Posts Tagged ‘tutorials’

Of the three of us in this house, I’m the only regular coffee drinker. So when my old Mr. Coffee started to die and I decided to keep my Keurig for sometimes use rather than spending a small fortune on k-cups, I opted for a pour-over brewer by Melitta.

I’m really happy with my pot, however about a week ago I realized I was running out of paper filters. Oh no! I vaguely remember seeing a post somewhere about experimenting with a homemade filter. Now that I can do. So last Friday at my local fabric store I sneaked a peek in the remnants bin, and what did I find but a quarter yard of muslin. Just the thing!

I traced my last coffee filter on a piece of paper, laid one side of my new pattern on the fold of the muslin and cut out my new filter. Because this is sort of a prototype and there are a few things I’d like to fix about my coffee filters, I did make it longer. Check out the tracing pencil line on the muslin. See what I mean?

Filter pattern

Next I sewed up the other side and the base of the filter using an overlock type stitch. Easy Peasy!

Sewn Filter

The new filter fits fairly well, though perhaps it doesn’t need to overlap the top quite so much.

The filter in place

This morning was the perfect time to try it out. My new filter with the freshly ground joe waiting for the water.

Waiting. . .

The small space between my appliance garage and refrigerator is the perfect size for a tray that holds my pot, sugar, and creamer.

Coffee Corner

Time to pour the water over the grounds and see how things go.


The muslin is holding up well. It’s not sinking down, and the water isn’t just rushing right through it either. Great! Let’s see how the coffee tastes.

Cup of coffee made with muslin filter

The coffee is good! The only difference I’ve notice with the process is that it did take a bit longer than usual for the water to finish pouring through the muslin than through a paper filter. However I don’t think it was much longer, and I can live with that.

I’ll probably make a few tweaks to the design, but I’m happy with the idea! Now to make a few more filters so that I have more than one on hand.

What do you use for making coffee? Anyone else out there use a pour-over brewer or cloth filter? How about for tea? We do drink a fair bit of that in the winter, too!

This post is linked up to:

Wallet-Friendly Wednesday



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(or the Ballard-Inspired Linen Bag Holder)

Although I love looking through catalogs, it’s usually the small and unusual things which catch my eye. So when the Ballard Designs catalog arrived in the mail, the page with the Burlap Bag Holder was immediately dog-eared.

Plastic bags seem to multiply in our house, and at the moment, those bags are multiplying under the sink in my laundry room. So this bag holder thing? A fantastic way to corral those krinkly bunnies.

But the thing is, I didn’t want to spend fifteen dollars on the Burlap Bag Holder. Especially when I was pretty sure I could make it myself.

The solution? Some linen leftover from an earlier project! Here’s what I did:

Note: at the moment this isn’t really a tutorial, more like a guide.




  • (2) 8″ x 17″ pieces of Linen – front and back
  • (2) 3″ x 17″ pieces of Linen – sides
  • (2) 8″ x 8″ pieces of Linen – flap
  • (1) 1.5″ x 7″ piece of Linen – hanging loop
  • (1) 1/2″ x 3″ piece of Linen – button loop
  • vintage 5/8″ ribbon
  • 3/8″ elastic
  • vintage quatrefoil button
  • I also cut the shape I wanted for the flap out of a piece of paper

Sewing the flap

After trimming the flap pieces to the correct shape, I pinned them right sides together and sewed around the edges, leaving free the top and a small hole at the bottom center for the button loop. I turned the pieces right side out and pressed the flap flat (try saying that five times fast!).

Back and Sides seamed together & flap placed for seaming

The next step was to join the back of the bag with the two sides. After seaming these pieces together, I trimmed the seams and pressed them toward the sides.  I also pressed the back/flap seam toward the body of the bag.

Up next? To sew the flap to the back, right side to right side, of course.

The bag was still missing its front, so I added that piece. I again clipped the seams between the front and sides and pressed them toward the side panels.

Pretty Vintage Ribbon

Pretty Vintage Ribbon

Here’s where I hemmed the top and bottom (leaving the bottom open!) of the bag. I used some pretty vintage ribbon from my stash as seam binding. It makes for a nice finish and a lovely surprise when adding bags or peeping inside.

After adding a hem to both the top and bottom of the bag, I also sewed on the ribbon to use as a channel for my elastic.

Then I added the elastic.  I was halfway there!

Pressing the side seams

Pressing the side seams

Turning the bag right side out, I pressing the side seams first. . .

The bag is starting to have some structure!

The bag is starting to have some structure!

I then ran a 1/4 inch seam (french seam) down the sides where they met the front and the back. This gave a bit of structure to the bag.

Final Steps

Final Steps with a high tech tool, the stick

Final steps:

  1. Sewing the two loops, turning them right side out and pressing them
  2. Pinning the smaller loop inside the hole left at the center bottom of the flap
  3. Sewing a 1/4 inch seam around the edges of the flap
  4. Sewing a stick, trimmed to the width of the flap. into the top of the flap at the back (see photo below). This helps to stabilize the bag when it’s hanging.
  5. Sewing the longer loop to the center back of the top of the bag for hanging
Nearly finished!

Nearly finished!

And finally, time to add the button!

The Ballard-inspired Linen Bag Holder

Ta-da! The Ballard-inspired Linen Bag Holder

I’m so happy with the way this project turned out! The linen has less structure than burlap, but still plenty for this bag holder.

Pretty ribbon!

Pretty ribbon!

I love that the vintage ribbon gives it a bit of charm, as does the vintage quatrefoil button!

Love it!

Definitely a success in my book and a great way to hide all of those rapidly multiplying plastic bags!

I’m linking this post up to

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