Thursday, March 5, 2009

Spy Bag & Why I Never Do Tutorials Tutorial...

I decided to try to make a Spy Bag again today. I have made a few of these, but have had a hard time finding the right poly pellets to put in the middle. Since I have not been very pleased with the way the others turned out, I thought I'd give it another try. While I'm at it, I decided to do a tutorial. I am now reminded why I never do tutorials. If you dare to read this, you will see me make a Spy Bag, but I can not guarantee how clear cut it will be.

First off, gather your supplies. You will need:
1 piece of fabric (folded in half to desired size)
printable fabric or transfer paper
1 small piece clear vinyl
1 bag poly pellets or rice
assorted novelty buttons and items
thread & a sewing machine
Once I have everything together, I start by typing my list to put on the back of the bag. I just do it in Word and print it on printable fabric that I later sew on the back of the bag. If you are going to print it on transfer paper, and then iron it on the bag, you will need to "mirror" your image so that when you iron it on you can read it. I have made that mistake more times than I would care to admit!
Next, I cut my center hole out of the fabric. Fold your fabric in half, decide if you want a square or circle hole, and trace it onto the wrong side of the fabric. I then cut the hole out. For this one, I used a cd to trace as my hole size, and then I traced the case it was in for my vinyl.
Next cut your vinyl. I make it about 1 inch larger than my hole on all sides. These bags are for kids, so you don't want it tear and leak out the polly pellets. I double stitch for reenforcement, but remember the vinyl sticks to the sewing machine, so hold it up or your circle will be all crooked like mine! A square would be easier, but I love a challenge.

Next I sew on the vinyl, and then the list of spy items on the back.
At this point I always have to stop for something. Today it was a trip to the farm for our Thursday Family Fun night with Nana and Jerry. It is a new tradition we have started and we all love it, so the crafting will wait until I get back. Gotta feed chickens, chase sheep, meet the new calf, and eat dinner.

Once you return to your craft, sew it shut except for a hole in the top so you can flip it right side out.

Pour in your buttons, animals, etc. and all your poly pellets. How full you want it is your call, but I have a tendency to over stuff mine and the boys can't seem to find the contents when I do that, so don't make it too full!
Finally, sew up your hole and give it to a child to test out. I recommend a rough and rowdy boy.
These are perfect for occupying a child during a car ride or doctor's office visit. They also work well during church. Any time you need a quiet activity this is a good option.

I am sure you can now see why I never do tutorials. I never take enough pictures, and am not the best about staying on task. I am sure I left something out, so you may want to check out this link to Rosie-Baby who did a much better tutorial than this one. Let me know if you try this. I would love to see how they turn out!


Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

I think your tutorials are fantabulous, my friend! If only I could sew a straight line or a circle or a cute I spy Bag! I need a sewing lesson. Why can't you live closer? It's just not fair!

The Hat Chick said...

I have never seen a Spy Bag, and had no idea that printable fabric was available. I'm so out of it!

I love this project. Play and reading rolled into one....that's a winner in my book!

Becky in East Tennessee said...

OMIGOSH! THAT has to be about the COOOOOOOOOOLEST thing ever!!! I am soooooooooooooo gonna have to case this! No---wait. How bout you just send me your okay??? *batting eyelashes* What a fantastic thing!!! What a great way to work on reading!!!!!!!!!

Gonna start gathering spy stuff NOW!

~Brown's Blessings~ said...

I love those stinkin things!!!! They are so fun. I ordered 2 from$18each) As a school nurse, I took them to my clinic to occupy the kids while they wait for their parents! It's great!!! I had them use a special material (similar to plastic) that I could sanitize after each use. I wanted to get the mini spy bags for party favors when my son turned 1yr, but it was a bit to pricy on etsy. Now that I can sew, I'm going to have test them out.

Tiffany said...

I thought your tutorial was great! I have been wanting to make these for quite sometime. Here is my question, at big lots they sale plastic shower curtains for like 5 dollars, do you think they would work for the I Spy window?

Mandi said...

I never would have thought of that, but I bet a shower curtain would work just fine. The hardest part for me has been the poly pellets, but if you have an old bean bag you can cut it open and use its pellets. Good luck!

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