Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Half moon handbag

Here is another bag I made recently. It is called the Half Moon Handbag from Keykalou patterns. It is about the same size as the Baguette pattern below. I now have enough experience that I can use some of my previously learned skills in sewing this bag to make it look more professional looking.

I like the shape of this bag, but I still had trouble pressing all the wrinkles out of the flap and body when I made it.

Add ImageMy daughter said I needed to make a red, black and white bag like a bandana, but I like this pattern. I used the blue lining and put a strip of the outside fabric across the top of th inside pocket. The gold button came from the button box of my mom's old stash.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sewing new bags

I've been trying out new bag patterns. I love Nicole Mallalieu bag patterns. They really make me pay attention to details and I have learned so much from sewing her patterns. Not only that, every bag I have made from her patterns has turned out fabulous! Thanks Nikki. The latest one I made was the Baguette pattern in this orange sherberty kind of fabric. Doesn't this look great? Wonderful bag for summer. It will be on the website soon.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stuffed Bunny Tutorial

Remember these guys? I was going to write a tutorial on how to make them, but I didn't take any photos of them when I made them, so I had to make another one to make the photos. Each one has turned out with a different personality. I have now written the tutorial and here it is.

You can download the pdf file here.

As soon as I can figure it out, I will add it to the links list. I hope you like making them as much as I did. If you do make one, please link a photo of it in the comments.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sewing for kiddies

I don't really get excited sewing for babies or children, but I have twin granddaughters who are turning six years old tomorrow. One of them requested a bathrobe with pink butterflies. So I went to the fabric store and bought a simple pattern and fleece with pink butterflies. Then her sister said she wanted a bathrobe, too, but she wanted purple fairies on it. Wow, I had to look really hard for the pink butterflies fabric, and purple fairies was a challenge. Good thing I had a coupon for 40% off. That fleece was expensive. But here they are. I am not thrilled with sewing with fleece. It seems so artificial to me. I like natural fibers, cotton, linen, silk, cotton, wool, cotton and linen.

With the left over scraps, I made a couple of stuffed bunnies for the pockets. I enjoyed sewing the bunnies more than the bathrobes. I just made up the pattern and when I sewed them, they seemed to take on their own personalities. The first one seemed to be pretty cheeky. In fact, he kept getting closer and closer to my camera.

The other one was more shy. He wouldn't pose unless the other one did with him.

And the next thing I knew they had jumped into the pockets of the bathrobes. I have to go now, I have to wrap some birthday gifts.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Change purses and things

Here are a few change purses that I made recently. This first one is an embroidered little 3 x 4 inch with a snap closure.

Last November, I got a used home embroidery/sewing machine and I am just learning how to use it. It is my first electronic sewing machine and I was a little afraid of it at first. Fortunately, I bought it used from a dealer and got a fantastic deal, along with classes on how to use it. The classes were just me and the teacher, so I could ask any question I wanted. We stepped through how to thread the machine, wind the bobbin and tried out most of the decorative stitches. She showed me how to adjust the stitches, use the thread cutter and all the fancy stuff on the machine. Then she showed me how to use the embroidery attachment. We did several embroideries step by step and I think I am getting the hang of it. I am still a little intimidated by the machine, it has so many things that it can do that I haven't really tried yet. But it does sew a great handbag, don't you think?

This little zip top coin purse is from the hemp obi that I got at the kimono sale. A lot of the fabric was damaged and stained with a blue dye I could not get out. But the woven pattern in chidori (plovers) ocean waves, and rocks on the seashore. It is about 4 x 4 inches, so you can slip a credit card, some money or keys into it and put it in your pocket.

On this one, I put a little dragonfly charm as a zipper pull. I think it really makes the bag, don't you?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kimono and obi fabric

I went to a kimono and obi sale last weekend. I picked up a worn and damaged summer obi that I would like to make into handbags. Since I wear kimono and obi, it always hurts me to see perfectly wearable kimono and obi cut up to make something else. If the garment is no longer wearable, I am delighted to see it used again to give it new life. However, and I know this is just a thing with me, to cut up these beautiful garments into 4 by 4 squares for quilts... well it just hurts me.

I did make a handbag from an old obi given to me by an old woman in Kyoto when I lived there. I loved it so much that I wore it threadbare, but I couldn't just throw it out because I had so many memories of the tea ceremonies I attended in it and of the woman who gave it to me.

Much of it was rather plain, but the part that shows in the back I made into the feature of the handbag. (see photo, left)

I also made little make up bags and coin purses from the plain fabric which is a silk linen blend. I still have the bag for sale, though I really hope that someone who purchases will appreciate the history and the feelings of the obi that it was made from.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I sold one

Yes, I sold a handbag yesterday. It was the blue quilted shoulder bag. This was an early bag I made and silly me, I tried to quilt the material without basting it. Fortunately, the pattern of the fabric hides the mistakes, and really the bag turned out beautifully.

I found the contrast fabric on sale for cheap and had to look for a couple of weeks to find a small pattern to match the blues in it. I had a little trouble with my machine and making the straps and I finally ended up hand sewing them around the cord.

It has a large outside pocket with magnetic flap and inside it has two smaller side pockets and a deep pocket on the opposite side. Don't you just love pockets? I hope the person who bought it will use it and enjoy it.

I am also learning how to take photos of my bags. Sometimes I can get the light right, and sometimes it just looks terrible.

I'd like to thank my daughter, she's the model in the photos. We had a good time taking photos in the rec room of her apartment complex. It was very nice since the decor and props were mostly all there, so we just took advantage.

Here are a few of my other creations. This set was made for my daughter's birthday. I kind of like matching accessories, and she does too. I made a wallet, make up pouch, card holder and key ring from the scraps of material. I'll post some more later.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sewing Room?

Well, I guess that I should start blogging about sewing since it seems to be my obsession lately. I had an old 1940s Kenmore model sewing machine that I had a love hate relationship with, and while I did like the idea of sewing, it was more than frustrating to do it because the tension was variable, and I ended up ripping out more often than not.

I just wanted a new basic sewing machine that had forward, reverse and zig-zag. I went to look at the models and I was told at a dealer that no such machine existed. They wanted to sell me a $4,000 machine with all the bells and whistles. I was so intimidated that I left without a word. Last year, my dad bought me a brand new sewing machine. It was a Pfaff hobby. It was not the very bottom of the line, but not much more. It was not electronic but it had about 50 different stitches, a needle threader, knit stretch stitches and I thought I had a rocket ship compared to my old machine. I took the class in how to use the machine and went home hoping I could put it to use.

So for the last year, I have been teaching myself sewing all over again. I started with a simple handbag pattern and now I have made a whole bunch of handbags. Here are photos of a few I have done.

This was the latest bag I made. It is a carry all bag I made as a school bag for my neice. It is a Nicole Mallalieu pattern. It has an outside pocket, inside zip pocket, divider and 4 other pockets. Roomy enough for school books. It closes with a zipper and a magnetic flap.

I hope she likes the color, and I don't even know if she likes sailboats, but it was a fabric that I inherited from my mom's stash when we went to clean out the basement.

The pattern was an advanced bag pattern, and I have to thank Nicole because the instructions were very detailed and easy to follow. However, making the bag, I feel like my sewing skills have improved tenfold.

Here is one of the first bags I made: From a dollar store placemat, and I really didn't know what I was doing, but it turned out nice enough for the summer.