Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Five Polka dot purses.....

I am back from a week up north on vacation and had some wonderful sewing time. Anticipating one or two grand-nieces coming by, I took along my clown & polka dot fabric collection. I am pleased to say that my sisters and 2 grand nieces had a great time selecting fabrics and making purses.

I had made up three purses as prototypes, so that they could select the style they wanted to make.
The Bias Purse bag, shown in the previous post.
A shoulder bag based on Tiny Happy's tutorial, here.
And a quilted patchwork purse, the tutorial is here.

The quilted patchwork won out with most of us. For 9 year old Miranda this was her first sewing project. She was really excited about selecting the fabrics and as she put it together she just kept saying, "I love how this looks". This was a great pattern for a first project because it is all straight sewing. She was great to coach, she was even a good sport about having to rip out some of the seams that had wandered too far from straight.

What a wonderful look of pride on her face, she made this herself!

Miranda's grandma, my sister Bonnie, made this version of the patchwork purse. The two side stripes of denim give the bag a nice look. Note the one strip of bobby pin fabric, I selected this especially for Bonnie, as she is a hairdresser.

Here we are, what a trio!

Next came Makenzie and my sister Karen. Makenzie wanted to make the bias tape bag shape with the quilted stripes. Makenzie has experience sewing quilting squares together and has a note book of designs for doll clothes that she wants to sew.

A budding designer, what fun to work with her. We did make one doll outfit together but I forgot to get a picture.

I made this bag for my sister Karen, Makenzie's grandma.

The second batch of polka dot purses...
Sharing this creative time with my family was a highlight of my vacation. I can't help but think that my mother, the late Suzie the Love Clown, would be thrilled to see her offspring sewing and enjoying polka dots and clowns as we all did last week.

Am I tired of polka dots or this purse pattern? No. I have plans to make one for my sister in law. : )

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bias Tape bag

I ran into this tutorial for a bias tape bag and wanted to make one up as an example bag. I will be on vacation next week and my grand niece is visiting. I was thinking this might be a good bag to make with her. It is a breeze to make, I made my own bias tape and lined both the bag and the handles with fusible fleece to give the whole thing more body.

I added a pocket to the inside and found a nice yellow vintage button for the pocket closure. The bag is probably a bit too large for a pre-teen. But this way I will have something to show her and she can decide if she wants to make one up and what size would work for her.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Another olive bag and a tea cozy for charity

I had a little bit of the olive and cabbage fabric left so made one more shopping bag. I will offer it to Sarah, if she doesn't want it then I will use it for groceries.

I also made a tea cozy for a fund raiser at work. There will be a raffle of themed baskets for our United Way kickoff. Our department's theme is "tea time".

I offered to make a tea cozy to contribute. I had the tea pot and cups (TJ Maxx bargains) and so followed the colors and made a crazy quilted tea cozy.
Here are a few pictures of the process. I just love doing this kind of quilting, it starts with a gathering of likely fabrics,

and one random shape.

And then it flows from there, I decide as I go as to what fabric to use next. It's all done on a muslin backing, stitch, flip, and iron. It's very engaging and gets me to the total sewing meditation place that is so relaxing and restorative.

And in the end, it's a gift that will go to someone I don't even know. I like the mystery of that.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Dance purse

Too busy to sew much this weekend as I had a family wedding on Saturday and then went to see Mikhail Baryshnikov perform with Hell's Kitchen Dance troupe this afternoon.

The performances were spectacular, such beauty of human form. The choreography was very unique, since they could not depend on over the top athleticism or jumps (Baryshnikov is 59 after all), they used many other body movements to great effect. The performances were mesmerizing for me, I am aware that I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to see someone who is probably the worlds greatest male dancer. Little factoid, if you read the wikipedia piece above you will learn that Baryshnikov's mother was a seamstress.

So, what did I manage to sew? Well, I planned to wear a tiered skirt (store bought) that was really too long. I cut off the lowest two stripes of fabric. Here is the skirt after I shortened it.

With the two strips of fabric I whipped up a small bag that I could use to take with me to the performance. I layered the two-row stripes on canvas, used one piece of fabric to cover cording for the handle and used some bias tape to turn over the top edge. I was running short of time so used stitch witch to seal down the top edge.

I added a magnetic snap, a bow made out of the last bit of fabric and stitched down the bias tape, after we returned home from the performance. This will be my dance purse from now on. What a wonderful association to connect to it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Eyelet blouse and a bag that was left out of the gallery

I finished the eyelet blouse that I cut out on vacation in May. It is Simplicity 3786, the front tucks are not as exactly precise as they could be, but the eyelet is forgiving, I don't think the asymmetry is too obvious. This will be a nice light weight top to wear over sleeveless tanks on hot summer days.

While looking in a closet for something else I noticed this bag that I made to have a venue to do some crazy quilted flowers on. I saw a demo of someone doing these flowers on sewing show and decided to try it out. The pattern is from McCall's 3136. I like the looks of the bag but must admit that I have not actually used it.
Hmmm, too pretty for me? I need to find it a home.

Note the snapdragon's in the background, one of my favorite flowers. Here are some parting shots of snapdragons and a 4th of July vignette.

Happy 4th of July!