Friday, January 16, 2009

My first handbag!

Here is my completed Charming Handbook from Bend the Rules Sewing (BTRS). This was my first try at a handbag and I am happy with the outcome. The print is a Robert Kaufman fabric found at the local Hancock Fabric and it is paired with a corduroy. I may redo the handles to make them longer and wider; they don't quite feel right in hand. I added an interior pocket on each side; the one shown is divided to hold my blackberry and ipod. Even though I increased the pattern dimensions by 10%, the bag is fairly small. Sewing the curved seam was harder to sew than expected, thus my new relationship with the seam ripper!
I have another half-yard of the print fabric and am anxious to use it!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Another Simple Tote

Today I made another Simple Tote (from BTRS). This one was made slightly larger - the beginning pieces were 12.5" x 11". The tote was made to compliment the zip pouch and tissue holder from the previous post which were christmas gifts for my mother. I had only two small scraps of the yellow print fabric, so I used it to make an interior pocket and the panel for the front of the bag. I fused the yellow print to the khaki cotton with some Wonder Under interfacing and the fabric puckered a bit, so I probably won't try that again. After the tote was finished I realized I could have easily made the yellow panel an exterior pocket to add some function. The dark brown fabric is a rayon blend I found as a remnant. It made a nice soft finish for the bag but was impossible to use for the straps, as it would not press well before stitching.

Right now I am making my first attempt at making a handbag and can't wait to post the results!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Handmade Holidays

Fortunately, my burst of craftiness coincided with the Holidays, so I was able to make some handmade gifts for my family.

This is my favorite creation so far, probably since it was for my daughter. This follows the Simple Tote design from Amy Karol's Bend the Rules Sewing. I love the dot fabric which I found at the local Hancocks. I will definitely make some more of these, but will adjust the dimensions to "adult" size.

This Vintage Apron (also from Bend the Rules) was for my stepmother, an accomplished sewer. Sewing this was a nice way to refresh my long-ago-learned sewing skills and was my first crack at gathering. The possibilities are endless with this design by adding different shaped/sized pockets, ruffles and embellishments.

I made a few of these sets. The zip pouch is from Bend the Rules. The little tissue cozy, perfect for purse packs of tissues, is made from this tutorial. These were fun to make and are a great way to use fabric scraps. The zip pouch was my first try at sewing in zippers and handsewing in a lining.

For my niece, I made this handmade Memory Game using family photos, favorite characters and familiar symbols, all gifted in a sewn drawstring bag. To make the cards, I set up a template in Powerpoint and inserted the pictures along with overlayed cutting lines. I then printed the Powerpoint slides on matte brochure cardstock. To give the cards some thickness and rigidness before cutting, I fused the printed cardstock along with three other pieces of colored cardstock together with mounting spray. Then I cut out the cards with a cutting mat and craft knife. Next time, I might just use two pieces of cardstock to make the cards easier to cut.