Clothing · patterns · Quilting · sewing

I’ve been sewing again!

Finally I have been getting some projects done! It feels great to sew and accomplish something. ^_^ First up we have yet another Amy Butler High Street Messenger Bag. This is the thrid one that I have made. I really like the end product, but sewing it together can be a bear. This one was a gift for my cousin Olivia, who turned 16 in March.

Here’s a picture of the outside front. I chose to put the tab on, using velcro, incase she decides to use this for a laptop bag. The tab really doesn’t serve too much of a purpose, so I would recommend leaving it off, unless you like the way it looks. The fabric is called Odyssey from MoMo for Moda.

With the flap out-of-the-way, you can see the outer pleated pockets, though the pleats aren’t showing up very well. These outer pockets get quite a bit of use, so make sure when you are stitching the dividing line between the pockets, you do a very good job stitching it down at the top of the pockets.

The inside of the bag. You can see the zippered hanging pocket and the tool pocket. This is also a very useful part of the bag. I use the zippered pocket inside all the time for loose items, personal effects, and anything that I want to keep contained. The panel pockets are great for pens, notepads, ID cards, just about anything you want to keep on the inside of the bag, but easily accessable.

Finally the back of the bag. This zippered pocket has not gotten much use from my experience, but is handy to have. The pattern does call for an additional zippered pocket on the inside of the flap, but I found that I never used this because it is hard to get to, if you open it while wearing the bag, the contents will spill out of the pocket, and the zipper pull scratched my hand every time I reached into the bag without lifting the flap. I would recommend leaving the zipper off the flap unless you know what you would use it for.

All in all, I really enjoyed making these bags and think the pattern is well done. Number one tip if you are thinking about making this pattern. . . LABEL EVERY PIECE WITH MASKING TAPE. DO NOT USE A DIRECTIONAL PRINT. MAKE SURE YOUR MACHINE CAN HANDLE HEAVY-DUTY FABRIC/LAYERS OF FABRIC. These are the most important tips that I can give you! If you have any questions, feel free to let me know! ^_^ I’m always glad to help.

I also whipped up this table runner for Matt’s mom’s birthday gift. I wanted to do a much bigger gift, but didn’t have the time. I am going to try to get it done for Christmas though. Don’t see how that should be a problem. . . I still have a few months. ^_^

I’m working on a simple pattern for this. Once I have perfected the pattern, I will put it up on my patterns page. I had this fabric in my stash left over from quite a while ago. I was planning on making a set of pillow cases for a friend, but never got around to that. Matt’s mom enjoys cats, so I thought I would put it to good use for her birthday gift. I just hope I’m not overdoing it with the cat thing. ^_^

Please excuse the white balance. . . the lighting in my apartment is horrible. This is the Favorite Things Uptown Coat that I have had forever. It’s a store sample that should have been done last year. . . oops. I did the jacket version after realizing I didn’t have enough fabric to make the coat. I was going to keep this one until I found out that the size I thought I needed was way too large for me. . . (better to be too big than too small I guess.) All it needs are some buttons and it’s done! Hooray!

This shot has a little better lighting. You can see the color of the exterior better. I used a maroon/burgundy corduroy for the exterior and a silk/cotton blend teal for the lining. You can also see the markings for the button holes and buttons. I will make the button holes as soon as I find some fab buttons. This was my first coat, and basically only my second or third garment. I think it came out pretty well considering I haven’t done much clothing and I don’t have a dress form to fit to.

This photo shows off the lining. It looks a bit crinkly, but I ironed out as much as I could. I am pretty proud of the end result, even if it is too big for me. I’m just glad to get it out of my to-do pile. I have a lot more projects waiting and hopefully I will be able to get to them soon! Thanks for listening! ^_^

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Knitting · Quilting · sewing

Blerg. . .

Today is Monday, December 28 and I have a cold. Cold’s are never any fun. It hit me the day after Christmas and has knocked me down since. Today is the first day I feel well enough to move, but I still can’t talk and am having coughing fits every so often. I’m going to try to take this opportunity to get some sewing done around here. As I said before, I have a few projects that I am working on, so I’ll give you a  now.

This lovely stack of fabrics will become a cute lap quilt featuring Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Ever since childhood, this book has meant loads to me. I love Eric Carle’s children’s books.  And now I can enjoy them forever with this adorable fabric! The caterpillar scattered print is the backing, seeing as I have around 3 yards. I also have the panel and a few go-withs to make something fabulous with. I think, however, that this gorgeous material will be going to my future mother-in-law. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but I didn’t get the quilt made up in time. . .

This next stack is Authentic by Sweet Water for Moda. I really like the colors and textures in this collection. The pattern is Paper Back Writer by Abbey Lane, I adore most of their patterns. I think this quilt will look very chic once finished. This one is a store sample, so I probably won’t be keeping it, although it would look good on my couch. . . ^_^

I better get a move on if I want to finish any projects today. I’ll try to post again with some progress shots and some finished projects once I get there. So much to do, so little time. . . anyone have some spare time for sale?

BTW, just on a side note. . . I watched Julie & Julia this weekend. I have to say that was an adorable movie. I really enjoyed every part of it. I do wonder why Julia didn’t like Julie though. . . I often times feel like Julie in that I don’t know who reads this, and if I even have many people looking at my random thoughts and writings. I do know that I have the occasional looker, but do I have any blalkers? By blalker, I mean “blog stalker”. It’s when you religiously re-visit blogs to read up on the latest content. I can tell you that the one blog that I am always a blalker at is Ysolda Teague’s blog about knitting and other great stuff. She lives in Scotland and has several patterns and a couple books out on knitting. Love her stuff, as my blalker’s would know from all the times I have mentioned her in my posts. ^_^ So anyway, all of you blalkers out there, thanks for listening and talk to you soon.

Cooking/Baking · Knitting · Quilting · sewing · Spinning · Wedding

Mid-December Already!

I can’t believe it is already the 18th of December! This year has flown by and so much has happened! On November 11th, my boyfriend of over 6 1/2 years proposed, finally! ^_^ I said yes, of course, and our date is set for the 10th of October, 2010. 10-10-10-, gee, I wonder how many people are going to get married that day? So of course I am busy planning for the wedding. I went downtown to the local bookstore and picked up a few things to help me out. The first “book” I got was a Bridal Idea Journal. It is really cool. It has tons of pages dedicated to possibilities and ideas of what the wedding will look like. It has a timeline and due dates, a budget section, and lots of space to jot down general notes about venues and vendors. It has been a handy little book.

Another book that I absolutely adore is The DIY Bride Crafty Countdown. This book is incredible. I told myself I wasn’t going to go through the stress of making my own save the dates and invitations, but I can’t help it. The ideas in this book are so good, and so simple, I have to make my own! Why pay double or triple when you don’t have to? And besides, there’s plenty of time. (Flash forward to a few days before the wedding, and they still aren’t done. . .) ^_^ You have to check this book out if you are in the market to get married, or are helping a friend with a wedding. You can catch this book and more fabulous ideas at www.diybride.com. I also recommend checking out The Knot. They have some great tips and other fabulous bride-to-be stuff, including an online checklist, guestlist, and iPhone app! They can be found at www.theknot.com.

Moving along to more recent happenings, yesterday I roasted some vegetables. They are sooooooo incredibly delicious. Down town at the local health food store they offer roasted vegetables in the deli case. These are perhaps the best I have ever had. . .until now. I went to the store and picked up some organic yellow squash, zuchinni, baby red potatoes, red onion, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, baby carrots, and a head of garlic. I threw everything onto a baking sheet, after preping of course, drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and threw them in the oven on 250 for about 2 hours. The only reason that I use such a low temperature is because when my oven gets too hot, it warps my pans. . . I know, I have a crappy oven. But I’m renting, so what can I do? When I do it again, I will wait to add the squash, red onion, and zuchinni until about half way through cooking, and I would use way less olive oil. I would also throw in more garlic because that is my favorite part! ^_^ Here’s a tasty picture that I snapped about half way through the cooking process. Caution: Drooling very likely to occur.

I have lots more to share, but it’s just about time to start dinner, so I have to get going. Coming soon: More Project Pyramids, A tour around my Christmas Tree, my Snapdragon Flip-Top Mits by Ysolda, my Urban flip-top gloves for my brother, my hand spun and hand knit hat for my mother, and my future Quilt projects. Stay tuned, I hope to have these posts up soon! ^_^

Knitting · Quilting · sewing

Poll

I have created a poll to gather input on what fabrics my readers prefer. Please take a moment to fill out this poll and perhaps leave a comment if you do not see your favorite designer listed.

Thank you! ^_^

Knitting · Quilting · sewing · Spinning

Ren Faire Costume and Other Musings.

So, I went to a Renaissance Faire this weekend. I’ve been attending for 7 years now. I love it! There are so many great activites and wonderful people. My favorite part is dressing up. I made my own costume this year. (My mother had made my previous two.) I only got half of it finished, however. I made the outer shell, but the underdress came from a second hand store. I’m planning on wearing this costume for Halloween as well, but need to finish the underdress.

This is the pattern that I started with. There was much altering that needed to be done to get it to look the way I had pictured in my mind.

Ren Dress Pattern

I used view A and left off the sleeves because I mostly didn’t want them, but also because I didn’t have enough fabric. I also did not have the trim go all the way down the front of the dress. I didn’t really care about the trim, but before I read through the entire pattern to see how it was constructed, I wasn’t able to easily go back and fix the raw edges that the trim covers. So, here is what the finished dress ended up like.

My Ren Costume

 

This isn’t the best picture of me. . .but when I took my camera with me, I neglected to make sure there was an SD card in it. 😦 I had a little internal memory, and was able to take a few pictures, however I cannot find my camera cable to extract said photos. Once I find that, I will post a few better pictures of the costume. But all in all, you get the main idea. *UPDATE* I have found my cord and this IS the updated picture. . .well, better than nothing I suppose. ^_^*

I have also recently been knitting on Ysolda’s Snapdragon Tam. It’s GORGEOUS! I love the pattern and the color. I decided to use Malabrigo Worsted in Sunset. I adore this yarn, and the Tam looks great with it!

Snapdragon Tam

The background in this picture is the quilt that I recently put together. It’s a collection of Anna Maria Horner and Tina Givens fabrics. I just did giant 14″ blocks, alternating light and darks. I had four fabrics total and have plenty left over for some accent pillows, (if I ever get around to them . . .). I quilted it on my mother’s longarm with a pantograph and teal-blue thread. It’s so pretty! ^_^

My Quilt

My Quilt 2

And now it is laying happily upon my bed. Though there is not enough drape on the sides, there is plenty of length. It almost touches the floor at the foot of my bed and still has enough for a tuck! I have a Queen size bed and this quilt measures approximately 80×108. I should have added at least one more row on the width, but it’s lovely just the same.

And then, just when I thought I couldn’t cram any more onto my Ashford Joy’s bobbin, I go and cram a little more. Poor wheel. I work this thing to death, but it still shows me love. This was some blue faced leceister that I wanted to get spun up. It’s so soft and scrumptious. I love it.

Joy is full

Full Bobbin

My boyfriend is gone for three months to train for a new position he is taking. If all goes well, we will be moving to the ‘big city’ to be close to his work. While he’s away, I have been trying to find things to keep myself busy. (Like that is hard to do. . . ^_^) So I’ve been finishing up on some of these projects, as well as starting way too many new ones. On the books for the coming few weeks, I will be attending Oregon Flock and Fiber in Canby. This will be year 3. Can’t wait to find some fibery goodness to feed the addiction. I have a few classes to teach at the quilt shop, and some store samples to get through. I have three bags and a long jacket to do. As soon as I can get myself a little better organized, I will be posting some, hopefully, regular updates on my progress.