Thursday, June 28, 2012

Yet another gathered clutch

I've been seeing this gathered clutch by Anna at Noodlehead in so many posts lately.  It's a completely incredible and beautiful bag (which I've made several times, here and here) and I hopped on the bandwagon again because a good friend sadly misplaced the one I made for her.  When she said it was lost, I interrupted her sentence to offer to make a new one because they are that much fun (and quick, and easy, and cute...).  My friend has been doing "textile art", using beautiful fabrics to create abstract wall art, so I borrowed her aesthetic as inspiration for this one.  Instead of the band described in the original pattern, I used an upholstery-weight woven fabric, and frayed the edges.  I applied it with the reverse side of the fabric outward, so you can see the contrast better.
I used a vintage metal zipper and lined it in a fun orange pattern.  Seriously, what makes this bag so fun to plan and make is the myriad of ways you can combine fabrics and textures.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sewing Buddy project #1

For the first time, I've signed up for Whipstitch's Sewing Buddy Project and I've been paired up with the lovely Jennie, of Porch Swing Quilts.  A few months ago, we were assigned our first mission of the year:  to create a boy/ girl project, using coordinating fabrics in any sewn format that we chose.     My buddy and I settled on "adventure bags" for our daughter and son, respectively.

The fabric choice was easy--Michael Miller's Backyard Baby/ Bella Butterfly line had enough bugs to satisfy my nature-boy (who unfortunately lives in Silicon Valley, where visiting "nature" involves predatory parking) and Jennie's nature-girl.  I went with the small messenger bag from Oliver + S's Little Things to Sew and Jennie used the Daisy Girl Backpack pattern.

I love-love-love how my little guy's messenger bag turned out (and would totally not mind using it as a handbag!):

The pattern was fairly straightforward.  I should have used a more home-dec weight fabric, but used a sew-in heavy-duty stabilizer/interfacing I had in my stash.  

The bag is big enough for my boy's cub scout manual, a couple pencils (there are sewn-in slots in the inside pocket), a small notebook and magnifying glass and maybe a bug-holding container or two.  The best part, though, is that he happily uses it!  Here's my little boy, on a scout-related field-trip.  Too cute!
(Please do not Pin photos of my kids--Thanks!)
Using the Daisy Girl pattern, buddy Jennie made up a back-pack style bag for her little lady--it turned out incredible!  Look at those grommets and fabric-covered button!  Beautiful.  

With school officially out for us, the kids are ready for summer adventure!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Top ten!

So exciting!  My skirt made the top ten for the Crafterhours Skirt week!  There are some beautiful entries, so please go support those seamstresses and vote!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Like daughter, like mother

My mother is the reason I can sew.  I don't know exactly how old I was when I first picked up a needle, I would guess in the 4 year old range, but watching my mom sew was certainly the reason I started. Christmas pajamas, Easter dresses, Halloween costumes--always home-made, by my mom. She even made my wedding dress (10 years ago!):
(Vera Wang for Vogue 2118)
My mom hasn't been regularly sewing for a while, but when I entered this year's Spring Top Sewalong, I suggested that she should also enter...but, she was busy and the deadline passed.    But a new challenge is on the table with Skirt Week, and I once again suggested that she enter the contest. "For our birthdays (mine 6/7, hers 6/9)", I urged her, "wouldn't it be fun to enter together?" She had started sewing again, so it wasn't a completely unreasonable request...

I sent her photos of my entry into Skirt Week and a few days ago, I got this email from her:

"While some mothers and daughters might go out to lunch, or enter the Freihofer's [road running race] to celebrate their together birthday, this is my "action" birthday gift to you  We can enter as a mother / daughter team for the skirt sewing contest.

When you challenged me back in the spring, I wasn't prepared, but did get this top created a little too late.  I had an idea for a skirt to complete the outfit.  So when you told me about the skirt contest, I was already ready - the fabric was washed and waiting.  I had researched the skirt I was looking for, and drew up the design.  And so, sew I did.  Here's my entry for the skirt sewing contest: The Ultimate summer jeans skirt!"

Since she doesn't have her own blog on which to discuss her sewing projects, I am posting her skirt for her--my birthday wish, come true. 
This is the description she gave of the skirt:  "Made of ultralight 100% cotton denim fabric.  Pull on straight skirt - no pockets, no zipper, no waistband, no nuthin'.  Ruffle is made with the selvage edge of the fabric - reminding me of cutoff jeans shorts with a little fringe."
 How adorable is that??  And the fringe is super clever.  She made her top, too!

My mom lives 3,000 miles away so we can't spend our "together" birthdays over lunch or a pedicure, so a virtual sewing contest is our "action" gift to each other.  How awesome is that? :)  Are there any other mothers and daughters that have skirts entered?  If so, please tell us!

Friday, June 01, 2012

Romper, rescued

After a couple of pretty intensive sewing projects (this skirt and another one to be revealed shortly), I was feeling a bit burned out.  Sometimes it's nice to just have a quick, simple, no-thought-needed project for a change!  While organizing my fabric bins, I found a romper that my little one had destroyed while playing in the mud.  (Yes, it has been washed.)
I had stashed it away, planning on converting it to a t-shirt.  Even if he hadn't completely ruined the little legs on it, I might have cut it off anyhow to buy a little more time in it once he grew out of the length.  So measuring against another top, I cut off the bottom, pressed and top-stitched with my double-needle.
 If you haven't tried a double-needle, DO IT!  I spent way too much of my sewing life not using one, and it's so much easier and more useful than you could imagine.  The best part is that using a double-needle stitch provides some stretch, so it's perfect for hemming knits.

See, the backside is like a ladder--providing a bit of give, so the knit still stretches. 
Done!  A practical and satisfying project in about 5 minutes.