Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Brown Rose Tote, take two

Stephanie asked me to make another of the brown rose tote that I took to the craft fair. Making the bag a second time allowed me to tweak a few things. Megan, the recipient of the first brown rose tote, gave me some feedback that the straps would be a bit short, especially when wearing a heavier coat. So, for this second version the straps are about an inch and a half longer. I added some additional pockets inside and a key fob.The tote design is fairly simple. I tend to like simple shapes and lines with a combination of solids and prints on the exterior. The outer print is Frippery Birds and Roses in brown. The solid is a home dec cotton and the lining is a quilting cotton from the wall at JoAnn.I'm still trying new interfacings. Here, I used a woven fusible interfacing to add some body to the Frippery print. I then interfaced the lining bag with fusible fleece. It is still a trial and error process. I picked up some cotton batting to try in a future bag. We'll see how that goes.

After all these recent bags, I am anxious to sew something different. Next up is the soccer apron. I also picked up a new book Chic and Simple Sewing by Christine Haynes. I am anxious to sew some more clothing and work on my garment construction skills!

Stitch Spring Tote in Ginseng

Spring Tote
Here is my second version of the Spring Tote from the Spring 2009 Stitch Magazine. This pattern is by Rashida Coleman-Hale of i heart linen. The exterior prints are Joel Dewberry's Ginseng collection and the lining is his Blackeyed Susan. I love the rich colors and cotton sateen finish of the Ginseng home dec fabrics. The solid outer fabric is a woven home dec fabric that may be a cotton/poly blend.

Spring Tote from Stitch Magazine 2009The first time I made this bag in August, I worked up a sweat, pounding away at the eight grommets in a closed garage in 80+ degree heat. This time it was a cool 50 or 60 degree garage in November...much better! I love this mild weather we are having in Ohio. Look at that green grass, just a few days before Thanksgiving!


The Chocolate Buttercup Bag in the previous post was for Megan, a jewelry artist in my area and fellow vendor at the recent craft fair I attended. At the craft fair, she and I traded a bag for a necklace, then I asked for a custom pair of earrings, then she asked for the Buttercup Bag and then I asked for a pair of earrings....and the cycle goes on.
No actual money has changed hands, rather some handmade lovlies. A win-win for both of us, right??

Megan is incredibly talented and even teaches classes locally. She has some gorgeous pieces on her website and also makes custom pieces.

Here is my Tutti-Fruiti necklace and earring set made by Megan:I love the variety of colors, shapes and sizes of beads in this piece. This necklace is actually three separate beaded, twisted strands that are then braided together. I've worn this with orange, green, charcoal and ice blue sweaters and it looks great.

The fun doesn't end there. Megan kindly shared my blog with some friends, one of whom asked me to make a bag or two. Stephanie's bags are coming up in a future post.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chocolate Buttercup

I was commissioned to make another Buttercup Bag. This is the larger size that comes with the commercial license available on Rae's blog. Since I was charging for this one (well sort of...I'll get to that in another post!), I purchased the license. This makes a nice size bag, good for everyday use. I wish I took a picture of myself holding the bag to show the scale.
Megan purchased her outer fabric, a silky chocolate brown. She chose the lining fabric, lime and brown Robert Kaufman jacquard, from my stash. I love the punch of color the lime adds. I finished this one with a magnetic closure and two inner pockets. When constructing the bag, I used fusible interfacing with the lining and handle, but no interfacing with the outer fabric. This method seemed to worked fine.

The outer color reads so differently in this last picture because of the flash, but I like how the sheen and sharp pleats are highlighted. The Buttercup was a good first project with the new machine. So far, so good!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Christmas came early...

One of these pretties is now sitting in my sewing room with a bobbin wound and ready to go. If you've been reading my recent posts, you may recall I have had some challenges with bobbins and tension and borrowed machines, always at the worst times when I was trying to finish a gift or build an inventory for the craft show.
My hubby suggested earlier in the year that I should just buy a new machine...likely after he heard me "talking" to the malfunctioning machine and telling it where I would like to throw it. I thought I would hold-off at that point to make sure I was really going to keep up with the sewing. At this point, I'm committed to sewing (and amassing a fabric stash....) and really need a functioning machine.
This one should fit my needs. It has some great features - automatic buttonholer, needle up/down button, locking stitch, 50 stitches (more than I really need), speed control, computerized stitch length for consistency, etc. It does a blind hem stitch and smocking and has some decorative stitches that should be nice for garment sewing.
I purchased from Sew-Ezy a local quilt shop which is, as far as I can tell, the only Janome dealer in Cincinnati. The women at the shop were so helpful and took time to show me features and benefits and let me sew a little. A machine purchase from the shop includes classes that I am excited about. [Just another reason to buy local as often as you can....]
After I've sewn with this for a month or so, I'll be sure to write a review here. The blog posts and online reviews I found during my research were so helpful. I don't make a major purchase anymore without a little help from google!