Saturday, January 29, 2011

Zippered Mini Clutch

Here's what I worked on last night. I love the shape of the rounded clutch-type wallets I've been working on recently, but I really wanted something with a zipper. So I modified one of the clutch patterns I had and spent some nights thinking about how best to add the zipper. I gotta say I'm quite pleased with myself right now!

This is pretty small -- only 6.5 inches x 4 inches, but I didn't want it too big. I still like the idea of having it be something you can attach your keys to and throw your credit card and drivers license in.

The flap turned out quite short, so I adjusted for that by adding an elastic loop and a big covered button. I quite like the look!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Bucket Bag

I'm serious this time -- this is truly my favorite bag! It's another Keyka Lou pattern called the bucket bag, super easy to make and so well drafted. I used a cotton velveteen that I've had for quite some time. I was doubtful I could sew with it, because it was so thick, but it turned out to be much easier than I thought.

The lining is this fun elliptical polka dot from Moma's It's a Hoot line for Moda. I love this fabric. If you could see it in real life, it has a lovely, smooth hand, which I think might be more typical of Japanese produced quilting fabrics, and less of a broadcloth-y feel.

I added a keychain clasp and the zippered pocket. The original pattern has the front patch pocket but no interior pocket. I love the length of the strap hang and the deepness of the bag.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Another Birdie Sling

Here's the fourth birdie sling.  It will probably be the last one for a while -- I still love this bag, but there's another Amy Butler bag in her new book, Style Stitches, that I think I like even better.  

The deets on this one: the fabric is from Amy Butler's new Soul Blossoms line.  I couldn't get a very good picture of the interior (today being a very rainy and depressing day with not so great lighting), but it's lined with a nice coordinating Kona in aqua.  I added a zippered pocket on one side.  Best of all, I added a lobster claw for keys.  I was forever losing my keys whenever I'd throw them into the birdie I was using! 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My new bag

After all the purses and bags I've made this past month, I finally decided to make one for myself.  I've been using my birdie sling for the past year, and it has done its job well.  Sometimes I find it even a little too capacious, so I wanted something a little smaller.  Also I wanted a cross-body strap, as I found the birdie sling tended to slide off my shoulder quite a bit, especially when hauling around a 35-pound boy.

Well, I'm pretty pleased with the result.  This is the Kokka fabric I was talking about in my last post.  I bought it at Cool Cottons.  There's a very good selection of Kokka there, so I plan on going back to get some "boy" type prints for a mail sack for #1's music books (more on this later).  The lining is Moda's Essential Basics dots.  I should have taken a picture of the D-ring I used on the strap, it's pretty cool too (found at Fabric Depot). 

Even after all the trouble I had with this pattern (see my last post), it did not get easier with this bag.  First, I decided to start over and add the 1/4-inch seam allowance.  I had the pieces all cut and thought to use the pattern pieces from the prior Mocca bag for the interfacing.  When I went to do this, I finally figured out that even with adding the 1/4-inch seam allowance, the pieces were off-size because I forgot to turn the "scale" function off on the printer.  UGH!!!

It turned out well, nonetheless.  I changed a couple of things (again).  First, I inverted the pleats as called for in the directions.  I like how this looks better than on the Mocca bag.  Second, I added two buttons, just for decoration.  Finally, I made the inset pocket again, but didn't take a picture of it as it's the same as on the Mocca purse.

I made a matching wallet with a cute little domed button. 

I love this button.

Finally, a close-up of the little red riding hood print.  It's probably a little to young for me, but I've gotten to a point where I no longer care.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

I'm determined to start this new year out productively.  So...I spent New Year's Eve finishing this:

The pattern is called the Retro bag by ithinksew.  I had a little left over fabric from the kyoto dress project, so I used it to test the pattern before cutting into the precious Kokka that I had bought for this project.  The pattern calls for one yard for both the outside and lining, so I used one half yard for each.

I'm glad I did a trial run, because I really had some problems.  I should say first that it was not at all a problem with the pattern, just with me, as the pattern itself is really easy.  My first thought to test the pattern was because it called for adding a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  I was too lazy to do that, so I thought I would just make it a half inch smaller all around.  Unfortunately, I didn't account for some things, which are too ticky tacky to go into here.  It just made me  have to recalculate just about everything, when the simplest thing to do would have been to add the 1/4 seam allowance in the first place.  Oh well, lesson learned.

I changed a couple of things.  As you can see in the picture above, I added a bias trim to the front.  The pattern called for the pleats in front to be inverted, which I thought might look weird so I turned them the other way.  I thought too that it would create a nice pooching effect when the bag is full.  Who knows.

I also inserted a zipper pocket.  The pattern only provided for a patch pocket.  I decided after my last birdie sling that for bigger bag projects, I would take the time to do an inset zipper pocket as they are more secure.  The lining fabric is from the Moda Basics line.

Finally, I added some items to illustrate scale.  The bag measures 13.5 inches at the widest point on the bottom and is about 10.5 inches tall to the top middle.  With the strap, the purse has about a 28 to 30-inch drop when worn on one shoulder.  I like wearing it cross-body better.