Custom StandZa Zip Bags = Wonder Clip “Pincushion” & Storage!

Custom Size StandZa Zip Bag

I recently made a wonderful discovery I just have to share with you. I’m so excited about it because it’s making my sewing life ever so much more stress free and enjoyable.

You see, I was getting super frustrated with wonder clips (which I absolutely LOVE) getting sucked under under my sewing machine along with several of my favorite sewing tools.

So one day, in my frustration, I grabbed a custom size StandZa Zip Bag that I had made a few years ago and I quickly loaded her up.

I placed Jumbo clips across the top edge of the bag and the smaller clips across the lower lip of the open zipper. LOADS of extra clips are stored inside the bag. Then I put my most favorite tools inside–standing up–where I can see and quickly grab them when I need them (and quickly put them back where they belong). I can’t tell you how much time this has saved me, not to mention less stress and frustration (who needs any of that?).

Shown in this picture (in addition to the Wonder Clips), I have my Loop Turner Tool, Sew Easy Tweezers, Awl, a crochet hook, and a stiletto tool. It’s not shown in this picture, but I also keep my Point2Point Turner stored here.

That brings me to the next FREE sew-along that I’ll be doing via Facebook Live Video. Join me on Facebook in February 2021 and we’ll sew a custom size StandZa Zip Bag for your sewing table (or for gifting). The sew-along itself will be free, but you’ll need to have previously purchased your StandZa Zip Bag pattern (currently available in print and download).

It’ll be another quickie! There is a zipper involved (don’t worry, it’s EASY) so I am planning for this sew-along to be done in at least 2 small and very manageable parts that will make it super easy for you to fit into your day. I’ll give you more specific details as to date(s) and time next week (1/23/2021 and after), so be sure to watch for next week’s eNews and mark the date(s). If you’re not already subscribed, click here to sign up.

There’s Something Good Coming…

A little sneak peek…

In addition to working on ways to produce more videos and facebook live events, I’ve been super busy designing and pattern writing and I SOOO want to burst at the seams from excitement of nearing completion and release of this pattern.

Sew TracyLee – authenticity contemplated: I’ve had so many designs bottled up inside me for so many years but struggled with how to best capture and release them. Often times I find my ideas run at cross purposes with popular culture and this complicates things. Let me explain.

For example, I absolutely love recycling, up-cycling and re-purposing. This obviously runs counter to a “buy it now for the cheapest price possible,” “dispose and buy more” society. I suspect some of you may have similar feelings? Sew…

One theme you will see recurring in my new patterns is encouragement to “use what you have” on hand to make something beautiful, something useful, something to give or share. My designs will NOT be all about buying the latest fabric line (not that there is anything wrong with that either if you can afford it–pushing that is just not where my heart is right now).

My new designs are intended to be about investing a tiny bit of time, a little bit of thoughtfulness and genuine love to create something beautiful that will last–hopefully using mostly what you may already have on hand. Bonus points if you use it to share your love of sewing with others (children, grandchildren or friends who might want to learn how to sew).

Other themes you will see in my coming designs are utility, usefulness and combining passions to complement each other. I’m not a fancy girl. Let me be abundantly clear here, there’s NOTHING wrong with fancy girls, I’m just not one of them. So my designs will not be super elaborate and fancy; though I hope many will be pretty and offer some beauty/enhancement to utility.

Last but not least, most of my new designs will be smaller projects that will be relatively quick and easy to complete while making great gifts for friends and family.

Are you curious about what’s to come? I hope you’ll stay tuned. The next Sew TracyLee pattern will be coming very soon!

As always, I genuinely welcome and appreciate constructive comments and feedback. Please remember that to protect viewers from spammers, spam-bots and nastiness, I have security settings that require me to approve each comment individually. Since I can’t be online 24/7, it may take a minute for your comment to appear.

Using the Loop Turner Tool to Load Drawstring in a Cord Stop

Sometimes it can be tricky to figure out how to do something that seems like it should be super easy. One example of this (for me) was loading a drawstring through a cord stop, as is required in my Got Sudz soap bag pattern.

There are lots of different ways of doing it, but the fastest way I’ve found is to use my Loop Turner Tool by ToolTron to pull the drawstring through. If you don’t have the Loop Turner Tool by ToolTron but you do have a tiny crochet hook, that will work as well!

To do this using the Loop Turner Tool, first, hold the cord stop in your hand and squeeze down the top push tab several times to warm up the spring.

Next, hold the tab down while you insert the latch hook end of the Loop turner through one of the cord stop holes. Release tab gently and load drawstring onto latch hook as shown:

After you’ve done the above, press the cord stop spring tab down again then pull the loop turner latch hook back through the hole of the cord stop, like so:

Now, repeat this with the other hole of the cord stop using the other drawstring end. Once both ends are loaded, press the spring tab and slide the cord stop up and down a few times while you even the length of the drawstrings and position the cord stop where you want it.

Trim drawstring to the length you desire then finish by tying the drawstring ends together in a knot and trim ends again, fairly close (about 1/2 inch or closer) to knot.

And that’s all there is to it! Have you used this method with either the Loop Turner or a tiny crochet hook? Let me know in the comments below!

Make Fast & Easy Drawstring Cords from a T-shirt

If you need a fabulous soft drawstring for small to mid-size projects, this could be just the ticket for you!

When I designed my Got Sudz Soap Scrubby Bags, I wrote the pattern to include instructions for making a woven fabric drawstring. This year, when I was making a bunch for gifts, I decided to give the t-shirt yarn method a try and it is AAAAAMMMAAAZING!!!

I have posted a quick Facebook video that you can watch on facebook by clicking here.

If you’re not on Facebook or you’d just prefer the written tutorial, here it is:

You can use virtually any cotton or cotton/poly t-shirt, even if it has a side seam. The t-shirt can be new, used, a thrift store find, swiped from your spouse’s/partner’s/kid’s closet or drawer…whatever works for you.

Lay the t-shirt out on your cutting mat and smooth it out well, lining up shoulder and arm hole seams. Make it as wrinkle free and smooth as possible and cut off the bottom, hemmed edge.
After removing the bottom hemmed edge, measure and cut a 1 inch strip, making sure you have nice clean edges on both sides of the strip. NOTE: You can make wider strips if you need a thicker drawstring.
Pick up the strip and separate the t-shirt layers to see the large loop of fabric you now have.
Insert both hands into the loop. Using both hands, grasp each end and pull outward, stretching the loop. You have now formed a rolled, knit cord loop.

Now all you need to do is cut the length of cord you need for your project.

Since the t-shirt fabric won’t fray, once the drawstring is inserted into your project, simply tie off the ends, as was done with this Got Sudz bag.

Have you ever used this method for making a drawstring? If you have needs for a drawstring in your future, I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know what you think!

I’d love to hear your thoughts below.