TUTORIAL: SEWING A SIMPLE TOTE BAG

Sewing Tutorial: Simple Tote Bag | wemadeithome.com

I love simple tote bags. I use a leather variation of this everyday and I was inspired to make this canvas one for Spring when I found some great trim at my local closeout fabric store Jomar. This is a great beginner project with a little flair.

Trim | wemadeithome.com

Here are the materials that you will need:

How to Sew a Tote Bag | wemadeithome.com

  1. 1 piece of 34” x 15” cotton canvas fabric folded in half
  2. 2 pieces of 1-2 inch wide of trim
  3. 2 pockets cut out of your canvas fabric. I uploaded a pattern for you here.
  4. Straight Pins
  5. Fabric scissors
  6. Iron
  7. Sewing machine with matching thread

Here is the 3 minute video on how to make the tote:

Please let me know if you have any questions about the tutorial, your feedback is really valuable to me! You can e-mail me here.

You can also now subscribe to my youtube channel. Like We Made it Home on Facebook,  follow me on Instagram, or pinterest.

 

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MY FAVORITE PODCASTS

My Favorite Podcasts | wemadeithome.com

Podcasts are my favorite way to consume media. I love to listen to them as I work, and am always in search of new content. I use the podcast app on my iphone and download them from itunes. They are free, informative, and extremely entertaining. Here is a roundup of a few of my favorites. Please let me know what your favorites are too by commenting!

  1. AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN Fool proof recipes, interviews, product reviews, and your food questions answered.
  2. AFTER THE JUMP I love this podcast from Grace Bonney the creator of the Design Sponge blog. She interviews creatives and designers, talks about running a business, and lifestyle design.
  3. PLANET MONEY Economics made interesting.
  4. 99% INVISIBLE A great show about design in our everyday lives.
  5. JILLIAN MICHAELS This is why I love podcasts. It is quirky, informative, and entertaining and not at all what you would expect from a celebrity personal trainer. It feels like you’re listening in on a conversation in her living room, in a good way.
  6. THE SPLENDID TABLE Another great podcast on the world of food.
  7. 48 DAYS TO THE WORK YOU LOVE Question and answers with a career life coach.
  8. THIS AMERICAN LIFE First-person stories and short fiction pieces that are touching, funny, and surprising.
  9. DAVE RAMSEY Questions and answers about money. We followed his plan to pay off all of our debt including our house.
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Getting Going

Getting Going

I’m still figuring out how to best structure my unstructured time. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start on big projects, so I am trying to find ways to build momentum. I don’t want to waste this precious time because I have so many things that I want to get done. Here are some things that I have been doing to get started.

  • The state of your bed is the state of your head. This is a little mantra that I use to get started in the morning. Every morning I eat breakfast with Jason and then I make our bed and do the dishes. They are small victories that I can check off my to do list and get the ball rolling for the rest of the day. Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit, calls these keystone habits.
  • Make a list. I have to have very clear objectives of what I need to get done every day, so that I can think about the things that I need to do once and then go on autopilot getting those things finished.
  • Eat that Frog.  There is an old saying that if you eat a frog early in the morning nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day. It means that you should tackle the hardest thing on your to-do list first thing before you lose your will power. It makes your day immediately productive.
  • Have a uniform. I can not get things done in my pajamas. If I am tackling housework I need my sneakers on, and if I am doing freelance work I need comfortable real life outfits to get me into the right mind set for tackling a project. If I need to work out, the hardest part is putting on workout clothes, but that small first step helps me get going to tackle whatever I need to get accomplished. It really does help me get motivated.

Do you have any tricks you use to get started?

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Tutorial: How to Make a Sewing Pattern

HOW TO MAKE A SEWING PATTERN | wemadeithome.com

Hi friends! As you can see from my last post that I have been making a lot of my own clothes. I have been teaching myself to make my own patterns from clothing that I already have. I haven’t had much luck finding sewing patterns that I like. I am drawn to really simple clothing with clean lines made of nice fabrics. It amazes me that it is so hard to find basic sewing patterns that meet my needs.

I should also mention that I have no formal training in sewing or pattern drafting, I learned everything that I know from my Mom who learned everything that she know from a 7th grade home ec class. So what I’m sharing is a simple system that I have figured out that works for me. Through this video tutorial you will see how easy it can be to draft a sewing pattern from an article of clothing that you already own. You can use this pattern over and over again to create new garments.

I will be making a follow up video that shows you how to sew a garment from the pattern that you created and I hope to have that up next week.

Please let me know if there are questions that you have, and any feedback of ways that I can be improving the information that I am sharing. And if you end up using this tutorial please share it with me! You can tag @wemadeithome on instagram, e-mail me at hello@haleyharmon.com.

Here’s MY FIRST VIDEO!!!

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Spring Wardrobe

clothesI have been challenging myself to make some of my own clothes for the new Spring season. I am very much a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl so I am trying to keep things simple. The bottom shirts were made from a thrifted scarf and bed sheet. The dress was made from a tapestry that I had and over-dyed with indigo. I made patterns by tracing clothes that I already have on butcher paper. The shoes are Turkish and hand made. They were found at a consignment shop while visiting my Aunt Barb in the DC suburbs. The ceramic necklace is one that I made in my kiln. I really love all the pieces because I feel like I could wear them everyday and all of the fabrics were soft and cotton. I’m thinking about doing a tutorial on drafting your own sewing patterns. Is that something that would interest you guys?

Now I am ready for short sleeve weather!

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WHAT AM I DOING?

As you can tell my life lately has been pretty boring. I wrote a blog post about cleaning out my car and I was SUPER stoked about it. I’m afraid that my boring debt free life is a disappointment to you. I feel like you probably expect us to go on a trip around the world, or at least go out and eat fancy pastries and tell you how awesome they are or something. The truth is that I have been really busy freelancing, making ceramics, and networking with rad business ladies! It’s been great and I am very thankful for it. We do have some big plans coming up, HOME RENOVATIONS! But since we are dedicated to not borrowing money we have to pinch our pennies so that we will have the cash to do our home makeover. So I’ve been working from my dining table, drawing weird things for cool companies to put on products. All the while I’m dreaming about transforming our garage into a studio. Here are some of the visions floating in my head.

Dream Studios | wemadeithome.com

PHOTO CREDITS Cabinet maker Laura Bergsøe | Norwegian artist studio Kalle Grude | Gisèle d’Ailly van Waterschoot van der Gracht | Backyard Design by Commune | Melbourne Home · Kim Victoria Wearne & Stuart Beer

 

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Magic Tea Recipe

MAGIC TEA | wemadeithome.com 2 Tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon grated ginger, half a teaspoon tumeric, 1 tablespoon honey. Mix together in your favorite mug, add boiling water, stir and enjoy.

While getting over the flu last week I was living on this tea. I like it because it tastes so soothing, it’s full of super foods and it doesn’t dehydrate you the way that caffeinated tea can when you are sick.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice: lemons fight bacteria, aid in digestion and support your immune system
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger: ginger reduces nausea, improves circulation and has anti viral properties
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric: turmeric is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and full of antioxidants
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey

PREPARATION

  1. Boil Water
  2. Get out your favorite mug and add the lemon juice, ginger, turmeric, and honey
  3. Fill mug with boiling water, stir and enjoy.
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CAR WASH: Week 11 Challenge

Car wash wemadeithome.comYes those are my nerdy artsy car wash photos. This week’s challenge is to get off all that road salt, dust and grime off of your car! I love going through the carwash, it reminds me of being a little kid. It was a nice treat. Then I vacuumed out the car myself. I’ve got a crazy system for vacuuming out the car since you really have to scramble once you put in that last quarter.

  • Before I leave I take out any big things from the car.
  • Once I get to the car wash I take out all of the car mats and shake them out and put them in a pile on the ground.
  • I also pick up all the bits of paper and what not and throw them away.
  • I open the doors.
  • Put in the quarters and vacuum out the floorboards
  • Then you usually have to add some more quarters to finish the trunk and finally your stack of mats.

I also don’t know how I made it this far in life without knowing that you can put your floor mats in your washer. Man that’s a game changer. I came home and threw them in on the gentle cycle with laundry detergent and they look awesome.

Also here’s my update to last week’s challenge. We packed up 4 boxes before we both got hit with the flu last week. It was such a bummer, but Jason and I are both feeling much better now. I guess every little bit helps. Sorry that there was no artful way to photograph our junk.

junk

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THINGS I HOARD

Things I Hoard on wemadeithome.com

My hoarding tends to end up in categories. I tell myself that it’s okay if I have a lot of                . Then once permission is granted it slowly creeps out of control. I talked about how I overcame my clothing addiction in an earlier post, but there are still things that I really struggle to let go of.

Here are some of my hoarding categories:

  • PLANTS: I have a crazy amount of indoor plants. I will buy them at the grocery store, ikea, inherit them from friends, and GROW MORE OF THEM. It’s never ending. Also I’ve noticed that I don’t really get to enjoy most of them because we only have so many windows and a lot of them end up behind closed curtains. I want to pick my favorites and rearrange them in places where I actually get to enjoy how pretty they are. I would also love to have a plant swap/adoption where I can give away some of the plants that I have multiples of or am just not that into anymore.
  • BOOKS: Dear lord I love books. Especially pretty inspirational art books and cookbooks. But I rarely use them. I am much more likely to head to the internet for a quick recipe or ideas. How do you feel about having tons of books?
  • TEXTILES: I have stacks of blankets around the house and rugs in the basement. I don’t know when I am going to get sick of a certain rug and want to replace it, but I have yet to exchange a rug with one in the basement. I also tell myself that blankets are functional and beautiful, so what’s the harm in having lots of them?
  • MULTIPLES OF FUNCTIONAL THINGS: My friend Amy makes fun of me because our basement looks like a good will. It’s got racks of things like jars, vases and kitchenware on shelves waiting for the day when we are ready for a “new one”. I keep telling myself that it’s my version of Martha’s prop closet.
  • KITCHEN GADGETS: We do a lot of cooking and it shows. We have so many utensils, gadgets, pots and pans. Most of them get a lot of use, but our kitchen is also bursting at the seams.
  • EPHEMERA: Real life letters, birth announcements, and cards these are things that I have a lot of trouble giving away. Especially because letters are so rare these days. I also keep business cards, and certain flyers from craft shows or stores to remind me of ideas or inspiration but I rarely revisit them.
  • ART SUPPLIES: You never know when you will be inspired to make something and that wood burning set you have buried away will come in handy. Right?

Am I crazy? Is this normal? Are there things that you allow yourself to hoard? Do I need to whittle down my possessions to 100 things? Do you have experience getting over giving these things away?

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