Category Archives: Resources

image 8

Tote-ally Pimpin’ Project

Welcome to the Tote-ally Pimpin’ Project. It’s the first project I’m helping to host in the Facebook group The Sew Quilty Workshop, with the help of Linden (Vine Lines Quilting) and Rachael (Sew Today, Clean Tomorrow), and we’d love to have you there. Follow the link and request to join.

The bag we’re starting with is perfect for customization and would be great to make for a market stall or to sell online (YES you have my permission to use the pattern – go for it!)   The bag is a good size for a library bag, a lunch bag to take to work or as a gift bag instead of paper. First lets start with the basic tutorial.

Download the pattern here – it’s only 4 pages. The dimensions are written on the pieces if you’d rather draft it yourself.

Cutting instructions
1. Take notice of any pattern repeat on the fabric or any one way designs.
2. cut 1 pair main bag pieces 27cm x 34cm
3. cut 1 pocket piece 27cm x 16cm
4. cut 1 pair strap pieces 8cm x 50cm  OR
cut 2 x 50cm lengths of cotton webbing.

Fold and stitch a double 1cm hem on top edge of pocket piece.image one (image 1)
Position pocket on the main bag and stitch a row down the centre. (Image 2 and 3) image 2
With right sides together sew sides and bottom of main bag pieces together, catching the pocket on the three sides. image 3 (Image 4)
Neaten. (Image 5)
Fold the fabric strap pieces in half lengthways and finger press. Open and fold the two raw edges in to meet at the centre fold.image 4 (Image 6 and 7)
Fold in half lengthways again and sew down both edges.image 5 (Image 8, 9 and 10)
Locate the notches for the straps, and tack (either by machine or hand) to the top edge of the bag ON THE OUTSIDE. image 6(Image 11)
Fold a double 2cm hem on the top edge of the bag and stitch – catching the straps ends as you go. image 7 (Image 12)
Fold the straps out and pin.
Topstitch the top edge and catch the straps as you go. (Image 13)

And that’s it for the basic bag – now for the fun part – remodeling!

You could try quilting

or stitching























or even appliqued.

















Join Rachael, Linden and myself over in the Facebook group – The Sew Quilty Workshop – as we roll out our own versions of the bag and see what everyone else has been making. I’d love to see yours.

help desk is here

Help Desk is Here!

Did you see it? Up in the top navigation bar next to Start Here, Blog and Resources.

Help desk is here!

Help desk

I thought we needed a special place on the site for you to ask questions about sewing, patterns or general business stuff. You can add as much detail as you like and even add a link if there’s something you want me to take a look at.

So ask away – if there’s something you’ve been needing/wanting to know, ask and I’ll do my best to send you in the right direction.

lazyowl ebook button copy

Planning for Your Creative Business with Janet from Lazy Owl – Part 2

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Planning for Your Creative Business with Janet from Lazy Owl


Welcome back – here’s the second half of Janet’s post about creating a fun business plan tailored for your business.

When I re-vamped my blog Lazy Owl as a business resource, one of the first business topics I started blogging about was the challenge of creating a plan for growing a successful creative small biz. My experiences as a creative business owner had encouraged me to come up with my own process for formulating a business plan. I call the end result a “business plan”, but it’s really so much more than that. It’s also part marketing plan, customer analysis, mission statement, business vision, competitor analysis, and just an all around source of inspiration.

This topic generated so many hits and so much interest on my blog that I eventually decided to combine the articles with a series of related printables and worksheets into one simple e-course bundle, called Crafting a Business 101: The Creative Business Plan. This e-book features over 50 pages of content and printables to help you with every step of fleshing out a motivating, functional, and well-researched road map for your creative business.
Crafting a Business 101: The Creative Business Plan is not just an e-book to read; it encourages you to actually do stuff (and as artists, we usually enjoy the doing more than the reading!). You will actually create your business plan as you go through the course. By the time you’re finished, you’ll be left with a truly helpful set of documents that will guide you towards financial success and serve as an inspirational resource throughout your entrepreneurial journey.

pagesample1 copyThe e-course is currently available for download here, and all Stitching Rules readers can use the exclusive coupon code “STITCHINGRULES” for 15% off their download!

Thanks for joining me here today with Debra at Stitching Rules! I hope you’ve been inspired and motivated to get to work on your creative business plan.

Debra – Thanks Janet for inspiring us all to get cracking on our business plans. I’ll keep you posted with my progress through the ebook soon.

lazyowl ebook title

Planning for Your Creative Business with Janet from Lazy Owl – Part 1

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Planning for Your Creative Business with Janet from Lazy Owl


Hi there! My name is Janet, and I’m the crafter, writer, and creative brain behind Lazy Owl Boutique, a handcrafted jewelry shop on Etsy, and the Lazy Owl blog, which provides business tips and goodies for other creative entrepreneurs.

After working as a CPA and accountant in cubical-land for a few years, I opened my own jewelry shop online in 2011 and steadily transitioned to becoming a full time creative business owner by 2013. You can read more about my journey here.

I’m here today to discuss why all creative businesses, no matter how small, need their own creative business plan. A lot of us get so excited about jumping into our new venture that we don’t take much time to plan ahead. And you know what they say – those that don’t plan, plan to fail.

A business plan doesn’t have to be a boring, static piece of paper that you dread writing. Your business plan is uniquely yours, and can be just like your amazing creative business – fresh, fun, and of course, creative!

Why does your small creative biz need a business plan?  Taking the time to develop a plan for your business is basically equivalent with building your business’ foundation. Consider it a road map for your venture, taking you from wherever you are now to your goal of financial and creative success. Hopefully you already have a great product; with some planning, you can help your business thrive.

A good business plan can and should:

  • Define your business mission and vision
  • Define your product and your brand
  • Define your target customer and how to best reach them
  • Help you decide how and where to market your business
  • Help you distinguish your products and business from competitors
  • Give you the background and tools to help you know your business better, and thus use your time more wisely
  • Provide you with both inspiration and motivation
  • Give you confidence and purpose in your decision-making as your business grows
  • Help you set goals for the future of your business

Hopefully now I’ve convinced you to spend some time working on your business plan. It’s never too early or too late for a plan. Even if you’ve been a creative business owner for some time now and operating without a plan, it will only help you to put some thoughts, goals, and plans down on paper.

Debra – Pop back tomorrow to read more about Janet’s ecourse bundle and receive a special discount code for 15% off.