Sewing

Pepto Flower Bag

Still not in garment sewing mode here. I have a few projects that are partly done but I’m just not feeling their next steps. Lately when I’ve been going in my sewing room, it’s whatever seems like the best thing to work on. So what was the best thing to work on today? A rather large clutch/crossbody bag.

I’ve made bags in the past but usually without a pattern. It’s kind of a crazy free for all. What do I need in the bag? Lots of pockets? Do I need to carry my whole life in it? Do I want it large or small? These and so many more thoughts go into my bag making. Well LBG Studio just made it a lot easier for me. They have the Lexie Foldover Bag pattern. It can be a clutch or crossbody bag. Do you want it large or small? Well they have that option. Do you want extra pockets? Zipper pockets? Accents? A whole butt load of pockets? YUP! They have all those options in this one pattern. It’s really unbelievable!

When I sat down to determine what I wanted for my bag, I decided I wanted it all because why not? I chose:

    Large Size
    Front Accent
    Front Pocket
    Front Welt Zipper Pocket
    Internal Pockets

It’s really crazy how many options you can have with this bag and I have to say the instructions are awesome at illustrating them all. Also, I’m horrible at reading instructions. I just don’t. I figure I know what order things should go in since I’ve been sewing for so long and that is so not the right thing to do with this. I started by sewing pieces together that shouldn’t be so I had to rip them apart and that was all I needed to realize that I don’t have a damn idea of what I’m doing. Even after this realization I kept trying to skim the instructions (I don’t like instructions) and kept getting lost and confused. Every time that happened and I actually read the instructions it quickly got me back on track.

Let’s take a closer look at the bag!

Here’s two pockets in one shot. The welt, zipper pocket that always seems so intimidating but never as bad as it seems. The other is a deep front pocket that you can see the majority of my hand going into. It goes to the bottom of the bag. This bag is serious when it comes to pockets.

I couldn’t get a good shot of the inside pockets. Probably doesn’t help that I have a bunch of stuff in the bag. I started using it right away! On the left side of this pic, there’s a set of two pockets. They’re made from one panel of fabric so the pockets are side by side. Good for small stuff like a mirror, chapsticks, three lip glosses and other random things that usually run rouge in your bag.

I did choose the adjustable option for the strap. I got this little slider for $.25 at a local fabric store. I’m happy I chose that option because I change the purse from a crossbody to a shoulder bag. It’s nice to be able to have a choice.

You can see on Gert that when I open the whole bag up it’s really tall. I can fit a bunch of stuff over and fold the top over. It doesn’t have to necessarily make it down to that magnetic snap. Everything in the bag is secure though. You have the zippered top so no worries of anything falling out!

This pattern is truly amazing! The options alone are worth the buy. I’m already planning on making this bag again in denim. I have a lot of leftover bits here and there and I think it would be super awesome and versatile.

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Tumbling Keyboard Cover

It’s time for me to try something new! It’s good to expand the sewing horizons right? I have this fascination with Mister Domestic. He’s primarily a quilter and a makes some amazing things. I love to watch his weaving videos. He does beautiful quilts that are made from woven strips of fabric. I’ve been wanting to give it a go and on a small scale is totally the way for me to try it. I wanted a keyboard cover for my Logitech keyboard that I use with my iPad.

Lots of prep goes into this fabric weaving. You need to cut a ton of strips of fabric. I cut mine at 1 1/2″ wide and there’s no need to cut it on the bias so that makes it a bit easier to cut. I cut three different fabrics for mine. I’m sure you don’t need to but if you want the block look, you’ll want three. Even though you’re not cutting the fabric on the bias, you’ll want to finish them like they are bias tape. I didn’t use a bias tape maker to iron them out. I took the edges and pressed them towards the middle. I wasn’t too worried about them being perfect.

I spent a lot of time staring at the videos that Mister Domestic made of this block pattern to figure out when is the next over or under. There’s a certain pattern to the whole thing: two under, one over or is it the other way? I’m not 100% sure now. Needless to say, his videos are the best and can teach any bonehead (me) how to weave fabric.

Mister Domestic uses some sort of board to pin his strips to. I’m not that spiffy and instead I used the foam interfacing that I had for the keyboard cover. It worked rather well. It holds the pins tight and you need the iron on interfacing to press the strips onto. It’s what holds it all together.

I was so proud of how well the large piece came out that I made another little one with the scraps that I had. So cute! I decided to use it as a pocket on the front. Do I need a pocket on the front? Nope! It’s too adorable not to use plus it gives it a bit of pizzaz to an otherwise boring front.

There’s a flap on the top to keep the keyboard inside the cover but it’s not really necessary because that sucker is in there tight. I added a bit of Velcro to keep the flap down.

And there you have it! That’s my first little toe into the world of fabric weaving. Damn proud!

Revenge of the Cinco

I hate when I have to many projects planned and for some reason I decide to work on a completely unplanned project. For some reason, those planned projects don’t have the same appeal as an “on the fly” project. Probably because those planned projects have the whole planned element. I thought them out so perfectly and when I make them I expect perfection. On the fly kind of projects are completed with the “let’s get it done” mentality.

Okay, that was a lot to explain that I’ve been working on “on the fly” stuff rather than planned. I’m proud to say this post is about one of those neglected planned projects. You’re probably wondering what finally got my ass into gear. Well it’s Revenge of the 5th my friends. Yesterday was “May the 4th” and I realized I have the perfect project to complete for the following day.

Last project (Sleep Shirt) was my first try with an appliqué. Granted, it is not fun to sew those guys on but I’m not one to be deterred. I decided to cut an AT-AT Walker from the remaining Star Wars fabric I have from JoAnn’s. For non-nerds, the AT-AT Walkers are used by the bad guys and they look like big mechanical animals.

I drew up a tank top. I decided not to use a pattern. A simple tank should be easy enough to create.

I used more leftovers as the top of the tank. I didn’t want a full black shirt with an appliqué. I wanted something with a little more matching. The front and back both have the Star Wars fabric at the very top. I had to get creative for the back since I was using leftovers. I used four pieces to create the back. I don’t think it’s a big deal and it looks fine. I also cut strips of the fabric to create a trim on the arms and the neck for a nice clean look.

The bottom is a soft rayon/poly blend that I also picked up from JoAnn’s. I cut from the outside edge of the top pieces and down at a widening angle to the desired length to make the bottom nice and roomy. The bottom is also rounded and the front is a tid-bit shorter than the back.

I ironed my appliqué on the bottom and then stitched around the edges. It’s not perfect because there are so many angles around the Walker. Still no big deal. The thread blends pretty well with the fabric.

That’s it! I have a new Star Wars tank top. Pretty comfy and quick to make. I need to quick dragging my feet on things! lol

Sleeping Lion

I’ve been wanting to make this for quite some time. For some reason, I’m into making lounge/sleep wear. I’m all about comfort I guess. So what is it? A football jersey style sleep shirt.

Now if you know Penn State their jerseys are super basic. I searched Pinterest for other school sleep shirts. I found one I want to emulate so I drew up something and bought double-brushed poly from Fabric Wholesale Direct. SO FREAKING SOFT!

The most exciting thing I got to make for this was the logo. I’ve never done appliqué before so this was going to be an exciting challenge. I did a lot of investigating prior to heading to JoAnn’s. I bought my first little bit of interfacing for appliqué. This stuff is pretty easy to use. The interfacing has a paper backing making it perfect to draw on. I printed my design and then traced it. Stick it to the back of your fabric and bond it with your iron. Then cut it out carefully, peel off the paper and then bond it to your other fabric. Boom!

Of course, you can go a step further and stitch it down to make sure that it has lasting power. I started with a blanket stitch on my machine and that looked like crap! I switched over to a regular stick and that worked out so much better. The only problem is that the blanket stitches were so tiny that I couldn’t pull them out. If you look too closely you can see the bad stitches, but who’s really going to look close.

I added stripes to the sleeves. It was just a pin and sew kind of deal on top of the white sleeves. I thought about using the interfacing so they wouldn’t move when I was trying to stitch them down but there were no issues. Plus, I pinned the snot out of them.

The neckline had a change while I was making it. I started out with a crew style and it was way to tight. Then I switched over to v-neck style. I think I made the piece of fabric too short and it pulls a little but overall I’m still happy with it.

The last bit to do was to cut the bottom. I wanted to make it hit right above my knees and have a curve hem. I stuck it on Gert and she assisted me with figuring out where to snip. She really does make life easier!

And there you have it! Super soft, sleepy Lion power! I want a closet full of them. I want to wear this every minute of every day. SO SOFT!!!

Surprise

Of all things I never thought I would love, I love cleaning up my fabric cubbies. My cubbies come from Ikea, like so many other sewists. I never bought the fabric bins because stacking it all on top of each other would be fine right? Then all of a sudden I can’t find anything. Things are falling behind other fabrics and falling out the front. This doesn’t include my curious kittens that like to pull the fabric out and then walk away. Finally I decided to pick up the bins on a recent trip to Ikea. This meant cleaning!

I rolled all my fabrics into happy little treats of color. I found so many fabrics I didn’t realize I had so much of. I decided make something out of one of them! Shopping my fabric stash like a pro!

What to make out of it? Hmmm… maybe a Colette Sorbetto? Woot woot!

I didn’t have enough of the fabric to cut it outright. I decided I would do tiers. It took a bit of thought to how long I wanted the tiers and how to lay out the fabric. It’s a pretty wild pattern so I had to put a lot of thought into it.

I put the whole damn thing together and put it on and “yuck!”. What could I possibly do to make this better? Sorry no before shot but trust me. No bueno!

I remembered a shirt that I saw on MimiG. It was a sleeveless top that was pulled in at the waist. A little flounce on top and some flowiness on the bottom. That was exactly what this needed. I had some extra elastic lying around and put it to use. It did the trick! The shirt is now acceptable to wear!

I feel like I need a pair of khaki shorts and head over to Hawaii. Or I’ll just sit out on my patio and have a drink in the sunshine. Just as good right?

My sewing process:

“Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.” – Michael Scott