Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween and Christmas finishes :)

I can never figure out why two photos taken in the same place within seconds of each other, will come out so differently. Case in point - these two pics were LITERALLY taken seconds apart, in my basement.  Bizarre!  Weird colour shenanigans aside, I made a bunch of candy corn zippies this year for the greats (niece + nephews) and my young neighbour kiddies - I tucked candy inside, then tucked the zippy into a Halloween cello bag with glow in the dark bracelets and rings - I think the kids will like them :D

Here are most of the other candy corns I did - I think I made 11 altogether :D  I'm quite pleased with how these turned out - IIDSSM, I think they're adorable :)  (The actual colour is brighter than the photo shows - this is another example proving my lack of camera savvy!)

Halloween pillowcases for a couple of the greats - I had different fabric bought for the cuffs but - as other sewers know, fabric can shrink a LOT when it gets washed, and mine did!  It shrunk so much that it wasn't usable for the cuffs, so I used stash fabric instead.  Thank goodness for a huge stash *ahem* :D

May I introduce you to Casper?  I finished him last night - he's a Christmas gift for a little one in the family :)  The pattern is Cosmo Caterpillar from Two Little Banshees - I can't find it available online anymore - I got it, ages ago, @ fatquarershop.  It's very quick and easy to work up.  I got the Very Hungry Caterpillar ribbon (used on the bib) from Ebay a while ago - it's actually what the gift is themed after :D

Things don't always work out as planned - my first attempt at the caterpillar gift set, didn't go as well as I would like.  I matched the flannel I used, to the colours of the actual Very Hungry Caterpillar.  The sewing is fine, I didn't (and still don't) like the look of the finished pieces - they look too plain, too boring.  I knew I wouldn't be happy gifting them because they don't feel *right*.  When I saw Casper in blue, I knew I'd made the right decision to redo him :D

Posting to Celtic Thistle Stitches' Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew for October (blue gift set) and to New to Me for October (the candy corn and caterpillar #1 :D)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Bendy bags picture only - not sure where I was going with this, LOL

Hehehe I remember finishing these last month - they're all Bendy Bags from Lazy Girl Designs - I uploaded a photo to my blog and then left the post as a draft.  I have no idea why the post didn't get finished, and I'm not even sure whether or not I've already posted this picture!  I did check back in history but didn't see it, so here we go - apologies if we've had this dance before :D

Bendy pattern was purchased here - at the time I bought it (I'm not sure if this is still true) the shipping was free to Canada - that made my day, since shipping to this part of the world is usually very expensive.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pretty in Pink - a photo ketchup (catch up :D) post

As usual I'm behind on emails and on photography :D  I needed to clear some space off of my sewing table so I finally put the card in the camera and snapped a few pics of bags I've finished in the last while.

Boxy bag measures 10.5" x 5" x 3", flex frame bag measures 6" X 8" :)

These boxies measure about 9" x 5" x 3".

Green floral boxy measures about 10.5" x 5" x 3.5"

Flex frame bags measure from 5.5" X 6.5", to 5.5" x 5.5".
Yellow flex frame bags measure 4.5" x 7", Bendy Bit measures 5.5" x 4.5".

2 kids wallets, measuring (opened) 9.75" x 4"

2 Bendy Bits bags - about 5" x 4.5"

The tutorial for the wallets is here, and the tutorial for the Bendy Bits bags is here.  The Bendy Bits bags are made from scraps created when making a Bendy Bag, but you can check out the pictures and tutorial and make something very similar if you don't want to buy the original pattern.  I really like the Bendy Bag pattern so I'm glad I bought it - I got it, with free shipping to Canada (a rare treat!) from Miller's Dry Goods - pattern here :)   (No affiliation, of course!)

Most of these items are going to Blue Hills (don't tell Nancy!  :D) and some have gone right into my gift box :)

WHEW I gained about 6 square inches of space on my sewing table - not exactly an earth shattering gain, lol.  But I have housework to do, so playtime has to wait!  Have a great day, my friends!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

October's Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew :)

Welcome to my post for the October Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew linky party - I'm glad you could make it!  Each month Paula at Mud, Pies and Pins, and Fiona at Celtic Thistle Stitches, host a linky party where we can post our Christmas ideas and finishes - it's a great way to get Christmas prep inspiration and ideas throughout the year, and a kick in the behind to get busy if we need it :D  At the end of the post you'll find a link to this month's linky - everyone who posts a project to it has a chance to win (you don't have to comment to enter).  This month's giveaway is provided by Sarah at duck egg threads --- the prize is 3 X F8's of seasonal Liberty fabric - check it out - so gorgeous!

DELICIOUS Liberty fabrics - OH MY!

I like doing shaped zippies (a recent finish here) but the usual way of putting them together -  lining up odd shapes evenly, and getting the zipper aligned properly - isn't something I do well, so I do them my own way. I made a very simple ornament zippy for my tutorial, and have some other shapes finished to share as well.  I  kept the designs simple as I  need to make a dozen of these in varying designs for Christmas :D  Even Santa takes shortcuts ;)

I'm not doing a detailed tutorial of how to make a zippy - there are tons of those on the internet.  Rather, my tutorial will explain my method of doing the shapes in an easy way that has a "fudge factor" built in.  Certainly try to be accurate, but it's easier to stitch on a drawn pattern than it is to cut out curves and try to align them properly for stitching.  For me, anyways!

For my project, I traced a small plate onto cardboard and cut it out.  Mine measured 5 3/4" in diameter .  I drew a line through the center of the template for aid in placement on the fabric - my bag will have a center zipper, so that's where I drew the line.   I add about 1.5" "fudge factor" to my cutting measurements, so I cut out 7" squares of fabric, lining and batting (2 of each).  I also used an 8" zipper, a 3" piece of ribbon and 1" split ring for the "hanger", and a button to embellish the front (optional).

Make 2 stacks - one for the front, one for the back --- lining right side down, batting, outer fabric right side up.

Decide where your zipper will be placed - front or back, center or off center, horizontally or vertically.  Your shape choice will determine where the zipper would look best - mine will be on the back, centered horizontally.  Slice one of the stacks where the zipper will be installed.  Be careful with directional fabrics - make sure they're oriented properly.

Install zipper as normal, in the section you cut in half.  Again, make sure directional fabrics are oriented properly.  This photo shows the zipper installed on one of the two halves for the back.

This is what you'll have now - two sections - one with a zipper, one without.  In my case, the zippered section is the back - your mileage, of course, may vary :D

Gettin' there!  Stack the 2 pieces RST, with the zipper on top.  Trace around the template - since my zipper is centered, I used the center line on my template, and ran it along the center of the zipper  (don't forget to check fabric orientation).  The traced line will be your *stitching* line.

I wanted the "hanger" (tab) to be centered at the top of the pouch, with the zipper (in the back) centered horizontally.  I marked staystitching lines at the location for the tab (top center), and just outside the stitching line on either end of the zipper.  Those last 2 lines show me where to staystitch to keep the zipper from opening before its time :D  This photo shows the staystitching on either end of the zipper, and the tab placement top center.

Pin the hanger in place and - very important - open the zipper to the center of the bag.  If you've made pouches before you'll know that rule!

Home stretch!  Stitch on your traced line - I stitch around twice for strength.  Because you left your zipper open - you did, right?! ;) - you don't need to leave an opening in the shape, which makes life a lot easier when it comes to turning the item right sides out :D

Trim outside the stitched line about 1/4".  Be careful not to cut into your pouch or Santa's elves will be very angry with you :D  (I won't be angry with you though, because I've done that more than once, LOL)

Carefully turn right sides out, and give it a press on both sides.  Use a pressing cloth to protect your iron and your fabrics - my pressing cloth is actually a paper towel, but that's because Santa hasn't brought me a proper one :D

And ... it's done :)  I'm putting fun erasers and candy in mine.  While mine are very simple, the sky is the limit for designs, although the more detailed the design, the harder it gets to turn right sides out (even with my simple technique).  I hope to make more of these for the adults and am planning on adding pretty beading to them - I even have sequins I can stitch on for fun :)

Here are a few more that I've completed for this Christmas.  Note that for the stockings, the zipper location changed to front/top, so when I cut the fabric for that, I cut the *front*, and I cut it higher than center.  The area where the zipper is stitched, is about 3 1/2" wide - I wouldn't go much smaller than that because it would be hard to get into the bag to tuck the goodies.  Next time I'm going to patchwork white fabric at the top of each piece for the stocking cuff - I thought of that after I finished these :D

These ones are my favourites - I hope I have more of the holly fabric as I would make more of these but put red seed beads on the berries (for adult recipients) :)

There's also my Ho Ho Ho and On We Halloween pouch - in case you celebrate Christmas on Halloween?  ;)

And one more pair that I just finished up:

I hope my photos and explanation for this technique are clear enough - this is a simple project - I finished those  2 Christmas tree pouches 30 minutes after I took the first picture.  Please ask if I've missed anything, or if anything is unclear!  I drafted my templates based on images I found online (or based on a plate, HAHA) - they're so simple that even I could do most of them freehand.  You can get inspiration by image searching, for example (and without the "s) "colouring book pages Christmas" or "simple line drawings Christmas".

I hope you'll get a project done and hook it up to the linky party for a chance to win some lovely fabric!  Be sure to visit my co-hostess - Ella and Nesta @ Ella and Nesta's Little Room - I wonder what she's going to share with us :D  Thank you to all of our amazing sponsors - have a look around their sites when you have a chance - that's where I'm headed when I hit "Publish" on this post :D

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Friday, October 16, 2015

This is for you, Allie :D

I started a project recently so I would have some handwork to take with me during our road trip last weekend to visit my family for Thanksgiving.  I'm making a couple of very simple zipper bags, but I decided to add some beads to them to tart them up ;)  I did a couple  last year for my old aquafit teachers - they worked out really nicely, and the recipients were VERY happy with them (which of course made me even VERY HAPPIER :D) :)  Allie - here's the fabric I was telling you about - isn't it pretty?  I don't even remember where it came from, and I only had a small piece that was just big enough for two zipper bags. The colours are really rich - it's a lovely print - it may have come from our Canadian Fabricland, but it would have been years ago :D

Fabric has been quilted, and some beads have been added


More beads :D

Here are the beads I'm working with, and at the top are the 2 zipper pulls I made to go on the bags when they're completed :)

I think these will be really pretty when they're finished!


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