linking up here:
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