Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tiny Tote From Free Tutorial

Sweet, quick, easy and from a free tutorial called the Pick-a-Pocket Tote at...I think it's You can just Google it if you're interested.  UPDATE: Here's the link for the tutorial thanks to Wonky Girl! By my standards, this is a tiny bag.  Note the glasses in the front pocket and figure it out from there. It is 10x8x4 inches.

Did I make any changes?  Of course, I did.  I'm genetic predisposed to make changes. I used a light/medium iron-on interfacing on all the fabric so the sides will stand well, polypro webbing rather than making the handles from fabric, and edge-stitched around the top of the bag.   One thing I wish I had done differently is to increase the length of the webbing so that I could put it on my shoulder.

It's going in my carry-on bag for my embroidery stuff and a few extras toys such as the iPod.  My usual traveling embroidery case opens like a book which is great for car travel but a bit much on a plane.
A sneak peak at a set of new designs that will be wee ginger-haired people.
Six outside pockets for the iPod and the essential snub-nosed
 scissors to be extra sure the TSA people are happy.
My Fusion pen in case I need to trace out a new
design.  You never know! I might go into a sewing
frenzy and finish the three designs I've got ready.

Once again, I only used stash fabrics including the webbing which was left over from the Departure Satchel. I might just get this stash under control yet.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Purse Organizer

I'm in a sewing mood lately, and this is a project I've wanted to do for a long time.  The goal is to be able to change handbags easily without emptying all kinds of pockets.  Most of the tutorial and patterns I've seen for purse organizers are made to fit a certain bag size and shape.  That wouldn't work for me.  My bags come in all shapes and sizes.  One idea I saw, however, was just a long piece that could be rolled to fit.  I have a lot of  "stuff," so my strip is long!
The larger pockets have small pleats at the bottom.  They take up less
space on the base fabric that way.  It also folds easier than having flat
wider pockets to accommodate the bulk of larger items.
I lined all the "stuff" up and decided to make seven larger pockets for bulkier things such as tissue packets, phone, and the rolled up shopping bag
and smaller ones that are about pen-size for pens, my favorite stylus (am I the only one with fingers too fat to type on that tiny phone keyboard?), comb, and that sweet invention for hanging your handbag on the table when dining out.  That would be the silver circular things sticking out below.

Rolled up, it fits nicely in the new bag I made, the Cate from Paco Bean,

but it could be folded to fit in any bag and around any larger items that might be carried.

Another "I've been meaning to do this forever" project finished AND using only fabric from the stash again!  In this sewer's world that qualifies as a minor miracle.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Paco Bean's Cate Bag

Not bad!  It's a simple bag, not too big.  If I recall correctly, the finished size is 9x11x3.  I thought it would be a good size for everyday.

The pattern is clearly written and easy to follow.  My one really tiny (okay, petty) complaint is that the pattern pieces don't have the dimensions for the straight rectangular pieces printed on them.  It would have saved me needing to tape pieces together to get the dimensions.  If pieces are straight lines, I'd rather cut them with my ruler instead of the pattern pieces.

I added clips on both handles because I could, and I FINALLY figured out how I could remember to do this. As soon as I finished making the handles, I slipped the hardware on them.  I cannot tell you how many times I forget to put these things on.  It would be too embarrassing.
Clips in place so they won't be forgotten.
There was a zipper with two slides in the stash, so that got used.  One change I made was to make the top lining pieces from the exterior fabric.  I wanted all of the pieces that would show on the outside to be from the same fabric.  Had I followed the directions, that fabric next to the zipper would have been the lining fabric.
I'm hoping the zipper will not be a pain to use.

All the fabric was, once again, from the stash.  I may get this stash under control after all.
I think the lining is a linen.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Our First Charity Run!

My daughter Keegan asked me to join her doing the 26th Annual Shamrock Run in Kingston.  I've avoided those kinds of things in the past.  I run for exercise rather than pleasure and prefer just giving the money for these kinds of charity functions.  However, we do things for our kid that we'd never do ourselves.  I'm happy to say we both loved it and are looking forward to doing more.

I've always wondered how one runs in crowds.  Now I know that you can work your way around all those strollers, kids, dogs, walkers, miniature floats in kids' wagons, and the occasional pothole quite easily.

The weather was sunny, in the low thirties with a bit of a wind--great for running, but not for standing outside for an hour waiting in running clothes.  While we were shivering, Brian was sitting in front of the fireplace at a Panera's restaurant with hot coffee and his Kindle Fire.    Okay, he's got a bad ankle and can't run.  Did he have to mention the fireplace?  He redeemed himself by being at the finish line screaming encouragement as we passed by.  Now that was unexpected.  I will have to shamefully admit that I would have stayed at Panera's.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The New Brimmed Hat

I got Betz White's cadet hat pattern on a whim while buying another pattern from her shop.  I thought it would be a step up from my usual baseball hat when I want a brim.  I took her up on the "make do" idea and used fabric from old jeans for the outside 

and an old men's shirt for the lining.
One issue I had was, no doubt, due to my crappy sewing skills.  The directions said to sew around the top seam.  As you can see below that was a disaster for me.  After removing that stitching,  I sewed about a quarter inch down on the crown instead.
Bad top stitching

Better side stitching on the crown
I'm pretty happy with the final results overall, but wish I had used a mid-weight interfacing on the crown and top to make it hold its shape better .  The pattern didn't call for interfacing except for heavy Pellon in the brim and some interfacing on the band as long as you used a heavier fabric.   I thought the band would have been solid enough without interfacing and the rest could have used interfacing to hold the shape better.  On the other hand, maybe if I had been able to do that top stitching  better, it would have held the shape better.

I'm going to give this one more try using some old khaki's and the interfacing.  At $12.95 for the pattern, I've got to get more than one hat from this!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Studio Cherie's Departure Satchel---I Did It!

Even though I left out some pockets, this bag is still filled with them.  That front bird fabric creates a large open pocket that's gonna hold all kinds of stuff like my water bottle and glasses, and magazines.  Then there is the zipper pocket on THAT pocket.  I think my phone will go in there.

The back has a sleeve that fits over the extended handle on luggage.  In the pattern, there are instructions for another pocket on top of the sleeve, but I wanted that beautiful fabric to be the focal point.  You can also close off the bottom to make it into a pocket if you don't want the sleeve.
Perfect fit on the luggage

Sits nicely on top of the carry-on
On the inside, I decided to leave out the hidden pocket and the zipper on the top of the laptop pocket.   Just don't have a need for them.  
Laptop pocket

Two large pockets on the other side
The pattern worked out great.  I had a small issue with printing.  A couple of pieces lost a fraction of an inch even though I was printing actual size.  Fortunately the measurements are included on each piece making it easy to fix that issue.

And there it is!  All ready for that upcoming trip.

Did I mention that I only used fabric from the stash?  So unlike me.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Lil Blue Boo's Hungry Bunny Pouch Completed!

Oh, the misery when you don't follow directions!  I turned a rather simple project into a PROJECT.  First I only scanned the directions.  The part about cutting the pieces back-to-back being essential because the bunny is asymmetrical?  I missed that.  Hence there was a bit of extra cutting to get all the pieces to match up.

I did, however, zero in on the hand sewing of the lining in my quick scan of the directions.  I'll spend a hour machine sewing to get out of ten minutes of hand sewing so that had to change.  In a consultation with my sewing muse, Sandra, I was advised to sew the zipper pieces together as usual,  then just sandwich the rest and sew around the edges.  Being literal I sewed all the way around the edges. No, you gotta leave an opening for turning. Okay, ripped out a few stitches, turned it right-side out, and sewed up that opening. Done!

My  bunny was supposed to be two different fabrics in the front like some of Sandra's.  Somehow that did not happen.  Still, it's a cute little thing and the lining is lovely as you can see if you look inside there.  Check out this link  and this one for more examples of Sandra's awesome fabric choices.
The pattern (AND the directions) are at  Lil  Blue Boo.