Category Archives: World Work

This topics deal with charitable work and things that will benefit the world. Whether it is a big Earth project, animal related, or bettering human relations.

Simple Tote Bag Pattern


This simple tote bag pattern is perfect for mass production or beginners.

We made one for each our Girl Scouts bridging up to Brownies.

This would be a great project for any beginning sewer and even a wonderful troop activity, there are many places that will rent out their sewing rooms for an hour or sew. Jo-ann and many other locally owned sewing shops that have machines would welcome troops. Be sure to call ahead and inquire about pricing.

CUT: (seam allowance in included in the pattern)

For one bag you will need:

One piece of fabric  for the main body: 15 inches wide x 34 inches long

Two pieces of fabric for the straps: 3 1/2 inches wide x 24 inches long*

*For child size straps, 20 inches in length works best.

The fabric I used was a medium weight canvas, lightweight would work find as well.




Iron each strap, so that a half inch of the fabric folds to the inside (wrong side) of the fabric. Do this on both lengthwise sides.

Iron the entire strap in half with the two folded edges lining up. Pin the strap so the edges stay together.



Take the large bag piece and fold it in half wrong sides together. (The blue fold arrows will help show where this initial fold is in relation to all the other folds).

Take one layer of the fabric and move it as if to unfold it. Stop 2 inches before the fabric unfolds completely and press the fabric down. This will make a 2 inch pleat.


Your side should look like this when one part of the bag is folded. Flip the bag over to fold the other side the same way.

Your bag should lay like the image on the right. Right sides of the fabric should be together. The bag folds should look like this:

Pin your bag. Once all the items are pinned they should look like this:




Sew the straps along both sides lengthwise, as the blue lines indicate.


Sew the bag, with about 3/8 an inch seam allowance. Sewn pieces should look like this:


I trimmed the seam allowance on my bag with pinking shears, but a small trim and zig zag stitch would work well too.


With your bag still inside out. Fold down and press a 1/2 inch hem around the top of the bag. THEN fold down a 1 inch hem and press. (The 1/2 inch hem will be folded inside the 1 inch hem).


Slide one strap into the folded hem of the bag. The ends of the strap should go flush with the hem fold. Fold the straps up and pin. This will make your straps extra sturdy.

Flip your bag over and repeat with the other strap on the other side of the bag. One strap per side.


Sew the hem with the straps along the top and bottom of the hem fold, as shown above.


Flip your bag inside out and enjoy! The bottom corners of your bag should look like this from the outside:


We designed some iron ons that we printed for us and our girls. Here is my bag after one year of use, with some extra pins.


If there is something I forgot or needs clarification, please comment below.

Happy Sewing!

Sustainable Project #4: Upgrade/fix for worn shoes.

This next project was thought up by blogger Love Megan, in her DIY for Delilah post.

Here is a picture of the shoes she did for her little one:

DIY sparkle toe shoes by Love Megan

DIY sparkle toe shoes by Love Megan

So cute!!! The more I look at this picture the more I want a pair!

The snug has a pair of flats that she has worn and worn and worn. Unfortunately they were made of some sort of velvety material, so this happened.


Why mostly on the left foot, I don’t know. The glitter was a perfect solution to this problem, there was no way I would be able to nicely recover those with fabric since the soles are so thin.

IMG_4187Here are the supplies. We needed scissors to trim off the excess strings from the worn parts..


We also used painters tape to create a straight line, since I am no good at straight lines. Seriously, I can’t even hold a ruler straight.



IMG_4196This is after the first coat, right after we took the tape off. Speaking of, take the tape off before the mod podge dries, or else all your glitter may come off in big, unreasonable chunks.


A note about the glitter. We don’t have a lot of glitter in our house (gasp!), only three very small containers of green, silver and purple. The snug was insistent that we use black glitter, so had to buy this from the craft store, but this was the only thing we bought for this project. ALSO, the picture above was taken after we completed the shoes. This project uses a super small amount of glitter. The leftover black will be put to good use this coming Halloween though.



The shoes turned out extremely cute. There are now three different textures, satin, velvet and glitter! So far the glitter has held up extremely well (it has been about a month), though I don’t let her wear these shoes to the park.

Happy fixing!

P.S. My Toms from years ago are starting to get holes and worn, hopefully I can think of something to fix those, since I feel they are beyond glitter.

Happy fixing!!!

Sustainable Project #3: DIY ceiling fan cleaning cloth!

Whoa, it is hot!

We had a very confused, blizzard filled April, a very rainy May and now the weather is ready to jump into summer. The fans are ready to twirl, but there is a lot of dust that accumulates on top of a ceiling fan. Let’s put all those nice little cilia hairs to work, right? No.

We unfortunately do not have any ceiling fans in our house, but my mother in law does. While helping her get ready for guests, we were trying to find a good way to clean the fans. I remembered that we had purchased a swiffer duster brush and had seen many patterns for reusable brushes. I told her I would grab the brush and bring it by the next day.

Well, thanks to a faulty sense of time, due to child rearing, turns out we bought that duster 3-4 years ago and it has been long gone after 3-4 moves. So, I had to think of something else, quickly. Since, you know, no one likes a disappointed mother in law.

After some googling on how to clean ceiling fans I came across the idea of using a pillowcase to enclose the fan blade and clean without having all the dust fall down, almost all of it stays entrapped in the pillowcase. Genius.

However, there is no way I am going to use a good or bad pillowcase to clean something. Oh no! There are too many other awesome things to do with a pillowcase, for example, there’s the pillowcase bag, pillowcase skirt, pillowcase dress, pillowcase shirt, pillowcase ironing board cover, pillowcase pillowcase, it could go on and on.

I looked around my house to see what I could find and lo and behold, I had two old, ratty, torn, dish towels! Perfect!!

Here is what you will need:


Two old, gross dish towels, scissors, and a needle and thread (or a sewing machine).


This  dish towel had a giant gash in the center and tons of ripped up edges. I trimmed the edges a bit so they wouldn’t get caught in my machine and cause un-slightly damages. Then I stitched up the center.


Lay the two dish towels right sides together.


Then pin and sew! When you sew them together be sure to put your seam inside of the hemmed edge, instead of on it. This is something nice you could do for yourself and/or your machine.


Wa-la! Done!


Here it is from the other side.


This is what the side seam looks like.

IMG_4100The towels in action! We just sprayed a little water on the fan blade and then ran the towel along it, scrubbing a bit in the tighter spots. The best part about this, the towel fibers trap the dust better than pillow material would AND after you are done you can throw it in the wash!

I knew I was keeping those towels around for something.

This project with a sewing machine took all of ten minutes.

Happy Sustainable Cleaning!!

Sustainable Project # 1: Stuffed Pigs!

Hooray it is April! Hooray Easter is done! Hooray, only wonderful, non-commercialized Earth day is coming up! I love Earth Day! I love Earth Day, every day!

In honor of spring, earth day, April, the wind, sustainability and all things reasonable, natural and respectful, I am planning on doing more and more sustainable projects! You will be able to note them easily by the title! These will be upcycled, recycled, bicycled (kidding) projects that are reasonable and more importantly sustainable!!! Sustainable meaning, they will use the absolute least amount of new materials (usually only thread) and will in (hopefully) no way produce more waste.

Some of these projects will be of my own creation, but many will be things I have been itching to make and can’t wait to share, created by many fantastic people.

First off, a long anticipated project, by one of the aformentioned people!!



“Jillian, Jillian, Jillian Jiggs, Maker of wonderful, marvelous pigs!”

I picked this book up about a month ago at a used book sale, it was one of my favorites when I was a kid, though I could only remember the adorable pigs! Now this story and I have been reunited (that is always so exciting!) and the snug loves it just as much as I did.

The best part?

IMG_3113 IMG_3114

There is a pattern on how to make your own pig!!!

IMG_3111You will need:

Old tights with holes thtat are WAY too small for your ever-growing green bean child.


Needle and thread, Embroidery floss, scissors, Makers, Buttons, Felt, Fiber Fill, Yarn, and various fabric for clothing.


First, take a leg of a tight and cut off a chunk. The pattern suggests 7 inches, we did a little bit more.


Cut off the top part of the tight and unfold it. We cut a straight line up from the crotch of the tight, thus yielding two of these pieces. This part you can use to cut out the little circles, about 2 inches in diameter, to make the little piggy legs.


Next grab the needle and thread and on the WRONG side of the tight sew a running stitch.

P.S. Those are not my hands!!! Babies first non-medical stitches!




Nice and almost straight. That doesn’t matter though, because in the next step…

IMG_3123 IMG_3124

Pull those stitches tight and secure them (tie a knot). Then flip the whole thing right side out.


Stuff  a little bit! This is a picture of an overstuffed pig, you only need a little bit in order to do all the head details.

IMG_3126 IMG_3129

Sew the cute button nose right on the scrunched up part.


Add the face details. We did the suggested French Knots for eyes and a smiley mouth. We will get creative with the next few we do.

IMG_3134 IMG_3135

Cut some ears out of the felt and whip stitch them on! Then finish stuffing!


Twist the tail and secure.


Take the little circles and do a running stitch around the edge. Put a little bit of stuffing in the center and pull the stitches tight. You should get a little foot.


Fasten the little foot together, so the stitches don’t come loose and attach to the pigs body.


Soon you will have four cute little leg/feet things.


An adorable little face!


And a super cute butt!


Next, add clothes and hair. Alas, this was as far as we got tonight, before bed time. Tomorrow we will finish this pig and make more! I will update with pictures!

Happy Sustainable Crafting!!!

The Cutest hat I have ever made and other Thursday happenings.

First the hat, which also happens to be my stash bash entry for the week with the Crunchy Catholic Momma. It is adorable and came from the Winter Interweave Knits magazine! I will show you what the hat was supposed to look like.


Leafed hat and link to pattern.

It is beautiful. I say “supposed to” because this was my first hat in the round I had knitted by myself. I had only made one other hat in a class. Also I was watching Pysch. It was the sleepover marathon, which meant awesome, but scary episodes and I had to start the hat over twice. In regards to all of that, I messed up the brim a bit. It is hardly noticeable but it did make the edge a little more ruffley than intended.


All said and done though. I am extremely happy with the way it turned out. This is easy given I live life without expectations.  It is a super fast pattern and I got to use some of my stash yarn. A less-then one skein wonder for sure!

The yarn I used was “Stitch Nation Full o’ sheep” in honeycomb. I had picked it up on super sale!

Now to the rest of Thursday. Last night and this morning it….


So we stayed at home.



Made apple chips.


Burnt some cookies.


Started a batch of iced coffee. In winter. I know.


Look at all this happy information!!!! RAC FTW!!!


Made play dough popsicles. Thank you Seeking Shade for the idea, you literally turned the day around at its most desperate point.


and found some storage for our bulk ten bean soup.


The jar is a spaghetti sauce jar. Cleaned and label removed.

Upcycling, super simple stuff!

Happy Thursday and Happy stashing!

Valentines for the Children’s Hospital!

For the past two holiday seasons my daughter and I have been making cards for the children at out local children’s hospital. Which is huge and beautiful. This past season we got her class involved and the kids had a wonderful time, thinking about the kids in the hospital and how happy the cards would make them!

This year we decided to do Valentine’s day also. Given that is what Valentine’s day is all about.

HA! Never mind, I can not back the statement up. Turns out St. Valentine is mainly known for his tomb and his date of death, Feb. 14th. Not much else is known…

Anyway, we will just say it is a nice thing to do, fun too.

We made lots of homemade cards, but I wanted to do something a little more. Since you can not donate food or candy, we thought an easy craft would be the next best thing. I saw some valentine lacing cards and thought that would be perfect!


All you need is card stock, a hole punch, stickers and some yarn. We cheated a bit with the card stock, my mom had found some blank heart-shaped cards. We just cut those in half.


Using a hole punch or paper punch, start at the bottom edge of the heart and as even as you can punch around the edge.




You end up with lots of festive confetti!


Nest get your stickers. We had some felt heart ones lying around.


Decorate your heart.


Now the string. We used cotton yarn, due to allergy concerns. Cotton is the best option if you are giving these away. No one likes a wool rash!


You should do a sample one, to see how much yarn you will need and what color looks best.


Wrap the string around the heart and tie! Ta-da! Done!!! It takes about 10 minutes max to make a big group of these! SO easy!!!


Our children’s hospital was very excited to receive these!

If you don’t have time to make and deliver valentine’s there is always another holiday. OR as the volunteer coordinator gently reminded me yesterday, you don’t have to wait for a holiday to stop in with goodies.

Also, most Children’s hospitals have wishlists posted on their websites. Things they need, for the kids. Almost always they are super simple and cheap. Markers, crayons, board games, etc.

Happy Giving!!