Raccoon Camo Clutch

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My husband would undoubtedly be proud if this post was actually about a real camouflage clutch, but alas it’s actually just about a little raccoon named rocky. This fellow has gotten a fair amount of mileage this week, thanks to the fabulous Rachael of imaginegnats. She has labeled 2013 the year of the Raccoon and a few of us are jumping on the bandwagon and making the masked little fellow the superstar that he should be.

It all started with a needle book, then a little ornament, then a coffee cozy and then little rocky got his very own week full of fun projects. Kelley of Casa Crafty kicked it off with the raccoon elbow patches. I already have plans for my lightly worn, but still my favorite, boiled wool jacket! I followed with some raccoon gift tags for the holidays and beyond. Jill of Made with Moxie showed us how to make mini rocky raccoon shoelace pets for your littles or perhaps even fashion savvy you! Jennet of Feathered Nest created the cutest little raccoon hair clips that could also be adapted into keychains. The whole thing inspired me to keep going and I just had to turn rocky into his very own clutch… and then I just had to share it with you;). Looks like this is my very first DIY here on JPL, so I hope you like it! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions and if you make one of these little darlings, show Rachael some love and post it to her flickr group.

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Raccoon Camo Clutch

Gather your materials:
cream colored linen
lining fabric (I used a print from Hello Pilgrim by Lizzy House)
Pellon® SF101 Shape-Flex®
two colors of felt (I used green and beige to mimic traditional camo colors)
rachael’s raccoon felt ornament template 
embroidery needle & thread
sewing machine & related supplies
scissors
rotary cutter & mat

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The best way to get started is to construct your very own Rocky. Simply follow Rachael’s instructions. He’ll look a little something like this before you sew him together:

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Next, cut two 9-1/2″ x 12″ rectangles from your linen, lining fabric and Shape-Flex®. I like to use a rotary cutter for this to make sure that my lines are straight, but you could easily use a pair of sharp scissors.

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Place the Shape-Flex® on your ironing board with the fusible side up (hint: the fusible side is a little bumpy). Place the linen over the Shape-Flex® with right side up. Cover with a press cloth, spritz with water from your iron and firmly press in sections for about 8-10 seconds. Do this for the whole area of the rectangle. Repeat steps for second piece of linen.

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Place your lining rectangles right sides together and pin in place. Mark a 3″-4″ gap along one short side. Starting at one mark, sew toward the outer corner  and up one side with a 1/2″ seam allowance, backstitching at the start and finish. Repeat for the other side. Place your newly interfaced linen rectangles right sides together and pin in place. Sew down one long side, all the way across one short side and up the opposite long side with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

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Carefully clip the corners of both the exterior and the lining close to the stitching — be careful not to snip the stitches!

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Turn the linen piece right side out and push out the corners. Slide the piece inside the lining. Line up the side seams and the raw edges and pin in place. Sew all the way around the top raw edge, backstitching at the start and finish to secure the stitches.

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Reach through the gap that you left in the lining and gently pull the exterior linen out through the opening.

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Push the corners of the lining out. Before doing anything else, you want to sew that gap closed. This can be done by hand as an invisible stitch, or on your sewing machine, sewing close to the edge.

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Now push the lining down into the linen exterior.

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I like to pin in place before top stitching to ensure that everything stays where it should. Topstitch close to the edge for a clean finish.

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To create the ‘fold-over’ clutch look, simply decide where you want your fold to be, fold & press in place. Now it’s time for Rocky! Grab your finished camo face, center him on the edge of the fold-over and pin in place.

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I used a variation on the invisible stitch to secure rocky in place. If you do the same, make sure to sew only through the exterior and not the lining!

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Grab your super-stylin’ raccoon camo clutch and go!!

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** note: I used a print from Hello Pilgrim by Lizzy House as a backdrop for most of my images.

Raccoon Gift Tags

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I’m guest-posting over at Imagine Gnats today! Check it out for a super simple gift tag DIY. Raccoons are the new black!! I’ll have another snazzy little raccoon project that uses Rachael’s Raccoon Felt Ornament Tutorial right here on Thursday.

Weekend DIY

These days, it seems like it’s all about DIY. See a table you like? You can make it. Digging that tote bag? Get out your sewing machine. With the popularity of Pinterest and the ever-growing list of inspiring design blogs it’s hard not to feel inspired. Here are a few projects I came across this week that have made it to my expanding DIY to-do list.


{Suede Shoulder Heart Patches :: A Subtle Revelry}


{Straight Knot Necklace :: Meek~N~Mild}


{Art Inspired Chevron Tote Bag :: Fabric Paper Glue}


{Snowy Day Hat :: See Kate Sew}


{Painted Baskets :: The Marion House Book}

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Happy DIY-ing;)

it’s a stitch!

[image from Design*Sponge – click here for more!]

A few weeks back, I discovered DIY instructions for a pretty awesome tote bag by Renske on Design*Sponge. Being the wanna-be crafty gal that I am, I immediately shared my discovery on Facebook, with a feeble request for sewing machine donations. I wasn’t truly expecting a reply, and figured if push came to shove, I could try sewing the bag by hand. Shockingly, I actually got an offer from a former high school teacher of mine. He mentioned that he and his wife had an old one kicking around that didn’t get much use and he’d be happy to see if off to a good home if I could swing by and pick it up. Conveniently, he lives just about 10 minutes away from the new house, so J and I drove on over for a visit.

It was pretty fantastic to see my old prof after about 15 years. He looks just the same and had the same light-hearted demeanor that I remembered from my school days. He and his wife were incredibly welcoming and kind and offered up a few memorable anecdotes. I have no doubt J and I will head back for another visit very soon. So, thank you to Peter and Jean:). My first sewn creation goes out to you!!

Without further delay, may I introduce to you the latest addition to my crafting family, the Singer:)

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Now, I haven’t operated a sewing machine since I was roughly 14 years old, but I remember holding my own back then. I’m looking forward to taking this beauty for a spin. It might be a little ambitious to start with Renske’s tote, but I’m an ambitious gal. Get ready for a guided tour of my attempts coming later this Fall. I’m sure that you seasoned sewers will get a huge kick out of it;). Maybe you’ll even offer up a tip or two? Wish me luck!

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