Make up Bag Tutorial

For awhile I have had my previous students tell me to make a tutorial for the make up bag that I teach in class and I finally got around to it 🙂 So here it is. And dont be afraid to sew with a zipper they are not as scary as they look.

Gather your supplies. You will need:

-Fabric of your choice for the outside

-Fabric for the liner

-16″ zipper (I prefer to use longer zippers because it is easier to work with)

-Pellon Fusible Fleece 987F

-Coordinating thread

And then of course sewing machine, iron, scissors, and sewing pins.

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Step One:

Cut the fabric to the bag size of your choice. For this bag the finished product is 10 1/2″ wide by 9 1/2″ height. There are bag patterns all out there on the interweb that you could find a pattern if you are not sure about making your own.

– Cut the outside fabric (llama fabric) to 11 1/4″ width by 10″ height

– Cut the liner fabric just a tad bit bigger 11 1/2″ width by 10 1/2″ height

And heres why I cut my liner bigger. I dont like pinning so I make my liner just a little bit bigger because I dont have to pin while I am assembling it together. But, for this tutorial I will use pins to show you.

-Cut your pellon fusible fleece to the outside fabric dimensions

Step Two:

-Iron the fusible fleece to the outside fabric. Make sure that you iron the fabric to the textured part of the fleece. If you buy it from the Joann’s it will also have directions with it.

Step Three:

-After you ironed the fusible to the outside fabric you will sew the zipper on the outside fabric like the picture below.

-As you can see I dont use a zipper foot. If you want you can use it, it is up to you. I will sew a straight line between the zipper and the edge. I dont have an exact measure but I just tell my students sew right in the middle.

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Step Four:

-Sew your liner to the outside fabric (make sure right sides are facing each other). And sew down that same line just like the pictures below.

Step Five:

-Now you flip the fabric and then top stitch and make sure that you are sewing over the outside fabric and liner like the pictures below.

Step Six:

-You will now sew the other outside fabric piece to the zipper. Make sure that right sides (of the outside fabric) are facing together when you sew the zipper on like the pictures below.

And as I am writing this my panik (daughter) just peed on the floor. I am trying to potty train so I have been putting her in underwear and she has not caught onto it. Shes 22 months old and I guess still not ready to potty train anyways where was I.

Step Seven:

-After you sew the zipper the other outside fabric you will now sew your liner down that same line just like we did in step three. Make sure that right sides are facing each other just like below and then sew down that same line.

Step Eight:

-You will now flip your fabric out and top stitch just like the pictures below.

Step Nine:

-You will now sew it all together right sides facing each other leaving an opening at the bottom of your liner so that you can turn your bag inside out. Make sure you leave an opening so that you can turn it right side out. Also make sure that your zipper is on the inside of your bag when you sew it shut. If your sewing machine has a difficult time sewing over the zipper you can always hand crank your machine over the zipper. If you wanted to add a handle you can add one on either side and make sure that is on the inside of your bag. See pictures below.

As you can see I used pins to show you where you can pin if you want to. I generally just sew all the way around without pins. I put pins at the bottom of the liner so show you where to leave the opening. And like I said just make sure that your zipper is on the inside of your bag before you sew it all the way around. I usually leave mine in the middle of the bag because if you leave it to close to the edges it can make turning the bag inside out just a tad bit difficult.

Step Ten:

-Sew all around make sure you dont sew over the pins. I sew over them only cause I like to live on the edge, jk I have glasses and if one of the pins shattered I have eye shields just in case. I use the edge of the sewing foot as my guide when sewing around. I start sewing on my liner fabric on one side of the pins and sew all around. Dont cut your zipper ends yet until you sew all around.

Step Eleven:

-Trim your zipper ends. Trim the excess fabric from your liner fabric. And then cut the four corners so that when you turn your bag right side out they will be nice and neat. See pictures below.

Step Twelve:

-Turn your bag right side out. Poke the corners out I use my finger but you can use a chopstick or pen. And now you will sew the opening shut, I use my sewing machine but you can hand stitch if you prefer.

Step Thirteen:

-Admire your work and reward yourself with a cup of really good kuuviaq (coffee).

And yes this bag is looking for a new home if you are interested send me a message sewyupik@gmail.com to claim it!

If you make this bag and have issues or the instructions arent clear enough or too much information send me a message or comment below! I try to make it as easy as simple as possible without the fancy sewing lingo. Or if you want a tutorial for something else let me know and I can see what I can do!

Good luck and tag me in your finished product Sew Yup’ik on facebook or instagram! I would love to see what you make!

Quyana cakneq!

Homer Qaspeq Class

Homer Qaspeq Class was a huge success! I had 9 gals taking my class and over the sewathon weekend 15 qaspeqs were made 🙂

I had a quick turn around from my Bethel trip I had one day to recoup, wash laundry, repack my bags and hit the road for Homer. Mac and I had a wonderful weekend in Homer with Christina and the beautiful weather.

Quyana Homer Campus for hosting me to teach a qaspeq classes. I am finally resting in Arizona in the hot, hot sun. And I will be back on the road shortly to Kotzebue, Seldovia in November and Ketchikan, Bethel and possibly Wasilla in December. And January I will be Bethel bound for the Nursing program 🙂 I look forward to this next chapter in my life and cant wait to zoom thru the next couple years of the Associates program and I can continue on with the bridge program.

I will be posting more photos of my past classes 🙂 Stay Tuned!

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Patricia’s beautiful traditional qaspeq 
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Emily’s beautiful modern qaspeq 
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Emily’s beautiful modern qaspeq with some twists 
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Leesa’s beautiful traditional qaspeq 
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Therese’s beautiful traditional qaspeq with some twists 
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Christina’s beautiful modern qaspeq 
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Linda’s beautiful traditional qaspeq 
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Christina’s beautiful modern qaspeq 

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Christina’s beautiful modern qaspeq 
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Christina’s beautiful modern qaspeq
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Emily’s beautiful traditional qaspeq with accent pocket, hood, and cuffs 
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Therese’s beautiful fish bag 🙂 
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Risa’s beautiful traditional qaspeq

Where do I even begin…

Its been a whirlwind of travels since July 23rd! Whew!

Where do I even begin?!

I quit my job July 21st and I was on the plane en route to Kotzebue to Camp Sisualik to be a camp counselor for a week! It was such an ahhmazing experience! Camp Sisualik is 14 miles northwest of Kotzebue and a former village and it is still currently a summer camp. It was such a wonderful experience! I taught the kids fish skin tanning. Taught them how to take a good Yup’ik hut maqii. We went out on a hike. Berry picking. The kids were able to check the white fish net. We played some native youth olympics. Made fireweed/bluerry and fireweed jelly. The students collected and made a traditional oil using stinkweed, fireweed flowers, and blueberry leaves. And the students got to just play! There were 10 girls and 6 boys from Kotzebue who made it to camp. Did I mention I was teaching the kids Inupiaq? Or what I learned from the book and shared with the kids. It was such a crazy, wonderful experience! I dont know if I would camp counsel again but it was one for the books!

After camp! I was home for an evening and then right back on the plane the next day to Nome to teach a qaspeq class to the students at the Rural Providers Conference. It was such a wonderful time! I was able to cenirtaq lots with family and friends. Berry pick. Fishing. Get some pro style pictures from my talented friend. And then I was able to share the art of cutting qaspeqs to 23 students from the Norton Sound region! It was such a wonderful experience! I also took the time to speak to our Senator Lisa Murkowski about the heroin epidemic affecting the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. I urge you if you are concerned to call her office, send her an email, write a letter. Share your concerns with those who have the ability to make waves. Enough is enough. It it is time to take back our communities and protect our future generations.

After Nome! It was home sweet home. For about a week 🙂 I was able to work on some orders before I was right back on the plane heading back to Bethel to teach a class and get lotsa of visits in. I was able to squeeze in three maternity photo shoots! I am not an expert but I am able to point and shoot and try and find good lighting. It was so much fun! I am learning lots and definitely feel like I am improving on my skills. I was able to get out and berry pick for blueberries and tundra tea. And then I taught a class to 6 students and it was wonderful! Everyone was able to make 2 in the class and we had a blast! The weather was raining and windy so it made for a perfect day to be inside sewing.

After Bethel! I was home only for a day before I was right back on the plane the next day to Takotna to teach fish skin tanning at Spirit Camp. I was so thankful for Takotna Community Association for reaching out and making it possible. It was such a wonderful experience! There were 16 students from Takotna, 16 students from McGrath, and 4 students from Nikolai! I was thankful for my Soldotna friends for saving me halibut I was able to bring halibut with me for the students to tan. The water level was so HIGH the students werent able to catch any silvers. It was such a wonderful week with the students. They berry picked. Fished. Hiked. Fish skin tanned. Made survival shelters. Ethical wildcrafting. Knot tieing. Packed water. Chopped wood. Stacked wood. And so much more! It was such an ahhmazing experience! I am so thankful I was able to make it up there and be at my other other home 🙂 I hope to make it again!

After Takotna! Home sweet home! Whew. I am finally home, rested and ready to plan for the fall classes and trips. We are also in the process of home improvements which include painting, new flooring, and light fixtures. I am hoping to make it to new places this fall to teach classes! If you are interested in having me come to teach a class in your community please send me an email sewyupik@gmail.com

I will share more photos of qaspeqs and make up bags I have finished in the last couple days. But for now back to sewing!

Have a wonderful Saturday!

Choose to be happy and healthy!

End the cycle, here.

The cycle ends with me. I choose to stop the cycle. The cycle of generational trauma is on repeat. And WE need to do something to stop the cycle. Not the government. Not the schools. Not the tribal councils. But WE as a family. Community. It has to start in our homes. Aunties and uncles homes. Friends homes. And it needs to happen sooner than later before we continue to lose more of our family members to alcohol, drugs, suicide, domestic violence, and so much more.

As an adult child of an alcoholic, everyday is a battle. But I am dealing with it the best way I know how. It may not be the right way but it is the only way I know, and for now it has been working. For now. Growing up I never wanted to seek help because I thought I had it covered. I kept telling myself I was fine and nothing was wrong with me. It wasn’t until my later adult years I realized I wasn’t fine. I wasn’t okay. Something was wrong with me and I couldn’t figure it out. I was an angry kid, angry teenager, and it carried into my early adult years. I refused to deal with my emotions and I turned to alcohol and chew. But then there was a turning moment in my early 20s when I realized I didn’t want to be anything like her. And that’s when I knew. I knew that the cycle would end with me. I will refuse to be an alcoholic parent. I will refuse to be a verbally abusive parent. I will refuse to make my children live in fear, every single damn day of their lives.

I know that when the time comes for me to be a mother I will never, ever, ever put my children thru what I was put thru as a child, teen, adult. No child should ever have to hear those words, be treated with such hate and anger, or live in a constant state of fear. No child should ever have to put a restraining order on their parent. No child should ever have to be scarred for life for the hateful words that were spewed in a drunken screaming match.

 

But.

 

I am not bitter. Angry. Hateful. Sad. I do not feel like I am a victim. I am grateful. I am grateful for the person I am today. I am motivated, and determined. I have a raging desire to find my pursuit of happiness every single damn day. My childhood was a mess. But as an adult I have a choice to dwell in the past or make the best of every day. I choose to make the best of everyday. I choose to smile. Laugh uncontrollably. Cry when I feel a wave of emotions overcome my body. I am not ashamed anymore to show my emotions. They have been in hiding for 20 years. No more hiding.

 

So please.

 

Choose the path that is right for you. But please do not continue the cycle of abuse. You can stop it for your generations to follow. Think of your children. Grandchildren. Great-grandchildren. But mostly for yourself. Because in the end you have to live with yourself. Your mind, body, and soul every single day and you have to be healthy for you. Not for anyone else, but yourself.

 

But for me.

It ends with me.

I choose to be healthy.

The cycle ends here.

 

 

Fireweed Jalapeno Jelly

First the fun part is gathering the fireweed petals. Try and pick away from the roads so they are not super dusty or dirty. You just have to be careful of the bees I usually just talk to them and tell them to find a new petal. Gather enough petals to fill 8 cups.

Once you’ve gathered enough fireweed petals then you will put the 8 cups and I usually just add enough water so it covers the petal. I have read other recipes that use 4 cups or 4 1/2 cups of water so just depends on how you want to go about it. You boil the flowers until they are a whitish color.

Once the flowers are a nice whitish color then you strain out the flowers. I use a potato masher and mash the flowers down to get all the juice out of the flowers. Then you can discard the flowers and you should have a nice reddish juice.

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On medium heat you bring the juice to a boil then I add my 1/4 cup of lemon juice. And then I will start to add the sugar. There are different recipes that call between 4-6 cups of sugar. I had a lot of juice so I ended up using 6 cups of sugar. I will add the cups of sugar one by one until the sugar dissolves.

This recipe I used 4 jalapenos and 2 sets of seeds.

Caution! Use gloves when cutting jalapenos. I thought I could wing it and not use gloves and I am still feeling it on my fingers. Oh! And just a tip for you and maybe for me take your contacts out BEFORE you cut the jalapenos. Not After. Big mistake. My eyes are still burning from last night hahaha!

After I add all my cups of sugar I will let it come to a rolling boil. Once it does I then add the jalapenos and the two packets of Sure jell. I let that come to a rolling boil for a minute and then I ladle it into my sterilized jars.

There are a couple ways to sterilize jars. You can throw them in the dishwasher and sterilize them that way. I usually just throw them in two pots of boiling water on the stove top and then let them sit and cool until I ladle in the jelly.

I always garnish my fireweed jelly with fresh picked flowers. They look pretty when you open them. And they gel nicely in the jelly. If it sets the first time. Which unfortunately this did not set this morning after a hot water bath for 15 minutes. So I am going to wait a couple days and if it still does not set I will have to re boil it and add one more cup of sugar and one more packet of pectin. It is a hit or miss with fireweed jelly some years it sets overnight and other times it doesn’t set. There is an art to making jelly!

Happy Jelly making!

There are many different variations of fireweed jelly. You can add raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, or any other kind of berry. If I pick enough I am going to try and make fireweed spruce tip jelly. And one year I also made fireweed, cinnamon and all spice jelly.

May the jelly be with you!

Happy Harvesting! And always leave something behind for the plants or thank them if you have nothing to give them. If you have water give them a little water. And don’t over pick save some to grow next year.

Fireweed Tuesdays

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I finally got enough energy to finish two qaspeqs last night! Whew. I think I finally recovered from my whirlwind of a weekend.

Weekend consisting of fishing and berry picking, and berry picking.

And then this afternoon on my quick lunch break I was able to pick a bucket full of fireweed. I am hoping to make fireweed jalapeno jelly, fireweed raspberry and another variation of fireweed jelly before Saturday.

My next few weeks are going to be insane! I head to Kotzebue July 23-31 to visit with family and be a camp counselor at Camp Sisualik! Which I am so excited about!

Then I get home for a day and then head back the next day to Nome for 4 days to teach a qaspeq class at the Rural Providers conference.

And then I am home for about 10 days and then off to Bethel for a week!

Whew! I will be excited once all my travels are done. And I can finally relax and continue working thru my orders.

Life is wonderful! Especially when you fill with smiles, positivity and laughter!

Milky Chance Thursdays Kick Butt!

Thursdays are soo much better when they include Milky Chance, dancing tushies, headaches from too much smiling, achy feet from dancing like a maniacand ahhhmazing friendships.

I did the 4 hour road trip so I can catch this amazing concert by Milky Chance at Mooses Tooth. So WELL worth it! Although my head hurts from too much laughing and shitty grins. Calves hurt from dancing my birks off. Butt hurting from sitting in the car for 2 hours. And too many damn selfies!

Of course when I got home I had to snuggle with Mr. Mac! Its been three years since we got this cute Walker hound dog and I just love him!

Happy Thursday! I am off this weekend to venture out for berries, fish, tundra tea, blueberries, purple clovers, and much more!

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesdays Rock!

Wednesdays Rock! when they are filled with fish head soup, fish egg spread, akutaq, pike and seal oil, finishing a qaspeq, and finishing a beautiful wall hanging that I inherited from my mama bear Jeanne.

The fish egg spread was ahhhhhmazing! And now its all gone! In my tummy and I shared with my coworkers and friends! I cant wait to make more.

I was able to finish this lovely qaspeq for one of my first friends in kindergarten. I loved how bright and fun it is!

You cant have fish head soup without the akutaq so I had to make a fresh batch. Akutaq is eskimo ice cream made with Crisco, sugar, milk, and berries. This time I used my fresh blueberries and salmon berries and it tasted scrumdiddlyumptious! Don’t knock it till you try it 🙂

And my mama bear Jeanne gave me this beautiful wall hanging that she was going to toss aside but I gladly snatched it up! The only thing I had to do was add the binding. I love how beautiful and simplistic it is. This is her view from looking out her store in Cooper Landing.

I am hitting the road and heading to Milky Chance this evening in Anchorage. I hope to goodness the roads are not jam packed and I can make it in time to see the show!

Happy Thursday! Seize the day!

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Sleep. Whats Sleep?

Sleep. Whats that?

I haven’t been able to catch a good wink of sleep since the fish, berries, and business have been in full swing! Oh yeah and working full time. But, next Friday is my last day and I am going to pursue my business full time, school full time and hopefully a traveling teacher of qaspeq making.

I got to go home for 4th of July and it was so wonderful! I got to fill my bucket with blueberries and salmon berries! Lots of visits in my with stinkiest nieces and nephews and lots of visits with good friends and family.

I am having some serious berry picking withdrawals seeing all the blueberry picking and salmon berry picking photos. The berries are in abundance this year and I miss the walk to my favorite tundra spot. Urban living is a little different because you have to worry about bears, property lines, and getting lost. Ha! Bethel there is tundra for DAYS. You would be able to see a bear 20 miles away running to you. Haha. And I am not to comfortable being in the woods yet.

Dipnetting on the Kenai is in full swing! I got my first taste of it on Sunday and now I am hooked! I walked away with 3 Kenai River reds and lost about 7. Oops! I am learning this way of fishing which is definitely different from fishing on the Kuskokwim.

I tested out a new sewing pattern Prima Diva Wallet which I had some difficulty with. I don’t know if I will be making anymore. But it was a good challenge.

I had a Homer getaway with the girls which was much needed. We were tourists for the day. Homer is a beautiful place! And it is only an hour drive away which is awesome.

I was able to finish one custom ordered qaspeq with this beautiful Art Gallery buttery fabric. It turned out beautiful!

I was able to whip out some beautiful BB Bags and two of the three are sold. I will post the one that is for sale on the Items for Sale page.

We celebrated Easy E’s 11th birthday yesterday! Cant believe that kid is 11! Its been fun watching him over the last 6 years.

Salmon Life is the way to go. We use everything from the head, heart, eggs, backbone, skin and the whole fish. We don’t waste. I have yet to brine, dry, and smoke my fish because I don’t have a hanging rack, or smokehouse yet. Hopefully this month we will build one and I can take care of the fish in the freezer.

Life is busy. Life is good. I am excited for my next adventure!

Life is too short to be anything but happy! Do what you love. Follow your heart. If your unhappy find what makes you happy and jump. Don’t wait until your retired to do all the things you WISH you could do now. Make a plan and execute it.

Stay tuned for more fun posts! I got berries, fish, outdoor concerts, half marathon fun, and sewing more to come!

Happy Hump Day!