Thursday, 31 January 2013

Sew Thinky Thursday

I came across a new link party on Mommy's Nap Time. Every Thursday a question will be posted that is meant to get you thinking about your sewing life. You can post your response and link at the linky party.. So today's question:

When did you start sewing? Tell us a bit about your sewing history. When did you realize you were really hooked?
I begun sewing fall of 2009.  Before that the only time I was at a sewing machine was in Home Ec classes over 20 years ago..  
My son was about 5 months, and I heard about etsy on an online forum I browsed.  I purchased a couple small fabric pouches from there and thought to myself I'd like to try my hand at making some.
So I made a trip to our local fabric store and used one of those mini sewing machines my husband hand picked up on sale at a hardwares store ages before.. (I had thought he was nutty to buy it in the first place).  It was something like this..
The little bugger was hard to control but I managed to crank out a little card holder from a tutorial on craftster.. It was basically 2 rectangle pieces of fabric sewin together and one end folded up and sewn to make a pocket.  
I was hooked straight away.. I borrowed my mom's machine, made visits to the fabric store to purchase some tools.. I remember thinking I don't need a cutting mat, I'll just use a piece of cardboard.. Luckily the cutting mats were on sale, so I bought one anyway.
This is one of my early card holders.. probably after a quite a few practice ones..
I begun making zippered pouches using tutorials I found online.  I managed to mess up my mom's machine when the needle hit the zipper stop - so I borrowed my mother in laws machine and was a bit more careful.. (no-one wants to break their mother in law's sewing machine!) . 
That Christmas my husband bought me my own machine.. A Kenmore, nothing fancy but has worked well  for the most part.
I slowly moved to slightly bigger and complicated bags.. I've done a few other things, cushion covers, fabric bookcases, winter hats, pj bottoms but bags are what I really enjoy doing. Some days I feel like trying some clothing (cute girl dresses for my niece) but haven't had the courage yet!
I still consider myself a beginner sewer.. just one that has made a lot of bags!


Wednesday, 30 January 2013

My slightly lopsided Triple Zip Pouch

I completed my triple zip pouch for the sew along. 

As you can see my stitching was far from perfect.. My top panel is quite obviously slanted.  And my zpper tabs weren't placed evenly.  I had a bit of trouble sewing the zipper with the bulk of the fusible fleece.  Next time I think I'll try a less bulky interfacing.  I also placed the zippers in alternating direction.  Let's just say I did that on purpose!

I actually sewed the top zipper inside out.. bah.. not the best sewing day for some reason.  Seam ripper to the rescue there.

The main change I made to the pouch was the way the top zipper was done.  I used Noodle Heads Tutorial to do an "open wide" zipper installation.  I love thi method..  nice neat zipper end.

And opens nice and wide

I also had to adust the tutorial for directional fabric as the exterior fabric is folded to make the front and back.  This means the pattern on directional fabric would be upside down on one side of the pouch. Can't have that!

To work around this you need to add seam allowance to the main fabric piece, spilt it into two and piece back together.    I was just about to cut the main fabric in half when I realized that wrong!  The main fabric makes up only part of the front (below the bottom zipper) and the full back.

I kept the main fabric one piece until the first (bottom) zipper was installed completely so I could see where the bottom pocket ends, and I cut the exterior fabric then, about 1/4" longer than the pocket. 

The pouch was to be for my son's pad.  For some reason I didn't think to make sure the finshed size would work.. the Leappad just barely fits in! 

Fun project. Thanks to A Quilter's Table for the tutorial and sew along!

WIP Wednesday

I have two things going on right now.. The first is my next bag.  I designed it a while back but just got to drafting the pattern yesterday..

If you look closely, you can see my drawing of the bag.  I'm planning on trying piping for the first time.. eeek! 

My other project is the Triple Zip pouch for the sew along.  It hasn't progressed since my last post.. hopefully I'll get it done today. 

I also wanted to share a giveaway a fellow blogger is having for a gift certificate to a bag pattern store.. Click below to check it out and browse around.  Maria has some lovely bags and other projects she's made.

Mia's Creations

Monday, 28 January 2013

Triple Zip Along

I just learnt about the Triple Zip Along today and decide to take part.

The sew along goes through steps to create a zipper pouch with yes, you guessed it, three zipper pockets.

I was planning on making my son a case for  his Leappad and thought this little pouch might do, so I rifled though my stash to find my supplies. 

My zipper stash definitely needs some depleting:

The zippers I have are 8".  The instructions call for 9" but after quickly reading the first few steps I think they will do. 

My fabric and zippers choices pictured below.  Fabric is actually from a set of recieving blankets I bought when searching for CARS fabric.


Today's activity for the sew along was to cut out fabric and interfacing, so nice and quick.
 I cut my outer fabric 1/2" longer as it is directional, so I'll have to spilt that into two pieces and piece it together so the pattern isn't upside down on one side..

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Yummy Project!

This small project I'm sharing today is mouth watering.. literally!  It's a zipper pouch I made for the Sew Pouch Swap.  Participants are to send their assigned person a pouch filled with candy.  Being a chocoholic how could I resist.

Here's the pouch I made.

I decide to try out a couple things.. the pleats:

And darts in the bottom for some depth

It looks like a usual "square bottomed" bottom, but the fabric was cut with curved corners

And darts added before assembling

The end product wasn't exactly how I pictured it and the zipper corners could have been a bit better ,but hopefully the contents make up for the flaws!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Friday Shout outs!

Just wanted to let everyone know about a giveaway for some yummy fabric at the Sew at Home Mummy blog.

 Sew at Home Mummy
Also I have been really enjoying these two series this week.  Hope you have too!

The Bag Tutorials


Thursday, 24 January 2013


I mentioned before that I recieved a Cameo cutting tool.

I've been playing with it a bit.  Made a few cards, nothing complicated.  The machine is easy to use but understanding how images will be cut takes me a bit of thought.   Here's an example:

I purchased a card template  from the Silhouette store and made this card..

There are 3 layers of cardstock as you can see.  My initial attempt was to just have two..  The white background and the orange car with the text and wheels cut out like the windows. 

Like so:

 I knew some of the pieces in the lettering and wheels would fall out, but pieces between the letters also fell.  I don't have the patience to piece those little pieces back. I couldn't even place them in their exact spots.   So I cut the car again without the letters and wheels cut out:


And then cut out the letters and wheels and glued those on top.. I would have preferred the cutout look better, but lazy people can't be choosers..
Oh, I also learnt that good paper makes a difference. I bought the white cardstock at the dollar store. I could feel the difference, it was much thinner than my cardstock from the craft store.  I couldn't cut the letter from it.. Well I could cut them by lowering the cut speed but then it was too fragile to pull off the cutting mat.  Here's the result..
I didn't have any good white paper so had to use yellow.. ah well.. now I know..
Still need to try fabric on the machine.. I have to order a second blade.. must get on that..

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Just Another Messenger Bag - sew along with At home with Mrs H

Just wanted to share a a fellow blogger's current sew a long.. Samantha is sharing the process to make her "Just Another Messenger Bag" bag:

I'll be reading along each day, if I didn't have a couple projects I would being sewing along as well.  Check it out, I'm sure it's going to be great! 
I've added a section for Bag Events on my right sidebar. Let me know if you know any!

Monday, 21 January 2013

The beginnings...

.. of two projects. 

Out of this pile shall rise a zippered pouch and a handbag..

So I have two projects I NEED to get done. 

First is a zippered pouch for  The Sweet Pouch swap.  I think I'm going to use those 3 up on top.. The red has a black checkers on it, hard to tell with the horrible phone pic. (I'm feeling lazy to go take one with my real camera).  That will be the lining.

The other two are for the exterior, not sure what I'm going to do yet.. But I want to mail this out this weekend so I need to decide sooon.

The handbag is for my online class.   It's my 5th assignment and I've been procrastinating!   

The red faux leather that everything is thrown on is going to be paired with the purple faux leather for a colour block styled exterior.    The exterior will also be accented with either the black or solid brown. 

The remaining two are my choices for the lining.. either the argyle or the houndstooth depending if I use the black or brown.

I decided to use up stuff from my stash.. Well I don't really have a choice as I was sick this weekend and didn't make it to the fabric store (and missed a 50% everything sale!).  I won't make it there this week and I want to start on the projects. 

Hopefully the zipper pouch will be done over the next day or two.. I have a few other things to juggle.. small things like my job and making my nephew a birthday cake..  :)

The bag will take longer.  I've designed it, and my goal is to draw out the pattern this week.  I'm debating whether to share my design before making it.. hmm..

Thursday, 17 January 2013

DIY - Duck Tape Magic Wallet

Abracadabra.. I give you the magic wallet made with Duck tape (and cardboard and elastic)

Nothing special right.. In fact it's rather boring and impractical, no pockets, just those elastic loops that supposedly can hold some bills or cards..

Ahh.. but this wallet isn't for holding stuff.. it's for amusing yourself and family and friends.. Let me demonstrate

Put a money note in the wallet

Close the wallet as you would a book (left flap over right)

Open the wallet FROM THE OTHER SIDE (left).. that's right the wallet opens from both sides! <Gasp!>

open from left

And look! the money is now in the elastic!  <Double gasp>

Close the wallet like you did before

Again open from the other side (left)


And the money is now in the other elastic!

Repeat again and again and again.. and again.. at least that's what I did.. I think I've said before I'm easily amused! 

Want to know how to make one.. here's what you need:
Duck Tape
Elastic or ribbon
Cut two pieces of carboard the size of desired wallet. Mine is around 3x4.
Cut strips of Duck Tape to cover one side of each cardboard with about 1/2" extra to wrap around each edge.  I used two strips and overlapped the slightly in he middle.
Cover one side of each piece, wrapping over the tape.
covered cardboard
Cut four pieces of elatic or ribbon.  EAch piece should be 2 inches longer than the width of your cardboard.
Place two pieces along the long side of the back of one card board piece , about an inch from the corner.  As below.
Tape with small piece of tape
Put this piece aside.  Take the other piece of cardboard and two remaining pieces of elastic.  The elastic will be taped to the back again but at an angle so the elastic forms a cross.  The ends of the elastic should closer to the middle, so around 1.5" from the corner.

 Turn the cardboard so the covered side is up and wrap the elastic over the top of the duck tape
 Bring the two pieces together with the loose ends of the elastic pulled through between them to the back.  Holding the cardpieces tight together, flip over.  Tape the elastics over the OPPOSITE cardboard. ie Crossed elastic ends taped to the cardboard that has the straight elastic and vice versa.

The picture above shoes the front of the wallet, cut Duck tape and cover each side, making sure not to tape the cardboard pieces together.
And that's it!  Close the wallet so the elastic is inside. 
I attempted to make these with some faux leather, but didn't have the right glue.  I also want to try to make a sewn version. Just for kicks..

ETA - There's an awesome video tutorial for making these with fabric - it's no sew, so with glue

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Fabric Hoarder

I love buying fabric.  Probably many of you reading can relate.. But here's my problem.. If I really like a fabric, I save it.  I don't use it, because in my head I need to save it for the perfect project.  But then it sits there in my rubbermaid for forever.

 Ladies, I'm a fabric hoarder..

A while back I came across this fun fabric in an online store

Michael Miller Kiss Me  Zap Multi
Michael Miller - Zap, Multi

I debated getting it but held off because I had no immediate use for it.  I thought about maybe doing my son's "big boy" room in a super hero theme and somehow using it, but since he has really no idea who any super heroes are at this point, I figured I'd hold off.  Great restraint, right?
Then last week, I came across a reversible super hero cape tutorial.. And suddenly I had visions of capes with one side with this fabric and the other side with an initial.  I'd make one for my son, my nephew and my son's friend whose birthday party was in a few days.
I emailed the store whose warehouse is somewhat close to my husbands work. They only had 2 yards of it left so of course I had to get buy it and my husband actually left work early to pick it up since they closed earlier than his normal finish time. Fabric is important, darnit!
He brought it home, I loved it.. too much.  I second guessed using it for the capes.  There must be a better use for it, no?  So my son's friend didn't end up getting a superhero cape this weekend and I have some new fabric to hoard..
Here's another fabric I've been "saving":
Red Fleur Tattoo Parlour Michael Miller Fabric

I bought 1/2 yard -  3 years ago.  At that time I was only make small pouches.  I used a small piece and the rest has been in my "save for perfect project" pile.

I am taking part in the Sew Delicious Sweet Pouch Swap and just got assigned the person to send to.  I think this fabric would be perfect for her based on the description I got,  so I **might** use it.   I'm hesitant because I don't think this fabric is available anymore.  What if  I want to use it for something else in the unforeseeable future..  then what?  Ahhhh.. to hoard or not to hoard.. :)
Maybe I'll take a trip to my local fabric store, if there's nothing else that seems suitable, I'll use it.. OK? OK..

Make a Bag class at iKat bag!

Lier at ikat bag has just started a series of posts that will make up a bag making class!  I think it's going to be an awesome series.. She indicates the class will go through making these bags:

ikat bag - Make a bag series

Looks like it will be a great resource for those beginning to make bags and maybe the more experienced will learn a new trick or two!

Tuesday Linkup

Just wanted to share this Tuesday linky party!

Sew at Home Mummy
I've linked up my tutorial and the host has a great tip on adding icons to your blogging titles.  Check it out and get your link on!

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