Thursday, December 30, 2010

blossom handbag for my sister

This is my Christmas gift to my sister. We love ourselves some bags! And now she has a new one to sport.

I used Amy Butler's free pattern from her new Style Stiches book which I downloaded from SewMamaSew a few months ago. Man, real bags have a ton more steps than when I just make things up in my head. This bag took me 3 nights! But when you do it properly--line with interfacing, add heavy duty Peltex, and include all the details that make this bag stand out--the time really adds up. But it's worth it.

This was my first venture with magnetic clasps. I had no idea that they were so easy to install. The one I bought for this bag was on clearance and it came with no instructions, but I thought I would need a special tool or hammer or something. But I didn't need anything but muscles to close the prongs.

And I still did it wrong. I didn't realize until the bag was completely assembled and waiting to be wrapped that the little discs that, I thought, had unattached themselves from the back of the clasps because they were cheap and therefore cheaply made were actually planned to unattach so they could fit over the prongs on the other side of the fabric. So the prongs wouldn't tear through the fabric when opening the bag flap over and over. I was really mad about that. No one will notice . . . maybe not even my sister, but it, of course, still bothers me.

Regardless of this mistake, the bag is still really pretty. I like these large prints. To save time (and because I ran out of fabric) I decided not to include the dividers. I think the dividers would help the bag keep its shape better, not to mention add more organization, but it looks good without them, too.

Merry Christmas, Laura!
Helping with the photo shoot . . .
Tired of helping with the photo shoot . . .

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

rooster fabric basket

I loved these baskets so much that I decided to make one for my mother-in-law. But wanted to make it bigger. I also changed the look in a few different ways.

Notice the tab-type handles that I secured with a button instead of the loop-type handles in the other baskets.

I also decided not to roll the lining over the front edge of the baskets this time. I went with the more conventional hole-in-the-lining method so the front and lining fabrics matched up at the top. The only downside to this method, in my opinion, is sewing the lining closed. I prefer to handstitch the lining closed for a much cleaner look, and it's not hard . . . it just takes more time.

This basket measures 12 inches long by 6 inches wide and 8 inches tall. The perfect size to fit another gift: handspun merino wool from Debbie B that I purchased from her Etsy shop. This earth tone is fantastically beautiful! I can't wait to see what it turns into.

I really, really like this rooster print. A little modern country, I think. As usual, I have extra to make myself a little something.

Monday, December 27, 2010

fabric baskets for teachers

I wanted to make Logan's preschool teachers a gift for Christmas. Do non-family members appreciate handmade items? I should probably research that before I continue to make personalized items for people who are not required to like what I make.

Anyway, I decided to make them baskets. I just love baskets! They are versitile and beautiful and they can be carried (note the handles) and placed anywhere. And I think these are just the right size. They came out around 8 inches long by 4 inches wide and 4.5 inches tall.

The best part about the construction of these baskets is that the lining is pulled over the outside of the basket to create the top trim. This means that I don't have to leave a hole in the lining and then handstitch the hole closed later. This pleases me. I just think my way is less complicated and involves fewer steps.

I made 3 bags. Logan, apparently, has only 2 teachers. He insisted he had 3. But of course it all works out because now I have an excuse to keep one!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

fabric basket. or bag.

In my first attempt to make some fabric baskets for the preschool teachers, I came up with this.

Not what I had in mind.  Not bad, just not what I envisioned.

I wanted more of a looks-like-it-needs-to-be-carried-with-two-hands kind of basket . . . long and low.  I haven't made too many bags, so I'm still getting the hang of adding dimensions for boxed corners.  I didn't make the bag width wide enough so I ended up with a small basket-sort-of-bag.

The dimensions for this bag are 7 inches long by 3 inches wide by 7 inches tall.  I was going for something longer and not as tall.

Because this bag is lined with thick polyester batting, it stands by itself.  So it will make a nice little basket bag for some lightweight items.  This would also be really great with a magnetic clasp for a cute makeup bag.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

{harry potter} pj's

No, this isn't another post about the winter hat I made for Logan.  This post is about the pants.

To liven up a solid black pant, I cut out lightning bolts from the black fleece (a leftover thoughtfully donated by my mother-in-law) and sewed orange to the inside.  I think they turned out really great, so Logan's radical response surprised me:

I don't like them.  I'm gonna have bad dreams!

About what, you ask?  I still don't know.  I think about Harry Potter.  Harry is one of my favorite characters and if you frequent abcfamily you know that these movies are on all. the. time.  So he catches parts of them and, regretfully, has seen parts of the dvd's on the rare occasion that I have found the time to watch them.  If you don't know anything about the Potter series, it get darker as the series progresses so what is borderline appropriate for a 4-year-old in the first two movies quickly turns to highly scary, and apparently nightmare-producing, in subsequent films.  So the lightning bolts were initially not a crowd pleaser.

But once he was reminded that disney's Bolt and Lightning McQueen both sport super sweet lightning bolts, he at least smiled and stood still long enough for me to try them on him.

And once he figured out these pajamas were nearly snow proof after falling twice while taking the dog for a walk, he was hooked.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

new winter hats

The boys have one hat each.  Well, I'm sure there are more, but they each only recognize one as their own.  So when either goes missing, we can't leave the house.  I decided to take advantage of a sale at JoAnn's and make them each a cute new hat.

I got the idea and general direction from Made By Rae.  I didn't use her dimensions.  I made my pattern by tracing Logan's only hat because it already has well-placed ear flaps.  But that one is knitted so it has more stretch than the fleece hat.  I didn't take this into account, so Logan's hat is a little snug.  It pulls away from his ears a little, but that is easily remedied by adding a chin strap if necessary.

The only seam is in the back which is different than how Rae made hers.  Either one is good, but cutting on the fold means fewer seems to sew!  I think he loves it.  The hub made a comment about the hat not matching his coat, but JoAnn's has limited older-boy fabric.  I really like this print.  And in my defense, his other hat doesn't match his coat either.

Trenton's hat was made from the same pattern, but I measured his head first for a better fit.  It fits really well.  He was not at all as excited at first as I was, but I think he forgot about the hat after we walked outside.

This was the first real snow since we moved to pa.  It didn't stay long, but the picnic table had enough to play with.