Friday, December 13, 2013

Sew Sweetness Bag Contest Entry #2

So Bag #1 was made for my three year old, but Bag #2 was made for my seven year old.  (She just turned seven, so that's still really odd to type...  aww...)

This year is her first year dancing in the Nutcracker - tonight is her dress rehearsal and she has three shows this weekend.  I cannot tell you how palpable the excitement in our house is at the moment!  She came home (crazy late) last night from rehearsal and her eyes were almost completely dilated from the adrenalin / excitement... she was still shaking, even after a half-hour car ride home from the THEATER.  With a Real Stage.

This bag was sewn for her to keep her tights, shoes, leotards, makeup and hair supplies in backstage - she needed something big enough to carry everything, but small enough that she can carry it easily.  She made every design decision - and was adamant that it had to have a magnetic closure and a interior zipper pocket - so the Kennedy Bag it was!  I wanted to make it a touch simpler, since she is after all just seven, so I left some of the additional hardware off.  I did put a bow on each side where the buckles were supposed to go, to soften and girly it up a bit.  I made the strap long, and brought up the end to fasten it to itself - the pictures will show you - so that I can unpick it and lengthen the strap later.  I like the adjustable straps, but find that my girls like to play with the buckles which means that the straps are usually too long - this will last for a while at this length, and it can be extended to an adult-sized strap.  Not that I think she'll still be wanting a space-themed bag when she's as tall as I am, but it's wishful thinking!

There is an interior zippered pocket, which holds her costume bits - tights, backup tights, leotard and buttondown shirt (for her role as a page).  The rest of it is big enough for her water bottle, overshoes, makeup bag, etc.

The bow turned out exactly as I'd hoped!  There's two shades of purple and teal as the accent colors...  I thought it helped "girly" up the space fabric.

I blurred out the sewn-in tag with her name and my phone number...  There's a large zippered pocked in the interior.

Here's a shot of the whole thing - you can see how the strap doubles back on itself for future lengthening.

Here's a detail shot - I added even more stiffness to the flap edge piece by doing some organic matchstick quilting on it...  it really is easy to grab.

Sew Sweetness Bag Contest Entry #1

Here it is the last day left to enter this contest - at least I sewed up two bags... Now I just need to blog about them! These bags were such fun to sew up - a little more complicated than a simple tote, and already they are so beloved. I'm blogging during quiet time because this is the only time I could pry the bags away long enough to get a couple pictures!

 For Bag #1, you must keep in mind that this was entirely designed for a three year old little girl. What does that mean? Sparkles, pom-poms, butterflies, pink, purple, etc. This is made from the Fylerion Bag pattern. The only tweaks I made were the appliqued "e," the pom pom trim, a shorter strap and I changed the interior pockets - there's one zippered pocket (I used the tutorial from the Kennedy Bag to walk me through it) and then three large pockets on the other side.

Exterior - the flap has such a great shape, and I opted to use the strap color to carry around as the sides & bottom.
It's currently housing three mini Build-a-Bears in the pockets.  I blurred out her name and my phone number...

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes

So I've never done this linkup, but here's a great September WIP that needs to get finished!

I have had "The Laura" quilt quilted for MONTHS now, and it just needs the binding on it.  Such a simple task, but one that has just not happened.  Think I can finish it by the end of the month?  I'd better, since I'm bringing it to her wedding on Oct 5!

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Piece O Cake!!

So I've been eyeing the Zaaka Along 2.0 for a while - reading everyone else's posts about it, etc., and thinking to myself "oh gosh, I can't make every project out of the whole book - I don't have time!"

Then I thought to myself, "Self, that's silly! You don't HAVE to do all of them - just do some!" So, without further ado, here's the Piece O Cake Shopping Bag!
I'd recently made three of the Lunch Bags from Ayumi's blog, so I thought the construction would be pretty similiar. I was surprised to find out that this was even easier! Significantly easier, in my opinion. I was thrilled!

Having three children and a husband with a substantial appetite, I can't remember the last time I shopped using a basket at a store, so I altered the pattern slightly, as I desired slightly different functionality. (Who am I kidding, I can never leave a pattern or recipe alone; I'm always tweaking! Not twerking, tweaking. That's a whole 'nother can of worms.)

My tweaks included:
- I made the straps out of microsuede instead of using webbing.
- I had a stash of three coordinating home dec fabrics (two prints and a solid) leftover from a diaper bag long ago, so I didn't do the patchwork pocket, but rather used a stripe.
- I rolled the top of the pocket over to show the solid interior - I thought it needed a punch to stand out.
- I made the lining 1 1/2" shorter, as Krista recommended, and it worked out perfectly. (So did her tip of making the dots on the bottom piece!)
- I also made each lining piece a 1/2" narrower - to help the lining sit a bit easier.  It worked!  I think I'll do that one again!
- The top cover and the sides of the interior are made out of an old sheet that actually coordinated really well!
- I wanted the base to have a bit more substance, so I added fusible fleece to a piece of home dec fabric and used that for the lining base. I'm thrilled with the way this turned out - it's exactly the "heft" to the fabric I wanted.
- I didn't need the gigantically poofy sides, so I just made them 9" wide and didn't pleat them.
- Before I sewed the lining and outside together, I sewed the seam allowances of their bases together to make the lining stay put. I'd never done this before. I will never skip this step again - it makes a HUGE difference.
I've gotten so used to using interfacing and cotton fabric on bags that I'd forgotten what a lovely feel home dec fabric has. The bag is slouchy but not shapeless - it's perfect - so comfortable! And the microsuede straps? Oh my gosh, they're a dream - so easy on the shoulder and in the hand! I sewed this all from my stash so I wouldn't care too much if I didn't like the bag, but now I'm dreaming up opportunities to use it!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Doctor Who Stitch Along

So...  I had these brilliant plans to stitch along for the whole Doctor Who Stitch Along...  but it just didn't happen.  Oh well.

But then... then I saw a post about the Design Invitational.  Design your own!?  Awesome.  I thought I could make enough time to do one pattern - I'm not really an embroiderer yet, so please pardon my amateur stitching.

So, without further ado, please allow me to introduce to you.....


Here's the pattern...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Quarter 3: Finish -A- Long

Well I have been woefully absent on the whole "finish-a-long" thing...  Life's just gotten in the way of sewing lately, but I'm starting to get back in the swing of things.

Here's my list for Quarter Three:

1. Modern Scrappy Bits Swap (mail by 8/1)
I'll be making a set of coasters for my partner!

2. Triple Zip Swap (mail by 8/17)
Make a triple zip - my partner gave me no direction, so I get to be really creative!

3. Simple Sweet Scrappy Swap (mail by 8/26)
I have to make a wristlet pouch for my partner.

4. Sewing Room Swap (mail by 9/1)
This one involves two finishes - a small project and a big project.  Haven't decided yet what to do!

5. Laura's Quilt (wedding on 10/5)
This quilt just needs to be bound.

6. Wendy's Quilt
It's still a stack of fat quarters right now - dreaming big here, but I'd love to have it done by the end of September!

7. Set of placemats
This isn't critical, but I'd love to have a set or two of placemats for our table.

8. Schoolroom Quilt #1
This needs to be basted, quilted and bound.

9. Schoolroom Quilt #2
I need to finish the top, then baste, quilt and bind.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Absent much?

Sorry.  Life's been busy.

I finally got downstairs to do a bit of sewing just for me today, and it felt GREAT.  I didn't do much, but it was something that had been intimidating me for ages, and I finally got it done.  I'm making two quilts for the schoolroom, because a layer cake cut into 4 HSTs makes a LOT of squares...  :)  They're 6 3/4" square, which would result in a 12.5" finished square, which is an odd size.  I wanted to do a square-in-square block with my Cuzco accent fabric to be the same size as a finished square, but I couldn't quite squeak out the center squares out of the two fat quarters that I have.  How I was going to figure this out just took months for me to settle on the final decision.  But it got made!  I'm off the fence!

I decided to trim the HSTs down to 6 1/2" which would put me at a 12" square, and then I was able to get the 9" squares out of the fat quarter that would end up being the center of the square-on-square accent blocks.

Totally confusing to anyone who's not a quilter, but I hope that made sense to someone!

I had just been dreading cutting into my hoarded Cuzco fat quarters until I got this figured out - but I just did it.  Not only did I get the Cuzco cut, I actually got all six square-in-squares sewn and pressed.  The way naptimes have gone lately, this basically constitues a minor miracle!  Isn't that Cuzco just so incredibly vibrant?

I need to post later about all the FABULOUS swaps I've been in, and the ones that are coming up!