Insert Background Code Here

Hover over an image to Pin It

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mug Rugs - A picture tutorial.

What is a Mug Rug you ask?  Mug rugs are just that... a rug for your mug, and a snack or two.  They are larger than a coaster, but smaller than a place mat.  However, there is not a standard dimension, so make them however you like.  I love to use fabric scraps, so this is a perfect project for me.

Even though mug rugs are terribly cute, they aren't well known.  They make excellent gifts, but the recipient may not know exactly what to do with such a cute item.  To save a little embarrassment from being asked, "It's cute, but what is it?" I wrote a little poem to put in the package on a tag.

This mug rug was made especially for you.
There is enough room on it for your mug, and a snack or two.
If things get a little messy, now don’t you fret.
As long as the wash is gentle, it is okay to get it wet.
When you are relaxing, drinking your coffee or tea,
I hope this little rug makes you smile and think of me.

I just printed it out on an index card and included it in the package.  

I think the hardest part of making these is picking out the fabric and the applique pattern.  I like chickens, so
I just decided to draw one.  If you don't draw (you see I am not much of an artist when it comes to freehand)you can print out a line drawing from the Internet, or find some free applique patterns that you can print.  I drew mine on paper and it was a little larger than what I wanted, so I just put it in my printer/copier and shrank it a little.  

I ended up with this.
The next thing you want to do is trace your original image onto freezer paper, shiny side (plastic side) down.  Don't forget to separate your pieces.  The wing will be separate from the body.  I used a Sharpie.  The plastic backing keeps it from bleeding through, so no worries.

Decide on a background fabric and the back piece that will look nice with the fabrics you want to applique.  I use what I have.  For this one, I am using burlap top with a navy back.  I use something a little protective and stiff for the liner that goes in the inside.  I have used quilt batting as well as that stiff stuff that I don't know the name of.  It is sold to line things.  It also makes it easier to applique than other fabrics.  You can use flannel, denim, or another heavy weight material.  Press all your fabrics.

There is no standard size.  Most people don't want to take up prime real estate on their desks, so I cut mine out 6" x 8" with 1/4" seam allowance.  (That gives a total of 6 1/2" x 8 1/2" for the top and back panels).  I cut the liner out 5 3/4" x 7 3/4" without seam allowances as to not add bulk to the seams.
Next, loosely cut out the pieces from the freezer paper.  You don't have to be precise (like my picture).  If I make a few with the same applique, I will reuse the freezer paper pattern a few times, so it is cut out at this point in the picture.  When I cut my fabric, I leave a little overhang where it connects to another piece, so I can slide it just under the edge of the connecting fabric.
Then, I take the freezer paper and put it on the fabric I want for that piece.  With a dry, hot iron, I press the pieces for 2 seconds to adhere the freezer paper to the right side of the fabric. 
At this point, depending on my conservation of scraps, I either stick the Heat Bond on now, or I cut the pieces out first.  The pictures show cutting them out first because I wanted the edges for some detail work. 
After cutting out all the pieces, turn them over on a piece of newspaper.  If you've noticed my stained ironing board (it's been washed), I haven't always been so protective, but the heat bond is hard on an iron and messy, so precautions should be taken.  I then put a piece of heat bond, plastic down and paper side up on top of my fabric (freezer paper still stuck to the fabric on the other side).
I cover it with another piece of newspaper.  Maybe I should mention that I do use a lot of newspaper. :)

Then I place my iron on the newspaper and press according to the Heat Bond directions on the package.  Mine says 2 seconds with a dry, hot iron.  This adheres the bonding to your fabric applique.

You will end up with all your fabric pieces together.  Notice how I didn't cut out the chicken's tail where it attaches to the body.  I leave a little overlap.
If you cut out your fabric before applying the heat bond to the back, you will have little edges like shown here.  Just pull the excess off, using your fingernail to go around the edge.  Don't leave the little slivers on your ironing board because your hot iron will find them and want to keep them.  :)

Peel all the paper off the fabric (heat bond and the freezer paper) and place your fabric pieces in the desired location on the rug top.  Don't forget to overlap the joining fabrics.  The yellow beak here will be put just under the blue body.
Follow the manufacturer's directions on ironing the heat bond to the project.  Mine says 6 seconds with a hot, dry iron.  AND I use a piece of newspaper between my iron and the project (could you guess) just in case I missed a little heat bond from around the edges.  Be careful if your fabric is light, due to the newspaper ink easily rubbing off.  
Newspaper works well for me.  I just tear off pieces in the size that I need.  The heat bond sticks really well to the newspaper, most of the time more than fabric, so it gathers up any slivers that I might miss.
Once you get all the fabric in place, it is time for the fun part.  The applique!  Don't forget to attach your liner at this point with pins around the edge.  Center the liner on the back (since it is smaller than the rug top and bottom).  When you finish with your applique, the liner will be held in place.

I cannot stress enough to test your machine stitches before heading to your project.  I have to play with my tension a little.  I usually keep it between a 5 and a 6.  I have a Janome 3160 QDC.  I use a zig zag stitch with the clear "F" foot (not the A foot as it says on the machine).  I set my stitch width to 3 (you may need to go smaller for detail work) and my length between 0.4 and 0.5 (smaller for fabrics that fray).  Test yours to see what works best.  You can also use a blanket stitch if using felt or other material that will not ravel.

A note about thread tension.  This is how I remember which way to turn the dial.   
Tight pulls bobbin thread to the Top.  
Loose pulls top thread to the Lower.  

Tight is a Top number (greater than).  Loose is a Lower number (less than).
The order that you do your applique stitching matters.  Whatever is on top should be done last if it touches another piece.  I did the
1) comb
2) tail
3) wing (only because it doesn't touch anything and it was red)
4) beak
5) body
6) eggs (any order because they don't touch anything else)

Before you begin, lower and raise your needle and pull the bobbin thread up through the fabric, then pull the bobbin thread and needle thread behind your foot.

Making curves:
Outside curves, turn your fabric when the needle is on the outside of the applique fabric.  Inside curves, turn your fabric when your needle is inside the applique fabric.  This will keep you from getting gaps in your stitching. Raise your presser foot with the needle down and turn your fabric often when going around curves.
Outside curves going around the top of the comb, inside curves making the dip in the top. 
The needle position in this picture is on the inside of the fabric.

I am new at applique.  If you look in the picture below on the edge of the wing, I turned my fabric when the needle was on the red fabric instead of the blue.  (I should have turned the fabric when the needle was on the blue because that is an outside curve).  That is what causes gaps.  Learn from my mistakes. :)  That's why I blog.
The eggs are outside curves so you turn your fabric when the needle is not on the egg, but on the edge of it as in the picture. 
The needle position in this picture is on the outside of the fabric.
After everything is appliqued, remove the pins (your applique will hold the liner on).  Put the front and backing together (right sides together) and sew 1/4" seam around the edge.  You will not sew through your liner as you do this.  Leave about 3" open so you can turn it.

Clip the corners and gently turn the rug out.  I use a blunt chop stick to help me with the corners, but be careful not to poke it too hard, you'll warp the fabric (I know this from experience).  Smooth your lining inside and take care to make sure it is flat - really flat.  Fold down the seams where you left it open to turn to the inside 1/4" and press. 

Top stitch around the edge.  Depending on the pattern, I may use a wide decorative stitch.  This will catch the edge of the liner and hold it in place.  On this one, because of the characteristics of the burlap, I sewed a double stitch around the edge.  I sewed 1/8" and 1/4" with the same thread that matched the burlap. 

If you are using quilt batting as your liner, it will make your rug look more "poofy" than using the stiff stuff that I still don't know the proper name of.  Some applique designs will allow you to add stitches to it to help quilt it together, such as the lines in the cupcake cup and the lines I put on the icing of the cupcake using a straight stitch.  I put these in after I put the backing on.

I could have put a few straight stitch details in the wing or tail, but I wanted to come up with something cute.  I decided hay would do the trick.  I just took two strands of thread - light brown and straw colored.  With a needle, I ran the thread through the front, connecting the front to the back, and tied a knot in the front with the two ends.  I cut every other one shorter to give it some depth.  It worked great to quilt it.

I made several of the chicken design with different fabrics.  I used black with white polka dots for the body with the red polka dot pattern shown here.  I used white for the eggs.  It turned out nice.
Here's some more that I have made.

Thanks to Wee Folk Art for this free cupcake applique pattern.  There's more on their blog, so let's show some love.
Free motion quilting gave this one extra dimension
I really like the stiff stuff for the liner.  The cupcake turned out cute (the pink ink has evaporated), but the fabric stretched a little when I quilted it.  The stiff stuff really holds things in place.
This gives you an idea of the size I made mine.  Just big enough to hold a mug and a snack or two.

I made this one for a cousin that was kind enough to pick up a Bo-Jo fish light for me and bring it all of 10 hours in the car when she came home for Thanksgiving.  She is a band director, so the music note was appropriate for her desk.

Happy mug rug making!  I love to see your projects, hear your ideas, and read your comments.

Feel free to use my stuff, but please link it back to me.

I have learned that the "stiff stuff I don't know the name of" is stabilizer
I have also posted more pictures of the mug rugs I have completed.  See them by clicking MugRugs at the right, under topics, or use the link here.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Don't Cut These Apron Strings

If you follow my blog, you probably get an idea that I adore aprons.  I have an earlier post that gives details of National Tie One On Day, which is the day before Thanksgiving.  I've made a few aprons and can't decide which will be the one to give away.  They are all so pretty, I think whomever receives it will be happy to get any of them.

I am not a professional seamstress.   I am learning to sew via YouTube and asking anyone who will listen a whole lot of questions.  Apron kits really appeal to me because I don't have to worry about a pattern or buying and matching materials.  They also seem to be less expensive than buying a pattern plus the material.  Each "kit" can be a different pattern.  I have also started tracing the cut out apron onto paper.  Doing this allows me to make another one by using the first one that I cut out as a pattern (but I still have to buy and match material).

The more I make, the more I learn.  I'm learning to hide some of my seams by not following the directions exactly. 

The very first apron I made, was one I gave to my sister for her birthday.  I didn't have my dress form at the time and my husband refused to let me take a picture of him while he modeled it.  He's a manly man ;)

Here's what it (mostly) looked like.  The printing at the top was a little off, so the collar didn't quite look like a collar.  Nonetheless, it was still pretty.  The flounce at the bottom gave it feminine details that I like.

Domestic Diva by Daily Kingdom
Then, I made this one.  I ended up giving it to a friend of mine who just raved at how pretty it was.  I would like to make another to wear for myself, if I can find another kit.  Apparently, this one is discontinued.  Sometimes the joy we bring to others outweighs discontinued items.

Domestic Diva by Daily Kingdom

If you want to start simple (like no flounce to frustrate you), this next apron is what I would recommend.  I love Emily Taylor designs.  The fabric colors are beautiful.

On this one, I folded the ties in half before I sewed them, as the directions stated.  It made them small, so I decided to try a little something different on the second one.

Verona by Emily Taylor Designs
 On the teal apron, I just sewed a hem around the ties, leaving them wide.  The back of the ties are not printed, so I had to fold it pretty to make sure it didn't show in the photo, but I like them wider.
Teal Verona by Emily Taylor Designs
I am not sure who makes this apron.  I purchased it from a shop on Etsy.  It came with a liner for just the top.  I think it looks more like a dress instead of an apron.  It is too cute, but if you wear it as a dress, you'd need to back out of the room ;) I think a hospital johnny would cover up more ;)

Hospital Johnny
Yeah, I think I'm right.

I got a little creative with this one.  I used my rolled hem foot to hem the edges of the bottom and sides (below the ties), which stretched the fabric just a little and gave it some ruffle (only a wee little bit).  It isn't a whole lot at all.  Maybe ruffle isn't the word.  Hrmmm.  That is debatable.  I also decided to line the top with a little muslin.  It is above the waist.   To do that, I used the cut out fabric for the apron as a pattern and just cut it straight across at the waist, just below where the ties go.  I finished the bottom edge of the liner with the rolled hem presser foot (I am getting a 1/4" presser foot the next time I see one).  I then put the two right sides together and sewed around the top of the apron, leaving gaps where the ties go (neck and waist).  I then folded in the seams in the gaps and inserted the finished ties.  I then top stitched around the edges to finish and hold in the straps.  VOILA!
Daisy Kingdom by Springs Creative
If you look closely at the bottom, you can see how the edge flounces just a little due to using the rolled hem foot.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these kits online, I have learned that you have to search several things.  Try these search words:
Fabric Apron Panel
Apron Craft kit
Apron Kit
Cut and Sew Apron Kit

Please let me know what you find and what works for you.  I love to hear from you!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What do ramekins and cupcake pan liners have to do with starting a fire? Here's a DIY recipe for fire starters.

I'm a typical mom, wife, and fellow crafter.  I love my house to smell wonderful and freshly mopped, however, that doesn't always happen.  So what do I do?  I fake it!  Yes, that clean breeze isn't coming from across the floor; it is coming from my wax warmer. 

I change them out a lot.  Usually a few times a week, which leads to a lot of wax being thrown away.  This made me feel wasteful.  So, the first thing I did to attempt to reuse this wax was to grab a jar and make an emergency candle.  

First, I took some candle wick from a roll and cut it the height of my jar.  Then I took some regular sewing thread and tied it to the top of the wick to hold it up and keep it in the center of the jar.  I taped the thread ends to the outside of the jar using clear tape.

The easy part is to just pour the used, melted wax into the jar instead of the trash.  Be careful as the wax is warm, even though Scentsy warmers never seem to get the wax hot enough to burn.  The bottom of the dish is really hot though.  Just don't touch it!  

Pouring the wax into the jar each time I change my warmer scent out causes the wax to layer in the jar.  You can tell I get stuck on certain scents for a while and other times I change the scents out frequently.  

When the jar is as full as you want it, you just clip the thread and trim the wick to about 1/4" from the top of the wax and you have an emergency candle.  

However, you only need so many emergency candles, so now what?
Layered emergency candle

You make fire starters!  Tada!

Look close and you can see leaves, little twigs, chips of charcoal, and pine cones.

We have a wood insert for our fireplace.  It puts out some heat, if you can get the logs to light. :)  That seems to be the hard part.  I have gathered kindling until I am tired of it.  Do you know when you need it the most?  When the fire goes out at 2 o'clock in the morning and it is 30 degrees out.  I had to find a better way (besides buying fire starters).

Here's my disclaimer: I am not a chimney professional and I do not know if the wax in the fireplace will "gunk" your chimney up.  All I know is, I started using these last year and we have not had any problems.  We do have our chimney cleaned regularly.

Grab a ramekin and put a PAPER (not foil) cupcake pan liner in it.  Then, just take a quick trip outside and gather a few supplies.  I use little twigs, crispy leaves, a few pieces of charcoal (my son's puppy got into our charcoal for the grill and chewed a brick, so I used little pieces of it), pine cones that the squirrels have chewed, little pieces of bark, etc.  Anything that will burn will do.  I've even used shredded paper and pine straw.  I'm sure you can get creative and use dried flowers on the top if you want to display them or give them as a gift.

Fill up the liner that is in the ramekin and you'll get something that looks like the picture below, depending on what materials you use.  I use normal size cupcake liners.  The pine cone end that I have in it is tiny and makes my dish look big.  I really like the squirrel chewed ones because they light easily.

This is what it looks like before the liner is full of wax.

Once you fill up your liner, you just pour the warm, melted wax over the contents, being careful not to cause the wax to overflow to the outside of the paper liner.  Depending on how many cubes of wax you use in your warmer at the time and how often you change it will determine how long it takes for you to finish your fire starter.

I keep filling it up until the wax gets to the top of the paper liner.

When you get the paper liner full of wax, just pop it out of the ramekin and store it until you get ready to use it.  I have all mine in a basket next to our firewood holder so they are handy.

To use it, you just stack your wood like you would if you were to start a fire using kindling, but use your wax cake instead of the kindling.  Then, just light it, paper and all!  I usually just strike a match and set the lit match on top of the wax cake.  All the pieces sticking up catch fire and it burns for about 15 minutes or longer, depending on the wax and other stuff you have added.

As the wax melts and all the little goodies you put in there burn, some of the wax will melt out and run onto the wood and even into the bottom of the fireplace (note this if your fireplace is open because you don't want it to run on the floor).  It seems to get caught in ashes in my fireplace and usually doesn't go far.  When I scoop the ashes out, I never see any of the wax, so I just assume it burns up.  The wax that runs onto the wood helps the wood catch on fire too. 

If you are worried about putting this in your fireplace inside your home, you can always use them for camp fires outside.

Let me know what you think and your experiences or ideas.  I love to hear from you!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Spinach Pineapple Salad

I saw a recipe for a salad that I thought looked interesting, however, I didn't have the ingredients or dressing so I just made up my own and it is delicious!

Here is the simple recipe...

Fresh pineapple - cubed
Bacon bits - I used the real bacon bits
Balsamic vinegar

You didn't read that wrong.  I am not talking about vinaigrette.  I used plain balsamic vinegar. It is delicious!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Snapazoo - How cool!

I just ordered 100 KAM snaps and the snap tool.  I've been using metal snaps (the kind with metal prongs that bend into the snap to secure it to the fabric) and I absolutely hate the pliers that came with them to put them together.  I have tried to set them using my Crop-a-dile, which only sets the female (receiving) end.  It works really well for that.  The male end requires me to use the tool that looks like pliers because of the prong that sticks up.  I have been tempted to drill a hole in the flat block of my Crop-a-dile (Yikes!).

While searching for snaps and alternative tools, I came across this cool little toy made from material and, you guessed it, snaps.  Apparently, you can make an entire zoo out of one toy.  I can see this being handy on a road trip.  I think older children would like to use it for the challenge and young children could use it for dexterity training.

Apparently, it isn't sold anymore, but there is a tutorial on how to make it.   It looks easy enough to sew, but getting all the snaps, male side v. female side, in the right order might just make me cross-eyed!  I do think this is awesome and if I try it, I will post pictures.  If you try it, let me know how it works for you.

Follow this link to see a cool tutorial on the Snapazoo toy. 

Don't Pretend Like You Haven't Been In My Shoes

I've been called a Jack Jill of all Trades...

I have done a little bit of everything.  Besides earning my living by being a member of the medical field, I have hobbies from kayaking, to fly fishing and from oil painting to quilting.  I scrapbook; I sew.  I teach; I garden; I feed worms.  See, I think I have to try everything.  Once, I was asked why I try my hand at so much.  My reply was a simple one that leads back to the way I was raised... "I've never been told I can't."

I am not talking about "you can't eat that whole box of candy" or "you can't hit your brother" or "you can't watch that on T.V."  Believe me; I grew up thinking "No" was my name.  I have never been told I couldn't paint, draw, sew, cook, etc.  If things didn't turn out the way it needed to, I was told to TRY HARDER.

This brings me to a quote by my father, "My girls can do anything boys can do, except stand to pee."  Well, I have now proven him wrong.  I want to share with you my experience with a nifty little product called a pStyle.  It is a life changing device.

Here's how I found it.  I'm a nurse.  I have worked in the ER (boy do I have some stories), academia, private duty, and in Hospice (more stories, but heartwarming and heart-wrenching).  The latter being the one that allowed me to discover this handy little device I now believe I can't live without (at least not comfortably).

Driving hundreds of miles in a week is conducive to learning where all the good, and the bad, public restrooms are.  While using public toilets, there are several rules you must follow 1) Never EVER stop at a station that has bars on the windows 2) Always have toilet paper (TP) in your bag  3) Sometimes the woods is a better option (but really inconvenient).

Sometimes, rule #3 is all you have.  I frequently visited a group of 5 patients who lived 18 miles from the nearest public restroom.  The company I worked for had a policy against using a patient's bathroom so I knew I better not drink much.  Patient visits are typically 30 minutes to an hour or so, depending on individual needs, so when I got to patient #1, I already knew I was in trouble.

Patient #2 couldn't find her pill bottle so, I had to call the pharmacist and wait on hold, and wait, and wait, and wait.  I was calculating the drive to the restroom and the time I would need at the other patients' homes while I was on hold.

Patient #3 talked about her cat.  The litter box was looking like an option.

Patient #4 had to sing me a song.  It almost had to be "Row Row Row Your Boat."

Patient #5 was on a whole lot of medication (Can you say polypharmacy?).  A whole lot.  EVERY SINGLE ONE had to be REFILLED.  Oh. My. Word.  At least I could sit cross-legged while on hold and talking to the pharmacist.  At this point, my back teeth are floating and I'm praying nobody turns on the water in the kitchen. 

Finally, when I get to the car, my seat belt across my bladder was just about all I could take.  I speed the 18 miles to the gas station, praying I don't see a trooper or get behind a tractor that would go 7 mph.  Arriving at the gas station, sliding in on two wheels, I run in.  LOCKED!  The stupid door is locked!  Who is going to steal a toilet?  There is a line at the cash register where the key is located.  I guess my pee pee dance tipped off the cashier, because he did hand me the key (attached to a long metal pipe) before checking the next person out.  After frantically opening the door (at least it is unoccupied) I find RELIEF.  Sheer, relief.  And, wouldn't you know, no toilet paper, except for the wad on the floor.  Luckily, I follow rule #2 and had TP in my bag.

Exiting the restroom, I am promptly yelled at by the cashier (and apparently owner)...  RESTROOM FOR PAYING CUSTOMERS ONLY!  Do you know how much that would cost me a week??

($5 for every bathroom trip per day x 5) x 52 = way too much money, there has to be a solution

Finding a solution became my goal for the evening.  I thought about the camping toilet that we have with the disposable baggies, but have you seen what a hospice nurse has to carry in the car?  Nope, no more room.  I thought about female urinals, but that would require me to drop trou.

I then found websites and blogs that were referring to something called a "stand to pee device."  Oh boy, was I educated real quick... I don't want to look like a boy!  I just want to PEE!  aka: Drain the dew off my lily. :)

Then, like a gift from above, I find it!  The thing I wish I'd had years ago...

Ta Da!  Simple, easy to clean, discreet, and no need to drop trou!

This device has changed my life!  I can camp, fish, hike, bike, travel, and do anything I want and not have to worry about my tush being exposed to the elements.  No poison ivy on my derriere.  No warm rush of wetness into my shoe.  Just unadulterated relief.

I don't go anywhere without it.  I have introduced it to most of my friends, one of who has her 3 year old daughter using one.  It is easy to clean (I use antibacterial wipes) and if you practice, you don't even need toilet paper!! WOO HOO!

I made a simple draw string bag to put mine in. See how to make yours here:  How to Make a Drawstring Bag

My dad has since changed his saying,
"I used to say my girls could do anything a boy could do, but stand to pee.  Wonk proved me wrong." (Wonka is a nickname he gave me and has shortened it to Wonk)

One more video for the brave...
Don't worry, you can't see anything.  That's another reason why I think this product is so life changing!  It makes it so easy to use rule #3!

How to Make a Drawstring Bag

Ever wonder what you can do with fabric scraps or fat quarters?  Ever need a bag to put something in?  Well, here's a really easy solution for you.  Make a drawstring bag.  They are handy and make a nice little re-usable pouch to wrap presents in.  If I can do it, so can you.

Go through your scraps and recycle them into something new.  I used a (cheap) liner, such as muslin, and two complimentary colors for the outside.  You'll also need ribbon or cording for the drawstring.

I put beads on the ribbon ends on this one.
You can customize these bags to any size you like.  Make them special for whatever you want to carry in it.
I didn't need my bags to be an exact size so I just cut everything out bigger than than what I wanted the finished bag to be.  I cut the  body out (this is the orange butterfly printed fabric) 7" x 16" ( 7" x  8" if you fold it to cut it) and the top (white with multicolor butterflies) 7"x3" (you will need two of these).

At this point, your bag is laid out open, so the tops (where the drawstring goes) will be on each end.
I sewed both tops to each end of the body using a 1/4" seam.

Using the outside of the bag for a pattern, I cut out the liner out of some inexpensive cotton, such as muslin.  I just pinned the fabric to the liner and cut around it. 

When I got it cut out, I put the wrong sides together, pinned it in place, and sewed down each length using a 1/4" seam, folded twice to hide the raw edge.
1/4" hem on each side

I used a 1/4" presser foot
After sewing a hem down the edges, I sewed a 1/4" hem on the top of the bag (the white with multicolor butterflies fabric).  You do not have to turn your seam twice because it will be hidden.

Next, fold over the top so it lines up just below your seam on the front (it is about half way if you are not using two different fabrics).  You will use the seam on the front to stitch in the ditch.
This pictures shows the right side (bottom) and the wrong side (top) of the seam for the draw string.
Now, just sew across to make the pocket for your drawstring.  If you are using one fabric, you can use a decorative stitch instead of the stitch in the ditch method.

Stitch in the ditch hides your thread... presto!

This picture shows the "pocket" sewn down.  You can see the rows of stitches.  The first row is where it was hemmed, the second row is where I sewed it down to make the "pocket" for the drawstring.
If you are an experienced seamstress, I am sure you can hem it and sew it down at the same time.  I am not, so I do it my easy way. :)

Next, fold the bag in half, right sides together, matching up the "pockets" on the top.
I just sewed right up the hemmed stitches I had previously made.
Don't sew through the pocket!  It has to be open to put your drawstring in.
STOP HERE! - pretend like you didn't see my little birds nest... that takes a special kind of talent ;)

When I got to my pocket, I turned my fabric and sewed back and forth to tack it.  This gives it a little extra strength and durability.
Cut your ribbon or string about 24".  You will need 2 of these.

Next, I put my draw string on a large safety pin and ran it from one opening, out the back and in the other side to make it end on the same side I started on.

Just go out and back in for one side.  Sorry, this picture is a little blurry.
For the next drawstring, start on the other side and do the same.  Go out and right back in the other side so you will end up on the same side you started.  You have to be able to cinch it up.
Your second draw string goes in the other side.

Now, tie knots in your strings on each side in order to hold them in.
You may also use decorative cord locks.
cord lock

Now, just PULL!  Yay! Bag complete!   Now, what to fill it with?  I made bags for my pStyles.  (See my blog page on that too!)  But you can put whatever you want in them.  Customize the size for your needs. 
My pStyle with this bag.

If you have any questions, please ask!  I enjoy reading your comments and the tips and tricks you have to make sewing easier.