Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ironing Casualty & Productive Weekend

Ironing/Pressing Casualty

I completely forgot to post this pic a few weeks back - I had my first non-human ironing casuality. (and the human casualty is always my left index finger, in the form of a steam burn, I never learn!) I'm in two minds as to whether I should buy a replacement, or make one myself. Think I'll buy, and spend my making time on things I enjoy. ;-) Oh - and if this every happens to you - don't inhale the smoke! That stuff is seriously toxic!

Productive Weekend

Simon has been away skiing at Turoa this weekend, so I've had the place to myself since about 3 o'clock on Friday. Well, me and the cats. They're great company excpet when they want to talk at 5 in the morning or when they want to snuggle with me when I'm trying to sew. Anyway, that's not what I'm here for - but it is a great illustration of how distracting the puddys are!

So, aside from finally getting on top of the enormous pile of dishes, and a touch of tidying and a smattering of cooking, I've also managed to finish 2 more bags. One is another Christmas present for the twins, well, for one of them, and the other is a gorgeous little bag-ette (like the one in my most recent post) but in a lovely blue & red rose print fabric (another of my cousin's parting gifts - thanks Charlotte!). I haven't got pics yet!

Here's a sneak peak of the bag for one of the twins, until I get around to taking some better pics....

My label-attaching technique needs some practice, but I'm pleased with the look of this.

Ok, just took a quick snap of the other bag with my phone - as you can see, my lable attaching technique has not yet improved!

Right, I've been forgetting to eat all day, so I really must go and have some the chopped liver I made from my mother-in-laws recipe. Hope you've had a great weekend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fully Reversible, Subtle or Bright Bag

I have a new favourite bag. I am completely in love with it, despite it's seemingly diminutive size.

This was intended to be a subtle, linen/cotton bag-ette, with a secret cheerful lining that was there to delight you on opening the bag.

But as I handstitched the lining closed, it occurred to me that there was no reason I couldn't add another button on the lining, not catch the lanyard in the top stitching, and it would be fully reversible. So I did exactly that, and have ended up leaving it with the secret lining turned out and not so secret!

And as for roomy - well, this is what I had in it today - sunglasses in a bulky hard case, vanity case, pager, on call cards for work, my phone, inhaler, key ring pouch with credit cards and drivers license and some cash, keys, and I had a little notebook and pen tucked in the back pouch (removed for the photos because my red notebook doesn't actually go with the bag!)

(The pocket is on the inside when it's in its 'subtle' form of course).

That was my weekend project.  I have so many more plans for this pattern, and that gorgeous, bright cotton! Yay!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

2 failed projects

Since the success of the pink ruffle bag, I've made 2 more items, and both have been duds and filed accordingly I'm afraid.  So my next project has to be approached with more diligence, planning, more accurate cutting and a commitment to pressing throughout!

Sunday's failed item was a little coin pouch with front pocket to go with the Ruffle Bag.  And while it's really cute, I played with the zip (because I have STILL not come up with a way to put zips in the top of a pouch with a finish that my inner perfectionist is happy with) and managed to completely disengage the zip pull from the pouch, fray all the ends and destroy the top part of the side seam. Oh, and in my haste I also forgot to top stitch the key ring tag before attaching it.  Ah dear.  At least I laughed at it instead of swearing at it. :-)

Last night, I had an undeniable need to sew before going to bed (which I really must learn to say no to, because it typically results in me not making it to bed until midnight). So I shoved the poor cat off my lap and wandered upstairs with the goal of trying to find a more successful way of sewing a vinyl backed wallet. (I haven't posted my first attempt yet - but I will.  Main problem is that my 40 year old sewing machine just can't cope with the number of layers required). I came up with a fairly simple design, given the purpose was to try out a theory rather than produce something I'd love.  The design did work, and the method was also reasonably successful with the vinyl, however, my execution was lacking somewhat (I was rushing, didn't press anything, made a poor choice of thread colour, and so on!) and although the end result was ok, my aforementioned perfectionist tendencies were simply not satisfied by the less than perfectly straight top-stitching results.  I do think I need to abandon using vinyl for now. (not that I'm a fan anyway, but it's all about learning!)

My next project will be probably be larger and will require at least an evening to measure, cut and press before I even turn the sewing machine on.  Perhaps another Martini bag.  Pop back soon and you'll find out!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ruffle strap girls bag

I'm getting organised super super early this year for Christmas (I always aim to, and am getting more successful each year) and beginning to make some presents now. (I've had my sister-in-law's November b'day present sitting in the cupboard since about March!).

I found this great material up at David's Emporium about a month ago, but only just acquired the pink linen for the lining.  So this was yesterday's project, and I am absolutely chuffed with the result.  This is so super cute there should be a rule against it!  (I have to say though - for someone who doesn't like pink, this blog is in danger of being overrun by pink-ness!) I've included a pocket on the inside and a little clip - for things that ought not be left behind!

Friday, June 25, 2010


I haven't managed to organise myself sufficiently to get photos up of some of the other bits and bobs I've made lately, but it's a wet rainy Friday with no view of improving over the weekend, so hopefully in the next couple of days.

I was so delighted today when a sometimes visitor in the office admired my wallet, and then when I thanked him and declared 'I made it' he responded with utter disbelief and reiteration of thinking it was cool. Yay. :-)  It has a few flaws, as I really couldn't bring myself to put my poor sewing machine through sewing through sooooo many thicknesses, including vinyl - this after breaking 2 leather needles!  But I love it anyway, and have  some great ideas on how to redesign it next time to be kinder to my sewing machine.

Last night I started on a square-ish bag of my own design.  I got as far as the lining, realised I'd mis-calculated the length required for the gusset/strap piece and went to bed after midnight with my sketch book and redesigned how I was going to finish it - now I can't wait for aforementioned rainy weekend so I can do just that!

That's it for now, but hopefully more photos and finish-offs within the next couple of days.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Vintage Rabbit Wristlet

This was the first wristlet I made.  There's a host of things I don't like about this, but if you don't look too closely you won't be able to guess what they are!  But I learnt a lot from it.  And I do so love the fabric combination.  (Thanks Charlotte!) I'm guessing the lining must be a soy fabric, because it smelt like chinese food when I ironed it!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Martini Clutch - a late night post

I was planning to go and select fabric, chop, press & sew tonight, but it didn't quite work out that way. Seeing as I'm still at my computer, and it's now closer to midnight than any other hour it's not going to happen. Ah well, it would have been freezing in my sewing room anyway. Actually, it's not so warm down here with the heater on either!

Anyways, I've done a bit of phot0-processing, so I can at least share one of the wristlet/clutches I've made in the last couple of weeks. This is a all a learning process as I work out what I like and what I don't. I love this martini fabric, and I love how it looks with denim. I don't however like the way I've finished the zip, but have worked that out for next time now.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Martini Handbag

Ok, for the record, I'm typically not a pink girl. Not at all in fact. I'm very much a red girl. (I'm also not a shoe girl, but a bag girl - which is fortunate because I think making bags is a lot more accessible than making shoes!)

That said, I made the most gorgeous bag last night and I'm completely in love with it. Even though it's pink. And, while it hurts me to admit it, I don't think it would be half so cute in red.
Above is the outside view. It's an open topped bag, about 30cm tall, and 10cm wide at the base edges (not obvious from the photos, but it is a rectangular base). It's more than big enough for my ipod nano, an A5 diary, a set of marker pens, 2 sets of keys, a handmade wallet, a pocket knife, a vanity pouch, the on call pager, my phone, my sunnies, an apple... you get the picture. :-)

I love how the handles turned out. I wasn't sure how I was going to attach the feature strip and played around with a couple of options and loved how the satin stitch looked. I'll definitely use this method again.

Finally, a slightly open view, showing the inside pocket. This is in fact a fully reversible bag, but the lining is a fabric that will show every mark, so I'll do this again with a different inner fabric so I can actually use it 2 ways, but I'm still completely delighted with this.

Ooh, and one of the lads at work even said it looked really professional and he'd not have known it was homemade if I hadn't said so. Bless. :-)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Messenger Bag

Simon reminded me tonight that I ought to be taking photos of the stuff I'm making and blogging them. I always forget!

And I've just typed this entry 3 times, then stupidly used ctrl+v to move text around and blogger has eaten my post and my photos, again. -sob- -sad, frustrated sob-

I'll try again another day. Here's the bag:
My New Bag - made by me!

My New Bag - made by me!

Thanks heaps to my cousin Charlotte for every bit of material that went into this.

Thanks to Larissa at mmmcrafts for the tutorial.

Stories at a later date when I've forgiven blogger for doing inexplicable things. (Since when doesn't ctrl-V equal paste????)