Sunday, April 30, 2006

Rated PG-13 for some brief nudity

Tonight, I finished my second bag. This time, I used the Chelsea bag pattern by Amy Butler. (FYI, if you're an Amy Butler fan, go check out the web site. New patterns and fabric) This bag is a nice reversible tote, perfect for hauling around books, or yarn.

The Chelsea bag will be for my friend Chelsea, who recently moved to Austin, TX. One day, when we both lived in Maryland, we were walking around the fabric store, and she stopped upon this outrageous fabric with half-naked cowboys on it, and said "I'd love a bag made out of this. I'd totally carry it around with me all the time." Well, now she has a chance to prove it.

The outside of the bag is all nice, and demure.

While the inside... well...

My favorite part about this bag is how I cut it. A completely freak accident caused the handle to cut out the one guy's face - cause really? That's not what we're looking at here. And the bottom of the bag on the half-naked cowboy side... well... I can't really put it on the blog. But let's just say that the bottom contains only the good part of one of the boys... and chaps :-)

Here is my bag!

I just finished my bag (right on the wire for that one, wasn't I!).


It reminds me of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream! (I have been trying to eat healthier, so I wonder if that is why everything seems to remind me of food! I suppose I could have just as easily named it the Roast-Beef Salad bag, but it just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it.)

I used a basic pattern out of Designer Style Handbags. It took me about an hour, and is just the right size for a notebook or sketchbook and a couple of magazines (my usual bag stash). Fun Sunday afternoon project! I think I'll be making more of these.

Chef Messy

Is it just me...

or does anyone else find this a little intimidating? Because really, the rapidly moving needle wasn't enough, now I'm supposed to maneuver a porcupine through it?? I decided on some pretty stiff interfacing since the bag I chose needed some structure. Maybe not the best choice for my first bag, but I'm pretty happy with how it came out.

I've loved seeing everyone's bags, and now I have so many ideas swimming around in my head. I'm excited to find out what's next in the sewalong, but I already know I'm going to be making at least two more bags. This could really be addictive.

With a lime green zipper!

Here is my finished project, just on time. Since I was hand sewing it, I picked a small pouch from the book Made for Travel by Mary Mulari. I was looking for a use for some lime green zippers I got at the thrift store, and I love the way this one looks with this fabric.

To read a little more about my project, you can visit me here.

Sewing machine envy

When I last posted a few weeks back, I though I would be done with my bag in a few days. Just stitch up the straps, make a zippered pocket, sew up the lining, and poof! I'll have a new bag. Ha ha. Little did I know how time-consuming and tedious hand stitching 44 inches of straight line would be. For the strap, the stitching is visible on both sides and so had to appear straight but somehow, when you are hand-sewing through three layers of fabric, the result stitch is rarely automatically aligned with the others. So...after many days of sewing for an hour and then throwing down the strap in frustration and more days where I abandoned it altogether, I finished the strap yesterday. From there, everything seemed so rapid by comparison. Here is the almost finished bag. It all but lacks a snap on the inside and a line of stitching around the top edge (yes, more visible straight stitches...), both of which I won't have time to get to til later in the week.

All the tedium of extended stitching by hand aside, I am very happy about how the bag (my first ever!) turned out. Lots of thanks to the sew-along hostesses! Details about the bag...the outside fabric is linen with a cotton print as accent. I used canvas as a center layer to give the bag some structure and the lining is a cotton twill. I also added a zippered pocket inside.

Now, excuse me while I go research what sewing machine to get...


Oh the delights of a good old fashioned canvas bag. I was going to make another m.a.p. bag (museum all purpose bag). But I need to make this shirt first and I just haven't had the time or the space to layout and cut skirt pieces.... so I had just decided that it would have to wait until school is finished, but I came across a great idea that I just couldn't wait to make. I was at the friday afternoon knitting group and me and this woman were talking about how plastic shopping bags create such waste and that we started reusing old ones for trips to the local natural foods store and even such places as aldi (where you have to buy your bags). She told me that she had been doing that for a long time, but was now using canvas shopping bags instead! What a great idea! It just so happens too that I've been feverously stretching canvas lately for my painting class and have a ton of 2 foot wide canvas pieces laying around. They are pretty much unusable for painting, but they are the perfect size for making shopping bags. It gets even better too! I just bought a wire basket for my bike, so I made the canvas big just the right size to fit into my basket, that way I will never overload myself while shopping. When my bag is full, it's time to check out, simple as that. I think I'm going to make 2 that are a little larger for my mom for mother's day. She shops at aldi all the time and is always spending about 50 cents a trip on plastic bags... what a waste! Another thing, I figured out the I, on average, buy about 4 bags of groceries each week, times that by 52, and that is 208 shopping bags worth of plastic, But no more!

I've really enjoyed the sew along, sorry I can't show you a picture of my finished bag, but I don't have a camera, I will get my friend to take a picture for me and I will post it then (but she's busy developing film for her final project, so it will have to wait).

Better Late Than Never?

Hola Amigas (y amigos? ),

I didn't allow myself enough time to finish up my handbag by the deadline ... but I did learn how to sew gussets, which is one of the reasons why I chose this particular pattern!

The purse I'm sewing is the right, bottom one. The solid ruby red fabric is the lining. I'll be sure to photograph the finished purse with the next sew-along project (along with the three skirts I finished after the skirt sew-along deadline)!

You all made so many gorgeous purses! There are plenty I would love to have in my collection!


Finished on time!

I am proud to say I finished this on time this month! And to whomever thought of making a bag this month, THANK YOU!!!

I used a pattern I found at Wal-Mart, Easy stitch 'n save M5082 by McCall's. It's bag B and I used scraps that I had around the house. I only had to buy the handles and a spool of white thread.

And here it is!! I'm actually proud of this one! It turned out much better than my skirt! I'm so excited that it did too and I'm actually thinking of making more. It really only took one afternoon to make, though I spread it among three just because I had to stop to go get the kids from the bus stop and then my husband came home early one day and then my sewing machine wanted to act up!

It was actually simplier than I that it would be. There were only a few pieces to cut out and once I got the outside done, the inside was easy! I will admit that the instructions were a little fuzzy, but thank goodness there are pictures!
It even has a pocket!! I couldn't believe that I was able to do that! It's not exactly perfect, but no one is going to know except you all, but it's really hard to tell anyways.

My two daughters helped me pick out which handles to get and I think they made a good choice.

Now I just have to decide what to do with it!

Down to the wire!

I tried three different bags this month and this is the only one that worked. I tried to make one out of fabric scraps and one out of old felted sweater--neither was turning out to be anything that I was actually use--so I abandoned them both. The third time was the charm. I settled on a pattern that I had bought awhile back and made this sewing pouch. I even got to crochet a doily for it from some wool I had in my stash.

The pouch has a tiny pin cushion in the center! I plan to put all my handsewing materials in this.

I am so happy with how it turned out. I am glad that I persevered!

The first step: admitting you have a problem

Oh no, I shouldn't have started, the bag-aholic in me can't stop. I've made another Mr. Sockfish, this time with a fin and a secret hidden pocket bigger than the original one on each side.
I also made an everyday purse with some Amy Butler fabric.

More info at my blog: The Giving Flower

Saturday, April 29, 2006

2 out of 3 'aint bad.

I promisedmyself that I'd make three bags for this sew-along. The Amy Butler swing bag, the Amy Butler Conington bag and a Small hands box bag. I managed the Swing bag, and here is a pic of my second and much more successfull box bag with a matching tote.

The Covington bag is all cut up, ready to be sewn. I more than likely would have got this done, but we got called away for a family emergency, but I am still procrastinating about it! I've just purchased a wool skirt from the op-shop [thrift store] for a couple of $$ to make a copy of a fab bag that I purchased earlier in the year. I also managed a number of tote bags as well!

I've had a ball with this months task, I wonder what the next one will be?

A Spring Bag for myself

This fabric with the swirly print has been sitting in my stash since last October after I bought it in Singapore. I decided it is time I made myself a nice, roomy bag to carry around. Presenting my new bag.

More details over here.

Finished Last Night

I spent last night finishing hand sewing the lining in my purse. I am not able to post pictures right now, but I wish I could as I am really pleased with how it turned out! I had some really nice(subtle, not bright and glaring) shimmery gold/green material and I lined it with a very pretty peach. It has a zipper and a single handle.

I am also almost finished another bag, made of an Old Navy sweater that I got at Value Village for $1.99. It was 100% lambswool, but it had a hole in the front down by the hem. I washed it until it was a nice tight fabric and then cut it out and made a cute little square bag with a zipper and a single handle. (just kind of made it up as I went along) I would like to line it in a great red fabric that has bright little tulips on it. I would also like to make a flower out of the lining fabric, in the style of the one that is on the orange striped bag posted by Craftymodster.

I also have a great black pillow case with bright red hibiscus like flowers on it, and a plain silvery grey pillow case(again—Value Village--.99) that I am going to make the origami purse out of.

My daughter asked me how many purses I needed……..she just doesn’t get it! J

My bag is done but....

Well, my bag has been done for two weeks now, do ya think I can upload a picture??? Haven't had time. Will do so, hopefully tomorrow :) BTW everyones handbags, wallets, etc look fantastic!!!
Vanessa in Upstate NY

one day to spare

Here is my final submission for the month, the box bag. I followed the pattern in this Japanese craft book. I thought it would make a great knitting bag for small projects. For those thinking of giving it a go I increased the size of the pattern and both the interior and exterior fabric were found this week from a thrift store.

Thank you to our hostesses, I'm looking forward to seeing what the theme will be for May.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Another Bag

I finished my second bag project over the weekend. A simple bag made out of linen and denim fabric. This bag is actually my first own design inspired by craftster's granny bag. I altered the shape a little so that I can have more room to chuck all my stuff in there.

I lined the bag with the same linen fabric I used for the exterior. For one of the pockets, I used a left over cotton fabric from my flower pin project. Overall, I'm quite happy how this bag turned out. Well except one thing that I completely forgot -- snap closure. Bummer!

down to the wire

I had great intentions of making Amy Butler's covington, I brought the pattern and the fabric. But I'm sorry folks it just didn't happen :( instead I whipped up these cute little drawstring bags today to send out gifts to some blogging friends. Both bags were made with thrifted fabric using this great tutorial from happy days. I also have a box shaped pouch on the go, which would make a great knitting bag for some socks or a scarf etc. Hopefully I will have this completed tomorrow. more details then.


I made this medium sized tote according to a pattern and fabrics that I received from my swap partner over at the flickr group use what you have. There are some great swaps going on in May and sign ups are still open if anyone wants to join in.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Orange Tote - Finito!

Hey all! As usual, I am coming in on the tail end of this month's project, but I did finish my bag. I'm really blown away by everyone's bags thus far! It's been truly inspiring seeing all.

The mini-brief:

My first choice was to use an Amy Butler pattern, but I didn't have all the called-for materials on hand and really wanted to use what I had in stash. I also wanted to make my bag in fabric the colors of this month's Project Spectrum (2 birds, 1 stone) Orange. So I went with orange-hued fabric I had bought last month, including an orange men's shirt I thrifted a while back, & picked pattern #6574 by NEW LOOK, choosing bag style D (with some mods):

The striped fabric went for the outside body of the bag, the orange shirt was used for the lining, and the sewing-themed fabric was used as the bottom & pockets of the bag. All went fairly smoothly, as I was able to complete it in one day, start to finish (deadlines, you know!):

Modifications: I added the pockets, following the directions for the larger tote bag, and I split the pocket in half on the inside pocket to hold things such as knitting needles. I also used some cute polka-dotted ribbon to "hide" the inside raw edges of the bottom, instead of double-folded seam binding that the pattern called for, which I had none on hand. It worked pretty well. AND...I made a matching flower brooch, courtesy of the amazing Wise Craft, which I can remove (& thus wear on my shirt/jacket so I can match my bag...oh boy!), plus covered the piece of cardboard with matching fabric that you insert inside to strengthen the bottom (apparently it's removable, which I don't really care for).

My major/minor qualms: I have not had a lot of experience using fusible interfacing. Things went remarkably well until after the whole thing was completed. It looked great! It was smooth, polished looking, and then I did a baaaad thing: I tried to iron it again. Opps. It seemed to have made the interfacing tend to wrinkle. Now it just looks okay, not so smooth, definitely not so polished. I will not do that again, if I use this stuff in the future! Ugh. Also, it would have been best to use a heavier weight cotton (mine was light) for this type of bag, plus possibly heavier interfacing.

All-in-all, it looks like Spring-time fun to the loudest, cheeriest bag I own!

More details about this project on my blog.

NOW....ready for sewing project number 3! Yay!


Finished Mom's Bag

I finished my Mom's Bag! More pictures and read about it here.


A fish ate my sock

Hi, I haven't yet posted here because I've been a bit behind. I didn't get around to sewing my skirt for March *red*, but I promise to be better in the future. Starting this month.
I've sewn my bag and even have a few days to spare. Being a bag-aholic this was not a difficult task, so here she is in all her glory.
There are more pictures and info about mr. sock-fish over at my blog.
I'm so glad to be a part of this sew-along, there's some amazing talent out there and it's fun getting inspiration from all the wonderful bags that have been posted so far.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

denim sash bag & stripwork wallet

This is a bag I've been wanting to do for some time now. I used denim from an old GAP jean skirt for the outside of my bag. I used my basic tote pattern and added belt loops at each side seam and center front and back. I lined it with a matching blue canvas. I also added a magnetic snap/flap closure. Then the fun began...I made 4 interchangable sashes from some gorgeous Kaffe Fasset fabrics I picked up from my local quilt shop. This way, I could just change the sash and use this bag with most everything I wear.

With the leftover sash fabric, I made a stripwork quilted wallet. I used the pattern "A Safe Place" from Favorite Things. I love this pattern! It was really quite simple and I just used scraps from the denim, another purplish fabric and the leftovers from the sashes. I LOVE IT! You can get so much in it and it will match my purse! I highly recommend this pattern. The only thing I did different on it was to add a magnetic snap instead of velcro on the flap!

I can't wait to see everyone else's last-minute bags! I love the inspiration we can share with one another!

Now if I could figure out how to make my pictures go where I want them in my posts, I would be doing really well! Could anyone help me, please? :-)

(edited to add photo of 3 other sashes)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Walk-Around Sock Bag

I wanted to make a fun mesh bag for a walk-while-you-knit sock bag. I'm also trying to use what I have this month, so I'm a bit behind schedule. Here's my own design:

A little tutorial of how I came up with this is on my blog. Enjoy!

I have SO enjoyed everyone's bags this month - thanks for all the inspiration!

I did it!

I did it!!!!!!!! Although my expectations were pretty high for my first sewing project, the bag is growing on me with all it's imperfections. The seams are crooked, it took me forever to figure out why my sewing machine wasn't working (it was set to winding a bobbin instead of sewing), I had to rip it out because the handle was stuck on the inside, and the magnetic closure will pop out soon; but, I made it :) I knitted the strap out of riboon, is that okay? I just couldn't find one that I liked. I'm taking the purse on a test drive Thursday to my book club. Can't wait to see everyone elses! Thanks for starting this sew along. My sewing machine would still be languishing in the closet without this sew along. It was just the motivation I needed to give sewing a try.

Sock Knitting Bags!

I finished making the Sock Knitting Bags over the weekend. Mine is on the left (made out of an old shirt) and my Sockapaloooza Pal's is on the right made out of new fabric that I purchased to match her socks. Here is a shot of the inside of my bag: For all the details and a tour of the inside of the bag, see my blog, Pink Lemon Twist. The socks I knit for my Sockapaloooza pal are the blue ones in the blog post just under the bags! I can't wait for the next project!

The 2nd project...FO!!

I have finished the 2nd project of this sew-along. It's so small shoulder bag, so it is full if you inserted a purse, a mobile phone, and a handkerchief.But I think it's cute !! Because I love the linen fabric and antique lace (especially I love the flower print linen.) Of course, I used it for a corsage, too. I will make the bag of the different size in the same shape.

Happy knitting and sewing :)

Monday, April 24, 2006

A little help

Okay, ladies, I need a little help.

My pattern calls for cord-type handles. It says to pin the fabric around the cord, then sew it down/closed using a zipper foot.

After some contemplation, I don't like this -- it leaves the seam out and seeming sloppy, not to mention it's a bitch to do (at least for me).

So here's what I'm thinking -- cut the fabric a little wider, sew it into a tube with right sides facing each other, then turn it inside out (so right side is on the outside) and insert the cord. Sew across the opening so the cord can't get out (which is instructed by the pattern anyway), and hey presto! I have the corded handle, without the seam edges flapping out in the breeze but, instead, hiding inside the tube.

Can y'all tell me what I'm missing? Why this is a bad idea or won't work? (Or am I not using enough words to describe the problem?)

Thanks for any help you can give!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Whee! That was fun!

I have to give top marks to this "along" and to the Amy Butler pattern - Madison Bag. Both are excellent! I finished my bag in about 3 hours yesterday, the only thing I'd do differently is use stiffer interfacing next time, and with a bag that comes out this well, there will be a next time.
Good luck to all those still working on their bags, and congrats to all the people who have finished theirs.


My ratan bag

Just finished this bag and I'm very satisfy and happy with how it turn out. This is my own pattern based on a bag picture that I saw in one of the Japanese online store "Bellne". I have done some modification to come out with this bag of my own. I used ratan rings as it's handle, Ikea curtain fabric for it's body and buttons to hold the rings to the bag. Just love how the way those buttons has made the bag look special and unique and the flower, the colour just so matches with the bag. Love it!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Madison Uptown Bag: Done!

I just finished this Madison Uptown bag from Amy Butler. I thought the pattern was pretty easy to follow, and it only took about 2.5 hours for me to cut out and sew this. I agree with an earlier post that I read about not wanting to use velcro as a closure. I plan to use this as a sock knitting bag (although I'm going to have to carry it as a purse at least on Monday to show it off!), so there's no way I'm putting velcro on. Any suggestions? I'm thinking of a magnetic closure on the same flaps that the pattern uses. There are more pictures on my blog.

What a fun way to spend a Saturday night! Thank you to our hostesses--this was a really good challenge for me!