Thursday, April 17, 2014

Macrame Strap Bag | DIY


While brainstorming for my macrame satchel, I couldn't decide if I wanted to make the satchel or this macrame strap bag with the cotton piping I bought. Luckily, I had enough cotton piping to make both and this fabric I have saved for a while now was begging to be used.

 Materials: Cotton piping (about 30 yards), Leather, Upholstery fabric, fabric for lining, sewing machine, zipper

Steps for macrame strap: Cut a five inch piece of piping and tape it to a table horizontally. Cut four pieces of cotton piping into seven yards. Fold each piece in half and knot it onto the piece that is taped on the table. Now it is time to start knotting your strap into a design. Take the furthest piece on the left and the third to the left and make a knot. Do this again with every other piece of piping, knotting all the pieces together. Take the two middle pieces of piping and cross over a piece on the right to make a "P" shape. Cross the piece on the left through the "P" and pull tight (refer to photos 2-4). Continue to do this with the other pieces of piping to make a design.
Starting on the far right, take the last strip of piping and knot it around the piece to it's left. The left piece will be the "holding piece" meaning the piping on the right is the one wrapping itself around the piece that is held in place. Repeat this across to the middle inching your way down in a diagonal line. Repeat this once you get to the middle by making the diagonal line go up the opposite direction.
Steps for bag: Fold your upholstery fabric in half and draw a U shape and cut out of the fabric. Repeat this again twice for the lining. Cut a piece of fabric 3 inches wide that will wrap around the shape of your purse (I did this in two strips to save fabric). With your main fabric facing up, sew the long strip along the side. Sew this onto the other side as well. Repeat this for the lining as well. For the zipper, lay the patterned shape inside out and lay the zipper on top with the right side facing up. place the lining on top and sew across. Finish with a top stitch and repeat on the other side. Turn your purse right side out. Sew your strap on the bag by taking a rectangle of leather and folding it around the end of the macrame. Sew around the edges of the rectangle onto the purse and you are finished!

*Optional: Sew on a small leather patch when you are finished!









I love how it turned out and I can't wait to carry it with me to the beach this summer!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Macrame Satchel | DIY

With festival season upon us, I love seeing all the new do-it-yourself projects and outfits surface that are inspired by the music festival season. I'm going to my first music fest this coming May (ahh!) and I can't help but dream up what I'm going to wear and how much fun it will be. I've come up with a few satchel ideas for carrying around necessities without having a huge weight on your shoulder, so first I made this macrame satchel with a leather strap.

This was my first time trying out macrame, it can be tricky...but the great part is there are no rules and even if you just start knotting the chord here and there it turns out pretty cool!
Materials: Cotton piping (about 25 yds, I found it for 19 cents/yd), scissors, tape, sewing machine, fabric of your choice, leather strap and round studs.

Steps:  Cut a 10 inch piece of piping and ten 32 inch pieces of piping. Tape down the 10 inch piece horizontally on your table. Fold the 32 inch pieces in half and slip under the horizontal piece and knot into place. Repeat this for all ten strips of piping. Starting on the far right, take the last strip of piping and knot it around the piece to it's left. The left piece will be the "holding piece" meaning the piping on the right is the one wrapping itself around the piece that is held in place. Repeat this across to the middle inching your way down in a diagonal line. Repeat this once you get to the middle by making the diagonal line go up the opposite direction.


Take the three pieces next to your middle section and make a "P" shape with the far right piping and the middle. Cross over the left piece on top of the P and swing it through (refer to pictures 1-3).Tighten this knot and repeat it. Do this sequence of knots across the piping using up all the chord, one of the knots there will need to be two strips of piping in the middle instead of one. When you finish the first row, do this again an inch further down without using the two end piping pieces to offset the knots. 
 Repeat the beginning diagonal lines that make a "V" that you made in the beginning. Now, cut a piece of fabric that is a little bigger than the macrame. Carefully sew your macrame around the edges to the piece of fabric. Start at the top and work your way down the sides, pull the piping tight as you sew, but do not go across the bottom yet. Cut another piece of fabric the same size as your first and place on top of the macrame. Sew across the sides and bottom, this will secure the macrame in place and make the shape of your bag! Cut off the excess piping and fabric. Make a lining by cutting two rectangles of contrasting fabric and sewing around the edges. Put it in your bag and sew around the opening to secure the lining in place. Finally, add your leather strap by using an exacto knife to mark where the prongs of your studs can go through. Fold down in place and you are finished!













A Creative Rut




Photos taken with a Kodak disposable camera.
Shirt&Bag: Free People//Kimono: Frolic//Bracelets: J.Crew//Boots: Steve Madden//Hat: Jessica Simpson

For a few months now, I have felt like I haven't had many ideas flowing of things to create and share. Have you ever been in a "funk" creatively for no good reason? I blame it on the harsh winter, but I know I have just been making excuses. I have probably started ten different projects and not finished but a few, and they were just alright- nothing too special. I realized that I was wanting ideas and when I had an idea, I wouldn't follow through if the starting idea wasn't perfect or easy. I'm learning that your starting idea is never perfect, should never be perfect and if it were easy then it probably isn't a great idea. Ideas are meant to evolve and grow into something much greater and sometimes completely different than the initial idea. You have to keep chipping at the rock to turn it into something beautiful and well made. Ideas are good and all, but you have to work past obstacles to see something great.
I've always thought creativity inspires creativity and failing can give you an even better idea of how to reach the end goal. I haven't been doing that: I haven't been creating just to create and see these ideas evolve without fear of failing. So, I'm going to spend time on these ideas and keep chipping away at them and work my way out of this creative rut instead of just waiting for it to magically happen.

Have you ever dealt with anything like this? What are your thoughts?