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

Everything at Once

Hello readers. I apologize for the inconsistent postings as of late. My schedules has been thrown a bit off track ever since my fiance had his knee surgery. He’s in his ‘recovery’ stage which means he’s home. . . 24/7. . . for another 3-4 weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I love having him around, but because he’s home, I want to spend as much time with him as possible, therefore my blogging schedule, as well as all of my other responsibilities, have fallen to the wayside. I’m trying my hardest to get back on track though, so please bear with me.

My family is currently going through my grandparents’ house and finding lots of really neat things. Some of the latest finds for me included my grandmother’s button stash, and some of her costume jewelry, namely some clip on earrings circa ~1930-1960. I can’t wait to show those off in her jewelry box! I also have a basket full of scarves that I have been meaning to get to as well as some of hers and her family’s vintage clothing that I snagged. All in due time, if I can keep up with everything else that is happening lately.

In sewing news, I have two quilts that I am currently working on. The first is from Tula Pink’s new line “Plume” for Moda. I am using her pattern called “Spiked Punch” and am just starting to cut out the fabric. One thing that I really enjoy about this pattern is that it uses a jelly roll, so there is minimal strip cutting besides the background pieces. Pictures to come soon, I promise! The second quilt I am working on is from Michael Miller’s line “Flora & Fauna”. The colorways I am working with include the hot pink and lime green fabrics. Yum! I adore these colors and can’t wait to see how it turns out.

In clothing news, I’m working on a jacket pattern from Favorite Things. The exterior is being made from a burgundy corduroy and the lining is a teal cotton/silk blend. It’s going rather quickly, but the directions in this pattern are assuming the maker knows a lot about garment construction. It doesn’t say anything about how to finish the front double-breasted closure and it doesn’t tell you to sew on the buttons. . . (I know, that is pretty self-explanatory, but still. . .)

I also completed my Sencha blouse from Colette Patterns. I am so proud of myself! I used up some of my stash fabric to make it and it turned out great! I think I may need to tinker with the pattern a bit to get a better fit, but I am thrilled to have made my first ever, wardrobe worthy, piece of clothing. I’ll have pictures up soon, but to visualize, I made the blouse from a cotton chambray. The fabric used pink threads on the crosswise grain and yellow threads on the lengthwise grain to make an orange-y color. It is quite darling, although I would like to make another Sencha in blue polka dot, green, red, and black and white polka dot. . . maybe in a few other solids too. . . oh boy, the possibilities! ^_^

Any who, my Aunt and I just finished making my wedding invitations, R.S.V.P.’s, and thank you cards. They turned out beautiful! I can’t wait to use them! I’m afraid that I will have to make more, but can’t wait to get started on them again. It was a blast!

So, all in all, everything is kind of happening at once and it feels a bit overwhelming to say the least. Hopefully I will be able to get back on track and back into a routine. I’m hoping to have another VPS up soon, and maybe some other great things!

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

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.