Saturday, June 30, 2007

A new bag and an attempt to capture the gallery

I finished a new bag today, really a purse. It is from Butterick 3873, made with oval handles instead of round. These oval bamboo handles looked interesting to work with, and I had some of the dragon fly fabric from a bag I made awhile ago. This pattern is very easy, although sewing around the handles is a bit tricky.

I have enjoyed the Bag Gallery that Linda posted at Craft Apple and was inspired to try to photograph my own hand made collection. Not as easy as one would think. I gathered about 13 bags of various sizes and then just could not settle on a method of hanging and displaying them all together that I liked.

So here are some vignettes. First of all, the smallest ones. One mini grocery bag from my tutorial, one small cosmetic bag, and a Humbug bag.
Now, my two small over the shoulder bags. The black and white crazy quilted one I have posted about before. The red one is fabric left over from a jacket I made, the pattern is from the Pacific Purse Collection, pattern # 201, view D. These two bags most often go with me to special outings or the theater, I try to get opportunities to use them as often as possible!

Now the big guys, the working bags. Used for lugging stuff back and forth, for bringing more stuff home and for keeping stuff in it's own space while here at home.

This one I call my ugly button bag and is used to go back and forth to work each day. I don't really think the buttons are ugly, just very odd.

One more close up, this bag is what I use for my knitting. I was inspired to do the button embroidery on the pocket by an article in Threads magazine, Aug/Sept 2006.
Phew, that's it for now. Now back to the sewing machine...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A little gift for a generous person

There is a woman at my serger club that brings cookies to share for every class. She also often brings old sewing magazines to pass along. Last class she brought Threads magazine from 1997-98. I have subscribed to Threads on and off and did not subscribe for those years. What a wonderful treat for me. I love pouring over these magazines, they are timeless and packed with good information and inspiration. So here is a little cosmetic bag that I plan to give to Linda in thanks for her generosity.

This is made out of the brassiere fabric that I had seen on line somewhere and had no idea that I could purchase at my local quilting fabric store. I think it is just so fun. And as you can see it goes wonderfully with polka dot fabric, another of my personal favorites. The pattern for this little bag is from Made for Travel by Mary Mulari, a book full of great patterns for travel and special journeys. This little "Bedside Bag" can be made in 3 different sizes, this is the smallest one. I have a small one that I made for myself that I use to transport my pills when I travel.
I hope Linda will find a use for this little one.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Mending and what it led to

My son Andrew works for a clothing company. One of the employee benefits is that they can get clothing samples that have been used for testing. Each garment usually has about a 3 inch hole punched out of the fabric which is on a card and attached to the garment with various instructions on how to revise the manufacturing process based on the test. Anyway, Andrew sent me 10 shirts that all had large holes or slashes. I mended them all, like so.
This may sound tedious but I actually love mending. Why is mending so enjoyable to me? Each project is like a little puzzle to solve, mending can be done fairly quickly (immediate gratification) and it appeals to the recycle/reuse spirit of not just throwing something away when it has just a little defect.

Then I figured that this would be a good time to make a couple of shopping bags for Andrew and Sarah, so that I could return the mended clothing in nice bags instead of the cardboard box that they came in.

So, on to bags. I made two out of a decorator remnant that I purchased at Hancock's closure.
The one with the rick rack went to Andrew and Sarah. I am not sure where the other one is going.

I have been saving another remnant that I purchased at Hancock just for Sarah. This fabric is basically ugly, but it has olives. Sarah loves olives. I snagged some green pea fabric that seemed like it would go with the cabbage and olive print. So, here is the next grocery bag for the young couple.
Sarah is out of town for a long summer school, I am hoping that when she has to return to the boring chore of grocery shopping these bags will make her trip a bit more enjoyable.

Here's Andrew taking off with his mended clothing and two new grocery bags. He looks kinda corny "modeling" the bags, but he did agree to be on my blog. (Thanks Andrew)

Serger club - scarf/belt

We made scarves again at serger club. This one is cut on the bias, I started with 1 1/3 yards and cut a six inch width on the fold. The beads were on a ribbon, so really easy to insert. I was introduced to wash away Wonder Tape, it did do a wonderful job of holding the bead tape in place while I stitched it.

I wore the scarf as a belt and it worked out fine. I purchased more the the fabric thinking that I might want to make something to match this scarf/belt. No definite plans for that yet.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

She loved the bag

Today was the farewell service and party for our interim minister. The bag that I was commissioned to make as a going away gift was presented to her. She was really happy with it. People had placed several little gifts inside and the many cards of personal wishes were added to the bag. When she was given a gift from the local chocolate maker she reached out for it and tucked right in her new bag. What a pleasure it was for me to see her so happy with this special gift.

I got back to the sewing studio this afternoon and was about to get started on the eyelet top that I have cut out. As I was moving another top that I had cut out and thought about whether I was really ever going to get back to it I decided to finish it up. It is the top from the Vogue 2875 pattern which I made a jacket and skirt out of. I liked the jacket but did not like the cut of the skirt at all. Anyway, the top turned out very nice. The bias cut of the fabric made for a very nice drape. It was a 90 degree day today, so making this breezy top was just the thing to do. The top fit nicely, it's good to know that I can use this pattern again.

One last mini project that I did today was to make up another recycled shopping bag. This one has to be the simplest and fastest one yet. I had a blue bag from a thrift shop, I think I paid 50 cents for it, it had words on the front that I did not particularly want to carry around. I also had some jean shorts that I rescued from the trash when a friend of mine had throw them away while staying at our cottage with us. I snipped off the back pocket and used it to cover the words on the front of the blue bag, and now I have a very functional grocery bag.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Wool Hat finished in plenty of time for snow

Snow, how can one even think of it when summer solstice is so close and the temperatures are close to 90 each day? The timing of my wool hat project obviously has no connection to the season. I did it to get experience with knitting on double pointed needles as prep for knitting socks. The hat turned out really nice, it's very stretchy and soft. Here it is near my hydrangea bush, we always called it the snowball bush. I transplanted this bush from my parents yard, they planted it many years ago in memory of my grandmother whose birthday was in June. My father always claimed that is bloomed on her birthday. Her name was Pearl Loraine, we share the same middle name. She died when I was only 1 year old so I don't know if she knitted or did hand work.

On another note, I drove by my local Hancock Fabrics and saw that it is indeed closed and empty. So sad. There is a Value World near by so I stopped in to see if they had any sewing supplies or fabric. I made a pretty good haul for $4.80. I don' t think I ever spent that little at Hancock. I can always find a use for zippers and the lace was just too wonderful to pass up.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Vacation results

My vacation is almost over, I did have plenty of time to relax as well as kayak, and enjoy the company of family and friends. I am feeling great about now, refreshed and thankful for all I can do and participate in. Life is good.

Here's what I was able to accomplish in the sewing department.
1. Finished the commissioned bag. I love how it turned out. Since I tried to emphasize a water theme I took pictures of it by our lake up north. I gave it to the person who is planning the farewell party for the interim minister today. The bag has a spider and web(for good luck), the logo of our congregation, and a Sankofa bird. This minister used the image of a Sankofa bird, one who looks back as she flys forward, as an inspiration for our congregation during our time of transition.

While I was putting the left over fabric scraps away, I picked up the corner that I cut out of the bottom and thought that it would a good base for a cell phone holder. So here it is.

2. Made the tea cozy for Connie, she was very pleased with it.

3. Made a tea cozy and 2 pot holders for the cottage out of the "Tea" fabric.

4. Cut out the white eyelet top.
5. Made 8 coasters out of some domino's fabric that I found at at fabric store called the Button Hole in West Branch, Michigan that is closing this summer. The owner is retiring. Domino's is our game of choice at the cottage, so these will go back up north.

All in all a great week, I did all of my sewing on my little Singer featherweight. It makes such a cute old machine noise and sews wonderfully and with more power that you would expect from such a little old gal.