Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sweet Pea Totes

I'm absolutely delighted with this bag.  I love how nice and clean the lines are, and the size is perfect -- not too big, not too little.  It ends up being a medium-sized purse, measuring 12 inches wide at the bottom, 10 inches tall, and three inches deep. 

The pattern is by Sweet Pea Totes.  Although you can buy it on Etsy, there is actually a Simplicity pattern, too.  I'm not sure if there's a difference, but I used the Simplicity pattern.  The only mods I made was to insert a bias trim along the front flap and top panels.  Otherwise, I followed the directions as written, including two patch pockets on the inside. 

There are two strap options, one with a simple short strap. Option B has the adjustable strap, which is the one I picked (from 18 to 33 inches). The strap ends up being just long enough to wear cross-body.  Wearing the strap short (as with Option A) probably looks a lot more stylish -- sorta Audrey Hepburn-esque -- but wearing it longer is probably more practical (in my case).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Woodland Delight Pocket Clutch

I made this a while back but haven't had time to blog about it until now.  The orange fabric is by Paula Prass as part of the Woodland Delight collection for Michael Miller Fabrics.  The polka dot lining is Moda Essential Dots.  The button is one I've had for a while.  I've blogged about the pattern before but just in case, here's the link.

The major achievement with this one is that I was able to get the repeating patterns to line up. It's hard to explain, but maybe the pictures will be self-explanatory -- especially this picture below. Subtle, but I thought it was an achievement nonetheless.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Last Pair of Pajamas for This Winter

Way back when I made these for No. 2, I also cut out a pair for No. 1 but ran out of fabric. I needed another half yard or so for the sleeves and front facing, but wouldn't you know it, my local fabric store didn't have the fabric in stock any longer. This particular fabric store also isn't known for re-stocking items that it considers seasonal -- product moves really fast there. Nevertheless, I kept going back (not particularly for this purpose, but because I'm a frequent shopper) hoping that it would reappear. And one day it did!

The fabric is called Hooty Hoot Kangaroo Jacks by Doohikey for Riley Blake Designs. These were constructed exactly like the previous ones, with the addition of 1/4-inch bias piping. I think my sewing skills are definitely improving, as this pair seemed to come together (mostly) painlessly. I did have to rip out a few stitches while setting in the sleeves, but setting sleeves have always been difficult for me.

The pattern is Indygo Junction's Jack & Jill Jammies, which is on sale right now at Pink Chalk Fabrics.  I really like this pattern, because it's a nice, basic style that you can do a lot with.  Plus the size range is pretty cool, from 4 to 12.  These ones are a size 8, btw.

Oops, I haven't yet learned to pick/cut stray threads before doing photo shoots. You can see a couple on the close-up of the collar (above).  The picture below is actually the pocket detail on the pajama bottoms.  I added a back pocket.  No. 1 is 6 1/2 years old, and it helps him immensely to have a way to tell which is the front and back of the pants!

OK, now that we're done with the winter flannels, I'm moving on to the spring jammies!  I've got my spring wardrobe to work on, too (yeah, right).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Musical Mail Sack

This is the long pondered, relatively easily executed, and completely anti-climactic mail sack mail sack for No. 1's music books.

It was long pondered because, you know what, it is soooo difficult to make cute things for boys (never mind the Celebrate the Boy month goings on right now). So I wanted a simple style, so I chose Pink Chalk Studio's mail sack pattern.  It was everything everyone said it was -- just an all-out great pattern.  I made the smaller size, which is a great fit for elementary school-aged children, particularly one picky first grader.

I drew the music symbols by hand and traced the mirror images onto a double-sided adhesive backing.  I don't know anything about music (with the exception of teaching myself Jingle Bells this Christmas when we first got our piano), but the symbol above means play with the right hand, and the one below means play with the left hand.

I machine-stitched the applique.  It didn't turn out quite as well as I wanted -- the tension on my machine was off just enough to be annoying.

The interior has a split patch pocket.  With the fabrics, I used a linen and cotton blend for the exterior.  It's really quite a hefty weave but very slippery to work with.  The red gingham is by Robert Kaufman.  Again, I wanted something simple and cute -- but not too cutesy. 

It was easily executed, because the pattern was very simple with great directions.  I'd be hard-pressed to mess this one up.  The only variation was that I added the bias trim to the front yoke.

Finally, I say anti-climactic because after I did my photo shoot in the morning, I had the mail sack all packed and ready to go for the afternoon's piano lesson...Only to find that No. 1 had moved all his music books back to the ugly green, synthetic freebie-tote that he had been using for his books for the last year and a half.  Sigh.