Right before Christmas I started setting up a sewing area in our basement. I wanted to keep my creative process (aka mess) off the main floor and away hubby. I always promise that everything will be put away for Christmas so I thought the move would be a great idea. And for the most part it was, except that half my stuff was upstairs and the other downstairs. Luckily I have two identical machines (each with their own nuances, but basically interchangable), Singer 401A. The problem started more as the temperatures went really down and stayed down. We do have a heat pump, which is quite inadequate in the real cold and wind, and even have a vent in the basement, but nothing can really warm a cold concrete floor. I find I do not like to sew with my shoes on. I think it's because my foot pedal is a little different. there are 2 button-ish things. One depresses to make the machine go and the other is stationary and serves as an annoyance. I like to be able to feel for the correct one and just don't like the encumbrance of a shoe.It might be strange, but that's how I've been sewing for years !! So I really didn't spend a lot of time down there sewing.
So my poor hubby is back to having my sewing stuff all over his kitchen and office/sewing space--we share. I joined a few FB sewing groups, and ventured into JoAnn's a few times. Felt good. I did a tester of the NCW (necessary clutch wallet) by Emmaline Bags, but in Mini version.
I still want to tinker with it, but it was fun working on it. Most recently (this week) I was working on a Swoon Pattern called Bonnie. It's a bucket bag design. I really liked how it come out. A few hiccups along the way. One of those being one of my seams went off while installing a zipper. It drove me crazy even though it was only 1/8-1/4" off center, but I know it is there. So after encouraging words from the members of the FB Group for Swoon Patterns, I tried to not focus on that and continue on. I think the next one I make, I'm going to try to reduce it. The purse comes down a little too long for what I am used to. The pattern really comes together easily , especially if the seams don't jar....just kidding.
It never fails, after all the sewing and creating for Christmas and beyond, my sew mo-jo takes a vacation.Even Olaf had a hard time getting me to play with him. I finished some UFOs ( Un Finished Objects) such as mending and repairing, but nothing major. You know you're in trouble when you almost go off the JoAnn's preferred customer mailing list !! But fear not, this is usually temporary. I did make mom a very simple bill fold with a remanant we had gotten over the summer. It really is just two pockets for extra bills after she hits the bank. (It's always a good idea to seperate it, right?). I sent it to her in Miami. Sure, we've had snow cover for weeks and she and dad are in beautiful weather. Good for them! I'm sure February will be more creative. Happy Sewing !
You can't get away from the over the top marketing of the movie Frozen. There were many Queen Elsas and Princess Anas for Halloween. Sewing machines were busily cranking out costumes with just the right shade of blue and the perfect applique border for Ana's dress.All the fabric stores and sites were boasting that they still had yardage available and more was expected ( of course that soon turned into sold out stock wherever you went)
I was caught up in the excitement as well. My little ones are no longer little (youngest 20 oldest 24---4 altogether), but I have made my share of Batmans, Spidermans, Cinderella and Ballerinas--you get the picture. I didn't make any costumes, but I found myself ordering the elusive fabric in 3 different designs. The excitement was just as thrilling when the box arrived with my new treasures. But then reality set in. My daughters (20 &21) love the movie, but would they really want to walk around their college campuses with a tote or purse made out of themed material? I didn't thnk so.
I decided to make a few child sized totes (no pattern, just made it up as I went along) first out of the fabric with all the characters. Next up was Olaf. he just brings a smile to your face, you have to be happy when working with his themed fabric. I had made a little gym bag/purse out of it. When my 20 yr old saw it, she got excited. She asked me if I could make something bigger for her that would fit her college books. She even used the old "it would make me happy during studying for finals". How could a mom say no? Thus the backpack/purse was created and mailed off. Olaf does appeal to all ages!
I still have to find homes for some of what I have created (the totes are adopted) but I still have a lot of Frozen fabric to Create with!
Another remnant from Joann's. The trees look so beautifu and inspired this.The chain strap looks nice, but my hair does get caught in it. It can be crossbody or shoulder. Once again inspired by the 2 zip hipster http://www.dogundermydesk.com/store/patterns/two-zip-hipster-pdf-pattern/
Was missing sewing costumes, youngest being 20, and saw this remnant at Joann's and knew I had to do something with it. I used pattern M 3136. I think it came out cute. I was able to find a home for it pretty quickly. Hopefully it will be filled with special treasures that need to be carried around!
October is known for pumpkins, costumes and trick-or-treating. But it is also a time to reflect on Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are few among us who are fortunate enough not to have been touched by this cancer, either personally, or knowing someone who has been diagnosed. Early detection and action is key to helping win the Battle. Take time this month to give support and prayer for all those who have fought the Battle, are in the trenches now and for those who are just starting their Fight. and lovingly remember those that are no longer with us.
(Crossbody purse based on "2 Zip Hipster" found http://www.dogundermydesk.com/store/patterns/two-zip-hipster-pdf-pattern/
I had wanted to finish my purse before Mom and Dad left. Almost got it done. Don't look too closely, the lining is still at the sewing machine waiting to be put in. Dad wouldn't wait. How could he understand? Oh well, I got the picture, and finished it by that evening. When they get back in May, we'll have fun shopping with our matching purses (let's just hope no one thinks we're off our rockers).
Shown here is the outer shell and the lining (on the right). I still need to add the recessed zipper unit and the top trim.
I cut 2" X 12" in the outer fabric. I added 1" of the contrast to each end, sewn with a 1/4" seam. Turn over about a 1/4" at each end.. Sew2 of these, RST on either side of the zipper.Turn out and press. Top stitch along the zipper and the ends (giving you finish ends). Again you might have to adjust the measurements. You wnat the finished facing to measure about 12" long on 16" zipper. I use zipper by the yard. #5. Make tabs to cover the ends and sew them on being careful going over the coils.
Using a 1/2" Sew the front and back top lining trim to the 2" side gusset pieces that you had cut off earlier. Press out the seams
Open the zipper and pin it face up to the top of the lining. then layer RST the top trim unit with the lining unit, matching seams and centers. Sew it together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn the top trim up and press seams.
Using a 4"X 4" square make a tab for the side stap rings. Fold in half WST Then fold in the edges into the center leaving 1" wide by 4". Topstitch along the long edges. Loop through the ring. Sew the ends together and onto the ends of the purse (1/4" seam).
With RST sew the lining and outer shell together along the top, leaving 6" opening to turn the bag right side out.
Once turned out, iron the top trim and hand sew the turning hole closed. Decide the length you want your strap to be. I decided to make an adjustable strap. I used a piece of contrast that was about 30" X4". Fold as you did for the stap tabs (in half WST then the edges the center). Topstitch each side. I sewed the one end to the adjustable slider (the middle bar). then, slid it through the one strap ring, fed it through the slide and then down to the other strap ring turning over the end of the strap and sewing it down.
You're finished !!!
Material used:Kaleidoscope Wild by Premier Print (purchased from www.warehousefabrics.com). 7oz cotton duck cloth. The Blue was a duck cloth from Joann's when it was on sale. I did not use any stiffening interfacing since the two layers of duck cloth does have some body to it. I did wash the fabric before starting since it was all cotton. Of course then I had to iron it as well-Sewing is the only time I take my iron out. My husband has to iron his own shirts.
After cutting the main pieces out (wasn't sure if I was going to put the gussets in, so that was part of the evolution), I started on the pockets for the outer bag (piece "B"). I measured down about 1 1/2" from the top of the printed piece to insert my zippered pocket.(see footnote for tutorials for this). Once the zippered pocket is installed, match up the two pocket pieces RST and sew the top (more narrow) edges with a 1/4" seam. Iron the seam open and fold bringing the wrong sides together, right sides are facing out.Top stitch . I only put the zippered pocket in one of the outer pockets. That was on the front of the bag. It is a more shallow pocket, maybe useful for keys or change. My mom had one in her current purse, so I gave her one again
Next I installed the zipper pocket on the main body piece "A". This zippered pocket I made as deep as the bag(The second bag's pocket wasn't as deep). Measure down 1 1/2" and do the same as the other zippered pocket (refer to the tutorials again). I did put a zippered pocket on both the front and the back. i love pockets!
I then attached the assembled pocket pieces "B" to the main body piece "A". I wanted to divide the pocket piece into 3 sections, so I sewed it onto the main body by sewing a line on either side of the installed zippered pocket. You don't want to sew into the body of the zippered pocket. Since my main body zippered pocket was so deep I had to fold it up out of the way, even pinned it up so as not to catch it. Repeat for the back main body and pocket unit pieces..
Now sew the top trim (Piece "C") to each main body (Piece "A") RST 1/4" seam , press the seams open.
Oringinally, I sewed the front and back RST and boxed the bottom 2 ", but didn't like that so, the seam ripper made an appearance and I decided to install the gussets.
I used 1/2" seams for sewing the gussets and attaching the front and back.
Sew the side Gussets RST to the Bottom Gusset matching the 4" ends. Press the seams open.
Pin the sewn gusset unit to the front of the bag RST matching the bottom corners. The side gusset might be a little higher (1/2" ish) than the main body because of the seam of the trim. you can just cut off the extra. I also use the quilting clips or binder clips instead of pins doing this part. After you pin and make sure it lines up on the corners and ends, slowly and carefully sew (1/2" seam allowance) around the to attach. You;ll be sewing through several layers so take it slowly. A walking foot might be helpful. Do the same for attaching the back to the gusset. When you're done you will have the basic shell of the purse.
The construction of the lining is basically the same. First do the pocket pieces "B" ( I did not put any zippers in these, instead I put credit card sized slip pockets on them. Add zippered pockets to the main body pieces "A" . Sew pocket pieces onto the lining main body pieces "A". you do not put the top trim pieces on at this time. After cutting off the top 2" of the lining side gusset pieces--they should be 10" high matching the main body piece , sew the lining side gusset pieces to the lining bottom gusset matching up the 4" sides (same as the outer shell). Again, pin or clip the gusset unit to the lining front matching up the corners and tops (it should match up this time) Sew slowly and carefully with a 1/2" seam.Corners will be difficult. Attach the lining back to the lining gussets again taking it slow.
Almost done !!!
Next post will be putting the outer shell together with the lining and the recessed zipper.
Happy Sewing !
*You can do a search for a tutorial on zippered pockets. here is one http://www.vanillajoy.com/easy-zippered-pocket-tutorial.html or this one http://www.sewmamasew.com/2007/07/tutorial-zippered-and-slip-pocket-tutorial/ Also there are youtube ones such as this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X_CyR7dgwc. There are so many out there.After you do this a few times it becomes much easier.
The Above pictures clockwise: The finished purse hanging front, view of in inside (really whimsical) ,purse back view, bottom picture is during construction,outside of the purse on the left, lining on the right.
I didn’t have a pattern for this purse. I sketched it out and it evolved from there. So here is what I did ( sorry not really a tutorial, just guidelines)
Piece A– Main body (Blue in sample). Cut 2 Outer Fabric and 2 Lining
Piece B– Front and Back Pocket. (Whimsy in sample) Cut 2 contrast, cut 2 outer . (You can make it deeper, just trace the “A” so you keep the slants the same)
Piece C– This is the top trim which is above the recessed zipper. Cut 2 contrast, 2 lining
Piece D– Bottom of bag. Cut one of outer fabric. One of lining,If you want a stiffer bottom cut one of stiff interfacing as well
Piece E– Side Gusset. I cut (2) the full height for the outside, for the lining I cut (2) and then cut the top 2” off because of the recessed zipper and then put that 2” above the zipper. You might have to play with this. I just trimmed off the little extra. ( I think my math is off by 1/4” or so)
Piece F—Zipper “facings”? (either side of the zipper on the recessed zipper). Again, you might need to trim this a little as you’re dry fitting it. Cut 4, either 2 from contrast and 2 from outer fabric or all the same.
Piece G - Strap tabs to attach rings to. Again which ever fabric you choose.
Piece H—Strap. Cut 1. I made mine adjustable. I think the length of the pieces was 24”. Personal choice.
I also used (5) 6-7” zippers for the zippered pockets. 3 on the outside and 2 on the inside. Pieces of cotton, interfaced for the actual zippered pockets, depending how deep you want them. There are tutorials that show you how to put in a zippered pocket.
I used a #5 zipper for the main closure. I use the zipper by the roll. I think I used 15”
(2) 1” rings for the straps, (1) 1” slide to make strap adjustable
So these are the pieces (I think I got them all).
For construction: I always start with the outside.
Next post I'll try to go through the steps I followed.
(This seems like a lot of work when I type it, but really it wasn't)
Back in May, Mom and I spent an afternoon coloring her many year old leatherette accented nylon purse with red Sharpies because the leatherette had flaked away, leaving the under material (beige) exposed and unsightly. Luckily the red marker was a close enough match and she was happy to go. I know how hard it is to change an old trusted handbag, but really mom, this one had to go. I had gotten the whimsical material a while ago just because I thought it would be interesting. I told my mom I would make us matching purses in that material so in case I lose her again in Wegmans, I could just ask security if they had seen an older women with a purse like mine. She definately would be the only other one with it!!.
But I just couldn't do that to her. The whole purse in that material would be a little much for a 74 year old Grandma (people might think she was losing it.....although red markered nylon is not that much better). I got a nice blue to tone it down, while still having some flair.I tried to stay with the shape of the other purse and give her the zippered pockets on the outsides just like her old one, but then I added several more pockets and zippers. 3 zippered pockets on the outside, 2 Zippered pockets on the inside. 2 outside slip pockets divided into sections and the same on the inside with additional smaller slip pockets for club shopping cards. She has two D rings inside to attach keys, or other hooked items to so they don't get lost in the bottom.
I enjoy making things for others, especially for her. She used to make us Mother/Daughter outfits when I was little(maybe that's where the idea of the matching crazy print came from...pay back? jk) , my Barbie Dolls were the best dressed amongst my friends they even had red velour lugage, and Mom even made my bridesmaids' dresses and my bridal gown. She was my first sewing teacher. Our first project....aqua pants which I made too short so we put white pom pom fringe on the bottom for added length. I also remember the same fringe getting caught in my bicycle chain, so maybe not the best idea! That project introduced me to a lifelong friend, The Seam Ripper. An invaluable tool that no sewist should be without, no matter how long you have been sewing.
Some of the most treasured things in life are what is passed down throught the generations. Whether they are the tangible things: heirloom jewlry, double headed dragon fruit bowls (yes, our family has one of those), hand painted Nativity Scences from the 70s, or the intangibles : learning to sew and also learning to rip out what we sewed incorrectly to do it over again and many times again, Grandpas showing the younguns how to fix their bicycles and eventually work on their cars, spending time with each other and hearing about memories from generations past; all of these things makes us who we are and connects us through the years. Thanks Mom, I hope you enjoy your new purse and think of those blue pants from so many years ago (especially when you look inside...see below).
Blessed with being an at home mom of 4 for the past 24 years. I'm starting a new chapter of life as a part-time empty nester as the youngest is off to college. Spending more time creating and sewing.