Sewing With Nancy – Sew Simple With Rectangles & Squares, Part 1

Sewing With Nancy – Sew Simple With Rectangles & Squares, Part 1

I like to sew, but I really
don’t have the time. That’s one of the most
common comments I hear from you,
our viewers. I often have
the same sentiments. To change the way
you look at the sewing process I decided
to design projects that are cut from fabric
rectangles and squares streamlining the sewing
without compromising the look. The travel trio,
a weekender tote, cosmetic bag and luggage saddle bag
are all made using comparable
sewing steps straight stitching,
plus double sided fabric. “Sew Simple
with Rectangles and Squares” that’s what’s next
onSewing with Nancy.Sewing with NancyTV’s longest-airing
sewing and quilting program with Nancy Zieman
is made possible by Baby Lock, a complete line
of sewing, quilting and embroidery machines
and sergers. Baby Lock,
for the love of sewing. Madeira, specializing
in embroidery, quilting and special-effect
threads because creativity
is never black and white. Koala Studios fine sewing furniture
custom-built in America. Clover,
making a difference in sewing, quilting, crafting,
and needle arts for over 30 years. Amazing Designs
and Klassé needles. When planning
this TV program I decided to make projects
that started very simple and each technique
I showed you would be applied
to the next project. We’re starting with something
basic, the cosmetic bag. In this cosmetic bag we have a specialty zipper
put in, with special stops so you don’t have that bump
at the end of the zipper. There’s a pocket
and a very easy gusset to place
in this cosmetic bag so lots of cosmetics
can be filled in this area. It may seem simple, but that’s
what this program is all about. Double sided fabric
is what we’re working with and cutting rectangles
from the shapes. 13″ x 20″
is the bag size with a pocket
that’s 13″ x 6″. You’re going to cut
one each. You see I have the grain lines
along the pocket. Double sided fabric
is quilted usually with a small print
on one side and a larger print
on the other with the batting
between. The quilting is done
in a diamond shape. The lengthwise grain is where the elongation
of the diamond is so you want to make sure that you’re cutting it
with the correct grain line. Simple, fast. Just these two rectangles
of fabric. Then we’re going to be
using a lot of ribbon 5/8″ grosgrain ribbon. Get it
to coordinate and complement
your fabric. You’ll see it used
several times throughout the day. So for this pocket,
1/2″ seam allowances work out well
for the pocket. We just press up the hem
of the pocket. Press under
the top of the pocket. Then, place grosgrain ribbon
across this edge. After you have stitched it
straight down then sew along
the lower edge of the pocket. It’s pre-shaped. It has lining on it
because it’s double faced. And it’s now ready
to place on the cosmetic bag. So, you have
the pocket created. I’m just going
to measure down 2″. It can’t be
much simpler than that. Measure down 2″. You’d stitch around the sides,
the lower hem and the other side. Presto, once that’s done,
the project’s completed. In my next sample,
and my life is in samples you’ll see another pocket
that has been placed on. Then we need these
little tabs on the side. I used a different
grosgrain ribbon and folded
the little pieces in half. You measure, or you eyeball,
which I’m doing right now a half of an inch
above the pocket. Place the ribbon
as pull tabs. It makes it easier
to open up the bag. You can just baste those down
or pin them into place. Now we’re going to
work with the zipper. I’m going to spend some time
on the zipper because it’s going to be used
in the weekender tote as well as
the luggage saddle bag. You can buy zippers
that are the right size a 14″ zipper
would be perfect. Or, zippers on a roll,
where they have multiple tabs so you can just
cut the length that you need. That’s what I used
for this project. When you
cut out the zipper make sure that you pin
or bar tack at the end so that you’re not
going to pull that tab off of
the zipper tape itself. I’m going to place the zipper
along the top edge. Let’s just take a close-up look
at what I’m talking about. Rather than the zipper tape
going all the way to the end there’s fabric
in this area so that when you’re
sewing the seam you’re not
going over the zipper key you’re going over fabric. It makes it
so much faster to do and you don’t have a little lump
at the end of the zipper. This program is called “Sew Simple
with Rectangles and Squares” so you can now cut three-inch squares
of the leftover fabric. This is leftover
from the quilted fabric. We just clipped between
the layers to separate them. We only need
a single layer of fabric. Place the zipper down
so that the tab is down. Then you’re going
to place the piece of fabric let me put it right side up adjacent to the edge of
the fabric of the cosmetic tote. Then, you wrap it
around the end and pin. You do the same
on the other side. I have
a contrasting color here. Wrap it around the edge
and pin. The great thing
comes next. And that is,
we’re going to use a pin and a one-inch mark. Mark with a pin
or a marking pen one inch from the edge and
sew through all the layers. It’s just a quick way
of measuring. On this sample,
I’ve done that stitching. Then cut,
trim off the excess tape. There you have
the zipper end. You’d do the same
on the other zipper. This allows the zipper to fit
perfectly in this length. Now you meet
right sides together the right side
of the zipper to the right side of the
top of the cosmetic bag and stitch. Here you can see
that I’m sewing that edge sewing it. Then if you’d like,
you can topstitch it down. Here we have it
topstitched into place. Do the same thing
on the other side. Meet the top of the zipper
to the top of the case and stitch
with a 1/4″ seam. Now we’re going
to center the zipper. I have
the zipper open. We center it at the top
and sew the side seams. As I lay this down you’ll see that the side seam
has been stitched on this side. Then find that pocket,
wherever that pocket is. I can feel it
right there. Just fold up the edge
and stitch in the gusset. That’s the gusset. just stitch it down just by folding it up
to meet the pocket. When you turn it
right side out, ta-dah! You have a cosmetic bag with a zipper specially made,
a pocket, and gusset. Now that you know
how to make a cosmetic bag apply many
of the same sewing steps to create
a weekender tote. It’s a super-size bag with an addition of sturdy
straps and double pockets. When we take a look
at the two bags obviously,
they’re from the same fabrics. But there are many
comparable techniques. The zipper along the top We have a pull tab;
there are pockets. The gussets are done
in the same manner only different sizes,
of course. The main change
is going to be the strap and along the bottom to make it sturdy
and for easy carrying. It’s a fun project
to make much like
the cosmetic bag. So we’ll need
the same type of fabric the double-sided
quilted fabric 1-1/8 yard,
to make this bag 23″ x 39″ is the measurement
of the bag. Two pockets are cut,
8″ x 11″. So those
are the rectangles. Left from
the yardage of fabric we’ll have lengthwise fabric
cut three two-inch strips. This is going to be
for the straps three two-inch strips
from the 1-1/8 yard of fabric. I already showed you
how to work with the pocket so you’re
going to make the pocket in the same manner
as I detailed earlier folding under the top edge
and adding ribbon and then pressing under
the lower edge. Both pockets are placed
5″ down from the top. I placed a pin
at the center mark. I folded it in half. Mark the center
of the pocket. Then just line those two up
5″ down. You’d sew along the bottom
and the sides of course
leaving the top open. This was made in just the same
manner as the initial pocket. You’d place
another pocket at the opposite end. After sewing on
both pockets, ta-dah! We have it already done here. We’re going
to make the straps. These straps
are going to be separated the fabrics
separated removing the batting. You can save the lower layer
for another project. Then seam the separated fabrics
end to end. You’re going to sew
this together end to end so that you have
one continuous strip. It measures
approximately 120″. You don’t have to be exact
on this just approximately,
as I mentioned. So, you’ve sewn them
into continuous strips. Then add
interfacing or a strap interfacing. This one
is perforated. I’ve already started pressing it
to the wrong side of the fabric. As I reach
the starting point I just overlap
some of the interfacing. Then press
along the perforations. It easily presses. Or, if you used
traditional interfacing just measure so that you have
a one-inch finished strip. Fold the ends
to the middle is basically
what’s going to happen. Now you have one big circle
of a strap. We’re going to need ribbon. Let me just show you
on the bag what’s needed. You want some nice finish
to the strap on the inside. You cover those raw edges
with ribbon. But rather than attaching
the ribbon all the way around you don’t need the bulk
where it’s attached to the bag you just need it
in the handle area. So to accomplish this,
fold your strap in half and place a pin mark
at each half mark. So what I did,
this is a long strap so I just folded it in half
and marked the pins. Then cut two lengths of ribbon
that are 33″ each. Also, mark a pin mark
at the center. Place the two centers
together and then edgestitch the ribbon
to the strap. Here’s just a close up
of the straight stitching stitch on both sides
of the ribbon to attach it
to the strap. So you have the ribbon
at each end. Then I’ve marked it
in another quarter mark. I fold it in half,
in half again and place
two more pins. This will help me in the placement
of the strap on the bag. So, here
we have the bag. You need to mark
the center of this bag so we fold it in half. There’s a lot of folding
and marking. Place a pin mark
at this area. Then, the quarter mark,
without the ribbon is going to be placed adjacent
to the center mark. I’m just kind of
approximating right now. Line these two marks up,
the center and the quarter mark. Then you do the same
on the other side. You have to make certain that you’re not going
to twist this strap around so it’s lying flat. Again, you’d pin the two down,
so I have a strap let me raise this up. The strap is going
on either side of the pocket. You’ll find,
in the instructions that I have this measured
7″ from the side. So, exactly 7″ from the side
is where that strap would go. You topstitch
this down. Here’s a close up of
topstitching around the edges. You stitch until
one inch above the pocket. We have
the strap attached all the way around
to give it security. Then you
attach the ribbon. You create the gusset
in the same way folding it up
to meet the pocket and you have
a weekender tote. For ease of travel,
make a saddle bag for your carry-on luggage
or rolling case. Two sizes of bags are attached
together with connector straps. When not using this
handy accessory on your luggage zip the bags together
and it’s a handy shoulder tote. Now we’re progressing. Changing
the cosmetic bag, making the sizes
slightly different but yet there are
some similarities. On the luggage saddle bag there are zippers
and there are pull tabs. But the zipper,
as on the cosmetic bag is recessed slightly. It’s placed down so that you can access it
much more readily. The connector straps connect
the larger bag in the front to the smaller bag
in the back. The bag in the bag
is smaller or shorter so that when you’re using it,
it doesn’t drag on the floor. The shoulder strap is connected
at the connector strap so sometimes I call them bridges
between the two pieces. When you take this off,
there’s one large zipper a heavy duty zipper at the top
that you just zip closed. I’ll zip it
partially closed. Then it becomes
a shoulder bag. I think this is a fun way
of creating an accessory as I mentioned earlier and it’s not very difficult
to do at all. This is called “Sew Simple
with rectangles and Squares.” We’re using more rectangles
than squares in this program. But the shapes
for the two bags a pocket
that’s 13″ x 6″ on the smaller bag
that’s 13″ by 24″. The larger bag,
we have a small pocket and a longer bag,
13″ x 30″. If you
had a larger tote you can make both bags
the same size. It’s totally up to you. Placing the pocket on,
inserting he zipper working with the little tabs,
it’s the same process. But this time,
as I showed you you’re not going to have
the zipper at the top. It’s going to be recessed
by two inches. Measure down two inches,
or up two inches from the zipper and then place pins
in this area. The little tabs
on the sides can go right across
from the zipper or right on the zipper area,
because that will make it easier when you’re
unzipping and zipping to pull
on these little tabs. Turn this unit
right sides together. Here’s my unit that has been
stitched along the side. Take a close look at this tab
that’s been added to the zipper. The zipper teeth
are out of this area so that when
you’re serging or sewing you’re not going to go
through that bulk of the zipper. That’s a good reason to add
that little accent to the piece. besides,
it looks nice. Then after
you stitch the seam then fold up the lower edge
to create the zipper finding the edge
of the pocket. You can’t really see it,
but you can certainly feel it. Then restitch that seam. You’re going to make two bags
in the same manner but they’re going to be
different sizes. Let me turn this correctly,
there we go. Then when you sew
those side seams make sure
you keep the zipper open. You only do that once because you can’t
get in it very easily if you have
the zipper closed when you try
to turn it right side out. There we go,
I’m just going to get it turned. You can see
how this looks. Let me try
to get the points out. Whoops,
I’m missing my tool the tool
to get the points out. There we go. So, you have two bags,
different sizes and now
to connect them together. Here’s my larger bag
and my smaller bag. They’ll be marked
in the same manner folded in half at the top,
and place a pin. You need
the center marks. Then you’re going to use instead of just a dressmaker’s
zipper or standard zipper use a separating zipper
for coats. It’s 24″ long. We added ribbon at the ends
to make it look nice and also to keep the tape
together at the opened end. This zipper also has a marking
at the center. We folded it in half
and placed the mark. I kind of liken the assembly
of this to making a bookshelf. It’s very basic,
you stack things together. It goes together
quite easily. It’s very visual. The connector straps
are what’s needed next. They’re 2″ x 6″
strips of fabric that have
the interfacing pressed. You fold along the perforations
and then stitch along the edges. Here’s a D-ring
that I use. Here you can see,
to keep that D-ring in place I’m stitching along the edge,
close to the D-ring. Now, here’s
the connector strap. I pull off a little
basting tape that I had and place the connector strap
3-1/2″ from the center. I had the pins
already placed there. Place them in that area. Then the zipper,
matching the center point gets tucked down. All these layers are
going to be stitched together the zipper,
the connecting strap. Here’s a close up
of topstitching the layers. Stitch securely
at each end. I usually do two rows
of topstitching. You add
the back of the bag in the same manner,
by centering the connectors sewing across the top and then
adding a shoulder strap. Lola Jenkins, thread artist is today’s
Nancy’s Corner guest. She’s been quoted as saying,
“I don’t know the rules, so I can’t break the rules
of quilting.” With that free spirit
approach she creates amazing fabric art
with raw-edge appliqué. Please welcome Lola Jenkins
from Oklahoma City. She joins us
via Skype. Hello, Nancy,
thank you. Good to see you again
in person, via Skype. Tell our viewers about
your amazing artwork that you started doing
not that long ago. Tell us
when you started. Well, I actually
started in 2004 but I did very little. I didn’t do that much,
five or six. It was in 2007 that I decided
to get serious about it. And serious
you are! I’d like to start by showing
our viewers your college portrait
of yourself, I assume. There’s an amazing
realism in your quilt. You used raw-edge
appliqué, correct? Yes, I did.
I love raw edge. It’s an easy way
to go. You start
with a photograph. Explain the process
that you use. I usually start
with a photograph. Once I get the photograph,
I use some type of software
manipulation program in order to be able
to get it posterized. Then, I blow it up
the size that I want it. I lay it on top
of a light box and I trace the image
to the fabric. From there,
I just cut out pieces. What I find so amazing
about your quilts is that
the hues of fabric even though
they’re not– you wouldn’t see them
in real life it looks so real
when you look at the image. For example,
this image of Malcolm X you have
a variety of colors in the hair, skin,
eyes, shirt and the fabrics, some are prints
and some are solids. Your artwork is phenomenal,
is what I’m trying to say. Thank you
very much. I like doing
realistic portraits without using realistic
skin tone fabrics. I believe that it gives it
a whole lot more interest. It has a lot of energy. In addition, you use
some free motion quilting sometimes very specific
and sometimes very random. Yes, I do. The majority of time,
I’m random. I start of with an idea
when I start quilting. And just whatever happens
at the moment happens and I just go for it. Sometimes I do
overkill or overdrive and sometimes
I just do a little like a stitch in a ditch,
type of thing. Sure. Well, I like
your overdrive analogy. The next quilt,
“Many Faces” you have an interesting
story about that quilt. This is the face
of just one individual but in many
different poses. Yes, it is. The idea
that I came up with is , we never really
get to know someone even though
we think we know them. So, this
is what happens they have
many different faces. So, I take one individual and I did them in a whole bunch
of different colors to represent the many faces
that we put on before others. I love the way
that they’re overlapping and intertwined. It’s such a pleasure
to look at and study
the faces on them. When we talked earlier,
you shared with me that you learned something
from a landscape quilting show that Natalie Sewell
and I did many years ago. Do you want to share that
with our viewers too? Absolutely. I learned
that you can get a variety of quilting tools
from Office Depot! One of those tools
is Wite-Out. I love
the Wite-Out pen! I use it
for everything. I use it for eyes,
shadows or highlights. I have used it
for the teeth. I’ve used it for lips. I’ve used it for arms
and other places in portraits in order for me to get
a highlight or shadow effect. A little dab
of Wite-Out really works well
on fabric. And I know personally,
it stays there for a long time. Yes. You’re an
amazing artist. The variety of fabrics that
you include in each piece from prints, to solids,
to batiks that’s your palette,
correct? Yes, it is. I believe in using a whole
bunch of different fabrics. I use the fabric the way
most painters use paint. The fabric
is my paint. Well, Lola,
don’t quit. Just keep sending me images and maybe we’ll have you back
to show your new creations. Thank you
for joining us. Thank you
for inviting me. I’ll look forward
to coming back. If you’d like more information
about Lola Jenkins’ artwork please go to our website, and click
under Nancy’s Corner. You’ll find information on Lola
and all our other guests. Also at,
you can watch 52 of the most current
Sewing with Nancy
programs and Nancy’s Corner
interviews. Thanks for joining us today.
Bye for now. Nancy has written a
fully-illustrated book entitled “Sew Simple
with Rectangles and Squares” that includes
all the information from this
three-part series. It’s $14.99,
plus shipping and handling. To order the book,
call 1-800-336-8373 or visit our website at: Order
Item Number BK2801 “Sew Simple
with Rectangles and Squares.” To pay by check
or money order call the number
on the screen for details. Visit Nancy’s website
at to see additional episodes,
Nancy’s blog, and more.Sewing with NancyTV’s longest airing
sewing and quilting program
with Nancy Zieman has been
brought to you by Baby Lock; Madeira Threads; Koala Studios; Clover; Amazing Designs
and Klassé Needles. Closed captioning funding
provided by Pellon.Sewing with Nancy
is a co-production
of Nancy Zieman Productions
and Wisconsin Public Television.

6 thoughts on “Sewing With Nancy – Sew Simple With Rectangles & Squares, Part 1

  1. Welcome to the YouTube family! Our local affiliate moved your program and I was never able to locate you on TV, so I am thrilled to be able to once again 'Sew with Nancy'! You have always produced quality programs with great ideas and showcased many wonderful artists. Again, thank you!

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