sewing

Yoga Bag

I have just started to take Yoga classes and have been thinking about the best way to carry my mat to class with me. So far I have it narrowed down to two options, knit or sewn. The first picture is a free downloadable pattern from Amy Butler called the Nigella Yoga Bag. It looks promising and I can tailor it to include a cellphone pocket, and maybe a pocket for bottled water.

The other option is a felted yoga bag from the book Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I saw a picture of this made out of malabrigo and it was inspiring. Here is a different picture to give you an idea.

Courtesy of Upandatom from Ravelry

I’m really looking forward to making one of these after school ends. I will be graduating with my Bachelors in Business at the end of May. That will give me some time to find my yarn or fabric.
I would love to hear from you on what you would do or have done with a yoga bag!

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! ^_^

sewing

Pattern Review: Amy Butler’s Nappy Bag

Here’s my second pattern review! This is for:

Amy Butler’s Nappy Bag

I have made this bag twice. The first time I included the cell phone pocket and left out the baby bottle pockets on the inside. I used a retro print, as this was the requested fabric since I was making it as a gift. I liked the ease of the pattern, the simple lines, the minimal pattern cutting. There are really only two main pattern pieces. The rest of the cutting is done with a rotary cutter and a straight edge.

I really liked how this one turned out. It was one of the first Amy Butler patterns that I made. I thought it was very easy to sew and the directions were very clear. I didn’t find any major mistakes in the pattern. However, I found the cell phone pocket to be a little awkward to sew. It could have just been my first attempt didn’t go so well, but I also found that with the variety of sizes of cell phones today, it might not be the most logical step to include.

It’s a little difficult to see the actual pocket due to the busy-ness of the fabric, but you can sort of get the idea with the rotary cutter for scale. The cutter goes all the way to the bottom of the pocket, so it is not very wide. The pocket flap has a velcro closure which is better for electronics than a magnetic snap, but a button would be cute too. However, if using a button, note the placement because this lies right on your shoulder, so take caution if using a button.

Here is an updated version of the Nappy Bag that I made a few weeks ago out of Amy’s new fabric line, Love.

On this one I left off the cell phone pocket and I also again did not include the bottle pockets. This is a class sample so I wanted to make it easy for beginner’s. This is a great beginner’s bag. I would highly recommend it. Also, when actually using the bag, the wide straps make it very comfortable to wear on the shoulder and it stays in place well. It is a functional bag with many inside pockets, whether you are using it for a diaper bag, school bag, or just an all around everyday tote.


(5 out of 5 spools)

I’m working on another one of Amy’s new patterns, The Harmony Handbag. Check back often! ^_^

sewing

Pattern Review: Anna Maria Horner’s Multitasker Tote

The first ever “official” pattern review post is here! I’m going to try to start a new series. For every project that I complete, I am going to post a pattern review on my blog. My intentions are to hopefully inspire and help others with helpful hints and tips on the patterns that I have used. So, to kick it off, here’s the first pattern review!

Anna Maria Horner’s Multitasker Tote

This is the second one I have made. The first turned out very cute. I made it out of similar fabrics, Wonderland by MoMo for Moda. This one is made from Panache for Moda. The main exterior is actually a twill cotton, so it’s a little heavier weight which makes for a nice exterior on a utility bag. The brown pockets and strap are also from a twill. I always like to use a heavier fabric if possible on the straps to make sure they are extra durable.

So, one of the biggest changes that I made to the pattern would be the inside pocket. In the instructions, it tells you to cut one rectangle, fold the edges under, and sew it down. No interfacing, no reinforcement of any kind. I thought this might not suffice for my hard wear and tear of pockets, so I changed it up a bit.

So, what I did was take whatever left over fabric I had. (I didn’t have any of the bag fabric left because I had already given it away, so I used some natural colored linen/cotton that I had.) I cut the pattern piece on the fold, so that I would have two layers the same size as the desired pocket. I stitched the pocket RS together, leaving a small opening for turning. I turned the pocket, pressed it flat, making sure the opening was pressed correctly. I top-stitched the edge with the fold (the top edge) about 1/4″ away from the top. Then I placed it on the lining and stitched as directed in the instructions. I think that this reinforcement of the pocket was necessary, especially if it will get a lot of use.

I have to say, I do really like Anna Maria’s method of sewing. When I was sewing this tote, it started out very odd, and I wasn’t sure how it would come together. The way she does it is so foreign to me, but it came out great and I actually prefer her methods to some of the other patterns I have made. It almost seems that she started out sewing more clothing than bags, because of her 5/8″ seam allowances, and the way she explains some of the steps. I really loved the way she incorporated the outside pockets. I call them “jean pockets” because of the shape they give when looking at the front of the bag. They are really deep, and can hold a lot of things!

All in all, my pattern rating for this one is:


(4 out of 5 spools)

Join me next time when I will be reviewing: Amy Butler’s Nappy Bag!

Knitting · Quilting · sewing

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