Bag

2017 Year in Review

The new year is here! With the new year brings a review of my past year of sewing. Usually it’s pretty surprising for me. I forget all the things I’ve made and how much I love things that I’ve only had for a short amount of time.

Sew My Style

This past year I participated in Project: Sew My Style. A monthly sew-a-long of different indie patterns put on by Bluebird Fabrics. You can check out everyone’s lovely makes using the hashtag #sewmystyle. I did fairly well at the beginning of the year and then towards the end I slacked off. All due to personal reasons though. Hubby and I were house hunting and did move! All that exhausting fun took away from my sewing time.  I still want to make the Anna dress from By Hand London, Stella Shirt dress from Named and the Yona Wrap coat also from Named. Here’s a shot of all the months I was able to participate in:

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2017 Make Nine

I also joined in #2017makenine. I was able to complete 7 out of 9. Pretty proud of that. I would have really liked to have gotten my red Thurlows made but I’m still fussing with the fit. I was able to complete: several Sorbettos, new handbag, failed Jamie Jeans (still looking for the perfect grey denim), Burda flares, Simone, pajamas, and a couple B5526.


2017 Goals

  • Participate in Project Sew My Style being put on by Alex from Bluebird Fabrics. This is a full year sew-along. I’m putting this out there now: Sorry March, but there’s no leggings in my future so I’m skipping that month.

You can see the results of this above.  I’m happy with the participation that I was able to complete. Several more things I want to make though. I do wear most of the items religiously. The two I really don’t wear too often is the pocket skirt (May) and the valley blouse (July) both from CaliFaye.  The valley blouse is so fussy and the skirt looks so bad on. Maybe that pattern company is not for me.

  • Use my fabric stash. I have enough fabric for 13 projects. Each piece of fabric has a pattern mate already chosen. Just need to sew! The only fabric I’m going to buy is for Sew My Style until I get through my stash.

I successfully adhered to this for about half of the year. I’m surprised I made it that far. I would have liked to have made it the whole year but I think we all know that was not going to happen!

  • Learn at least one new technique. There’s a lot of techniques out there, flat fell seams, Hong Kong seams, etc. Never thought to try one out and I think it would be good to expand my horizons.

I used flat fell seams! A lot actually. They’re so much easier than I thought and they look so nice on the insides. I really want to do Hong Kong seams but I need to find a project that I’d feel requires it.

  • Make more dresses. This is a simple one but I think a necessity. I have a lot of separates and I like the easiness of pulling one item out of the closet without a need to match. So it is on my list just to feed into my laziness.

This was so the year of dresses. I do think #sewmystyle really helped me out on this one. There were two dresses that were made just for that! I made a total of eight through the year. Two have yet to be blogged. Okay that number sounds pitiful but for me it’s good!

2018 Goals

I’m gonna keep them short and simple this year.

  • Coat/jacket
  • Red Thurlows
  • Home work wear

Everything!

To wrap this up, here’s everything that I’ve made! Have a Happy New Year!

  • Skirt/dress: 7
  • Tops/cardi: 24
  • Bottoms: 6
  • Bags: 4
  • Crochet: 5

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Boss Bag

As of July I got a new boss. She’s asked me several times to make her a Jamie-Made and I’m wary of making others stuff for fear of it falling apart. I decided I would make her something for Xmas. I thought about making her an apron because she bakes as a side business. After I brought my big bag to work, she said she also needed one. Screw the apron, she’s getting a giant bag!

The search for fabric began. It needed to be purple, the right shade or purple and a heavy weight. After searching, I came to the conclusion that I needed to dye fabric. This can really be hit or miss for me. I found ice-dying on Pinterest. The gist of it is to cover wet fabric with ice, sprinkle on powder dye and let it sit for 24 hours.

Here it is at the get-go. I used pink and purple dye. You can see where the dye hits the fabric between the ice. Those spots will be darker. The fabric sits on a rack so the water drips into the container below.

This is halfway through. You can see the colors starting to blend. It takes a lot of patience to get through the this!

You can see that the colors blended together nicely. I think the colors wouldn’t have been so muddied if I would have washed it right after rinsing it.


I used the same dimensions from my bag for this one. (17 1/2″ x 16 3/4″ x 8 1/4″) Instead of a pleather bottom, this one has a heavy cotton purple bottom. I was worried if I didn’t give it a dark bottom the dyed fabric would get dirty so fast.


I did make the handles longer than mine. It makes it easier to throw over your shoulder. I secured them into the base and with an X stitch towards to top to keep them from pulling away from the bag.


I added a magnetic snap for an easy closure. I stitched her name in purple thread into one side so there’s no question whos bag it is! Purple is her favorite color. Preferably lighter shades so the ice dye provided a good mix of shades.


The inside is also a mix of purple which I bought before I completed the dying process. Fringes crossed that they would go together and I’m so happy they did!


I had a bit of leftover fabric so I made a supposed cosmetic bag. I have no idea what you can fit into it since it’s so tiny. It’s 4″ X 4 1/4″ x 1 7/8″. Maybe a lipstick and a small compact?


Same fabric on the inside and outside plus a purple zipper. *squeal* This was a free pattern I found. Next time I make it I will have to make it a lot bigger.


Not only does she get an awesome big bag but a cute little, teeny, tiny bag. She better like it or else I’m keeping it!

This was the first project I completed in my new sewing room. I’ve been busy with the move so it was nice getting back into the sewing groove. How amazing of me for my first sew to be for someone else!?!

No Stowe

Part of my #makenine2017 was to make a bag similar to the Stowe Bag by Grainline Studio. If you’re not aware of this little tote, you have to check out all the different versions.  It’s too adorable!

I do have a tendency to make my own pattern for any bags that I make. I studied the Stowe bag and I liked the size. I started there with my measurements. The bottom should measure about 5″ x 9.5″. That’s a nice sized handbag. I couldn’t decide how I would incorporate the handles and the fabric that I wanted. And this is where any resemblance to the Stowe bag disappeared.


What I ended up with is an alternating fabric using my suede-like fabric along with Daleks fabric. This is super similar to the makeup bag that I made the bestie for xmas. I loved that little bag so it’s not really surprising that I’m making this so similar. The construction is even about the same.  Did that statement just take out all of the air of this blog post.  Well I don’t care! I’m excited about my own ‘little can of hate’ bag!


I did add a little bit of Dalek on the inside of the bag.  It’s cute and happy yellow gingham but I stitched in “exterminate” around on the bottom.  It was almost 2 am and it sounded like a good idea.  It did not strike me that I will only see this when I’m desperately digging through my bag hunting down something that I swear is in there. It might not amuse me as much as it did stitching it during my late night sewing session.


The measurements came out to what I was intending for the base.  I put this bag together thinking of not closing the top completely. I only wanted a flap I could secure to keep things from falling out or other people digging in.  Not connecting the flap on the sides of the bag kept it from keeping the boxy shape that I liked.  I did some quick stitching and attached a few points on the flap to the bag’s body to help pull in the wandering sides.
After using the bag for a week or so, I realized the handles could be about an inch or so longer. I could have also dropped the flap down about an inch into the bag instead of putting it right at the top like I did. It’s a little flimsy even though I used interfacing on the gingham. A stronger interfacing would have fixed this.

Super short little post for an angry little bag. 🙂

3 items left on my list! Sewaholic Thurlows, Burda Flares and rainbow belt. A little over 5 months left and I have everything I need to make them. If I can’t complete this, I have a serious case of the “lazies”.

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Everything but the Kitchen Sink

If you follow my Instagram (@Jamie_L_Mac), you’ve known I’ve been up to something that includes a lot of denim.  Well two weeks in the making, you finally get to see the results of the painstaking hours I put into my newest bag.

First, let me share my inspiration, from Pinterest of course.

InspoOne

This beauty caught my eye.  I was looking for what to do with old jeans.  I had a ton.  I love the idea of creating a pattern and covering a chair.  A chair I do not have or need.  So I saved this and figured it would never be more than something for me to ogle.

I don’t know about you but my brain likes to let things roll around in there for a while.  I take in a lot of info but nothing becomes apparent right away until…

Inspiration two:

InspoTwo

Now this guy has a “pattern“.  Meaning it kind of gives you the proper dimensions and what not to make it but you’re still kind of on your own.  But that’s okay because that’s usually how my bags go.

I really needed a larger tote for all my crap for work. My purse, lunch bag, extra pair of shoes (when I wear heels),  sweater (because its always freezing) laptop, charger, and other random things you can find in the bottom of my bag, all needed some breathing room.  Usually I come to work with a bag that is overflowing with my necessities.  None of these items can stay at work so hence the to and fro truckage.

Needless to say this bag is HUGE and I was excited!  I could fit all of my cats in there and still have room for a unicorn. Mary Poppins ain’t got shit on me! I can’t really give a lot of instruction on how I put the whole thing together because it was, “well this looks right” and then SEW!

BagBottom

I wanted that nice flat bottom you see in the inspo pic. I found a really heavy interfacing. I even reinforced that interfacing with more of the super heavy interfacing.

BagFrontLay

I cut all the denim in long lengths but all 2 1/2″ wide strips. I was using a 1/4″ seam allowance so this would leave me with 2″ wide strips when sewn.  I didn’t top stitch any of them.  I toyed with the idea for only a second and realized how much more time that would be. I ended up ironing the crap out of each vertical set before sewing them to the neighboring strips and ironing again.

BagPocket

Added the pocket to the front.  I debated if I wanted a plain pocket or if it should match the rest.  Obviously from the previous pic, I went with matching. If I was really crazy, I would have cut the strips to match what was going to be underneath and the pocket would have blended. I did however cut a pink lining and added a magnetic snap.

BagStruts

On the struts, I added the same pleather that was on the bottom of the bag.  It seemed weird to not include it other places.  I even went a little wild and added a decorative stitch on them…and then to the bottom… and lastly on the top… I can’t help myself sometimes.

BagTop

Speaking of the top. This bag was supposed to be about 3″ taller.  There was no way I needed it to be so big.  I hacked off the top but kept it just in case. Lucky that I did because I decided it would be great way to finish on the zipper area.  Granted it wasn’t wide enough because the bag is 8″ deep.  I added some plain strips on the sides to make it work. I did add more pleather at this point too to cover the raw edges of the pieces matching up.  My sewing machine was working overtime and there were some spots that needed some hand cranking to get through. Bought that long zip for $.75. Such a deal!

BagHelpers

Since I went with the pink lining on the pocket, I decided the whole thing needs a pink lining. Check out my helpers doing their thing.

BagIInnards

I didn’t do anything fancy on the inside.  Just replicated the outside of the bag.  No extra pockets or fun.  I didn’t have enough fabric after I cut what I needed for any extras. 😦 I wanted to have a separate compartment for my laptop but oh well.

BagHandle

The handles are a mix of denim and pleather.  I made the pleather pieces wider than the “pattern” called for.  I think I actually doubled the width.  I did omit the long shoulder strap.  There was no need for that.  I can’t fathom trying to swing this big boy across my body.

BagFront

Here’s the big beast in all his glory.  I’m pretty tickled with how it turned out.  It took so much time and I really had to push through.  Being so time consuming really, put me off but I’m so happy I prevailed. Final dimensions: 16″ height, 17.5″ width, and 8″ deep.

BagBack

The back is just as awesome as the front. I didn’t mean to spend my Me-Made-May on such a large project but inspiration hit and I couldn’t say no.  How did you spend your Me-Made-May? Any special projects? Completed? In the works?

Little Can of Hate

This is my last holiday post guys. I’ve been on a roll of unselfish sewing! I am the most amazed by all this. A Hubby shirt, a clutch and now a makeup bag. I always make something for my bestie for the holiday. I originally was going to make her a clutch bag but the more I thought about it the more I realized that she wouldn’t use it. It’s just not her style at all. I had to brain storm and quickly. Again, I went to Pinterest and went through all the bags I had pinned. I found a box style makeup bag. I can work with that. I happened to pick up some Doctor Who fabric from the remnant bin at Jo-Ann’s. I’ve been scoring big time lately!

A lot of my non-pattern makes come with a lot of sketching. The pin I found had dimensions for quite a large box bag and I didn’t really understand how it was put together. I even made it out of paper and it still didn’t come together right. I spent way more time than I’d like to admit on trying to figure out the proper dimensions so if you want to make one I’ll save you some frustration, here’s a tutorial.

Finished Dimensions: 7 1/2″ x 3″ x 3″

All seam allowances are 1/2″

You’ll need:

  • 11 1/2″ x 13″ lining fabric
  • 11 1/2″ x 13″ outer fabric
  • 11 1/2″ x 13″ interfacing
  • zipper


First cut out all your pieces.


This is my lining. You’ll notice in other pics I made the outer piece two different fabrics. Pretty much, if you want to do that, you’ll cut the sides where they join a 1/2″ too wide. This way the fabrics will overlap 1/2″ so you can join them. Ta-da!

Putting the lining together is pretty quick. Iron your interfacing to the wrong side of your lining, like ya do. Then start sewing!


The outer short piece comes to the inner piece right sides together. Make sure to fold the edge of the short piece towards the interfacing side along the length before sewing. This will make a nice edge for the inside near the zip.


Do this for both short pieces.


This part is hard to photograph. Next push the seam you just made to the center of the neighboring hole. Line up the edges and stitch. Do this on both sides.


You’ll see that this makes a box on this finished side. Repeat on the other end. Your lining is complete.

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Completely did not take pictures of me sewing in the zip but trust me, you do not want me to teach you to sew in a zip. Mine are pretty questionable sometimes. Let’s move to the outer fabric. Start by pressing the long edges of the short pieces in 1/4″. Pin your zipper to the pressed edges. My zipper wasn’t long enough so if yours isn’t either, that’s okay. I added fabric the same width as the zipper to the end of the zip. (You can see it in the pic above)  The length of your zip or zip + extender should be 11 1/2″, which is the full length of the pressed edge.

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Stitch the zip into place. I did this one well. 🙂

Complete the outer piece just like the lining.  Make sure to leave your zip partway open before completing all your sewing, otherwise you can’t turn it! If you want to add a pull tab, make sure to add it before stitching the first edges down. Mine was about 1″ long after I folded it in half. It should be place in between the right sides of the fabric towards the bag.

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At this point you should have two bags; inner and outer. To attach the lining to the outer bit, I hand stiched the two together at the zip.  I left the outer bag unturned and worked my lining over the outer. The interfacing should be against the wrong side of your outer fabric. I found it easier to sew this way. I did a blanket style stitch all around the zip. It was nice because I used the yellow squares or every other column, as my guide for each stitch. It made it so uniform all the way around.

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Once completed, I turned the whole bag around the right way. I pressed the box edges to make them nice and crisp. It gave it a less bloated look.

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You can see even with the shortie zipper, you can still get the bag open really wide.

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Just to really personalize the bag, I added her name in gold and a teeny tiny heart on the bottom.

What would I change? I would put a pull tab at each end and make the width on the short pieces a 1/4″ wider on the outer fabric. I think the fabric could stand to be a bit closer to the zip. I’m really happy with the bag. It turned out the size I hoped for and I really wanted to keep it so I know I did a good job. If it was just okay, there would be no reservations in letting it go.

If you don’t know why I called this post Little Can of Hate, please enjoy the comic below. (Sing to the tune of Soft Kitty)